Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Guest Blogger - Jules Bennett

Do You Expect Too Much From Your Relationship?

This was the title of an article I recently read in Men’s Health. This article was written by a man and I’d like to address a couple of points he made.

Before I go any further, though, let me state that this man blamed movies, Ken and Barbie and romance novels for people seeking the perfect relationship.

Hmmpf. What does he know? My husband and I look just like Ken and Barbie. :)

We all know life is nothing like books…that’s why we read. :) The fantasy we read about and create takes us away from our everyday troubles and gives us something to hope for. We seek that happily-ever-after and strive to create our own. Nothing wrong with that!

Here are some of the points I’d like to share. There were more in the article, but I’m just listing two.

Expectation: Wild Nights, Sleepy Days - Reality: Wild Days, Sleepy Nights

“The most successful couples are the ones who are able to adapt to the fact that crazy work days, the stress of life, and the daily grind of reality will become a stronger force than all-night talks under the stars.”

Why can’t we have both?

Expectation: Complete Immersion - Reality: Occasional Diversion

“When you start dating someone who drives you to Jack Nicholson levels of craziness, you want total saturation. You want to talk on the phone, you want an inbox full of flirty messages, you want five nights a week of dates, you can't stop thinking about them, and everything you say, do, smell, touch, or eat reminds you of that person.”

Okay, this one I have to disagree with. My husband and I started dating when I was fourteen and I’ll be 30 next month. I STILL find him on my mind throughout the day. Everything I do reminds me of my husband and I have to say I’m glad. When he crosses my mind, I can’t help but smile.

As a woman, mother, friend, I would encourage EVERYBODY to seek the best. No, the perfect mate doesn’t exist, but there is someone who will fit into our own imperfect life. I didn’t want to just settle for anybody and I feel sorry for anybody who does. We deserve a happily-ever-after kind of love. That’s the love that will get us through the not so perfect days.

So, do you or did you have high expectations? How has your relationship lived up to your expectations? I’d love to hear from you.

I’m giving away a copy of my first steamy novella, A Stranger’s Bed, to a winner drawn from the comments on this post. This spicy book will be released this Friday under my pen name Sophia Rae. You can contact me at julesbennett@falcon1.net or Sophia at www.myspace.com/authorsophiarae. Sophia’s website will be up soon!



Lucy Monroe said...

Welcome, Jules! I love this post because I think you hit on a attitude of cynicism that pervades a lot of the media. And I don't mean the blame romance for unrealisstic expecations issue. I'm talking about the way so many people assume a great relationship is so impossible. I met Hubcap when I was nineteen...married him when I was twenty. I just turned forty and I adore the man. He's worth adoring, but the thing is - we both work at this relationship we call a marriage and are more in love today than when we faced a crowd of more than 300 wedding guests with the biggest grins our faces had ever sported. Do I have high expectations? You bet! Does he? Absolutely. Of ourselves and in doing so, we can and do have them of each other. Romance did indeed help me to see that relationships like ours were possible. I believe in the happy beginnings that end our books and I know a lot of my readers do too. :)

robynl said...

did you have high expectations? I sure did; I expected loyalty, a partnership, love, good and bad times, and someone to be there for me and with me.

How has your relationship lived up to your expectations?
It has been good; we have been married for 18 yrs. He loves me and has been loyal. In some ways he has exceeded and in some he has not been so great BUT I learned that he can't make me happy unless I am happy with myself.

Jennifer said...

Wow! Nearly sixteen years! I've recently been pondering the disparity between fiction/romance novels and reality... but I like to think that there is some aspect of the romance that is real - which is what the books are based off of. Even with my cynical attitude, I still love romance.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Great topic Jules. I agree with what you said. My hubby and I have been together for 10 years. I'm 27 right now. I consider myself very lucky to this day and still smile when I look at him or find the smallest things melt my heart. Is he perfect? Nope but neither am I or anyone else. We have our ups and downs just like everyone but we love each other competely and thats the most important part.

Jane said...

I do have high expectations. I think that fidelity, loyalty, trust are attainable in a relationship.

Stacy~ said...

Hey Jules :) Great seeing you @ Lucy's place.

I'd love to see a poll of how many romance writers are in happy relationships because from what I've heard, they are some of the strongest marriages around. I think it's realistic to want the HEA as long as it's understood that it doesn't just happen - you have to work for it. Just like anything worth having.

I'll never forget reading something Donald Trump said about marriage I believe when he was married to Marla - that the perfect marriage shouldn't have to be something you work at, it should just be. Doofus. If he'd put even a speck of the time and energy and effort into his marriage that he does his business, it would be an incredible thing.

Congrats to anyone who has found their perfect partner :)

Stacy S said...

Do I have high expectations & has he lived up to them? Yes! It just gets better everyday. We've been together for 12 years. He's the most amazing man I know.

Jules Bennett said...

WOW! What great comments! I love hearing about happily married couples who are more in love today than they were when they took their vows.

Thanks, Lucy, for inviting me. I'm thrilled to be here.

I'll be in and out today, but I promise to check back in later this afternoon!

Keep those comments coming ladies:)


Amy said...

I love your blog Jules. I started dating my hubby when I was 14 and he was 19.(with parent supervision until I was 16 because of the age differences)We married when I was 19. In June we will celebrate our 20th anniversary. We love each other more today than we did when we met and married.

