How to Manage Ups and Downs in Your Relationship?

Annoying

“Marriage is ugly, you see the absolute worst in someone. You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn, when they’re so unlovable they make you scream. But you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face, and they can’t help but let out those weird gurgling noises. You see them at 3am when the world is asleep except you two, and you’re eating in the middle of the kitchen floor. You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty. Its snorting while laughing, its the tears when it feels like its all crashing down, its the farting, its the bedhead and bad breath, its the random dances, its the anger and the joy. Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing. It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you even though you said something nasty. It’s having someone have your back no matter what. Its fights over stupid things, like someone not doing the dishes or picking up after themselves. And it’s those nights you fall asleep in each others arms, feeling like there will never be enough time with them. It’s cleaning up their throw up, or just rubbing their back when they’re sick. It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is. Because at the end of the day you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest, most annoying, loving, goofy, perfect person that you know. Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one heaven of a ride.”

From Journey to the Centre of Us

Put up

All marriages have ups and downs. Relationship journey is not a straight line yet one that zigs and zags and has numerous curves. Sometimes it feels like it goes backwards and forwards all the time. You might be:

  • Feeling very close and intimate sometimes – then distant and disconnected other times
  • Communicating in ways that you feel heard, accepted and supported sometimes and other times communicating in a blaming and harsh manner where you feel unheard, rejected and disrespected
  • Resolving differences and conflicts effectively sometimes while other times your efforts seem to make matters worse resulting in ongoing disagreements and conflict
  • Having satisfying, passionate and intimate sex sometimes while other times it feels rote, mundane and boring
  • Sharing joy, laughter and fun while other times you are pushing each other’s buttons
  • Experiencing times of calm and ease with one another which may be suddenly interrupted by an intense explosive fight leaving you confused and shocked and wondering “where’d that come from”
  • Gazing at your partner and having the conviction that you are with your soul mate and other times wondering “who is this person and how did I end up with him/her”
  • Agreeing on lifestyle and financial needs and wants compared to strongly disagreeing about these things.
  • Wanting to spend as much time with your partner as possible and other times wanting to be alone or with friends, or maybe even wanting to be as far away from you partner as possible.

Perhaps you can think about these ups and downs and curves in the following way. Sometimes when you go on a trip you get directly to your destination with ease in a timely manner. The trip and the roads you take are as smooth as can be. Other times you go on a trip and you have to negotiate bumpy roads filled with potholes and/or inclement weather and/or you are re-routed due to construction  and/or you get stuck in long tedious traffic delays… Travel, and life, is inconsistent and uncertain. Relationships are surely like this too.

How to Manage Ups and Downs in Your Relationship?

  • Understand that ups and downs and fluctuations are normal and know that they are surely going to happen
  • Be patient, kind and compassionate with yourself and your partner as you navigate the changes and curves
  • Look back to where you were and where you are now in terms of growth
  • Address concerns and issues as they arise to thwart building resentments
  • Communicate regularly with openness and honesty
  • Seek input and advice from friends or an experienced professional to help you see things objectively
  • Take responsibility for your part in the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship
  • Allow yourself to feel your feelings—your grief, relief, sadness, joy, sorrow, loneliness and anger

Adapted from 9 Ways to Manage the Ups and Downs in Your Relationship

 

Credits:

  1. Image 1 from pininterest
  2. Image 2 from pininterest

Is YOUR VOICE heard and respected at home?

Marriage

“My wife sent me to the supermarket to buy a fabric softener. Well, actually I was told to take a photo of the shelf of softeners and send it over: apparently, I am not qualified to choose which one to buy. So I came up to the shelf and started taking photos. Suddenly a man nearby pointed at me with his phone and said, “I can send you my photos of all the softeners here. With WhatsApp. I have a full gallery. Each bottle is a close-up from both sides.” I replied, ”No, thanks. I was just told to send the full shelf without close-ups.“ ”Clear. Lucky man…” I laughed, “Something like that, but thanks for your offer anyway. Great idea with WhatsApp.” The man smiled and said, “Sure, but the idea is not mine. See that man taking photos of detergents? He sent the photos to me. And my photo session of baby food starts now. Have fun!”

