Tag Archives: relationships

Portrait 365 : 64, 65, 66, 67

8 Mar Irene

The Holsbys

The Holsbys

I didn’t technically take this photo, but it was taken with my camera. We’re doing a little cross promotion for D Man’s football club, Little Kickers.

Too lovely not to use it….. I was probably muttering something like ‘Hurry up, this kid is squashing my jugs.’

Maya

Maya

‘I’m NOT sharing.’

Maya was not feeling the play date.

Mandy

Mandy

‘This parenting toddlers part is really tough on relationships. You need to remember why you were attracted to your partner in the first place.’

I met Mandy through blogging and instantly connected with her, but she lived a couple of hours away. She’s now moved back to town and I’m thrilled because I feel like I’ve known her for a long time and I just love her vibe.

Irene

Irene

‘I’m still thinking about my ex, but I met a new guy and this whole dating idea has really caught me off guard.’

Irene was walking along scowling at her coconut water. I laughed openly at her for not getting into the health benefits and we struck up a conversation about love.

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The end of her marriage was the beginning of her life.

25 Feb DSC_0051

felicity aitkenSometimes in life you need to hit the very bottom before you can come back better than ever. Obviously, the bottom is a subjective thing, but no matter who you are, or what’s going on, it’s never easy to get back up on top.

That’s what struck me when I had a brief chat to Felicity at my gym.

You see I looked at her and saw an awesomely fit, strong, vibrant lady who could kick my arse around the spin room and make me want to vomit 10 times in 45 minutes, and she just goes like the Energiser Bunny.

She’s a thinker, philosophical and provocative, and she called me out one day on the way I’m often quick to judge something if it’s different to what I know.

I liked that.

I like someone challenging the way I think. I went away and thought about what she’d said.

A little way into our discussion Felicity revealed that a few short years ago she was in a toxic and abusive relationship, with a very small baby, was 30 kilos overweight and quite simply -

MISERABLE

After a whirlwind romance she married her love very swiftly, but it did not take long for cracks to appear.

Felicity quickly fell pregnant and between that and the emotional stress she was under her weight climbed steadily. Her self esteem was nose diving at a rate of knots and she let go of her self care.

Not just physically, but also emotionally.

Felicity suffered pere-natal depression and was put on watch, and that extra attention went on after the birth of her child.

‘I was put in a single room and monitored closely. My hormones were going crazy, which I’m sure many mothers can relate to. After I left the hospital I still really had the blues

Felicity was madly in love with her son, but the cloud over her was dense.

Although she genuinely wanted things to work with her husband her spirits were sinking deeper with each explosive incident… and although that part is not my story to tell I will say there were many incidences that would have broken a lesser woman.

It was a Christmas away with her family, watching the dynamics between her people and observing the way they interacted with each other that made Felicity realise that her relationship was bad for her and it was time to make changes for herself and her son.

The logistics of a break up is always tricky and after a few false starts and some low patches Felicity and her son Josh moved in with her parents where they still now stay.

‘If it wasn’t for my family and community I would not be the person I am today and doing the things I am doing. The dynamics of parenting with my parents is sometimes tricky,  but I am so thankful that I have them. They help me no end, and Josh has a wonderful relationship with his grandparents because of that’.

People don’t often speak of the sense of failure they feel when a marriage breaks down but Felicity was quite candid with me.

‘I felt like it was my fault and I should try harder, but in the end it was so unhealthy, and I was so unhappy, that I knew there was no other way. I sought solace in my spirituality and received counselling without which I don’t know how I’d have gotten through‘.

Felicity had started her Cert 4 in Ministry (Theology) 6 years ago and fell off the wagon then got back on 6 months into her separation as she felt a real need to complete her certificate, knowing it would guide her through the tough times. Then in 2013 she began her University degree in Psychology, theology and sociology.

She threw herself into being the best personal trainer she could be and by getting into her body and mind was able to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes and take back control of her life.

‘I don’t lose weight easily and it took three years to lose the weight I had gained, but I’m now fitter, and stronger and happier in my skin than I have ever been.’

felicity aitkenThe thing that strikes me about Felicity is this is not just skin deep.

It’s her attitude.

Her determination.

Her light shines out of her, as cliched as that may sound.

‘I want to encourage people that even though you may be in so much pain, crippling pain, curled up in a fetal position can’t breath pain…. you do breath again.’

Felicity AitkenFelicity has a very thoughtful blog over here where she shares her journey and her inspiration.

Here’s one paragraph of hers that just sings to my soul right now -

Metamorphosis…..and…. The rhythm of life… 

I absolutely love this word and the meaning behind it. The caterpillar goes into a cocoon and comes out a magnificent butterfly. How amazing is this when we can transfer this concept into our lives? The idea that we can have time to heal, replenish discover who we are then enter the world with beauty and wholeness…

You can also catch her on Facebook here.

felicity aitken

 

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Her

3 Feb her

herIsn’t it funny how sometimes you see a movie or hear a song that really speaks to something in you that you’ve been pondering?

  I had a movie date with a girlfriend yesterday and although she’d already seen it, she thought I needed to see Her.

As dear friends often are, she was right. At a time when I’m asking some big questions about life, Her was exactly the movie I needed to see.

Love is such an intangible concept. You can’t see it, and you can’t touch it, but when I see or touch certain things I feel it deep within my heart and soul.

Piglet once asked Pooh how you spell love, and Pooh replied -

 ‘You don’t spell it. You feel it.’

When Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) breaks up from his long time sweetheart he struggles with his heartbreak, and to connect with people, even though he writes the most poetic heartfelt letters as his day job at BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com.

He gets a new computer operating system named Samantha who is intuitive and evolves at a rate of knots through things she experiences, and may I quietly add that Scarlett Johannson’s warm and  sexy voice has it in spades over that cold-hearted bitch, Siri. 

Theodore and Samantha form an unlikely relationship conducted through conversations and imagery (and a hint of aural sex) which is quite simply – magical.
Theodore feels like Samantha truly understands him, and this feeling of connection is like a drug.

Theodore struggles with the concept of their love because Samantha is not real, their relationship is not palpable but what he feels is most definitely real.

I haven’t written about many films here, the last one was Elysium, because I’m no ‘David and Margaret’, but sometimes a movie just reaches in past my ribs and opens up a part of me and when I walk out I feel all open and raw and touched.

Spike Jonze is one of my favorite directors. With movie favorites of mine like Adaptation and Being John Malkovich his left of centre style never fails to speak volumes to me in subtext, and Her doesn’t fail at all.

There are so many ideas and themes about love and relationships in here, but it also alludes to social media and how in a time where we have almost unlimited and instant connections, we have less connection than ever.

Visually I just adored it… It was so beautiful, with a gorgeous soundscape and these amazing moments of silence to let it all sink in.

It won’t be everyone’s bag, I’ve been known to have wacky taste in films. It just stroked all the right nerves for me at this given moment in time.

I could turn around and see it again today, and double up on the popcorn and choc top combo because the salty-sweet combo never gets old.

I’m no closer to answering the big questions on life and love but Theodore’s platonic friend in the film played by Amy Adams has a great line which is along the lines of-

Life is short. Have a little joy.

I’ve heard there are loads of awesome movies out at the moment… got any recommendations in case I get to go again in the next 6 months?!

20140202-215331.jpg

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5 Things I Don’t Miss About Dating and Healthy, Yet Yummy, Date Slice

6 Dec

date slice ingredientsThere are a few people in my life doing the dating thing at the moment.

A widower, a divorcee and a lesbian to be specific.

If they all walked into a bar together it might make for a good joke… As it stands I get enough of a giggle vicariously hearing about their dating antics.

I love hearing the tales of the meets ups and the butterflies, and the possibilities. I’m really quite a romantic at heart.

There is something about those first initial dates that are so full of promise and excitement…. if it’s a good one. If it’s a shit one it’s full of awkward moments, eggy silences and cringing.

With the advent of RSVP and the like you know a considerable amount about someone before you go out with them, but as with Facebook, its really just a representation of yourself and you would obviously sell the best version of you.

It’s pretty easy to look good on paper if you’ve half a brain, and a decent photo.

The scheisse thing about dates is if it sucks it’s a) hard to get away from quickly, and b) a tad disappointing.

date slice doughHere’s what I really don’t miss about dating -

1. Eggy first dates where there is no connection and conversation is painful. You down a drink or two and maybe it improves, but probably not by much. Until you have 10 drinks and pash them accidentally.

2. The moment at the end of the date where you hope they don’t go in for the kiss but you can see their lips looming and you have nowhere to run. Obvs, they get cheek.

3. The moment where you hope that they’ll go in for the kiss but they leave you hanging looking all dewy eyed and tragic before shaking your hand and walking away.

4. The set-up. When friends organise a gathering and surreptitiously try to hook you up with someone. Even if you liked them the sideways glances of your friends are a passion killer.

5. The eternal ‘who pays’ question. I reckon the guy should pay, because I’m old fashioned like that. I don’t mind going Dutch, but it is a mini-strike against him, and if I pay outright its a turn off. Sorry if I set back women’s lib but I can’t help it.

BONUS HATE   -

Will he call, won’t he call? Maybe my phone is broken.

Ever done that? Think maybe suddenly your phone network has inexplicably crashed or you’ve ben disconnected? Checking it constantly to see if there’s a text.

