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Archive for January, 2008

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Can You Believe a Woman Actually Wrote This?:

There is a big difference between women going through menopause and men going through midlife crisis: women are more prepared. We have read about it, talked to our girlfriends, our shrink and are allowed to show and verbalise our emotions. We have a support system in place that we can call upon. 

Men don’t understand what they are going through and why they feel the way they do.

Your husband or partner will not want to admit that he feels old, unattractive, out of shape, overweight, balding, unhappy in his career and overburdened by responsibilities. He is frightened by the thought that he might die before he has really lived. 

He looks at his life and can only find fault: not enough money, too much debt, too much work, too much responsibility, no fun or play, getting old, fat and depressed. He has become negative and quite frankly, he is fed up.”

Please give me a break!

No woman is prepared for menopause and there isn’t a man on the planet who hasn’t heard of the “MidLife Crisis” What women doesn’t go through what he is experiencing all the time? Thinking about being overweight, too much responsibility, your life is over before it’s even begun . . . what a crock of shit! The reason women seem to be able to handle these emotions better is because they seek to. I also think this an insult to men because it makes them seem like incapable children who are not able to deal with life’s little eventualities.

Many men, (around 10%), will soothe themselves in the arms of a younger, more attractive woman and leave their also middle aged partner to fend for herself. So now she is going through or nearing menopause which is like walking through hell doused in gasoline, while he is off trying to claim his forgotten youth. Adding to the unfairness of it all is the fact that he, having established himself in a career and a lifetime of relationships is now very alluring to younger women who are not so thrilled with the maturity and income levels of guys their own age. While his wife is left with the responsibilities of the household, her raging hormones, the fear of facing the dating scene and the competition of the other women who are younger than her or in her exact situation.

So I just don’t feel any pain for married men going through a midlife crisis because no matter how you look at it their wives are stuck with the shitty end of the stick.

I do applaud all men who recognize what is going on with them and who chose to work through it with their wives and who chose to honor their commitments. Because all of us, men and women alike know from a very early age that we will grow older. Hopefully we can see this time as a second more enlightened time of life where we mature and grow old gracefully instead of acting out like children who solve our problems by running away from them.

Whew, glad to get that out!

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I’ve been in and out of therapy for many years. I can chalk that up to having a bad childhood. Because of my experiences growing up I have never felt quite right, you know, inside. This not-quite-rightness has resulted in a deep desire to get fixed, hence the therapy. What I was hoping for was to go in get all the answers and come out clean on at the other end. I just kept thinking if I find the right person (meaning therapist) then everything will be okay. I also thought this about relationships with men. If I find the right guy everything will be perfect and I will be okay. That isn’t the way it works. I have found many people along the way who have guided me. I have done more reading on these subjects than many therapists I’ve known and the most absolute statement I can make on the subject is no one else can fix you, you fix you. Accepting that fact and taking action because of that acceptance is the key to discovering yourself and the final word in healing. The vehicle you use to get you there is insignificant by comparison. By vehicle I mean the type of program you chose or the therapist you chose. The impetus comes from within, always.

I have been told over and over again that I have low self-esteem. Go figure. It’s another one of those canned labels that are passed out like free samples at the supermarket. Many people have been diagnosed with “low self esteem“, but what does that really mean? And how do you fix it? I also think it’s a broad generalization prescribed for those of us who care about our personal development enough to seek the advice of a “qualified professional“, but what about those really successful people who do really well at work and seem to have everything they want and do not seek counseling. I have known many such people and they speak about themselves in a derogatory fashion often discounting their own success and rationalizing their accomplishments using phrases like, “I was in the right place at the right time.” I guess what I am saying is, we all to one degree or another think less of ourselves.

If you don’t believe me try a little exercise to see. Pay attention to your thoughts, this is hard at first. If you are so inclined write these thoughts down and see what you are saying about yourself to yourself on a regular basis.

How often do you focus on what’s great about yourself?

How often do you focus on what’s not so great?

If you are like the majority of people you don’t go around patting yourself on the back for your good qualities. This is not about ideas on self improvement it’s about thinking about that stupid thing you said or did, or focusing on your perceived flaws or thinking generally that you are not so great as a person.

I say shift it around a little and see what happens.

What did you like about yourself today?

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We were all born with an inner gauge to help protect us when we are in danger. It’s called an intuition. When we were children we just used it without censor by responding naturally to circumstances that upset us. We didn’t care if anyone saw us crying and we didn’t think about it when someone bothered us, we just knew. Over the years, through parental and other environmental circumstances we began to rely less and less on our intuition and more and more on what other people told us was real. We were conditioned to stop trusting our own instincts, some of us more than others, but the experience is universal.

I was studying a list of my previous relationships and discovered that I could have saved myself a lot of time and heartache if I had just trusted my gut. It may not have happened in the beginning of the relationship, but sometimes it did. Like I just had a feeling that I didn’t trust this person or there was something that made me feel uncomfortable, but I didn’t acknowledge that feeling for many reasons, one primary reason that comes to mind is that I wanted to be in a relationship, plain and simple. So I would put up with circumstances that weren’t ideal because I thought I had to make a trade off. This concept of a trade off wasn’t always conscious it just lurked somewhere in my “programming” and it said, “this is what you do for love”.

