Celebrating Them…and US!

Celebrating the 19th Amendment

What’s so good about today?

This month marks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote. The amendment was ratified on August 18, and certified on Aug. 26, 1920. 100 years ago today. 
It might not seem like so big a deal to people like us who were raised with the right to vote.
However, close your eyes for a moment and think of those women – like your great grandmothers, or even your grandmothers and great aunts. World War I had just ended and the world was living through a pandemic – with way fewer sources of information. They had to wait for the evening paper to find out anything.
For their whole lives, those women had almost no say in the decisions that impacted their lives. They grew up thinking only white men could vote – and had to watch as even the really dumb ones voted while so many smart women stayed silent.
Then the 19th Amendment was ratified and certified less than 70 days before the presidential election. It was new and exciting, and I’ll bet, a little scary.

The Big First Steps

The 19th Amendment was the beginning that changed everything for women – including you and me.
It’s history now, but here’s the thing: it didn’t happen fast. The 19th Amendment was over 100 years in the making. While some women stirred the pot of change for years, it wasn’t until 1848 that something “big” happened – the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The movers and shakers at that convention included Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony.
They didn’t know it would take almost another hundred years to become the 19th Amendment. Or that they themselves would never get the right to vote.
You know who else never voted?

  • Clara Barton, the “Angel of the Battlefield.” She was instrumental in founding the American Red Cross, which is still strong and vibrant today.
  • Madame C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell, a British physician who became America’s first female doctor.
The list goes on and on – one smart Victorious Woman after the other kept plugging away – an uphill battle. They, too, had no end date (and no phones, FB – not even  washing machines or dishwashers!)  They just had a bunch a question marks.
They must have been exceptional women, yes? Actually…maybe not so much!
In her book, Founding Mothers, the late Cokie Roberts, explains it this way: “…as I got to know these women…I came to the conclusion that there’s nothing unique about them. They did – with great hardship, courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, and humor – what women did. They put one foot in front of the other in remarkable circumstances. They carried on.”
They did it then and we are doing it now – with courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, and humor.

Now It’s Our Turn

We’ll change the way we school our kids. Tele-work and tele-health will be commonplace. Drive-in movies will be all the rage – again. Women running our country and companies will be the norm.
And couples will look back on the old way of marriage and think “how did any marriages ever survive without regularly resetting every five years?”
100 years from now, those women will be looking back at us and thinking “WOW – they must have been something!”
THAT’S what’s so good about today.
Let’s celebrate it! Call your BFF and toast the women from 100 years ago. Toast our pluckiness during this pandemic. Have some fun imagining what two women 100 years from now will be saying about us.
Cheers to all of us and each of us!
With love and in victory,
Annmarie
#WomensEmpowerment,  #FiveYearMarriage, # Victorious Woman Project, #LoveAndMarriage,  #AnnmarieKelly

Want to be part of the next new wave of paradigm-shifitng?
Get a copy of my latest book, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifitng the Marriage Paradigm also available for Kindle

Fix your marriage

Want to read more about some modern-day Victorious Women?
Check out this inspiring book – Victorious Woman! Shaping Today’s Challenges into Personal Victories

Your Marriage in Covid-19

Yesterday morning, when Joseph and I tripped over each other at the sink after breakfast, he noticed how I tensed up. He laughed and said, “I bet you’ll be glad when I’m back to leaving the house at 4:30.” He’s right. I have my own wake-up routine in the morning. He does too – he usually gets to work two hours before his first client so he can ease his way into the day.

Neither of us is doing our own thing right now. We know it’s temporary….but how long is temporary? You’re probably wondering that too.

During these days of covid-19 confinement, everyone’s patience is wearing thin. “I just can’t look at him another day” and “she’s driving me crazy” are just two comments I’ve heard from friends lately. Lost wages, lack of freedom and constant contact with spouses and children is making you and I stressed, depressed, and aggravated.

Take a deep breath. We’ll get through this!!!

In the meantime, and while you’re breathing deeply, remember to make your relationship with your sweetie a priority. Not sure what that means? Webster’s say that means “something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.”

