By Guest Nicole
Being widowed, divorced or never married increases the risk of heart disease.
Being married may reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular death, a review of studies has found.
Researchers pooled data on more than two million participants in 34 studies carried out in the United States, Britain, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Greece and eight other countries.
They found that compared with married people, those who were unmarried — whether never married, widowed or divorced — were 42 percent more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease and 16 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease. The unmarried also had a 43 percent increased likelihood of coronary heart disease death and a 55 percent increased risk for death from stroke. Stroke risk was increased for the unmarried and divorced, but not for the widowed.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/well/marriage-heart-married-divorced-single.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/well
By Jack Ryan
There was a man who said, "I never knew what happiness was until I got married...and then it was too late!"
Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.
They say when a man holds a woman's hand before marriage, it is love; after marriage, it is self-defense.
When a newly married man looks happy, we know why. But when a ten-year married man looks happy, we wonder why.
There was this lover who said that he would go through hell for her. They got married, and now he is going through hell.
A Code of Honor: Never approach a friend's girlfriend or wife with mischief as your goal. There are just too many women in the world to justify that sort of dishonorable behavior. Unless she's really attractive. -- Bruce Friedman
A coward is a hero with a wife, kids, and a mortgage. -- Marvin Kitman
A gentleman is one who never swears at his wife while ladies are present.
A husband is living proof that a wife can take a joke.
A husband is what's left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted.
Marriage is like a mousetrap. Those on the outside are trying to get in. Those on the inside are trying to get out.
Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it.
Marriage is the process of finding out what kind of man your wife would have preferred.
Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.
Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity.
Marriage still confers one very special privilege - only a married person can get divorced.
Marriage: A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and around the hands and feet of the man.
Marriage: the only sport in which the trapped animal has to buy the license.
Marriages are made in heaven and consummated on Earth.
By Guest Nicole
HereÂ’s what they are:
1. Be together for the right reasons
DonÂ’t ever be with someone because someone else pressured you to. I got married the first time because I was raised Catholic and thatÂ’s what you were supposed to do. Wrong. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. Took me three tries to figure out what should have been obvious from the beginning, the only reason you should ever be with the person youÂ’re with is because you simply love being around them. It really is that simple.
Before we even get into what you should do in your relationship, letÂ’s start with what not to do.
When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third (or fourth) marriages what they did wrong. Where did they mess up?
By far, the most common answer was Â“being with the person for the wrong reasons.Â”
Some of these wrong reasons included:
Pressure from friends and family Feeling like a Â“loserÂ” because they were single and settling for the first person that came along Being together for imageÂ—because the relationshipÂ looked goodÂ on paper (or in photos), not because the two people actually admired each other Being young and naive and hopelessly in love and thinking that love would solve everything As weÂ’ll see throughout the rest of this article, everything that makes a relationship Â“workÂ” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
The other Â“wrongÂ” reason to enter into a relationship is, like Greg said, to Â“fixÂ” yourself. This desire to use the love of someone else to soothe your own emotional problems inevitably leads to codependence, an unhealthy and damaging dynamic between two people where they tacitly agree to use each otherÂ’s love as a distraction from their own self-loathing. WeÂ’ll get more into codependence later in this article, but for now, itÂ’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending onÂ whyÂ andÂ howÂ you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself,Â love is never enoughÂ to sustain a relationship.
Read more:Â https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/
By Guest Nicole
Friday's parliamentary vote in Berlin to recognize the right of same-sex couples to wed was a long-awaited victory for German liberals. But the vote was a defeat for the woman who seemed to have emerged as one of the country's most popular icons of liberalism: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
She welcomed over 1 million refugees, abandoned nuclear energy over safety fears and has urged President Trump to respect human rights.
On Friday, however, Merkel voted against same-sex marriage, despite having paved the way to its recognition only days earlier.
The anti-marriage-equality party line of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had long prevented the law from being passed. But on Monday, the German chancellor cleared the way for the issue to win approval in the German Parliament by allowing lawmakers to choose according to their personal convictions after being pressured into a vote by the Social Democratic Party. “I would like to steer the discussion more toward the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote,” Merkel said earlier this week.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/06/30/why-angela-merkel-known-for-embracing-liberal-values-voted-against-same-sex-marriage/?utm_term=.b6ce6745071c
By Guest Nicole
How long should a couple date before marriage?
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Your marriage status may be a good predictor of whether you survive a stroke.
Many studies have shown that married people are generally better off financially than those who are single. They also tend to have more friends and social support, and engage in fewer unhealthy behaviors than the unmarried. But even after controlling for these and other factors, researchers found that being married by itself increases the probability of survival after a stroke.
The analysis, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, included a nationally representative sample of 2,351 men and women who had had a stroke and were discharged from the hospital. During the study period, from 1992 to 2010, 1,362 of them later died.
