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Enjoying the Ride

In Blogging, Career, Contributors, En Español, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on February 20, 2016 at 00:01

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By Geisel Checo

This part of my life, here and now, is what I call enjoyment. You may have that description attached to your 20s but for me, the 30s are a true joy.

Let’s get you started, I am about to hit 37, father of three boys and married to my best friend since I was 28 years old. So my thirties got me married and with a first-born little person.

We were overseas in another Caribbean island working for a local Construction Company. I say another island because I was born in one, the Dominican Republic. Therefore, my first son was born in Trinidad & Tobago of two Dominican Parents. Three years after, now in my thirties, we decided to have a second child but in the middle of it I decided not to renew my contract with the company for two more years so we went back home.

Being an engineer, with two children, getting back to the labor market after five years being overseas it is only fair that the ride started to get bumpy. Got a job, which I lost in the matter of months due to rough economy times while my wife was unemployed due to the pregnancy. Thanks to my experience in the field, I got a job in a matter of days but it required being away from home every so often.

If two little boys were not enough, we got preggo again for a third time! And with it I was transferred to Haiti for a high profile project that required a Project Manager with my expertise, or so they said… But it was! Being a Dominican in Haiti is not an easy task due to some business that happened over 170 years ago but we cannot forget our past nor our history. Even though the project was very demanding and going out for drinks was not an option, I decided to write a book on my own. I have a blog in which I write about my real and imaginary life, but to write a book is something else.

So between chapters of my stay in Haiti I had the concept of what I wanted to write about but never set my foot down to finish it. Until one day that I read about a contest for Spanish speaking writers with an opportunity to have your digital book printed out in paperback with a well renowned publisher. By that time I was Operations Manager handling five projects simultaneously since I was promoted after the high profile project was handed over to the client.

I started writing the book on or around 3am due to heavy work load because there were two of the five projects with an end date approaching and extra hours were put into play to meet the dead line. I would reach home, take a bath and start singing “it’s 3am I must be lonely” (all rights lay with Matchbox 20) and then set to write my own piece.

It took me a month to finally have it presentable or so I like to think, or maybe it was because the end date to publish it was due and I only got an hour left to do so. I rushed into the laptop, in the middle of my working day, with my boss and the Minister of Education present on the job site and I minded my own business. It was like that or nothing.

At the end, I did not even make it into the top five of which a winner was going to be elected from, but I wrote a digital book, in a month, not sleeping and with lots of responsibilities on my shoulders delivering the two mentioned projects. I am aiming to print the book on my own and put it on sale in bookstores all over the Dominican Republic.

And that’s where I say that my thirties are about enjoyment, even being a bumpy ride, with ups and downs. If all these were to happen while in my twenties I would probably be divorced by now, pressure cracked in my professional life and would have never written a book from scratch and from inside my head with my own story.

So I’m not inspiring you to not turn 30 but to embrace it, wish it and dream it. It is the start of a ride to enjoy to the fullest!

I would like to thank Laura and her empowering blog for asking me to contribute to it and I’m looking forward to contribute again, probably on her upcoming blog ‘Now That I Am In My Forties’ (just trying to set the idea in your brain!).

P.S.: If you have the time and can read in Spanish, please visit my blog at www.entrelapizypapel.blogspot.com and/or purchase the digital version of my book ‘El Presidente de la Nación’ on Amazon.

Geisel in a glimpse:

morning person – sunset collector – lover of a good wine, golf and antiquities – habano’s savorer – full moon contemplator – husband of my best friend – father of three – brother of two – proud son – creator of stories, both real and imaginary.

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It Will All Work Out

In Career, Contributors, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on January 12, 2016 at 09:00

Marilu1

By Marilu Cristina Flores

In my twenties, I accomplished numerous things; I was married, moved away from my home permanently (or so I thought) and was pursuing the career I had always dreamed of. I gained recognition professionally, traveled to many places I had longed to visit and had a lovely home in Southern California.

Five years into my first marriage, we called it quits and just a short time later I found myself engaged to someone else, we married a year into dating.

As I approached my thirties, I found I was no longer in love with the career I thought I always wanted and it felt like the few choices I did make for me, were not heavily appreciated or accepted by my partner. I chose to go back to school and pursue Marine Science and took a position in Marine Conservation which paid me a third of what I had ever made, even as a young professional in High School!