Yes, the kids, the bills, food, and the mortgage are also priorities. But for some reason – and maybe because those important things are constantly knocking on the door – we take our most important relationship for granted.  Reports are that depression and loneliness are on the rise. Sadly, so is domestic abuse.

However, this bad time is going to be over. Soon enough you’ll be able to run to the food store anytime. You’ll catch up on the mortgage and get the bills paid eventually. The kids will go back to school someday. You’ll socialize and travel freely again. Those habitual things have a way of falling back into place.

It’s not so easy with marriage. There’s no real “falling back into place” mechanism for relationships. If you want your marriage to survive and thrive, you MUST make it a priority. It has to come before the kids, the bills, and everything else. Marriage is like those gardens many people are planting in the backyard: it won’t grow unless you water and feed it. If you don’t, just as the garden will do if it doesn’t get attention, all that will be left will be weeds.

This period of confinement may have put a spotlight on some problem you have – maybe one you didn’t even know was a problem. Now you do. Don’t ignore it. But now isn’t the time for focusing on it. Instead, make a plan to talk about the problem issue when things are more normal. In the meantime, take some mitigating actions. I listed a few ways to do that here: Relationship Reset Each suggestion is one small way to make your marriage your marriage #1 in your life. Start today.

Stay well!

Need some help getting your marriage back in first place? This book will show you how to make it happen – available in paperback and Kindle: The Five-Year Marriage ®

 

#FiveYearMarriage #MarriageTips #LoveAndMarriage #PartnershipMarriage #ModernMarriage #MarriagAdvice

Does Your Relationship Need a Reset?

Is Covide-19 causing you and your sweetie to get on each other’s nerves? It’s not a surprise – we aren’t used to being in such close quarters all the time. Someone recently told me, “I just can’t look at his face anymore.” Maybe that’s not you, but quarrels and squabbles seem to be affecting relationships everywhere.  Reports from China are that, since their confinement ended, there’s been a huge spike in divorces.

We’re all struggling – with close quarters, being out of work, stress about money, etc. All that, and all the uncertainty, tends to bring up a lot of “stuff” between couples. Whatever was brewing just under the surface before is likely to come out now. Some of it can be ugly.

Before tensions get totally out of control, take a deep breath. The tips below can help you. Do them – and not just one…do all of them!

  • Be polite – like you were in the beginning, when you remembered to say “please,” thank-you,” excuse me.”. A little politeness can go a long way to easing tensions.
  • Say thank-you – Everyone likes appreciation and, in confinement, it’s usually in short supply. Thank you’re sweetie today at least 3 times today. See what happens.
  • Give each other some “me” time – A little alone time is good for both of you
  • Plan a private rendezvous by candlelight…even if it’s just you two alone in the bedroom, on the patio or (if it’s the only way to get away from kids) in the basement. Have nice conversation…talk about some of your best times together. Stirring up those good memories can lead to sweetness….and maybe some good “sexual healing”

Reset Your Relationship

When the covid confinement is over, you may want to regroup. So consider a relationship reset.  That’s where you “review” where you’ve been, figured out what’s working and what’s not, and make a plan – a reset – for going forward. Using those tips will be like planting a seed and watering it.

Resetting your relationship is the basis of The Five-Year Marriage® Method – and you absolutely need it now! Download a copy to your Kindle today: The Five-Year Marriage

 

#FiveYearMarriage #MarriageTips #LoveAndMarriage #MarriagAdvice #WomensEmpowerment #MarriageContract #HealthyMarriage #RelationshipAdvice

 

Quarantine Quarrels

Unhappy couple arguing on the couch at home in the living room

Your new lifestyle, courtesy of the coronavirus, is giving you some interesting challenges, isn’t it? You’re working from home, homeschooling  your kids, and getting meals on the table – all while trying to stay healthy.

Then, just the other day, you realized something. All those little quirks your sweetie has – the ones you usually brush off – are starting to wear on your nerves. Today you read that there’s been a spike in Chinese divorces since the coronavirus and you thought, “No surprise! It’s only been a couple weeks and s/he is a making me crazy.” At the same time you’re wondering…are these quarantine quarrels a sign of something serious?