The researchers found that compared to the continuously married, the never married had a 34 percent higher risk of death. People who had had multiple divorces were at a 50 percent higher risk, and those widowed multiple times had a 25 percent higher risk. Being divorced or widowed only once, though, did not increase the risk.
The lead author, Matthew E. Dupre, a sociologist at Duke University, said that the study confirmed other research showing “how our social relationships can have immediate and lasting consequences for our health.”
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By Guest Nicole
(CNN)Together for 74 years, even death couldn't keep Leonard Cherry and his wife Hazel apart.
The Cherrys were high school sweethearts, married in January 1942 in Muldoon, Texas. Last week they died, just a few hours apart. Their only grandson, Craig Cherry, said their love was the strongest love that he had ever seen.
"The two were always smiling and always deeply in love," Cherry told CNN affiliate KWTX.
Although family members are mourning their loss, the couple's 72-year-old son, David Cherry, is grateful that his mother and father can be together forever.
"I feel blessed that Daddy's suffering is over, and I feel blessed that Mom is with him and that she didn't have to live alone."
Leonard Cherry, 95, had been in hospice care only days before his death at the St. Catherine Center in Waco, while Hazel Cherry, 93, who was in good health, moved into The Village at Providence Park, a nursing home, just next door.
"Mother had been driving around town and still going to the grocery store as recently as two weeks ago, but Dad's health had been failing for some years," David Cherry told the affiliate.
Leonard Cherry died at 1 p.m. on Thursday. His wife passed at 11 p.m. It was not immediately clear what caused her death.
David Cherry said his parents would be missed.
"It's kind of hard you know, you can't pick up the phone and call them anymore, or call mother and can't go by and see Dad," he said. "The more I began to think about it, I began to smile because of how much they loved each other."
Leonard Cherry became a B-24 bomber pilot after enlisting in the Army Air Corps at the start of World War II. Stationed at Carswell Army Air Corps Base in Fort Worth, he trained others to fly the plane.
Once the war was over, Leonard stayed in Fort Worth and went to work as an auto body repair man. He later owned his own auto repair business that he and his wife operated until 1980, but the couple of almost 40 years wanted to be closer to their grandchild and son.
Leonard sold his auto repair business and the couple moved to Woodway to spend the rest of their lives together.
A memorial service is scheduled for the two Friday.
By Guest Nicole
You hear it again and again: "After I got married, I stopped having time for myself." Cooperation is a healthy part of a relationship. The trick is to grow together, and as the old saying goes, to "row in the same direction."
Growing in a long-term relationship or marriage takes skill. Marriages that stagnate become ripe for problems. So how do you grow in your marriage? Just like the flowers and trees, all relationships need water and sunlight, a little tending to pull up the weeds and a little talk to encourage them.
1. Be present.
Being present can mean staying off your smartphone during mealtimes or whenever you're together. It requires truly listening to what your partner is saying. It means actually focusing on the person in the room rather than thinking about the four other places you could be. When you are present with your spouse, they're made to feel important, validated, and treasured. Again, this pays dividends.
2. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
If your spouse takes an interest in something that doesn't immediately include you, don't react with suspicion or anger. If they suggest that going off and doing it will make them a better spouse, they might be right. So long as their new interest doesn't risk anyone's physical or emotional well-being, it would be wise to believe in them rather than ripping their idea to shreds. Giving them the benefit of the doubt. Support pays huge dividends.
3. Praise. Don't punish.
We're all going to fail sometimes. And who's the first person we talk to when we're disappointed or scared? If your other half has experienced a setback or disappointment, it's not productive to berate or find fault. Find something—anything—positive that you can say about their effort. Now, I'm not suggesting that you lie. Be authentic. A little praise at the right time goes a long way.
4. Be affectionate.
Our spouses need gentle words, that same touch. How much? Well, that's up to you. Sometimes one member of a relationship puts a heavier emphasis on affection than the other. Sometimes, we're just feeling a little needy. A simple hand on the shoulder, rub of the arm, a kiss on the cheek, or quick shoulder rub shows that you care.
Marriage can become routine. Partners assume the other can read their mind. As a professional psychotherapist, I always tell my clients not to assume. Being able to regularly share thoughts, ideas, and feelings is critical. We lead busy lives, so a frequent excuse for not communicating even the basic events of our day is "I just don't have time."
Well, everyone is busy. Your spouse is busy. But if you want them to stay your spouse, open your mouth and tell them what's going on. Ask how their day was. The few minutes it takes to "check in" and ask how your spouse is doing says "I value you and what you're doing. You're not alone." This sharing of ideas and experiences is crucial.
6. Find an activity.
The happiest couples share common activities. Identify what you both derive pleasure from. Maybe you haven't done it lately. Brainstorm up a little excursion. Plan a getaway. Maintaining routine is important, but taking time out to enjoy being with each other in an activity that isn't doing errands is a way to spread growth.
All of these ideas can help lead to positive growth in your relationship. Every good relationship is planted in fertile ground; when things become too routine, it's as if that dirt has been stripped of all the important minerals and nutrients. Whatever gets planted in there won't be as strong as it can be.
But when we revitalize that soil and replenish the nutrients, what comes back will be twice as strong as before.
By Dr. Janna Fond/MBG
By Guest Nicole
It’s been close to 3 years since I separated and later on, divorced from my husband.
We were only officially married for 1 year and half but unofficially together for 7 years. He was my best friend. I looked up to him and secretly felt I could not keep up to his ability to be successful.
Three years ago, l lost sight of everything meaningful in my life, and spiraled into self- sabotage and rebellion. When we broke up, I took it upon myself to change as a person, because I thought that was partly the reason my marriage had deteriorated. What I came to realize is it was the marriage with myself that I never allowed to heal properly. Before we can love someone wholeheartedly, we need to love and accept ourselves first.
Year one taught me survival through various avenues of meditations, traveling, one-on-one coaching, researching topics of interest (self-help), and continuous self-introspective writing. Year two opened the doors towards discovering who I am, my true self and layers of my mind that contributed to my years of “unconscious” living (along with the help of therapy.) Year three helped me accept that I am already in the place I need to be and learning to accept myself as I am as well as being more compassionate with myself. It is also more of a “free” year, where I am living day by day and just being with myself not doing anything in particular as previous years – I am actively watching myself “just being me.” (As weird as that sounds!) I am very clear about the mistakes I made back then.
Marriage is when two imperfect souls can accept each other just as they are and grow as persons and as a unit simultaneously. Marriage is compromise, love, empathy, understanding, strength, vulnerability and maturity amongst the obstacles and difficulties thrown at us by the universe.
Divorce is just another new beginning to look at yourself and reflect on what went wrong.
It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and to appreciate your previous partner as another teacher in your life (once you move past the anger phase, because you do experience it – and it’s totally normal!)
I learned more about me, then I did after any other difficult time period of my life.
It was hard for me in the first few months, as I am a sensitive individual. Time went so slow, my loved ones spent hours calling me, inviting me over for dinner, and sharing countless words of wisdom. I felt I was experiencing an outer body experience.
Surprisingly, work became more interesting because I drowned myself to avoid feeling pain. I often woke up earlier and fell asleep earlier than usual. I started experiencing anxiety attacks and I started praying frequently again. This only reaffirmed my desire to create change for myself. I am eternally grateful for the spiritual coach who guided me during this time and opened up doorways for my self-improvement (my healing).
Here are my tips to work on healing from your heartache while improving yourself and loving yourself:
1. Don’t lock yourself up indoors.
When we feel down, we feel lifeless, we are walking zombies and we do not want to get out of bed. My godfather told me, “When you feel sad: get up, grab your purse, open the door, and hear it slam. Then, come straight over to our house. No matter how many times. Get up and get out.” You have no idea, how much I have listened to this. Once you are out, you won’t suddenly feel thrilled but after 2hours of engaging with others, laughing or in-depth conversations of moral support, you will feel better.
2. Set intentions and be compassionate with yourself.
If you have no other options, because we tend to close up, then set an intention to be compassionate with yourself. For example, I have very few intimate friends, so I did often stay at home, in bed with the lights off. But, I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. I set a realistic intention to give myself a minimum of 3 days at home. Day 3 came and I would get up to go out or do an activity such as writing, visiting loved ones, going for a walk or seeing a movie.
3. Allow yourself to feel.
Do not avoid it. If you need to talk to someone (you trust) for hours to get things off your chest, do so. We are creatures of service; another person will listen to you and help you feel relaxed. If you don’t have someone, I recommend writing down every thought going through your mind. If you suddenly feel the need to cry or laugh, don’t hold it back. Feel it, watch it, and release it – whatever feeling it is, will go away on its own. Don’t avoid thinking or feeling by working overtime or going out every chance you get as an escape. In the long run, this will bring more harm because pain gets buried and will resurface when a new relationship or situation comes around.
4. Get help from a professional outsider: a coach or therapist.
I met a wonderful life coach through a mutual friend. She guided me in every session, hearing me out, giving exercises, written homework assignments and insight. Sometimes we need another’s eye and expertise to comprehend what we are going through and provide you tools to move forward. There were so many topics and tools I would have never thought of without her. She opened my mind to study myself and be understanding that this new life experience would allow me to reach my goals of healing, true love and self-acceptance.
5. Take a seminar or a class.
When you find yourself as a student again engaging in adding skills to yourself professionally and/or as a hobby – you are left with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, giddiness and success. It will make you feel so much better and you will begin to notice you forget about your sadness because you are doing something loving such as an exercise dance class, meet up group, meditation or yoga seminar.
6. Don’t do rebound relationships.
I have done these in the past, though I didn’t do it after my divorce from my last partner. I have found that you are still in a tender phase and you need to work on those feelings of hurt, discomfort and loss. Sometimes, we think we are ready and what we really need is to meet new people and be friends first. If the right partner comes along, you will know it. Don’t rush, take your time.
