Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I drag my chair closer to the desk, grab a headset and click on the mouse.

Computer keys pound in the background choreographed by the women who sit beside me.

My first call registers on the screen.

k6

“Hello, Karin’s Florist, this is Colleen, how may I help you?” I utter softly, so as not to disturb the other operators.

The caller answers the greeting and the tap of my own keyboard joins the dance. I sift slowly through my first order and ultimately, begin to navigate the system with more ease than I expect.

I am fascinated by this new environment. Thus, the reason I jump at the chance to respond to my friend’s email about seasonal help for the holiday. I have long been a fan of the florist which she owns and operates.The trademark arrangements considered works of art rather than standard floral medleys.

I am here to dip my toes in the flower business. To relish the hustle and bustle, beautiful flowers and the chance to do something outside my own box.

I will marvel at the volume of orders, the behind the scenes secrets, and the army of delivery people who complete the magic.

I will learn great things such as which flower colors pair best and how to pronounce intimidating botanical names.

I will experience the floral industry.

But I am caught off guard. 

I listen to the calls as they come in…

k10

One man asks that his card read ‘he is the luckiest guy in the world’ while another pledges ‘he is still with the love of his life.’

A dad sends flowers to his little girl while another is continuing the tradition with his now grown daughter.

A son reminds his mother she was the first woman in his life and another man sends flowers to his mom each and every week.

There are traditional Valentine’s declarations and those with unspoken words. There are serious loving proclamations and funny inside jokes. There are caring pledges and the quiet simplicity of a love which has withstood the test of time.

I am wrong. 

This is not the business of flowers, it is the business of love.

I must confess, even I at times believe flowers a luxury.

An exquisite portrait of nature’s bounty with not enough time to view the wonder.

But, again I could not be more wrong.

k11

Flowers are not a limited luxury they are an endless expression of love.

Their time is not merely devoted to the vase they inhabit but the heart they travel towards.

And when these fragile gifts of nature shed their petals their work is done. Their physical presence spent for a heart renewed. 

The next time around, this writer will be with a guy who sends me flowers.

The kind of man who will remind me ‘he is the luckiest guy in the world’ and ‘I am still the love of his life.’

A guy who recognizes the similarity between these magnificently fragile blooms and stems and a thing called love. 

I thought I would experience the intricacies of the floral industry.

Intead, I experienced love.

(Flowers from Karin’s Florist located in the Washington, D.C. metro area in the town of Vienna, Virginia)

//www.karinsflorist.com

k12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

k2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

k4

 

k8

(Photo my own – Floral Arrangements Karin’s Florist in the Metro D.C. area in the town of Vienna, Virginia

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

There’s an expression, “We are supposed to be getting better with age.”

I’m not necessarily certain this is true in the area of love.

I think it’s possible we love worse, not better. Less and not more. Poorly rather than richly.

But children, they possess an ability to nurture and foster this emotion and a generosity in expressing it. 

Children enter this world as proud proclaimers of love.

baby-boy-hat-covered-101537

A child will pluck a flower.  

A child will scribble a love portrait.   

A child will mold clay into an ‘I love you.’

And this is just the tip of the proverbial love mountain a child will scale. 

They will hug you and kiss you. 

They will cry when you leave them and shout when you return.

They will hold your hand and they will snuggle beside you.

They will declare you beautiful and handsome, smart and funny, nice and silly. 

They will tell you that you are the most important person in their world. 

They will want to spend time with you and beg you to tell another story or sing another song.

Children will love you.

They will use paper, crayons, clay, flowers, words, motion, anything at their disposal to make sure you understand your love makes their world go round.

They are proud proclaimers of love.

And we can learn from them:

Children interpret love and spread it further. 

Children are shamelessly generous with love.

Children are master communicators of love.

They have all the Love Languages covered.

Most importantly, they will make you feel loved.

And then, we grow up and we allow life to interrupt love. We get confused by things like ego, work, and stress.

We love worse, not better. Less and not more. Poorly rather than richly.

