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O Dear. Monday February 23, 2015

Acronyms aside, there is a groan attached to this blogpost. A comedian once shared a joke with me that both offended my sensibilities (it is sexist) but also made me smile because of its deeper truth. So I'm going to share the joke here on the understanding that I think it refers equally to both genders...

He said, "I now know exactly why so many marriages get off to the wrong start... it's all to do with the Church wedding service." We all leaned forward to hear more, many of us, I suspect, having less than perfect marriages.

He then asked us to interact.

"What is the part of the Church you walk up to get married?" he said.
"The Aisle," we said, with one voice, like a herd of sheep.
"What part of the Church do you stand before when you've finished your journey up the aisle?" says he.
"The Altar," says we.
"And, finally, what do you sing when you get to the Altar?" he asked?
"A Hymn," we declared, pleased that we'd clearly got the answer right.
"And there's the problem," he revealed, "Aisle, Altar, Hymn – this is how most marriages start."
[Like me, you might need to hear the words rather than read them to get the punchline.]

"I'll alter him" or "I'll alter her" are both ridiculous foundations upon which to seek to build any relationship. We can change no-one but ourselves. This means that it is wise to set goals with an "O" – standing for goals that are under our "Own Control".

I know that I went through my childhood always wanting more friends (I make few but intimate friendships). I was envious of the more outward-going youths who seemed to make friends so easily – even drawing others to them. What I needed to learn was to just deal with the part of the chemistry that was under my "Own Control" – to be more friendly myself.

Love is the same. A goal set with a frustrating future will be, "I want more people to love me." A goal set with a more certain future is, "Today, I shall be more loving."

That way we can move from, "Oh Dear!" to "Oh Yes!"

A Moodscope member.

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DawnC.Ritchie Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 7:58am

Great post Lex, and so very true :-) I have so much more love in my life since I started to make the first move in friendships. I'm not good at speaking to people I don't know well, but branched out and was majority rewarded :-) I have lots of really nice friends now x

Anonymous Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 8:23am

Hello Lex, Timing is all and yours couldn't have been better! Just yesterday I was talking to my eldest about the importance of firm foundations in a relationship before starting a family. Misguidedly, they suggested that marriage, indeed 'Aisle, Altar, Hymn', would be the answer. I have shared your wisdom in the hope that they will have a rethink. Thank you. Go well.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 9:00am

As always Lex, you warm my heart. I too have heard this joke (told by a vicar in the marriage service and with the same "applies to both genders" understanding. When my now husband and I rang my mother to tell her of our engagement she didn't say anything for a moment, and then she asked to speak to him. She then proceeded to spend at least 20 minutes cataloging (in unnecessary detail, I felt) my many faults and telling him that I wouldn't change. At the time I was hurt, but I now understand why she did it. And, seventeen years on, when I still haven't changed, he can't say he wasn't warned! What's most unfair is that my entire family is unable to perceive any faults in my husband at all!

Julia Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 9:28am

Great Lex. you have hidden the "o" acronym very cleverly. A leopard doesn't change his spots. Sometimes it's better to live alongside and accept perceived shortcomings. I am on holiday at the moment and writing in my phone. I hope I haven't totally missed the point if yr blog Lex but had to reply because it's YOU.

Anonymous Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:02am

Ah, Mary,
There is a saying that 'you only hurt the ones you love'...maybe your family find it easier to 'hurt' you by pointing out your faults too much...cos they really reall love you! Karen x

Anonymous Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:06am

Hope you're having a lovely holiday, Julia!
I don't think you've missed Lex's point...but you could have joined in with a U for a YOU!!!
Lol! Karen x

Anonymous Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:10am

Thank you Lex....I tii have heard this one, from a vicar! It is funny and I don't think anyone took offence by it! But it is so many boys and girls think that the little faults that don't matter so much when they are 'going out' with each other, will be changed by a wedding service, or years of living together. We can only hope to change our Own selves and be kinder, more compassionate and loving...then hopefully get those in return. Karen x

Anonymous Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:11am

Hello Mary - how funny, my mother did exactly the same thing - but at the worst possible moment - dancing with darling hubby at our wedding reception! And my family too never see any of his faults but do see all of mine (and some I don't even have)!

Great post as ever Lex; from a "control freak" - though I do try not to be ...



The Entertrainer Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:37am

That opening move is a seed, isn't it Dawn? When it finds the right soil and the right circumstances and the right chemistry and the right time, it'll grow. And the more seed we sow, the better it seems to work. x

The Entertrainer Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:37am

Wishing you well with that one, Anonymous. Hopefully they'll see the humour and the truth behind the jest. Go well!

The Entertrainer Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:40am

Oh Mary, Karen and Frankie...
...Mum's eh?
Seems you're re-writing the book on Mother-in-Laws... no jokes on that account.
I'm rather thrilled your Mums see your hubbies in a good light.
It's a transferable skills, so they might just realise how wonderful you are one day... and tell you!

The Entertrainer Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:41am

Happy Holidays, Julia.
You've not missed the point.
It's GREAT when we have relationships when we don't have to 'fix' the other people!! Freedom!!!

The Entertrainer Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 10:42am

Thanks Karen...
...yes, we often reap what we sow.
Forgiveness and unconditional acceptance is a tough crop, but its yield is nothing short of miraculous.

Anonymous Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 7:13pm

You are the best Lex. Spot on again!

Julia Mon, Feb 23rd 2015 @ 8:54pm

Ha! Got you're Karen! Took me a while. Could Lex use my you for U? X

Anonymous Tue, Feb 24th 2015 @ 2:47am

Thanks Lex for this important reminder! I needed to hear that joke today.

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