I like how this man explained the concept of “Marriage”, from where I grew up. It falls in line with my own thoughts on Love. It simply extends my beliefs to marriage, and how it is a commitment between people. Sometimes the commitment is for a lifetime. Sometimes 30 years. Sometimes 10.

The commitment at its basic, is a daily choice.

matawindstorm

Yesterday my Facebook page lit up with a rainbow of color. Most of my friends have rainbow colored profile pictures. I did not colorize mine, even though I very much support the decision, I simply did not do it.

Where is marriage going? To me I find the legal rights of marriage what all the argument is about, as compared to the religious rights. Anyone can turn a good thing into a bad thing, and others can turn a bad thing into a good thing.

I look at nomadic law, where families traveled around the desert. The men did the hunting and gathering of the food, and the women did much of the work that needed done in the camps. This was done for safety. A man provided for all who lived in his tent, under his roof so to speak, his wife, his children. Each Man had his own…

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Marriage Advice I Wish I Would Have Had

MARRIAGE ADVICE I WISH I WOULD HAVE HAD:

Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about going through divorce that gives you perspective of things you wish you would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had…

1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love.

5) IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7) NEVER BLAME your wife If you get frustrated or angry, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8) Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10) FILL HER SOUL EVERYDAY… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel loved.

11) BE PRESENT. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14) GIVE HER SPACE… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered.)

15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fear and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, and part of that courage is allowing her to love your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17) NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is for a relationship that isn’t focused on growing. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18) DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19) FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. Forgiveness is freedom. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20) ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late.

But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE : Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you.

Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

So today I needed to pick up my lawn mower. Carlos has a truck, as well as a bike. So I took the chance and asked him if he would help me. He said “Sure.” I watched him pick this thing up – all by himself. WoW! Marcella <— totally impressed.

He had picked me up from the restaurant, and drove me to the repair shop, then to my home, then back to the restaurant. It was nice to talk to him too. He says all of the time to me, "You give good brain." He does too. It is nice to talk to someone who has read books, and is up to date with current events. Has an opinion. Its amazingly refreshing. He is majorly polite!!! And ALWAYS on time. I mean on. time.

We talked about documentaries to watch on NetFlix… a splurge I bought for myself, since I'm having to watch so much TV. We got onto the subject of 'dating' and 'future marriages' – we are both divorced. It was from the subject of how truthful are we with our kids. Especially about our social lives. Our ability to be Humans, to our kids, and how we share, without crossing boundaries, that kids should be protected from. His are in their 20's. His son is expecting his first child next month. Grandpa Carlos. hehheehe

When we got to my home, I thought that I would go ahead and check on Bronwyn's promise to turn off the lights and the radio… she didn't. Last month, at the bonfire, he stayed in the backyard. I took him inside this time. I told him to come on in the house. And then showed him around. Even my bedroom.

I was telling him on the way back to the restaurant, I was telling him that I had already broken my only promise to myself. That I had promised myself not to bring men over to my home. How I felt it wasn't fair to my kids. How I worried it would screw them up. How I had even had a conversation with the kids, that they were not ever getting a step-dad, unless their dad turned gay.

I went on to tell him that I wasn't getting remarried ever.
Never.
Ever.

That's when he replied, very forcefully: "You are not being fair. You are only looking at the situation from one small, narrow-minded, point of view. Never say, never. You are making this choice from fear, aren't you?"

It shocked the shit out of me.

Not only cause he was right, but the fact that he was passionate enough to voice an opinion. And that he would even care. Its not like he and I are seriously involved. I mean this is a new friendship. I know that he isn't looking for the next Mrs. Carlos right now either.

I nodded, and agreed that I was.

So he kept going…. "Then you are really doing yourself a disservice. There could be this really great guy for you, this perfect soul match. And you're gonna let him just pass you right by because you don't want to mess up your kids. That is such a lame excuse."

I swear – word for word – what he said.

He asked me if I wanted to teach my girls to make decisions based on fear.

I didn't. I really don't want them to do that.

So he gave me a scenario: "What if your daughter leaves this really messed up drunken asshole – He's abusive – He's mean – She has a little boy about 3 – You telling her that she has to stay single for the rest of her life?"

I said: "No!!!" Of course I don't want that for them. Not ever. I want them to be happy.

So he said: "So then she could get remarried then?"
me: "Sure. If he made her happy."
him: "So why not for you too?"

He is right, it is a decision based upon fear. But not the one that Carlos thinks it is. I have established a new, healthier, more balanced relationship with my kids now. I don't know that it would be such a good idea to bring someone else into that. Even if they were the most perfect man on the earth. Made just for me. My relationship with my children is so much more important to me than, a relationship that would satisfy the woman in me.

Carlos mentioned that a man, a good step-dad, would not try to parent out from under me. He would do those things that support the momma. To make her the princess. To ease her life. To assist her. To help her be the best momma for her kids ever. He told me the story of a good friend of his, who had divorced her really crappy, over bearing, controlling, unloving husband. She was like me. She wasn't going to date, but the heavens had different plans. She met the man that was her soul-side. This new man went into the relationship knowing that she was a mother first. He completely took on the role of step-dad with a gusto, and enjoys it.