God I hate that.

healthy date slice Healthy Yummy Date Slice

What you will need :

  • 200g pitted dates
  • 100g sultanas
  • 175g spelt flour
  • 175g oat bran
  • 175g butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or you could use honey or rice bran syrup
  • juice of one juicy orange

What you will need to do :

Preheat oven to 190C.

Pop your chopped dates and sultanas into a saucepan on low with the juice of half of your orange. Stick a lid on it.

Into a food processor chuck your flour, oat bran and butter. Add the juice from the other half an orange, 1.5 tablespoons sugar (use all the syrup if you’re not using sugar) and blitz until it comes together as a dough. If it needs a little more liquid add a little water, a teaspoon at a time.

Line a 30x30cm (or equivalent) tray with baking paper and spread half of your dough in an even layer over the tray.

When soft, place your date mix into the processor and blitz until it’s a paste.

Spread the paste evenly over your base.

Lay a piece of baking paper onto the counter, and place your remaining dough on it. Using a rolling pin or a large jar, roll it until it’s about right to fit on top. It’s a little sticky so the baking paper will help you to get it on and peel it off.

Prick the top with a fork, and then sprinkle your remaining sugar over before popping it into the oven for 30-40 minutes until deep, golden brown.

Cut into 12-ish slices and bombs away. So easy and yummy.

healthy date slice

Flogging like a true blog flogger with my homegirl Grace over at With Some Grace.

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Love is something we DO… and a sexy lovers giveaway.

23 Nov

intimacy

A little while ago I had the pleasure of having an in depth chat about regaining your mojo with sex and relationship coach Isiah McKimmie.

She was cool to talk to for many reasons but one of which was her candidness about what can sometimes be a bit of an awks topic.

I was speaking to her purely for professional purposes of course, but she shared a few fab tips with me about getting back on the horse if mojo has waned in your relationship.

It was truly serendipitous that she contacted me just as I was putting the Awesome together, and although I’m not usually one for giveaways I think this one rocks it’s socks off…..or pants as the case may be.

Whether your relationship is hotter than ever, or slightly luke warm, this giveaway can add spice to your spice rack, if you know what I’m sayin’??

Over to Isiah….

If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that to keep things running smoothly, we have to put energy into them.

Think of a car, we need to fill it with fuel, check the water, give it a service once a year…  Or a garden – for it to thrive, we need to water and weed, tend it with loving care or if your green thumb is anything like mine, hire a gardener occasionally.

It strikes me though that one of the most important things in our lives we often forget to put energy into.  We forget that it also takes work, commitment, time, energy…  We think that it will just keep running well by itself.

Although we might say that this thing is the most important thing in our life, we find ourselves giving it less and less time as we squeeze in kids, work commitments, catching up with friends, volunteering at the school fete, landscaping the garden, our favourite TV shows…

I’m talking about our relationship, our partner, the love of our life.

I often wonder why it is that we prioritise so much before our relationship.  Is is because we think ‘love’ is enough?  That because we know we ‘love each other’ we can stop trying so hard?

 Love is a verb. 

Love needs to be something we do! 

Just one little gesture can make a big difference, one night out together can bring us so much closer, one good romp in the hay can help ease the tension that’s been building.

It doesn’t always take much.  But it does take something.  Action, effort shows that we really so value something

I read an alarming statistic earlier this year that said Australians spend twice as much money getting divorced as they do getting married.  I’d like to think that the work I do could go a little way to fixing that.  What can I say?  I’m a passionate romantic and lover of love!

That’s why I put together The 21 Day Passion Challenge.  I know that one of the first things we notice is ‘passion’ disappearing.  The 21 Day Passion Challenge is designed to help busy couples get it back with practical advice and fun activities that take less than an hour each day.  I know that passion is about more than sex.  Passion is about feeling connected, supported, appreciated, valued.  I know that passion also requires that we feel good about ourselves.

The 21 Day Passion program builds all of this.

Step by step.

To help the gorgeous Mrs Holsby celebrate her 12 Days of Awesome, I wanted to contribute something.  I’m inviting all of you to join The 21 Day Passion Challenge normally valued at $69.95 absolutely free.  This is my gift to you to help celebrate 12 Days of Awesome.

Because your relationship could be awesome.

Simply follow this link to register, and you will receive daily updates with secret video links to learn hot new moves, increase your sexual confidence, and pout SPARK back into your relationship in just 21 days.

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. 5 days….The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning :-)

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

 

Cheating online… it’s still cheating and more dangerous than you may think.

22 Nov

internet cheatingA few months ago an acquaintance of mine called me in tears.

I didn’t know the mum of three that well so when she shared her shocking tale with me a little part of me wondered why on Earth she was divulging to me.