We have been thru a lot together, My hubby had seizures for years, he had one and fell backward in a brush fire and had 3rd degree burns all over his back, We were in a car wreck that almost killed him. He had brain surgery in 1999 that took care of the seizures and he leads a normal life now.

After going thru so much together we have learned to appreciate each other even more and we work on our relationship. He tells me everyday how thankful he is that I am in his life and how much he loves me. And I tell him the same.

brownone said...

My husband and I are like oil and water but it somehow works. Does he irritate me ALOT? YES!! Do I still love him? YES!

Karen Kelley said...

Love the post! I married Karl when I was 15 and he'd just barely turned 18 and we've been happily in love for 38 years. He's my very best friend!

Laurie D. said...

Great post, Jules!

My hubby and I have been married 28 years (yes, we married very young) and I am so much more in love with him now than I was then. In my opinion, it does take significant effort on the part of both parties to make a marriage work and yes, there are lots of bumps along the way, but those bumps can make you stronger. In addition to being my husband and lover all these years, my hubby is now my best friend and spending time together is more special and so much sweeter now than when we were ruled by hormones as oh so young newlyweds!

I'm looking forward to reading everyone's replies today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Angie-la said...

I love Men's Health~ when the DH doesn't buy it, I usually do. Sometimes I think the articles, like the one you quoted above, are written to be sort of tongue-in-cheek but are surprisingly accurate and informative insights into the working of the male mind!

What most men don't understand is that, while the sweep-me-off-my-feet romantic is a female fantasy, most women are looking for a sweet, steady, loving, understanding companion.
The DH and i have been married for 20 years..we met when we were 15 years old, moved in together when we were 23, got married when we were 27.
Do we have high expectations? No..what we have is realistic expectations. We still disappoint one another, regularly. The difference is that we care enough to work to resolve those issues. Love doesn't just happen. You have to work to make a relationship last.
Like Karen said, my husband is my best friend. He is the first person I want when I have something to celebrate and the first person I want when things go bad and I need comfort.

tara said...

Hi Jules!!
Great post!
I actually know people who believe romance books cause divorce!! Which in my opinion is so wrong! I read for enjoyment not to compare myself or my marriage with the characters in a book!!
No lie…marriage is WORK! You have to be willing to put in the time and energy in making it WORK! I have been married 9 years..9 very fantastic years!!! I think what has made our marriage strong is the fact that we have always lived away from family! When something needed working out all we had were each other to turn to! We are best friends, lovers, and parents….3 identities and not one more important then the other!! You MUST keep all three parts in working order!! Well better get kids off to school!!
Lots of hugs..Tara

Nathalie said...

Great Post... I think we are now very cynical towards relationships... especially with the high infidelity rate!

I have never been in a relationship yet, but I think respect is very important to maintain one.

Jennifer Y. said...

Great post! I am still looking for a partner. I don't believe I have high expectations...I am not perfect so I wouldn't expect my mate to be...but I definitely won't settle...I think that might be why it has taken me so long to find someone.

This actually reminds me a lot of a class I took in college on relationships.

Lily said...

Jules... I love your blog and I am sorry that the pink Ladies have decided to close it!

Jules Bennett said...

Thanks so much for dropping by, Ladies! I love discussing relationships and I've enjoyed reading about each one of yours.

Lily, yes, the Pink Ladies are closing next month, but we'll be here and there. I'm sure you'll find us guest blogging somewhere:)


Lucy Monroe said...

I so agree that making a great marriage/relationship takes work and lots of it. So does writing a good book and you don't see *me* complaining. LOL Rotting banana peels for Donald Trump for being such an idiot. I remember Kurt Russell saying much the same thing, right before he cheated. Hmm...I guess he and Trump have something in common there too.

I too am really enjoying *all* the comments. I love that we cover a spectrum and aren't all carbon copies of each other. It's a beautiful thing and again I say, you all make this place my very favorite place to be online. :) Not me...YOU!

Hugs to all!

tam said...

My husband & I have a wonderful relationship. We are there for each other, helping where needed. We both give 100% to our marriage. This isn't the first for either one of us; I think we have learned a lot from past experiences.

Estella said...

I had high expectations and all of them have been met.

Laura J. said...

My hubby and I have been married for 12 years and has it all been happy or perfect? Heck no! The first several years were full of problems (son with birth defects and then on top of that the normal everyday stresses of life). But we both wanted our marriage to work. And we did work at it. We still work at it, but I have to say the work was definately worth it. I am more in love with my husband today than when I married him. Our marriage is stronger, because we didn't just give up because some stuff came up. Oh, we still have our days when he refuses to believe he can actually be wrong about something, but he's working on it! :P

Jules Bennett said...

Marriage is hard work, but everything in life worth having, is worth working for.

I think we appreciate things, and people, more if we put some effort into it. I love working together with my hubby in this marriage. This is the most important partnership I will ever enter into.

Thanks for the great posts!


Wendy said...

Hi, Jules!

I'm not looking for a perfect man - Actually right now I'm not looking at all, or even dating. I just want to concentrate on school - I honestly don't think I'm the marrying sort, but I'm only 19! lol.

Jules Bennett said...


Yes, concentrate on school! You'll find the right man at the right time. Sounds like you've got your head on straight and your priorities in order. I'm proud:)


Wendy said...

Thank you, Jules!

Dena said...

Hi Jules, I think its wonderful you have such a great guy. I haven't met mine yet,but there is someone,somewhere I believe.

Amy S. said...

I haven't met my right guy yet. I'm still looking.