I don't have to imagine what that is like. I have my sweetie, who does that. Although more indirectly than what Carlos is saying. I know that my children know 'of' my sweetie. They know that there is a man who loves me. He is my sounding board for my life. He helps me to see the other sides of issues, not only with him, but also in parenting, (he has children of his own), relationships, and even, my job. While he isn't here with me every night, I do get to talk to him every day.

I don't know what it would be like to have a man like my sweetie, here. Physically doing what he does, and at the same time intentionally being a presence in my children's lives.

I'm not sure that I want to take that chance either. Fears are there for are there for a reason. They keep you from doing really stupid things. LoL

I wish that things had been different. I wish that he would find peace. I wish him nothing but the best.

I can honestly I tried everything. I was, and still am, so open with him. There is nothing in my life that I have ever tried to hide from him. If he asked me anything – I was there pouring it all out. For his approval. For his disdain. Then he would turn around and just close up. No amount of prodding or pushing would get me inside. I never knew that a person could feel so alone inside of a relationship. Even when sitting right next to them on the couch.

I wish that there was a way that we could have found that perfect ever-lasting happily ever-after. But things like that take effort on both sides. Things like that take love. They take changing bad behaviours and being sorry for things.

There was none of that in my marriage.

Its why I had to let him go.

Its why I had to go.

The song is true – let’s give them something, worth talking about. Worth remembering. I wish that I could have given my daughter the remembering of happiness in her life.

So the song came on the radio as we were driving to Circle tonight. I raise the volume and the kids complain. I sing though the first section, and lower it on the chorus. “You know, if this song hadn’t ever come out, you might not even be here.” I told them.

They get silent: So I continue to tell them the story of how this song was what started it all for Barry and me. How we were just co-workers at The Brea Bistro, yet all of the other staff, owners included, thought that we were more than friends. That we were secretly dating. Barry and I laughed for several days over that one. Then this song got all popular. It was on the radio, all of the time. So one afternoon, we decided to give our well-intentioned friends “Something To Talk About”.

It was just supposed to be a lark. To be a joke. But the more that we dated, the more we liked each other. The more we liked each other, the more we hung-out. The more we hung-out, the more we fell in love.

“A lot of good that did you.” Was Rebecca’s response.

I was shocked by her coldness. By the hurt that was radiating off of her, in her voice, her shoulders, her words. I wasn’t sure how to help her understand that it wasn’t ALL bad with Barry. That there were some good times. That it wasn’t always horrific, and abusive. That there was love between us.

I tried to tell her this. I tried to share with her some happy moments of the marriage of her parents. I want her to know that we made her from the love we shared with each other. That we were happy. That love did exist in her life with us.

She wasn’t ready to hear this.

I was reminded tonight, in our story, that everyone will come to their own personal truths, in their own time. For me its not my responsibility to prove to Rebecca that there was love between Barry and I, at one point. She will have to learn that one on her own.

I do hope that she will learn it, in the moment that is right for her.

Soooo, what I didn’t post about yesterday. *sigh*

I came across this musical figurine yesterday when I was moving my things out of our bedroom and into the living room. When I was born my grandmother had given me a musical figurine. Its a woman holding a baby, and while the lulliby plays, she spins around. She was the first of many that she gave me over the years. They are collectibles I think at this point. I don’t see many of them around, ever.

She gave me one a year, or more, and each one was significant for what was going on in my life at the time. There’s a ballerina from when I was 7. An Irish gal, from when Mindy was born (March, being St. Patrick’s Day, and her birth month). A little Drummer Boy from when I took up music and learned to play the song. There were at one point 12 of them. The last one of Mother Goose and her ducklings, right before we moved to Saudi.

When Momma opened up the box, after years in storage, she didn’t want to chance them coming to Saudi with us, 5 of them were damage beyond repair. I coudln’t even tell you which ones they were now. They were packed away over 30 years ago, for heaven’s sake. So there are the original 7. And another 5 that were added over the years by Barry.

There is one of Mother Nature, in a snow globe form, for my 10th Mother’s Day. That was the last one he gave me. There is one of a pair of snowmen waltzing for our First Christmas. There are 2 of birds that I actually gave to him, but he didn’t take with him. Then there is this one. A bridal pair, that play Here Comes the Bride.

This one he gave to me as a marriage present on the eve of our wedding. A gift to mark the time that we were promising our lives together.

Together for all the days of our lives.

A promise to have that Silver Anniversary. The gold. The rocking chairs side by side as we grow gray hairs.

For a bit of time yesterday I could feel my son’s little hands patting on me, as I held that gift in my hands and let my tears fall down.

Yes – regular old snail mail. With postage stamps. And envelopes. And handwritten address on the front.

Its the return address that made my heart skip a beat. The fact that there were 2 of them; one for me and one for him, that made my breath catch. My fingers trembled as I tore across the backside, opening it up, to see what would be on the inside. It couldn’t be much since it felt so light. Yet the contents were heavy.

The mail brought me a single slip of paper. It was oh so heavy.

The date and time, location and courtroom, have been set.

The clerk of court informs me that at 2:30 PM, on Tuesday, the 13th of November, in courtroom #1, I am to appear in front of the Honorable Takacs. There has been set aside 5 minutes, of his very valuable time, to legally disolve my marriage. Which means by 2:35pm it will be done.

18 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 2 hours, of marriage; that took 30 minutes of ceremony to create, will be disolved in a mere 5 minutes.