Maybe – maybe not. Here’s one way to figure it out:

First, relax. Take a deep breath. Remember that you’re both used to your space and now you don’t have it. It’s stressing you out. It may seem like forever, but it really is temporary.

Next, take a minute to stop and regroup. Fighting is a normal part of a relationship. You are bound to get on each other’s nerves from time to time. Right now you both need some time to be apart. Plan it – go out for a jog, find a quiet place in the house to be alone, call an old friend. If you have kids, each of you take some time alone with them so your partner can have some me-time.

Then stop and think. In The Five-Year Marriage®, I tell people to focus on patterns of behavior. When you’re bickering, are you arguing about a temporary annoyance or a pattern? Is your sweetie watching repeats of old SuperBowl games or binge watching Downton Abbey and it’s annoying the hell out of you? If those aren’t regular patterns, it’s likely to be more about immediate stress relief. For those, as the old nuns used to say, “kiss it up to God.”

On the other hand, if your partner is online and running up the credit cards…as usual…that’s a pattern of behavior. It concerned you before, but now you’re both out of work, money is an issue and it doesn’t seem to matter. Or maybe it’s not about money or something so concrete. What if s/he has a pattern of constant complaining or seeing the downside of everything. That negatively affects you and it matters for your health and well-being.

If quarantine quarrels are highlighting serious issues – around money, alcohol, online gaming, criticism, etc. – that’s a problem. Maybe in your busy lifestyle you didn’t even notice it. or it wasn’t an issue. However, now that you do and it’s a concern, DO something. It’s not going to magically disappear when the coronavirus quarantine is over.

You can start by mentioning it as a concern that you want to talk about later. Trying to fix it when you’re stressed enough and cooped up in the house together probably isn’t a good idea; it will only add to your stress. Still, you can share your feelings and  get an agreement to talk about it at the end of the confinement. You might even get an agreement to get outside help with a marriage therapist. If you do, make the appointment now – once the quarantine is over, therapists are likely to be very busy!

Finally, understand that the coronavirus quarantine isn’t the end of all things, but it’s a definite shift. Pay attention now and prepare so when life returns to what will be the “new normal” you can be better off and ready for the good stuff.

Want some self-help? Download the Kindle copy of the Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm  today. It’s chock full of ideas and things to think about and talk about to help you bridge the gap between now and your happier future!

#Coronavirus #Quarantine #FiveYearMarriage #MarriageTips #LoveAndMarriage #PartnershipMarriage #ModernMarriage #MarriagAdvice #WomensEmpowerment #MarriageContract #CoupleAdvice #MarriedLife

 

 

Is Marriage Broken?

Fix a broken marriage“Incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife” is what Todd Palin, spouse of Sarah Palin, put in the divorce papers. With that, it seems that Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and only the second woman ever to run for Vice-President of the United States, is getting a divorce after 31 years of marriage.

The Palins married in 1988, a month – almost to the day – before the first of my seven five-year marriages. So I relate to challenges of a thirty-one year relationship. And because Sarah Palin is in the news – though it’s none of my business – I’m curious about what happened. Maybe you are too. I think we want to know a little bit because it juicy gossip. But I think we are more interested in whether the same thing is happening in our relationship.

Because of my work, I talk to a lot of women who are divorced…or thinking about it. When it comes to the “why,” I know that it’s seldom one thing that ends a marriage. Yes, there could be a catalyst – like an affair or a big money issue. However, very often that is just “the last straw” in a series of events that troubled the marriage. The affair we hear about could be just the latest one, or there’s an alcohol/drug abuse/domestic violence/hoarding problem. It’s been going on for years.. There were a million promises that weren’t kept. It finally reached a crescendo of intolerance for the partner.

Is the “Forever Marriage” an Impossible Dream?

The fact is that the ’til death do you part” marriage is now longer than anyone ever imagined – even just a generation or two ago. In the olden days, couples who married “until death do you part” were together for twenty or twenty-five years. It was long enough to raise a few kids into young adulthood. Then the man died and the woman lived out her last few years are the mourning widow and kind grandmom. If she married again, chances are that marriage would last an even shorter time.

Those days are long gone.

