Mark Hamill is just cool all-around. We all know this... What few know, though, is that Mark Hamill has been married to the same woman, Marilou, for thirty-seven years. And relationships that make it, and make it well, over the long-haul are really cool! And are especially rare in Hollywood. Read the full story here...
As one Facebook friend said about this video, "So cute! Nothing sexier than a faithful companion :)". True. I couldn't agree more. And that's what these GREAT Relationship Masters in the fun and touching video understand.
I've had so many young people talk to me who are afraid of marriage... because how could love really last a lifetime, especially when so many have seen so few great examples of marriage, if they've even seen any at all? As in anything great in life we must study the masters. Stop studying the marriage idiots, folks. Study those who know what they are doing. Here's one example of what love really looks like over the long haul.
You need to see this video as this this young husband wakes up groggily from anesthesia after yet another surgery to find to his great surprise that he's married to "the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen. Are you a model?" He's further surprised and overjoyed to learn that she is his wife!
In his book Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery, Richard Selzer recounts this incredible exchange between a lover and his beloved: I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. She will be thus from now on.
If you’re a romantic sap like me, then read on! Our Anniversary Tradition typically includes 5 Things: 1. The Anniversary Logo; 2. The Love Song Playlist; 3. The Growing Bouquet of Roses; 4. The Fancy Schmancy Dinner; and 5. The Getaway.
This is article is long. It's not short and pithy. There are no quick fixes to depression and suicide. Quick, cliched, trite, pat answers don't work. Real answers take time and patience and lots of empathy and love. I am going to share some things here, though, that aren't elsewhere from my clients and my experiences together which may be helpful in addition to all the great information that is out there on this topic.
As a family therapist and parenting expert for 20+ years I have heard mom after mom after mom tell me how guilty they feel because they didn't do this or that right in their parenting, how they should have done, or should be doing, more, who are stuck in the comparison trap of how other mom's seem to be able to do it all, and on and on and on. I have a three words for them and three words for you...
Too often we base our behaviors on our emotions: so if we feel loving to our partner we act loving, but if we feel upset we act upset. And while that makes sense, it also makes for relationships that are only as stable as our emotions... which means not very. Instead...
If you've experienced mental illness, or have a loved one who has, you'll appreciate this song... "Mental Illness" song by written and sung by Kerry Courtney. I’ve been listening to this amazing song almost obsessively. I was so moved by it that I reached out and contacted the singer/songwriter, Kerry Courtney. Happily, he replied back. First, the song (lyrics below) and then our conversation.
Why VW songs for Rock Therapy? Okay, that's pretty obvious: Vintage VW's are super chill. The VW Bug and Bus are cultural icons of the ideal of "peace, love and happiness, baby!" And the wonderful irony is that the Volkswagen was started by the polar opposite of that ideal, Adolf Hitler. He wanted an affordable people's car. Fortunately, he's gone and this car for the people was co-opted by the hippie movement (a group of people that he would have despised! Ha!). These songs all capture what the Bugs and Buses have come to represent to so many: "Peace, love and happiness.' They are vehicles you drive because you are in no hurry, have minimal ego, don't mind getting dirty fixing it up, and aren't afraid to figure out how to wrench on it a little... because for a long time it was poorer people (the people's car) who couldn't afford a "nicer" car. Funny thing is that these cheap little cars, weren't cheap in quality, and their design (in both form and function) was simple, elegant and brilliant. That's why they are still around, sought after, and universally enjoyed by owners and fans alike.
Do YOU hate rap? If so, why? Do YOU love rap? What 5 rap songs would you have picked instead? In a recent post a friend and colleague stated he didn't like rap. Fair enough. Like what you like, of course. I stated that I would attempt a full-on conversion to which he said, "Challenge." The challenge I accepted was to convert him to rap in just 5 rap songs. I concede that I may not succeed at that task. People like what they like. There are certainly plenty of rap songs I don't like either. But maybe I can at least increase his appreciation a bit. My objective is 1. to make much more of this than is necessary ;-) and 2. that people (not just him) won't discount an entire genre because of not liking some of what's been heard.
