In our society, we are supposed to “couple up,” “pair off,” “mate away,” etc. etc. This is ridiculous because most of the people I know and love come from broken homes. Let’s take a second to define Broken. I mean divorced. Or separated. Songs on the radio, TV shows paint pictures of marriage and happily ever after… But let’s be realistic… It’s not honest.

How many couples do you know who are still married? After 5 years? How about 15? 28? 40? Didn’t think so. Not trying to burst any bubbles here. There’s a big reason for this… We grow up watching Disney and boys watch all those action movies (well now they watch LRP TV) it’s a lie. It makes us Liars. We become Liars in our relationships. It warps our perception of what our partner should look like. What we think we need to want and have.

A conversation with Cliff recently about marriage included his side of the argument as “I thought I was supposed to provide and you would have your things and me my things and I’d just see you at the end of the day. Maybe sometimes for sex.” Um… No. Where is the intimacy? Where’s ALL THE SEX? What do you mean Just sometimes? What about my needs? What about time together? What about family time? Life is Not TV. We need to stop mimicking what we see, including porn.

Your wife is not a doll to be taken off the shelf whenever you decide to play with her. Your kids do exist when you are at work. Everyone has feelings and a schedule and food they like and eat.

The baby still poops when you leave for work, dads! Moms, dads still hate traffic when you aren’t in the car… He’s not just doing it to avoid conversation! Seriously, breathe. Hold hands. Hug. Love.

I am very fortunate; my parents are still married after 40 years. I never had to think about trading houses or weekend schedules or who’s house for Christmas. I look at half my kids now and it must be so difficult for them. The hard part, however, is how they see each other. How they see us. Always worried about what they see on TV verse what they see in all the parents. The questions they ask us, the questions they ask their friends. How they are growing up and adapting into who they are by what they see and how they take it.

As a parent, you can only do so much. I don’t control that kid in the cafeteria with the dirty YouTube on his phone. I’m not his mom. I can only handle it when my kid comes back to disrespect me because now he thinks women get disrespected after I and Cliff had a fight. He doesn’t understand. He’s just trying to learn. I can’t be everyone or everywhere. I can’t point out every single thing he’s trying to absorb and when he gets it wrong, I can’t even draw all the parallels to why. That’s life. I can’t be there for my daughter when she gets bullied by the swings. I can’t understand if she messes up her chore and her dad yells at her so she cries and pushes men away. I can’t be everywhere.

If the kids don’t talk to you… What can you do? You can only listen so hard to silence. What can I do? I can love their father. If I fight in front of them (because let’s be realistic, sometimes this is unavoidable) I can make up with him in front of them too. I cannot just show them the missing step. I can show my kids the conflict Actually resolving so they will learn this step.

So, fighting won’t frustrate them. They won’t turn to silence or violence later to find resolutions. I can show them, love isn’t perfect. I can be honest about my mistakes and talk about my flaws and dislikes. I can make them feel ok with not liking things. I can work with the other set of parents.

Just because we were divorced or there was negativity, doesn’t mean this is on the child. We can all be good about the boundaries. It’s called being an adult.

Love and Lust are two different things. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Love doesn’t need the messiness of Lying. We need to stop being Liars. We need to stop playing games with each other. We need to have some respect. It’s about relationships improvement and knowing Love is a choice. Falling in Love might not have been, but staying in Love every day after definitely is.