An Affair of the Heart: Placing the Blame.

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An Affair of the Heart, Placing the Blame.

It was the Fourth of July and I was eight months pregnant with our youngest daughter. My husband and I went to a friend’s house for fireworks and had a great time. When we arrived back at home past midnight, we had a fight.  I don’t remember what we started yelling about; I was very pregnant and angry enough to tell my husband to just leave if he didn’t want to be here anymore and he did. It wasn’t the first time we fought, in fact, we were that couple that bickered a lot. When he left, I assumed like any other time, he was just going for a drive, except this time he didn’t come home that night, or any other night for the next few years. The next morning I found out he went to his coworker’s house, her name was Sara. As our marriage and home was turned upside down, I found myself lost. I never saw it coming. We had been married for 7 years, 2 children and another on the way. I experienced every emotion possible trying to figure out why. My husband never had the answer as to what prompted him to leave his family and cling to a younger, single girl with no children and a full free life to live. After 2 years of filing for divorce, endless counseling sessions, tears, anger, and destructive thoughts; we decided to work on our marriage for the children. We were able to stay married another six years before I called it quits. The pain and distrust never got better. It seemed as though neither of us were happy and the kids were definitely not happy. I blamed him for it all, ruining our marriage, our kids’ lives, our families, our house, us having to move, and just life in general.  Now, seventeen years after that Fourth of July night, I can say, the blame was equal.

The biggest culprit in the destruction of our marriage was communication. Both of us came from dysfunctional families. We were brought up where no one talked to each other unless they were yelling. No one gave hugs or said I love you unless it was a special time or event. We never saw our parents show affection to each other and yet we just expected to jump into a marriage because we were young and in love. The expectations were set so high and yet we never discussed them with each other. My husband thought he was playing the role by working all the time, providing for his family and when he came home, he was tired, crabby and expected to be left alone.  The kids and I had to walk on egg shells around him. That left me an angry and bitter wife. I chose the children over him. I was so self-loathing, I actually at one point thought, well, if Jesus was crucified, I can endure this marriage. If I wasn’t crying, I was demanding. I didn’t listen to my husband; therefore he shut down and never talked to me.

Enter the other woman. Sara was young, full of energy, worked side by side with my husband, but most importantly, she had something I didn’t have, a heart for listening. Don’t get me wrong; what my ex-husband did was never an okay way to handle a broken marriage. I now understand that my ex-husband worked so much because he felt more appreciated at work than at home. You see, life gets in the way. Let’s say you have a swimming pool filled to the top with love. You then add a few children (one being special needs) into the pool, along with pregnant hormones, a stressful job, bills, In-Laws, kid’s school activities, PTSD, lack of sleep and just as the love (water) is over flowing onto the grass, you throw in all your suitcases of your dysfunctional upbringing baggage.  Now the pool is packed with everything except the love. Instead of trying to find the love, you fight about who isn’t showing the love, when in reality it is both spouses that has allowed all of the “stuff” to outnumber the love.

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Emotional affairs start out as heart driven. We feel validated, worthy and attended to. Finally someone is listening and giving me the time I so much crave.  To me, affairs of the heart, is so much more damaging than physical affairs. Wendy Lustbader, an affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work stated “It turns out that feeling understood on the level of the soul is far more sexy than sex itself.”  What is more fulfilling than to be connected and understood?  As the significant other who is void of this affair, we doubt ourselves and question our ability to be loved. Why didn’t they confide in me about that concern? Why do they enjoy working more than being at home with the family? Why are they telling the other person about our intimate bedroom life? Why do they seem much happier after talking to that friend than they are with me? Am I not worthy of their love?

What can you do? I encourage you to communicate, but do it in a way that is respectful and loving. This means no yelling, no accusing, and no placing the blame. Write a list of your hurts and concerns. Write a list of your expectations of your significant other. Write down your feelings, using I statements and then come together and talk about it. Cry about it. Learn from each other. Be open to changing the way you view your significant other and be willing to change the way your react to stressful situations. Really listen and repeat back so clarification is accurate. Plan a monthly date night. Invest in a couple’s conference like “Weekend to Remember”. Read some helpful marriage books together. Most of all, Do Not Judge feelings. Feelings just are. Take all that extra energy you are spending on bitterness, hatefulness, selfishness, and self-doubt and transfer it positively into your marriage. If my husband would have told me, he felt unloved, unappreciated and unworthy; I would have placed more effort in correcting my actions.  Remember why you choose each other. Just as it took both of you to come together, the blame of an emotional affair is shared.

-Alice

Arrow Lip Balm

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In my BirchBox this month, I received Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm.

