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Women, Romance, Fantasy & Reality Blog

Women, Romance, Fantasy and Reality Blog on next Year in Jerusalem

On I am interviewed on the ways we use our fantasies. I've talked about the importance of a fantasy life for most women in the free webinar I offer you on this site. Often fantasy is very relaxing and enriching. But at times it can be a problem. For example, focusing on the past and exaggerating old memories, whether making them much better or much worse than the events actually were, may not be healthy. The easiest example I can think of is so enjoying old memories about a boyfriend you had years ago, that you don't focus in the present on enjoying your husband or significant other now. Believe, this does happen. Absence really can make the heart grown fonder!

On the other hand, many people begin to exaggerate a negative memory and build stories around that memory. For instance, Ruth remembered how her brother-in-law forgot to send an anniversary card or even call on Jim and Ruth's 25th wedding anniversary. She was hurt. That was two years ago, but as she has mulled over about his forgetfulness it has turned in her mind to indifference and a total lack of respect for them as a couple. She finds herself getting more and more angry at him and also more hurt. This type of fantasy distortion is not useful in any way.

So it is very important to understand how we use fantasy and to make sure we use our daydreaming and ruminating for good mental health purposes! Please watch my video now on fantasy to learn more!

The women returned to the table and the men suggested they browse in the nearby art galleries. As they walked in and out of several galleries, Raji eagerly asked Maggie if she’d like to see a gallery specializing in artists from India. Jack, determined to check out a gallery that specialized in jewelry made from silver, gold, Roman glass, and other precious stones, requested that the couples split up and meet thirty minutes later.

Amazed at the quality of the jewelry Jack showed her, Natalie noted how tasteful and beautifully presented the artistic treatment of ancient glass, precious stones, gold, and silver was. She fell in love with a dainty sterling silver bracelet with intriguing tiny pieces of ancient glass embedded in a silver rectangle in the center. It was simple but exquisite.

Before she could stop him, Jack pulled out his wallet and paid for the bracelet.

“I can’t accept this,” she protested. “Take it home to your wife. It’s beautiful, she’ll love it.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. This is for you. Give me your hand. I want to put it on you.”

People were looking. Natalie held up her hand; she’d worry about it later. A public display was not in order.

“Ah, it looks beautiful on you.”

Jack took her hand. Again, to avoid embarrassment, she didn’t pull away as they left the shop.

Before Natalie knew what was happening, Jack gently but firmly led her down the small alleyway next to the shop.

“Natalie, I must talk to you.” His voice was urgent. “Don’t you understand? Don’t you feel what I feel?”

He pulled her toward him, grasped her face in his hands and gently kissed her. Ever so lightly on the lips. Just a touch.

The very lightness set her on fire. It was as if there’d been an explosion on Ben Yehuda Street. Had he started by pushing his way into her mouth, she would have fought back and been put off. But the gentleness of this first kiss made her urges come alive like an active volcano ready to erupt.

The next kiss was firmer and a little longer. Again he retreated. Just enough for the volcano to erupt a little more.

The third kiss had pressure and staying power. And she yielded. Her mouth opened and she gave permission to the only tongue that ever touched the inside of her mouth aside from David’s in the past twenty-five years. She didn’t resist as Jack’s arm caressed her back and moved even lower.

Time came to a halt. The past had moved forward and all her cells were determined to stay in this present moment. She was very, very hungry. Much more hungry than she’d ever realized a woman could be.

Finally Jack spoke. “I’ve never forgotten you,” he whispered.

Natalie pushed herself away, but not completely. That would be too painful. She leaned against his body, and the memory of it, combined with being in his arms, was so delicious she couldn’t let go just yet.

“Jack, you seem to forget that I’m married and so are you.”

“Sometimes things are just meant to be. Anyway, my marriage isn’t good.”

Natalie slowly came back to earth. How many millions of times had women heard a line like that? How many women became the mistress of a man in a “bad” marriage?

“Well, my marriage is good. We have to stop.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry. This is crazy.” Jack pulled back, tucked in his shirt and brushed back the hair that had fallen onto his face.