When those we love are often in desperate need of a flower plucked, a scribbled love portrait, or a molded ‘I love you.’

When we are in need of getting better with age.

And when only love can make that possible.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

The agony of an affair can haunt the spouse of a cheater.

It’s tremendously difficult to quell the suffering of this type of broken heart.

In divorce, it’s strictly the pain of seeing a past love, with an affair it’s also the person who stole them away.

The affair touch points are fairly universal for the one who has been cheated on:

  • The sincere desire but hardship in letting go of a future which has been suddenly yanked away.
  • The contempt for the ‘other woman’ or  ‘other man.’

pexels-photo-25866

  • The anger towards the spouse who betrayed them.
  • The tendency to beat themselves up that they missed the signs of the affair.
  • And the feeling they somehow weren’t good enough and thus, why someone else caught they eye of their spouse.

All of these things combined make the cheated feel as if their universe is suddenly out of control.

On top of that, betrayal is a nearly impossible emotion to process.

In any divorce, feeling a temporary loss of self-esteem is not uncommon. It can be even worse for the SO (significant other) of the cheater because of the last two aforementioned touch points. The potential feeling they are somehow responsible for the actions of their spouse or should have been wiser earlier can intensify their pain and anger with feelings of inadequacy.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The only person responsible for the affair is the individual who cheated.

There are a plethora of unhappy people who do not choose to have an affair. Unhappiness is not and never has been an excuse for bad behavior.

That being said, the world is not black and white and nothing could be as gray as love.

Along with the shameless cheaters, there are good people who make bad choices. People who do care about doing the right thing. Those individuals feel true remorse, acknowledge and accept responsibility for their bad behavior. It’s a fact human beings are imperfect and everyone makes mistakes, even surprising ones.

And for this reason, there are many marriages which survive affairs. 

But if for whatever reason the damage cannot be repaired and divorce ensues, the sting of being replaced by ‘another’ can yield intense bitterness.

So how does the SO of a cheater move on?

1. Regain Empowerment:

A really great counselor will teach the ‘cheated on’ to accept responsibility for their own behavior.

No, not for the affair. As previously mentioned, there is no excuse for bad behavior. Those actions belong strictly to the cheater.

But a good counselor encourages healing. They are there to help a person move from the anger and the sadness towards a place of peace and acceptance. It’s a tall order but it can be achieved. And one of the first steps is the SO taking their power back.

Yes, this did happen and yes, this person did hurt and betray them. The cheater is who they are and that should be validated. The SO needs this type of validation because they already feel crazy enough for trusting the wrong person.

That being said, now it is is time for the SO to take responsibility for their own choices. Even if they didn’t see the affair coming, it is a series of individual choices which lead all people to choose a certain partner. On top of that, a person continues to make choices throughout the marriage. Were certain behaviors ignored? Were bad behaviors enabled? Were long work hours and little family time acceptable? Were physical and emotional intimacy issues suppressed?

A really great counselor will validate the hurt and bad behavior of the cheater. And then they will try and empower the SO by reclaiming their sense of power and prompting them to realize their world is not now nor has ever been out of control.

This is where bitterness starts to subside and a sense of reclaiming personal power begins the process of ‘freeing’ the SO. 

2. Reclaim Life:

What a profound sense of relief! The world is not happening to the ‘cheated on’  they are back in the driver’s seat.

They can begin to rebuild their emotional life.

The cheater is not in control after all.

They have simply been ‘allowing’ the cheater to be in control because they felt so out of control by the cheater’s choices.

The average person doesn’t want to remain bitter and unhappy (especially because of another person’s choices which had nothing to do with them) they just do not have the tools to transition to the next emotional space. 

It’s difficult to remain bitter at someone, even someone who has betrayed them when the focus is no longer on what the ‘cheater’ did to them. But rather what did ‘they’ do to attract themselves to this person in the first place? What made them put up with or look beyond certain behaviors?

