There are some weeks when I feel so mentally exhausted that I have very little content to share with you guys. Then there are some weeks I am on fire and the blogs are just pouring out of me. This is one of those pouring out of me weeks and this will be one of the most important blogs you have ever read. Relationships are complicated! No one will ever have the secret to what makes one work. When it comes to relationships…it’s all trial and error. Those that live to tell the stories have serious battle wounds and are left with scars that either numb them, destroy them, or give them the survival tools that they pass on to generations to come. I cannot tell you what to do in your relationships (family, friends, romance etc) but I sure the hell can advise you of what NOT to do! In my family, we have a running joke called 1979. Whenever Papa Michaels utters this year…we children know he is about to go on a hours long rant filled with sadness, anger, frustration, and hurt. You see…1979 is the year he met Mama Michaels and inherited one of the shittiest bunch of in-laws (not all but most). To be clear, my mother also got unlucky with my father’s side of family but her side are parasites! Public parasites! At least my dad’s unsavory family members usually crawl in a hole and don’t bother us…but my mother’s side ? are educated extortionists! ???? I have seen them in action my entire life! ??♀️ Ugh. They are like a bout of herpes that no amount of medication can control. Reoccurring. Classless. Blood thirsty. Money hungry. And those are some of their better traits. ???♀️ But I digress. Back to 1979. My dad is not a drinker so when he brings up 1979 you can feel his pain and disappointment. At least if he had bumped into trash while being on a drinking binge one could understand joining such a family. But no! Daddy don’t drink so he entered the depths of hell SOBER! ? ??♀️??♀️ 1979 was the year he messed his life up. Papa Michaels always says the only good thing that resulted from what started that year…are his children. ?? Love you Daddy! ? Now why is 1979 so important for you? It was the start of a mindset of not letting go of a painful past. When Daddy says 1979…there’s no challenging him because he is about to list every grievance my mother and her family has ever committed against him and his children. Papa Michaels is essentially trapped in 1979. It’s like he wants to go back and grab his dignity and run. My Daddy’s memory is sharp as hell and his stories are bold, honest, and reckless at times. While not together, this year my parents have been married for 35 years and known each other for almost 40 years! ? That is a long time to hold onto 1979. A long time to be stuck! A long time to not let go of crimes against his humanity. A long time to continue on a marriage while forgetting no indiscretion. ? My mother does not let go of anything either but she’s not the most truthful person so her “truths” do not haunt her the way they haunt my father. Papa Michaels made a million wrong turns in his marriage but he was in it for the long eternal forever that couples promise to when they marry. ? I believe it or else he wouldn’t keep soberly mentioning 1979 like he’s in some drunken stupor. ??♀️ My father is enslaved by the pain of a marriage that just did not work. I feel it for him. But I also took a lot away from our 1979 conversations. First, family has no business in your relationship (unless abuse is involved). My parents did not remember to protect their marriage. Both sides knew every sin the other had committed. ??♀️ Most people know to protect the secrets of their marriage….meaning telling your family every single thing (even when dating) is not the way to go unless you are in trouble and are asking for help!?? When you have long forgiven your lover…your family (especially your parents) may still be holding a grudge. Sometimes for years or forever! ?? Even some friends will hold grudges which is why I only have two married friends (Grace and Nicole) and my brother (who is an exceptional peacemaker and forgiver) that know EVERYTHING about the Ex Factor and I. I don’t even blog about 70% of our issues….though it may seem I do. I only blog about things that I think can help others but I have to try to protect US just in case we make it! ?? Some days I do a better job of protecting us than others. ??♀️ But I try. Second, if you are going to stay with your partner…you must learn to forgive AND forget! I know easier said than done but you must try. 1979 did not just destroy my parents’ inner peace but it helped destroy their marriage! Lawd knows I have a long list of grievances against the Ex Factor but every time I hear 1979…it reminds me that I better get right and snap out of it. That brings me to… Third, love cannot survive and thrive if you are traveling with baggage and are doing nothing to unpack it! ?? I don’t care if you had the baggage before or during your current relationship…drop that shit off at the next corner! Fourth, at the heart of the 1979 speech is the argument of “my partner is wrong and I am right!” Being right all the time is a lonely road to walk down…for no one is always right. Challenge yourselves during disagreements to work on what YOU could have done better! ?? Everyday this notion is a struggle for me but I still aim to be a better version of myself. Lastly, if “1979” did not break you then why are you walking around broken? Each day we get another chance to get things right. Accept what you cannot control and work hard to get right what you can. Relationships are nothing without compromise, errors, disagreements, continuous positive and healthy communication, love, trust, and the self awareness to know that we too have to work on our stuff. You are responsible for your own happiness…not your partner. You cannot change them but you can change yourself! ?? There is so much significance in 1979 but very little of it, for me, actually has to do with the events that took place that year and the years following it. 1979 is my constant reminder to “let go and let God!” ?? ~KJM on Throwback Thursday. Daddy, you inspire me through your words of wisdom about 1979. When I hear that year…I just know that God is still in control. I love the Ex Factor enough to look pass the hurts he has dealt and start anew everyday. I pray he does the same for me. This mind frame is a process. It is a purposeful journey where some days I shall fail and others I shall be triumphant. 2010, the year I met the Ex Factor, shall not repeat the sentiments of 1979 but I could not have gotten here without 1979. There is a blessing in every lesson. ?