We’ve heard it before. Relationships can, and will (if we let them), fall in a rut. We know they take energy, we know they take effort, we’ve heard this all before. Amongst the extensive amount of stale relationship advice we’ve heard time and time again, this one stands out as most over-used.
A brief synopsis on what happens every year on Valentine’s Day and what you can do this year to make it better than ever.
1. This year you will open up and communicate to your partner what you want for Valentine’s Day, figuratively and literally. It’s time to be assertive and vulnerable with your partner. You will both appreciate that you were able to open up and say what you are really thinking. Read More
New Year, new you, nice try. We all fall into the same trap of “new year’s resolutions.” This time, year after year, gym prices become “discounted,” self-help books flood our Instagram feeds, and green shakes capitalize the end caps of our local supermarket. We are overwhelmed with the idea that we can change ourselves if we try just hard enough, so let’s push ourselves to reach that yearly goal. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into this cyclical way of thinking every year. Are you focusing your energy on changing the right things? Read More
Healthy relationships are vital to life. When cared for, relationships bring us joy. They bring us strength. They bring us connection. And so many other great things. But relationships are work! And, I’m not just talking about relationships that come with a lifelong commitment like a marriage or parenting, but friendships too.
Friendships are relationships we choose to have. We start to take this autonomy of deciding our friends when we are young, even before we truly understand what it means to be a friend. When I was in elementary school, I remember sitting around the dinner table with my family and one of my parents always would ask, “Did you make any new friends today?” I don’t remember what my answer was on a given day, but I’m sure I answered yes.
Back then, a friend was someone who held the door for you while coming inside from recess. Or someone who would trade you their peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your egg salad. Or maybe even the girl who has the pretty bow in her hair … maybe we’ve never actually played together, but she seems cool, so I’ll say she’s my friend. Read More
Social media has exacerbated the romanticism of your partner being your “#everything.” We constantly see Instagram posts about our friend’s boyfriend with captions like, “He’s my everything.” Facebook photos of a picture of a couple’s silhouette in the sunset with cute calligraphy typed over top, “She is my everything.” Or tweets of a sleeping spouse with hashtags of, “#myeverything.”
What? Where does that even stem from? What lead us to the problematic belief that our partners are the one and only person we need in our life? Read More
I’m the early bird. I’m typically awake when the first glimmer of light peeks through the curtains. I lie there and doze, but by 6:00 a.m. I decide it’s a reasonable time to get out of bed, carefully without disturbing my husband. As I pass by the closet, I grab a basket of laundry. By the time the clothes are in the dryer, I’m planning the weekend activities while mentally visualizing what needs to be replaced in the pantry. I move on to watering the garden while enjoying my second cup of coffee. At 8:30 a.m., it’s time to roust the household to get this laundry put away.
What might seem like work is actually peaceful, quiet time for me to enjoy the early morning. It might sound lonely, but I quite like this time to myself. Once the rest of the household wakes up and starts the day, we move into doing our Saturday “together.” My husband and I walk to the local grocery store and pick up a short list of items for the coming week. Once we get home, we decide to check a few things off the “to-do” list, which includes giving the dogs a bath. We make a new recipe for dinner; actually my husband makes a new recipe, while I follow behind cleaning up the dirty dishes. We end the evening with a glass of wine and movie. Read More
Dependency is a unique word – one with many negative connotations. We live in a world where being independent is so important, the thought of depending on someone or something is an ostracizing thought.
Think about your convenience store excursions. What is flooding the front of the store? Self-checkout kiosks. What about gas stations? Pay at the pump. Taxi services? There’s an app for that. We have gone from asking our friends and neighbors questions about the world to owning a hand-held device that has all that knowledge right there, in the palm of your hand. It’s only natural we stray away from the thought of being dependent on someone.
But unfortunately, that is a toxic way of approaching a relationship. Read More
Words to think about from our staff at PE
They have been married for 66 years. The wife lives in the family home. Her husband is in a full time care facility. She won’t drive much anymore and he can’t drive at all.
Every Sunday morning he hires the accessibility van to bring him home. If the bus is late picking him up, he knows she will worry. He calls her from his flip phone to give her a new ETA.
She cooks his favorite breakfast and has it ready as soon as he arrives. For a special treat for lunch, some Sunday’s she will go to the local fast food place and bring home his favorites. When she asks him what he wants for supper, he always answers “Whatever you make will be delicious.” They share and enjoy the comfort of eating their meals together at the dining room table; the same table that in the 50’s and 60’s sat a family of five, then six, and finally a family of seven.
These people are my parents.
We all do it – we all make quick decisions without hearing the whole story. It’s our human nature; we had to make these rapid pivots to stay alive as cave dwellers. Imagine yourself as a Neanderthal – there’s a giant snake in front of you, blocking the entrance to your home. Unfortunately for the snake, you don’t have time to research if it is poisonous or not, you just have to smash it with a rock so you can protect yourself and your family back in your cave.
We still do this, but instead of a giant snake in front of the entrance to our home, it’s the garbage over-spilling in the kitchen, the same garbage your partner promised to pitch out last night. She knew you asked her to do it, since you did it the last two times. She must have decided it wasn’t a priority to take out last night. This thought is appalling, what did she do all last night? Watch documentaries about people with weird addictions? That’s more important than committing to your partnership? Read More