You see, she’d been having an online affair.

After a random person contacted her on Facebook, she struck up a little cyber dalliance – shall we say. Initially it was fairly harmless.

A little messaging here, a little flirting there… but after a few months of her telling this person of her marriage and health troubles it deepened into something a little more serious.

This person, who had been married many years (although anyone is susceptible I imagine) had been dissatisfied with her relationship for some time. She knew what she was doing wasn’t right, however, it was exciting and it made her feel incredibly sexy and desirable.

When he asked for pictures of her in lingerie, she donned her prettiest, and sent them with the click of the send button via email.

It was exhilerating.

She was falling for this guy. This German man living in Malaysia.

He was working in Asia as an engineer on a very big job, but when his passport and credit card got stolen he was in a bind for cash. She didn’t think twice about secreting away some of the family savings and wiring it to him.

When she was away from home on business they skyped for hours although his camera was playing up. When he requested she masturbate for him via the camera in her computer the idea was so exciting and titillating that she did.

And it was amazing.

The following week his money still wasn’t sorted and he needed to pay his employees, so she sent him some more money.

After the third cash injection she delivered the money totalled over $5000.

She didn’t care. He was amazing. He gave her everything that was lacking in her relationship.

He showered her with praise and sweet words.

He made her feel sexy.

You probably have an idea where this is going, because to the observer it’s freaking obvious, right?

After a big sordid show down that’s way too complicated to go into, she realised this Lothario was a con man, and she refused to give him any more time or money.

She was heart broken because she thought he loved her and she felt like a fool.

He said he had filmed her wanking, and he was going to release it on the web if she didn’t give him $20,000. He also threatened to email the photos to her husband. As everything was done via Facebook  he knew everything about her.

That’s about when she called me.

This particular instance is obviously quite extreme but I really think that cyber flirting is something worth discussing. At what point does this story cross the line?

Flirting is part of human nature. When it’s done well it’s nice and it makes the flirtee and the flirter feel great.

Flirting is harmless.

Cyber flirting is another matter. Flirting with intention is a whole other blog!

Behind the safety of your computer, you may feel as thought you can be more open than you normally would. You may divulge more than you should.

You may end up in trouble.

As for when it crosses the line from harmless flirtation into cheating, you really need to use your moral compass. I think a fairly basic rule of thumb to go by is -

If you need to keep it a secret from your partner, you’re crossing the line.

I’ve never been into a chat room, frankly, I don’t have the time, but they are fast becoming a way for dissatisfied partners to have cyber affairs. It feels safe, because you’re not actually doing anything but it is as innocent as one might like to think?

Not really.

So, my friend took a big risk and called his bluff. She said she wouldn’t give him any more money and she never wanted to hear from him again. Luckily, he went away and her secret has remained secret, except for you and I.

I guess the moral to this story is if someone you don’t know approaches you for friendship on Facebook you need to be careful. Sometimes boredom or marriage dissatisfaction can make you easy prey.

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. 6 days….The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning :-)

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Hooking up with the floggers for FYBF over at With Some Grace.

Do you speak your partner’s love language?

10 Oct 5 love languages - gifts

** This is a sponsored post. All opinions and ideas are my own, except the Love Languages bit, which is most of it.

That idea is from someone who is much more emotionally evolved than I am **

Difference-between-men-and-women-bathroom-meme-lol-funny-pictures-meme

The differences between men and women are a piece of cake to understand, right?

I mean, once you wrap your head around the Mars and Venus part.

Let’s not get started on same sex relationships; Suffice to say that things don’t get any less complicated when your partner is the same gender, but for the sake of this post, I’ll just stick to what I know best.

Men like to feel appreciated, and women like to feel special. Women like presents and men like affection.

Or is it the other way around?

Women like affection and men like… what do men like??

Of course, the way we feel loved is a very individual thing, so too is the way we show it, but what would happen if our partners weren’t picking up our love signals and they missed us communicating our devotion?

We can probably guess, right?

Eventual messy messiness.

According to Dr Gary Chapman everyone expresses love, and needs love expressed, in one of five ways. If your communication method is not the same as your partners, it’s possible that you’re missing each other’s love signals and therefore emptying your emotional love tanks… or as I like to call it, the Bank Account of Lurve.

One cannot only withdraw from the Bank of Lurve. One must make deposits to prevent the account from depleting.

Apparently, the secret to this is endeavouring to understand the five love languages and then ensuring you’re both fluent in each other’s tongue.

