In Which I Tear Apart A Terrible Editiorial on Relationships

Or, alternate title being: “This bitch does not know what she is talking about…”
Below are a few quoted selections from the article, but you can read it in its “brilliant” entirety here.

QUOTE: “‘…euphoria’ doesn’t mean unrealistic romantic bliss. It just means your stomach flips every time you see your SO (significant other). “
Actually, in the context you JUST described, your second sentence pretty much directly contradicts your first; it exactly means “unrealistic romantic bliss.”
Let’s take a minute to disect just a few more of the unconstructive and inaccurate statements in this article and pray you never end up with a job being the next Dr. Ruth.
QUOTE: “Being happy means being unable to imagine a life without your significant other; being comfortable means not caring.
When you’re truly happy, you cannot imagine your life without this other person.”
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Um, no.
Not even.
You can feel all of those those things and not be happy. It’s called co-dependency.
QUOTE: “When you’re comfortable, that feeling of safety is similar to that of boredom. The feeling isn’t draining, and it isn’t toxic; it’s vanilla, bland and homogenous.”
In reality, happiness and comfort can and often do come together.

I still get butterflies with my husband sometimes. It comes down to mood and frame of mind. I also can get that euphoric feeling of when we just met if I think back and remember those times. But I also feel a deeper love seated in comfort, security, and respect.

A relationship can get complacent, but that has as much to do with taking a SO for granted and getting complacent in how you treat your SO daily as anything else. However, many people DO get stuck in boring relationships because they don’t have the strength to get out. This article almost makes it seem like it’s a “natural” mistake “many” people make.  But that only makes them victims of themselves.

And the passage on sex… Jesus. Are you married? Are you IN a longterm relationship.

QUOTE: “Sex in a happy relationship is truly incredible. The orgasms are more intense and even more fulfilling than they are in a loveless relationship. Sex becomes about so much more than two people physically connecting; it brings two souls as close together as they can possibly be…

On the other hand, when you’re just comfortable, you’re f*cking for the purpose of getting off quickly and efficiently. It’s a race to orgasm. It’s about nothing more than physical satisfaction.”

Any person who is in a long term relationship, happily even, will tell you…
Sex is always different. I have been married 6 years, with my husband a total of 11. Sex is sometimes slow and romantic, sometimes passionate and erotic.  Sometimes, we are just horny and we both want to get off. It’s never always one way. In other words, you can be quite happy, and have a night where the sex is utilitarian and a bit boring.  Two nights later, you might get your socks knocked off in bed.  (Not me; I hate wearing socks during sex.)
 I almost feel bad for tearing your article apart so aggressively, however almost everything you said in this article is not only inaccurate, but you take the stance of guiding other people in relationships, and you’re sending them chasing their tails.  You sound like you wrote this article WHILE in the throes of the “unrealistic romantic bliss” you mentioned. Sorry, Gigi, but there are no epiphanies here…
Thankfully, I am not alone in calling bullshit.  The comments in the section under the article were almost unanimously…less than positive.   I just…
ah, okay.  I’m done.  Discerning readers, what do you think?
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Dr. Rut’ says you need this book…

 

Gemmy, You’re My Bro!

Scrubs and Psych two of my favorite shows right now.

Both shows feature extremely close friendships between two male protagonists, often dabbling in behavior that seems to defy acceptable dude-code(1)(2) .  While the relationship between J.D. and Turk is certainly entertaining, though, it’s the complimentary relationship between Shawn and Gus that really amuses me.

Shawn is clever and funny, but often short-sighted (oh the irony) and narcissistic.  Gus is the responsible one, and can be stuffy at times, except for any time he sees a good-looking woman, at which point he becomes some goofball rico suave.   But he’s still my favorite. As my hubby says, Gus is one dapper motherfucker, and for some reason, I laugh every time he says “You know that’s right.”  Plus, while extremely impressive,and even enviable, Shawn’s skills of observation would often be useless without Gus’s ability to give them context with his store of practical and book knowledge.  They are peas in a pod.  Bros.

At any rate you may imagine my amusement (and secret pride) when my husband teasingly compared these bromances to my and my best friend’s behavior when we are together.  My best friend and I have “been together” since we were in fourth grade (that’s 23 years, give or take,) we’ve been through a lot, we went to school together, we got high together (we subsequently got in trouble together.)  We’ve had ups and downs, been separated by people and miles, and there is nothing we wouldn’t do for one another.