Thanks to the many fabulous advances in medicine and health, the average life expectancy around the world is about 82 years old. The conventional ‘til death commitment could mean fifty or more years.

Every married person knows how hard it is to live with someone. Life happens, stuff happens, and things change. When they do, emotions run hot and cold, words are said, and feelings get hurt…sometimes deeply. Each one of those things changes you. – even when you love the person.

So who, at age 25 or 30, can honestly make that kind of commitment? They can’t. It’s an unreasonable expectation.

The marriage paradigm that is in place now – and has been for the past two thousand or more years doesn’t work now for at least half of today’s married couples. It’s become an unreasonable edict, an impossible dream.

There’s a better way: The Five-Year Marriag

How it works: Before marrying the first time, a couple makes agreements that stretch over five years, revolving around careers, money, children, responsibilities, etc. At the end of five years, the couple pauses their marriage. They assess what’s changed, in life and in themselves. They talk about how those changes impact their relationship and their future together. Looking at the next five years, they renegotiate old agreements and make new agreements. Then they “spiritually” end that marriage and enter into a new one…for five years.

For the typical couple, the focus of the first five years might be on advancing a careers, buying a house, and/or having a child. They focus on whether both partners will continue to work outside or if one partner becomes a stay-at-home parent? They decide who will oversee bill-paying, how will they save money, split household chores, and more.

At the end of five years, the couple evaluates the relationship in light of their personal and relationship changes. They rethink what they want and how to partner for the next five years. Maybe in the first marriage, they only wanted two children, but now they want more – or vice versa. Or s/he thought s/he wanted to be a stay-at-home mom/dad but misses the career (or the money) and wants to change course.

In the case of Sarah and Todd Palin, when Sarah decided to run for governor and then vice-president, it affected Todd and the marital relationship. It also impacted the whole family. So did the birth of a special needs child. Did they talk about all those changes? Did they get any outside help with the problems – like a family mediator or couples therapist?

When things get wonky in a Five-Year Marriage® , after they reevaluate and recontact, they get a fresh start.

What’s Next?

If fifty was still the average life span, the ‘til death marriage might still work. It’s a blessing to humankind that our life expectancy is thirty or forty years longer. However, with the extension of life, related things (like marriage) need to adjust to something that is doable in today’s world.

The Five-Year Marriage® gives a couple some breathing room. Their dreams and goals get revisited, discussed, and maybe revised. They can reset their expectations. Problems-in-the-making can get resolved before they become marriage-enders. Marriage counseling may be chosen before the couple hates each other and it’s just a “last chance” (often useless) effort.

Yes – marriage is broken! It’s time we shift the paradigm of marriage to one that makes sense in today’s world for modern couples.

To learn more, check out The Five-Year Marriage® : Shifting the Marriage Paradigm in HardCopy or Kindle

#FiveYearMarriage, #MarriageTips. #LoveAndMarriage, #PartnershipMarriage, #ModernMarriage #WomensEmpowerment, #MarriageContract, #RelationshipAdvice, #AnnmarieKelly, #ContractMarriage,

The Washcloth and The Wall

Unhappy couples can fix their relationship
Can We Fix This?

Have you “hit the wall” in your marriage yet? It happens to just about every married couple at some point. Based on my conversations with women, I’d say it’s most common someplace between 8-15 years. For me it was in my second marriage.

When Joseph and I were in our first month of counselling, there was a lot of anger, tension, and hurt. We had 2½ years left in that marriage and I didn’t know if we could fix the problem. We tried and tried, but didn’t. I was clear about not wanting to have another marriage unless we did. Counseling seemed like the last chance.

But it was hard…really hard. We both had to look at stuff about ourselves we didn’t want to see.

In those days, much as it is still today, Joseph left for work early. He was up and out the door before I was awake. So we didn’t talk and, in those days, that was probably good for us.

One morning, after a particularly difficult counseling session the night before, I got up to get ready for work. One of my “things” is having a fresh washcloth each morning. The cloths were stored in the linen closet in the hallway.

That morning, before going to the linen closet, I went to the bathroom first. There I found a fresh washcloth waiting for me. I was surprised. Joseph never did that before – he just always got his own and I got mine. But that day was different. Though I noticed, I shrugged it off as a quirk.

