23
Feb


When George W. Bush accepts his party’s nomination tonight, he will stand with the person he believes makes him a better candidate.

Selecting and keeping a partner in love and romance is a little like choosing a political running mate: You want someone who balances the ticket.

Just as VP nominee Dick Cheney, a former defense secretary, makes up for Bush’s observed weakness on international issues, partners in any walk of life ought not be carbon copies.

Differences between you and your mate bring new skills, ideas and talents to your team.

Consider these five pointers on creating a balanced relationship ticket:

  1. Agree on the big stuff.
  2. The Democrats and Republicans may talk about big tent philosophies, but they don’t ignore their party platforms. “Sharing core values provides a foundation of mutual interest for a good relationship,” says Kevin Gogin, a marriage, family and child counselor in San Francisco.

    Core values include everything from religious orientation to views on child-raising and life philosophies.

    Who’s neat or messy has nothing to do with core values, explains Carol Kaplan, a marriage and family counselor in Monterey, Calif. It’s like Felix and Oscar of Odd Couple fame. They get on each other’s nerves, but they agree on underlying politics, morals and ethics.

  3. Discuss issues together.
  4. Specialization in a relationship is terrific. But it only works so long as you include your partner in decision-making.

    You may be an expert on antiques, but your partner has to sit in that old chair every day. Your spouse handles all the finances, but you still ought to know where your retirement money is invested, the name of your mortgage company and the balances of your various accounts. Each has a vested interest in every decision.

  5. Enjoy togetherness and separateness.
  6. Couples with children know about specialization. He does laundry; she watches the kids. But your differences may even affect leisure time. When your spouse has to attend a networking event with business associates on a Friday night resist the temptation to tag along.

  7. Throw guilt and resentment out the window.
  8. Your partner cooks, cleans and does the dishes. You take out the trash. Before you feel guilty, look at the big picture. You also fix things around the house, oversee contractors and run the broken cars to the shop. Are you both happy with this arrangement? Talk about it.

    If there is an imbalance, real or perceived, someone is going to feel resentful. Bring those feelings out in the open.

  9. Don’t try to change your partner.
  10. It’s a mistake, Gogin says, to assume you share values with your partner if they’ve never been expressed. It is also unwise to hold out hope for a miraculous change in your significant other. If he’s a heavy drinker who stays out late, don’t expect his behavior to change after you marry.

    Negotiation is the alternative to change, says Kaplan. Your partner can learn to wash every dish he uses, even if deep down he’d rather let them pile up in the sink. That’s called a concession, not a change.

In the end, you may appreciate those quirky personality differences. The neatnik may need to loosen up, and the slob may need to straighten up. If you form a well-balanced ticket, you will always have something to learn from each other.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
2
Feb


You won’t find a picture of Rachel Walton on Match.com. Nor will you find the 42-year-old Florida natural-health enthusiast, writer and former nurse describing herself in a newspaper personals ad.

Not that these dating aids are wrong, but “it’s not my style,” says Walton. “I can’t even imagine I could pull that one off.”

In a generation where we — unlike Mom and Dad — have had the freedom to question, to explore inner feelings, to do life and relationships differently, many of us have tried to shed the old-time societal messages.

The ’90s saw a backlash, for example, against the oft-quoted 1986 Newsweekcover story, “The Marriage Crunch,” which said that never-wed, white, college-educated women 40 or older were “more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to find husbands.”

“At times I feel lonely, but my life is not about looking to find a man,” says Walton. “If I find a man, that would be wonderful, but it’s not my goal, and it’s not going to be what makes everything all better.”

What is her goal? “My goal is to find my mission in life — that may or may not include a relationship.

“It’s a subtle difference between having my whole attention on waiting for a relationship, vs. breathing more deeply into who I am and standing in that.”

She came to a new way of being single in her 40s. Before that, the questions cropped up mostly at key events, such as the marriages of her brothers.

“At those times, it was very much, `Why does it work for other people and not for me?’” Walton says. “Then they have one child after the other, and each time, it’s like, `Do I want that, can I have that, should I be wanting that? Is there something wrong with me?’ ”

The biological clock is only one of several thorny issues: What to do with sexual urges and fears of growing old alone are others.

“At times, being single holds a quality of aloneness and solitude that is good and right,” Walton says. “At other times, being single feels full of loneliness which is, at times, unbearable.

“Waking up in the middle of the night, or when I’m first waking in the morning,” she adds. “Those threshold times can feel particularly vulnerable.”

While Walton’s 7-year-old Lab mix Mattie does provide some comfort, she misses having someone to share with day-to-day. On some level, however, she is using this time in her life — over 40 and single — as a path to growth.

“There’s some way that some deep exploration and connection into myself needs to be there,” she says. “That’s the journey, and it’s not easy, and it’s not quick and simple, and it’s not necessarily comfortable.”

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
15
Dec


Martha Mahan’s husband of 39 years is, in her words, a “professional nagger.”

Fred had been nagging Martha for some time to put away the laundry rather than just taking it out of the dryer, folding it and leaving it in piles in the bedroom.

Recently, Mahan started a ritual. She wrapped the clothes in beautiful blue paper, tied it up with string, and placed her husband’s favorite Vienna Sausages in a can on top of the pile.

“To transcend all this nagging, you have to put yourself into a playful, humorous, creative mode,” says Mahan.

Fred still puts the laundry away himself, but he doesn’t seem to mind anymore.

What death and taxes are to life, nagging is to marriage. But it doesn’t have to be the bane of anyone’s existence. If the two of you learn how to laugh at and have fun with nagging, it will only make life sweeter.

One of the secrets of a long, successful marriage is being able to nag — or respond to nagging — playfully and lovingly, according to cognitive therapist Kathleen Burton.

In fact, a wife’s nagging can be good for her husband’s health, says a study from the University of Chicago. According to the study’s lead researcher, sociologist Ross Stolzenberg, men are conditioned in our culture not to think about their health. A wife plays a valuable role in this dynamic, at least on the health front.

Burton says the playful approach works only in a relatively loving and happy relationship. In the case where one nags compulsively or the other refuses to budge, the defenses are so strong for one or both that not even humor and creativity can break them down.

Even healthy relationships demand nagging with discretion. Here’s how to nag like a pro:

Don’t dish it if you can’t take it.
Before you tell your spouse to get out there and exercise, you had better be prepared to throw on your sweats and jump in the action yourself, says Burton.

Nag as a team.
Instead of nagging your spouse about walking the dog, suggest you do it together.

“Would you like some company when you walk the dog?

Confess your own sins.
Chances are you’ve procrastinated on a few occasions. Your nagging should acknowledge this fact: “I know I haven’t gotten to paying the bills as I said I would, but could you clean out the car so at least one of us does what we said?”

Present options.
Sometimes the task at hand is more important to the one doing the nagging than it is to the one being nagged. Acknowledge this by offering alternatives: “Maybe we ought to just break down and buy a doghouse rather than have you build one.”

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
G Spot | About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap