Like many women, my girlfriends and I often talk about relationships. Relationships are a good topic because if you approach the conversation with an open mind and open heart you usually learn something and grow a bit. And that is good for all relationships, not just romantic but also for friendships and work relationships, too.
Many years ago my friend, Lisa, took a workshop about men. I don't remember the name of the workshop but every day she would call me and give me a re-cap of the things she had learned. There were many useful things but I don't remember any of them--except one. I have put this one thing to good use many times. This thing she learned is regarding how to approach a man when you are in disagreement and you would like him to possibly change his mind. Instead of saying the obvious, "You're dead wrong, how can you think that way?!" which will get you absolutely no where, you say the following: "May I have the opportunity to influence your opinion?" You can change the words a bit to suit your speaking style if you like. For example, you may want to say, "I would love the opportunity to influence your opinion on this." That is more comfortable to me. I actually use this most often in work circumstances! My bosses are both men and I deal mostly with men in the field when I'm out visiting accounts. It is magical. For some people this may seem silly but I would suggest that some people have a more easy going manner about things that they are passionate about. I tend to get a little riled up and perhaps even forceful about my opinions under certain circumstances. I think that is a just a sign of the fact that I was raised to feel as though my opinion matters which is a good thing but how we communicate with other people makes all the difference in how they are able to hear us--or not hear us, as the case may be. But I have digressed from the topic of Love...
Having been married for just over a year, it is all still somewhat new. The total time I have been with Scott is now over four years. This is the LONGEST I have ever been with anybody! Yay! And the more we are together, the more joy I find in being in and creating family. It just feels so wonderful and miraculous to me. I have been thinking of all the negative things people say about marriage. They say these things flippantly and carelessly like, "Life is over once you get married". But for me it has never been that way. I relish my monogamous relationship! And as I told Lisa the other day, the thought that I get to be with Scott and only Scott for the rest of my life feels so exciting to me! Strange maybe, but true.
Over the holidays Scott bought me the book, NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY by Alexander McCall Smith. I had seen these books around but had dismissed them as something I wouldn't like. Of course I was wrong. They are wonderful and you should read them. I just finished reading the fifth book in the series and I would like to quote something her from that book. I will not give any of the story away, I promise, but it will give you a flavor of the writing and its appeal--and it may make you feel very happy as well:
She loved this country, which was a good place, and she loved those with whom she lived and worked. She had so much love to give--she had always felt that--and now there was somebody to whom she could give this love, and that, she knew, was good; for that is what redeems us, that is what makes our pain and sorrow bearable--this giving of love to to others, this sharing of the heart."