What Is Love? Baby, Don’t Hurt Me, No More.

What do you think marriage should look like?

I’m going to try my best to explain what I think it should look like. I believe that it should be a best friendship where there is love, respect, and trust with a lot of attraction mixed in. There should be understanding on an emotional level. There should be laughter and fun. There should be a belief that no matter what, you both are a team together.

So then why are there so many people out there making fun of their significant others? Why is joking about our marriage something that serves as way to bond with other people? Why is your spouse not held in the highest regard?

I understand that marriage isn’t always heaven. We show our worst to that person. Everything bad that happens in our lives will fall on the other person. They are our rock and our punching bag.

But isn’t degrading them in front of others disrespectful? Or is that just another way that people show their love towards their significant other? Maybe that is the bond between a couple, the ability to tease and make fun without resenting them. Maybe there are stronger people than I who can deal with this type of relationship.

For me, though, I can’t do it. I know that my husband and I will have to fight about things. I know that when the kids are exhausting, it takes a toll on us as a couple. As long as we can create some space to enjoy each other and continue to respect each other, I think we will be fine. But I don’t think I could survive being with someone who thinks putting me down is an acceptable form of affection. I might be too sensitive or I might just need something different.

I know we have all seen it throughout the generations and throughout different cultures. We have “husband” jokes and “wife” jokes. We hear this in wedding speeches all the time. There are stereotypes like the uptight wife or the messy husband that get reinforced over and over again. Can this change if we don’t agree with it? Why must this be the way to connect with others? Why can’t we use something positive instead?

I’d like to know what your thoughts are. I know that all marriages are different and have different bonds. I’d like to hear about what keeps your marriage strong. I’d like to also hear about what things you’ve heard between a couple that really irks you.

A New Mom Reclaiming Her Life

We all talk about how you shouldn’t lose yourself when you get into a new relationship. We work so hard to maintain our individuality while merging into a relationship so that we still feel independent but can enjoy the aspects of spending time with a partner as well.

Well, what happens when you have a baby? As a new mom, I found myself really losing who I was.

Even before I had the baby, I didn’t recognize myself. I define my self worth by what I do (and if I really do it well). I had been working for the last 8-9 years and I had been dancing for a really long time and finding peace and happiness in that. But, as soon as I was a few weeks pregnant, I left my job due to the distances I was driving and I wasn’t allowed to do any other physical activity other than walk due to doctor’s orders. It was really hard for me. I still did see my friends but a lot of the activities I used to do were limited.

After I had the baby, there was obviously the time I needed to heal and get used to having a baby around. So that’s all I was doing for the first few months. But it was hard. You give yourself so entirely to this little human being. All of a sudden, the only label you have is mom. All of the other things you were disappear. At least, that is how I felt.

I’ve never been able to function in a one dimensional sense. Even though I worked in one profession, I was involved in so many other activities that really helped my life be well-rounded. So this was really a difficult way for me to live. There are women who fit so easily into the mother role and make themselves so well-rounded within that role. I’ve seen moms who plan activity after activity for them and their babies and it sounds amazing. I wish I could do that. But, after a recent breakdown, I realize that it’s not me. I need certain things in my life for me to feel like myself. And feeling like myself is the best thing I could do for my child.

I felt guilty wanting to be back in the workforce or wanting time to myself. I still haven’t gotten up the courage to have a girls night out without my baby. I want her to be with me at all times. But I have taken steps to reclaim who I was. I joined a gym and get an hour workout in a day which has done wonders to my self-esteem. I am looking to find other moms to hang out with. I have a found a new dance class that I’m really excited about. I also have taken steps to see if I can find a job that fits a schedule that would allow me to be home for my child whenever I want.

As much as I really wish I could do the stay at home mom thing with great joy, I know it’s not me. I need to find the things that help me feel like me so that I can really show my baby my best self, the person that I’m proud of, the person I want her to be proud of.

Changes continued…..

I don’t have it in me to write today. Just overall tired from life and daily stresses. Tired of long task lists and deadlines to get them all done in.

Sometimes, I wish we had summer vacations again. Some time where we didn’t have responsibilities. Some time to really just do what we want, no matter how productive or unproductive the activities we choose are. Am I the only person who really feels like laziness sometimes is a good thing?