The next day it was the same thing…and the next day…and the next. Every morning when I saw that fresh washcloth, I knew Joseph thought about me that morning, in a nice way. I realized it was Joseph’s way of telling me that he still loved me and wanted to work things out. I started to see the washcloth as a sign that we might be able to find a way together. In the midst of a very difficult time in our relationship, when our verbal communication was minimal, that fresh washcloth was a lifeline.

Every Five-Year Marriage® will hit a wall. It’s important to recognize what agreements you have that created the challenge. It’s equally important notice the signs that keep you going.

Curious about what a Five-Year Marriage® is? Start with this website and then read the book, available in hard copy and digital: The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm

#FiveYearMarriage, #MarriageTips. #LoveAndMarriage, #PartnershipMarriage, #ModernMarriage #WomensEmpowerment, #MarriageContract, #RelationshipAdvice, #AnnmarieKelly, #ContractMarriage,

What If He Isn’t Interested?

Get your man interested in a relationship reset“We celebrated our fifth anniversary,” Jill told me. ”It’s a good time to look back. So I told my husband about the Five-Year Marriage®. He gave me a weird look. Then, in an irritated voice I didn’t recognize, he said, ‘Are you crazy?’ And, with that, Jill dropped the subject.

However, what she told me later was, “He thought I was talking about getting a divorce, but I wasn’t. I just wanted to talk about our relationship.”

Of course, Jill wasn’t talking about getting a divorce. She wasn’t even thinking about it. She wanted, after five years, to evaluate their relationship. Her goal was to open a new door for problem-solving before any little problems got bigger. She also wanted to talk about the changes her growing business was making for both of them. Finally, she wanted to affirm that they share mostly good experiences, and figure out how to get more of them. Instead, once that conversation shut down, they talked about the food, their families, work…and stayed on the surface of their relationship.

Jill’s experience is common. It happens more than most women (and some men) want to admit. Then, when the marriage hit a breaking point for her, and she wants out, he’s flummoxed. The complaint goes something like this: “All of a sudden, she tells me she wants a divorce. Where did that come from?” And, when I hear that, I always wonder, “How many years did she try to tell you there was a problem and you didn’t want to hear her?”

Starting the Five-Year Marriage® Conversation

Talking about and creating your own Five-Year Marriage® isn’t something that happens in a single conversation. Instead, it’s a process.

Think of it like planting flowers in the spring. Very often the ground is hard and compact. It doesn’t absorb water. As a result, you can’t plant anything. You can’t even get a shovel into the dirt. If you want to plant something, first you have to “condition” the ground with water. Then, when it’s aerated, you can start planting.

The mind is much the same. New ideas – like The Five-Year Marriage® – are like that too. You can’t plant in the dry, compacted soil of old ideas – like traditional marriage. The mind isn’t ready and the idea is immediately rejected.

So, even though you want to talk about The Five-Year Marriage® , if your partner isn’t ready, you won’t get anywhere. So you need to think about how to best “prepare the soil.” Every time you do , you’re gently aerating the hard soil of a mind not used to the idea.

Here are some ways to help you:

  • Give it the light touch. You don’t have to be “militant” about the idea. Make it an part of an “I’m curious” conversation.
  • Read The Five-Year Marriage® articles found on the Five-Year Marriage® website. When you find one that you think your partner can connect to, bring it into your conversation. Say, “Get this! I was reading an article about this couple…” Explain why the article interested you and end with, “that’s something different…what do you think about it?” Whatever those thoughts are, see them as the beginning of a longer conversation, either now or in the future.
  • Leave the book around where it’s visible – like the nightstand or coffee table. That is likely to generate questions, like “are you thinking about a divorce?” Good – any interest is better than none. Interest is the equivalent of a rain shower on dry dirt. It’s a conversation starter.
  • Send out some feelers. If you see an article or interview about The Five-Year Marriage® , share it. Ask questions like, “that makes me curious…how about you?”
  • Point to somebody else. Find a couple in your circle – or a celebrity couple – who are having problems, or got divorced. Express your concern about how easily that can happen to any couple. Ask “what do you think was a problem for them?” Then ask, “how do you think a Five-Year Marriage® would have helped them?” or “how do you think a Five-Year Marriage® could have made a difference?