From 15 Overheard Life Stories Charged With Optimism

 

Boss.png
It is very well known that men generally do not like to ‘sweat the small stuff’. Therefore they are often happy to leave routine domestic decision-making to women and are often putting a great deal of their energy into placating the women in their lives in order to keep their world manageable.

Celia Lashlie however identified some areas of concern in her book “He’ll be OK”:

“The principal told me again and again that when two parents come in for a chat because their boy’s in trouble, it’s the norm for the mother to do all the talking. The principal looks towards the father and it’s obvious he has something to say, an opinion to offer, but she won’t shut up long enough for him to actually say it…. I thought it might be an overly prejudiced view, so decided to investigate a little further. The opportunity to do so arose when I found myself in front of a group of fathers.

‘Listen guys, I just want to check something out with you. Apparently when you and your wife are in the principal’s office because your son’s in a spot of bother and you’ve been called to the school, you’re really quiet, you just don’t talk.’

‘No,’ came the reply from one man.

‘Why not?’

‘Because I’ll get it wrong.’

Somewhat naively, I replied, ‘No, you can’t get it wrong, he’s your boy.’

‘Oh no,’ he said, looking straight at me, a now-familiar look of resignation on his face, ‘I’ll get it wrong… and I’ll get a pull-through when I get home.’

As he said this, several heads in the room nodded, the men seeming to relish the fact that someone had identified a situation with which they were all very familiar…

After a bit more discussion on this topic with the men, I headed back to talk to their wives and partners and, as I did so, I found myself thinking that the views expressed by the men were probably a little unfair and would offend the women I was about to talk to. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

‘The guys have just told me that when they’re in the principal’s office with you, they don’t talk because they’ll get it wrong.’

One woman didn’t even hesitate; she looked straight at me and without the slightest hint of the embarrassment I was expecting, she said, ‘He will.’

‘And he reckons he’ll get a pull-through when he gets home?’

‘I won’t wait that long – I’ll get him in the car.’

There seemed to be universal agreement with her comments and the conversation continued with one woman saying, ‘I take him to parent-teacher evenings, but he just won’t talk.’ By this time I was thinking, Yes, and I think I’m beginning to see why, so I said, ‘Well, there’s one possible solution.’

‘What’s that?’

‘You could send him by himself, then he’s going to have to talk.

At that moment the entire group of intelligent, articulate middle-class women looked as if I’d just asked them to eat a snake. (No power and control issues here, I thought to myself!)”…

Man-with-mouth-taped-shut.jpg


Is YOUR VOICE heard and respected at home?

THE END

Credits:

Rediscovering yourself

StrangerWe have a long weekend this week which I’m absolutely dreading. I used to love long weekends. They were full of fun, laughter and adventures with the kids…. But now they are just a reminder of the forthcoming empty nest and loneliness…

In a few months we’ll have just one kid left in this nest out of three, and in just a few years none at all… And no hope for any grandchildren for at least another decade… With teenagers spending all their time on various devices the house already feels so quiet, cold and empty…

empty-nest.jpg

I feel a bit envious of the friends who managed to successfully navigate through the empty nestness. Some got pets to fill up their nest, others found new interests and hobbies. Quite a few found new relationships – nowadays marriage is often more “till the kids part” than “till death do us part.” And I don’t see such marriages as failures. Raising kids is a long-term commitment that often does require a lot of sacrifices. Any couple that can stick to it till the kids part deserves admiration…

While exploring new passions or reinvigorating the ones they gave up when the kids came along, a few brave souls in our social circle even opted for round 2 to the surprise of their round 1 offspring. This surely did take siblings rivalry to a new level… Never thought that nineteen and twenty year olds can get so jealous of the little bundles of joy…

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

How did you rediscover yourself?

THE END

Install Giggle 24.7 and run it every day :-)

From http://imgbuddy.com

A woman writes to the IT Technical support…..

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and I noticed a distinct slowdown in the overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5,and then installed undesirable programs such as NEWS 5.0, MONEY 3.0 and CRICKET 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?

Signed,

Desperate

REPLY

DEAR Madam,

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: Ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband1.0 to default to Silence 2.5 or Beer 6.1. Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT in any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to re-install the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend: Cooking 3.0 and Good Looks 7.7.

