Oh Lordy! Relationship Maintenance. Sounds Terrible.
There’s a saying here in the south that I really, really love. It’s a multi-purpose phrase — so useful, so expressive. You can hang anything on it. Truly anything. What it means depends entirely on your tone, inflection and attitude.
“Oh Lordy” applies to practically anything under the sun. You can communicate joy, as in delicious food — “Oh Lordy, that’s tasty….”
Or frustration and overwhelm, as in your busy schedule — “Oh Lordy, can’t add another thing to my week!”
Or disapproval, as in fashion commentary —“Oh Lordy, would ya look at THAT!?!”
Oh Lordy applies to relationships in so many ways. It applies to the really fun aspects of being together.
And to the more un-shiny, un-bling sorts of things about a relationship.
Like, you know — maintenance. Sidework. Behind the scenes, no applause kind of work. All that wind beneath your relationship wings stuff. Upkeep.
Maintenance is the category of actions you do over and over to keep things running smoothly and in good repair.
It’s this idea that if you take care of something along the way as you go, over the years (like your health, for instance) you won’t have to do so much damage control later on.
Lately I seem to be talking with women who are doing a lot of damage control late in life regarding their intimate relationship.
These women have lived with their husbands for somewhere between ten and thirty years now, and suddenly, for some reason, they have thrown up their hands and said, “Enough already.”
Enough of what?
- Not getting along.
- Not understanding each other.
- Feeling bad about the way they relate to their partner on “hot topics.” These are the topics they never get through without frustration, argument, or tension. It is the feeling that after all this time, things have not truly improved and needs are not being met.
- Not relating in an intimate way. Not touching, hugging, being close, kissing, holding hands. Brother and sister relationship.
- Not having enough fun. Not enjoying each other. Not laughing like they used to. Not laughing like kids.
- Hating (pretty strong word, I know) or feeling resentful, pissed off, or angry too often, even about things that don’t really, really matter. Being impatient and short tempered with each other.
- “I’m over it.” Being calloused. Knowing what your partner is going to say before it comes out of his/her mouth. Predictability. Same old same old.
- Too much separation. Not going on dates, eating together, or going on vacation together. Having separate adventures. Ships passing in the night.
- Knowing a lot, living life, have done many trainings and seminars, well educated, well informed, spiritual, and knowing that we are love at the core deep down where everything matters. But feeling a lot of the opposite, especially feeling un-spiritual, unloving, judgmental, hard on oneself and others.
When I arrived in the south a few years ago, and I began to hear “Oh Lordy” this and that and the other thing, it made me smile every time. Heaven only knows we need to lighten up a little more often about anything that’s not working.
So in that spirit, here are some (hopefully) encouraging thoughts…
Oh Lordy! We Can Do This!
- Wherever you are about things in your intimate relationship, whatever your age or length of relationship, know that taking action to help yourselves out of a rut is not too little too late, or doesn’t have to be. I know this for sure. It is possible to turn anything around, if that’s what you want. I can walk you through this. I’ve done it myself.
- “The problem” is not so much about the relationship (your partnership) as it is about you. Your relationship with you. Your relationship with who you are. Your relationship with who you have become. It’s not about your partner. This is a big one. I am the poster child for “it’s not about him.”
- The secret to a happy life is that you’re always right, so what do you want to be right about? You could also say that the secret to a happy life is to give up all the opinions that make you old and crabby and no fun to be around. Easier said than done for sure, but what have you got to lose? What you’ve got to lose is everything you never wanted in the first place.
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In Care of Relationships with Terri Crosby– Tools For Creating Positive Momentum. https://incareofrelationships.com. Terri is a relationship mentor. She helps create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. If you are ready to take your relationship to the next level, you can sign up to be on the mailing list HERE. To subscribe to her blog, hit the subscribe button on this page and add your email address.