Inspiration

You Own the Power!

Do you ever just wake up and ask yourself, “what’s my purpose?” Then what usually follows is an onslaught of lies that we tell ourselves. “I’m not where I want to be!” Or-“I don’t have the life I dreamt for myself!”

There’s an old saying by someone unknown to me. “There are three sides to the truth. There’s my side, your side and then there’s the real truth.” At my age, what I’ve learned is that it takes tremendous courage to allow attitudes with retrospective actions to redirect our choices to the benefit of ourselves.

Sounds a little wordy, doesn’t it? The point is that your truth, what you tell yourself and what you allow people to tell you may be a lie.

Chances are you have the exact life you thought you wanted. You made your choices and designed you attitudes for the exact life your living. No one came up to you and said, “Poof! Here’s your life!”

You created it, just you, no one else. Which is the good news! If you created one life; even if you hate it, you have the power within you to create the life you want!

Chances are, by now, you’ve made all the important mistakes. Chances are you’ve identified what doesn’t work for you? If that’s the case you can outline what does! Once you do that you’ve identified what will make you happy; and that my friend is powerful!

You will now subconsciously begin putting your attitude in check and motivating others to assist you in your journey to the powerful motivators that begin to give you hope…Little tiny pieces of joy will return.

Inspiration

Arguments Hurt Relationships

If I had a quarter for every time I witnessed a double standard in a relationship I’d be a billionaire! Relationships are difficult even when two people get along. Simple things can become big misunderstandings and people get crossways at the simplest of issues.

For example: My mother and her husband are amazing together. They have the most fun of any couple I have truly ever seen. They can talk when they’re having fun, and the spark of joy is visible to everyone. Why is it then when the doors are closed and they have to communicate over how to cook a steak they get adamant about having it their way? Why the arguments and raised voices because it’s not cooked properly? Why can’t one of them say to the other, “Thank you for attempting to do something extraordinary for me despite the outcome?” Why do we fight to be right? Does that really matter?

Arguments like this are a direct result of unresolved issues within the dynamics of the relationship. In their case one fights for the right to be valued and the other fights for the right to be respected. Neither of them gets what they want in the end. Both of their feelings are wounded and both retract only to come back at a later date the next time steak is chosen for dinner and revisit the argument. It’s a never ending cycle without breaking the real issue. My question to them would be why can’t you talk reasonably at home as you do when out and about? Why is the necessity for an action of love only present among others?

It may sound like my questions are only of others, but I assure you that no one is harder on themselves or their actions than I am. The same question I would ask of anyone I surely would reflect on my own behavior. My relationship, however, is different. While I do not pick upon the little things like how to cook a steak I have a partner who does. His incessant need for control to avoid loss is the most epic issue in our relationship. His dominant personality will override even the most impervious.

My partner has an overwhelming sense of entitlement when it comes to his behavior. He feels justified in judgment and execution of his impenetrable beliefs. This makes for one to be regarded by some as above reproach and at the same time some see him as incredibly arrogant. I see him as both. When he decides that he’s going to bring the gauntlet down those around him quake in the wake. This is a fact I believe he’s proud of.

Very unlike me, he is consistent. That ability for longevity makes him appear trustworthy. While I am the type of person who believes in character above money and friends above me, I am often seen as the less than trustworthy because I don’t fit into a common mold. I stayed home with my kids, broke into Real Estate, wrote a novel about my tragic past, and pretty much went against the grain every chance I got. I forge my own path. I don’t follow status quo. I never have and I highly doubt I will start now.

My need for freedom and his need to control that freedom cause great strife in our relationship. He wants to be free, but doesn’t truly possess an inner hunger for it. He doesn’t dream of it, and covet it as I do. He’s grown accustom to change but that’s not the same thing. When he dreams it has finances attached. When I dream, there is merely wind and the open road. We have two different types of dreams for freedom. Neither are bad nor good, just two different perspectives that have kept us together.

The issue arises when I want to forge a new destiny only to be stifled by his need for control. A new idea becomes about what he would do. A course of action is altered because he removes the financing for it. There’s a measurement of control in everything I do. Just when I get enough gumption to go for it anyway, he brings on the emotional rejection, which of course is my trigger. Ultimately I wish I could say I have the intestinal fortitude to not let him like I did when I was young, but honestly I am just tired of fighting at my age.

