If you want change, be different

If you want change, be different

Hello everyone,

It’s been a very long time since I have written on this blog. I wanted to be more effective in writing my love advice and that came from doing some relationship research within my own relationship with Superman.

A relationship that has been long-term and has lasted many years does not establish 100% certainty. You continue to learn and grow with one another. New challenges surface and sometimes arguments can become persistent and cyclical. This is the result of needs not being met.

In order to meet one another’s needs, you can’t assume the other will be a mind reader. It takes listing them out. It takes thoughtful discussion. It takes mutual understanding.

Needs can come from a lot of places. I remember my high school drama teacher starting our first class with “Everyone has baggage. Some of us have large baggage, others have tiny ones but everyone has baggage”. I always thought of baggage as a bad thing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. I would consider baggage as part of our personality makeup. Baggage derives from upbringing, education, relationship experience and exposure to different perspectives, among other things. These experiences will shape our needs such as a need for security, intimacy and ego. Even those with seemingly perfect lives will have baggage. Think  about it: those with no conflict in their lives may be simply avoiding it, even healthy conflict!

By understanding one another’s needs, it helps to shape better communication and growth. Someone who has a high security need may enjoy more future-focused conversations (this comes within reason, i.e. parenting skills vs. the colour of table cloth at your wedding). Someone who feels a need to protect their ego may benefit from not being constantly corrected on petty things. It also means if you want to be different from your past and want change, your relationship must also be different from your past and that takes work.

This comes with time but our need for love is balanced with our other needs. When you love someone, you need to love them at their core, unconditionally and endlessly.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

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If You Want to Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind

If You Want to Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind

In order for any relationship to grow and for even you to grow as your own person, you must open your mind to new experiences, perspectives and challenges.

This is no easy feat. When you have encountered heartbreak, a similar adventure may resemble a red flag from the past. Past trauma may force us to retreat into our comfort zones and resist the new, the unknown and the unfamiliar. You know what they say: trust no one.

However, a piece of wisdom came from my mother over this past weekend: never stop giving each person the benefit of the doubt. At first, this seemed strange as it never worked out in my favour to give someone the benefit of the doubt. It makes sense though because if someone shows you their true colours, it is not your fault that they were horrible; it is theirs. Why should someone’s malice ruin your well-intended heart?

Once you open your heart and mind to someone, you become vulnerable and your walls come down. The right person will deserve your trust as they will guard your heart while at the same time challenge you to explore and discover new opportunities and experiences that will not only benefit you but the relationship as well.

Open yourself up. The possibilities become endless.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Stop Interfering with Your Child’s Childhood

Stop Interfering with Your Child’s Childhood

Hello everyone,

It’s been a long while since I last wrote but I will do my best to post at least once a month or as often as writer’s block will allow me.

You are probably wondering: isn’t the point of parenting to interfere with your child’s upbringing? I submit that it’s not.

I was watching Dr. Phil the other day and he said that “the purpose of parenting is to prepare children for the next stage in life”. This is true but you also have to balance that with allowing your children to enjoy THIS stage of life. I, along with many other children, had an imaginative spirit, which was also met with the often disdained reply:

“Grow up”.

If your child is under the age where they can drive, this is an unnecessary comment. It is comments like these that make adults resent their parents because they didn’t have a childhood. Life is too short not to enjoy it, especially with having a period of life without worry.

I would also argue that it’s important for a child to develop their own judgment of character. If you see that Sally is not being a good friend to your child, only interfere if the behaviour is very serious. By simply saying, “You are not playing with Sally anymore”, your child resents you for a lack of independence and they are deprived from valuable life lessons. Instead, ask your child why they are upset and what they think they could do if someone isn’t nice to them. You can also give examples from when you were younger and that way you are a role model, not ruling with an iron fist but rather with guidance.

This translates into when your child is ready to date. Heartbreak is going to happen and your child is going to get hurt. I never learned anything from anyone telling me that I should break up with my exes. I learned from evaluating those situations and knowing what to look out for. Compared to 5 years ago, I have a better judge of character and that came from experience, not instructions.

Children are meant to live, laugh and grow. Growing is only through learning. Trust the process.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Us! 

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Us! 

Superman and I have celebrated our 3rd anniversary on August 27th. It is amazing how much time has passed and the life that we are building together. He is the most loving, thoughtful, ambitious and passionate man I know. 

You would think that with 3 years that the honeymoon phase romance is over but no. He whips out 34 questions to ask and get to know each other more. It truly made me smile because I believe that every couple should not stop getting to know one another. 

After filling our bellies with good Italian food and going on a stroll, you just realize with every passing day that a new chapter to your imperfectly perfect paradise has started. 

