Attaching With Nothing In Mind

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Okay, I will admit it. I have a slight attachment issue that stems from childhood that I am working on with my therapist. This issue makes trust more difficult for me than the average bear.  It puts doubt ahead of belief and fear ahead of calmness. Needless to say, with the odd things that have been happening of late regarding my marriage; my attachment issues have been magnified. Not to the point of  extreme anxiety but enough to make me feel uncomfortable that I can trust what I see in this relationship.

You would think I would have attachment down. After all, I adopted four children and worked extremely hard on creating an environment in which attachment could occur as easily as possible. I read every book ever written on it. And I followed all the advice on how to attach to a child who has been through trauma. Turns out, I should have been working on myself in regards to my adult relationships too.

This week I told my therapist, “Let’s get on with this. Let’s not dance around the edges of these attachment issues. Let’s tackle them head on.”

“You have been,” she replied. “You are learning to attach to yourself again.”

“I want more.”

So she gave me this assignment.

Just work on accepting the moments that are good. When B reaches for my hand, don’t question the act; just savior the moment. Notice what it feels like in that moment. Accept the emotions that you feel. Don’t analyze, just enjoy.

Well, of course, I had to push back.

“Why attach myself to someone who may not want me? Surely, if we divorce it will make it hurt all the more,” I moaned.

“You need to do this for yourself to feel closeness if only for a minute,” said THERAPIST. “You become more attached to yourself when you are able to let down your guard and discover yourself through your relationship. This process opens yourself up to you. You owe it to yourself to go work your way through it so you can become a stronger you.”

And so I am giving it a try with my whole heart. Just accepting his love, his touch, his words without over analyzing, questioning, or doubting. It is hard after being together for so long and both having a way that we interact with one another.

I’ll let you know how it goes as I try to trust myself and this process.

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A Grand Slam

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Marriage is like baseball. If you are lucky you get to play in a few extra innings, you make it to home plate more than you strike out and you have many winning seasons. I was reminded of this tonight when a guy showed up at our door to take out our daughter Jackie. He was wearing a baseball cap; his ears sticking out from the sides. He looked nervous, kind of like the rookie on the team, who is up to bat for the first time. And as I watched him look at my daughter I knew without a doubt that he is not “the one.” He’s a pitch hitter until she find the one who hits the grand slam. I suspect that just by looking at her face I will know “the one” when I see him.

I can only hope that our daughter picks well. That she finds a man somewhat like her dad. A kind, caring and compassionate man who puts those he loves in the forefront of his life. A husband who tries hard each and every day. A partner that is smart, funny and shares his feelings. A man that she find as hot 20 years into their marriage as the day that she met him. The kind off mate with whom “the rest of your life” truly means just that, and who, when he envisions the future sees her in every play-by-play, and in every scene. I hope she chooses a husband who dares to dream big dreams and has the tenacity to make them come true. And one that doesn’t spit. Yes, definitely one who doesn’t spit.

I hope  as the game plays out that they both understand that it isn’t the World Series events that pull you apart but the thousands of annoying pitches that you have to take day in and day out and that if you don’t have a loving and positive attitude during practice that eventually you’ll get hit by a foul ball. Anyone can survive playing in the majors but it is really how you handle the everyday minors that count. And I hope that when it is time for them to create their own team that they understand that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it is how you play the game. For it is only with an abundance of kindness and giving more than you take that you get to walk in this life together around the bases instead of striking out early on it the game.

Copyright 2/9/16

Cornell Study Finds Key To Happy Marriages…299 Days To Fix This

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According to researcher, Karl Pillemer, author of 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage there are five key elements that make for successful long-term relationships.

Pillemer interviewed over 400 Americans who had been married from thirty to over 50 years. What he discovered was this:

  1. Couples who saw marriage as a “We’re In This Love Forever” type of life-long committed relationship were the ones that made it. While they had rough patches and times of stress these couples fought to get through their troubles and ultimately succeeded by not giving into the temptation to leave. These folks just refused to give up!
  2. The couples interviewed beleived that it was important to pick a person who had smiliar interests, views and background. If these commonalities were observed contentious issues regarding money, religion and how to raise the children would be minimized because the core values were the same according to the happy couples.
  3. Talk, talk, talk said these long wedded couples. According to them problems are solved through constant open dialouge and that they felt that marriages ultimately fall apart due to lack of communication.
  4. Team work tells the story according to Pillemer. Marriage is not always a 50-50 proposition. When illness or setbacks sidelines your partner the other has to step up and step into the game. A winning couple acts as a team in all facets of their lives and problems are not an individual issue but one that the team faces and works on together.
  5. Know your potential spouse well before marrying them. Shared experiences over time tell you how you will handle issues and problems in the future. These long time lover advised making sure you like your partner in all types of situations because you can’t go into marriage thinking that you will change them. You won’t.

Oh yeah, one more thing…those long term forever marriages…well they have a lot of sex even in their advanced years. Now that is about the best news I have heard in a long time…Maybe there is hope for us yet!

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