Saturday, February 4, 2012


When getting ready to return to work after three months of disability I purchased a calendar.  I started updating the calendar with appointments and then started filling in days to spend time with my husband and then time with my family.

Victor and I went to see a program called Living Legends last night with our friends the Martins.  Of course we went to dinner - it's not a date unless you eat.

When our children started having children, Victor and I reminded them that it is important to still spend time as a couple and we offered to babysit the grandbabies.

Today, Victor and I planned a date with our kids.

Schedule the time.  It becomes something to look forward too and everyone gets excited as the date gets closer.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Have you ever had a fantastic day at work or at school?  Have you just experienced a great day at home with wonderful exchanges with your children?  In your mind you think:  "Wow!  What a great day!  All these wonderful things have happened today.  It couldn't get any better..."

Then the unthinkable happens.  Your blissful day is destroyed in a matter of seconds by a few simple words...  or the tone coming from another who is speaking to you...  It could be anything said, or how it was said or it could be what was not said...

For most of us the negatives in life are more salient than the positives.  You understand this in some very basic ways in life.  One critical negative comment from a family member or coworker can wipe out many other good things that have happened that day.  One negative interaction can wipe out the effect of five -- or even as many as twenty -- positive exchanges.  ACID BURNS!!!!

The best option is to never say anything negative.  As it is, we are all human and we are subject to our human nature.  Someone will be negative; you may be negative; your spouse may be negative it could be a friend... it could be any one.

What we do next when confronted with negativity will determine how well we maintain loving connections within our family units.  We should avoid some common destructive responses to negativity:

1.  Escalation
2.  Invalidation
3.  Negative interpretations
4.  Withdrawal and avoidance

Escalation occurs when partners respond back and forth negatively to each other, continually upping the ante so that conditions get worse and worse.  This sounds a lot like what young siblings do to get each other worked up...

Negative comments are hard to take back, and these reckless words do a lot to damage any sense of closeness and intimacy.  Forgiveness is possible and recommended; however it is better to prevent the nasty things from being said in the first place.

Sometimes negativity is represented by painful put-downs - attempts to invalidate another.  Invalidation is a pattern in which one partner subtly or directly puts down the thoughts, feelings, or character of the other. 

A safe relationship allows us to respect our partners individuality.  Each is able to own their feelings.  We can be comfortable in our own skin when we show mutual respect for each other's character.

We all want validation.  When I do something that I think is wonderful I often ask Victor what he thinks.  Is it as wonderful as I thought?  Now, if he doesn't see it the same way I did, it doesn't mean I am less of a person.  It just means he doesn't agree.  When he does see it the same way I am filled with little warm fuzzies.  :)

Now, I know there are a lot of you out there who will see the same thing or hear the same thing but will tell a different story...  Our perceptions of the same event may differ slightly or they may be considerably different.  What happens when our perception of something is worse than the cold hard truth?

Negative interpretations occur when one partner consistently believes that the motives of the other are more negative than is really the case.  This can be a very destructive, negative pattern in a relationship, and it will make any conflict or disagreement harder to deal with constructively.

My interactions with others are very "black and white".  I try to express myself or act exactly in accordance with my motives.  I will provide all the information, plus extra, to make sure that there is a complete understanding.  My father explained to me that this is a very foreign concept for most people.  They expect others to have hidden agendas or that there is something to read between the lines.

My husband only shares what is "necessary"; leaving out what I consider "valuable" information.  Now, I would say that Victor is a very private person and he expects others to accept what he offers.  It took some time for me to get to that understanding.  There was a time that I thought he was just "hiding" the truth from me.  I felt that his motives were less than honourable.

Is it possible for me to truly know the mind of my husband?  I am certain after many year's together I will be so connected to him that it is as if I can read his mind. 

Negative interpretations are a good example of mind reading.  You are mind reading when you assume you know what your partner is thinking or why he or she did something.

Over the years the biggest struggle I have had is avoiding conflict or negativity.  I have a tendancy to withdraw; avoid; and to play an emotional/mental game of hide and seek.  I would rather avoid conflict altogether - hoping that it will take care of itself.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Withdrawal and avoidance are different manifestations of a pattern in which one partner shows an unwilliness to get into or stay with important discussions.  Withdrawal can be as obvious as getting up and leaving the room or as subtle as "turning off" or "shutting down" during an agrument.  The withdrawer often tends to get quiet during an argument or may agree quickly to some suggestion just to end the conversation, with no real intention of following through.  Does this sound familiar?  It does to me... :)

Avoidance reflects the same reluctance to get into certain discussions, with more emphasis on the attmept to not let the conversation happen in the first place.  A person prone to avoidance would prefer that the topic not come up, and if it does, he or she may withdraw.