Traditional marriage, with its out-of-date construct, is ingrained in our brains. Most people like the idea of marriage, but even when they’re married for a long time, couples wish there was a better way. The Five-Year Marriage® is it. When you give your Five-Year Marriage® the light touch, and use examples that make sense to your partner, s/he will be more receptive. And you will both be happier for it!

If you’ve been reading my articles and are want to know more, sign up here for The Five-Year Marriage® newsletter. You’ll get a few emails right up front. They’ll tell you more about The Five-Year Marriage® . After that you’ll get an email when there is a new article, a free teleseminar, a upcoming workshop and discount offers. Get it here: The Five-Year Marriage® Newsletter

Did Bezos Need a Post-Nup?

Relationship trouble for Bezos?
RIGA, LATVIA – February 24, 2017: Forbes Magazine list of The Worlds Most Powerful People.Number 14 CEO and founder of Amazon.com Jeff Beezos.

Before the affair, before it all went to hell, they were young, in-love, and with their whole lives ahead of them. It was 1992 when Jeff Bezos was working in Manhattan. That’s where he met research associate Mackenzie Tuttle.

When Bezos and Tuttle married a year later, the couple wasn’t thinking about pre-nups. They were thinking about starting a family and making it big in business.

In 1994, the newlyweds drove across the country to Seattle, Washington. That’s when Bezos got the idea for an online bookstore. The couple settled into a rented a home, Bezos got a loan from his parents, and he started Amazon. It was a big dream.

For the next few years, while Bezos was boxing up books in his garage, his spouse was having children, paying bills, putting food on the table, and keeping their life going.

Of course, Bezos crazy little idea became the behemoth Amazon – and made Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world.

Now the couple is getting a divorce. Since there was no pre-nup, many attorney-analysts suggested that the couple could have gotten a post-nuptial agreement to address their changing finances.

I say…What about an agreement that would have addressed the couple’s changing relationship? Would a post-nup have filled the gap that eventually led to divorce?

No one knows, but here’s the reality for most couples:

  • Everyone starts out with dreams and hopes for the best
  • Early on, love helps smooth over the bumpy patches and tiny breaks
  • Over time, you change, he changes. Maybe you notice, but you’re really busy (kids, work, careers) that you ignore differences
  • A few years later, bumpy patches become hills and tiny breaks become gaps
  • One day you wonder, “do I even know who he is anymore?” And he looks at you and thinks the same thing.
  • Maybe you stay together, maybe not, but either way, you lead separate lives. You’re unhappy, lonely, depressed, angry…

Is that what you want? If it isn’t, get yourself a post-nup – Five-Year Marriage® style.

How? First, you and your sweetie agree to sit down together. Do it on a regular basis (weekly or monthly) and talk. Here’s your template…your conversation starters:

  1. Where are we in our relationship?
  2. What’s working?
    • We love each other, we’re great parents, etc.
    • Give yourselves a “high fives” for what’s working!
  3. What’s not working for us?
    • I’m doing too much by myself, we spend too much money, the kids are driving me crazy, we don’t have sex enough, you’re spending too much time with your [family, friends, at work]
  4. Here’s how what’s not working is a problem for me (you both get equal time!)
    • makes me angry or resentful, hurts my feelings, makes me feel unappreciated and/or invisible, affects my personal self-worth, impacts my performance at work, our finances are making me stressed etc.
  5. How can we fix this?
  6. How will fixing it help us – as a couple? FYI: This is for motivation
  7. What happens if we can’t fix it?
    • Living together loneliness, leading separate lives, separation, divorce
  8. Here’s what I’m willing to do on my end…[make a commitment]

When you’re finished, write it all down – particularly 5 & 6. Next, set a time to get together for a follow-up (and stick to it)

These meetings can be intense, so when they’re over…

  • Have a glass of wine together
  • Thank each other
  • Tell each other how much you appreciate him/her – be specific: “I still love that you make me laugh.”
  • Talk about something good for at least fifteen minutes
  • Say “I love you” – in whatever way you choose

Marriage isn’t rocket science and it isn’t just about love. It’s about learning how to live together happily. You do it by cultivating the relationship: noticing the good, finding the tiny breaks before they become huge gaps that turn into unmanageable caverns, celebrating your wins.

