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Engaged and Enraged

Your boyfriend should be your teammate. Your rock. Your support system. He should be the one person you can trust when your life turns upside down. He should be on your side. And you should be on his side. You should be facing obstacles together. You should be working toward a better future together. You…

via You Should Be Fighting For Each Other, Not Against Each Other — Thought Catalog

I saw this article by Thought Catalog and it prompted this post. Although I agree with what the majority of this blog has to share, I disagree that just because you are fighting, you need to hang up the towel.

When Superman and I got engaged in September, it was a very happy moment. I was over the moon and my inner bride who has been in a wedding party seven times was ready to plan #alwaysabridesmaidneverabride. What no one tells you, however, is that an engagement can invoke a very trying time for a couple.

We began nitpicking. The dream in-laws began to meddle. Separation anxiety crept up. What many others before us depicted as a honeymoon period became a terror. I thought there was something wrong with us and that fate was having its way. After conducting some research, I discovered that this is very common for newly engaged couples and that it would have been inevitable for us because of one thing.

Change.

We never liked it. Yet, here we were transitioning into the biggest change of them all: two becoming one. Take a future husband who has never left home and a future wife whose parents’ divorce had traumatized her – how on earth did we think that this transition was going to be easy?

Why were we fighting? We are both terrible at communication. Egos often get in the way and now when you are dealing with larger issues, such as family dynamics, parenting styles and a pending mortgage, we are extra defensive. Different circumstances arose and our type A personalities reacted rather than reflected.

Instead of throwing in the towel, we work every day to be better not only for one another but for ourselves as well. Marriage is work and throwing in the towel so easily and effortlessly…well, that makes it no surprise why divorce is on the rise. I’m not going to sugarcoat the effort that a marriage takes. As mentioned in my previous posts, a healthy relationship takes four things: love, communication, appreciation and trust (LCAT). You have to work hard at this every single day. Worked late? Feeling sick? Fallen on tough times? The vows “for better or for worse” actually mean something.

My fiancé is not an iPhone: I am not going to get a new one every two years. I love and trust this man but I need to do better to appreciate and communicate with him. I am sure that he can say the same towards me. The thought of pet peeves becoming permanent and worries about how life will be dissipate as the thought of spending the rest of our lives together emerges. Cuddling every morning. Crafting new recipes. Raising children. Living out every day with each other’s best friend. This would all be erased by just allowing fear to get in the way of one another.

Pick your battles. Talk often. Roll up your sleeves but allow love to win.

Always.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

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We Are Engaged!

We Are Engaged!

Hey everyone,

Superman and I are engaged! He proposed on a hot air balloon and I said yes. We are both very excited to start this next chapter.

Stay tuned for tips on wedding, marriage and everything in between!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

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

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