Basically, it breaks down to this (although we are all complicated and multi-faceted creatures, everyone has one language that speaks stronger to them) -

Words of affirmation

quote-i-can-live-for-two-months-on-a-good-compliment-mark-twain-187959

Do you or your partner thrive on sweet words? I think if you are mindful, it is quite easy to do this one. Gentle, loving encouragement and compliments take only seconds to give, and if they equal full love banks then they should be given regularly.
Speaking of appreciation and dropping compliments is not everyone’s style, however, and some struggle to do it.

I reckon this one is a bit like mastering an art. Maybe a bit hard at first, but with some practice you can be a silver-tongued devil in no time, and reaping the rewards of a partner with an overflowing lurve account.

I think this one is my husband. My smart, handsome, funny, great dancing, generous husband. Further research – online 5 Languages Test – shows that this is also mine.

Do we both instinctively shower each other with sweet words?

Of course not.

Quality time

Warning : This one requires the smart phone to be put on silent and placed in another room.

All some partners need is your full and concentrated attention. It is about doing stuff together, maybe sharing a meal, or doing an activity that you both love, but it is mostly about undivided attention. No TV on in the background, no phones, just quality conversation and connection.

I would imagine that every single relationship would benefit from this, but if this is a love language in your household, not creating the time and space for your partner could prove fatal (for the relationship, I don’t mean…. well, you know.)

Receiving gifts

5 love languages - gifts

I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t love a present, or as Doc Gary likes to call it ‘visual symbols of love’.

Some spouses feel most loved when they receive a token of your affection. They needn’t be extravagant, or expensive, just a symbol to show that you’re thinking of them when they are not there.

With the advent of  online shopping and online florists you can have even have gifts delivered to your spouse’s doorstep without putting pants on and leaving the house – Winning!!!

These gifts need not be every day, but if your spouse responds to the language of receiving, they will feel most secure and fulfilled when you’re handing over the goods.

Acts of service

5 love languages housework

This is one I’ve thought about a lot.

Helping your spouse out by doing something for them is an act of service. Some spouses get their love tanks filled by you simply helping a lover out. When you share their load, they see it as an undeniable expression of love. If you’re doing this already, and this is the correct love language then you’re on a winner, but don’t expect miracles because you took the garbage out because it’s not actually that simple. Not all acts are created equal!!

You need to work out exactly which acts of service tick your spouse’s boxes to ensure you’re doing it right. I may suggest to my spouse that we try this one out thoroughly to see if it floats my boat. Even if it’s not my primary language, I’d be in a better mood.

Physical touch

affection - 5 love languages

We’re not talking about the wild thing here, we’re talking about affection and touch. Love making is definitely a factor in this, but there are a million other ways to touch a physical touch lovin’ spouse that will help them feel the lurve.

If you have a partner that simply craves a cuddle but is left hanging, over time this can become a deal breaker. A caress on the face, or the back of the neck, holding hands whilst watching tv… also, canoodling is fun, just quietly.

Are the 5 Love Languages the secret to love that lasts as the book would suggest? Is Dr Chapman handing us the secrets to nuptial nirvana on a silver tongued platter?

I have no idea, but understanding your partner’s love language may certainly be a tool in your tool kit, and a well stocked tool kit is a welcome thing. I’m open to considering anything that may help lay the course through the marriage maze.

Which love language do you think is yours?

If you liked this post be sure to like my Facebook page or follow my twit twaddle @theholsbys to ensure you can always keep up with the Holsbys.

 

Flogging my blog on Friday over with my fellow floggers at With Some Grace.

5 Losing Strategies Used By Couples

10 Sep

you're a loser, babyWhen I recently read this article by relationship counsellor Clinton Power I couldn’t help but smirk a little because until quite recently,  I was plenty guilty of pretty much every single losing strategy that he named.

Every. Single. One.

If anyone had have asked if there were underlying issues in my relationship that may well eventually prove insurmountable, I would totally have pointed fingers. Not at me. At the other person in my relationship… ie, that cute dude in my bed.

I wouldn’t have accepted responsibility for any of the ongoing issues in my relationship, because I’m an awesome wife.

Just ask me.

The thing is, I’m not the only person in the relationship, and maybe not everyone sees my desire to have things my own way, or need for controlling stuff as awesome, or imperative, as I do.

After some serious soul searching, and a chat here and there with Clinton over the past few months, I can say the best place to begin working on your relationship is in your very own shoes. Mostly because your partner’s shoes probably don’t fit, or smell funny, but also because it goes back to the old adage -

You can’t change the world, but you can change yourself.

1. Being Right

Clinton suggests that sorting out differences in a relationship is not a matter of who is right or wrong. You may well be right according to your value system without taking into account the values of your partner.

Who doesn’t love to be right, right? Especially, when you are friggin’ right, thank you very much.

However, part of working together as a team is endeavouring to see the situation from someone else’s point. If you’re really busy being right, you’re no longer listening to your partner. Of course, there’s the fact that you are right, but it is possible that……sharp intake……you are both right.