I remember recently dating someone who was incredibly nice. We arranged to go out and on the night of the date just an hour before we were supposed to meet he called and said he wasn’t feeling well and canceled. Now I understand and accept that a person cannot pre-plan an illness, but at the same time what he did was incredibly irresponsible. I decided, because I hadn’t dated anyone in a long time that I would give him another chance, but something in my gut told me he was lying and I didn’t listen. So we went out again and the relationship progressed and got physical and you guessed it he turned out to be irresponsible, immature and dishonest. So I had to end it after I had become “somewhat” emotionally involved. I learned from that experience to trust my intuition about other people. I am learning to do it more and more and when I test it, when I look back at past relationships I notice I have known when I was doing something that was not right for me and would not serve me in the long run.

Has this ever happened to you? Did you ever just know something was not right, but you did it anyway?

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Great video about what causes divorce and break ups. They also describe the 4 biggest relationship killers. Very truthful! Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available. from youtube.com posted with vodpod

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Today a Quote on Forgiveness from a book called, “Moving On” by Russell Friedman & John W. James, they also host a grief recovery website.

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope of a different or better yesterday . . .Nonforgiveness is a demand that can never be met. What it means is that you want the world to turn backward to the event that caused your pain so it can come out differently. The saddest part of nonforgiveness is that the nonforgiving person is the one who continues to suffer.

That idea of giving up an impossible demand engages a new understanding of what forgiveness really is and suggests how helpful it can be when used properly. It shows just how stuck you can become in the past, which automatically restricts you future.”

Here’s a story, by Sunday Pearson to illustrate this point:

“In July 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. That evening, two disgruntled Ku Klux Klan members decided that they needed to kill a black person. Any black person.

A 19-year-old black man named Mike Donald happened to be walking along a street in their town, and the two KKK members randomly chose him to be their victim. They drove Mike to a remote area and killed him. That evening, they drove back into town and hung Mike’s body from a tree.

Mike’s mother sat through the entire trial of the two killers. Each day, the prosecutor meticulously depicted to her and the jury the details of her son’s murder and the despicable nature of the two men who perpetrated the crime.

One accused man who turned informant took the witness stand. He was overcome with emotion as he addressed his victim’s mother. It is reported that the courtroom was silent as he began to sob and tell Mike’s mother how sorry he was for what he had done to her son.

It is said that you could have heard a pin drop as Mike’s mother shifted back in her chair, looked first downward, then back up into the face of her son’s killer. In a soft yet clearly audible voice she said, “I forgave you a long time ago.”

The attorney who was interviewed on television later said there wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom. Although it has been almost 40 years since Mike’s mother spoke those words, their impact is undiminished.

Most of us can relate to anger more easily than we can to forgiveness. Let’s face it…forgiveness sounds like a great idea until we are the one who has to actually do it! Forgiveness is powerful, but it is very hard to do because it goes against the grain of our human behavior. And it is scary because it opens the door to unsettling feelings that require painful soul-searching.

A friend of mine once said, “Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. We do it for ourselves. We are saying, ‘I’m not going to let this eat me alive. I’m going to get well and move on.'”

He’s right. Forgiveness is a choice that cannot be forced or coerced. But by clinging to the past, we scarcely exist in the present.”

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I think popular opinion would dictate that taking back and Ex is NEVER a good idea. I was reading a great post at What’s Love Got to do With it and this really got me thinking. I have never known any couple who have reconciled to stay together. Rather what happens is just more of the same. They take their Ex back and the original problems that caused the split continue.

I was personally involved in a relationship where this happened for 8 years. It seemed like he couldn’t make up his mind. I caught him cheating twice and at his prolonged insistence I took him back. When I say insistence I mean leaving gifts at my door and sending cards and begging and pleading and calling. I later found out he made up stories to cover his infidelity wherein it appeared as if it was only a one time thing. Finally at the end of one of these scenes I told him the only way I would take him back was if we got married, (stupid I know). So he got me an engagement ring, but then later said he did not realize an engagement ring was a promise to marry. “Once a liar always a liar”, is my mantra now. I learned a lot from my relationship with him, but I spent 8 long years doing it.

I ask myself now why I did it. Why did it take me so long to really see who this person was? I used to think it was because I “just loved him”. But I truly believe that love and pain do not coexist. I have found this out by looking at my relationships with my friends or my daughter. They are not fraught with pain. We have our problems, but we work them out. There is an underlying trust and respect that accompanies our interactions. Many times those relationships build me up and I feel happy inside when I am with them. They accept me and love me no matter what. This is what I will look for in my relationships with men from now on.

Have you ever seen a reconciliation that worked?

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Sometimes when I am feeling a little blue I need a little eye candy to perk me up!

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I like to look at some guys more than others:

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Sometimes I just want to look at a guy who makes me laugh:

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Some more than others:

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When I was younger I always went for the really good looking guys, but as I got older I found I would bypass looks if the guy could make me laugh, even if he was just average. I have also noticed that guys who are not really attractive at first get to be more so if they have a great personality. The opposite also seems to be true. A great looking guy can turn ugly fast if his personality is shitty

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