Or, if they thought the marriage was perfect and did not see it coming at all, what about their own personality permitted that limited vision? Are they an overly caring enabler? Are they a pleaser and a fixer?

The SO reclaims their emotional life as they let go of the bitterness which is ‘allowing’ the cheater to still control them.

And when they look inward to learn even more about their own self and what led them to their relationship choices.

3. Let Go:

There is so much to let go of in a failed marriage.

No one is prepared for the compounded relationship losses.

Rather than the ‘cheated on’ dwelling on those who they feel have abandoned them in favor of their former spouse and their new person – they need to let them go. They aren’t worth the time. They were never really ‘Your  People.’ If they were, they wouldn’t have walked so easily away from you.

In order to ease the pain, view it this way. Just as the ‘cheated on’ looked beyond some of their spouse’s less than favorable characteristics – so did they in friendships.

A loving, committed, caring, and loyal friend remains just that. Divorce doesn’t shake this friend’s devotion.

The ‘cheated on’ need to let go of the fringe friendships in their lives. Divorce is a way of cleaning house and though it seems incredibly agonizing in the beginning, the SO will eventually with time,  realize these are friendships they do not miss.

4. So Unimportant:

The ‘other’ person is unimportant. 

The SO just can’t relinquish that type of power to someone who could have been anyone.

This just happened to be the person the ‘cheater’ found first. They would have eventually picked someone else.

They were heading down this ‘path of opportunity.’

The individual willing to cheat with them was the first they could more than likely discover.

When looked at that way it’s pretty difficult to be mad at the person they left with. The SO can’t be mad specifically at one person when they understand it truly could have been ANYONE.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Again, the world of love is gray and some people do initially marry the wrong person and find another who is more right for them.

But in the world of cheating, in general,  ‘opportunity’ plays a huge role.

5. With Time:

Time is the truest form of healing, as long as the other measures have been put in place.

Grief is a cycle and it must be completed.

6. A New Fairy Tale:

The ‘cheated on’ just as any divorcing individual must open themselves up to a brand new fairy tale.

They can’t stay stuck in a dream which belongs to the past.

It’s tremendously difficult to walk away from a life well loved, from the comfort of a spouse, the security of a life long love, the shift in a family, the emergence of a new type of non-traditional family – none of it is easy.

It is accompanied by an overwhelming sense of sadness.

After all, the ‘cheated on’ never chose this. 

But it must be accepted and if not, the SO risks the chance of missing really wonderful doors opening in their lives.

 

An affair is the ultimate relationship betrayal.

And those who have experienced it need to diminish the ‘cheater’s control. They have already been hurt enough by someone who was never to be trusted with their love, to begin with. The ‘cheated on’ need to self-protect, take their power back, and be thankful they now know who this person really is.

The agony of an affair can only haunt the spouse of the cheater for as long as they allow it.

 

(Photos courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

 

There’s an expression in the Alzheimer’s community, “You lose the person you love twice: Once while they are still living and again when they pass on.”

I remember watching my mother suffer throughout this ugly disease. To the world, it appeared I still had my mother but I had grieved her long before she passed and then again as the aforementioned thought appropriately conveys. Only those who have lost a loved one to dementia understand the compounded anguish.

Divorce is a severe loss and therefore, its companion is profound grief. 

The easiest of divorces can prove devastating to both the individual who initiated it and to the one who resisted it.

pexels-photo-248016

Add an affair on top of that and the brutality of emotional upheaval cannot easily be expressed let alone processed. 

Even in a typical divorce, there is often a sense of betrayal. After all, you both once stood before God and family, and friends and declared a lifetime devotion to each other. The individual walking away from this commitment promotes a feeling of betrayal…to the love, to the friendship, and the marriage.

An affair is the most egregious betrayal of love. It also presents compounded grief.

There is an enormous sense of loss not just once but twice.

The first loss is coming to terms with the affair itself. The loss of the marriage and relationship as it was. The sense of being married to a stranger and the troubling questions: How could you do this? Why would you do this? Do I really know you? Don’t you love me?

