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Traveling Through Life with Dear Heather

Heather Kobler

Dear Readers:

I am excited about having the opportunity to share my knowledge on how to “navigate” a marriage. If you were fortunate enough to have parents who were a great team together and you were nurtured, you have a better chance of finding and keeping a mate because love and caring were illustrated for you as you grow up. Our parents are supposed to teach us what to do, but sometimes they teach us what NOT to do. Forgiving others and ourselves is one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself and others. A good way to “take you temperature” is by asking yourself this: “Am I mad, glad, sad, angry or happy”? The answer to this should motivate you to move forward in your life and times.

Our world moves so much faster today, and we can become “disconnected” from those we love. Most people do not understand that it is their job to make themselves happy, not some outside entity. There are many ways to repel a potential mate and being “needy” and expecting someone else to “fill us up” is a big trap. And, if it feels like a trap, it is a trap.

Who wants to learn how to change a flat tire on the Santa Monica Freeway in rush hour traffic? If we take the time to develop ourselves we would prosper. Choosing a friend or life partner requires some critical thinking. Most people wait till they are almost ship wrecked to work on a marriage. Understanding what you want in a relationship can be easily understood if we take the time to define what traits we would like in a friend or mate.

I was married for 47 years and early on I was quite critical of my husband. I was a stay at home mother and not until a friend stopped and asked me what I was getting out of my relationship, did I take the time to address this situation. I talked with a therapist for one hour and it changed my life. He asked about my husband and I went through my “compliant department” script and when I was finished he said me; “And do you benefit from your husband being a workaholic”? I said yes. But I had not thought about the many blessings that I and my children were receiving because of his hard work. The therapist explained to me that what I was doing was called “piggy backing”. Waiting all day for him to come home and expecting him to fill me up. He told me to “Get a life” and after thinking about my situation, I created a life rich with family and friends and I learned to value these things in a different way and I also forgave myself.

I started filling myself up by relating to other women, volunteering and doing things that made me happy and everything starting falling into place. I never complained again because I valued the gifts that my husband contributed to our marriage. We could not wait to be together and loved seeing each other’s faces.

If you admire your mate for what they bring to the relationship you will be a changed person. It’s such a simple thing to do because love is the answer to many questions. By starting to love yourself everything changes. And if you expect nothing from others you may be pleasantly surprised.

When my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer he held me in his arms and said; “Heather, this is my diagnoses not ours. You and I are going to run until I can’t anymore and enjoy what time we have together and then I’ll die”. And, that’s exactly what he did. We decided not to tell our friends because when you’re going through something like that you don’t want to talk about it because you’re living it. He died on a Sunday morning at home the way he wanted without any treatment because quality not quantity was what he wished for.

I went to work the next day because I needed something normal. Some friends asked me how I could go to work the day after Sig died. I said, “How could you ask me to defend how I’m coping”? Until you have this type of experience, you have no idea how you will react. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. You just do the best you can and writing and talking about your situation is a way of coping. I still write letters to my husband and I end my letters by saying, “I’ll see you in my dreams”.

I have a PHD. In life. I bestowed this honor on myself for my life’s work!

I would welcome any and all questions on love or loss on this Travelingboy.com blog, and I feel that all of my life experiences have prepared me for this challenge. The only things we get to keep are the things we give away — kindness, understanding, compassion, empathy, affection, humor, intellect — and most of all, LOVE.

Heather Kobler

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