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What I learned from horses, cats and dogs about love! Partnerships that work! #horselovers #RelationshipGoals

Valentine’s Day—Raising the Bar on Standards

CTUtahWhen you accept lower standards in your relationships, you seal your fate. I know first-hand.

Charley and I have been spending the last few days—including today, Valentine’s Day—building a piece of furniture for Charley’s office. And while it’s for his office, I love helping him create it. In my last marriage, this sort of jointly created activity just never seemed to happen. When I look back at all the years that this unhappy relationship was acceptable to me, I shudder. It is not a compliment to me that I felt that this was the best I could do.

Look at those rabbit ears! Charley and me having big fun at our ranch in Utah. My garage was 1,500 sq. ft., bigger than the house we moved into when we returned to California.

After my ex and I parted company—and I had started to get my head on straight—I looked at my life to see what areas gave me distinct pleasure and joy. Where had I NOT compromised with my standards? The first thing that came to me was my relationship with my son, Josh, who is still one of my very best friends (always was, actually, even when he was a child). Conversations are lively and fun; we laugh a lot, and we learn from each other.

Recalling how much I loved Josh and valued our relationship, put a smile on my face (my facial muscles had to get used to the feeling again). It was then that I made the decision to elevate every area of my life to the standard of that relationship. I can honestly tell you that I have done exactly that.

I love my life and every aspect of it. I have amazing animals (dog, cats, horse). My home is perfect and lovely and inviting…and aesthetic. I like my  body and am enjoying becoming more fit. My friends are some of the most amazing, adorable, fun, creative, productive and ethical people one could wish for.

And my marriage, my relationship with my husband–which continues to get better over time, which is amazing to me—is so profoundly wonderful, rich, fun, rewarding that it is hard to imagine my life without Charley in it.

If you have not had that sort of relationship, look at your life and identify that area or areas about which you are passionate and that consistently bring you joy and happiness. Did you lower your standards in the relationship department? How could you elevate your standards?

Yours in love,


4 Responses to Valentine’s Day—Raising the Bar on Standards

  • Eve says:

    And I must say that I am following your footsteps and enjoy creating on my relationship which gets better and better every day I wake up. I would have never thought this could happen to me. I didn’t believe it was possible. And now, look at me, I have no complaints and no sorrows.


    • Tanii Carr says:

      Son, Josh, is very fortunate to have Eve in his life. They warmly compliment each other and make a great team! Plus they are so much fun to be around!

  • Mark Oman says:

    You are a tough act to follow, Tanii. But that will be the fun and challenge for us all. We are happy to be dragged along in your wake… sometimes kicking and screaming while elevating our standards on the roller coaster of surviving a worthwhile relationship.

    • Tanii Carr says:

      Pretty soon I’ll run out of family members to make comments! Mark is my wonderful and talented brother who has a critical eye when it comes to writing, being a writer himself. Mirth and merriment aside, he was my biggest fan before there was a fan club. He is honest and forthright and has, himself, very high standards. In my book I acknowledged him and his beautiful wife, Barbara, for being inspirations to me on my road to discovery of what makes for lasting relationships. He’s also funny. When we get together and start laughing, we are quickly reduced to silly putty and sloppy giggles, exercising our laugh muscles to a point of discomfort. Ah, it feels so good!

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