A Fork In The Road

If you are

going through hell,

keep going.

Winston Churchill

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The other day, a woman asked me what I thought she should do about her marriage. She has felt sexually numb the last few years to the point of nausea when her husband is in the house–a bit of an inconvenience when two people have to work from home.  He thinks a trip to a sex therapist will “fix” her, for it is obvious to him that she is the problem. What man in his righteous mind will admit the possibility that his wife’s coldness, illness, or depression might be self-protection, the fruit of anger and built-up resentments?

But I’m getting carried away…

To be fair, who knows what really goes on behind closed doors? Does she really want to do something about her situation or does she just need to be heard? Is the problem she identifies the root of it all or a symptom of something else?

Discussing a problem with others helps us deal with it (eventually.) As consultant, it is tempting to say, “If I were you…” though much as we try, we can never really be them. While it’s easy to find similarities with our own experiences, any resemblance may be superficial and an analogy may not have legs.

Providing a range of scenarios and possible outcomes may be more useful than definitives that begin with “Do this” or “Don’t do that.” Time and thought are needed to weigh decisions against several dimensions and the personalities involved.

The first step in giving good advice is:

Do not give advice. Just listen.

Giving good advice need not necessarily mean solving a problem. It could be about making the situation easier to understand, shedding light and encouraging the exploration of different points of view.

Trust that they will arrive at the best answer for themselves in their own good time. Be comfortable with the silence and the not knowing. Affirm them with, “I can’t wait to find out what you decide!”

Every success and every failure changes states when perceived in the short versus the long term. While we might wish someone would simply rescue us when we’re feeling lost in the forest, this is the process we need to grow spine and courage, to find the light within us to illuminate the path, to make our own choice which fork in the road to take. No matter the journey, one great comfort is the certainty that all paths always, always lead us home to ourselves.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how indecision eventually led you to clarity.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Taking Chances

To keep your marriage brimming with love,

whenever you’re wrong, admit it;

whenever you’re right, shut up.

Ogden Nash

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Honey and I just got back from our very first honeymoon A.C. (after children) in Puerto Rico–sandy beaches, salsa dancing, and casinos that remind us of how lucky we’ve been betting on each other a lifetime ago and luckier still that we have learned to reshuffle our hand to make the most of the cards life dealt us since.

Like this Powerful Goddess, I did wear white. Not so much to conjure the days of innocence, but for the simple reason that white complements a good tan best. 😉

Lucky we did not swear NOT to talk about the kids during our time alone–impossible with Puerto Ricans who are big on family culture. Seeing young couples with toddlers and their oversized strollers did make us sigh with relief that we can travel far lighter lately.

We flew home in time for the second marriage of my husband’s college buddy. Having witnessed the dissolution of his first, we were thrilled to see him taking another chance with a woman who brings out his playful side. We sat among the witnesses, silently thankful that our own marriage has endured, shuddering at the thought of possibly having uttered the word “obey” at my own wedding?!!!

Esther Perel says all of us do marry a second or third time, though some of us do so with the same person in our personal evolutions. Her TED Talk on The Secret to Desire in a Long-term Relationship asks “Can we want what we already have (for toooo long)?” Now there’s a question where “I do” is a most meaningful answer.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you have been lucky to bet on the same person a second or third time. A toast to the courageous!

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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