The risk I took at 23 is a different risk today at 47. Times have changed. I’ve changed. I see life differently and my physical abilities aren’t as good today like years ago. Okay, these are a few of my excuses for a long-time engagement with a slow crawl to the alter. Yet, I can clearly recall what she said to me about a year ago, ‘Felita, you’re probably the only woman I know who would be engaged this long without getting married [paraphrased].’
My immediate response was silence, and then I thought to myself, “She might be correct about that statement.” Yet, just the other day I reminded myself of how listening to that and giving it weight is the sentiment she carries, and not that of my own. Albeit a disagreement or an indifference, we have independent decisions to make for particular reasons. Hence, my decision to remain engaged- with a brief hiatus- is a mutual agreement in my relationship.
Truth be told! There’s a hesitancy between us with approximately 34-years of past luggage we both are still unpacking. He, formally married for 18 years and I for 16.5. Our wounds of past agony are slow to heal, and we can now finally see progress with our communication skills where, formally, we spoke at one another. Today we now talk to and are empathetic towards each other. We further understand our beginning was in haste; hence, perspectives are realized. Nonetheless, reaching this stage has been an uphill battle but neither he nor I would have it any other way.
Conversely, we are now beginning to apply helpful tips to strengthen our relationship, such as ‘working on our whole self’ and bringing that person to the table. Though remedial to a few, these relationship nuggets are useful reminders of how the slightest misunderstanding of words can potentially lead to a large ordeal that, if mishandled, can take days or months to heal. We’ve gracefully been through that also.
With that said, me and my fiancé are going on 6-years strong with no plans of turning back. So today I will say this: Yes, you’re correct about the ‘very few women‘ who will hang this long. However, my urgency to marry is different than the next (it’s not an urgency at all)! Grant it – your and my decisions are independent but our positions are the same – direction, forward. So, I wish you well at your pace that will officially occur in a few months with one simple request … I pray you will also appreciate my walk to the alter – regardless of how slow of a pace I take.
Congrats 🎉 Mrs.!
You hear me, but don’t listen
They ask you, yet you ignore
Feeling me the other day didn’t matter
I am what you feel before you decide
I am that inaudible voice who nudged you the other day
You tell them to trust theirs, yet you deny your own
That Gut Though! Trust me the next time.
Yours Truly, Intuition
She feels what I know, but reservation and preservation forbids us. It is my role to protect and I will with everything in me, yet the shared curiosity is expected insomuch to better understand why we both remain interested in the potential.
I once believed life is complicated, yet I know now that we all are at our places today because of the choices we made along the way albeit covert or overt decisions. Hence, there is a mutual agreement to take careful, slow and sensitive steps to finding out ‘what could be’ because there are so many variables involved.
Besides, our decisions – indifferent as they may be – were applicable and relative at the time. If only, if only … we can move forward because yesteryear consumes us so.
Perhaps one day we can meet at that place called Courage! Ahem. Until then, I remain Self–Reserved & Curious.
Impartial relationships give one an opportunity to like or dislike on their own terms without the prejudices of another. With that said, a person deserves to be understood for who they are, inclusive of their flaws, so that if there is a like or dislike, they were given a fair chance to build something new that could last a lifetime.
Challenges are plentiful in a relationship, but nothing trumps Communication. I remember the beginning of many relationships, two of which I was able to salvage after I identified the complex, yet simple problem – my Communication style. Twelve years ago before I became a parent communicating my candid thoughts weren’t as important as they are today. Not because my relationships carried less significance insomuch that I had less to lose than I do now. As a submissive wife, who wholeheartedly trusted her husband, I rarely vocalized things of the heart that was largely attributed to the incapacity to process and translate thoughts to feelings, i.e. head to heart because of the fear of what would become if I did so. Hence, it was adequate for me to suppress my inner voice and starve the heart instead. The outcome? A consensual divorce.
“In my next relationship I will do everything in my power to not repeat the same mistakes, even if it means ‘telling my story to others to save their marriage.'”
My life at 35 carried a different perspective than my current age of 47. The reference point of knowing that I have less years ahead of me than I do behind me is relevant to the Why, When, What, How and Where of my Communication process today.
I could continue to expand upon the aforementioned points, but the focus of Communication should always be on these five main points. Attempt to always ask yourself is my message Relevant; is the Timing appropriate; what is the Intent of the Content; contemplate the appropriate deliverance by asking ‘will it lead to harm or love’ and how so; is the setting appropriate from where the problem occurred and from where the sentiments are birthed.
Again, I never said Communication is easy but I will attest to its importance! Remember I spoke of the two relationships I was able to salvage?