7. Don’t stay in contact with your ex/exes.
My last ex found it annoying I stayed friends with previous exes. He use to say, “Exes can’t be friends.” I use to debate this all the time. I found it brought me more harm than good, even affecting my marriage. Growing up as an only child with little or no family, we tend to make our friends our family. I couldn’t let go of certain relationships because I was scared to be alone. In past relationships, I had keep my exes as friends but by doing so I only kept it as “yellow” light just in case the flame would revive. In order to move on, we need to keep a distance. Otherwise, we are prolonging pain or in some cases, engaging in relationships with no ties – where there is always one person that gets attached and gets hurt. No matter how much we love or loved that person, we need to let go and accept the one relationship worth keeping is the one with ourselves.
8. Do pray or meditate.
Religion and spirituality continue to be the most contributing part of this healing and self-transformation equation. If you belong to a particular religion, prayer is universal – give it to God. If you are not part of any religion, being spiritual is another tool. Spirituality isn’t all about a religion. It is also about belief in yourself, your inner center, the universe and the stars. I went to free meditation seminars on Sundays during year one and even pulled up some good mediattions and mantras from YouTube. Meditation frees you to – give it to the universe. For me, giving myself to God and the universe through prayer and meditation allowed me to feel peace again, especially in those sad or anxious moments during and after my divorce.
By Guest Nicole
It has been a decade since I married my cheating husband. I was madly in love when the man of my dreams dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife. That was the happiest day of my life. Everything I had planned for my future was falling seamlessly into place, and the only thing I had to do was say, "Yes!" There wasn't anything in my life I had ever been more sure of.
It was a few months before our wedding was going to take place, and he called and asked me to come over. I knew by the sound of his voice that something was terribly wrong. I jumped in the car and headed straight for his place in a panic, my mind spinning profusely out of control. When I arrived he sat me down on the bed and told me there was something he had to be honest about if I was going to take his hand in marriage.
He continued on to tell me that for the last four years of our relationship he had been unfaithful. Not with only one woman but with many. My entire world fell apart in just a few short breaths, and my hopes and dreams went with it. On top of the thought of losing my happily ever after fairy tale I was overwhelmed by a massive burden of shame at the thought of, what will everyone think?
He promised that he had made a mistake and he loved me too much to ever hurt me like that again. And so I stayed. One year into our marriage, history repeated itself and while he was away for a friend's bachelor party he found himself in another woman's bed—not just once but five times that weekend. When he got home my gut told me something was wrong, so I confronted him, and he told me the truth.
He begged and pleaded for my forgiveness, once again promising that he had made a mistake and he loved me too much to ever hurt me like that again. This time there was even more at stake—he was my husband. Overcome by the oh-so-familiar burden of shame, this time I found it harder to process the thought of leaving. And so I stayed.
If I could go back and talk to that innocent girl, this is what I would tell her:
1. Don't believe in empty his promises.
I was in love with this man. He had come to me and was honest and promised he would never do it again, and I couldn't help but convince myself that I needed to believe him. Watching him beg and plead over and over broke my heart, and I felt convinced I needed stay. I held onto every ounce of those promises, but they were empty. He said those things so I would believe that we could move past it and things would be different, but he never took serious action to change anything.
2. It's not you; it's him.
Cheating is not a mistake. Cheating is a choice. You're never going to have all the answers or fully understand why someone you love is capable of stepping out on you. What is important to understand is that when someone cheats, it is because there is a void in their life they are trying to fill. Until they address this void, the foundation of the relationship cannot be rebuilt.
3. You'll never really get over it.
Once my husband and I had our endless conversations where I tried to understand and he begged for forgiveness, I would tell him I forgave him and we would get right back into normal routines. We would go on vacation and buy new things to cover up this emptiness. The saying that "you can forgive but you'll never forget" is so true. It doesn't matter what you do; you will never forget it.
4. It will never be the same again.
There is something in that split-second moment when you find out about infidelity that changes your relationship. Yes you can work on it, but you will never have the purity, the trust, the confidence, and the faith that you had before. A lot of relationships go through ups and downs that change their dynamics, but that is not what I am referring to. There is a significant difference between the day before you found out and the day after.
5. Staying is a reflection of your self-worth.
From the outside, my relationship was picture perfect. And looking back I realize that I was so concerned with my image that I ended up sacrificing my own value and happiness to protect it. I didn't love myself enough to stand up for what I truly deserved. I believed that staying made me strong, when really I found my strength the day I left him.
6. You deserve better.
I would tell that wounded girl that she deserved better. She deserved to be with someone who was faithful, who valued loyalty and commitment just as much as she did. She deserved someone who acted with the utmost integrity and respect, someone who loved her despite her faults and wanted to cherish her for the rest of her life. She deserved someone who loved her the way she loved him.
