Talking Points Psychotherapy   
Dianne Arnett - Blog
I attended my dear friends 60th Anniversary was such a huge accomplishment and loving event shared by many who loved this sweet couple that it was similar to a wedding reception. This couple was from the WWII era and my husband and I were one of the youngest couples. Seated at our table were couples married, 47, 53 and 54 years! What a great opportunity to do some social research! I quietly spoke with each couple and asked them the secret to their long marriages. While no couple knew I was speaking to the others they all answered the exact same way......RESPECT...they declared! In all things large or small always offer one another respect. It can be as simple as bringing in the trash without being asked or it can be nurturing through a life threatening illness. Secondly, they all answered, "I can be myself in good times or bad and I can say what I think in good times or bad." What a wonderful sense of freedom and what I wish for each of my clients. Thirdly, they suggested a SENSE OF HUMOR! Well I realize in my own marriage that my husband's goofiness can lighten a tense moment no matter the stressful event and it really changes the mood and reduces the intensity immediately. They also, and some practically shouted...COMMITMENT, COMMITMENT, COMMITMENT! Without it you are lost when the going gets rough. Now lastly several couples said, "Never go to bed angry." I'm going to have to differ with this advice as I believe things always seem different, easier and conversations go better the next day. I made a rule for my husband and I that we can't start an emotional conversation before bed and you know what in all the years we have been married there has NEVER ONE TIME...EVER....been a decision that needed to be made the night we were upset. Get a good night's rest and things really do look better the next morning. I wish for you all a long marriage and that most days are happy ones and that you are strong enough to weather the bumpy ones too!

June, 28, 2016:  I love to listen to Ted Talks. They are informative, inspiring and calming. I have several favorites that I would like to recommend. If you have never experienced a Ted Talk I encourage you to dial into and browse around. There is something for everyone. My dream is to do a Ted Talk some day, but until is a list of my go to TT.
Try Something New for 30 Days by Matt Cutts
Nature, Beauty and Gratitude by Louis Schwartzberg
The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding by UCLA Coach: John Wooden
Why We All Need To Practice Emotional First Aid by Guy Winch
Who Are We Really? The Puzzle of Personality? by Brian Little
The Sibling Bond by Jeffrey Kluger
The Power of Believing That You Can Improve by Carol Dweck
Your Body Languages Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy
The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

Sadly, my mother passed away recently. I didn't truly understand the gravity of such a significant loss as friends and clients experienced the loss of their own mothers. I certainly have greater empathy and understanding today. For my family it is a great loss and one which will require much healing. 
The division of a family estate can be trying on any family. It doesn't have to be one of family strife and destruction. With 6 siblings, I was tentative about going to our parent's home to divide a lifetime of possessions of sentiment and monetary value. 
I will begin the story with the end.I am proud of my siblings for the integrity in which each conducted themselves. It can be done with grace!
A dear family friend to all had written a beautiful email reminding us all of the importance of family to our parents. It truly was the force that drove them their entire lives. The note emphasized the insignificance of material wealth and the true value of material things were in our memories. He encouraged us to share stories about our experiences and memories vs. focus on who gets what. 
It was a lovely way to begin the process. 
After the reading of the will, we began to divide first, my mother's jewelry. She had given each of us important pieces to us over the years for our birthdays. Her most important pieces lay on the table in front of us.  Each daughter drew one of four playing cards A-1-2-3 and then were invited to select an item before us. 
Following the jewelry division we each drew a domino 1-7. The house was open at that time and each adult child was able to select any item in the house whether it be furniture or as simple as a salt and pepper shaker. We alternated up and down 1-7 and then 7-1.
It was interesting to witness each of my siblings…some chose material value while others chose sentimental items. One of my brothers, who lives with a minimalistic approach to life chose silly things!
It was not an easy process and it took us all day and well into the night to get through the majority of the house. I think the way our family chose to execute such a difficult task was not only fair, but a simple manner.
As the hours passed, we actually began to have fun with story telling and teasing one another. One of my three sisters was very conscientious about each choice…deliberate and thoughtful and at times slow. We were encouraging an teasing her about her indecision. 
To lose a parent is one of the greatest losses in our lives. Being supportive, loving and patient with one another will not only aid in healing, but inspire the next generation to love, respect and nurture one another. With 18 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren the stakes are high to preserve the healthy, loving legacy our parents began. 

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