While I was happy professionally, working outdoors in the sea and teaching children about the importance of conservation, I quickly found myself stuck in an unhappy marriage with a spouse who was less than there and in-laws that could fill the pages of horror novels.

When my ex-husband left me, just two weeks after my thirtieth birthday, I wasn’t devastated, but relieved to be free of his wandering ways and exhausting family. 

The day after he uttered the words “divorce,” I hopped on a plane and spent a month away visiting friends in Vermont and New York. When I returned to Miami, I packed up my things and relocated to Vermont. Just like that. It was the freest I had ever felt up until that point in my life, I had no plan, and minimal savings, but somehow, I truly knew it would all just work out. I’m sure to many it seemed odd, unexpected and completely out of left field! But somehow, I knew this is what I had to do.

Now if you know me, you know I am #TropicalLife for life so this was a huge change for me, before my life in Vermont I was convinced anything under 75 degrees was freezing and ungodly.

While I didn’t know it yet in Vermont I would experience the worst winter there since 1859, and I would find myself moving to an area completely new to me: Digital Marketing.

It was during my time at Keurig, that I really began to realize what a broad diversity of work experience I had and how I truly was capable of anything I wanted to accomplish.

I met someone, a man, through a friend and for the first time in my life I took my time; took my time to decide.

Not just on who I wanted to spend my time with, but to truly decide what I wanted to make of my time, my energy and of the things I was so extremely passionate about. 

In May of 2015, in the winter that felt like an eternity, I had a rather odd crazy dream about putting on an #EcoFashionShow and that next morning, I reached out to the people who were in my dream. Who crazily enough, had recently started a nonprofit and had been discussing a Fashion Show for months! But had no clue where to start and so began this new chapter in my life. 

I started organizing the show, making phone calls from Vermont and emailing people I had met throughout the years.

Everyone I reached out to said “YES! We’ll help you!”. They donated goods, time, the venue, everything! It was CRAZY!

Everything was happening just like in my dream; I decided to re-locate back to Miami in August of 2015, my new love in tow! And work continued on the fashion show, I also became involved in other projects, such as helping Surfrider a nonprofit I had been involved with in California and for a few years in Miami before I left to Vermont. Shortly after my return I was asked to become a Board Member – one of my lifelong dreams!

Finally, the day of the Fashion Show arrived and within an hour we were completely SOLD OUT! Raising well over our expectations and gaining interest for another show and other events.

From this began an overnight business, as people wanted to hire me for my newfound Digital Marketing and Social Media experience.

I turned thirty-one on August 23rd, and upon reflection on my birthday I realized how much more I knew now (cliché, I know) and despite what many would consider some epic failures (two divorces and a 15-year long career I left), I learned that without those marriages I would have never been able to appreciate the man I am now with, who was willing to leave all he knew behind and relocate to Miami with me because he believed in me and my dream, who wanted to see me grow professionally and personally and without my previous career I would have never learned what I now know which has helped me immensely as a Social Media Specialist. 

At thirty-one, I am living the life many strive for over a lifetime. I love what I do! I have accomplished work/life balance and every day is a new, welcomed challenge.

I have gained financial freedoms I never thought were possible for me and have learned to nurture a healthy, mature relationship with an age appropriate man who appreciates me as much as for my flaws as well as my accomplishments.

I can’t wait to see what this decade has in store, there will be ups and there will be downs I am sure, but the wisdom gained from my experiences in my early twenties will surely see me through them.

 

About Marilu:

Marine Conservationist, Media Producer, Surfrider, Social Media Specialist. Please visit www.marilucflores.com to know more about her.

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Why do Indian wives turn frigid in their thirties?

In Family, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Lifestyle, News, Relationships, Spirituality on September 4, 2015 at 09:00

Indian wives

News Today by Nagpur Today

Some months ago I was interviewing sex workers from Ganga Jamuna red light area of Nagpur, whom the police and local authorities were trying their best to evict from their homes. First of all, tenants – naturally women of the same profession – were made to leave their rented homes with some legal excuse. Then ‘customers’ who dared venture into the area were beaten up with lathis and cursed roundly. (I saw this scene with my eyes and it was recorded by our cameras. When I asked if there was curfew in the area that anyone seen on the roads was being lathi charged they finally withdrew).

It was then that this not-so-young – woman said something to me I will not forget:

”Didi, what will happen to society if we stop doing what we do? Our customers might be men, but it is the Nagpur wives whom we provide a service to! they do not want to have sex with their husbands, so they come to us. If we are not there, they will get beaten, thrashed and then raped. Violence in households will increase a hundred times.”

While I was ruing over this statement, two married guy friends made sad confessions to me that their wives had stopped having any interest in sex since many years… they had seen counselors, they had seen even sexologists, but nothing had helped. Their marriage was on the rocks, actually it was over. The only reason they made a pretense of being together was for the sake of the children.

First I thought they were exceptions, not all married couples could be like that?! Then I did some research on the internet and spoke to some gynecologists and the result shocked me.

There was general consensus that over 1/3rd i.e. approx 67% of Indian wives lose interest in having sex with their husbands. Quite a few of them have never liked ‘doing the act’ to begin with! They ‘give in’ till they have kids, and then motherhood and the ‘needs of the baby’ become a standard excuse to not have sex at all.

So what are the main reasons wives turn sex-unfriendly?

-Society and parental conditioning – For decades our films have conveyed the message that only vamps are sexy and sultry. “Good and virtuous women” do not expose their bodies, do not have ‘dirty thoughts’ and have pure minds and bodies. They only sing love ballads for Gods.

-Girls are never imparted sex education properly, even upto the time they get married. They always learn about it from wrong sources and often develop a distaste for it even before experiencing it.

-In our arranged marriage system, the engaged-to-be-married couple are seldom given a chance to get to know each other better before being thrown into the marital bed together. Forget the girls, even the guys are not counselled about how to treat a wife, with love and gentleness so that she will open up to you naturally and willingly. Sometime the ‘first night’ experience will scar a young woman for life.

-Even when the two have known each other and it has been a ‘love marriage’ there are factors that hinder intimacy like over crowded Indian homes and lack of privacy; the Indian family system where even grown up children sleep with their mothers/ parents and the mother is always afraid of the child/ children waking up at the ‘wrong time’. This condition of an Indian woman has been very well expressed in a Sanskrit shloka which I used to think glorified womanhood till the real significance hit me. “Woman is a wife momentarily but a mother eternally” it says.

-Fear of pregnancy. In most Indian couples it is upto a woman to practise family planning. She can take the pill, wear a Copper T or go in for an abortion if an ‘accident’ occurs. Husbands do not like wearing condoms, and many women resent it too since it leads to erosion and injury specially when sex is forced upon them when they are not ready or aroused enough.

-And finally, it is the attitude of men that puts wives off this intimate and loving act. They treat sex with wife as their birthright will claim it for physical gratification not realizing that for a woman it is her emotional needs that have to be fulfilled too… in short, they want foreplay.

So what is the end result?

-Many married women suffer from psychosomatic disorders, which show up as physical ailments. Like body ache, headache, migraines, general weakness and an apathy towards everything. These complains become further excuses for not having sex.

-Frustrated husbands can take to staying out, drinking, and finally patronizing sex workers.

-Physical abuse of a wife will increase and the man may also end up suspecting her of infidelity and having a lover on the side.

Unfortunately, this fear is sometime not unfounded.

If you have read between the lines well, the significant expression is ‘frigid towards husbands’.

Women are also creatures of the flesh and do have desires and sex instincts. It is one of the most powerful natural desires.

When a woman will not find it in her marital bed, she can as easily stray as any man.

Facebook and the ease of interaction through social media like Whatsapp, even messaging has made it very easy for strangers to connect.

There are many Lotharios who ‘specialize’ in identifying and hunting down lonely women and giving them all the (fake) romance they want. Towards one goal only – getting them in bed for their vicarious pleasures.

Sometime, as shown in the movie “BA Pass” an ambitious woman will herself snare a young man and use him “commercially” by lending him out to her friends as well.

In extreme conditions, this sexual frustration also leads to horrendous sex crimes where again unfortunately the law is applied quite lop lopsidedly.

Men who are genuine rapists will get away but a man and a woman who have had sex with mutual consent are always suspect in the eyes of society and even our police and our courts.

