The Osmond Effect

May 17, 2011 at 7:27 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be inspired by an Osmond story, but the news of Marie remarrying her first husband has got me wondering why it is that we live in a world where half of marriages fail?

I’m a romantic at heart, and while I know many couples say this, I’m still going to say it.  I only plan to get married once.  I don’t plan on getting divorced.  But as I watch more and more of the people I grew up with getting hitched, I know that down the road the statistics will likely sadly remain true.

Because people give up on marriage way too quickly.  At least, that’s what I think.  I think it’s true that you can make the mistake of getting married too soon or too young, but I feel like most marriages end because they are just too hard.  Relationships are hard! They take a lot of work and understanding, compromise and compassion.  No one should ever have to go 26 years and realize that they were right all along.  Their first love, who they left a lifetime ago, really was “the one”.

Life can get in the way and cloud your vision, and sometimes it may be hard to bring yourself back to the place where everything was roses, but you have to put up a fair fight.

When I was in middle school, my best friend (at the time) and I came up with ten rules for dating.  I don’t remember them all offhand (if I ever find the pocket size printouts we made for our wallets, I will totally post them), but the one that I do remember may be one of the most important.  Here goes: When considering getting back together with an ex, think about why he’s an ex.

Smart teenager huh?  Of course this was referring to silly 2 week “relationships,” in which the guy was likely a jerk, maybe didn’t even talk to you, and wanted to get back to you in his annual rotation.  But it rings true to me in different ways today.  But it’s a question that should be asked before you break up a marriage or any relationship.  Why do you really want this to be over?  Is it really not working, or are you just giving up because it’s too hard?

And sometimes the answer is that it isn’t working, but if you were so confident at one point to go through the process of getting married to this person, there has to be a strong reason why, after all that, that it’s not working?

I hope to live long enough to see the sanctity of marriage returned to its former stature.  And perhaps opening marriage up to all couples in love will make couples who traditionally have had the right to get married think twice about giving up on love.

An Update on Cohabitation

April 21, 2011 at 7:30 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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When my boyfriend moved in with me last summer, I promised lots of updates on what it was like living with a boy.  But I didn’t deliver for a very simple reason — there weren’t any great surprises or lessons learned.  Beyond the drama surrounding the decision to move in together, the actual act of living together hasn’t been so dramatic.

Sure, we have our disagreements, mainly around the definition of clean,and I may threaten to kick him out in a fit of anger, but really, we adjusted to each other really well.  We have very different schedules — I have my 9-5 and he has a schedule that’s all over the place, so each night he tucks me in and stays up for a while, and every morning, I kiss him goodbye and start my day.   We see each other plenty but are not on top of each other. We both do household chores, though there always seems like there’s more to do than we have the energy for. He takes care of the dog when I get home late, and I leave him dinner when he gets home late.  All in all, we take good care of each other.

He did move in with a lot of stuff, and I had been living alone for a while so I already had everything I needed, but we made as much room as we could.   So we have a lot of unmatched furniture that is just for storage purposes.

So that’s really the main thing.  I had already outgrown this apartment when he moved in.  I never expected to be here this long, and now that we’ve been living together for almost a year, this place just keeps getting smaller and smaller.  We aren’t on lease anymore, so we can move whenever we want, if we could find a place.

We’ve been casually looking at apartments for months, after deciding on a compromise on location that would allow him to drive to work and me to take the subway to work.  We’ve seen some okay places, but nothing that made me want to go through the process of uprooting my life.

Because I want something better than what I have now.  I want to be happy with my home.  I can afford more than I could when I first moved into this apartment, both because of having a roommate and because of an increase in salary.  I don’t want to settle.  But it’s really hard to find an apartment that allows large dogs.  It’s crazy to be how hard it is!   I mean, I’ve seen small dogs and cats that cause more damage than my lab.  It’s just not fair.  It’s not like landlords ask how much their tenants weigh.  Would they turn me down for an apartment if I was 300 pounds?  I don’t think so.

So I don’t know what the next step is.  Should we be looking to rent? Should we try to buy?  She would save money for other things, like the new car we really need?  Should we suck it up and stay here a little longer?

I don’t know how this sequence of events is going to unfold, but I do know this.  Something is going to happen soon.

Hey, Jealousy

February 15, 2011 at 7:27 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 5 Comments
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Jealousy is one of the most complex emotions a person can have.  When a person feels jealousy, there is often some insecurity within him/herself that has nothing to do with the subject of their jealousy (other than to be a trigger).   But jealousy can also drive a person to improve their situation.  It can also trigger healthy, and unhealthy competition.

I have yet to know a person who has not experienced jealousy in their life.  And it starts early, and matures with you.  When I was a young teen, I remember being jealous of my friends with boyfriends because I couldn’t figure out how to get me one.  I would say things like, “I can’t be around happy couples.”  That just sounds so ridiculous typing it, but it goes along with my point — sometimes jealousy seems ridiculous, but it’s an individual experience.

When I started dating my current boyfriend, my jealousy was in full swing. He had a ton of female friends, and I thought he was such a catch, there is no way that he isn’t going to give in to temptation.  How could I ever be enough for him?  There were some girls that paid entirely too much attention to him, and we fought about it, because he was too nice to push away these girls who he considered just friends (guys are not as good at spotting the sly ways women slip themselves into a man’s life).  I was more than happy to fight for my man, and eventually, didn’t have to anymore.

My jealousy now in terms of relationships is very fantasy-related.  I feel the jealousy flair up when there’s an attractive woman on tv, or even worse, a half naked woman in a movie.  Is that what he wants me to look like?  How am I supposed to compete?  I’m not, obviously, but I’m not going to hide the fact that the way the media perpetuates what women “should” look like absolutely effects my body image, makes me feel insecure, and eventually turns makes me jealous.  This is not the path to which jealousy should come about.

Because jealousy isn’t always a bad thing. A little bit of jealousy can keep you on your toes, can keep your relationship interesting, keep you from getting so comfortable that things get boring.

Just don’t let that jealousy go too far.  Nobody likes a crazy jealous bitch.

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