The first one was my marriage of 16.5 years. Although my former husband and I did divorce, we are more friendlier to one another now than we could have ever been married. Why? Because (1) We both apologized for our wrongdoings in the marriage – realizing that beginning anew would not be possible without this step, (2) We realized we hindered one another as a couple, although we were accomplished financially, because our dual obligation to cherish each other’s hearts was inadvertently and sometimes purposely ignored in the marriage, and (3) in hindsight we’d have it no other way than to remain cordial because what was not offered to us as kids, who had parents that did not communicate, would be the very thing to combat. So our daughter will forever have what she deserves – to have genuine love in her life with parents who can look beyond themselves.
The second is my current relationship to my fiance – this second g’round. After a 3-year courtship and a 2-year engagement we broke off the relationship because we grew separate and distant in personal goals. Conversely, that one-year break up was the best thing that happened to us! It allowed him to commit to a sole person, while I dated on and off. Albeit we each missed each other and didn’t realize it until we decided to remain friends (a philosophy I had never condone) separate from our individual lives. However, had he and I not decided to take a leap of faith and express our dismay about the breakup to one another, while respecting our intimate space with others, we’d be living a part wishing we should have communicated what we missed most – us. So, despite our flaws, inadequacies and divorces to our former spouses, we believe one of the most complexities of relationships can be achieved if we dare to put forth a genuine effort to understand our Communication styles.
Note the words Why, When, What, How and Where are intently used because they are the beginners of open-ended conversations that stimulates a dialog between and not at one another. Applied and used correctly will allow the initiator and receiver of words to not only respond to each other, but possibly have a discussion unknowingly – thus, the objective. Open-ended questions are widely used to gather feedback in the most clever of ways.
Let your true self be seen. Enough of hiding! Allow yourself to be rejected by others who have only seen your masked self – the one that gives advice but can rarely sit in your own; the person who regularly defends her point of view yet fails to understand others; that girl who is loved because of what she offers as a cover up to what she doesn’t have.
Stop Hiding! Reveal the Mask! Liberate Yourself! And wait to see who hangs around when you do. You’ll be grateful you’ve crossed over. I’ll see you when you get here.
Life is full of colors. The unique thing about living is you have an opportunity to pick your palette. Will you select the color pink for your Monday or will the color blue be your preference for the weekday? Whatever your decision, you have a choice to paint your wall and create your picture the precise way you want to either be viewed by others, perceived by others, or true to others. I choose the latter. In fact, I rarely choose a color scheme. Instead, I go with the flow and accept whatever comes my way by endorsing a popular phrase you will always hear me say when things don’t go as planned and that is – it is what it is!
‘It is what it is’ is not a phrase more so than it is a way of life for me. I worry a lot, pray a lot, and wonder a lot. My mind is always thinking about the next best thing. Actually, I recently realized the way I think is a direct reflection of what happened to me in 2010 when I left my marriage of 16.5 years. Today I know of ways that I could have saved my marriage, but I also realize that reclaiming the core value of my role as wife and spouse had long left. Thus, nowadays my life is a cerebral exercise about how to discover ways to salvage and obtain the stability I once had that I must now restructure. And even though I know the answer to a stable life is through prayer and undoubted faith, writing about it and publicizing it for others to read will be my salvation because it is a confession of my faults.
So where do we go and how do we handle the luggage of clutter we have unloaded? The answer can be found in the same manner we unpack our clothes, one piece at a time. Expressing our inner-self is better achieved in small, regular chats when we are more in tune with our inner self, i.e. emotions so that what we feel, instead of think, can be fully expressed. Therefore, talking about an argument that happened 10 minutes ago is better resolved soon after the incident or when all parties are calm because datum is harder to retrieve days after. So, having discussions about how to resolve a negative discourse – when thoughts are recent, current and fresh – may present opportunities for better listening and communication so that honesty and transparency are the result.
My former premarital counselor talked about a process called ‘flooding’ that happens in our mind at a time when we may want to resolve differences but our convoluted thoughts forbids. A process, commonly known as information overload, could inadvertently and unnecessarily invite stress and ambiguity to a situation or relationship. Conversely, it is presumed that humans are unable to process multiple data at once, although we might refute the task of being able to. Perhaps my partner expressed it best when he said, “you cannot successfully hear and talk at the same time” because the brain is flooded with unsorted expressions without knowing what belongs where at what given time. So, the goal as speakers should be to express ourselves in a way that is easily heard and understood to avoid misunderstandings that could potentially lead to disagreements, or worse – emotional, physical or mental distance.