So without further ado, why my and I bestie have a chick bromance :

We tell each other the harsh truth and don’t take it personally.

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 We can disagree and even “argue…” and then we’re over it.  No drama, no grudges.

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 We’re both married but not much has changed…

BroM257cffdce208890We’re at home in one another’s homes…

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And we probably know one another better than our own spouses.

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We’re not afraid to be stupid together.

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 We respect and even compliment one another’s differences.

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 We’ve always got each other’s back.

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And we know we’ll be friends until we’re old and gray.

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J*’s Little Ponies: The Daryl Dixon Pony

My little girl loves My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic, so I decided I’d draw up some custom ponies for her.  These ponies will be based on the current art style of MLP:FIM, but I wanted to do some more…cutting edge ponies, with my own themes and “cutie mark” ideas.

Now, I debut my first pass at the Daryl Dixon Pony.   This female little pony is complete with Daryl’s trademark casually messy hair, crossbow, “ear” necklace…  And I added some fingerless gloves (ponies don’t have fingers anyway 😉 )a biohazard “cutie mark.”

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Back to the Future: An Open Letter to My Daughter

In response to today’s Daily Prompt, the first person that came to my mind, naturally, was my daughter.  Maybe it’s not the most original concept, as far as who would be the recipient of a letter to the future, but that doesn’t make it any less the truth– so much so, in fact, that it’s already occurred to me.

When my daughter was about 4 months old, I decided to start a journal, in the form of letters addressed to her.  Whenever she did something new, hit some landmark in her development, or just did something to make me smile, I’d add an entry to the journal.  It was a way to sort out my thoughts and often overwhelming feelings of love (and consequent worry) for her. It is also sort of written scrap book, and a way to let her know I love her in the event that anything should ever happen to me.

I’m under no illusions that I’ll live forever, but the thought of leaving her before I’ve had a chance to see her grow up, before I’m ready to go, is really scary.  I want to be able to be there for her, for all the trials and tribulations (if you’ll excuse the cliche) of growing up– skinned knees and school plays, boy troubles and sharing her dreams.  I want to be not only her mother, but her confidant, and her friend.  But if something should happen to me, if I should be in a car accident or fall terminally ill, there are a few major things I want her to know:

Dearest Daughter,

There are so many things I want to tell you, to teach you, and to share with you.  Hopefully there will be time to do them all, but if for some reason I can’t be there to tell you these things in person, there are just a few things I want you to know.  Some of these things might seem little, but I think they are important nonetheless.

–Always send thank you notes.  It’s good manners, but more importantly, it lets people know you appreciate them.

–Be kind to animals.  How you treat animals is a good indicator of how you will treat people.  Also, animals are innocent and a gift, and it’s our job to protect them.

–Honesty is important.  There is almost never a good enough reason to lie to someone you care about.  Be honest with yourself as well.

–Value your good friends.  You may have a lot of friends, but true friends that are always there for you are rare and something to be treasured.

–Nature is beautiful.  Take time to stop and appreciate it.

–Hold the door for others.

–Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

–Be respectful to your elders, but never be afraid to stand up for yourself.

–Stand up for yourself, and those who can’t stand up for themselves.

–The world can be scary and people can be mean; always be vigilant and protect yourself.

–Know when to say “I’m sorry.”

–Cherish books and music.  They can open doors to magical places and become part of your soul.

–Love unconditionally.

–Love unconditionally, but don’t ever let anyone treat you badly.

And most importantly, know that I love you.  I’ve loved you since before you were born.  I love you more than anything.  Your father loves you more than anything.  We love you no matter what you do, who you decide to love, where you go, where we go…  We love you now and forever.

Love,
Mama

(photo taken by Cynthia Gemmill)

(photo taken by Cynthia Gemmill)

The Cycle

“I asked you a question.”

He’s trying to control the conversation.  Don’t let him.  You have the power now.  He’ll never control you again.

“Say something…say something!” His lapse in composure is brief, but she sees the rage that she now knows must have always been there.

“What do you want me to say?”

“I want you to answer the question.”