Good Luck!

From https://madamsabi.wordpress.com

Whether you recently said “I do” or just celebrated a double-digit anniversary, you can probably spout off a lot of info about your husband—his middle name, where he was born, his favorite food. But knowing these 10 other things can bring you closer than ever. Find out why, and try these relationship strategies to ensure your husband is anything but a mystery.From http://www.womansday.com

Install Giggle 24.7 and run it every day… 

😉

THE END

‘Till Death Do Us Part’ or ‘Till The Kids Part’?

Till.jpg
From Pininterest

As Jill Brooke points out, the words “Till Death Do Us Part” have defined how we look at marriage for generations. But in fact, they are five of the most polarizing words. “Why?” you may ask. Because if you look at the stats, almost 50 percent of you may not stay married to the person you are lovingly gazing at. Instead, there is a possibility you may get tangled in a divorce.

Don’t you think it is unrealistic to have the expectation that love will flourish for a lifetime that now runs into our 80’s and 90’s? We’re living longer than generations before us did, and “till death do us part” could mean 60 or even 70 years together instead of 20 or 30 years. It is very hard to fulfill that promise, till death to us part, for such a long time.

When a marriage lasts decades, it’s a gift, but no longer the norm. However, when people break up because they have had the expectation of forever, deep inside they feel like they failed.  Why do we focus on failure rather than acknowledging and celebrating the decades of success?

As Jill Brooke points out, it’s time to say what a success these marriages were for lasting as long as they did and accumulating memories and milestones.

Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean that you and your ex don’t have a relationship. It just means that it’s changed. You won’t stay married, but you will always be parents to your children. You will always carry your histories.


From http://cyndi10.hubpages.com

Stephanie Coontz, one of the great sages and scholars of relationships and the author of Marriage, A History, points out that “by having high expectations that marriage should last, we may work harder,” she said. “But studies have also shown that those people who have the strongest sense that marriage is sanctified and should last forever are most likely to see it as a failure and betrayal and have more anger and disappointment.”

From http://drhurd.com/

For Jill Brooke, second marriage has now lasted 15 years. “Till Death Do Us Part” were not in the vows. Why has this marriage worked? “Luck, compatibility, a commitment to family and each other,”she writes, “One big reason is that I don’t feel entitled, I feel grateful. That has helped me manage expectations and not take anything for granted, which I believe is essential for long term marriages to stay alive and thrive.”

So may be, as proposed by Vicki Larson, instead of wringing our hands about so-called gray divorces and seeing those long-term marriages as failures, perhaps we should consider marriage as more “till the kids part” than “till death do us part.” The partner we need in our 20s and 30s, when many of us are looking to settle down and raise kids, may not be the partner we need in our 50s, 60s and beyond, when we’re free to explore new passions or reinvigorate the ones we gave up when the kids came along.

Can’t we just be honest about that and move on?

Relationship
From pinterest

Sources:

When Your Children Leave the Nest…

Empty Nest

No, none of my children is leaving the nest yet. Luckily, they are still not that old. Though it won’t take long before they grow up and turn into young adults. I’m dreading that moment. How am I going to cope with that, if at the moment I’m struggling to cope with one of my children leaving the nest for just a week?

Empty nest syndrome, the profound sadness that can come when children grow up and move out, is usually associated with mothers. But, men also experience grief when the last child departs–a problem that can be compounded by other issues. At the same time as kids leave home, careers tend to start leveling off. And suddenly, there is an abundance of time with the spouse –which isn’t always positive.

emptynest3

From http://everydayclimb.wordpress.com/

As Wayne Parker points out, the biggest challenge of being an empty-nester has little to do with the separation from the child, and everything to do with a need to redefine the relationship between the parents. Some spouses report that, because so much of family life has for twenty years or more revolved around children, they no longer have much in common. Sometimes their relationship have devolved into simply the relationship of a mother and a father; with the children no longer occupying center stage,  they might need to work through some critical relationship issues.

From Learning to live in an empty nest

Tips for Surviving the Empty Nest Experience

Recognize the reality of change. It is helpful to remember that moving into the empty nest stage of life is a major change, but it is one that has both positives and negatives. Accepting the reality of this new transition and knowing some of the changes to expect is helpful.