People tell me all the time, “Rebecca you just don’t know what you want.” To that, I answer silently, “Yes I do.” I suppose I want a champion in life, (he is) and I suppose that I want someone who sees the champion in me. Someone’s who’s less apt to give me a reality check and more apt to say, “That a girl!” That’s something I don’t have. I never will. I suppose I want someone to let me talk, not throw stones and how I say what I do. I want someone safe enough to really listen to me. I want to know that my feelings are warranted or justified. I want to know that I am not alone, or crazy about how I think. I want to be encouraged, and to have all that as part of some big romantic plot to make me feel like a valued person. Those actions are fantasies to me, because I don’t believe that kind of relationship is real. I don’t think those behaviors come from men. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never seen that kind of behavior from any man I’ve ever met towards his partner male or female; and I have met a ton of men!

So I settle. I’m tired. I hear all the time about how difficult I am to live with. I don’t complain about the little things. I don’t pick on anyone. I don’t bitch. I am the most amiable person when it comes to change and acceptance. I love without condition. I don’t pick fights, and I don’t judge others. I fight for justice and freedom and my birthrights, but other than that, my only goal is to find a little bit of joy in my simple day. I find it odd, that others who are so incredibly difficult and full of boundaries and lines, and just quick tempers are so willing to let the rest of us know how it should be for them. I call that the ultimate sense of entitlement; and frankly it just makes me tired.

My life is coming to a mid-point. I’m about to celebrate my second 25th-birthday. I hope that I get a chance to celebrate all four. Maybe I am just reflecting on a life that I had, one I hope to have and the one I am in currently; and maybe, just maybe there’s a little crisis in that. Maybe I want romance? Maybe I want a sense of playfulness again? Maybe I want a sense of adventure, or a sense of playfulness? Maybe I need to feel beautiful, or maybe I need to feel intellectual? I don’t know what it is that I could use just this day, but the one thing that I have realized is; there is no one on this planet that is going to give it to me, but me! Thank you, Mom, for beating that into me. I finally get it.

Inevitably someone will hurt your feelings or offend your sensibility today. You can decide to wallow in it or shrug it off. Dance today. Make it fabulous so that the offenders watching do so in awe of the grace and elegance in which you choose to experience this fine day the Good Lord bestowed on us all!

Inspiration

Be the Light No Matter What!

Please, don’t prove them right.

The other day my friend came to me. A very concerned conversation had taken place, and that dialog included non-flattering comments about me. My friend warned me many times that I needed to guard myself because the things that I was saying were being twisted and turned; and not in my favor. When I left that conversation, I was reserved to continue (based on my extensive life experience) to act in the greatest behavior I know.

I have learned that through the deed of transparency, bridges are formed between adversaries, and trust is built among enemies. If one is completely honest there is nothing to hide. It is the greatest proclamation of unconditional love I can offer my fellow human, despite the injustice I see all around me. I believe to the depth of my being that kindness, and that vulnerability is what my God commands of me regardless if my actions are not perceived as they are intended.

The aforementioned declaration is a conversation I have had with the people who commented many times prior. I decreed at that time that the naysayers, the untrusting, the sarcastic, the weary, the forlorn, the judging, the prideful, and mostly the skeptic people were, in my estimation, always proven wrong. I believe to the core of everything I know, that people want to do good things. I believe it is in our nature to promote wealth, prosperity and freedom for all. I believe given any situation a person will choose the side of decency. I’ve been brutally and savagely beaten by others who have viciously commanded me to hate as much as they do. I refused. To me, I have to believe the acts of humans are ultimately intended for the betterment of themselves and others otherwise I am not sure I could exist in a world void of love for one another.

I have had moments in my life when my hope for mankind, and the hurt or pain that goes along with our life lessons was too much to bear. In those moments, I have almost taken the life that God gave so mercifully to me. I have been witness to the worst of behavior that any human could endure. I’ve been repeatedly beaten, verbally assaulted, tortured, raped, violated, and abandoned. If one human could hurt another I have experienced every angle of the violence, and therefore I understand completely the capability that humans have to act irresponsibly, and without empathy for another. I know it exists, but I have instructed my mind not to dwell on the minority and to embrace the majority of people who do not act that way, and who genuinely want to do great works.