An individual who has been cheated on is dogged by a perpetual reel of questions. Ultimately, for many, ending in the realization the person they once loved no longer exists. 

The second loss arrives when the marriage ends. 

In the Alzheimer’s community, there is comfort sharing its trademark expression. It’s a silent nod to the others who have lost one precious person twice in their lives.

Sadly, the affair community fits a similar profile: You lose the person you love twice: Once while you are still married and again when you move on towards divorce.

One precious person lost twice in your life.

 

(Photos courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

I climb into bed and my head finds the pillow. This evening ritual means nothing to this divorce induced insomniac.

My chocolate lab Hazel circles next to me and finally flops down. She rests so peacefully I can hear her snuggled snores.

I can’t get a song out of my head. It is an old song which I haven’t heard in many years which makes me wonder where along my day I picked it up.

I quietly sing the words “I’m the Happiest Girl In the Whole USA.”

Tears wet the pillow.

pexels-photo-313618

I think of my mother and how she always said, “Colleen has Joie de Vivre.”

I have traded in that trademark joy for emotional purgatory.

A place of transitional suffering.

Initially, I was up for the task at hand. I believed I would inhabit this place of pain for maybe a year. Then I would happily shift from purgatory into purging. I would expel and cleanse the remnants of my relationship.

And it seems I have for the most part. The problem is divorce is a team sport so both people need to be willing to transition out of the marital purgatory together. Well, at least in the signing of the papers part.

The other day I visited my attorney’s office. 

As we left his office, I turned and said, “I’m kinda like your penance, aren’t I?”

He laughed and said, “Sort of.” 

My poor attorney didn’t know what he was getting himself into when this Catholic girl showed up at his door.

Fortunately, my Joie de Vivre appears to be returning sans the occasional divorce hiccup and I am transitioning from purgatory into purging.

Good news for my attorney. After all, he’s had to atone long enough for this Catholic girl’s sins.

 

(Photos courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

Every Valentine’s Day my local grocery store has a line of men in the express line that winds back to the floral department.

And there they stand a dozen red roses in hand, maybe some chocolates and the clock is ticking since it’s already dinner time. 

Of course, there are women as well but it’s generally men. What are they thinking? “Oh (bleep) it’s Valentine’s Day and I haven’t gotten my wife or girlfriend anything!”

When I see these men I think, “Who taught you how to love?”

Oh, that’s right, people like me (their mothers) taught them. 

valentine-s-day-little-boy-snow-winter

I remember one time telling my children I didn’t need anything from them on holidays, they are after all children. However, I followed by telling them it was my job to teach them how to love so one day they would express it well to the person they chose to love.

One Christmas, I told them it wasn’t just about buying presents, they could write me something, draw me something or sing me something. And they did. They wrote and performed a group song for me. I continued to reinforce this on other holidays. I still love to listen to the song my youngest song sang for me one Mother’s Day. I have also taught them as they have gotten older to go out by themselves or together and buy presents for each other. They need to learn to make the people they love a priority.

Holiday’s are such a wonderful way to reinforce the way we love each other all year long. 

 

Of course, these are overt lessons. The true way we teach children to love is in our everyday interactions. The ‘I love you’s,’ the hugs, the written notes, the songs we sing to them, the ‘heart’ texts to let them know we are thinking of them, buying their favorite candy or something else out of the blue and more.

Twelve red roses from the grocery store is an obligation fulfilled. 

It’s not a love infused thought.

It’s an ‘I’m going to buy these to make sure I don’t get in deep trouble’ move.

But you know what is most interesting about the aforementioned sentence? It’s about “I’ and a “me.” 

Not about the one who is on the receiving end.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Because giving a gift is meant to be an expression of love for another not a means of self-protecting.

And as adults, we should no longer have to be taught to love.

We should choose to.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

I am driving down the road and realize something feels off today.

At first, I can’t put the proverbial finger on it.

Then I realize…

Wow, I actually slept through the entire night. No divorcemares. No tossing and turning. No up in the middle of the night.

