10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 6: Respect! Respect! Respect!

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I don’t know who owns this, so if there’s a problem, please contact me and we’ll discuss it.

Respect! Respect! Respect!

One of the most important things you can do in your marriage is to respect your partner. Without respect, you have no relationship. Well, you may have a relationship, but it won’t be a happy one.

Respect is a complicated subject, so we’ll start simple. What does it mean to respect?

Turning to dictionary.com, my usual source for simple definitions, we find:

verb (used with object)
9. to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.

What does it mean, to hold someone in esteem or honor?


10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 5: Ditch the Procrastination

Originally I had written another subject for part 5 but wasn’t totally pleased with what I had written. Consequently, I had never gotten around to finishing it. In short, I procrastinated. I’ve even procrastinated this version!

While procrastination is something one can get by with while writing, at least to a point, it is not something one wants to do in a marital relationship.

Procrastination in a relationship is bad for a number of reasons. Here are a few.

Procrastination lessens the trust your spouse will have for you


10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 3: Saying I Love You

I Love You Hearts

Saying I Love You

Perhaps the modern-day woman is different than in days past, but I think that most wives never tire of being told, “I love you,” as long as it’s being said with feeling and sincerity. Combine that with an equally sincere hug is even better.

At least once a day. Minimum.

Sincerity goes a long way with women. A casual peck on the cheek and a “Love you” as you go out the door doesn’t hold a lot of weight with most women, I would think. Perhaps some, particularly men, might say, “Well, it’s better than nothing.”

Not necessarily so.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 2: Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.

Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.

©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

A hug is a universal medicine, it is how we handshake from the heart.  —Anonymous

Never underestimate the power of a sincere and well-timed hug, especially when one is 1) not supposedly deserving of it; 2) when one is stressed out; and 3) just any old time.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 1: Never Tire of Holding Hands

©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserced

At first glance, one might wonder just how much a person can learn, let alone teach, from having been married and divorced three times. That’s not what I would call a good track record by any stretch of the imagination.

But appearances can be deceiving. You see, I really have learned a few things. Failure is often the best teacher, after all, providing a person is willing to learn.

Unfortunately, some people are more willing than able. So, for some people, learning takes a lot longer. Such is my case.

You see, I still have issues, such as being not able to trust—too many heartaches still too fresh on my mind, if you know what I mean.

Nevertheless, what I have learned can help others keep their marriages fresh and vibrant, if adhered to—sincerely and honestly—and . . . if one is willing to have an open mind and heart.

What Do Your Dreams Have in Store for You?

©2011 Cris Coleman

The other night I was listening to a “dream coach” being interviewed by George Noory on a Coast to Coast AM radio podcast. That got me thinking about dreams and dream interpretations, as the guest was doing a lot of dream interpretations with callers.

Dream Dictionaries

There are a lot of books “out there” that deal with dreams, many of which seek to be the end-all of dream interpretations. Sometimes these books, with their dream dictionaries, can be helpful. Other times the symbol definitions are just a hodgepodge of mumbo jumbo, without much thought given to them. Or, if they’re Freudian-based, they will all somehow point back to some aspect of sexual matters and behaviors.

A dream dictionary will often have everything imaginable represented as some sort of dream symbol. Each of these symbols will then have one or more meanings attached to it. They may or may not be relevant to you.

Peril Atop Mount Timpanogas: An Adventure to Last a Lifetime

Mount Timpanogas viewed from the east. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (All my photos were destroyed by water)

Five o’clock came early on that fateful morning of November 22, 1976.

Misty puffs of air from my breath fogged everything around me as I peered through the small opening in my uncomfortable sleeping bag. Well, the bag wasn’t so much uncomfortable as the ground beneath.

You see, during the night, a herd of small, hard stones had conspired to gather together underneath me. You recall the story of the Princess and the Pea? Well, it was like that, only I didn’t have twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds under me, just twenty jagged-edged stones.

I was lying half-way up the 11,700-foot plus Mount Timpanogas, about an hour’s drive south of Salt Lake City, Utah, along with a group of young college students from my church. I was the oldest college student of the group, being past the normal college age.

Easter Bunny, Really???

Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

You know, I think most people out of habit say, “Happy Easter”, when it comes to “celebrating” Easter Sunday. I would modify that to say, “Have a reflective Easter.”

I’m probably an odd ball (okay, no probably about it), but I don’t think Easter is meant to be a happy holiday, at least not in the sense “Have a happy Holiday” is normally used.

Easter is a special holiday because of its Christian influence, except today it has become somewhat of a pagan holiday. I mean, we have dyed Easter eggs, the Easter bunny who somehow comes up with all these billions of multi-colored hard-boiled eggs every year, chocolate Easter bunnies, little foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs, little yellow spongy duckies, Easter baskets and so forth.

I Can Forgive, But I Can’t Forget

Angry Woman by Vera Kratochvil
Public domain image courtesy of http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can forgive, but I can’t forget”? Perhaps you’ve said it yourself.

I know I’ve heard people say that and it makes me wonder: What’s forgiveness all about if it’s not about forgetting?

We’ve all had people do or say things to us that got our hackles up. It may have even made us angry and resentful, perhaps even hateful and vengeful.

The problem with this is that it has a deleterious effect on our bodies and our psyches. The longer we hang onto these feelings, the more of a negative effect they have on us.

If we say we forgive a person or persons for whatever they did or said, but we don’t forget, then we are only fooling ourselves. Our minds may say we indeed forgive, but our bodies, which hold onto the old negative feelings, continue to remember. And that’s not good.

Here’s the thing: In continuing to remember, those negative feelings continue to affect our bodies and our psyches.

On the other hand, the forgiven but unforgotten goes on his or her way completely unaffected by whatever we are experiencing. They’ve probably even forgotten whatever it was he or she said or did that affected us in a negative way. Thus, the only person who is likely hurt by our forgiving but not forgetting attitude is us.

Here’s what dictionary.com says about the verb forgive:

  1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
  2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
  3. to grant pardon to (a person).
  4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one’s enemies (emphasis mine).
  5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.

Without getting religious, I wish to quote one scripture that illustrates what I’m talking about.

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34.)

While we say we forgive but can’t forget, our subconscious behavior will betray us every time. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but sometime in the future, all will come out. It may come out in a sudden burst of temper or outrage against the person we had supposedly forgiven or a snub or whatever. We may not even know what caused our sudden behavior. But our bodies know.

What it all boils down to is this: Where there is no forgetting, there is no forgiveness. We can lie to ourselves to comfort our ego, but we can’t lie to our bodies. They remember everything.

If we say we forgive, then we need to forget, as though the thing never happened. There is no other way.

But remember this one thing: When I say forget, I am not talking about mental forgetting, for we will remember things in our minds. I’m talking about releasing the feelings that cause our bodies to remember in very unhealthy ways. Releasing those feelings will cause our bodies to forget, which will allow our psyches to heal.

St. Patrick’s Day Green

©2012 Cris Coleman

Creative Commons License
Green Pond by Cris Coleman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Here’s my entry for St. Patrick’s Day.
Surely there’s something magical about a green pond.
Surely there’s got to be Leprechauns somewhere around there to keep it so nice and green.

That being said, I’ve never understood what all the hoopla is about when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day. It seems everyone goes nuts — parades, green beer, green eggs, green puke from too much green beer, and so forth.

When I was a wee lad in elementary school, if you didn’t wear green, you got pinched. What was that all about? You didn’t even have to be Irish to get pinched. Of course, my mom never bought me anything green. You can guess what happened.

In a r-e-a-l-l-y small town in Iowa, one of the things they do on an annual basis on St. Patrick’s Day is turn the river that flows by their town green. I mean, come on

I can hear all the Irish men and women out there (or maybe those who just like to drink green beer) shouting at me, “YOU’D UNDERSTAND IF YOU WERE IRISH!” Well, maybe, maybe not.

I may have a wee bit of Irish blood in me. I’ve got a two-thirds chance that one of my great, great grandfathers may have been Irish. From what I’ve been able to tell, about two-thirds of all the Hines in Kentucky during that period of time came from Ireland.

On the other hand, it might be that I just came from a family that didn’t get excited about anything. Or it could be that I’m just an old curmudgeon after all.

Still, I wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Whatever that means. 🙂

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