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June 17, 2012

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honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

Learned behavior...
I am certainly not an expert in relationships, but there are a few things that life has taught me I can share. First thing, I have come to realize that the basic elements of a loving relationship that works can be learned.
Learned skills allow us to grow beyond our experiences in the family we grew up in to become who we are today. The basic elements have some straight forward doable concepts.
A combination of your behaviors, attitudes and skills make up the first element. The second element is accepting the other as one you can learn from and is worthy of your time. A third element is keeping an open mind to each other’s views. Your mind is like a parachute. It has to be open to work. Dogmatically held positions block loving relationships.
Another important aspect is doing that which you say you will do. In other words, keep your promises. When partners can rely on each other’s word, deeds and emotions, it builds trust and confidence. Whereas, game playing and manipulative behaviors, such as “pity me”, or “how dare you question me” are two examples of limiting behaviors.
Use questions to clarify and seek more information. Questions designed to knock you off guard, or ones that your partner already has the answer to, often block loving relationships. Try to keep your options open for growth by listening for understanding rather than acceptance or agreement. They can effect positively or negatively. Relationships are like flowers, they have to be cared for and nurtured to blossom.
We do not choose our feelings, so try not to make a moral judgment. If I feel joy or happiness, hurt or anger, those are my feelings. You may want to learn the skill of expressing your feelings or emotions that permit discussion.
Try not to let fear or grief override your judgment. Many times it helps when you feel a powerful emotional reaction to set a later date to talk about what triggered those responses. Affection almost always helps couples to settle differences.
Embrace the other enthusiastically and accept there will be emotionally and expressive language differences. Good relationships, at a minimum, always have two sides. Some people block communication by thinking their interpretation or view is the only viable one.
The following phrases, when used sarcastically, stop communication. “Do whatever you want”; “Doesn’t matter to me” or “Why talk about it? Your mind is already made up.”
So instead take a walk around the block, a park, etc. Try to notice the good in your partner, and realize that once words are spoken, they cannot be unspoken. It is never too late to learn some good relationship skills. Remember, it is good to pass an entire day without an argument about anything.
As for me, I do not want to keep repeating mistakes of the past, Therefore, learning is a process of growing and evolving which will probably take me the rest of my life. And even then, I won’t know everything.

EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Happy Father’s Day
Thousands of men can stand a little taller today. It’s Father’s Day when some Dads receive phone calls and cards, and maybe even a gift that is not the usual tie. The older dads don’t want gifts, just a visit.
In the past twenty years, television sitcoms based on a family have shown an alarming trend. Dads in the thirty minute or one-hour shows have seemed to take a turn about, a bashing. He’s the man the rest of the family makes fun of when he’s not there, or bumbles his way hilariously through life. Even Raymond on the retired “Everyone Loves Raymond” seems afraid of his wife. “Home Improvement” set the stage for idiot dad; more followed. I thought the programs could still be amusing with the parents as a team. Maybe not.
Magazine articles and talk shows favor addressing the man’s faults, ways to make him better. Slowly the trend may return to reality which I’ve forgotten what it is. It is said the smart wife rules the home but makes her husband think he’s the boss. Anyway, I thought my dad spoke louder; I knew my husband had the final say-so.
If a couple has been married until the retirement age, some of Dad’s thoughts get louder. He begins to see actions his wife takes that really annoy him.
For example, “Why can’t the woman shut car doors tightly?” “Why does she move everything I put down to a place I can’t find.” “Why does she put empty milk jugs back into the refrigerator?” “What’s so bad about my wanting to watch all the news programs I want.”
Then Dad becomes verbal. He will ask aloud, “Have you ever known how to load a dishwasher?” “Can you put gas in the car sometimes?” “We have two bathrooms. Why is your stuff all over mine?” “Is that another new dress?”
To a daughter with children of her own: “I wish you wouldn’t say things like that out loud.” Or, “I’ll never in my life understand your mother.”
Of course, I’ve had my say for many years, but in retirement I think I say less. And the Dad of my children could say much more.
Recently, he sat in front of a store I went in (and I don’t want him going in with me ever). Sometimes he slips low in the car seat and naps to wait on me. But on this day, in the car next to him sat a younger man appearing to want to ask a question. Finally, this stranger walked over to my husband’s open car window and asked, “If a woman goes into a store and she says she’ll be back at a certain time, does she ever come out at that time?”
Feeling important I’m sure, my husband asked, “How long have you been married?” Two years was the answer. My husband then said, “Well, I’ve been married 52 years, and I have never seen my wife come back when she said she would.”
The young man made his way through the doors of the store to find his wife. My husband went to sleep.
(Call your dad while you can.)

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