We all know that committed, close relationships are complicated and life often creates situations where change is a natural outcome and in some cases may be forced upon us. We know our loved ones will make choices and decisions we don’t agree with. Hopefully we bounce back, learn from mistakes, and then grow and move on.
Some changes in life are forced on us. Aging is one. Other changes are the result of choices we make to better our lives or accomplish goals we have set. Either way, change is challenging and we always have a choice about how we will handle the transition.
Some days we wake up feeling great and don’t know why, other days we wake up in a low mood with or without consciousness of the reason. What most of us didn’t learn in childhood is that ups and downs are not always related to problems or something you did to cause them. It’s okay to let a slump run its course...
Motherhood can bring out the perfectionist in all of us. Over the years, I have reflected in many conversations with my mother, my 3 sisters and numerous friends about how we raised our respective children. The recurring theme of our discussions was we wished we had been less uptight and more spontaneous—another way of saying we were scared stiff and worried too much.
Like many Americans, I spent the past few days watching intensely as the ongoing coverage of the Boston terrorist attacks unfolded – culminating with the dramatic arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a family’s boat in Watertown, MA. As I did, many thoughts raced through my mind. Some thoughts were based on personal experience and others were simply a common human reaction.
Standing in a grocery line last week, I couldn’t ignore the magazine headlines with stories about celebrities and their recent relationship breakups. Since relationships are my favorite subject and career, I decided that as long as we as a culture are fascinated with what happens to celebrities, especially with romance, we might as well try to learn something from them.
The truth is that for all re-married (or recommitted) with children their new life isn’t only about their love for each other, but now must include love and/or acceptance for the other people their partner loves (children) and has loved (ex-partner, extended family, friends).
Feeling love is different from feeling happy. Happy comes and goes. Love can stay as long as you welcome it regardless of circumstances. The love I am referring to is not romantic love. This is simpler and more accessible than tackling the complexities of finding and maintaining an intimate relationship.
In many cases, problems in a marriage actually began before the commitment was made and could have been avoided with some serious forethought. I believe in what I now call "practical love," deeply intimate and lasting but it requires more than just love.
Sometimes we can't tell the good news from the bad. It's only in hindsight that our perspective gets clearer and generally all news can have something good in it if we are willing to look at the bigger picture.
Grief is what we feel when someone or something we love and really care about is threatened or no longer within our reach. At times of serious loss, if we allow it and pay attention, we will also see that love is what gets us through the ups and downs.