The best answer is to remembber that you are friends.  It is important to keep the lines of communication open.  Even stating that the topic makes you uncomfortable or that the issue is painful. 

John Gottman, a researcher and expert on relationships, recommends the importance of raising concerns gently.  He calls this a "gentle start-up."  He suggests that the gentle start-up is particularly important for wives when raising concerns with husbands and that it's particularly important for men to respond with attention and concern for what the wife says.  If you rise concerns directly but more gently with your partner, you are far more likely to have a good converation.  If you work to pay serious attention to concerns your partner raises, when he or she raises them, you are going to have better conversations.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


At the deepest level, each of us desires someone to love and someone we can love in return -- someone with whom we can share laughter, friendship, work, caring, and support through the good times as well ass the hard times in life.  People deeply desire this kind of relationship, but we also know that a great many couples don't achieve it.

Now, I'm not writing as an expert of perfect relationships.  I am writing as a wife and a mother who desires to have perfect marriage.  I am willing to fight for my marriage and to make it better.    As a result, I have read a lot of literature.  I have purchased secular books on family relationships; intimacy and continued dating; communication; etc.  I have also sought after guidance and inspiration from the scriptures and church leaders.  There are some basics that I have embraced to improve my relationship with my husband and children:

1.  Be safe at home.
2.  Open the doors to intimacy.
3.  Do your part and be responsible.
4.  Nurture security in your future together.

Everyone wants to be honored and treated nicely -- especially by loved ones and especially by a mate.  The simple reality is that most of us are the least honoring of those we love the most.  We get frustrated, angry, or disappointed, and off we go, talking to this person we love the most in ways that don't seem very loving at all.  Instead of sharing honor and respect, we become mired in painful conflicts that tear at the heart of our relationships.  In order for us to be safe at home, we need to find ways to speak kindly to one another even when we have differences of opinions or major disagreements.  My mother used to quote Thumper's mother:  "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

I have spent the past couple weeks thinking about what I say before I say it.  I have been successful some of the time.  It takes practice.

The other good advise that I have taken to heart is:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Be nice.  This will make everyone feel safe at home.

We all know that conflicts are inevitable and need to be handled, but people do not get and stay married to handle conflict together "till death do us part."  We all want to be married for all the great things relationships offer:  deep friendship, companionship, spiritual meaning, fun, passion, parenting, and connection with the core values of life.

The positive side of relationships is often mysterious - delightfully so - but there is little mystery to us about the ways in which the forces of attraction (love, fun, passion, friendship) can be destroyed by damaging types of conflict.

I once read:  "these mysterious forces are like alpine flowers that are beautiful and awe inspiring but also vulnerable to being stepped on and crushed through carelessness and thoughtlessness.  You must nurture these most wonderful aspects of relating if they are to bloom into their full glory."

It is important to make a commitment to keep fun and friendship alive and thriving.  One of my goals for this year is to schedule time for me, time with my husband, and time with my family.  So far, I have been successful with this goal and have spent time participating in activities that cultivate love, fun, passion and friendship.

Another part of working towards a successful marriage is devoting time and responsibility to work as a team.  We each need to contribute to the marriage and should focus on what part we contribute to the relationship rather than what we get out of it.  It is really easy to focus on what we expect from our spouse.  It takes effort and thought to focus on our part.  Some ideas:

1)  Do something nice, selfless, or thoughtful.  You know what to do to please him or her.  So, do it.

2)  Decide to let negative or annoying comments bounce off of you.  This can be difficult if you have a habit of "coming back".  Try extending patience and understanding.  It is liberating.

3)  Be the best person you can be in your relationship.  Take responsibility for your own issues, personal growth, awareness, and mental and physical health.  Have you ever noticed how much better looking some people become after they go through a divorce?  Many people put all kinds of effort into personal improvements when they're "out on the market."  Yes, this is a crass way to say it, but it's the truth.  Why not give that kind of effort to taking good care of yourself now?

Lastly, I want my marriage to last forever.  Do you remember when you first fell in love?  It was amazing!  Some of us have experience love at first sight or knew our forever companion when we first met.  When I saw Victor the first time I remarked to my friend:  "That is my husband."  She replied:  "You don't even know him."  I stated:  "Then I better find a way to get to know him."

