Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday Reflections–How do you fight?

It’s another Sunday that I am reflecting on this weekend and as couples do, we had a moment of disagreement.  This has me thinking about how we you go to battle over different thoughts, ideals or interpretations of things in couplehood?  How do you disagree, be upset or angry and yet still be loving as well?  Is this even possible?

I have read before that how a couple fights is one of the biggest determinations of their success and longevity.  How they speak and react to each other will predict if they will stand the test of time  I have no idea if this is true or not, but I can understand why this would be a large part of a relationship success study.

In an argument; when your feelings are hurt, you feel misunderstood, or you are just plain angry, most of us are not thinking clearly and often not behaving at our best.  How can we make sure our voice or view is heard while still showing respect and care to the one we love?

Having a successful relationship takes a lot of work.  It is not easy and yet I believe our human nature is to fight against this fact.  We want it to be smooth all the time.  We do not desire to argue and disagree or hurt each others feelings.  Human nature is often lazy (although we do not like to believe this; at least I do not) and to have a healthy relationship takes effort, time and energy that we do not always feel like expending.

In evaluating our disagreement post fact and knowing we desire to be among those who are successful in relationships, I thought I would share what I think are the ways to argue in a healthy way with your partner.

  1. Keep voices calm and at normal volume.  I know this may be very tough to do, but this is the person you love, why would you want to yell or scream at them?
  2. Stay committed to the issue at hand.  This can be tough, especially if you are the one who has done something to offend.  Our desire is to fight back; defend our self and take “the heat off us” so to speak.  Turning the argument into another one does not solve the first issue, stay on topic.
  3. Arguing should be done privately. Find a time that you can be alone without children or others.  Never in front of friends or in public.
  4. Stay respectful.  Know and believe that that your partner is desiring the same goal; to have a healthy, loving relationship.  Stay away from attacking each other and use I statements rather than You statements.  If you didn’t study this in school, here is what I mean: An I statement is a way to communicate that focuses on your own feelings or thoughts rather than those characteristics of the recipient.  An example of this would be: “I feel angry when the dishes are often left in the sink rather than put in the dishwasher, it makes me feel unappreciated and that I am the only one that pays attention to cleaning the kitchen.”  This is better than attacking and saying “You never wash the dishes, you do not care about a clean kitchen.” etc.    I know this is very challenging in the beginning, but the more you practice this, it becomes easier and easier.
  5. Forgive and apologize quickly.  Say you are sorry when you do something wrong.  Choose reconciliation over being right.  You are building a partnership, this requires an immense amount of grace for yourself and the one you love.

When we live with any other human we are going to have disagreements.  Living with others can help refine and shape us into our best selves if we let it. Arguments can teach us new things about our partner and give us the opportunity to grow closer.  And in choosing to live your best self; learning, changing and adapting is a requirement.  There will be struggles along the way, but perhaps these few tools will help you if you are navigating this life with another.

Have a blessed day.  Continue in choosing the path that leads you to your best life.

Posted in General

Healthy relationships; a few items that are required in my view

I’m all about relationships these days. Perhaps it’s finally finding my perfect for me partner. Perhaps it’s getting engaged and focusing on creating our future. Or it’s that I’m very content and happy in this life, having learned what it takes to create a life I love.

I’ve been pondering on whether or not to make this post; because in some ways this topic is subjective. We each may see good but not necessarily healthy.

So I preface this with stating these are my views of what healthy is. What are must haves. What is required. How healthy looks to me.

After leaving a mentally abusive environment and taking the time to heal and figure out my part in the drama, I was open to finding real love. I committed to doing the work on myself so I could be capable of a healthy relationship.

And in doing that work the past few years, I’ve learned some things. Here are 5 Signs of a healthy relationship:

1. You know yourself. You love yourself. By this I mean, you are confident in what you want, what your needs are and know you’re worth having those met. You continue to grow and learn so that you’re becoming a better partner all the time.

2. You respect your partner and they respect you. This in an action word. Healthy partners speak to each other respectfully. Behave respectfully. Actions and words of respect are vital.

  • 3. You can be alone. Your partner can be alone. Choosing to have some independence in the midst of a partnership is important. You may come together as a couple but you are still an individual. Having your own goals and dreams are just as important as the ones you have together.
  • 4. You can compromise. Having a long term relationship requires the ability to put another’s needs as equally important as your own. Accepting that your partner is not you, bring their own point of view of how things are to be done and background story is vital to learning how to meet in the middle.

    5. You trust each other. Not just in the way of commitment, but in sharing of yourself. Trusting that my partner genuinely desires the best for me. For us. Showing the same. Believing being together makes us better people than apart.

    These all seem so simple and obvious when reading this list. And they really are. I could add many more items as well. But the tough part is in the action. Loving and sharing a life with someone requires work. Requires commitment to that work. A healthy relationship isn’t free from stress, tough moments, or angry moments. But it is one of committed actions to show you love and care for each other. It’s building a partnership.

    I was taught love is a verb. Having had more unhealthy than not, it’s an amazing experience to be in a healthy relationship.

    In creating the best life for yourself, learning what you need to be healthy personally, is the first step. Once you can be healthy independently, you have the ability to learn how to be healthy and loving in a partnership.

    My best life includes a partner. After many years alone it’s an amazing feeling to have a partner who shows love in action. Who helps create a life I love everyday. Who helps me be my best self.

    What do you see as your best life? Wether or not it includes a partner doesn’t matter. We are always capable of learning and growing so we have good relationships with whomever we encounter.

    May you keep working at being healthy. At building a life you love.

    Posted in Wordy Wednesday

    Wordy Girl Wednesday (4) — Tips for staying positive during this time

    The new season of juggling work, school, and sports is upon me!  I imagine it is for you too!  I find at times trying to keep all the balls in the air is more of a struggle than I care to admit.  Lately that has been the case.  I long for time to relax and rest more, but I also want to accomplish my goals and create memories with my partner and all our kids.  So in this season, one thing that helps is to find ways to stay positive when often I am exhausted.

    Here are the ways I try to practice positivity in this season:

    1. I stay focused on the end goal.  This season of raising children will end and I want them to have some good memories of their childhood as well as become healthy, successful adults.  When I am overwhelmed with all the running around we must do and the endless tasks, I try to keep that in mind.  We are raising adults, not children. We are teaching the habits they will carry into adulthood.  It is important to teach all these kids how to juggle life with a good attitude as much as possible.
    2. We take a date night; every single week. Even if it is just a couple hours together.  My partner and I made a commitment to each other from the start that we would prioritize our partnership.  We would make sure the children understood we are committed to each other and creating a solid foundation.  It can tough between work, school functions and soccer games for us to find the time and energy but we are always better for it and it keeps us connected. And it shows our children how to have a healthy relationship.
    3. I make time for exercise.  Sometimes that 30 minutes alone going for a walk or riding my bike or doing an exercise video is the only alone time I can get.  Take advantage of doing something for your physical health as well as your mental health.  Working out is vital to staying healthy and calm throughout the chaos of life in my opinion.  And it releases all the feel good, happy endorphins so it’s a win in trying to staying positive.
    4. I use the calendar.  We have a large calendar on the wall in the kitchen near the garage door.  It is seen daily by every one of us.  With all the activities we could have going on at one time, keeping track with colors and names is important for helping us to not forget things.  And it allows me to know what we can say yes to based on prior commitments.
    5. We communicate. With a family of 6, you have lots of opportunities for misses.  And many more opportunities for connections.  When I get home from work (as I work the latest) everyone is usually coming around to share their day with me.  Asking about school, homework, activities, life in general, is my way of staying in touch with what is going on with each of them.  They all have lots to say and keeping that end goal in mind; I want to hear from them.  I want them to share with me.  Because we have built an environment where the kids feel they can share, we have a home with lots of conversation.

    Staying connected and positive can be tough when you are juggling all the demands of partnership, parenthood and employment.  Finding ways to keep your sanity is vital. Learning to communicate what you feel and think is necessary in all relationships but especially in the seasons of change where there can be so much noise from the chaos you forget to keep focused on what truly matters.

    I am not always positive and happy.  I struggle with overwhelm and unhappy days just like anyone else.  But I desire to have a healthy life and home more than almost anything.  Giving my partner and our children the best me is often at the forefront of my mind.  I fail I am sure as much as I succeed, but each day I tackle anew.

    I hope you find encouragement in these posts. These are just my thoughts; please share ways that you stay calm and focused during seasons of change and chaos.  As always I hope you are living your best life as much as possible.