In The Happy Spot. More on Medium.

— the Night Before.

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Photo by Carolina Heza on Unsplash

It was 5:55 pm. I had just dropped my five-year-old off at a Trader Joe’s parking lot where her father was waiting in a parked car for her, a neutral territory only those going through a not so amicable divorce can appreciate. As I was getting back into my car and he was strapping our daughter into the car seat in his car, he yelled, “I called to pay for half of the food order, and they said it was canceled.”

It was less than 17 hours before my daughter’s 6th birthday party held in a park next to an amazing café that was to cater it. …

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Photo by Anne from Pexels

Some women are predators. I’m not blaming her. Ok, I am blaming her entirely. I blame him entirely too. My husband was, technically, an adult when they met, even though he quickly regressed into a man with the emotional maturity of a teen in love.

He was gaga.

She can keep my husband.

But the dress she stole from my closet, I want that back.

While away for Thanksgiving, she went into my home and stole my favorite dress from my closet, only a few months after they started sleeping together.

It was bad enough that she came into my house where our child learned to walk, but my closet (!) while I was away with my five-year-old nursing my wounds with family and attempting to figure out why my life was falling apart. …

It’s hard to come back from.

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Photo by TOPHEE MARQUEZ from Pexels

Other people only really exist in our imaginations because they’re only what we believe them to be. What we assign to them, they become, in our minds. Every time you attempt to change someone, you’re trying to change someone that doesn’t exist. It’s futile.

Change yourself instead.

That’s power.

For over 40 years, John and Julie Gottman have studied couples’ interactions with each other and have found that the number one predictor of divorce is contempt for your partner.

Contempt is the kiss of death to a relationship.

It is one of the hardest things to get past once you have reached a feeling of this magnitude toward your partner because it involves a profound sense of dehumanization. …

Five must-haves to make marriage work.

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Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

I know a lot about this because I chose poorly.

I f*^ked up.

And I’m not blaming him. It was all me.

I had no business marrying the person I did. I knew it at the time. Not consciously, maybe consciously. I don’t know. I was confused, and I’m rarely confused about what to do. This confused me more.

There were red flags.

I pushed them down. Tucked them into little corners of my mind where they went to die. I occupied myself with wedding plans that barely held my interest. It was one of the few times I ignored my gut, which is always spot on. …

The fastest way to repair with his mate during conflict.

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Photo by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash

“How to find a good spouse?
-the best single way is to deserve a good spouse.”
Charles T. Munger

Have you ever said something to your spouse or partner, thinking you were sharing your feelings and making a bid for connection, only to be surprised by his defensiveness?

He goes on the attack, and you end up thinking, “Whoa dude, I was just telling you my feelings.”

Some men aren’t comfortable with all the feeling talk.

But in a relationship, it is essential to be heard, and sometimes, even felt.

Occasionally, men — not all men — hear things differently than what we are communicating. …

The Four Horsemen — words matter.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Words matter. The words you speak to others can have a lasting impact — positive or negative — especially on those important to you. Words may be free, but how you use them could cost you — in your intimate relationships, in your job, in your friendships, in all aspects of human interactions.

When it comes to communicating with loved ones, especially our partners, we tend to be less particular when choosing our words. Blurting out insensitive comments, even accidentally, directed at our partner creates disconnection.

Too often, people assume their partners, children, parents, close friends, will always be here, no matter which words we choose when we communicate. But we need to be careful with our words, because once spoken they can be forgiven, but not forgotten. …

Three things to contemplate if you have thought about leaving your marriage.

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Photo by Anton Mislawsky on Unsplash

It was around this time of year, the holiday season, that my ten-year marriage started to implode. It was right before Halloween. I still remember the exact date. We were in crisis mode for a good six months. Thus, ruining Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, the day I gave birth to my first child — my daughter’s birthday — and my birthday for several years to come.

Adultery hurts.

The fallout is eviscerating. It is a betrayal on so many levels: abandonment, humiliation, rejection, isolation — all the things love, and marriage, promise to protect us from.

Adultery is best described by Simone de Beauvoir in The Woman…

Communicating with empathy is the antidote.

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Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

When I found out my husband of ten plus years had an affair with a mother of a student at my daughter’s preschool, the affair I could get past. However, how we had been communicating during the last part of our marriage was a gap I found impossible to bridge.

There is something about the seal of marriage, the legality of “I do,” that grants permission, for some, to act subpar with their partner — to give the best of themselves to everything in their lives — except their spouse.

Far too often we bring the best of ourselves to our work, friends, colleagues, children, even to our hobbies, but to our partners, we bring the leftovers. …

Communication with empathy is key.

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Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

One significant lesson I learned from being married for ten plus years is that you can’t take words back once they’ve been said, or screamed.

Words are tactile. They have the power to seep into everything around you if harsh enough. They can become part of the furniture, they can hang in the air permeating every part of the room with tension and regret.

Sex? You want me to have sex with you after what you just said to me? You must be kidding.

Maya Angelou said,

“Words are things, I’m convinced. I think they get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper, they get in your rugs and your upholstery and your clothes. …

And no, honesty isn’t part of the equation.

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Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash

Far too often, people don’t understand what true communication and connection look like in a healthy, grounded relationship.

Most people enter into romantic relationships equipped with only slightly better than kindergarten-level tools for communication.

They place too high a value on “being honest” and having “ great sex.”

While these are important for a long-term relationship to succeed, “being honest” doesn’t equate to healthy communication, and “sex,” doesn’t always equal real connection.

In a long-term relationship, regular sex with your partner is a vital ingredient, but, only adds lasting value to a relationship that’s already grounded in healthy communication.

Communication is undervalued and misunderstood these days — it is a buzzword misinterpreted as “being honest,” but real communication requires patience and listening with compassion and empathy to seek a connection between partners — you cannot have one without the other.


The Happy Spot

“We read to know we are not alone.” ― C.S. Lewis

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