The Five-Year Marriage® gives you the foundation and template for doing just that. It’s “the better way” to be married.

Want to know more? Start by getting on the Five-Year Marriage® mailing list. That’s how you’ll find out when there is a new blog post or podcast, how to join the next free teleseminar, when the next workshop or webinar is starting, if there’s a book signing in your area, and more.

Click here now: Yes! I want to know more about the Five-Year Marriage® community

 

#FiveYearMarriage, #MarriageTips. #LoveAndMarriage, #PartnershipMarriage, #ModernMarriage #WomensEmpowerment, #MarriageContract, #RelationshipAdvice, #AnnmarieKelly, #ContractMarriage,

Have Times Changed?

Glenn Close acceptance speech at Golden Globes

Glenn Close was wiping away the tears. “I’m thinking of my mom,” she said, shaking with emotion, “Who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life and, in her eighties, she said to me, ‘I feel I haven’t accomplish anything.’” Then, as she ended her acceptance speech for her Golden Globe best actress win, the power in her voice filled the stage as she told her worldwide audience, “We’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us…but we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say ‘I can do that,” and ‘I should be allowed to do that.”

Yes and Yayyyy!

Women are nurturers, and that is what is expected of them. But why haven’t we evolved more in our 21st century than in the 3rd, 14th or 20th centuries? Can only women nurture? And can only men fulfill their goals and follow their dreams? Of course not!

Yet we keep putting new wine into old wine-skins. That is, women keep putting their “new wine” independent selves and empowered ideas into the “old wine-skin” of traditional marriage. As a result, they still find themselves doing what Glenn Close’s mother did – sublimating. They put off their goals until the kids are in school and it’s “their time.” Unfortunately,  “their time” sometimes comes at the same time as a divorce. Or they redirect their energies into home-based businesses that are more like hobbies. Their once-sharp skillset is rusty and they settle – for an OK or satisfying life instead of a fulfilling one.

And just like how the new wine in the old wine-skin degrades and sours, a woman is diminished and her spirit withers.  In the end, women’s lives are eerily similar in personal fulfillment and satisfaction to the lives of women like Glenn Close’ mother.

Women don’t have to keep sublimating or withering. Women, and the men who love them, can choose something different. They can choose a lifestyle that gives both of them equal voices and choices. Also, they can choose a lifestyle where they revisit their agreements and periodically adjust.  Just like any contract. It’s the same with your cable company or cellphone carrier.

Of course, a woman has to own her power and make it important. And a man has to recognize it. Your partner typically doesn’t know why you are unhappy or dissatisfied…but chances are, s/her knows something isn’t working well. Still, s/he isn’t a mind-reader. You two have to meet, communicate, and renegotiate.

You do it with your cable carrier, don’t you? Your carried isn’t going to offer you a better bundle of services just because you don’t like what you have now. You have to call them, complain, and ask for something better. When you do, they usually accommodate you. And, frankly, your cable carrier doesn’t have as much to lose as the typical married couple. So, doesn’t it make sense for the two of you to have regular conversations?

The Five-Year Marriage®

The Five-Year Marriage® opens up a space for conversation and honest communication. Here are a few things you’ll find with The Five-Year Marriage® :

  • Both partners have an equal voice
  • Women can keep from losing themselves in the minutia of marriage and children because she doesn’t give up her SELF
  • The five-year format gives women and men a way to shine a light on problems early so that they can be looked at, discussed, and problem solved before she or he starts feeling anger and resentment
  • Because a couple is still living in love, they are open and willing to find ways to solve the problems.

The Five-Year Marriage® is a different but better way for couples to live a marriage. It breaks the “til death do us part” stranglehold.

WHAT’S YOUR TAKE? How do you think a Five-Year Marriage® would affect your relationship – or the relationship of someone you know?

Want to learn more? You can get started by reading The Five-Year Marriage® : Shifting the Marriage Paradigm, available on Amazon. And be sure to sign up for Annmarie Kelly’s Five-Year Marriage newsletter to get the latest information on articles, meetups, and workshops.