I not only have my hair done I am in FULL makeup. Not the half up, half done look I have been sporting in divorce (at least way more than I should).I

In the first hour of being up I have made three normal life calls, such as doctor appointment, vet, car maintenance, etc.

And the scale indicates I have lost four of what I refer to as the ’30 pounds of “Ralph”‘ I have gained in divorce.

pexels-photo-257849

I know, it doesn’t sound all that earth-shattering. Yet when divorce shatters your world these little normalcies, the easy tasks of life which can be done with your hands tied behind your back become impossible.

You can’t think straight, you don’t sleep at night, you lose weight, you gain weight, you worry about your children, you stress about your finances and more.

So I am happy and proud to say I feel like a normal person today not an ’emotional hostage.’

Someone who can return to being a productive member of society and actually live daily life, rather than muddle my way through it.

It’s amazing what a few weeks of actual sleep can do for a person.

I must confess there is a reason for the soothing slumber. I found out something a few weeks ago. The kind of information which makes a person realize just how foolish they have been for the choices they have made in a relationship. And it lit a fire underneath me. I was furious. No, not at my husband. At myself for staying as long as I did and for making as many excuses as I did. For allowing someone to control me even in divorce and truth be told, more so in divorce.

I am done allowing the control in my life.

Still somehow trying to accommodate for fear there could be even greater consequences in divorce. Divorce doesn’t have to be this brutal. It doesn’t have to be this debilitating. It could actually be fair.

We can only control ourselves.

We can’t control others but we can control how much we allow someone else to control us.

When we figure out how to lessen their control over our lives we can reclaim them and our version of normalcy (and sleep).

I am driving down the road and realize something feels off today…

Or should I say on?

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

tattoo-hand-i-love-you-propose

We try and live our lives with a system of checks and balances.

We have physicals, dentist appointments, and meetings for our finances. We have assessments at the gym, work reviews at the office, teacher meetings, and oil changes.

We seem to make plans for everything which is important in our lives.

Well, almost everything.

Love is absent of any wellness checks.

We do not meet once a year with a relationship counselor to get an emotional physical. We do not get an assessment about how well ‘we’ are ‘working out.’ Nor do we get an annual review from our spouse.

We just sort of trudge and nudge along, making our way in one of the most basic but complicated arena’s of our lives.

We don’t receive regular check-ups on love..

How healthy is our relationship?

What improvements can be made?

What are each of us bringing to the ’emotional table?’

Making matters worse, in this team sport known as love, there’s usually one player who is more interested in the game. This is the player on the sidelines yelling foul while the other player is ignoring the rules of love. All the more reason there is a necessity for regulation. If not, a referee must be called in.

Yes. Love needs a system of checks and balances. 

It needs the same type of regular attention the other aspects of life receive. Perhaps even more since… much of what we eat can be attributed to bad habits caused by unhappiness

Much of what we eat can be attributed to bad habits caused by unhappiness.

Stress can affect our health.

Sadness can make us lethargic and keep us from the gym.

Our children can do poor in school when things are not great at home.

And our work can decline when preoccupied with relationship issues.

We need to understand love is at the core of our lives.

Perhaps if love delved into the ‘wellness’ craze rather than the diagnosis stage more relationships would thrive.

If we asked ourselves…

What are the ’emotional smart foods’ we need to feed it?

And the ’emotional interval training’ necessary to keep it strong?

Instead, we meditate and do yoga to destress.

Or eat and drink wine to escape.

It’s time love enter into the preventative health care phase.

And take a place in our system of checks and balances. 

Caring for and receiving help for our relationships is simply another aspect of taking good care of ourselves.

And if we do, perhaps idle cocktail party whispers will transform into cocktail party shouts about what great ‘couple’ shape your in.

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

Are you up for 28 Days of Love?

Love is an extraordinary investment. 

And those we love are an unparalleled commodity.