These types of experiences are magical and wonderful.  It is like a bit of Heaven.  But even when your love feels like Heaven, you still have to learn to live together on earth.  If you are committed to a forever relationship you need to learn to respect one another and to work together to achieve that goal - no matter what - even in the face of conflict.

Deeply knowing that you can count on your partner brings another very important kind of safety to your relationship.

"Couples can not resolve in any healthy way the universal issues of marriage:  dependency and independence, dominance and submission, freedom and fidelity, for example, without the security of knowing that the act of struggling over these issues will not destroy the relationship" - M Scott Peck, in The Road Less Traveled (1985, p. 141).

Saturday, March 5, 2011


In an episode of the popular situation comedy Home Improvement, the character of the wife and mother, portrayed by actress Patricia Richards, once said, "I don't approve of women who flaunt their sexuality to get what they want... I know,  because I do that at least three times da day!"

One way to honor the seductress in every woman is to acknowledge that she exists in us all and to reframe our idea of "flaunting what we have."  How about characterizing sensual expression as a form of communication that women can be quite good at and men are quite amenable to?

Consider this:  Beneath the modern exterior of civilized men and women we are beings ruled by primal urges, the collective unconscious, and the drives of our own subconscious minds.  Men are genetically programmed to want to procreate with as many femailes as humanly possible -- hence, the frequency of erections, the inability to stop thinking about sex, and the lifelong yearning for nubile twenty-one-year-olds -- and women are genetically engineered to allure the man so that he will bring his seed to her and then stick around to hunt for food, build shelter, and care for her and all their offspring.

In the heyday of feminism, housewifery and motherhood were considered a sublimation of female power; yet many women today understand it is a form of expressing female power -- albeit not the only form.  Most humanns are driven quite naturally by the urge to mate.  In nature's dance between the sexes, it is the female who sets the tone and pace and gives permission to continue the dance.  Throughout the animal and human kingdoms it is the female who carries the dance card, and it is the male who has to sign on or lose out.  In nature's scheme of things, the role of seduction quite naturally falls to the female.

Back in October I decided to do a little pampering.  I had my nails done; had my eye brows and lips waxed; and had my hair cut.  The purpose two-fold:  1)  to make me feel attractive; 2) to make me beautiful for my husband.

The results:  1) I felt really good about myself ; 2) I was excited to show Victor

When I arrived home I was excited about my new look and bounced into the house with a skip to my walk.  Victor took one look at me and didn't say a word.  He glared at me.  There was 30 minutes of silence and glaring.  I was crushed....

He eventually growled "Why did you cut your hair?"

I told him that it needed to be cut to restore it's health and that I liked it short.  It was really short.  It was actually shorter than I had intended.  I knew that it would grow back and I wasn't worried.  I just didn't expect Victor to react so negatively.

Since November, I have been working in Calabasas and I drive by a wig shop every day.  They sell wigs of all different kinds; as well as style hair pieces; and they also tie extensions.  Every day I would say to myself "I should go in there to see what they have."

Yesterday, I actually stopped and entered the shop.  They had hundreds of wigs; toupes; hair extensions; hair ponies; etc.  I asked the owner about their products and the prices.  After 20 minutes I left with newly styled long locks of hair and drove home excited.

I entered the front door and my children were stunned with my beautiful long hair and wondered what I had done.  Victor didn't say anything...

What the heck?!?!?!?!

I did this for him.  I know he loves long hair. 

I own two hair pieces.  One is a long pony tail hair piece and the other is a full head hair piece.  I love them both because I have three looks to flaunt: 1) the natural just above the shoulders hair style 2) the pulled back and full pony tail 3) the long straight layered framing hairdo.

I guess what Victor wants is the long; naturally wavy; slowly growing white hair :)

I will need to grow it and flaunt it :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Since the dawn of time, women have been seducing men.  The prevalent spin on seductresses through history is that they seem to be... bad.  Oh, so bad!  The seductress is also usually a woman of power -- a power that relies heaveily on or is intensified by womanlly ways and wiles -- who knows her own mind and understands the naure of the male.  Because of this understanding, she often demonstrates the ability to control men subtly, and not so subtly, through her sexuality.

The the seductress has often been viewed through the ages as a fallen woman, it's time to reframe that view and recognize the naturalness and appropriateness of such a role falling to women.

There are thousands of cases in point -- in the Bible, history books, literature, the movies, and real life -- that confirm the following:  Most men want to be seduced, and women are the best seducers on the planet.

