My oldest daughter, Jenna, recently said to me, “My greatest fear as a child was that you and mom would get divorced. Then, when I was 12, I decided that you fought so much that maybe it would be better if you did.” Then she added with a smile. “I’m glad you guys figured things out.”
For years, my wife, Keri, and I struggled. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure what initially drew us together, but our personalities didn’t quite match up. And the longer we were married the more extreme the differences seemed. Encountering “fame and fortune” didn’t make our marriage any easier. In fact, it exacerbated our problems. The tension between us got so bad that going out on book tour became a relief, though it seems we always paid for it on re-entry. Our fighting became so constant that it was difficult to even imagine a peaceful relationship. We became perpetually defensive, building emotional fortresses around our hearts. We were on the edge of divorce and more than once we discussed it.
I was on book tour when things came to a head. We had just had another big fight on the phone and Keri had hung up on me. I was alone and lonely, frustrated and angry. I had reached my limit.
That’s when I turned to God. Or turned on God. I don’t know if you could call it prayer—maybe shouting at God isn’t prayer, maybe it is—but whatever I was engaged in I’ll never forget it. I was standing in the shower of the Buckhead, Atlanta, Ritz-Carlton yelling at God that marriage was wrong and I couldn’t do it anymore. As much as I hated the idea of divorce, the pain of being together was just too much. I was also confused. I couldn’t figure out why marriage with Keri was so hard. Deep down I knew that Keri was a good person. And I was a good person. So why couldn’t we get along? Why had I married someone so different than me? Why wouldn’t she change?
Finally, hoarse and broken, I sat down in the shower and began to cry. In the depths of my despair powerful inspiration came to me. You can’t change her, Rick. You can only change yourself. At that moment I began to pray. If I can’t change her, God, then change me. I prayed late into the night. I prayed the next day on the flight home. I prayed as I walked in the door to a cold wife who barely even acknowledged me. That night, as we lay in our bed, inches from each other yet miles apart, the inspiration came. I knew what I had to do.
The next morning I rolled over in bed next to Keri and asked, “How can I make your day better?”
Keri looked at me angrily. “What?”
“How can I make your day better?”
“You can’t,” she said. “Why are you asking that?”
“Because I mean it,” I said. “I just want to know what I can do to make your day better.”
She looked at me cynically.
“You want to do something? Go clean the kitchen.”
She likely expected me to get mad. Instead I just nodded. “Okay.”
I got up and cleaned the kitchen.
The next day I asked the same thing. “What can I do to make your day better?”
Her eyes narrowed. “Clean the garage.”
I took a deep breath. I already had a busy day and I knew she had made the request in spite. I was tempted to blow up at her.
Instead I said, “Okay.” I got up and for the next two hours cleaned the garage. Keri wasn’t sure what to think. The next morning came.
“What can I do to make your day better?”
“Nothing!” she said. “You can’t do anything. Please stop saying that.” “I’m sorry,” I said. “But I can’t.”
I made a commitment to myself. “What can I do to make your day better?” “Why are you doing this?” “Because I care about you,” I said.
“And our marriage.” The next morning I asked again. And the next. And the next. Then, during the second week, a miracle occurred. As I asked the question Keri’s eyes welled up with tears. Then she broke down crying. When she could speak she said, “Please stop asking me that. You’re not the problem. I am. I’m hard to live with. I don’t know why you stay with me.”
I gently lifted her chin until she was looking in my eyes. “It’s because I love you,” I said. “What can I do to make your day better?” “I should be asking you that.” “You should,” I said. “But not now. Right now, I need to be the change. You need to know how much you mean to me.” She put her head against my chest. “I’m sorry I’ve been so mean.” “I love you,” I said. “I love you,” she replied. “What can I do to make your day better?” She looked at me sweetly. “Can we maybe just spend some time together?” I smiled. “I’d like that.” I continued asking for more than a month. And things did change. The fighting stopped. Then Keri began asking, “What do you need from me? How can I be a better wife?”
The walls between us fell. We began having meaningful discussions on what we wanted from life and how we could make each other happier. No, we didn’t solve all our problems. I can’t even say that we never fought again. But the nature of our fights changed. Not only were they becoming more and more rare, they lacked the energy they’d once had. We’d deprived them of oxygen. We just didn’t have it in us to hurt each other anymore.
Keri and I have now been married for more than 30 years. I not only love my wife, I like her. I like being with her. I crave her. I need her. Many of our differences have become strengths and the others don’t really matter. We’ve learned how to take care of each other, and, more importantly, we’ve gained the desire to do so. Marriage is hard. But so is parenthood and keeping fit and writing books and everything else important and worthwhile in my life. To have a partner in life is a remarkable gift. I’ve also learned that the institution of marriage can help heal us of our most unlovable parts. And we all have unlovable parts.