A pause.  “How could you do what you did?  Those women…”

“Have you never been taught not to answer a question with a question?”  She’s never heard that note of condescension in his voice before.  Not in 8 years of marriage or the two years they dated before that.

I never knew him at all…who is this man?

“You still love me…”  His eyes pin her to the spot, like a butterfly mounted in a display case.  “You miss me.  You need me.  Don’t you?”

don’t need him.  And I don’t love him, not anymore.  But, God help me, I do miss him.  At least, I miss the person I thought he was.

“Answer me.”  Somehow this quiet command is more frightening than all of his rage.

I’m not scared of him.  He can’t hurt me anymore.  I’m not scared, I’m…  Defiant,”Why should I?”

“Because I have something you want.”

“You don’t have anything I want anymore!”  No!  Don’t let him see your anger!  If you’re angry, he wins.

He smiles.  “We both know that’s not true.  I know where your sister is.”

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Fancy a Roll in ze Hay? Sex and Marriage

What is a sexless marriage?

The US National Health and Social Life Survey in 1994 (Laumann et al. 1994) found that 2 percent of the married respondents reported no sexual intimacy in the past year. The definition of a nonsexual marriage is often broadened to include those where sexual intimacy occurs less than ten times per year

Is sex that important?  Can a marriage be healthy without it?

Well, I’m not an expert about marriage…or sex…  But I am married and I love sex…( and besides, this is my blog, so I can talk about it if I wanna, so, Nyah.)   I’ve been with my husband for over eight years, and we’ve been married for a little over three.  We have a two year old daughter who is the major love of both of our lives, and we’re both totally cool with that.  We’ve had our share of difficulties– financial, family-related, and personal.  I think we have a very strong marriage.  We can talk about most anything.  I have a deep love for my husband and he is my best friend.

And I am still, um… a big hornball.  One of the things I like about my husband is how secure and laid-back he is; like how we can laugh about my obsession with Maynard or Noomi.  And there is some joking about how I am the man in our relationship because I am always dropping him not-too-subtle hints about sex and he often just laughs at my “crass” and unromantic overtures.

I happened on this article the other day about sexless marriages.  We’re definitely not in a “sexless” marriage.  Still, we’re older, busier, tired more often…  so we’re not doing it three times a day like when we first met.  The whole thing got me thinking a bit.  How many people do I know might be secretly dissatisfied with the amount of sex they’re having?  So I did a little bit of digging on the ever-handy InterWebz this morning, with my mind on a possible blog post.

It’s natural and completely normal for the animal sex of a new relationship to drop off. “The initial passion of any relationship changes after 18 months,” says Sallie Foley, MSW, director of the Center for Sexual Health at the University of Michigan (author of Modern Love and Sex and Love for Grownups.)

“It moves from the romantic and exciting to an attachment kind of loving, fondness.  That gotta have it, gotta have it feeling is gone.”

Even though some amount of drop off in sexual frequency can be expected, that doesn’t mean we don’t mourn it sometimes.  And there are instances where a “drop-off” turns into a “shut-out.”  There may be emotional or physical reasons behind why a marriage becomes “sexless.”

Some people feel that sex isn’t that big a deal, and that if you really love your partner, you can deal with having less sex than you may want.  In my opinion, this would depend on the situation– basically, the reasons for the lack of intimacy.

Because to me, intimacy is a super-important part of a marriage, and for me sex affords a very specific type of intimacy.  If it goes for more than a week or two, my dreams start to get markedly kinkier.  I get anxious and sometimes even cranky if I go for too long without sex with my husband.  Apparently I am not unusual in this regard.

“It’s a very healthy thing for a partnership, there’s no question about that…People who have sex tend to feel closer, more intimate.”

Does your sex life look like this?

Does your sex life look like this?

Or this...?

Or this…?

A relationship stripped of the intimacy and physical closeness which sex provides feels hollow: the person who is supposed to find you attractive, sexy and desirable doesn’t.

Let me reiterate that there are many reasons a marriage can become sexless, and it’s something you should discuss to see if it’s within your power as a couple to change the dynamic of your sexual relationship.  There are many avenues open to you, including but not limited to therapy.  But one simple piece of advice I’ve seen in more than one place is this:

“…There’s definitely a use it or lose it aspect to sex…You have to be committed to intimate time together. That doesn’t mean every single time you take off your clothes and have sex. But set aside time just for the two of you.”