This is the formula in which I address, accept, forgive, and move on. It’s the rules in which I live my life by. I don’t get upset unless I see a great injustice. I don’t get angry unless someone shows me the evil in them. I don’t accuse and I don’t condemn because I have undoubtedly inadvertently hurt people along my journey. I’m fair, and amiable. I am transparent.

I think the hardest thing for me, is that I will tell people, “Don’t prove them right.” (Speaking of them as the cynics) Then I am surprised when the people closest to me do exactly that. I asked my friend, “Why can’t I compartmentalize this and move on?” My friend responded, “You cannot put feelings in a box. It’s just how you feel.” It’s true.

I suppose I want to cry. I suppose I want to ask the commenter, “Why?” I suppose that I hurt more deeply than I could admit and that none of those things will happen. I understand people are just people and sometimes we all do dumb things, so I will forgive. I will move on, but my relationships will be forever altered. There will be an element of hesitation before I speak. There will be un-comfortableness where they sit, and if I need to be in that same space. There is an element of disinclination. I hate that with every fiber of my being because it blocks the love that I want to share. It blocks God’s light through me. It blocks my transparency and ultimately it proves the pessimist’s right. That’s the most heartbreaking thing of all.

The pundits have been made aware, and there has been no resolution other than a separation of space. I miss my friend. I miss what I thought we had. I miss having an environment of peace and tranquility. I can forgive, sure and I will. But I suppose that an affirmation of the act, and a subsequent understanding apology would go a long way to ease us all back to a common gracefulness. However, I do not really need it to forgive.

Before you sit and begin to converse today about the dislikes you have with one of the people very close to you, remember that they too have the deepest of needs to be accepted as well. They have every feeling you have. They believe in the fundamentals that you and I do and they want to be a better person. People are just people, some are more broken, some are sensible, and some not so much. We’re all different because God made us our own unique selves and through our triumphs and struggles we’ve formed our own personalities. We form what we believe because God has allowed us the freedom to embrace our own choices. You can choose today to lift another up, be a little more transparent and put your heart on the line for the sake of another as Jesus has done for you. Or you can simply ignore, you can bask in the glory that something you’ve done has hurt another and have peace with that. You can talk about your fellow man without regard or empathy. It’s your choice. You choose every single day how to affect those around you.

For me, today as much as it’s painful I choose transparency. My convictions tell me that despite I’ve been hurt by what was said, I am not broken by it. It’s a moment, a blimp, a dot in history that shall be long forgotten in a short while. To base my future relationships on such a notion would be childish and immature. That’s not who I choose to be. That’s not what I want for my actions to represent. I choose love. I choose to prove the skeptics wrong. That’s my choice.

Inspiration

Glorious Lives!

I can remember when I was a young girl thinking that the worst thing that could happen to me would be to have a child that I couldn’t support, because I was really worried that I would end up as resentful as my mother was. I couldn’t imagine my body growing, I couldn’t imagine having to feed myself let alone be responsible for another human being.

Went my younger brother was born I love him so dearly that I would have nightmares about his safety. He is nine years younger than I am. I remember my youth being spent worrying about his choices in life and I couldn’t imagine how much more magnified that would be if I had a child of my very own.

At the age of 22 I became involved with a man who didn’t want me because he was Jewish and I wasn’t. I was really in love with the man. After a year or two dating this Jewish man we decided to call it and ended our relationship. I began to date another man who I didn’t really care about because I had lack of confidence, but i developed an intimate relationship with him. Unfortunately about a month later I realized that I was pregnant. Not knowing who the father was my fears were magnified.

I contacted both men and I told them what I had done. Both of the men thought that I should have an abortion. At that time I suppose if I was honest with myself, it would admit that I too wanted a way out of the situation I have got myself into. I was alone, I had no money and I had no transportation. How in the world was I going to raise a child?

About six weeks later when I was trying to decide and make up my mind, I was stopped at a stoplight a block from my home. I was crying pretty hard about the pain that I had caused everybody. I wasn’t paying much attention and a renegade truck with an uninsured drunk driver hit me from the back going approximately 95 mph. Needless to say, when I ended up in the hospital it was explained to me that an abortion was my only option for my own survival.

I remained single for almost a decade after that accident. Every single day of every single year I thought about that unborn child. When I met a man that I would date I would never let them know about my shameful secret. I lived with the guilt silently and painfully for very long time.