Their description reads: “Between running things at the office, running errands, and running at the gym, we usually find ourselves running low on time. Enter this high-tech lip balm. Formulated to adjust to your unique pH, it enhances natural lip color to create a just-for-you hue. Nourishing ingredients like mango seed butter hydrate and protect, and it has a lovely minty scent. Like all ARROW products, it’s vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.”

“Arrow” is a new product line only made from BirchBox. I first saw this product and thought, that pink is so light there is no way it will do anything for my pale lips. I put it on and a slight mint scent produced an amazing pink color. Not too dark but enough where I did not have to apply my normal stain. You may also layer this balm if you want a little darker color. This moisturized my lips and seemed to stay on for quite a while.  I was curious to see if this only worked on my lips or other parts of my body. I then applied it to my cheeks and behold, they developed a rosy color. Oh the things I could do with this balm.  I will definitely be purchasing this after I am finished with the one I have.  Online you may only order this through BirchBox .  $14 for the balm is an easy price for such great results. If you join BirchBox today,

You can watch this video for more information.     Meet Arrow

If you are interested in purchasing or even trying out BirchBox for only $5 on your first box,   Click Here

-Rebel

Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day

My entire life, when Mother’s day came around, I would always get mom a little gift,  plant, flower and a card to let her know that I appreciate her. This year I thought to myself that I have never stopped to look into the history of Mother’s day.  Just like most holidays I know what we are supposed to be celebrating but often I never really know what are its origins?

In the United States, the Mother’s Day we currently celebrate stems from a woman by the name of Anna Jarvis who wanted to have a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton West Virginia. Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis, was a peace activist who had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. Ann Jarvis had also created Mother’s Day work clubs to help address public health issues. When Ann Jarvis passed away in 1905, this was the year that Anna began her quest to honor her mother for all that her mother had to done to help others.

In 1908 the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, but in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day to be held on the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers. Thus began the tradition of taking one day a year to celebrate Mothers.  How I see it, is if your mother took the time to give birth to you, and regardless of how bad or good a mother she may have been, I suppose one day a year can’t really hurt to thank her for giving you life. However I want to leave you with one thing to ponder on, what about a transgendered man, female to male transgender person,  who gave birth to a child, but is now living his life as a man, do you send him flowers each year? Food for thought. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

-Pragma

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who just suck!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who just suck!i-m-priscilla-107402

It isn’t any surprise everywhere you look is blooming Mother’s Day; the commercials, beautiful thank you cards, flower shops and retail chocolate. What you don’t see is the heartbroken and hurt, either an absent mother or an abusive mother has inflicted on one’s heart.  There are many types of toxic mothers but I will only speak of a few.

I have many friends who have endured the tears while telling me stories of how their mother enabled their abusive father. He would tell her how worthless she was, a burden, a hardship, never good enough all while her mother stood in the wings observing but never saying a word. Even as an adult, they weren’t sure if they hated their father or mother more. She just stood silently and allowed her child’s heart to be torn apart only to be molded back into either a codependent or bitter adult.

Then there is the controlling mother, the one that lived in constant fear.  She didn’t allow you to have friends, sleepovers, phone calls, a job, play sports, or socialize with anyone outside of her safe group. She needed to prove to herself and everyone around her that her child would obey to the fullest extent and in turn she never knew she was impeding any growth or independence.

Of course we can’t forget the Narcissistic mother for they live through their daughters and crave the attention for their low self-esteem. They seem to always “one up” you.  If you say you are tired, they will advise you how they are more tired. If you say you lost weight, they will remind you that you have more to go. They are ego driven. If you imply they may have done something wrong, the guilt trip will ensue and you are left with the feeling that nothing you do is good enough. They would rather not talk about a situation than to validate your feelings.

What about the absent mother? Many will say, “at least your mother didn’t yell or hit you”.  “You are right, but she didn’t even love me enough to be around”. Children of unavailable mothers usually grow up into the role of a comforter or protector. As a child of an absent mother, uncertainty and abandonment will take hold.  Your own happiness may seem self-indulgent and as you become an adult you will find yourself always being the responsible one and the “grown up” in many situations. There is no time to trust that others will be there for you, so even at a young age, you become the parent while your mother becomes the child.

Although these examples are prevalent, they definitely do not cover all of the toxicity experienced by children. I personally do not know of any child who has had the perfect mother. In fact, I have seen myself react during my time as a parent in some of the above. As I became a mother, I wanted better for my children than what I received. I knew exactly what not to do as a mother and although the road can be rough, I am still learning. It is very important to recognize the damage that can be transferred over many generations. I encourage you to take some time this Mother’s Day and self-heal. Understand that you do have the ability to not allow your childhood to mold you. Your Mother’s Day does not have to suck.

-Alice