Joyce’s favorite reading that she often “pushes” on couples she meets with is this:
Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog
by Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security: when you’re walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love ain’t no one going to mess with you.
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breaths
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
Is love good all the time? No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes. Love leaves you little surprises here and there. Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
In a recent article in PsychCentral, clinical psychologist Suzanne B. Phillips of Long Island University explores what our relationships with pets can teach us about our relationship with a spouse or romantic partner.
Do you greet each other with excitement, overlook each other’s flaws and easily forgive bad behavior? If it’s your pet, the answer is probably yes, But your spouse? Probably not!
Dr. Phillips suggests we can all learn how to improve our human relationships by focusing on how we interact with our pets. For instance:
GREETINGS: Even on bad days, we greet our pet with a happy, animated hello, and usually a pat on the head or a hug. Do you greet your spouse that way?
HOLDING GRUDGES: Even when our pets annoy us by wrecking the furniture or soiling the floor, we don’t stay mad at them.
ASSUMING THE BEST: When our pets make mistakes, we don’t take it personally and are quick to forgive. We give them the benefit of the doubt. Yet when our spouse does something wrong, we often react with anger and blame.
We really do “Get what we Give”. While it is usually so easy to give something very positive to our pets that invites the unconditional love and connection that makes us feel so good, we would do well to treat our spouse with the same kind of understanding and unconditional support we give our beloved pets.