Friday, November 19, 2010


Next week we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that has come to mean getting together with our families and loved ones, enjoying the traditional turkey dinner and giving thanks.

It is a good time also to reflect back on that first Thanksgiving in 1621 when the Pilgrims and Indians gathered together to give thanks for their bountiful harvest. The year before nearly half of the Pilgrims died from hunger and disease after a very difficult journey to America.

Fortunately, the Pilgrims found friendly and helpful Native Americans (Indians) in this new land who taught them how to build houses, hunt for food, plant corn and other crops and literally to survive.

As we gather with our families for Thanksgiving, it would be good for us to reflect on this first Thanksgiving. Just like the Pilgrims and Indians, we can learn so very much from each other as husbands and wives if we are willing to share new ideas and receive new ways of doing things. In fact, that is what marriage is – sharing and growing together – not just “me” and “you” but “us”.

No matter how long we’ve been in this “new land of marriage” there are always things we can learn from each other. And as we are willing to continually be open to this, our marriages will not only survive, but will grow and prosper.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Phases of the Moon

My husband and I enjoy going for walks at night. I love to look up at the sky and see the stars and the moon as we walk. We’ve seen full moons, half moons and crescent moons. However, the last few nights we haven’t been able to see the moon at all. It’s been disappointing. Of course, we know the moon is not really gone – it is always orbiting around the earth – it’s just out of our view for now.

So it is with feelings of love. Sometimes they’re full and robust like the full moon. Other times they’re less intense, more like the half moon. And at other times our feelings are like the crescent moon, barely noticeable at all. But as long as we can feel anything we seem to be OK.

Sometimes, though, just like the “moonless sky”, we don’t feel anything at all. Couples who come in for counseling frequently lament that they just don’t have “those feelings” anymore. “They’re gone”, they say. It’s interesting that as they complain about the different problems in their relationship, the thing that often stands out the most to them is that they just don’t have “those feelings” anymore. The implication seems to be that even if they were to improve their relationship – work on overcoming their problems – the feelings would still be permanently, irretrievably gone.

The truth is, though, feelings change all the time and absolutely can and do come back. What we need to do during those times when we don’t feel anything (when we can’t see the moon) is to just continue walking by the light of the stars, having faith that as we continue to put one foot in front of the other - keeping our commitments - our feelings of love will come back, just like the phases of the moon.