Through time I’ve learned that our experience was an illustration of a much larger lesson about marriage. The question everyone in a committed relationship should ask their significant other is, “What can I do to make your life better?” That is love. Romance novels (and I’ve written a few) are all about desire and happily-ever-after, but happily-ever-after doesn’t come from desire—at least not the kind portrayed in most pulp romances. Real love is not to desire a person, but to truly desire their happiness—sometimes, even, at the expense of our own happiness. Real love is not to make another person a carbon copy of one’s self. It is to expand our own capabilities of tolerance and caring, to actively seek another’s well being. All else is simply a charade of self-interest.
I’m not saying that what happened to Keri and me will work for everyone. I’m not even claiming that all marriages should be saved. But for me, I am incredibly grateful for the inspiration that came to me that day so long ago. I’m grateful that my family is still intact and that I still have my wife, my best friend, in bed next to me when I wake in the morning. And I’m grateful that even now, decades later, every now and then, one of us will still roll over and say, “What can I do to make your day better.” Being on either side of that question is something worth waking up for.
Fashion’s fallen for the horsey set’s classic coat
How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Fashion’s fallen for the horsey set’s classic coat
- Shane Watson shares advice for embracing this season’s quilted coats trend
- Suggests coats below the knee or longer, and avoiding popper fastenings
- UK-based fashion expert takes inspiration from Jordana Brewster
The question I’ve been wrestling with (wrestling might be a bit strong), is where do I stand on quilted coats and jackets?
For a start, my parents’ generation wore quilted vests to stave off the draughts in their very-much-not-insulated houses.
I look at quilted coats and think of wellies and dog whistles, sheep wrangling and horse feed, and struggle to see them as any more stylish than an oilskin and sou’wester.
On the other hand, all you have to do is nip in to your local M&S, Zara or John Lewis to realise that quilted coats and jackets are as fashionable as biker boots a decade ago — and at the start of that trend I remember being less than convinced.
Shane Watson shares advice for embracing this season’s quilted coats trend at any occasion. Pictured: Jordana Brewster
Too heavy, I thought. Too utilitarian. Too ugly. Yet within months biker boots had become glamorous, youth imbuing and generally all-round desirable.
Which is a long-winded way of saying I’m well aware the fashions we don’t get instantly, are often the ones that prove most enduring — especially when they have a lot going for them, practically.
Not long ago you could easily buy a parka or padded jacket that was not even shower proof; but these quilted cover ups are 100 per cent weatherproof. There’s nothing frivolous about this fashion.
So, the next question is, does a quilted coat serve a different purpose from your parka/duvet/padded coat? The quick answer to that is yes. I think so. It’s thinner, it’s lighter, you can wear it with a bag strap slung across it. It’s like the difference between a light padded gilet and a dryrobe, those coats wild swimmers love.
And, last but not least, there’s a noticeable difference between a quilted jacket Jeremy Clarkson might wear on his farm and the one you’ll be wearing if you take the bait. Which — having tried on a few — I can see that you might.
Apart from being so light that the coat you walked into the shop wearing by contrast feels like concrete, the quilted coat or jacket can look quite nippy. It has that wholesome country-casuals-meets-Europrincess vibe; it’s built for a British winter but, is also neat and a bit bourgeois dressy, like a velvet ribbon-tied ponytail.
It’s all about how you wear it (with a polo neck peeking out one end and a midi hem and boots, the other); the colour (sage green or khaki if it’s a coat; green or navy if it’s a jacket . . . don’t be tempted by bright colours); and length. If it’s a coat it should finish just on or below the knee so it looks leaner and can’t be mistaken for a padded anorak.
QUILTED COATS : RULES
- Go quilted not padded
- Keep coats below the knee or longer
- Try khaki or navy
- Avoid popper fastenings
The gold-standard jacket is Barbour’s fake-fur-lined version (£169, barbour.com). Boden does a cute jacket in khaki or navy with a fat, faux- fur detachable collar (£150, boden.co.uk) which is all to the good, as this quilted jacket’s appeal is its simplicity. Cos has an ultra-plain reversible jacket in navy (£99, cosstores.com) which would also work well under a coat.
However, as we get into winter, a coat, with a hood, will be more useful.
Zara has a good one with an adjustable hem, parka style (£59.99, zara.com) and a straighter version, also hooded (£79.99, zara.com). Cos has a long-line quilted coat in khaki (£135, cosstores.com). Marks & Spencer has something similar in hunter green but belted (£79, marksandspencer.com) so, for the slimmer customer then; I can’t see quilting and belts working for most.
Massimo Dutti has a wide range of quilted coats including one in high-shine glossy green (£169, massimodutti.com) with a detachable hood.
Honestly, you can walk into any shop on the High Street and find an entire quilting section with lots of choice and you can’t go far wrong — though beware bulky cuts (this coat shouldn’t pile on pounds) and unnecessary details, like breast pockets.
Will it change your life? No, but if you’re bored stiff of that padded coat and your parka has seen better days, this is where you should be looking. And the quilties are starting to look more on the money than other weatherproof coats. They’re definitely growing on me.
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Kate Middleton Made 1 Eco-Friendly Move With Her Outfit at the Earthshot Prize
Prince William recently launched the inaugural Earthshot Prize, a huge initiative to combat climate change. Of course, Kate Middleton was right there alongside him to show support. Because of the theme of the event, Kate donned an outfit that showed off her eco-friendly mindset.
