She taught me financial responsibility as I grew into adulthood.

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My mother never hid in motherhood, claimed to be perfect, nor tried to be. She knew to hide real life from her kids; she’d unknowingly create this unrealistic idea of what life should look and feel like — almost setting us up for failure because the real world ain’t for the faint of heart.

Mom intuitively got that, and she made sure I was prepared for the real deal by showing it to me.

To teach me how to live my best life, she knew she had to live hers. To ensure I grew up to be an independent, empowered…

We spent decades in mother/daughter relationship hell.

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I remember the day my relationship with my mother changed forever. It was my 18th birthday, and I was living in a tiny apartment she paid for. I hadn’t intended for the party to get out of hand if you can even call four people a party. We were smoking weed, popping pills and drinking.

Already slightly unstable, one of the two guys started freaking out. As he went to leave, I happened to reach for his arm and found he’d swiped a sharp butcher knife from a drawer and shoved it up his sleeve. I took it from him…

What is it you’re really asking for? Because if it was just sex, why would it matter who initiates it?

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I’ve been having sex for 30 years, and I’ve never been one to initiate it. Hubby and I have been together 15 years, and this has been a big issue for us throughout the years. Reading Yael Wolfe’s article Why She Doesn’t Initiate Sex got me thinking about my reasons and the things hubby and I have done that helped us most.

1. No orgasm

The biggest reason for not initiating sex was because I’d rarely have an orgasm. Worse than that, I could often get close to orgasm, but couldn’t quite get over the edge. Sex was like one giant O tease…

Accepting the blame gave me the power to change a lifetime of relationship patterns.

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I remember the day the realization hit me. Like a vicious slap across the face, I felt the sting ripple across my entire body. I called my mom sobbing with guilt and shame. “You were right,” I barely choked out. “It’s always been me. I’m the problem. This is all my fault.”

Oddly enough, my divorce was the catalyst that showed me what my mother had been telling me for 10+ years. I’d been having the same romantic relationship repeatedly. Different men and technically different issues and problems, but when you looked closely, all eerily the same.

God, I hoped…

Compersion helped my monogamous marriage, and I didn’t even realize it.

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For 10 years, hubby and I had the kind of relationship where we did just about everything together. That was until I found myself primarily homebound with fibromyalgia.

For the first year, hubby was by my side nearly 24/7 binging on Netflix, waiting on me hand and foot, and being my personal entertainment. But there was only so much TV he could take. He goes stir crazy if he’s stuck in the house for a weekend let alone nearly a year of severely limited activity. Something had to give.

That’s about the time he rolled in on Sunday afternoon towing…

Straightforward strategies to manage being homebound without losing your mind.

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When hubby was told to work from home for the foreseeable future, I watched the worry set in. When we were told not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary, I saw panic in his eyes. Hubby does not do well when he’s stuck at home.

While he tends to be more on the introverted side, there’s something about being forced to be home that causes him great distress and anxiety. He’s like a wild caged animal, and it only gets worse the longer he’s stuck.

I can certainly relate. Nearly five years ago, I went from being a busy…

Don’t let unresolved issues with someone who’s died hold you back in your relationships or your life.

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My dad was killed in a car accident on his way to work 29 years ago this weekend. Five days before my 16th birthday. His sudden death traumatized me in ways it’d take me years to uncover, understand, process and heal from.

For years, I couldn’t have a healthy relationship. With anyone. My mother. My brother. And especially romantic partners. When I’d get involved with a guy, I’d go crazy. I’d assume he was cheating. I’d cause scenes and instigate fights because I needed constant reassurance and proof of his love and commitment. …

Becoming skinny almost overnight might sound like a dream come true, but I assure you it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

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In the last two years, I’ve lost over 80 pounds. That works out to about .7 lbs a week, which, according to experts, is considered healthy. People who lose weight slowly and methodically — around one to two pounds a week — have been shown to keep it off because the weight loss is usually due to lasting lifestyle changes.

That, however, is not my story.

In 2018, I lost my first 40 pounds, just over 17% of my body weight, in about six months. That’s around 1.6 lbs a week, which is in the healthy zone. …

Communication can save you.

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For nearly a year, I lived in a Wal-Mart zero gravity chair. I slept in it. I watched TV in it. I read in it. I surfed Facebook in it. I cried in it. It was the darkest period of my chronic illness journey to date.

Being only a year in, patience and understanding was at an all time high. Hubby and I were occupied with doctor and specialist appointments and waiting on what felt like a million test results. Our fingers and toes were chronically crossed praying one of them would tell us what the hell was wrong with…

Committing to “in sickness and in health” is one thing. Living it is something else entirely.

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When fibromyalgia struck, I had no idea the ripple effect it would have on my life, my career, my relationships and most especially, my marriage. It’s not like before fibro everything was perfect, but it was pretty damn close.

Within a year of having fibro, it felt like my illness wasn’t only tearing my body apart, it was taking shots at my marriage. Between managing the symptoms of the illness and the nasty side effects of the medications I was taking, sex was the last thing on either of our minds.

Going through an occassional dry spell is one thing…

Anne Hartt

Unapologetically real, potty-mouthed straight-shooter writing about self, sex, life and love. There’s nothing politically correct about me.

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