Some say love shouldn’t be work and you shouldn’t have to do too much to show another you love them. Work is the wrong word. Love should be nurtured. Not continually and not every moment – rather enough to reinforce the bond and the intimacy. And to send this person out into the world every day knowing without a doubt that…

THEY make YOUR world go round.

Turn February into a month of LOVE:

pexels-photo-297996

February 1:

It’s the month that celebrates love so start bringing the classics into your house the very first day. Candy is a perfect place to start. Go to the drugstore and buy some Red Cinnamon Hearts and while you’re there buy one of those ceramic heart dishes to place them in. Place them front and center on your kitchen counter or table.

February 2:

Continue reminding your SO (significant other) and/or family how much you love them by bringing another classic in on day two. Buy red flowers of any kind either a lot or a little. One bunch in your kitchen or perhaps several throughout the house. No need to spend a fortune. A single flower in a bud vase on your sweetie’s home desk or next to your children’s bed is a perfect loving touch.

February 3:

A third favorite would, of course, be some balloons. No matter the age, a significant other and/or child will get a smile with a helium-infused ‘I love you.’ Let the whole world know of your love by tying to your mailbox and/or bring it inside and tie to a kitchen chair or family room table.

February 4:

Make sure your home is seeing ‘RED!’ What does that mean? Find inventive ways to bring a little more color into your life. Make meals with as many red ingredients as possible (Beets, Apples, Strawberries, Red Pasta, etc.) Pull that red sweater out of the closet. Hang some red streamers in the house. Wear red lipstick. You get the idea.

SPREAD THE RED!

February 5:

Buy the quintessential Valentine’s Day holiday classic…Conversation Hearts and leave this candy all over the house in unexpected places for your loved ones to discover.

February 6:

Determine your ‘love mantra.’ Google quotes about love to find the special one which expresses your great love for your SO and/or children.’ Or write your own. Make a large computer graphic of it and frame it. Put a master ‘love mantra’ in a common family space and tape copies to bathroom mirrors or put in frame and place on bedside tables.

Google love quotes to find the special one which expresses your great love for your SO and/or children.’ Or write your own. Make a large computer graphic of it and frame it. Put a master ‘love mantra’ in a common family space and tape copies to bathroom mirrors or put in frame and place on bedside tables.

February 7:

Make a LOVE playlist. Play it in the house, in the car or while driving your children to school or practice. Put one in your sweetie’s car or download on their phone. An original LOVE serenade for you and your SO and/or family.

pexels-photo-260234

February 8:

Light a candle. Set the mood for dinner whether it is just you and your SO or your entire family. Include some hearts either a box of chocolates or simple construction paper cutouts or confetti. Turn off the lights tonight. Set a mood of love and reflection.

Set a mood of love and reflection.

February 9:

Remember mail???? It’s so old-fashioned and it screams love. There is nothing like opening a mailbox to a surprise card that tells you someone is thinking of you and loves you. It’s also uber romantic when sealed with kisses. And kids love a decorated envelope so go to town and make it festive.

How much fun will it be for kids to get an unexpected card in the mail from their own mom or dad?

Spread this mail carrier love and send to everyone in your family including parents, children, siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and in-laws.

February 10:

No texting today. Call the ones you love all day long so they can hear your voice it’s a far more intimate expression of love. So remember every time you start to text, pick up the phone instead. This will be a hard habit to break so you may need a few post-it note reminders or some other habit breaking cue.

Call the ones you love all day long so they can hear your voice it’s a far more intimate expression of love. Remember every time you start to text, pick up the phone instead. This will be a hard habit to break so you may need a few post-it note reminders or some other habit breaking cue.

February 11:

Watch a romantic movie with your SO or watch a romantic comedy with the entire family. Grab some popcorn and sprinkle it with some ‘red’ (maybe paprika or a smidgeon of cayenne) and red candy is a must! Think Twizzlers, Hot Tamales, and Swedish Fish.

