Tag Archives: Family

Things They Share Are Cherishable

Today is my mom’s birthday and my stepdad is taking us to a baseball game this evening.  It will be a gorgeous night and I am looking forward to spending the evening with them. 

I will miss them both very much when I leave. We’ve been a close-knit bunch for a good part of my life. 

As a child growing up, my mom reared me as a single parent until I was in high school.  For the first part of my life, she was both mommy and daddy.  She taught me how to be an independent woman. Although a little later in my life, she has also shown me some cherishable things about married life. 

My stepdad entered my life when I was a teenager.  At that time, I wasn’t used to having a man around, but he soon became a fixture.  He married my mom and we became a family.  In hindsight I am thankful to have him and his extended family as part of our family.  But, I was a reluctant teen and slow to fully accept his presence in our lives.

Theirs would be the first marriage that I would live within.  Although my grandma is still alive, my grandpa died long before I was born.  So although I’d often hear my grandma speak about life when he was around, I would never experience my grandparents’ love or marriage in real time.

Once my mom got married I would witness for the first time what it meant to live inside of marriage.  It would be my first lesson in marital support and compromise.  It would be the first time I saw marital love. 

Through all of my teenage awkwardness and growth and maturity as a young woman, I now know that there are qualities about their relationship, in addition to love, that are rich and abundant and should be cherished. 

They have humor.

My mom has always had the gift of delivery and timing in humor.  Her sarcasm and dry humor are never dull and will always keep you on your toes.  She certainly keeps my stepdad on his toes.  Sometimes he is sharp enough to match wit and return fire.  Sometimes. 

They have support. 

Their support is mutual, complementary, and cherishable.

He contributes to maintaining my grandmother’s quality of life. He’ll bring fruit or get her trash or move her television.  He’ll also perform countless other tasks whenever requested by my mother.  His support for my grandmother is certainly support for my mother. 

She provides for his children and grandchildren as her own.  She’ll throw a party or babysit the grands or make personal gifts incorporating photos of our whole family.  She will also do countless other tasks whenever requested by my stepdad.  Her support for his family is certainly support for him.

He provides for me, her daughter.  He will secure a grill and chairs for a party at a moment’s notice.  He will provide extra tickets to a basketball or baseball game.  He will arrange complimentary rounds of golf for my husband and I.  He will also provide countless other things for me, at the request of my mom.  His support for me is certainly support for my mom.

She supports his business.  She will provide administrative assistance, such as typing a letter or sending an email or making a call.  She will also give her time to welcome participants in his charity golf tournament.  Her support for his organization is certainly support for him.

They are kind to each other.  He gives her flowers, sometimes just because.  She makes him coffee in the morning, to start his day.            

They have companionship.

While they each live very full individual lives, they always take the time to come together for family and for themselves.  They watch movies together, play golf together, and attend sporting events. Together.

Today, they will attend a Nationals game for my mom’s birthday and they have invited me to come along.  It will be a gorgeous night and I am looking forward to spending the evening with them. 

WEDDED BLISS WEDNESDAYS discusses marital and relationship issues.  Although this is likely to be biased toward my own experiences in marriage and with relationships, I hope that you will join the discussion, ask questions, and suggest topics that you are interested in discussing.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive my content updates by email or RSS reader.  

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Filed under Family, marriage, Marriage and Relationships, relationships, Wedded Bliss Wednesdays

Family Dynamics Impact Relationship Dynamics

A girlfriend of mine recently told me that she had met her boyfriend’s parents for the first time.  She said that she really enjoyed meeting them and really loved the dynamic between her boyfriend and his family.  That got me to thinking about my husband, his family and my own family, and how closely the positive dynamics of our respective families mirror that which my husband and I have with each other in our marriage. 

Somewhere In Oblivion, We Miss What Should Be Obvious

It is something that you may not assign too much importance to when you are young and dating or before you are established in a relationship.  But, it is a mistake not to take notice of your significant other’s family dynamic once you are in a relationship that is becoming serious. 

You may not think much about how your partner’s relationship with parents, siblings and even grandparents is indicative of how he or she tends to treat the people that are the closest.  You may choose to not assume that the dynamic your partner has with family is indicative of how your partner will treat you in the long run.  Though when you think about it, shouldn’t it be obvious?

Sometimes when we are in a relatively new relationship, there may not be many occasions to meet our partner’s family.  But, once we do, and if there is a negative vibe flowing, sometimes we are resolved to not understanding the nature of these familial relationships.  Sometimes we choose oblivion rather than choosing to acknowledge that there are negative moods and feelings among family members, which are problematic whether or not you understand their origins.  If you ever find yourself in this situation, it is wise to ask yourself, is this the mood my partner is accustomed to among family?  Is this my partner’s response to family in general? 