I met a wonderful man when I was almost 30 and within the first three months of our relationship I had gotten pregnant again. I was determined not to even think about the word abortion! I was in a better place because I was confident that I could take care of myself. I was sure that the man that I had chose to be intimate with was a good choice in character. I wasn’t in the same emotional, physical or intellectual state of mind that I was the first time I had gotten pregnant.

A month later the man I was in love with proposed and we got married. Just a short while later my daughter was born. I looked into her face and realized what a blessing she was, and for the first time that fear rushed in. I was terrified that I wouldnt be enough for her. She was so tiny and so delicate and I instantly became protective! I’ve vowed nobody would hurt her. And I knew that I had taken on a responsibility far greater than my own worthiness. I had been given a gift by God and it was my responsibility to bring this child up in such a way that she could be independent and happy as an adult. I was up to the challenge and ready to move forward.

In the toddler and baby years of my daughters life; I spent the entire time in all of the miracle that the innocence of a child can show a person. I learned very quickly that if my life became tough, all I had to do was put myself around a small child and a smile would soon appear on my face. There is something so remarkable about the investigation and the questions of the innocent approach to life the child brings to the family.

The age of five she was a people pleaser. At the age of eight she was anxious and trying to find her place in our family. If the age of 12 she wanted to put on makeup. But the age of 14 she wanted to know what it would be like to have a boyfriend. All through high school she struggled with inter personal relationships. Every single day was a lesson. It was an adventure!

Raising her was different than my son who was born a year after her. She is like me. I knew how to handle every piece of advice. I knew what to expect. I knew what she was going to go through. And I was ready for it. And it was an exceptional experience that improved with her age. Even now as she matures into an adulthood and leaves the nest she is absolutely adored.

When I had my son I knew what a treasure he was going to be. I had more confidence that I could manage his welfare. I was sure that I would teach him to play sports and I would teach him how to treat a woman. And I was up to the task again.

Nine months after my son was born I knew that there was a problem. I knew that he was different than any other child because he had regressed into his own mind. I thought something tragic had happened in daycare, or that something had happened when I had left them in another’s care. But that wasn’t the case. It took almost 12 years of struggling and testing and encouragement and therapy to get a diagnosis of autism. When everybody said that I was a terrible mom because he acted the way he did because of who I was. I cried a lot. But every time he would come into the room he would shine his uniqueness and I knew that I was destined to be his mother! I would be the fighter, the challenger and the ultimate cheerleader.

That boy is 17 now and he is fully functional. When the doctor finally diagnosed him, he said that he had never seen an autistic boy who is so far gone so mainstreamed without professional assistance. I had to smile because to me it was not a chore it was not an obligation… it was an honor!

I look at my life over the last 20 years and I realize that my greatest gifts come from the greatest moments I had in my life. Those moments have been with my husband and my two children. I cannot tell you what it’s like to have a child. But I can tell you that there is absolutely no love greater than the love and adoration a mother feels for her children. It’s an unconditional love. It’s a realization that in the past 20 years I have been so extremely blessed with remarkably individual and unique kids.

I may not have a stellar career in writing. I may not have friends that have stood by my side all these years. I may not have the houses that I once lived in or the cash that I used to have. But as I look forward into the next century of my life, I realize that the value of my life was in the little moments of joy and laughter and hope and encouragement and sharing of experiences with the people in my life who mean the world to me.

I guess what I wish is that all mothers get a moment to feel exactly the way that I do at this time in my very own moment. Because there’s no greater feeling in the world than knowing that you did your best. That you’re best made a life for the next-generation. That generation is the direct reflect on the positive influence that you had. Your kids are grown. They are safe. They are self-sufficient individuals who are capable of being independent happy people. They believe in God. They believe in love. They believe in justice. They believe in opportunity! I did my job and I’m proud of the work I’ve done. Moreover I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity to have such a tremendous life with two beautifully exceptional children!

Inspiration

Be a Woman’s Best Friend

What makes a woman so unbelievably anxious around other women? What makes one woman leer at another as though they’ve stepped out of civilization and into some third world wasteland where they must fight to survive? Why are women so competitive?

If you put an average woman in a room filled with woman we don’t know and sit back to watch. The fireworks are about to spark. No one can read her mind…but if we could? What exactly would she be thinking? (There are stereotypes for a reason.) I am discussing generalizations and not specific circumstances. I’m going to try and identify for you what it’s like to feel like the wallflower, the outsider, and the shunned. Maybe the next time the body language of the woman you’re looking at seems a little off you will know that she’s probably in the precise scenario I’m about to portray for you.

In my experience there are several outcomes of conclusion that women are. A woman might be the type who judges based on choices of attire weighing heavily their ability to care for themselves financially. Another might look at the body language and find some of the behaviors offensive. Some look at a woman and instantly think of something harsh. They don’t say it but it’s written all over their face just as though they’ve eaten something horrible. They cannot hide their thoughts.

One woman might look at another and see only a loving creature. I promise you that this type of woman is rare. I consider myself honored to know many of this type of woman. In fact, I try and surround my life with them. If you know her…please understand how blessed you truly are!

Most of the reactions from woman to woman that I have seen are fraught with tight pursed lips of judgment waiting for that other woman who is speaking to show any sign of weakness. Then and only then can the judger feel as though she has elevated herself and she can feel superior. This deduction is self-evident and what I find is the most pronounced goal for many women. It’s the one endeavor that gives the judging-woman in question absolute acceptance without the benefit of giving it. It’s something I perceive everywhere and an attitude that I toil with every single day.

One little girl hides in the closet because mommy’s been drinking and she’s afraid she’ll be beaten again. There’s a little girl who sat on her bed and cried because daddy never came home. There’s a little girl who wants to earn her place in her family and diligently fights for respect. There’s a little girl who hides in the back of a classroom, because her intense shyness causes her to alienate herself from other children. There’s a teenager who is so modest that the simple attention from a boy causes her cheeks to flourish red. She could be that awkward skinny girl with no shape that never got asked to the Prom or the braces that she had to wear when she should have been in her dating years. Consider a fearful young woman unable to care for herself when she leaves home. There’s a girl who’s been rejected by the worst kind of man who she allowed to bruise her heart. There’s a woman who just lost a position to another woman with less skills. There’s a woman who got married and thought it was forever but found out it wasn’t. There’s that woman who walks into a bar and everyone notices but no one notices that she looks that great because she’s empty inside. There’s a woman struggling with her weight and one who cannot gain weight. There are women who have lost fortunes and women who have fortunes who lose themselves. There are women who struggle to stay positive and women who are positive despite their struggles. There are those who do not understand transparency because their fear of being hurt, and women who hurt because no one sees them. There’s sickness and pain and loss and grief that a woman cannot escape because all wrapped up in one tight bow is an element that if you spend any time on this planet you will be all these women.

I have been all these women. I have been beaten and tortured and loved and sick and healthy and big and small and happy and filled with despair. I have not been every one of these women at the exact same time. Life changes and with all those changes is the human condition of hope that in the next day something incredibly magical will happen. Even when times are not bad, that hope that joy is just around the horizon keeps most women moving toward whatever goal that they’re currently undertaking. This movement is measurable; it is without a doubt worthy and should absolutely be praised by other women. It takes insurmountable courage to want something and act upon it. The choice for some to enter the workforce every single day is tantamount to exacting that courage to face whatever insecurities and fears she has. While it may seem easy for some, the realization is that we as women all know that judgment and condemnation await us at some point throughout the day and that sword of injustice will probably come from a woman.

Why is it that American’s had such a hard time with Sarah Palin? Its prime example that a woman can make errors but she will expect any other woman who stands against the imperfect society that man made to be flawless. Women who choose a position of authority require a further element of commitment to your courage. You must invoke a thick skin and be tolerant of those who will judge you if you falter one moment. Leadership for a man is much easier because men realize the imperfection of each other. Leadership of a woman from a woman is so much more harshly judged. Why is that?

Again, I have an amazing boss. She’s a woman. I have amazing co-workers who are women. I have an amazing daughter. I have an amazing sister and maybe I’m just blessed, but I have a whole bunch of amazing women that I call my friends. I love them without judgment or condition and remind them of that when they begin to divulge what they think are my faults. I don’t judge. I won’t do it. I won’t for one minute begin to imagine that I don’t live in a house with glass walls, ceilings and tile or for that matter, one moment that glass wouldn’t break if I threw a stone. I’ve been every woman, and I am here to tell you that unless we all begin to realize that each of us are not the enemy we will truly begin to see each other with the love and consideration let alone tolerance that each of us should be entitled to. Before you judge today or come to that conclusion in your mind based on what you know…pause. Rethink where she is, in perspective of where you are and be a little nicer, more tolerant and look at her through the eyes of our Lord as he loves you.