We rush through life, trying to get check marks on all of our tasks, and we forget that this is the only life we have. We can either go through everything and have a big check as the final result or we could potentially learn how to enjoy our life so that the final result is a jumble of good memories.

Even though I can’t always practice what I preach, I really would like to focus more on slowing down life so that every moment is really appreciated for what it is.

So, today, I don’t have any great insight for you. I just want to say that I will try to enjoy today and I hope the rest of you have a good day as well.

How Do You Break Out of That Funk?

Yesterday, I had a friend text me. She was going through something I have way too much experience with. There is a point where you feel like you’re alone and nothing is going right and you have no idea how to get out of it. It’s a hard feeling to break out of and it definitely takes a lot strength to do it. 

When it feels like you aren’t headed anywhere and that no one understands you, it’s important to try to remember that this is how you feel in the moment. It will pass. As someone once told me “it will get better”. Then, it’s good to distract yourself with something that will at least temporarily alleviate that feeling. A few things that work for me are reading through inspirational stories on a few websites (makesmethink.com, The Secret website), communicating with people, and some sort of exercise. Trying to picture my future,writing, and making gratitude lists also help a lot. 

Emotions often cloud our common sense. And while it’s definitely a good thing to be in touch with what you are feeling (it’s what makes us human), it does help to put things into perspective where you know that this is something temporary. I really respect those that are eternally optimistic. It must be amazing to always have hope and feel that way. I also know that I am not that person. I have the days where I can’t imagine that anything is going to get better. It’s hard because my logical brain tells me things have already gotten better for me. I just need to recognize and appreciate them. 

Yesterday, I made a wish. I wished that I could appreciate all the positive things in my life. And that’s my goal. There are things that could improve but there are so many things that are already the best they could be. I have to trust that the things that need improvement will get better because I want them to, because I work hard at appreciating everything else. 

Getting out of that funk isn’t going to happen because the world owes you something. Getting out of it is going to happen because you owe it to yourself. Enjoying life is something we should do seeing as we only have one (unless you’re Hindu and reincarnate). So try to enjoy the little things today. Try to see the good in the madness of this world. And share it with the person next to you. Sometimes, all it takes to change gears, is someone acknowledging that you’re there. 

Who wants to play the victim?

I want you to be really honest with yourself. How many times have you played the victim on something just to get attention or empathy? 

I think most of us do from time to time, especially when we don’t feel like we get the acknowledgment for our efforts. We shout out the things we do. We play up how bad we feel about something. On any given day, these are things that we might not say or do but today, something made us feel like no one was paying attention to the effort we put into life, our jobs, our relationships. 

Playing the victim isn’t something that has to be extreme. It could be as simple as saying “I had so much to do today”. Translation: “My life is busier than yours so please appreciate that I made the time to see/talk/listen to you.” I know that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, saying that you had a lot to do today is really just that. You had a lot to do today. But sometimes, maybe it’s not the case. Maybe it’s really a way to seek some acknowledgement for your effort in whatever it is you’re doing. 

Think about it this way as well. There is one day where you get to go do something you’ve always wanted to do and you’re really excited. There is another day where you have to fulfill some obligation that isn’t the top of your priority list. What are the chances the same exact cold will make you feel worse the day you have to do something you don’t want to do whereas you’ll survive fine the day you get to do something fun?

Another way I’ve watched people play the victim (or done it myself) is where they silently martyr through something they don’t want to do so they can resent someone for having to do it and then later, throw it back at them. That sounds healthy, doesn’t it? Especially when you add in years of being friends or living together. I see this a lot in marriages in our Indian culture. Why be unhappy when we can find a way to make ourselves happy? Maybe we should one day explore that idea of it’s easier to be unhappy than to be happy. But we’ll save that for another day.  

And then comes the day where playing the victim doesn’t sound like much fun. There are 2 ways to get attention: play the victim or just be interesting while living your own life. That’s when I decide that I’d rather find a way to be happy in my own life and not worry about attention at all. There have been a few months recently where playing the victim was all I could do. Then, recently, I decided that this way wasn’t going to work for me. I am now working on ways to enjoy myself regardless of everyone else. 

This doesn’t mean I don’t fall back into a pattern that I’ve seen so much throughout my life. I do. But awareness is the first step to solving a problem. And one of the goals of life is to be happy throughout the journey as well as at the destination. So I will take that first step.