Basically, having sex makes you want sex more.

I’ll leave you with this last thought.  Some people have the attitude of “what’s the big deal?”  Like if your spouse is a good  spouse in all other respects, who cares if there’s no sex?

If you communicate to your partner that you are unhappy and they seem ambivalent, that’s a problem.

There’s something very wrong with the picture if your partner is saying ‘I know you’re desperately unhappy but I don’t plan on doing anything about it and still expect you to be faithful’

sources:

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/are-you-spouses-or-just-roommates

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexless_marriage

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2251074/The-sexless-marriage-Should-leave-arent-getting-asks-FEMAIL-Sexpert-Tracey-Cox.html

Fight Fair: When the Love is Gone

When the Love is Gone…

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What’s Left?

Most of us have been there– a relationship that just didn’t work out.  Not just someone you dated once or twice, but a relationship that actually took off, but then for some reason, began to lose steam.  Or worse– crash and burn in a fiery conflagration of suspicion and hostility after some transgression or betrayal on the part of one or both parties.

And then what’s left?  Broken hearts, bitterness, tears… and an apparent disregard for the feelings of someone we once claimed to love.

When I went through this myself, back at then end of high school, beginning of college, I simply couldn’t fathom why I was being treated so badly.  The answer soon became apparent;  the lying, the flagrant disrespect for me, disregard for my feelings, and blatant hostility, even in the face of my tears.    This was the “man” who had once begged me in tears to come back to him.  Now he was threatening to cut his wrists in front of me.  The narcissism.  The manipulation.  The threats and name-calling.  I’m pretty sure my ex had sociopathic tendencies…

Obviously, not all exes are “psychos” (incidentally one of his favorite insults to hurl at me,) however, even perfectly normal people have the capacity to be emotionally brutal to their partners.  Something I used to say often, and which I believe is true for a great many people (but at least I was upfront about it) is that when I get hurt, I get angry.

It’s a defense mechanism.  However, often, the person on the receiving end of  verbal darts carelessly slung around in an argument are often innocent (subjectively speaking) of any wrong-doing—  at least, the type of wrong doing that would warrant such emotional warfare.

You’re such a psycho…

No one will ever put up with you…

Where has [it] gotten you? You have nothing going for you…

I understand striking out when you’re hurt.  I’ve even been known to throw a punch or two, back in my younger days.  But I learned a lot from my ex.  I hate to say it, but it’s true.

I learned how I never wanted to be treated again.  I learned what I wouldn’t put up with from someone.  I learned not to fight back using name-calling or worse…giving a liar a black eye.  I also learned that I didn’t like the person I had become as a result of being with my ex…  Insecure, and abusive in my own right.couples-fighting

But this post isn’t really about me or my ex.  It’s about how people treat one another.  Relationships are complicated, and blame goes both ways.  Maybe your partner has hurt you.  Maybe you are in the midst of a break-up, with no foreseeable hope of reconciliation.  But do you really want to hurt this person you once loved, or maybe even still love?  Silence can be a very damaging and passive-aggressive form of fighting…

But sometimes silence is your friend.  If you are losing control, and you know you might say something you can’t take back, keep your mouth shut.  Don’t just walk away, but tell your partner you need a few minutes to yourself and then walk away.  And if your partner tells you they need a moment, let them walk away.  You can save yourself and your partner a lot of hurt.  Even if you see no future with them, do you really need the stress of fighting with them?

Sometimes the problem is even more basic.  Some people just don’t care if they hurt someone else’s feelings.

I can’t stress it enough– when this is a repeated pattern, especially if it’s not in the heat of the moment (and thus not an issue of self control) this is a very clear sign.  I learned it myself, after too long being mistreated, waiting for apologies that never came.  When your partner no longer cares if they hurt you, it’s time to move on.

To everyone else…   fight fair.  If not for your partner’s sake, for your own.  Being nasty to your partner is not conducive to mending a relationship.  Don’t take the bait and give into trading insults.  Even if  things don’t work out, you will know you did the best you could and stood on higher ground.  Not to be better than them, but to be a better you.