Alright?

2. Controlling Your Partner

Contrary to popular opinion, people really don’t like to be controlled.  The reality is that being a control freak bossy pants is never a successful strategy and is likely to foster resentment and mistrust.

One of Mister H’s pet peeves is when I ask him to do something and then I hassle for it to be done immediately. How bloody hard is it to just do what I want, when I want it, right?

It’s really hard for me to accept that he has other pressing things on his To Do list (browse the web, cut his toenails) and that I need my request to go into the queue.

Accepting this is pretty difficult for a control freak, but learning to take a chill pill will only benefit your relationship in the long run.

Clinton even mentions stuff like indirect controlling – AKA manipulation. Manipulating people is incredibly unhealthy for all parties involved. The only form of manipulation you should do on your partner is christmas present hints, and hand jobs.

3. Unbridled Self-Expression

Ahem. Yes, well…. I may happen to know someone who has a very large mouth and a penchant for self-expression. Sometimes that makes me the most popular person in the room, and other times I make people cry and feel like an arsehole for days.

Clinton believes honesty is not always your best policy, particularly if it leads to you hurting your partner through you ‘speaking your truth’. ‘Just being honest’ doesn’t really cut it if you’re hurting people’s feelings. Perhaps, instead, go for ‘just being kind’…. unless you’re talking about nasal hair. Then your partner needs to just deal with that shit.

4.  Retaliation

He pissed me off, so I’m not going to do his washing…… no, wait, I am going to do his washing but I’m throwing a red sock in his whites.

He left his shoes in the lounge, so I’m going to set them alight using his matches collection (hypothetical, although I did once know a splitting couple and he set her clothes on fire with her matches collection after she slashed his car tyres).

An eye for an eye, and everyone goes blind. That’s not really being very mature, is it? It’s an easy trap to fall into when you’re pissed but it only makes matters worse. Being the bigger man is actually more fulfilling than payback.

Unless it’s a Dutch oven. Then retaliation is the only way.

5. Withdrawal

No one likes being shut out. Withdrawing can often be worse than all of the yelling and screaming because once the wall comes up it’s almost impossible to get past an issue.

Clinton believes that withdrawal can mean a number of things. It may be that you are giving up, using it in a passive aggressive manner for retaliation or maybe signalling that you don’t wish to invest any further energy in the relationship.

You must keep talking. The only way to keep your relationship on track to to keep communicating in a healthy fashion. If you’re struggling to do that, then maybe seek a relationship counsellor to help to give you tools to create a healthy and life long relationship.

If you find that you’re employing some or all of these losing strategies, maybe you need to have a little look at what’s going on in your relationship.

If you need help on that front, I reckon talking to a counsellor is brilliant. You need to find the right one for you, but they are as valuable as a great hairdresser or gynocologist. Sometimes a mediator is all you need to get through the shitty issues so you can leave them behind and make way for new shitty issues…. because you can bet there will always be new ones, but it’s just about how you deal with them.

 

If you liked this post be sure to like my Facebook page or follow my twit twaddle @theholsbys to ensure you can always keep up with the Holsbys.

 

Hooking up with EssentiallyJess on this essentially awesome Tuesday with the essentially fantastic IBOT gang….

Mrs H talks with a sex therapist….How to regain your mojo.

29 Mar intimacy

intimacy

(source)

I have a theory about sex.

My theory is that the more bonking you do, the less annoying your partner is (you really ought to be bonking your partner for best effect). Sex is the thread that binds you to each other and without it, you can become unravelled.

When I spoke with sex therapist, Isiah McKimmie, from Passionate Spirit I thought I’d hit her with my theory straight off the bat to see if I was on the money.

She agreed heartily. I decided I liked her.

Isiah went on to say that when your sex life is working well, your entire relationship can change, and therefore your entire lives can change.

I may have mentioned once or twice that my mojo has been somewhat lacking since I gave up sleep, so when the opportunity arose for me to interview a sex therapist over a cup of tea, I jumped at the chance.

Is it lingerie, sex toys, 50 Shades of Grey or oysters that I need?

Nope. It’s way more simple than that.

Although the road to a banging sex life is not a short one (Isiah offers courses to couples, as opposed to one off visits), what we discussed was certainly not rocket science.

The first thing that a therapist would look at is your relationship to yourself.

How do you feel about your body?

How satisfied are you with your life?

Do you still feel like sexy you, or are you now only a wife and a mother?

One of the most obvious things is our confidence about our body after all of the changes it undergoes throughout pregnancy and childbirth. We may not feel that we can take the time to get ourselves back into the shape we were previously. It is natural that your body changes somewhat, but if your self esteem takes a battering in the process, it may be as simple as finding time to exercise.