Greatness is earned, not given AC/DC sang, "It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll." The great lesson we learn from Rock royalty is simply that: In music, as in life, greatness isn't handed out just because you want it. Examine the rock royalty below and think of the long road each took to rise to the top of an often impossible industry. They worked hard, sacrificed and practiced long, long, long hours, usually for years before they "made it" and became "overnight sensations." They will all tell you that none of it happened "overnight."
People often hit the wall where there is no way out--the get discouraged, pessimistic, fatalistic. These mindsets are understandable when life gets hard and it feels like you've exhausted every avenue. I love to teach my clients possibility thinking...
One night while working in the garage I heard the "If you like pina coladas" song and the more I listened to it I thought, "Man, that is THE stupidest love song ever." Then I thought, "Is it? Could there possibly be a contender who could take on such a stupid song for the title?" And so I whipped up a quick graphic and posed the question on Facebook. See their contenders and please feel free to add yours below (or on my FB page).
Q: "I had an affair that was emotional and involved kissing. We didn't have sex. My wife found out and has been very upset. I have ended it. My wife just sent me a text saying she ran into my ex-girlfriend. What should I do?"
A: This question was sent to me from a former client. I replied as follows: Prepare yourself to engage well and actively listen to whatever she has to say. I would suggest responding in the spirit of what we've discussed in the past: AAA: Accept, Attend, Apologize.
A: Prepare yourself to engage well and actively listen to whatever she has to say. I would suggest responding in the spirit of what we've discussed in the past: AAA: Accept, Attend, Apologize.
I received the following urgent text from a teenage female client, who at one point HATED coming to counseling and now, I'm grateful, trusts me and reaches out when she needs help. This is our text exchange (any identifying information or names have been changed or omitted to protect confidentiality). Bear in mind, as a text transcript, some of the conversation may seem disjointed, but I'm sure you'll follow along just fine.
HER: "Hey, it's me. I need help. I really need advice."
Q: I am dating a man with ADHD. Things are going well, but after having been through a bad marriage with a husband who had serious unresolved problems I'm leery of entering another marriage with someone with a disorder. Do you know where I can find some information on understanding and living with ADD/ADHD? I think knowledge will help resolve my fears and concerns. Thanks Jonathan, for all of your help—it is such a blessing to me!
Q: I was wondering if you have any information or input on dating a man that is not yet divorced. I have been talking to an old friend that reached out to me. His divorce will be finalized very soon. After a week or so of communicating I respectfully told him that I feel that right now is not the right time for us to be talking and that once his divorce is finalized, and some time has passed, if he wants to still contact me, I will be there. He understood and thanked me for my honesty. I honestly feel pretty bad about it though. I think what I would like is validation that what I did was right.
Q: A Facebook friend asked me: "I have been struggling with a relationship lately and came across the following list of relationship advice in an email and I love it so thought I would pass it along to you. I also would like to know from your professional experience which ones you agree with and ring true to you.
Q: I have a quick question with probably no easy answer. Our son is three years old and he's exploded into a hellion almost overnight. Right now he is really having a problem with hitting. My first impulse, of course, being to reinforce the very behavior I don't want by slapping him back. Obviously, that won't help. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do to curb that? Or any websites that would offer some suggestions or resources? Thanks! —A Mom
QUESTION: "Why would you talk about sex to a group of LDS singles?!"
This was a question on one of my evaluations from a recent workshop on "Speaking Manglish and Womanese: Bridging the Gender Gap". My thought in reply to that question was, "Why WOULDN'T I talk about sex to a group of middle-aged singles, many of which have been married before?" Many of these singles have had sex in the past and likely will again. Especially when sex and intimacy are one of the BIG conflict areas in many relationships, why wouldn't I discuss it candidly and respectfully in a way that can help many couples?