Kate Middleton supported Prince William at the Earthshot Prize
On October 17, 2021, William launched the first-ever Earthshot Prize ceremony. It highlighted many innovations around the world that are playing their parts in helping the environment. The award ceremony included a total of 15 finalists and five winners in various categories.
Kate was there to support William in his groundbreaking project. The Duchess of Cambridge was one of the award presenters for the event. She handed out the prize for the Protect and Restore Nature category to the country of Costa Rica for its efforts in restoring rainforests.
“Nature is vital to us all. A thriving natural world regulates our climate, nurtures our physical and mental health, and helps feed our families,” Kate said in her speech.
Other stars at the Earthshot Prize include Emma Watson, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and Emma Thompson. The Prize will also become an annual event and be hosted by other countries in the future.
Kate Middleton made an eco-friendly move with her outfit
True to its message, the Earthshot Prize tried to be as eco-friendly as possible. Participants were encouraged to join via video calls instead of flying into London. Musical performances were also powered by 60 cyclists.
Kate, whose fashion always garners a lot of attention, made sure her outfit reflected the message of Earthshot as well. She re-wore an Alexander McQueen gown that she donned to the 2011 BAFTA. According to Marie Claire, in re-wearing an outfit, Kate seems to be sending a message about overconsumption. This is, indeed, a big problem in the fashion industry and one that is contributing to environmental degradation.
Other participants also tried to be eco-friendly with their fashion statements. For example, according to E! News, Emma Watson wore a top made from 10 wedding dresses.
Kate Middleton has re-wears clothes many times
Kate is no stranger to recycled outfits. Ever since she joined the royal family in 2011, she has re-worn clothes many times.
In fact, Kate specifically re-wears items when she attends weddings. Kate attracts a lot of attention everywhere she goes, and this seems to be a way for her to shift some attention to the bride and groom at hand.
When she attended Prince Harry’s 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle, Kate donned a cream Alexander McQueen coat dress that she already wore three years earlier at her daughter’s christening. Similarly, at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank a few months later, Kate wore a pink Alexander McQueen dress that was similar to something she wore at Trooping the Colour in 2017.
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‘RHOSLC’ recap: Mary Cosby ‘would change’ husband to fit her needs
‘RHOSLC’ star Mary Cosby tells castmate Jennie Nguyen to ‘shut up’
‘RHOSLC’ Lisa Barlow addresses Mary Cosby’s ‘crazy’ cult allegations
Lisa Barlow takes a dig at Whitney Rose in ‘RHOSLC’ sneak peek
Whitney Rose blasts Mary Cosby’s ‘crazy’ and ‘baseless’ Twitter accusations
Will her prayer be answered?
In Sunday night’s episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” Mary Cosby revealed that she would transform her husband, Bishop Robert Cosby Sr., into an entirely different human being if she could.
“I could be wrong for this but I would change Robert Sr.,” the Bravo star, 48, said in a confessional. “I would just, like, change him, the whole person, to what I want in him that I don’t get.”
Mary added that her decades-long marriage to Robert Sr. has been “exhausting.”
“You want him to say, ‘[I’m] sorry,’ you want him to be passionate, you want him to just be alive,” she elaborated, listing the qualities she feels her spouse is devoid of. “And then you have Robert Sr.”
Mary inherited her late grandmother Rosemary “Mama” Redmon Cosby’s Faith Temple Pentecostal Church and multimillion-dollar estate after the elder preacher’s 1997 death. Mary later married her step-grandfather and Mama’s husband, Robert Sr. (The two are not blood-related.)
Mary has previously expressed that she did not want to enter into the unconventional marriage, but eventually conceded to the arrangement as to honor her late grandmother’s wishes.
While taking a break from a tennis game with castmate Meredith Marks in this week’s installment of “RHOSLC,” the religious leader opened up more about her home life with Robert Sr.
“I remember when I got my own bedroom — because you know Robert Sr. and I don’t share a bedroom. We don’t sleep in the same room,” Mary told the jewelry designer. “And he’s like, ‘This is your room.’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean, my room?’”
She continued, “At first I was like, ‘OK, this is weird. OK, you’re going in there? OK, good night.’ But then, I don’t know what I’d do without my own room. I think there’s dynamics to relationships that work.”
Mary also explained to Marks, 49, that she is dreading the day her and Robert Sr.’s 18-year-old son, Robert Jr., moves out of the family’s palatial Utah home.
“If Robert Jr. leaves my house, then it’ll just be Robert Sr. and I all the time. I just find that strange. I want to live Italian-style where they live at home until they get married,” she said. “My son is part of our life and a part of our marriage and a part of us for the last 18 years.”
Mary — who, in addition to worrying about her husband, is embroiled in rumors that she’s running a “cult” — went on to say that she is in no way looking forward to rediscovering who Robert Sr. is once their nest is empty.
“Our whole marriage is based on this kid, so it’s almost like I have to relearn this man,” she told the camera. “From knowing what I know now, I don’t want to get to know him and I just see, like, a disaster.”
“The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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