Taking the time away from family can often cause guilt, but it’s really essential for mental health. The time you take away from your family can actually make you a better wife and mother…. and your mojo may just be a Zumba class away.

The second major area to look at is your communication with your partner.

How do you communicate about general issues? This will certainly affect the way you can communicate about sex.

Being able to communicate freely with our partners is terribly important. Some people NEVER tell their partner that a particular thing turns them on, or more importantly, turns them off, or irritates their sensitive, pink bits.

Really?

Isiah said something so poignant to this -

If you can’t communicate well in the bedroom, you probably aren’t communicating well out of it.

Aaah. Not rocket science.

Our sex lives are so personal, and people feel a great sense of embarrassment and shame about it. This embarrassment is something we may have been taught as teens when we’re curious about stuff and wanking like chimpanzees. You’ll go blind, grow hair on your palms, or nice girls simply don’t do those things.

Sex is natural.

Our bodies are ours to explore and enjoy.

There is no shame in pleasure.

The clitoris is the only part of the human body solely for pleasure. It has no greater function than to give sweet sensation. I think it was the Universe’s consolation prize for periods.

If you’re silently turning your back on your partner thinking ‘No way, buddy, I’m exhausted and my bikini line resembles Macy Gray’s afro’, perhaps your partner only hears ‘I’m not attracted to you anymore’…..and that’s just the tip of the communication iceberg.

Also, we need to try to lighten up about it. If it’s become the elephant in the room then everyone starts getting anxious and feeling rejected.

One of the hardest things when you have little people in the house is time. I mentioned to Isiah that between training, children and general exhaustion, Mister H and I have one perfect time for rumpy. That sweet moment only occurs twice in a week, and then if the planets don’t align correctly, it can be week before that magic moment rolls around again.

I suggested that scheduling sex was incredibly unsexy.

Not as unsexy as never having sex, Isiah replied.

Mmmmmm hmmmmm. I see her point.

Also, a quickie has its place, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re only having occasional quickies it’s no wonder your mojo is lacking. Biologically, it take 20 minutes for a woman’s body to warm up.

We all know that we are slower than men and require a tad more romancing and finessing in all the right places, but being ready for the main event is not as simple as getting lubed up.

It actually takes 20 minutes for your uterus to contract and get out of the way, so the penis doesn’t bash its insistent head against your sensitive lady bits. This is particularly the case shortly after giving birth as the uterus is often sitting a little lower in the chamber.

Did you know that? I didn’t, and I thought I knew it all.

If you think you don’t have enough time in the day for langorous loving touch, try turning off the television a couple of times a week. After dinner, instead of retiring to the lounge, turn off the tv, the computers and the iphones, and spend time together.

NEWS FLASH : watching tv together is not spending quality time together.

You could start by giving each other a massage. Not a ‘nudge nudge wink wink’ massage but perhaps you could start reacquainting yourselves with a no strings attached massage, without a happy ending? Hell, if you feel like throwing a leg over then climb aboard, but if sex has become the elephant under the bed, perhaps you need to take it off the table (not the dining room table. I mean, no sex) for a bit.

If you agree that you’re not going to do it for a few weeks, it can alleviate the guilt you may feel from not wanting to. It doesn’t mean you have an affection stand-off, you do other stuff.

Fun stuff. Sexy stuff. Loving stuff.

Remember when you first got together and you’d pash like teenagers on the loungeroom floor? When was the last time you had pash rash? Or dry humped till you came in your pants?

That stuff was exciting, so maybe it’s time to strip back your sex life?

Get back to the fun stuff.

Isiah and I talked a lot about wanking, on your own, together, whatever takes your fancy. It goes to reason that after you give birth perhaps your body feels different, likes different things. If you don’t explore your own body, how can you guide someone around?

Hell, we don’t strike out across town without Google mapping first, so why not chart this territory, too?

I was shocked when Isiah told me that 30% of women have difficulty (or never) orgasm. Some of her adult clients don’t know where their clitoris is. You can bet your bottom dollar that if they don’t know that, they probably don’t know about other erogenous zones, like that crazy little spot behind their knee, their armpit or the back of their neck.

You need to take the time to explore not just your lady bits, but your whole body, and it’s way more fun if you do it with your partner.

There is more sex than ever available to us, whether it’s erotica, porn, toys, or whatever that floats your boat. There is still so much guilt associated with exploring our own sexuality, why?

Why the shame?

If you’re a bit weirded out by the idea of a sex therapist, Passionate Spirit has a subscription based website with loads of information and techniques if you think maybe you need a little helping hand getting your love life back on track.

Maybe it’s as simple as simply getting back on the horse and doing it? Reawakening your sexual self.

