Life will probably change quite a bit for most of us in the post TEOTWAWKI and/or SHTF world, it's probably not going to be the time to be looking for a partner, so if you already have someone in your life, or you are looking, now is the time to improve your and your (future) partner's life, no matter how great your relationship is, it can always be better, and conversely, if you are struggling with your relationship, it's quite possible that with a little effort you can not only salvage your relationship, you can make it even better than it was before, this is especially important if you have kids together.
Living in such a small place, and with both of us home much of the time, even in the best of times, it's all too easy to get on each others nerves. PB and I actively work to maintain a healthy relationship. Here are some of the things we do (and don't do) to keep our love alive and fresh.
The number one thing we both have is the ultimate trust in each other. We have both been in (previous) relationships that turned sour, fortunately we both learned from our experiences and brought our best to the table for this one.
I have complete trust in him, and he has complete trust in me. Home is our sanctuary, it is the place where we both want to be, it's the place where we both want to go after being away, or even after being home for a long time, it's exactly the place where we both want to be, and with each other.
That means making "home" the superior place to be, better than anyone elses' house, better than any bar or club, better than any other place period. How do I do that? It has nothing to do with any amenities that may or may not be part of our home, it has everything to do with how we treat each other. First I never nag, yes ladies, I said it, sometimes we girls can become nags, (guys, stop nodding your heads, you are capable of nagging too), when my man has been out working somewhere else, and he comes home, I make sure that he comes home to a loving, nurturing woman (me), I don't start complaining about things, no matter what it is. Think about this, if you are out, and it's time to go home, and you knew that you were probably going to come home to an angry, fussy person, would YOU be in any hurry to go home? Now, turn that around, if you knew you were coming home to a loving, nurturing, relaxing partner, wouldn't you want to hurry up and get home?
We both want to spend the rest of our lives together and nothing, absolutely nothing will come between us. All too often couples have antagonistic relationships, they have competitive natures and tend to want to be right at the others expense. That only works for so long, because for one to be "right" at the expense of the other being "wrong", the one that has to always be "right" just might end up being "right" and alone. Think of it like playing tug-o-war, if a couple are on each end of the rope, ok, now what? One will win, the other will lose, or you might end up in a stalemate. Now, instead of each being on opposite ends, pulling against the other, this couple needs to be a team, with both on one end, pulling together against whatever may be working against them.
Each day, PB actively looks for something to compliment me about, no matter how messy the sky castle may be, if I even do one thing in the house, he notices and tells me, he doesn't complain about what I don't do or didn't do, he exclaims what a good job I did with what I did do. He praises my cooking, at every meal, I remember shortly after we became a couple, I brought my mother over to our house for dinner (for the first time). All during the meal, PB was animatedly exclaiming about how good the meal was, he was really going on about it. At some point toward the end of the meal, PB excused himself for a few minutes. My mother leaned over to me and said "THAT won't last for long...", she was sure he was putting on a show for her benefit and surely he didn't act that way all of the time. Well, he DOES act that way all of the time, that was almost 10 years ago, and I can assure you that PB still compliments my cooking, at every meal.
Does that mean I am a super cook and every meal is spectacular? No, of course not, tonight we had homemade pizza, I don't follow a recipe, so each time the pizza comes out a little different. PB said that he thought this was the best pizza I have ever made, and yes, this one was pretty good. He also said that in the past it wasn't always easy to compliment all of the pizzas I have made. PB is always honest with me though, if he really doesn't care for something I made, he is understanding that I can't be at 100% on every meal, but he also says that I make enough great meals to make up for the few less than meals. He never makes me feel bad about anything that I do, he goes out of his way to make me feel good.
Guess what that does for me? It makes me want to try even harder to please him, so in turn, I try to remember to compliment him as often as I can, I must admit that I'm not as proficient as PB is about this, but I try none the less. I leave him little notes telling him how much I love him and how special he is to me. It really works.
One place where I have received a lot of good advice is from Dr Laura. If you don't know who she is, she does a radio talk show, it's mostly about relationships. I don't agree with 100% of what she teaches, but I do agree with most of what she teaches. Here are a couple of great books by Dr Laura, if you are in a relationship or want to be in one, I highly recommend these.
If you are lucky enough to get to listen to her show, I think you might learn something even if you don't agree with all of it.
I will have more to say about having and maintaining a good relationship with your partner in future messages, stay tuned!
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