Category Archives: relationships

My Son’s Bromance

The news this morning carried a short about bromance  and it’s positive effect on men’s health and relieving stress.  I was reminded of the wonderful bromance in our family.

When BJ was about to start Junior High,  we moved to Madison, WI.  After a year of searching, we finally found a small Presbyterian church, where we were both comfortable.  It was in the Confirmation program for young teens,  that BJ met A.M. (AM)

My son collected the small and large GI Joe figures.  He rarely went anywhere without a couple 3.5 inch GI Joes in his pocket.  While he was waiting for me after church one day, he was messing with a couple GI joes.   A.M. spotted this kid with the GI Joes.  As it turned out,  AM also collected GI Joes and thus began the bromance!

There were lots of trips back and forth to each other’s home,  setting up their GI Joes, rejoicing when the other acquired a new one, etc.  It seemed like they would do something together every weekend.  They would haul their tubs of figures and equipment back and forth.

I sometimes wondered if AM had too much influence on BJ.  One time I remember grounding BJ.   AM was giving him ideas over the phone, of what to say to me and then BJ would repeat that to me.   I was livid.  I went right over to AM’s house and of course he sent his sister to the door first.  When he finally came to the door, in my calmly controlled anger, I told him to stop telling  BJ what to do and not undermine me.  The problem was resolved.

My son had trouble remembering the when and where’s of activities.  He might know part of the information but never have the whole of it.  i suppose it was because of ADD or the medication he took.    He never knew when basketball or soccer practice was. He didn’t know the times of the dance,  when Senior pictures were due, etc.   He would call AM to find out.

They would chatter away on the phone and I would smile to myself, hearing the banter, laughing and teasing that went on.  I was thankful that BJ found a close friend that he could count on.   Even though there were girls and other friends throughout high school,  it was amazing that they remained close until they graduated.  Looking back,  I think my son’s teen years were much happier because of this bromance.

BJ went into the military soon after high school graduation.   He and AM would talk daily whenever BJ was in the states.  When overseas,  AM would put together care packages for BJ and his buddies.  BJ’s girlfriend and later his wife,  was the first to suggest the term “bromance” to me.  It was likely an adjustment for her to acknowledge the close friendship the two guys had.

Both friends were in each other’s wedding.  When each friend  has gone thru difficult times,  the other remains loyal and supportive.

After 20 years,  they remain in contact and keep up with what’s happening in their lives.  I don’t think I have ever told AM that I love him. He has enriched my son’s life and I will be forever grateful to him.  Our family was blessed and continues to be blessed by his friendship and thoughtfulness.

Since BJ was an only child,  AM has been like a brother.  This bromance has been a wonderful addition to our family.

A close friendship is downright personal.   ©  2016

 

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After 15 years, it’s hard to believe we are still together.

We will be celebrating our 15th anniversary this May.  It is surprising to me that we are still together.  We are so different in many ways.  We have not married but we are committed.

She is warm blooded, I am cold blooded.  This causes problems in the car and house.  She is in a tank top, sandals and shorts, I have on long pants, merrell mocs and a sweatshirt.

She loves dogs, wanted two of them to sleep in bed with us,  I didn’t.   I endured until both died.  We have been dog free for 3 years but that will change in the near future.

She is politically conservative, I was liberal.  Times have changed and I now see the ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of liberalism.  Issue resolved.

I was active in the church, she wasn’t.  This has provided many interesting discussions and we attend church occasionally.  This is mostly due to my profound hearing loss and the difficulty of hearing what is being said.  We are on the same page:   faith is an important part of our lives.  Issue resolved.

I adopted a son as an infant, she came into our lives when he was a junior in high school.  Her upbringing was much, much tougher than mine and that was reflected in our parenting styles.  I would say that we complemented each other.  The challenge this raises now,  is who to leave certain assets to, in my will.  I imagine this is an issue for other couples where one has children, and the other doesn’t.

It is difficult for us to work together.  We are both strong women and have opinions on how things should be done.  Inevitably, one starts to boss the other.  When its time to do yard work, we work on separate projects.   We take breaks together, admire our landscaping, then return to our separate areas.  Yes, we help each other when it comes to heavy lifting.  Issue resolved.