February 12:

Find the ‘couple’ and/or ‘family’ picture which expresses the most love. Frame one copy and make duplicates for either your spouse’s office and/or your children’s rooms or wallets. If you have a special saying or catchphrase – “Love you more” or “To the moon and back” superimpose it on the picture making it a far more intimate reflection of just your SO and/or family.

February 13:

Buy some red and pink Hershey’s kisses. You don’t want to leave these all around the house for fear of your dogs getting into them so put them in lunches or in a small container in the car. Keep some in your purse or briefcase to share at just the right moment.

Smack the SMOOCHES everywhere!

pexels-photo-195364 (1)

February 14:

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! Enjoy a love-filled joyous day with whatever special gifts, places or experiences you have planned.

February 15:

Indulge in a little ‘Love Homework.’ Every day you go out into the world and see things which remind you of the ones you love. It could be a candy they love to eat, a song they sing to, a certain type of animal, an instrument they play, etc. Make a list of all the things which remind you of your SO and/or your children and present it to them.

Every day you go out into the world and see things which remind you of the ones you love. It could be a candy they love to eat, a song they sing to, a certain type of animal, an instrument they play, etc. Make a list of all the things which remind you of your SO and/or your children and present it to them.

February 16:

Have a family “Love Quiz” dinner.

What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite movie? What’s your favorite food? Who’s your favorite singer?

Then have each other guess for each person. This is a great intimacy booster. It is a chance to share things you don’t always tell one another or that change frequently.

You can type these questions up on one sheet and distribute so each person can fill out all at once and then let the guessing begin or you can just ask them verbally. The bonus to having the paper is later you can reference them to remind you of your loved one’s newest snack craze, favorite beverage, etc. for shopping trips.

February 17:

How would you describe the one’s you love? Take a moment and write just a sentence or two:

“You are kind and caring and generous. You inspire me to think of others.”

Drop these somewhere unexpected in your home. Maybe tuck it inside a book your spouse is reading or stick it in their wallet. Stick it to your child’s computer or under their pillow. And include other people you love (mom, dad, siblings, etc.) by sending it to them in the mail.

February 18:

Say ‘I love you’ as many ways as possible. Send a text, send an e-mail, leave a note, write it on the car, on a mirror, pack it in a lunch, say it out loud, and hug. Find other clever ways as well.

February 19:

Buy one simple inexpensive candy or treat the one(s) you love adores. Either set the breakfast or dinner table using these as place cards so each person knows exactly where they sit.

February 20:

Jot down your ‘Love Memories’ for one another. There may have been a time your SO of children said something so loving or did something so loving it sticks out in your mind. Write it down for each of them and leave it on their bed so they can read it just before being tucked in for the night.

February 21:

Surprise your SO or children by loving ‘outside’ of your normal routine.

Call them first thing in the morning or spontaneously show up to take them to lunch. Stop by their school to pick them up. Have warm cookies ready when they walk through the door or a glass of wine and slippers. Whatever would be considered a spontaneous and unexpected gesture of love.

February 22:

Today during a meal, tell each other what the other one does that makes you feel especially loved. You may want to tell your SO you feel incredibly loved when they call you out of the blue from work. You may tell your children it’s when they say “I love you’ for no reason. Perhaps it’s when your SO still opens the car door for you or when your children draw you a picture.

What does the one you love DO that screams love to you personally?

February 23:

Of course, food is one of the greatest ways you can show your love for another person. Make a special meal where both you and your SO or your entire family joins in. This doesn’t just mean the cooking part. Go to the store together, make the food together, eat together and do the dishes together. Soup to nuts the entire experience.

February 24:

Time to show your furry friends some love.

Take your dog for an extra walk. Give your kitty some catnip. If you want to get your children involved have each of them pick something special they can do to show their love. One child might feed your pets, another spend twenty minutes throwing a stick, etc.

February 25:

Take the day to talk about those you love that your SO and/or children never got a chance to know. At meal time tell them how they would have loved your mother and how she would have loved them if she had still been here when they were born. Tell them what she loved to do, maybe cooking, singing, sewing, laughing. Tell them what you loved most about her.