#Glenn Close, #FiveYearMarriage, #MarriageTips. #LoveAndMarriage, #PartnershipMarriage, #ModernMarriage #WomensEmpowerment, #MarriageContract, #RelationshipAdvice, #AnnmarieKelly, #ContractMarriage,

Aniston: Women, Marriage and Divorce

five year marriage

“It’s a very storybook idea,” Jennifer Aniston says of traditional marriage in a recent Elle magazine interview. She calls marriage a “happily ever after” fantasy. Her reason is valid: “I think for some people it does work…but everybody’s path is different.” Yes, and everyone sees marriage – and divorce – differently.

Though her marriage to Justin Theroux ended earlier this year, Aniston doesn’t consider either of her marriages (the first to Brad Pitt) a failure. Reflecting on the well-publicized splits, she believes both marriages were successful. So what happened? She explains, “When they came to an end, it was a choice that was made because we chose to be happy, and sometimes happiness didn’t exist within that arrangement anymore.”

Are Women Practicing Sexism?

The most interesting part of the Elle interview was (to me) the media dubbing the end her second marriage a failure, and Aniston seeing that as “sexist.”  She has a really good point.

In society – past and present – men aren’t stigmatized in a divorce the same way women are. For starters, a woman has an almost-immediate negative impact on her lifestyle. Next, people are likely to feel sorrier for her than him because, they seem to feel, she will suffer and he won’t.

Unfortunately, Aniston observes, a lot of the pity comes from other women. Aniston wonders if that’s because they may be. “women who haven’t figured out that they have the power, that they have the ability to achieve a sense of inner happiness.” If that’s the case, she thinks that’s the greater failure which, she believes, is an oversight due to “narrow-minded thinking.”

Or, Aniston wonders if “using marriage and children as the ultimate marker of female happiness is just another way to disempower successful women.” Jen’s definitely onto something!

So many women still believe that their life doesn’t begin until they are married. Many powerful, self-sufficient executives still think marriage is a measure of success. Or that their life isn’t complete yet. So, as the old song says, “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” If a woman can’t find the relationship she wants, she settles for the one she can get. That “settling” may mean giving up some of her personal power. That can serve up some tough consequences for both her and him. Sadly, it’s even worse for their children.

What Makes the Five-Year Marriage® Different

Jennifer Aniston realizes something critically important about traditional marriage. It’s really old school because “we have these clichés around all of this that need to be reworked and retooled. That’s what The Five-Year Marriage® gives couples – a modern-day, reworked and retooled version of an old tradition.  It shows couples a new way of thinking about and living their marriage – one that makes practical sense for them.

In the Five-Year Marriage®, a woman doesn’t just see her life through only the prisms of herself as a spouse and mother. Instead, she understands that she (1) has power and (2) has a viable construct for using it in marriage. Both of those are is critically important to her psyche. She also focuses on her own SELF.

So, when she dates a prospective mate, she takes the time to ask the tough questions, even if she doesn’t like the answers. She makes sure they have shared values and goals, they talk about the really tough stuff. Then, unlike many old-school marriages, the woman – and the man who loves her and whom she loves – create a set of agreements before the wedding – in a format more detailed than the simple government-issued marriage contract.

Through the Five-Year Marriage® set-up, regular Family Meetings keep them accountable.  Those meetings also shine a light on what’s working and what’s not…before a lot of anger, resentment, and disconnection build up between the couple.

Over time, as the woman lives her life with her  partner, she pays attention to how the contract is or isn’t serving her and the relationship. If it isn’t, she has the space to renegotiate those agreements. So does he. That’s part of the paradigm-shifting design of The Five-Year Marriage.

What would you renegotiate in your marriage contract?

Interested in starting your own Five-Year Marriage®? Learn more and get the basics, starting with the book:  The Five-Year Marriage®: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm

#FiveYearMarriage, #MarriageTips. #LoveAndMarriage, #PartnershipMarriage, #ModernMarriage #WomensEmpowerment, #MarriageContract, #RelationshipAdvice, #AnnmarieKelly, #ContractMarriage,