Focus on relationships. Now that the demands of parenting in your immediate family are less, it is good to remember that life is about relationships. Spend time with your partner and other friends. You can’t just decrease the time you spend on your relationship with your son or daughter; you have to add time to other important relationships.

middle-ages-friendship-ftrFrom Parade

Take care of yourself. You might have put a lot of things on hold for yourself as you have cared for your family. With some additional time, it’s smart to create a little more time for yourself. Get your exercise regime back; maybe rediscover an old hobby/interest or travel a little more. It’s a great time for refreshing, and you deserve it.

From Over50Feeling40

Make a dream list. Sit down and make a list of things you have dreamed about doing during the active parenting years and prioritize. Maybe it’s time for the trip to Hawaii or the new fly rod.

empty nesters happyFrom Huffington Post

Keep connected to the kids. You don’t stop being a dad when the kids are no longer at home; the roles just change. Email the kids (and grandkids when they come) periodically to stay in touch. Exchange digital photos or videos. Send care packages to the college kids; they will appreciate the extra touch.

old man thinking about his childrenFrom CompleteWellbeing

Consider volunteering. There are so many worthwhile organizations in your community where your talents can be used. If you really miss your connection with your teenagers, consider the Scouting program, Boys and Girls Clubs or the Big Brothers group. Your local elementary school would really appreciate your help with childhood literacy.

Buddy
From BigBuddy

Empty nesting can be a challenging time, but being prepared and having a game plan for making it through this natural transition can ease the pain and help you find new opportunities for growth and fun. Take the most out of it before:

Grandma
From Empty Nest Syndrome

😉

Adapted from:

  THE END

 

Kalthoum

excerpt from ‘Barefoot in Baghdad’ by Manal M. Omar

Baghdad

She was hiding. Then again, everyone seemed to be hiding. It was October 2003, eight months into the disastrous U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But she was practically a child. And her enemy proved to be more insidious – and heartbreaking – than the ones we read about and saw on television. Getting to her was my first hurdle…

Once inside the police building, an Iraqi police officer and a U.S. Military Policeman practically tackled me in an effort to argue their case…. Both men were right. She would be killed if she were released. But the police had no authority, under Iraqi law, to hold her…

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to make any decision. I wasn’t there to judge or referee. My sole purpose was to ensure that the girl was safe, clothed, fed, and healthy.

“I’m only here to speak with the girl. May I please see her?”…

I opened the door to a small room… The girl sat in the opposite corner, her knees pulled into her chest, her chin resting on top. She rocked back and forth, barely noticing that I’d entered… The sight of her shocked me. Her skin practically hung from her bones, and the long, thick black hair stretching down her back emphasized her frailty. She was a child trapped in an old woman’s body.

Despair

Despair

I quietly walked toward her and sat next to her. I wasn’t sure how to begin, so I said hello and introduced myself. She continued to rock, saying nothing…

She finally spoke and told me that her name was Kalthoum… When she stood, I realized why the Iraqi policeman said that he couldn’t protect her, not even against his own officers. The way she was dressed – in tight Capri jeans and a low-cut tank top – would have offended even the most liberal Iraqi men…

“I am sure they told you I am a prostitute,” she said sheepishly. “Those hypocrites out there. One of them used to be my client. That is why they are so eager to get me out.”

The man, one of the police officers, had used her for sex, and now he wanted her released and left for dead. This was not, as one might expect in the United States, because he was ashamed of having patronized a prostitute. To the contrary, in Iraq it was not uncommon for men to engage in such behaviour. They did so openly and without remorse. But the judgement of a prostitute? Death. So the very man who had slept with Kalthoum wanted her to die because of it.

IraqIraqi Prostitutes

“Kalthoum,” I said…”I need you to tell me exactly what happened. Who were the men who were shooting at you? Also, do you have a place you can go, other than here?”

She shook her head as her eyes filled with tears. The men who’d chased here were her husband and brother-in-law. Three years ago her family had forced her to marry her cousin. She was thirteen at the time. She took a photo from her wallet and showed me a picture of her in a wedding gown next to a man old enough to be her father. On her wedding night, she did not want to have sex. So her new husband had beaten and raped her. This, according to Kalthoum, became their normal form of intimacy. He pulled her out of school and locked her in his house. She had considered killing herself.