Happy 3rd anniversary again my love! 

Sincerely, 

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother 

How To Get Through A Rough Patch 

How To Get Through A Rough Patch 

Hey everyone! 

It feels so good to be back. I have been busy but I have also been learning. Next weekend will mark Superman and I’s 3rd anniversary. Although we are very happy, we have also had our challenges. 

Rough patches are a matter of growth: either growing together or growing apart. Both are valuable learning experiences but what if you want to get out of one? 

Firstly, in order to succeed as a couple through a rough patch, it takes TWO people to make it work. Otherwise, just end the relationship now. Having one person do all the work is like a seesaw just becoming an upright stick in the sand. 

Secondly, evaluate your self-respect. If you feel like being with this person equates with diminishing your self-worth, you deserve better. Even though relationships are selfless, they must also be selfish. Is this relationship benefitting you mind, body and soul? If it’s not, they are not the person for you. 

Thirdly, assess the underlying interests. Do you think that there is a lack of respect? Are you going through a rough time in your life? Do you feel unappreciated? You can’t beat around the bush with these. By being open and honest, you can achieve mutual understanding and resolution.

Finally, give things both space and time. If you both love one another and are willing to put in the work, success is possible. It won’t happen overnight but it can eventually work. 

As the song goes, “just the two of us. We can make it if we try”. 

Sincerely, 

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother 

How to Tell Your Friend that They Are Being Abused

How to Tell Your Friend that They Are Being Abused

Hello everyone!

It has been a while but The Modern Day Fairy Godmother is officially 4 years old! Thank you to everyone from around the globe for your support and feedback over the years.

I write a lot from the perspective of being in a relationship because I am in one. However, what if you are one of those fortunate people on the outside looking in? It is no easy feat.

I come from a family who only believes that abuse manifests physically. I do not care what they say: emotional abuse is still abuse. More often than not, emotional abuse appears in the exertion of control. These situations are no longer like the ones on Maury where someone orders the person to call them “master” or bow to them. Instead, it becomes evident in little remarks that may seem harmless at first but then have a cumulative effect. This level of control weaves itself subtly into their lives and when they realize it, it could be too late.

I have been in controlling relationships and I also have been the friend that has had to break it to someone that their significant other’s behaviour wasn’t healthy. Contrary to popular belief, the people who enter controlling relationships are not insecure. They are strong leaders who are admirable in their character and confidence. However, they are ONLY insecure in their love lives.

I have lost a friendship  sisterhood over me being honest about her boyfriend. Although I do miss her at times, I do not regret telling her because I would have been a bad friend if I never did. I cannot guarantee that by you confronting your friend, it will go smoothly. I can only tell you the best possible way to get your message across.

Start when they are not talking about their significant other. This is important. When they are ranting and complaining about them, it is so easy to join in and let them know that they are controlling. Don’t you notice that the minute you say this, they get defensive and act like they are the only ones that are allowed to complain about Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong? That’s why it is best to let them rant and then tell them your feelings another time. Sometimes, people do not want advice but just a listening ear.

Avoid adjectives and if you need to use them, do not be too blunt. By saying that Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong is controlling, you are opening yourself up to abrasiveness and conflict. One word I like using is “overprotective” or I even use verbal forms, such as “they like to exert a certain sense of control in their lives”. You allow them to feel like they are in a safe space and are not being condescending or demeaning.

Ask questions and rephrase their words. Listening is key and if you are just yelling at them, you are also being the controlling one. Let them express their feelings to you and then rephrase into a question. For example, if your friend says that their significant other does not accept them for who they are, you can ask “Do you want to be with someone who does not accept you?”

Remind them that it is their decision. They are an adult, you should act like one too.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

 

Why Therapy and Vacations Don’t Work If You Don’t

Why Therapy and Vacations Don’t Work If You Don’t

Stress. It can get the best of us, especially during the horrible weather that we are having. It is easy for us to think about getting away and going on vacation. Does it really fix things permanently?

No relationship is ever perfect. When problems arise, it is easy to go to therapy or go on a vacation in order to get away from distractions, focus on the issues at hand and get a different perspective on things. There is nothing wrong with this strategy but it all depends on the couple’s approach.

Therapy sessions and vacations take us away from the real world. However, it can be a place for empty promises and short-lived bliss if two people are not willing to put in the work established to be completed during time away. You need to create guidelines for circumstances that come up. There will be bumps in the road but if there is no application from the resolutions you both create, it is a mere waste of time.

It is a matter of breaking the cycle of behaviour. Time away from obligations and stress is helpful for understanding why the cycle began in the first place. However, only two people who are willing to work at things will make anything beneficial a success.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother