recipesandrelationships.com

Relationship Class is Now in Session-Time to Learn the Rules

recipesandrelationshipDear Gary,

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to talk to you this morning before you hit the sack. I didn’t stumble out of bed until noon! Granted I caught up on some well-needed sleep but getting up at noon is such a waste to me. Of course, night came quickly and I was  still sipping cappuccino!  Sleeping ’til noon is so unlike me, eh? Now that the day is gone, I realize I don’t know whether you are asleep or at work or what? I’m discombobulated (I love that word). I wanted to talk to you to finish the rest of my last  email, it wasn’t my intention to leave you hanging.

I want, no, I need to, explain the last few weeks. Frankly, it’s easier to write about this for the sole reason I need you to refer to The Rules (I attached a list of rules I created so you can download it and print it out to refer to. I have one, too, printed out which is next to my computer). Once it’s printed out, this will make more sense and have more impact if I write this next part out rather than tell you on the phone so you can take the time you need to contemplate and consider what I am saying. I know it would be easier for me as I am a visual person. Even more so because this is kind of complicated (at least for now, anyway).

Do I have your attention?  Suddenly I feel like I am standing in front of a crowded classroom with all eyes looking at me….waiting…waiting–mmmmmmmmmmmmm, now I see this is with good reason ↓↓↓

recipesandrelationships
Class is in session!

So here goes ….  

“I’m working on my blog.”  (I really dislike the phrase “my blog”. I sound like I have a cold.)

This is a sentence you’ve heard me say often in the last three weeks, isn’t it?  I now suspect this sentence, and specifically the phrase “my blog”, means absolutely nothing to you, and why should it? Before I moved to LA I felt the same way. If I had called Leslie and she said these words to me, the meaning would be lost and I wouldn’t have a clue what she was talking about.

But now I do and so shall you. I know this answer did not answer a thing when you asked me why I didn’t I return your call or respond to an email.

→→→ Please click and scroll down to Rule #11  (then come back here).

Gary, I’m sorry this acknowledgement and apology is late in coming. In fact, I am sorry I have to say it at all but I do. Let me explain. You see, I didn’t know myself what it means to launch a new blog. I didn’t know it would consume all of my waking hours or how this, in turn, would affect our level and measure of communication. I should have tried to explain the details to you in the beginning and kept you informed along the way.

In a day or two you will understand. And when I see you in person, I will show you what is impossible to explain on the phone without sitting in front of the computer. So let me explain as best I can without the proper tools to show you.

Launching a blog is very technical. Aside from the writing aspect which, in itself, is very time-consuming for a perfectionist writer like me. I now know (not very well, mind you) how to do the necessary, individual technical details and duties that have to also be done in order for me to even do a Post launch at all. I think Leslie fed me the details of these requirements slowly so as not to overwhelm me. Specifically, I learned about the special features and details to the photo editing tools, the major in’s and out’s of blogger techie talk — domain mapping, SEO integration, link-backs, headline analyzer, content integration, how to link key words to references Posts that link back to me, how to drive “traffic” to my site by setting up several social networking accounts like Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, forwarding email accounts, and more.

recipesandrelationships.comAlthough until right this second, I never considered this aspect but now I rather like the idea of exploding out there  ←↑→↓ onto the big world-wide web!

And my sister has helped me in so many ways-I know this would not have happened had it not been for her! I owe her a world of gratitude for her guidance and technical assistance. She saved me at least a month (or more) of research time. For a novice like me, setting up a new blog takes at least a month so I am way ahead of the game. I owe her in a big way!

Ok, time to get more serious. Babe, the last few times we spoke on the phone I heard frustration or concern in your voice (I’m afraid I mostly heard doubt). When I heard this in your voice I forged ahead working harder to get this blog launched not realizing there were many steps I still had to complete before this would happen.  I kept telling myself that as soon as you read it you would understand and you would know that I really was thinking of you all the TIME.

Now that it’s ready to go I had the time to stop and think about these last few weeks and realize that I screwed up. I really handled this whole thing wrong and I feel like a hypocrite, frankly.  Why? Because I didn’t follow The Rules. If I had followed The Rules I wouldn’t have to apologize to you now.

I thought about this situation and could see that I saw that I could use this situation as a perfect example for you to see what I have talked about-see the cause and effect of Not Following The Rules. In other words, I didn’t follow Rule #1 (paragraph 1.b) which in turn, caused you to feel doubt. My actions created doubt, concern, frustration and worry in you because you didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t communicating with you.

Clearly, at least two rules were not followed.

Broken Rules:

I broke  Rule #1.b  →→→ Please click and read (which is under Rule #1, paragraph 2 then come back here).

I wasn’t being dishonest but I excluded part of my life from you by not being forthcoming about the details.. This, in turn, put you in the  position of not knowing what I (your partner) was doing.

Hopefully you remembered  – Rule #7  →→→ Please click and scroll down to Rule #7  read (then come back here). First and foremost, in times like this please refer to this rule first.

I am sorry because I caused you to feel doubt and concern about our relationship and me. I now realize that you may have tried to express your concern but because it did it in a round-about way, I didn’t respond. I’ll remind you again about the fact that I honestly never pick up innuendo or half-spoken sentences. In this type of situation, I won’t try to finish another’s sentence or thoughts. So if you need to ask me a question or feel confused by something I’ve done (or am doing), please be direct and ask me in a clear, uncomplicated way.

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For me, living The Experiment is learning to integrate The Rules into our daily lives where they become second nature to both of us.  I am not an expert by any means, obviously. We won’t need to keep a list of these rules posted on the fridge or a crib sheet in our wallets to refer to….but we could. We will do what works to create our perfect space together…

Now that the rules are out of my head and written down they have  MORE meaning and as time goes by, will easily be validated. Through this post I learned that the rules are not finished by any means.  With this being said, please note there are three new rules: Rule #10, Rule #11 and Rule #12.  (In this specific situation, Rule 10 for you; Rules 11 and 12 for me)!

Lastly, the following should take place when a rule has been broken or currently been broken. Using this situation as a specific example, the following would have also been true (Rule #8) :

  1. Alert Your Partner. As the partner with a concern or doubt, it is your responsibility to tell me that you have something to discuss with me. Tell me you need me to actively listen to you. Make sure I understand that you are going to do the talking and when I am ready to actively listen…tell me.
  2. Be sincere and tell me. Tell me your truth, speak your mind and tell me how you feel and why. Use examples, to better explain and  get your point across. Be forthright and honest.  There is no need to cushion your words. Be direct and sincere.
  3. Wait. When you (in this case) finish expressing yourself I may do one of two things. I may know immediately and apologize which leads into us into a discussion about what is going on. Or, I may want to take some time to consider your words so I better understand how my actions (or lack of) affected you. So to summarize: we will discuss this now or we will discuss it soon afterwards. Either way, the truth is out in the open.
  4. Result. In this particular situation, I immediately understand because I am somewhat aware that something seems wrong and  “off” in our communication but I was too preoccupied to acknowledge it or acknowledge my own feelings.  With one partner bringing the situation to the attention of the other partner (which did not happen), this brings the problem out in the open. Talking is always the resolution to finding the solution.

Also, what is important in this particular situation is that regardless of how committed we both are to turning this into a successful, happy union without the fear of the unknown, The Experiment and it’s concepts are new.  Unfortunately, old habits die-hard and it’s easy to fall back on these bad habits until our new habits become second nature (for both of us). So for now, we each must remain aware and overly conscientious  to  be certain we address a concern or problem from the get-go. It is too easy for our minds to wander back to the dark side and assume the worse about the other (which has been the wrong assumption every time).  So if either of us feels doubt again because in all likelihood, this will happen again (unfortunately):

ALWAYS REFER TO Rule #7 — then proceed to Rule #8.

Someday (soon I hope) The Rules will be second nature to us. We will trust in each other and this relationship, leaving no room for doubt no matter what is happening or how it seems. We will be stronger than uncertainty. Our journey is just as much about mistakes we might make (and easily finding our way back) as it is about living The Rules. The rules cover both sides in our Relationship Recipe.

I don’t ever want you to feel doubt about me because I have walked in your shoes and I know exactly what this feels like. In the days leading up to my move to LA, I felt doubt and uncertainty and tremendous concern about you because I didn’t know what you were doing, I had no idea what was happening in your world or what you were thinking. I felt your excluded from your life. I felt the distance between us growing and this was overwhelming and isolating.  I never want you to feel this way. I never want to feel this again either.

The first Post in my new Blog is ready to be launched and you will read it for the very first time. I suddenly am now aware that I never have explained what this blog is about…and this is intentional. Now my stomach is kind of queasy feeling like I’ve handed you a copy of my new book for you to read for the very first time! I believe the answer(s) to the questions you had over the last few weeks will be answered and then erased from your mind. Trust me when I ask you to be patient just a little longer, ok?

I really am THINKING OF YOU DAY AND NIGHT (literally)!

I love you baby…with all my heart   xoxoxo  your girl

A modern room that I want to share with you…Do you know that mid-century modern design is my favorite? Clean lines. This is a rather modern approach to mid-century design but it’s nice (and colorful-like me!).

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