Infidelity is a prevalent issue in many relationships today. Since my divorce, I've learned that other people are going to make choices that change your life—but you have control over how you respond. Now that I know this, I can approach my current marriage with the experience and wisdom necessary to build a healthy, lasting relationship.
By: Sarah Cline
By Guest Nicole
WASHINGTON — Having a happy spouse may be related to better health, at least among middle-aged and older adults, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.
In a nationally representative study of 1,981 middle-aged heterosexual couples, researchers found that people with happy spouses were much more likely to report better health over time. This occurred above and beyond the person’s own happiness, according to the study, published in the APA journal Health Psychology®.
“This finding significantly broadens assumptions about the relationship between happiness and health, suggesting a unique social link,” said William Chopik, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and principal investigator of the study. “Simply having a happy partner may enhance health as much as striving to be happy oneself.”
Previous research suggests happy people are generally healthy people, but Chopik wanted to take it one step further by exploring the health effects of interpersonal relationships. He said there are at least three potential reasons why having a happy partner might enhance a person’s health, irrespective of one’s own happiness:
Happy partners likely provide stronger social support, such as caretaking, as compared to unhappy partners who are more likely to be focused on their own stressors. Happy partners may get unhappy people involved with activities and environments that promote good health, such as maintaining regular sleep cycles, eating nutritious food and exercising. Being with a happy partner should make a person’s life easier even if not explicitly happier. “Simply knowing that one’s partner is satisfied with his or her individual circumstances may temper a person’s need to seek self-destructive outlets, such as drinking or drugs, and may more generally offer contentment in ways that afford health benefits down the road,” Chopik said.
The study examined the survey information of couples age 50 to 94, including happiness, self-rated health and physical activity over a six-year period. The results showed no difference between husbands and wives in the study. Eighty-four percent were white, 8 percent were African-American, and 6 percent were Hispanic. Participants answered questions about their health, including level of physical impairment, chronic illnesses and level of physical activity, as well as any concerns they had regarding their spouse’s health. Participants rated their own happiness and life satisfaction.
Article: “Happy You, Healthy Me? Having a Happy Partner is Independently Associated with Better Health in Oneself,” by William J. Chopik, PhD, Michigan State University, and Ed O’Brien, PhD, University of Chicago. Health Psychology, published online Sept. 19, 2016.
William Chopik may be reached at (517) 355-6645 or via email.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 117,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.
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By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
It took 5 years after my divorce for me to start meeting people again.
For many years I couldn’t imagine ever meeting anyone new because I was still stuck on my past relationship. I enjoyed marinating in the past, feeling sorry for myself, guilty for what had happened, and fearful of what could happen in another relationship.
I had no desire to meet someone new. As time passed and I did the work of grieving and healing, things changed. In a more grounded and healed space, I am open to meeting new people in my life.
Having met a few women of late, I’m beginning to wonder if another relationship is even possible. Is the “one” person out there for me? Will I find love again? Will I find another relationship?
I know that if you’re divorced, broken up, or single for a long time, it can feel like you’ll never meet someone again. You might feel like you’ve done everything you can to meet that special someone but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind if you feel like you will never be with someone again.
You are enough by yourself.
Before you can meet someone and find a relationship, you must do inner work. Some of us have a lot of inner work to do. You might not know how to love yourself. Others might have a bad relationship with themselves. You might not feel complete or enough. Before seeking a relationship, you have to learn to be enough by just being you. This means accepting yourself for who you are. It’s realizing that you don’t need anyone but yourself. It’s realizing that you are complete. To realize that you are enough, look for ways to honor and appreciate yourself. Think about your loving and generous nature. Affirm daily that you are enough, you are loving and you are complete.
How you treat yourself is more important than any relationship.
You want a relationship filled with kisses, kind words, shared memories, and support, but can you receive love from someone else if you can’t accept it from yourself? Before trying to love someone else, love yourself. Do for yourself what you would do for someone else. Be considerate to yourself. Be patient to yourself. Be positive to yourself. Be gentle with yourself in the words you use and the way you treat yourself. Treat yourself to what you would enjoy. Splurge on yourself so you feel pampered and taken care of. Get enough sleep, rest, exercise, nutritious food and self-care. Treat yourself as you would treat your most devoted and passionate lover. If you’re seeking more ideas, check out my self-romance book here.
Visualize the relationship you want in your life.
It is important to know what kind of person you want in your life, so visualize them. Think of the person’s characteristics, values and world perspective. I try to focus on the internal qualities that I am looking for instead of the external ones. I’m not as preoccupied with someone’s career, looks or credentials. I’m not hiring someone to work for me or someone to show off to others. I’m looking for someone who is compatible with me, someone I can live with for the long term. So, visualize this person, but focus on what matters. What qualities in a partner do you desire? How would those qualities make you feel? Imagine the sensations and feelings of being with the person you adore and who fits the picture you’re looking for.