Throughout history men have been led to temptation, spun  into ecstasy by the notion of pleasing a woman and being rewarded with her love and affection.  For some men, temptation has led to a gloriously open heart and titillation of the loins, but for others it has led to self-destruction.  At the very least, a bold and skillful seductress has more than once been powerful enough to weave some very sticky political webs, initiate a war, or bring down a leader.  Samson and Delilah, Cleopatra and Caesar, and even Pocahontas and John Smith are love matches that involved a woman who in some way unraveled a man or controlled his destiny through seduction.  But seductresses, more often than not, take no prisoners; they merely know how to extend an invitation to a man in such a way that he surrenders to passion.

Many of the seductresses throughout history were quite creative and bold, and many of their ideas have modern applications.  For example:

  • Cleopatra, Egyptian Queen of the Nile, used bold thatrics to get Julius Caesar's attention by having herself rolled naked in a rug and delivered to his chamber.  To get mark Antony, she sailed into Rome on a glitzy party ship with sails saturated by the sensual scent of Jasmine.  It was so rich and entertaining that he could not resist going after his best friend's former lover.  When it came to keeping a man under her spell, she was known for the use of aromatics and potions.  Cleopatra's fruity love elixir was said to stir the loins of the lowliest servants, who, after sipping the concoction, would pledge loyalty.
  • Josephine kept her beloved conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte, hooked during the French Empire by giving him something most modern women would fear is socially incorrect, not to mention unhygienic: her unbathed body, with all its natural scents.  Legend has it she would not bathe for a week before his return from battle because he adored her natural aromas.  She'd anoint herself with violets, mixing that aphrodisiacal scent with her natural pheromones.  When sending him off to war again, she'd make sure the scent of violets went with him so that he would go crazy for her while away from home.
  • Mata Hari knew in war-torn France what women have known for centuries: dance is a way to express the erotic, and dancers have the ability to titillate the imagination and to tantalize men.  She captured the attentions of many, not just with beauty but also with charm and her ability to lure men by using her gift for entertaining the.  In her heyday, her stardom was an aphrodisiac few men could ignore.  The fact that she could be like an ice queen, removed and distant (just like the actress Greta Garbo, who portrayed her in the classic 1932 film Mata Hari) added to her allure.  Of course, Mata Hari was alleged to be a spy, and an appearance before a filing squad sealed her fate.  Yet she was a seductress extraordinaire who turned espionage into an art form, and knew how to enlist powerful men to help her cause.
The most important thing to remember in the game of seduction is that it's what between your ears, that's right, your ears, that's most important.  Your mind conjures the moods, sets the stage, learns the motions.  Your personality -- realy -- is what attracts men in and out of the bedroom.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


This is not for the faint of heart... :)

Friction sex is the rubbing together of body parts.

It can feel pleasurable.  For many it is the predominant mode of sexual expression.  Friction sex, however, lacks certain qualities: the sensual and the intimate.

Sensuality is the appreciation of all the sensory modes:  flavor, fragrance, hue, texture, timbre, contour, and more.  A sensuous lover is willing to take the time.

Intimacy is openness to our own feelings and to our spouse's feelings.  It is honesty, vulnerability, and trust.  There is willingness to listen and to communicate.  While one need not necessarily be romantically in love, there is always respect.

In contrast to the repetitious nature of inter-course, sensuous sex flows.  One moment ma be spontaneously playful, the next quietly reverent.  There is lingering, allowing the next feeling and touch to unfold.  In exploration, new joys are welcomed.

To be a sensuous lover, then, is to blend the sensual, the sexual and the intimate.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


From earliest childhood most of us received the message "don't touch."  In the past, touch, and especially sexual touch, was limited to the bedroom with the lights out and was for procreation only.  It was certainly not for pleasure.  Later, society acknowledged that exual touch could be enjoyed as an end in itself.

Only now are certain segments of our society beginning to realize that nurturing and appreciation of the sense can be pleasureable also.  These are methods of communication, ways to say "I care."  They do not have to lead to further sexual involvement, althought they may if the couple chooses.

Massage is one method of touch and sensory awareness that is becoming more and more socially acceptable. 

It is my belief that we miss many opportunities to enjoy warm, intimate relationships and experiences because there is the expectation that touching and nurturing, expecially touching which could be considered erotice will automatically  lead to inter-course.  This does not have to be the case.  There are times that the only goal is to relax and enjoy pleasure.

Find ways to show you care; utilizing nurturing touch and providing comforting pleasure to your spouse.  It will be recipricated.