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Natalie, the central character in Next Year in Jerusalem! has been struggling with romantic and exaggerated memories about a lover from her past. Compared to her husband David, who she sees everyday, and who isn't always on his toes romantically (being a slightly remote college professor) Jack looks fabulous in her mind's eye. Even Jack's negative personality traits have faded. Memories of his love-making skills haven't. This Valentine's Day may be a day of nostalgic daydreaming of long lost lovemaking instead of throwing herself into her basically sound and loving marriage.

Natalie's situation is very common. Many women have fantasy romances in their mind, forgetting that the guys we link back up with on Facebook have aged just as much or more than we have over the last 20 or 30 years! And I don't just mean wrinkles. Life happens. An old beau may have married, divorced, lost a job, had children, moved, etc. We don't know the facts let along his emotional hardships.

Fantasy is a normal healthy part of staying alive, but we need to utilize it to our advantage, not disadvantage. Here is my suggestion:

The present is our present to ourselves. Treat it as such and try to stay in the present. If you are in a decent relationship, the time make it even better is now. What do you need to do to make it better: more time together? better communication skills? honoring each other's interests? handling the kids more effectively? decluttering? more time for sex? better sex? perhaps seeing a marriage counselor?

Of course, I could go on and on. Only you know where to start. Find an area to work on in your relationship and soon you will see more clearly the past for what it is and the present for all the Valentine wonders of the heart are here right with you, right now! Happy Valentine's Day!



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In my latest article on  I write about how awful Valentine's Day can be for us women if we have articifical expectations about the day.  And who hasn't?  Even Natalie and Maggie in Next Year in Jerusalem!  Click here to read more:

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Natalie in Next Year in Jerusalem knows the torture of resolutions.  Natalie has promised herself not to let her mind and heart wander away from her husband, David.  She finds quickly that promises, like New Year Resolutions can be hard to keep.  However, the good news is that if we resolve to make better for ourselves something that can be handled with small steps toward improvement, such as getting rid of clutter or loosing some weight or taking small amounts of personal time for ourselves, we can move forward.  You will see now in my short video.
Natalie has a bigger task as her emotions are so involved.  But that is another story, a story I hope you will read and let me know how you think Natalie should go about resolving her emotions between husband and Jack, her old boyfriend.


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Every Adventure Has a Back Story:

One day when David was busy late at the college and Natalie was bored waiting for him to come home for dinner, she found herself looking up old boyfriends on Facebook. She had a slightly creepy feeling in the pit of her stomach that she tried to ignore. After all, everyone was looking up people from their pasts. What could be wrong about staying in touch? Didn't all the research suggest how important social connections were?

First she looked up her high school sweetheart. Wow, he had aged so much. She decided not to 'friend' him. After all, he dropped her for Samantha four weeks before the Senior prom. What a jerk. Natalie had ended up taking her first cousin Harold who was a total gentleman. He charmed all her friends and no one was that surprised when he came out of the closet 4 years later. Her mind was drifting.

Soon an hour had passed. David called to say he was on his way home. Quick, just enough time to look up one more guy from the past. Jack. After all she was involved with him for years. No guy but David knew her better. Why not say hello? Butterfly feeling in stomach-go away!

Natalie found him on Facebook as she heard the garage door open. So easy. She invited Jack to be her 'friend' just as David walked toward the den. Her heart was racing. Why? She couldn't worry about that now.

David leaned over her and kissed her on the top of her head. "What have you been doing? Playing solitaire on the computer?"

Natalie felt her stomach tighten and her face flush. She was far from playing solitaire. Already she knew she was playing with fire.

A Note from Barbara:

One of the major issues that people face in long term relationships is the struggle with our memories or other relationships. In the present every pimple shows up in the daylight. When we look at our past, we seem to see through the magic of seven veils. At least when we daydream about past adventures we seem able to immerse ourselves in remembering what we want to remember. Delightful memories of feeling good with a boyfriend years ago are harmless and in fact can make us in a good mood and bolster our self-esteem. However, reaching out to be in touch with someone years later after the romance is over can be a risky situation. That is because they have moved on and we have also.

Natalie is about to play with the fire as she tries to merge the present with the past. For more information on Jack and what their relationship in the past was all about, watch the video as well as read this secret excerpt from Next Year in Jersualem!

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