Let go of your attachment to having a relationship.
While it is good to have a picture of the person you want, you have to balance that with the need to let go of that picture as well. Don’t obsessively focus on that person in your visions. Worst of all, don’t focus on the fact that this person is not yet in your life. Engage in moments of visualization daily, but then let go. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and without that person in your life. Let go of the “needy” or “lack” energy in your life. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on the fact that the universe is doing its work to bring you that person. You do your part (living your life) and surrender to the rest.
Your beliefs rule your life.
Your beliefs affect your thoughts. Your thoughts affect your actions and your words. All of this ultimately affects your reality. Your belief system rules your life more than anything else, yet it’s the one thing you can’t see. If you feel hopeless about love or frustrated that you won’t ever meet anyone, you’re likely right. You cannot have self-sabotaging beliefs and expect life to give you something better than what you’re thinking about all the time. If you want a relationship, it’s essential that you shift your belief to a more empowering one. Visualize that person coming into your life. Affirm that you’ll meet someone. Trust that you’ll do it at the right time. Continue to see a picture of what’s possible and believe that you’ll meet the right person. Affirm and commit yourself to a positive picture of love each day. No matter what the past has held, believe your time for love is right around the corner.
Live your life to the fullest.
Regardless of what’s happening in your love life, the way to propel it forward is to live your best life every day. Many people are waiting to live until they meet their partner. You don’t need a partner to live the life you want to have. Sitting at home, refusing to go out with friends and being allergic to doing those things that bring you joy are not helping you find love. If you’re doing those things you’re passionate about and enjoying life every day, you’re more likely to see love coming your way. Raise the vibrations in your life to what it is you want to experience. If you fill yourself with happiness, joy, friendship and companionship each day, even without a partner, you will draw more of that into your life.
Be open to meeting people.
You have to mentally be open to meeting people wherever you are. You also have to open your heart to meeting people. Are your mind and heart open to relationships or closed like a castle door? If you’re avoiding social events, staying away from group activities and refusing to engage with bigger groups of people, you’re preventing yourself from finding the person you’re looking for. Instead of hiding in your cubicle or in your tiny space in the world, take small steps to come out of your shell. Get comfortable being around a couple of people and build yourself up to being in bigger groups. You may not like to be in bigger crowds, but challenge yourself each time. Your best life (and your dream partner) are waiting for you outside of your comfort zone.
By Guest Nicole
He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not. Does your life ever feel like this? Sometimes it's amazing. Sometimes it's less than desirable? Do you ever feel this way toward your partner? Sometimes adoring everything about them and sometimes looking for the exit?
There are several habits that take us out of the fun, excitement, and joy of relationships and draw us into the trauma and drama that so often destroys them.
If you would like your relationship to thrive continually, to be continuously growing, lose these five common relationship-ruining habits:
1. Looking for what's wrong
How often do you focus on what's wrong? What's wrong with your partner, what's wrong with your relationship, and what's wrong with you? Judgment is the No. 1 relationship killer. Judging the wrongness of you, your partner, and your relationship will ruin it faster than anything.
If you have fallen into the habit of looking for what's wrong, a great question you can ask is, "What's right about this that I'm not getting?" You can also ask, "What's right about my partner that I'm not getting?" And, "What's right about me that I'm not getting?"
Asking these questions will take you from looking for what's wrong to having gratitude for all it. And gratitude is the antidote for judgment.
2. Mimicking other relationships
Often we try to mimic the relationship of others. Maybe we think that there's a right way and a wrong way to do relationships, so we try to figure out the right way and copy that.
Or, maybe we see a relationship that is working well and we decide that they've figured it out and we try to duplicate what's working for them. This only leads to frustration and more judgment of you and your partner because your relationship will not be like anyone else's. You need to do what works for you.
My friend Gary Douglas, who's also the founder of Access Consciousness®, tells a story about a toothpaste tube. Gary likes to squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom. His wife, however, likes to squeeze it in the middle. After 16 years of irritation over the toothpaste tube, he had an epiphany. Oh! We could have two tubes of toothpaste.
What if you could stop looking at relationships based on what everyone else is doing and ask, "What's the most pragmatic solution I can have here?" You might just find choices and solutions you never considered before!
3. Giving yourself up in the relationship
How many times have you entered a relationship only to find that a few weeks in, everything has become about the other person? You stop doing what's fun for you. You stop hanging out with people you enjoy. Your life becomes all about your partner, and you give up more of yourself than you bargained for.
This never works! You are the most valuable ingredient in your relationship. If you take yourself out, the relationship doesn't have a chance. Keep you in the relationship. Continue to do what you enjoy. Choose to spend time with people that you value and that value you. This adds to your relationships. It doesn't take away.
If you've stopped doing what you enjoy and stopped connecting with friends, you can start again today! Begin by taking one hour each day to do what you love.
4. Replaying the mistakes of the past
Do you ever wake up in the morning and the first thing you remember is how your partner messed up yesterday? Maybe they forgot to do something you wanted them to do. Maybe they were cranky and took it out on you. Whatever happened yesterday and every day before that, rather than replaying it in your head, could you let it go?
An effective way do this is, every morning when you wake up, is to destroy and uncreate your relationship. To destroy and uncreate your relationship doesn't mean to end the relationship. It means to end the judgment, the expectations, and the resentment that kill your relationship so that you can have all the joy of your relationship.
Every day say, "Everything that our relationship was yesterday, all the judgments, all the conclusions, all the expectations, I let those go now."
Use this tool and notice that every day the relationship is even better than it was the day before.
5. Getting into a relationship rut
Have you lost the fun and excitement that was there in the beginning of your relationship? Do you find yourself sometimes bored? Wondering what's next? Wishing you could ignite the spark again?
If that describes your relationship, you can change it! Make the choice daily to be in your relationship. If you do this, you will move from existing in the relationship back into the creativity, fun, and excitement that was there when it first began.
Whether your relationship is new or one you've been in for many years, it can still be fun, playful, and enjoyable. It's never too late to let go of the destructive habits that ruin relationships and begin to create something that works.
Choose gratitude. Choose to keep yourself in the relationship. Let go of the judgments, expectations, and conclusions that you may have picked up along the way and allow the sense of wonder, creativity, and adventure to be your relationship reality.
By Dr. Dain Hair/MBG
By Guest Nicole
A father from Afghanistan, barely making ends meet, sold his own daughter to a 55-year-old cleric for a goat and some food. Footage doing the rounds on the Internet shows the moment local women gave him a beating.
By Guest Nicole
Couple gets married in a bizarre ceremony in the Indian region of Maharashtra, near Kolhapur, Monday. The bride and groom, Zehdir and Reshma, were suspended by wires above a valley at an altitude of 90 metres (295 ft) as they exchanged their vows.
By Guest Nicole
The validity of hundreds of marriages could be in doubt amid concerns about the “training and accreditation” of some wedding solemnisers.
The Department of Social Protection, which maintains the register of solemnisers, is so concerned it says it may require all marriages to be solemnised by a civil registrar in addition to solemnisation by another religious or secular body.
It says it has no way of knowing how many marriages may be affected as a result of being performed by inadequately trained solemnisers because a civil registrar is not present at such weddings.
There are almost 6,000 marriage solemnisers registered across the State – some based in Northern Ireland.
Of the total, 105 are civil registrars, employed by the HSE. There are also 13 secular solemnisers – including 12 humanist ones – and 5,784 who belong to religious bodies.
No concerns have been expressed about the training and accreditation in any named religious body. However the Registrar General is concerned generally about the training that some smaller, newer religious bodies may be giving to accredited ministers, and it has no way of policing this.
Of the religious solemnisers, the majority are from mainstream churches, including 4,452 from the Catholic Church, 358 from the Church of Ireland, 210 Jehovah’s Witnesses, 195 Methodists, 92 Presbyterians, five from the Islamic community and two who are Jewish.
There are also hundreds from less-known religious bodies, including one fromLife Renewal Ministries International, nine from the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, five from Pagan Federation Ireland and one from theHealing Streams Christian Renewal Centre.
In a statement, the Registrar General told The Irish Times: “Religious bodies are not required by law to have training and accreditation procedures, and there is concern that the quality assurance provided by training and accreditation may not be present in some cases. The office is aware any individual can easily obtain an online ordination certificate without any training or accreditation by the religious body issuing the certificate.
“Applications have been made by such persons for registration in the register of solemnisers.”
Solemnisers from a secular body must satisfy regulations in the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014, which says the body must have more than 50 members, must meet regularly and must have appropriate procedures for “selecting, training and accrediting members as fit and proper persons to solemnise marriages”.
Senior officials in the department have warned in a briefing note to Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: “The proliferation of small bodies and the lack of regulations of bodies gives rise to concerns as to validity of [some] marriages registered in the State.
“In one case, a member of a religious body was convicted of facilitating sham marriages.
“Against this background, consideration may need to be given to requiring that all marriages in the State be solemnised by a civil registrar as is the practice in most EU countries.”
A spokeswoman said the Registrar General does not intend to comment on any particular body or on how many there are concerns about.
“It is not possible to know how many marriages may be affected as the marriages in question are solemnised by religious bodies and no civil registrar is present.”
By Guest Nicole
I still have no idea what I was thinking. Who was that man who showed up during 10 years of my marriage? To be honest, I wasn’t a man, but an immature teenager both in behavior and attitude. It’s not that we men don’t want to grow up – it’s just that we don’t know how. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what a responsible, mature and loving man looked like in a relationship.
