11 Jul 2011

Communication and Kindness are the Key to Lasting Relationships

A woman I once knew was married three times, and each time she made the same mistakes. She didn't communicate, she kept secrets, she was intolerant to foibles and thus she became dissatisfied.
Now partly, she had rushed into things and probably married the wrong men, but her problem was also that her expectations were too high and when she felt they weren't being lived up to she didn't communicate her unhappiness, she just pulled away. She always thought the grass was greener, when in fact, it was just different. She was in love with the idea of being in a relationship, of being cherished and nurtured and loved and when the man of the moment didn't measure up, she became disillusioned and gradually began to look for her ideal elsewhere. She never found it.
I have learned lessons from this lady. When my husband and I married we decided that there would be no 'no go' areas for discussion, because one 'no go' area becomes two and then three and before you know it you can't talk about anything for risk of umbrage being taken.
Just as importantly, we are kind to each other, forgiving each other's weaknesses, supportive and understanding when one of us is down. I have to say that in the course of our marriage it's my husband who has had to exercise most of the 'patience and understanding' that we pledged on our wedding day. We are two individuals but we operate, especially where our boys are concerned, as one unit, pulling together and backing each other up.
He is my best friend, the handsomest man I know and he can still make me laugh with his dumb jokes. I often think of the Carly Simon song, The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of  "What if the Prince on the horse in your fairytale Is right here in disguise? And what if the stars you've been reaching so high for Are shining in his eyes?"
Now, not every marriage is built to last. People make mistakes, sometimes unforgivable ones. Sometimes the person you marry truly turns out to be someone completely different from the one you thought you'd married, and not in a good way.
At the heart of every lasting, happy relationship there has to be love and mutual respect. And if you keep talking, keep being kind, keep looking at each other with love and not mistrust, you're half way there.
I have a lot to thank that lady for. I have learned from her bad luck which, she would be the first to admit, was often of her own making. That woman was my mother and I know it brought her great happiness to know that, through her mistakes, I had learned a better way.
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5 Jul 2011

My article in Hampshire Llife Magazine

Hampshire life
I've had an article published in the July issue of Hampshire Life magazine about Hampshire Farmers' Markets and some of its producers who bring local food to various locations throughout the county. If you'd like to read it online, you can find it here: http://hampshire.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/hampshires-farmers-market-33217/

You can also download the whole edition digitally - my article and byline is on page 83.
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