Iraqi Women
From Iraqi women protest against draft law to permit child marriage

Then the Americans invaded Iraq. That same week, Kalthoum ran away. An older woman found her on the steets and offered her food and shelter. The woman had nursed her back to health and gave her pills to ease her pain. Soon Kalthoum became addicted. At the time, she didn’t realize that the woman was the head of a prostitution ring.

I’d heard many similar stories. But hearing them first hand from Kalthoum, a child, made me sick.

Child

From Iraq drafts law to allow marriage of nine-year-old girls

“I want to make sure you have food, shelter, and good health care… I want you to protect yourself from disease and unwanted pregnancies“.

“You are too late for that,” she said in a barely audible whisper as tears filled her eyes. She put her hand on her stomach to indicate that she was already pregnant. I closed my eyes…

Pregnant-girl
From the Battle Against Child Marriage

The fact that Kalthoum was under eighteen placed her in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Legally, the ministry was required to provide her with a place in one of the public orphanages… Orphans in both Iraqi and Muslim Society have a special reverence. Numerous verses in the Koran and sayings from the prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) called for respecting, caring for, and providing for orphans…

Orphans
From Muslims for Humanity: Helping Hand

I settled in the backseat to prepare my case for the minister… She had a compelling story, and the fact that she had been forced into marriage at such a young age solidified her status as a victim. Besides, she was only sixteen years old. The deputy minister had to take pity on her situation…

One hour later it was clear that this was not going to happen. The deputy minister was visibly insulted that I had the audacity to bring such a case to his attention… When I tried to point out that she was underage, he countered with the fact that she was a married woman, which placed her in the category of adulthood. Orphanages were for children only. I tried to argue that she had been forced into marriage at the age of thirteen, which was illegal according to Iraqi law. He shook his head, pointing out that it was a common occurrence during the years of UN sanctions.

“How else were parents to secure their daughters?” he asked.

Brides
According to a UN report in 2005, 60 million girls worldwide have been married. A startling 100 million more are expected to be forced or sold into marriage by their parents in the next 10 years.

I could not accept his response, but all my phone calls to Iraqi women’s organizations resulted in dead ends. Kalthoum was too much of an extreme case, most of them argued. We cannot help her without making ourselves vulnerable to verbal and physical attacks. I was not surprised by these responses…

I called several Iraqi women’s organisations for information, as I knew they would be the only people to tell me the truth about her situation. They all confirmed my worse fears: her return to her family would be a death sentence.

Honor

Conference to Remember Du’a Khalil and denounce Honour Killings globally!

 Yet Kalthoum was fully aware of this. In her heart of hearts, she seemed to believe it to be a reasonable sentence. Over the span of a few days, Kalthoum had developed a strong sense of the cosmic powers of Karma, and she begged me to allow her to pay her dues to her family so that her suffering would end.

She explained to me repeatedly that her life was over and that the decisions she had made had left little room for her to start over. However, she had four unmarried sisters at home. Her scandal reached the tribe… If she were to go back to her family and face her sentence, then honor would be restored. If she were to run away, then her four unmarried sisters would pay the price. They would be shunned by society and would never marry because of their sister’s tarnished reputation. Worse yet, she argued, they would be forced into unsuitable marriages as a third or fourth wife…

Kalthoum was only sixteen. That was the lone thought that went through my mind as she pleaded with me to help her get back to her family. What life was this girl talking about? What choices? Was she really given a choice when she was married off? Or tricked into prostitution? Was her family really given a choice, fighting to survive war after war and a decade of international sanctions?
I shook my head. I knew that the final decision would rest in my hands…

Family
Members of a poor family sit in their makeshift house in Baghdad August 28, 2010. 

