Friends with Benefits

Ahhh, the ever-famous, bewildering concept of “a friend with benefits” has haunted our youthful society for decades now.  The idea you can have a friend, add sex to the mix and keep emotional attachment out of it is paradoxical enigma (big words ;).  I can’t imagine it is possible for this to be a healthy practice.  Or can it?   My husband is my friend and we certainly have “benefits”…so essentially, my hubby is “my best friend with benefits”.

At the core of my relationship with the hubs are two things- our friendship with God and our friendship with each other.  I love hanging out with him because we have so much fun together. He makes me laugh harder than anyone I know.  He is simply the coolest person to be around.  We just get each other… and the “benefits” are simply wonderful.  But that’s just it- they wouldn’t be as wonderful if we didn’t have that friendship.

Physical intimacy without emotional and spiritual intimacy with your partner can harm rather than enhance your relationship.  Don’t be afraid to make this a “non-negotiable” when it comes to your relationship(s).  Regardless of your status-married, dating, single- require you and your partner to be “friends with benefits”.  Trust me, it is SOOOO worth it.

Blissful Lovin,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife


The Art of the Perfect Argument

Picture courtesy of HubPage

The dynamics between man and woman are simply fascinating.  Our personalities, emotions and outlooks can be drastically different and unique; heck, experts even claim we even come from different planets.  So what happens when we don’t see eye to eye- when Mars and Venus collide and form a catastrophic bang?  How do we react when our sensitive side takes hold of our emotions and our peaceful, Zen relationship erupts in an argument?

Here is the thing: We all react differently.  Some of us scream, others ignore, but everyone gets angry.  Even I, your euphoric idealist whose brain houses sugar plums, fairies, and unicorns, understand that sometimes paradise can be rocky.

So how do you maintain the integrity of your relationship, while dealing with the issue at hand?  One word- Respect.  Aretha certainly knew what she was talking about when she belted those infamous lyrics.  No matter how irrational or silly an argument can be, the problem is important to at least one of you.  Therefore make it a learning experience and then make up quickly because that is ‘happily ever after part’ and quite frankly the best part of an argument.

I will give you my list of do’s and don’ts when arguing.  Follow these and I promise the planets will align at a much quicker rate, peace will be restored and your relationship and feelings will remain blissfully intact.

5 Rules for Arguing:

1.       Respect:  You are in a relationship with this person because a level of admiration, adoration and care exists- if not you shouldn’t be in the relationship.  Don’t let those feelings bail the second tension arises.  Maintain the level of respect your partner deserves and in turn he/she should do the same; this especially includes foul language, any derogatory treatment, and nasty name calling.

2.      Understand your Partner:  I am freakishly sensitive.  I have no tolerance for screaming and I get anxiety attacks when people argue around me. This holds true for any form of bickering. Javy knows this. Like me, Javy can’t stand if someone raises his/her voice at him and gets very quiet when something upsets him. We both like living in a Zen-peaceful world and have a relationship that matches that description.

However, because life isn’t always a mirror image of Pleasantville, we recognize sometimes there are disagreements. So we talk things out…rarely let our voices get louder than our “inside voice” (my fellow teachers are nodding at the ‘inside voice’ reference ;)) and respect each other’s ways. Is it easy? NO. But it is necessary and eventually becomes habitual. I love him more than words can describe. Why would I want to hurt him? After all, when you get down to the heart of the disagreement you realize it is just that- two people not seeing eye to eye. So don’t further deepen the rift by attacking your partner’s sensitive trigger points.

3. Do NOT Ignore: One day, sitting in a Marriage and Families course for my minor in Religious Studies, I saw Jesus. LOL, no just kidding. But I did receive one of the most powerful lessons a girl just shy of 21 could learn- “Ignoring someone is a form of control.” I remember sitting there and pondering that statement as I wrote it down. “Ignoring someone is a form of control”. What did this mean?

All those times I had chosen to ignore my parents because they upset me flooded my mind. Followed by the times I ignored my best friend when I felt she did something bad enough to merit my deathly silence. I knew how I reacted when people upset me- I would ignore. My defense mechanism had always been walk away and give the silent treatment. Did this make me a control freak? Perhaps yes, maybe not. But that day changed my relationships forever. I became aware of my bad behavior and how it affected the people I loved most. It didn’t change immediately and sometimes my ugly habit still rears its little head, but now I am conscious of it. I recognize that by ignoring someone or something I am simply trying to have control over it and friends, let me reiterate, you can’t control people or problems.

Rather than giving your partner the silent treatment, force yourself out of your comfort zone and talk it out. Start off by saying something like, “My initial reaction is to not want to talk this out and give you the silent treatment, but I realize that will not fix our problem so can we discuss this?” Remember to replace any explicits you may want to include with sweet words like “Baby, My Love, and Sweetheart” 😉

4. Don’t Invite Technology into It: So much of our world revolves around this new age phenomenon. We are more connected than ever to social media and are a few steps shy of surgically attaching our cell phones to our hips for easier access. Yet, at times we are so totally disconnected with the world around us. This paradox makes it easy to ‘text and fight’ or ‘send an angry e-mail’. Sound familiar? We are emotional creatures and are accustomed to instant gratification and even quicker responses. These factors may drive us to act and react in ways that are simply not healthy for our relationships.

Always remember, words gets minced and lost in translations- I should know, I am a writer. They are also forever…they don’t go away. Whatever you write in a text and/or e-mail will be interpreted by your partner however he or she deems fit and this can cause much pain. Remember: Sticks and Stones may break your bones, but words may break your heart.

5. Alway find a Fair, Quick Solution and APOLOGIZE: Don’t let the argument last too long. I am willing to bet a winning Lotto ticket neither one of you enjoys being bothered or angry. So work through it and come to a fair solution to the problem. Put aside your ego and replace it with your partner’s feelings; after all, that is more important. Give a sincere and genuine apology when necessary and just the same, learn to forgive. None of us are perfect and we all strive to be the best form of ourselves; start with yourself and then your partner.

Blissful Love Friends,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife