View From Here
By Katherine Veno
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
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
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.
By Emily Gail Lundy
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
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
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.)