Vacations were important to me,  not to her.  She saw them as a waste of money.  After three years together, she saw the value of traveling and relaxing from a stressful job.  Issue resolved.

Three years ago, the decision to get our motorcycle endorsements and purchase motorcycles was a time of conflict.   She thought it would be so much fun.  Our friends agreed with me, that it was a high risk activity.  She was determined.  With fear and trepidation,  I finally gave in.   She financed the cost and it has turned out that we have had some wonderful vacations and time spent together on our Honda Shadows.  I thank God every time we return safely from a ride.   We are in our early sixties and not sure how much longer we will ride.  Issue somewhat resolved.

What has kept us together in spite of our differences?   Let it be said,  every couple has problems, that is a given.  Yes, we still love each other after 15 years. However,  love is often not enough.  A long term relation ship usually needs other shared values.

We mostly agree on finances, what to spend money on.  We both are cautious in our spending.  If you have big differences in this area, it can be a big problem.

We both value monogamy and are sensitive to not flirting with others or causing doubts about our faithfulness.  We have two couple friends who also value monogamy and that helps in our socialization.  I had to be out of state for a total of three-four months last year, due to elderly mother issues.  I had no doubts that  i could trust my partner during my absence.

Another big thing that we appreciate about each other, is that we feel supported.  She loves landscaping and gardening,  I went along with it,  dug out lots of clay, built a large raised bed, laid paving stone, stacked rock, etc.   She wanted to play the flute, learn to bead,  fine with me.  I wanted to play the Ukulele,  she bought a beautiful instrument for me.  When I became interested in digital photography and Photoshop,  she made sure I had the appropriate equipment.  When one wants to get together with our family members,  the other supports it.  She has had a stressful job with long hours for 11 years.  I don’t complain.  I do most of the household, shopping, errands and yard work, so our weekends are free to play or relax.  It is a wonderful feeling when you feel supported in your choices.  It encourages freedom and trust in a relationship.

I’ve told my son and daughter-in-law, “there might occasionally  be somebody who looks better than the one you got.  The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.”  However, remember that the new mate will not be problem free,  just different issues.  Before you jeopardize your present relationship,  be sure that the present problems are an absolute deal breaker.  The “greener grass” may provide worse problems than you have now.  Be careful what you wish for!

I know its downright personal, but if you are in a long term relationship,  what has kept you together?

drp ©2016

 

 

 

Making it Difficult to Divorce

Our own state legislator Sally Kern is making the news again.  We have been told this past month that Rep. Kern has introduced House Bill 2279 that will restrict “incompatibility” as grounds for divorce in Oklahoma.

The bill would not allow divorce on the basis of incompatibility if:
(1)    There are living minor children of the marriage
(2)   The parties have been married 10 years or longer
(3)    Either party files a written objection to the granting of a divorce.

If Rep. Sally Kern is concerned about the sanctity of marriage, she is right to focus on heterosexuals  rather than the gay community.   The institution of marriage has been damaged by the choices and lifestyle of heterosexuals.  Straight people who are now concerned about their divorce rights, ought to be able to identify with the gay community who have yet to receive any legal rights with his/her partner.

Now days, it is too easy to get divorced but there has to be exceptions.  Many people are in and out of relationships like a revolving door.  I don’t think Rep. Kern’s bill will solve unhealthy marriages nor build healthy relationships.

I personally would like to see mandatory counseling before one can get married and before one can divorce.   Mandatory counseling and license to be a parent would be a good idea too!

© 2010

Mom, I want to find my birth mother…

Every adopted parent wonders if the time will come when your adopted child will want to search and/or find his/her birth mother and father.   My time has finally come.

My son announced in December that he and his wife are expecting.  Baby check ups have led to my son wondering more about his hereditary health issues.  A phone conversation with him this month, led to a discussion about his birth mother. 

I have known a few things about her.  She was 14 years old at the time, a big factor in her decision.  Her parents had just had twins, so they felt they couldn’t afford another child at the time.   When my son would occasionally ask about his birth mother when growing up, I tried to answer as honestly and positively as I could. 

In this conversation, I told him that I had some pictures of her and other children.  Through the adoption agency, she sent a letter and pictures.  He has two sisters and a fourth child was on its way in 1994.   He was 10 years old and I thought too young to be given these pictures. He is now 24 and finding out for the first time that I’ve had this info.

He indicated that he would like to pursue locating her.  I took a package of adoption records and info to the post office today, the pictures too.  I feel most sad that I am not able to be with him and share in those moments when he views those pictures.   He lives too far away and I will not see him till late August.  He thought he would have more time now to start the process before the baby arrives.  And so it goes.       

This is just another step in the journey.  I have mixed emotions of course, and will write more about that in another post.

© 2008 drpers

Finding new friends…

Ever since my partner and I have moved to a new state and city, we have been aware of the need to find new friends. Approaching our second year of new residence, we have become more intentional about attending events where we might make some gay or lesbian friends.

We found a church we like, so we started attending more regularly. We belong to a couple of email groups and attended a few social gatherings. What have we discovered thus far?

The couples that we have had the opportunity to visit with, don’t visit back! We ask them non threatening questions, allow for a lull in the conversation, give them a chance to ask us something, and zippo!  Zero! After one and two hours of not being asked a single question, we are a bit stunned. Nobody seems interested in us.

So we took an inventory:

1. Did we make eye contact? Yes.

2. Did we ask about their interests, family, jobs, how they met? Yes.

3. Were we courteous? Yes.

4, Were we kind? Yes.

5. Did we smile? Yes

6. Toothless grin? No

7. Did we chatter nonstop? No.

8. Ask about money? No.

9. Ask about religion or politics? No.

10. Discuss Sex? No.

Obviously, we are still looking for friends. We have some more possibilities at the church we are attending, but if all else fails, there’s always straight people. I was just hoping at some point in my life, to have a few interesting lesbian friends. Wish us luck!

 

#3 of 3 in series: five more issues to discuss online before meeting in person…

 

11) What kind of baggage does the other carry related to past relationships? What has been the length of time since the last serious relationship? What were the hurtful issues, have they been healed?

12) Are they married, are they still living together with their EX, what is their living arrangement? How attached are you to your location? Do you need to be near family and friends? How easily do you make new friends? If you were to live together, who would move?

13) What are their attitudes about sex, what kind of sex or stimulation do they most enjoy? Are you willing to try new techniques or expand your horizons?

(14) What place does faith or spirituality have in their life? What commonality or differences do you have in religious beliefs? How will you celebrate religious holidays and with whom?

15) Are they interested in a long term commitment or short term fling? Does this match your expectations? Is he or she the kind of person that you would logically choose or are compatible with if feelings and emotions weren’t involved?

By all means, this is not an exhaustive list, but a good place to start.  When you decide to meet in person, someone you’ve met online, hopefully their walk matches their talk.  If not, keep looking.  Truthfulness is an important foundation to a trusting relationship. Good luck and be careful out there!

See:  #1 of 3 in series:

#2 of 3 in series:

#2 in series: five more issues to discuss online before meeting in person

Discussing value issues before you meet, helps to determine how compatible you are with another.  Studies show that higher compatibility leads to happier relationships….especially if you are thinking long term.   It is easier to determine compatibility on many of the long term values before you become emotionally and physically involved.   After one’s hormones kick in, rational tends to get left in the dust.

Here are another five issues to discuss before meeting!

6) What physical limitations does the other have? How well do you do with caring for someone when they are sick? Do you mind changing plans and staying home when the other is not feeling well?

7) How do you feel about monogamy or open ended relationships? How do you feel about porn, about flirting online with others? Is it okay for your partner or spouse to go out with friends without you?

8) How “out” are you, to family, friends, work colleagues? Will the other be welcome at family gatherings?

9) Are you a homebody or a party animal? What kinds of activities do you picture the two of you doing together?

10) How do you feel about communication, contact with ex-lovers? Is it okay for ex lovers to meet alone or only in group situations? Why or why not?