Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lessons from a marriage counsellor

Had the most interesting conversation the other night with a woman who's seen a lot of good and bad marriages in the course of her work as a counsellor.

While there is no magic bullet solution, I appreciated re-hearing some of these helpful tips:

1. touch each other OFTEN

resting your hands on his shoulders as you walk past him in the kitchen, putting your hand on his thigh while watching TV, leaning in close to talk or laugh, holding hands ... all of these touches are important to maintain the connection -- don't I know it. I love, love, love the touch too.

2. stop making your partner your best girlfriend

This one is difficult because we spend a lot of time together and it's too convenient to share with my partner emotional stuff I should just save for the girls.

3. think positively about your partner

It's far too easy to be critical of our loved ones; when I hold on to positive thoughts I'm more likely to treat him nicely then if I'm carrying resentment in my heart.

4. prioritize your people

Work has been my #1 priority lately and I don't like what it's doing to my life. My relationships are suffering and my health is in decline. The people that mean the most to me should come first, period.

5. have realistic expectations

I often focus on all the things my partner is not instead of appreciating that he is everything that counts -- he's loyal, supportive, caring and dependable. This counsellor told me that when she hears her clients complain that their partners are not romantic she puts them in their place. Romance is not what's important.

6. be appreciative

The most common reason people check out of their relationships is feeling like they no longer make a difference -- nothing they do can satisfy their partner. UGH, this is dismal because I know that I give my partner this message daily. In fact I feel so wrotten for it, that I now try to do more myself so that he won't disappoint. But this kind of over-functioning is also bad because I'm not giving him what he needs -- the opportunity to please me. Because that's all they want, is to be #1 in your eyes.

I wish I could remember the other tips, but alas the alcohol was flowing freely that night. She told me to read John Gottman for more common sense tips and I think I will.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Consumer Guilt

My partner and I binged on XMas shopping for the kids today -- didn't think it was possible to spend 2 HOURS at Toys R U, but there I was and I even had a list. I feel nauseous about how much money we burned for toys that will barely get played with. I feel even more stupid for knowing it and still doing it. What is wrong with me? I don't want to see any disappointment at XMas. I want everyone to get what they wished for. But really, XMas is never like that. Because you rarely know what it is you want and when you get it, it disappoints because it did not live up to your dreams. Yes, this is the same old metaphor of life that I blog about. Thank goodness my partner and I don't exchange gifts. It's tough not getting anything on XMas morning, but getting an outrageous CC bill is far worse. Here's hoping that I'll be able to get off this train and make it a small XMas once and for all.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Today's Porn Star

Regarding my earlier post on the banning of yoga pants at a local high school and my resulting outrage that men are attracted to teenagers, it just dawned on me that the porn industry is not helping. Yesterday's fake blond and silicone porn stars have been replaced by barely legal girls -- yes, the people you see walking to school, baby sitting your kids, working at the mall. I'm still perplexed as to why men find them so irresistible, but it's what they want. Ed Powers was a pioneer with his Dirty Debutantes and he probably didn't even know it. It's sad because the silicone porn star was somewhat of a fictional character -- nothing about her was real. She was pure fantasy. But these girls are real. And they are girls, not women. Gawd, I don't want dirty old men lusting after my daughter one day because they think that all teenagers want to suck them off. I guess this yoga pants issue is still affecting me. I'll get over it. Thankfully my partner likes old school porn -- he's into older women and that's more then fine with me.

Customer Service Highs

Nothing beats that little endorphin buzz you get from being the hero with a client. It's not everyday that I get to swoop in and provide expert advice to help solve a business problem, but when I can, it feels really good to revel a bit in the customer's gratitude. Plus I hope people will remember me should I need their support in the future. The problem with being the hero though is that it really detracts from our main priorities. If I could clone my team we'd be in a good position to provide day-to-day support AND tackle the big initiatives that are looming overhead. I'm hopeful that we will achieve our goals because I am finally working for someone new, who trusts our abilities and will support our work. But then I see the same phenomena creep up with him -- a senior exec needs help and BAM-O, we've got to drop what we are doing to help. In these times of fiscal austerity in government, everyone is doing what they can to stay visible and demonstrate their relevance. I can't blame him for wanting that customer service buzz too, I just worry that it's going to bite us in the ass when it's time to report on progress. Ugh.

Monday, December 5, 2011

If you looked as good as you did in your 20s then I'd be all over you all the time

Such sweet words uttered by my partner this morning. Asshole. When I told him how insulting that was, he immediately apologized and said that it was meant to be a compliment??? This is what I get for complaining about aging. I should tell my girlfriends or the blogsphere, not my partner. I forgave him right away because I know that he did not mean to hurt my feelings. He's completely inept when it comes to women and for that he gets a free pass for all his awkward missteps. Where is my knight in shining armour?  He does not exist.  Accept.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Yoga pants banned

A local high school recently banned yoga pants (unless covered by a long shirt) because they are too revealing. What country is this, Saudi Arabia? These are pants. Granted, our butts look awesome, but they're still just pants. What's next? Covering your hair and face? WOMEN ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW MEN REACT TO THEM. PERIOD. Nobody else seems the slightest bit outraged by this. In fact some of my liberal friends support it in favour of male teacher's rights??

The deeper I explored this issue, both with my colleagues and later with my partner, the more I came to realize that some men are very easily distracted by young women. And not just mildly distracted either --they are overcome, get stupid and can't focus. I can relate to being overcome with desire -- I've been boy crazy my entire life. But what I don't understand is the attraction with teenagers. Sure they are cute and have fresh limber bodies, but they are children on the inside. I don't look at teenage boys at all.  They are children FFS.  Why are men in their 30s, 50s, hell 80s still looking at girls ? Okay, men are visual and attracted by what they see. Thank goodness that I am attracted to people I have a connection with -- physical, intellectual, emotional. Intimacy is my drug. Tits and ass are his. We're different -- it's maddening as hell because I want him to be turned on by the amazing woman I am, not by how I look. My looks won't last! My partner will always be lusting after women who are a lot younger than I am. It's just who he is. Surely there's got to be a man out there who's turned on by a real women -- who finds a challenging mind, sharp wit and dry sense of humour sexier than young flesh? No, I am dreaming. I have never met this man. He is a women. I've got to stop trying to feminize men and ACCEPT. Most men don't act on their weaknesses after all. They can control their urges, they surf pornography and are discreet about their leering. Do I wish they weren't so turned on by strangers, sure? But it's completely unrealistic. What's important is that they know themselves and know how to keep it in check. So what about me? I've fantasized about practically every male co-worker I've ever had. That is worse because it could lead to something more damaging. But then again, nothing will come between me and my children, so I'm safe there. MEN! So frustrating.
author's note:  this entry has the highest ratings because of the selected photo.  Ugh.