February 26:

Love is the foundation of two people and/or of a family yet it’s hardly ever talked about. Tell one another what your idea of love is. What is your Love Language? Is it spending time together? Is it telling one another? Is it buying presents? Or is it one of the other 5 Love Languages by author Gary Chapman?

Or is it listening? Or is it patience? Is it kindness? What is it to you? And then, take it a step further and expand on it. If it’s spending time together, is there a special place such as walking on the beach? Explain in detail so you, your SO and/or children all know what love looks like to one another.

How do you personally describe love?

February 27:

Love makes our world go round.

Discuss with one another what else makes your world go round. Start with your values and foundation. God and your faith and then for you personally. For instance, God, family, love and golf make my world go round. God, family, love and music make my world go round. Add your passions. You can have fun with this with your children because it makes them brainstorm about the passions they love while rooting them in the love and faith which sustains them.

February 28:

Bring on the social media LOVE FEST! Let the world know you love your SO and/or children. Dare your SO and/or children to do the same. And not just the standard ‘I love you.’ Personalize it. I love my SO because…I love my children because…I love my family because…It doesn’t have to be sappy it can be funny. Just as long as it is an intimate declaration.

Love is the ultimate present extraordinaire.

There will be people in this life who say they love you and those who will make you feel loved.

The ones who make you feel loved are a gift.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

I dabble in made up words, my very own divorce vocabulary.  

Thus, I now experience what I refer to as Divorcemare’s.’ 

The scary type of boogeyman dreams which inhabit the sleeping (or should I say the restless) mind of a divorcee in waiting.

Divorce is a breeding ground for things that go bump in the night. A stressed and frightened victim the perfect target. My friends and I have had a few chuckles over these amped up night movies. At least the ones worth repeating.

Yet, nothing could have prepared me for the mother of all ‘Divorcemare’s!’ 

I am still grappling to process it so I will share. 

pexels-photo-62640

I am wedding dress shopping with my soon to be ex-husband but in my ‘Mare’ we are ACTUALLY divorced.

Yes, surprisingly this one started out as a glorious dream before it took a hard right. But I digress. Back to the ‘Mare.’ I suddenly realize we are shopping for my SECOND wedding gown! And it’s going quite well. We agree upon a lovely blue bridesmaid-ish looking gown. After all, we already dragged that white puppy down the aisle the first go around.

We actually go so far as to pay for it. That’s when it gets dicey. My soon to be ‘ex’ walks one way in the mall and I go in the opposite direction. That’s when I spy my life long buddy who I will call “Maura” because I always say how much she resembles Maura Tierney. “Maura” is in full on head shake, side to side and back again. It seems she is signaling this is not such a good idea. But the dress is SO pretty AND blue will be such a stunner! So unexpected!

No matter! “Maura’s” persistent non-verbal ‘what are you thinking…RUN’ warning –  wakes me up. LITERALLY!

Well, I say it wakes me up but I still feel trapped in the ‘Mare.” BECAUSE…WHO in the process of a three and a half year divorce dreams about re-marrying the person they can’t unmarry????

ME! I have that dream! Because nothing in my life is simple anymore!

Okay, let me be a little bit less dramatic and reach for a little bit of calm, which is so readily available these days.

This isn’t a reality for Pete’s sake, it’s just a tiny dream puzzle I have to decipher. It must be that I am beginning to think of dating, after all, I should actually be divorced soon enough to do so. I don’t really want to re-marry the man I am still not unmarried from. I am just terrified I will attract myself to his twin, another version of him. Right????

Or, it could be that I can’t actually get out of this marriage and that’s the real symbolism. One never-ending marital fairy tale??!! Which leads to dream trauma.

pexels-photo-297813

That’s my verdict.

Of course, I could reference the Dreamology book my girlfriend “Turtle” (she will get her alias) gave me one year. 

Nah! This runaway ‘Divorcemare’ bride is afraid to dig any deeper!

I need my beauty rest.

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com