If not, and you feel like your relationship needs a little help getting it’s mojo back, maybe you could consider sex therapy?
If your car isn’t working properly, you take it to a mechanic, right?

At the conclusion of our fascinating chat, Isiah told me she had a spare media pass to Sexpo if I wanted it……well, I thought, maybe a little research would be good.

Stay tuned for the Sexpo wrap-up. Holy dooly. I thought nothing could surprise me.

This post is not a sponsored post. I received no payment from Passionate Spirit. I just love talking about sex.

Check out Passionate Spirit’s Facebook page if you want a little mojo in your newsfeed.

Did you find this as fascinating as I did?

Can you talk about your mojo or are you a little shy?

If you know anyone that may benefit from this post, share it with them, and let’s get that elephant out in the open!

Hooking up with FYBF at With Some Grace so everyone can read about mojo rising. Check out what everyone else is flogging.


Can you over use ‘I Love You’?

10 Mar

i_love_you_in_heart_candy_postcards-rb9fa439ec6e148cc8b10f70dcf76ecf3_vgbaq_8byvr_512An Italian, an Aussie and a Serbian lady were chatting in the supermarket…….

It sounds like the beginning of a joke but it’s one of the things I love about this multi-cultural area I live in.

Kiki was trying to share her sucked, soggy, cardboard cracker with the dark haired, slightly older lady behind us and with her simply pretending to share the slobbery treat with my girl, we sparked a most thought provoking conversation.

You see, she was a mama to a couple of those mystical creatures…..teenage boys.

I asked her if they were as the legend tells – uncommunicative, monosyllabic and mysterious?

‘Not my boys. I wouldn’t let them’.

She explained that although they do spend more time in their rooms, being smelly and  probably sending themselves blind, but she ensures that every evening they talk about their day and she listens to their interests, even if she doesn’t share them, and at the end of the chat, they hug and she tells them she loves them.

And they respond in kind.

Because that’s how she grew up in her big Italian family.

The thick accented Serbian lady who was scanning my groceries was listening to our exchange and apologised for piping in before saying -

‘You don’t tell ‘I love you’, you show it.’

Interesting……… I love a check-out debate.

She went on to explain in her culture, talking about ‘the love’ is not the done thing. You just show it.

I’ve always been showered with the words, so this thought is foreign to me.

We went on to talk about how all three of us were making sure our children knew how much we loved them. How we were expressing our love differently to our family, or partner’s family, and breaking the love barrier in order to give our children something that we/they did not.

The Serbian lady said that she tries to say it because she laments not hearing it more from her mother, although she always knew that her Mother cared for her.

When Mister H and I were first dating the subject of saying ‘I love you’ came up. I don’t think we were actually saying it to each other yet, but this conversation was probably me fishing – can’t remember clearly……what I can remember was him saying that in his experience ‘I love you’ is not something said between family members, it was something for lovers.

I was shocked. Who made up that crazy rule?

I’m a super expressive person.

I fling I love yous around like high kicks at the Moulin Rouge.

I say it to my buddies when I hang up the phone….if I talk to them more than once in any given day, they’ll cop it a couple of times. It’s just something I do….not so much at the gynaecologists, but you know what I mean.

Does it cheapen it, if it’s said regularly? Can you wear it out?

I never get sick of hearing someone say I love you.

They don’t need to be gazing into my eyes and ensuring the sentiment goes straight to the very core of my being. Not every I love you is like that. They can be flippant, disposable ones too.

I. Love. You.

I love you.

Love ya.

I tell my children all the time.

When they’re being silly I say it in a robot voice. When they’re asleep I whisper it in their perfect shell ears. I tell them how special they are and that I will love them unconditionally…..they don’t even know what that means yet, but I do.

I used to say it all the time to my boyfriend, but now that he’s my husband I think perhaps I don’t say it as often. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel it, I just forget, I guess. That’s a bit shitty.
I always try to say it last thing at night, so it softly shrouds him in his sleep.

Of course, I show my family I love them all the time.

If they look hard enough they could see it in all the friggen’ folds of washing, and the wiping of their stinky butts and snotty noses. I couldn’t do that if I didn’t love them.
In all fairness, Mister H takes care of his own butt and nose, but I show him in other ways.

I think saying it, impressing it into and onto them, is important.

It’s a bloody jungle out there, and sometimes the most comforting thing in the world is when a dear one says ‘I love you’.

It can give me strength. It can give me courage.

It’s like a safe, warm place created by three simple syllables.

And, Lord knows, this crazy world, so full of harsh and ugly words, needs more safe places.

Do you say I love you regularly, or do you think is over used?

If you know anyone who would enjoy this, why don’t you show you love them by flicking it over to them…..you know you wanna.

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