In one of my previous posts about How You Know He Is the One, I said that there are many ways that our significant others communicate how they intend to treat us.  The way they tell us, however, varies in both method and directness.  Sometimes we get clues from things that they say to us directly, or the way they handle us physically.  But sometimes, it is also clear from the way they treat others, especially those that are the closest to their hearts.

A Positive Family Dynamic Is a Very Good Sign 

The first time I met my in-laws was at the airport.  They’d come to DC from Puerto Rico to visit my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time.  They had not seen him since the holidays one year earlier and I knew how much he had missed them.  My first peek into the very positive family dynamic that he shares with his parents was in the very loving and emotional embrace they all shared at the airport that day.  Since we had started dating, he had always spoken frequently about his family and about being home in Puerto Rico.  I know that his family is a big part of his pride and that he cherishes them greatly. 

I didn’t quite realize it at the time, but my husband’s family ties and the very genuine admiration and respect that he expresses toward his parents became a big part of why I adored him so much.  As I moved closer and closer into his family network, and as I was able to witness how supportive and caring they were with one another, I felt I lot more confident than I ever had in relationships about our ability to have the same dynamic with each other long-term and eventually within our own family. I had also come from a very loving and supportive family and, without really appreciating it before, I came to realize just how important a positive family dynamic is to me.  I also think that this factor is essential for any successful relationship.

At the end of the day, we love who we love and we may not cast aside our partners because their family relationships aren’t perfect.  But, I definitely think it is worth taking note of your partner’s family dynamics, which could shed light on your own relationship dynamics at some point in the future. 

WEDDED BLISS WEDNESDAYS discusses marital and relationship issues.  Although this is likely to be biased toward my own experiences in marriage and with relationships, I hope that you will join the discussion, ask questions, and suggest topics that you are interested in discussing.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive my content updates by email or RSS reader. 

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Filed under Family, marriage, Marriage and Military, Marriage and Relationships, relationships, Wedded Bliss Wednesdays

For What Does Your Spouse Thank You the Most?

 

Thank-you card from RCS customer Hannah's socks to Richard! Go Richard go! - 030320091603 by roland

Thank-you card from RCS customer Hannah's socks to Richard! Go Richard go! - 030320091603 by roland

The experts tell us that men and women have different priorities in romantic relationships, that we value different variables at different levels.  A woman values the strength and masculinity of her man.  This includes his ability to love and to honor, to protect and assist, to have and to hold.  She values his trust, his empathy, and his enamorment when it comes to her.

 

Men value a lot of the same relationship qualities, but often in a different order of importance.  A man values the softness and femininity of his woman.  For a man, this includes a woman’s ability to love and to support, to nurture and care, to accept and to understand his nature.

These qualities will vary from person to person and from relationship to relationship.  So, how can you know which qualities are the most important to your spouse?  A simple ‘thank you’ can provide the answer.  Take notice.  Which qualities does your spouse thank you for the most?  Do you thank your spouse for providing those qualities that are the most important to you?

 

Wedded Bliss Wednesdays is a forum in which I discuss the joys and the heartaches of marriage, sometimes in jest.  I look forward to your discussion, as I will gain a lot from your input.

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Its Not Too Early for Tough Love

Money Hand by Neuble

Money Hand by Neuble

 

Mary Pleshette Willis wrote an article over at More.com called Tapped Out: Supporting Adult Children.  She talked about parents who are still supporting their kids out of college or who fail to put the reigns on handing out money like an ATM when their kids face hard times.   Most of these parents were aware that they were doing too much.  But, when it came down to it, they were not willing to let their children fall into subpar living conditions and in many cases, anything less then the [sometimes high] standards they had become accustom to at home.

In Ms. Willis’ article, she is talking about grown children in their 20s and 30s.  But, what about beyond that age range?  If continued support goes well into adulthood and middle age, when does it become too late say no, set limitations, and begin enforcing those limitations?

Not having any children myself, I can only imagine how hard it would be for a parent to stop providing a safety net for a child and what a tough start it would be for a child to stop relying on parents when the groundwork for independence had never really been laid.  Sometimes this process is initiated by a guilt-ridden parent tormented by the hours spent working away from the child or some other event occurring during the kid’s early years.  Sometimes the parent’s reign is so heavy that the child never develops the will or the desire to take care of his – or herself.

Many readers may not consider this scenario applicable because you do not yet have children or because your children are still children.  But, for young parents, maybe now is the time to start practicing a bit of tough love.  Maybe now is the time to start teaching your children to be self-sufficient… to want to be self-reliant. 

I don’t know.  Again, I don’t yet have children.  But, it makes sense to me to start as early as possible.

What’s your take?  Have you thought about these things when it comes to your children?

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