Thus after some months/ years of an affair, if an adult woman goes and complains that the man has ‘exploited’ her sexually with the promise of marriage, or a role in a film a modeling assignment or even a job, the guy is accused of ‘Rape’. There are well known cases where such guys are behind bars for 6-7 years already.

So what is the solution?

We need as a society to acknowledge that a problem exists and only being more open, liberal and informed about it we can solve it.

We are the country where ‘Kamsutra’ was written for God’s sake but now we have allowed narrow religious notions and conditioning to consider sex as something ‘dirty’ and unwanted. We need to break out of this mind set and learn to enjoy life and matrimony in all its glory and potential rather than treating it as a punishment!

…Sunita Mudaliar

Source: Why do Indian wives turn frigid in their thirties? – Nagpur Today: Nagpur News

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“Turning 30 woes”

In Career, Contributors, Family, Lifestyle, Relationships on August 5, 2013 at 08:00

By Rachel Everitt 

RachelEI sit and write to you aged 29 and facing 30 head on whether I like it or not. When you are growing up you seem to have so many milestones which naturally lie ahead of you, turning into double numbers, then a teenager, and then being able to legally have sex, get married, to drive, to drink, to be classed as an adult. So much changes around you just because your birthday comes and goes and you get another year older. All the while it’s great that you are becoming more independent and world wisely, how could getting older not be a good thing.

At 16 I left school, got my first full time job and got engaged, it was all just so brilliant, I bought my first house at 19, got a well-paid job I really wanted and was married at 21. Getting older had been nothing but kind to me, I was in control of my life, was living as an adult and was content with where I thought my life was going.

I thought that getting older was something that was measured by what you achieve, so is there any wonder I was happy and never actually gave getting older a second thought. Then everything changed for me. As I write this I feel that this is when getting older was something I was going to dread. I was 24 when I got divorced, it was my decision, I’d been in a relationship eight years since I was at school and, needless to say, the woman I had become was a far cry from the girl I once was. Hey I was only 24, had my whole life ahead of me, I figured it was a good time to start over before children made an appearance and I only had myself to look after.

After a few months of adjusting to being single, living alone for the first time, paying bills independently and living it up with my friends, I then came to realize that all those years and achievements I thought my life might be measured by had been wiped away, deleted and suddenly replaced with the feeling of failure. I was no longer married, I was divorced, living alone and struggling to pay my mortgage. The only thing I had going for me was my job, which I did appreciate, well sometimes.

Talking to friends one day about meeting someone new I came up with a checklist of things I was looking for in a potential boyfriend. Now the list itself isn’t important, just know that I am a little fussy, however one thing I was adamant about was that I didn’t want to date a guy over 30. OK, at the time I was only 24 so this seems reasonable, right? Wrong, I couldn’t have been clearer with my friends that 30 was just too old, I didn’t want to date someone who had got to 30 and not settled down, thinking surely there was something wrong with them, I know, narrow minded and naïve but that was how I felt.

I got in relationship which went on to last nearly four years, these years were again full of achievements, a measure of how life was going well, nice holidays, getting a dog, getting a new job, moving into a new house. Then it ended, this time not by my choice. Once again feeling like all my achievements had been deleted from record, apart from my job again at least. Except this time I was 28 and heartbroken.

Getting older was suddenly the last thing I wanted to do. It was nearly ten years since I’d left home but all I wanted to do was go back and have my Mum take care of me. This wasn’t even an option as I worked away and needed to be near my job, after all it is the one constant that has remained, aside from family and friends.

So now, here I am trying to let go of the stigma I myself have attached to 30 and how life is measured by the achievements we make. I am not pining for things I don’t have nor am I wishing things I did have were different. The only measure I want in my life is that I am alive and living, anything else will come and go as time goes on. I don’t believe things happen because of the age you are just because of who we are.

I am truly hoping that by the time I reach my 30th birthday I won’t feel old even though I think it’s old. I am getting there; after all at least I’m only going to be 30 and not 40!

About Rachel:

Born and raised in England, Rachel is perhaps the clumsiest person you will ever meet. Love a laugh and try not to take anything too seriously although has the bad habit of being ‘the sensible one’ which saves her from too many embarrassing photos or memories if nothing else. She never says “I love you” unless she means it and anything she does say she means. Check out her blog: http://racheve.wordpress.com.

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