Fortunately, I didn’t have to make this choice myself. I had met a strong Kurdish woman in a conference…She had established one of the first Iraqi women’s shelters to house women from across the country… The Asuda organization was also one of the only shelters I knew that would take ‘untouchable’ cases. Untouchable cases were almost always cases dealing with family honor…

Beyond the Asuda organization, I was captivated by Khanim Latif, the woman who led it… Khanim’s office was stacked with photo albums of abused women. Her contacts would often tip her off when they received such cases. Khanim would rush over with her camera to take photos… Entire albums were dedicated to corpses of women. When high-level government officials denied the practice of honor crimes, she would pull out numerous photos of women burned alive or with gun shots and silence her opposition immediately…

Iraq2

From http://www.lapidomedia.com

“Honor killings happen,” Khanim said. “And they happen more than we would like to admit. However, they often happen because our communities have not learned to mediate around such a sensitive topic. No father wants to kill his daughter. Give him an excuse to maintain his honor in front of his tribe, and he will grab on to it. But our community refuses to facilitate such discussions. At Asuda we do. We use religious and tribal leaders to encourage the parents to find solution other than slaying their daughters.”

i0205shr

An Iraqi man talks with his daughter

Khanim advised me to think of someone who could facilitate the discussion with her father. I could not think of anyone until Yusuf reminded me of Munther.

Munther was pleased to hear from us and to see that we were seeking reconciliation with Kalthoum’s tribe… He jumped at the opportunity to help… Munther managed to negotiate the terms of her return, successfully arranged her divorce, and had the father sign a statement that Kalthoum would not be harmed if she were to return. Munther also negotiated an agreement with the tribe that he would be able to visit every three months to confirm that Kalthoum was in good health (or to be more blunt, alive).

Honor1From the bulletin of the oppression of women

* * *

Related posts:

women-in-islam

From NotMyTribe

Instead of passing the blame, let’s focus on finding culturally appropriate solutions. 😉

THE END

Healing through divorce

Divorce

From Divorce

There is a poem by Jack Gilbert. The opening line is “Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.” The reference is the Greek story of Icarus whose father made him wings of wax and warned him to not fly too close to the sun or the wings would melt. In his youthful enthusiasm Icarus got too close to the sun, his wings melted and he drowned in the sea.

The rest of the poem is about Gilbert’s marriage – how people thought it would never last, his memories of times with his wife at the beach, in Paris, and that they eventually divorced. The closing lines of the poem are, “Icarus didn’t fail when he fell; he just reached the end of his triumph.”

As Robert Taibb points out, divorce can so easily feel like failure but it is also about triumph – that you both have helped each other to grow and change over the years, to be a different person than when you both started, and now you have merely reached the end. Your roads have divided. It is time for change, a new chapter.
Crossroad on Hill

From Different Paths

This post is not meant to encourage those struggling in a weakened marriage to pull the plug. If there are children in the family, personally I would do my best to maintain marriage unless it gets to a state, when divorce is unavoidable. If marriage gets to that state, divorce can not only start a new chapter in life, but can also heal ‘old’ wounds. I have experienced that with my own parents, who got divorced when I was in my teens after almost a decade of constant fights.

My parents always claimed that they stayed together for as long as they possibly could for the sake of us, their children. Too long and too late for us, as their troubled relationship with constant fights brought more damage to us than divorce. Both me and my brother felt a huge relief when it was all over.

To our surprise, our parent’s relationship improved dramatically after their divorce. First of all, they started talking to each other. And I mean talking, without shouting at the top of the lungs or blaming each other for all sorts of things. They started helping each other occasionally too. A few years later mum even dropped a few tears, remembering how wonderful my dad was when they got married. That came as a total surprise to me, as I’ve never heard her saying anything positive about him during their life together.

Heart
From The Letters

However don’t perceive divorce as an easy way out of hard-to-manage marriage. As Robert Taibb points out, the most difficult about divorce is the need to do well what was hard to do during the marriage – communicate well, consider the other person’s needs, keep your focus on what is best for the children rather than using them as battle grounds for power struggles or forums for dealing with your own grief and loss. While you may have different styles, you need to agree on the same bottom lines.

Most of all take care of yourself – like it or not you are a model for your children on taking risks, the courage of taking charge of your life, managing life changes while staying positive and well-balanced. If you are okay, so too will be your children.

Keep in mind what Gilbert said: You didn’t fail, you just reached the end of your triumph…

Teens
From TeenFictionBooks

Failing and Flying

by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph…

Icarus
From Glory of Icarus

THE END