Inspiration

Righteous Anger vs. Immature Emotions

Often people will say things that sting the other person when they were only trying to release these pent-up feelings or anger. They say things that are really a reflection of their own internal unresolved issues rather than anger directed at the other person. Generally, most men are afraid of women’s anger and will do whatever necessary to protect themselves from it. We as women know this, however, when we’re in the thick of whatever it is that has pushed our injustice button; we are hesitant to remain mature or calm about how we feel. This is unfortunate because angry women are not always angry at the man – but at some internal frustration. The same holds true for men.

Men are more likely to vent, and to let it out. Women are more likely to stuff, and keep it in, but both of these approaches to solving the anger issue are bad. If you always vent, you’re venting and exploding, lots of times, when what you should be doing is chilling out, because there’s nothing you can do about the traffic jam. If you’re always stuffing it, you’re stuffing it a fair amount of the time when there’s something you should be doing to get that jerk to quit calling you stupid for wanting to go see the latest Julia Roberts movie this weekend. Sometimes you need to speak and sometimes you need to be quiet, but learning which and when; now that is key.

Before you do anything, just say “Stop!” Ask yourself if this is one of those times when you need to do something about this or chill out? If you don’t do anything but that, you’ll stop before you explode or stuff it and you’ll be better off.

To understand righteous anger vs. anger that is immature let’s dive into the reasons for the emotion.  There are only two basic emotions – fear and love. All other emotions are degrees of these two. From what I know Anger is an emotion that has its root in fear.

Anger is an emotion that people express when they are: upset, frustrated, uncertain, anxious, hurt by another person or life in general, or confused. Many men and women when expressing anger are really covering the deeper emotion of fear. Unexpressed anger can be the result of a variety of personal emotional traits: the need for approval, the need for love, insecurity, a fear of rejection, guilt, resentment – to mention just a few. There is a flip side to this issue, however, and that is the impact of angry words spoken while in this fear state.

I’ve learned through some pretty horrible knock-down-drag-out come to Jesus meetings is that anyone who is angry needs to speak the truth in a loving manner. Anger can be communicated without name calling, yelling, screaming or threatening. Feelings of anger do not have to replace feelings of love. It is important to realize that being angry with someone does not mean you no longer love them, despite what men think about women getting angry.

No should or shouldn’t are allowed in your talk to each other, because your spouse using them is being a parent instead of a spouse. You don’t tell a spouse what they should or shouldn’t do. You tell a spouse what you would like them to do and then give them the opportunity to choose whether or not it is something they want to do.

I use “I feel” messages. Remember along with emotions come facts. Both should be argued and in a way that does not put the other spouse on the defensive.  An “I feel” message allows you to express how you felt about something they did or said. It gives you the opportunity to express your feelings but doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your way.

Consider this though, “I feel” messages will be met with more openness than saying, “You always do,” or “You hurt me.” You want to talk about how you feel, not point fingers at what your spouse did or didn’t do.

Don’t jump to conclusions about what your spouse is thinking or feeling. If you want to know, ask him! I really hate absolute comments or inference in an argument.  Just because you share your feelings doesn’t mean your spouse “heard” what you were saying.

When communicating we need to express and listen to be understood. A lot of us are guilty of hearing something other than what is actually being said. Make sure that you express your needs and that your spouse understands those needs. Asking him to repeat back to you what you’ve said will help. You can’t resolve a misunderstanding if you are being misunderstood!

I’ve been taught that in a healthy marriage both spouses should feel free to express their emotions, needs and desires. It is inevitable that expressing emotions can, at times mean expressing healthy anger nd engaging in conflict. Anger is a healthy part of a relationship if the anger is properly expressed. If done correctly arguing, conflict and friction in a marriage will sharpen and strengthen the marriage. This maturity is only something that through love and care can mature a marriage or relationship to the level of ultimate understanding and fewer conflicts.

You get to know and understand each other better. You feel safer within the relationship if you know it is safe to express your feelings of anger. You learn that marriage is not a competition, a game where one spouse has more control than the other. Nothing promotes love and intimacy more than working together without fear of reprisal with a commitment to doing what is best for everyone.