Tag: relationships

Telling your fiancée you need to jack off and other keys to a happy (and lasting) relationship

The last 7 years have been some of the most wonderful of my life. I finished my university degree, I’ve started putting in the groundwork for my career, and most importantly, I’ve met the woman of my dreams.

In October 2011 I met the woman who I will marry on October 20th 2018, to which you might very reasonably ask: “why should I care?”

You should care dear reader, because my fiancée and I have had good times and bad times. We’ve dealt with health scares, infidelity, argued about important things, about silly things and now we’ve arrived at a point where we say things as they are.

The filter is wafer thin, so as to almost be invisible:

When we’re upset with each other we say it, when I need to jerk off, I tell her that I want to, and she knows that it’s not about her.

The reason I point this out, is because honesty is such a a fundamental part of our relationship, and I’ve observed that the more honest we are with each other, the better our relationship becomes.

Another element of our relationship, which I adopted from The Happiness Advantage is to write down a few things every day about her which I’m grateful for. Doing this, means I have to look for things about her I’m grateful for, so that I can write it in my journal.

This might sound trivial, but this has a way of crowding out many negative emotions. Don’t get me wrong – we’re not perfect, and we still argue, but it’s less intense, less severe and less often than we used to, and if I could only keep a single daily practice, this would be the one.

Finally, we fart around each other. Specifically it’s important that she farts around me – it’s important because she is not the most comfortable about her body, so this signals a certain trust, and trust is everything in a relationship. When that trust is broken it takes time to rebuild. A long time. I broke that trust once, and it took a long time to rebuild, but it was worth it.

We came out stronger on the other side, and though neither one of us would ever go back to that time, we both agree that it has made our bond that much stronger.

It has made us stronger individually and collectively, and that trust which we have painstakingly built over the last 7 years through many trials and tribulations has forged the bond that holds us together and made our relationship a strong one.

I realize that there are no guarantees about staying together forever, but there is no person in the world I’d rather take my chances with.

How to deal with meddling, dishonest and arrogant people

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”

Marcus Aurelius

This is one of the most profound passages in all of the Emperors Meditations.

Not only because it is as true today as it as it ever was, but also because of the fact that if the most powerful man on earth at the time had to deal with difficult people, then certainly so must we. Difficult people is a fact of life – especially for a man or woman in the arena. By this I mean if you want to accomplish anything worthwhile, you’re going to learn how to put up with people who act up.

Not only will you need to learn how to put up with them, but you must learn how to navigate

them like a battle-worn captain of the seas.

My point here is two-fold: first and foremost you must recognize that people haven’t changed since Marcus Aurelius was emperor. People are still ungrateful, arrogant and dishonest – they will go behind your back in a second if it serves them well. This might strike you as cynical, but that is reality and it’s better to confront it head on, than to wish it was different.

The second point here is that the way to deal with these difficult people haven’t changed either – the way to deal with them is to accept that they are the way they are because they don’t know any better. They don’t the difference between good and evil, and the best thing we can do is to brace ourselves to deal with these people. Face them head on, and know that not everyone we are going to meet will be all sunshine and butterflies.

When we steel ourselves for encounters with difficult people in this way, we can handle them better, and we can look upon them with compassion, and wish them well, because we know that deep down, they don’t know why they are acting this way. We might not be able to help them get better, but at least we can deal with them in a warm and gentle manner – this way we show them a better way, as well as keep our own hands clean of their lies and arrogance.

On how to better cope with anger

Getting angry is easy. It might be one of the easiest emotions to encounter in daily life. Someone steps in front of us in the line at the supermarket we get angry. Our boss or co-worker says unkind words to us, we get angry. Our partner asks us to clean more, we get angry.

There are a million different ways to get angry, and most of us don’t know how to deal with it because it seems so natural when it arises within us – it seems like there is no way we are able to free ourselves from this emotion.

And maybe there isn’t. But that’s not the point. Instead, the point is to have a plan of action for when it does arise.

To be aware of our anger when it arises, notice that it’s there and let go of it immediately. This way, we are in control of our anger, instead of it being in control of us.

When I think of how many times I’ve said something in anger which I wish I could take back later, I’m mortified. Thankfully I’ve gotten good at apologizing and explaining that I didn’t mean the things I said in anger, but obviously this strategy is not ideal.

A better strategy, which I’ve found to work incredibly well is to simply notice the anger as we experience it – it is easier said than done, but it is doable, and it becomes easier with practice.

What’s important to realize when we think about how to deal with complex emotions such as anger, is that we don’t have any control of when or how they arise in our minds – we must prepare for them to arise and have a coping strategy ready to deal with it, because the only thing which is within our control is our response to our emotions – not our actual emotions themselves.

That is why it is of crucial importance to have a plan of action to make sure we are ready to deal with anger when we experience is – this way we can regain control of ourselves and actively shape our outcomes instead of letting our outcomes shape us.