I believe more men would “man up” if they knew how to do so. No one teaches us this stuff. If all we have is our parents’ relationship, we’re screwed. The non-communicative, unemotional, and practical relationship of my Indian parents’ marriage hardly applies today. Women don’t want us to hide. They don’t want us to shut down. They don’t want one-word answers texted to them. They don’t want hostile temperaments, temper tantrums and the silent treatment. While I did every one of these things in my marriage, the breakup was so chaotic in my life that it brought me to my senses. Instead of dating immediately or jumping into the next relationship, I took the past few years of post-divorce life to understand myself better and to understand women better. Through friendships, listening to women and understanding myself better, here’s what I’ve learned. Women want us to be the men we are capable of being. They want us to man up. “Manning up” means accepting our vulnerabilities, being comfortable with emotions, and learning to communicate with them in a healthy way. You might feel that manning up in this way is losing your place in the world as a man. You might think of it as weakness. I’m going to argue that this side of manning up will make you more of the man you are.
Here are 9 ways women want you to man up in your relationships.
1) Listen to her. Women want to express themselves and their emotions. A woman wants her partner to hear her. For her, to be heard is to be seen. If you’ve never practiced the art of listening, now is the time. By listening, I mean not responding, not butting in and not cutting her off. Also, listening means active listening, asking questions to help her express her emotions better and to help her release what’s weighing her down. Listening means uninterrupted listening in which you’re focused only on what she’s saying. You’re not texting or reading a magazine at the same time. Listen when you’re looking at her and in her presence.
2) Open your heart to her feelings. Yes, go there. Go to the hard conversations and say yes to the “talk.” We tend to fear these conversations because we don’t want to face blame, accusations, or emotional investment. I’ve found this to be a mistake. Manning up is getting involved emotionally. Women want us to be receptive to their feelings. For women, having an emotionally supportive man is worth more than a year’s supply of roses and chocolates. (Well, still buy the chocolate!) Once again, listen without judging. Open your heart without resisting. Let her emotion speak to your heart.
3) Sit with the raw emotions you feel. Let emotions wash over you. Practice this in other areas of your life. It’s not something we are used to doing. We are used to running away from our emotions, suppressing our emotions, or denying our emotions. However you’re feeling with the woman in your life or in other parts of your life, acknowledge and embrace those emotions. Being comfortable with our own emotions is the key to being comfortable with creating space for another person’s emotions. If your emotions are too much to bear, write them down, share them, talk them out with an emotionally supportive friend.
4) Be compassionate and understanding. Similar to how we should practice listening, be willing to extend compassion to your partner. While your mind may want to judge or condemn, try to see where your partner is coming from. Take her upbringing, her life experiences and her view of the world into account. Strive for understanding instead of division. Even if the language she uses is harsh or accusatory, step past your emotional triggers and move towards understanding. What is she really saying? What is her message? What does she want to convey to you? Being compassionate takes regular practice. You have to be willing to use this skill in all parts of your life. Practice putting yourself in other people’s shoes and seeing the world from other people’s perspectives.
5) Don’t fix or cure anyone. Listening isn’t fixing or offering a solution. We are innate fixers, but strive to listen without fixing. Keep your solutions to yourself. Ask her what the solution is – she will always know the answer. Often, there is no solution. She is just expressing her emotions as a way of sharing an important part of herself. You are not the fixer-upper. You might have thought that throughout your life, but when it comes to relationships, listening and presence trump advice and solutions. Hold back the attempt to save the day. Ironically, you can save the day by not saying or doing anything.
6) Say sorry when you screw up. You might hate feelings and emotions. You feel weak. Ditto with apologies and saying sorry – whoever wants to be wrong and feel bad? Yet women are much better at forgiving others and they value forgiveness greatly. It’s not just empty forgiveness and flowers they want. True forgiveness is recognizing a hurt, apologizing for having caused it and doing your best not to repeat it. If you apologize and continue to blunder, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Not only say sorry but take the follow-up action to correct the situation and avoid doing it again. Saying sorry is taking responsibility, not appearing weak. Putting intention and action behind that apology is manning up.
7) Say what you feel. When you’re not in listening mode and it’s your time to communicate, say what you feel. Holding onto emotional pressures and difficult feelings isn’t going to do you any good. You’re not more of a man because you hide and suppress your feelings. If something is bothering you, give yourself time to process it and share it in the way you know how. Don’t hide the feelings, change the feelings, or lie about the feelings. If you’re going to be vulnerable, make sure you trust the person you’re being vulnerable with. But do share your feelings with the woman you trust and who will be emotionally supportive of you.
8) Avoid pettiness and always take the high road. In relationships and love, your partner will often push your buttons. It’s easy to get agitated and frustrated. It’s easy to yell. Fighting and harsh words are natural and something we all did as teenagers. Avoiding the harsh rhetoric, getting to the root of the problem and taking the high road, on the other hand, is a challenge. That’s manning up. When conversing, stay out of the small and petty. Avoid negativity and criticism. Don’t go there when you want to hurt or infuriate your partner. It’s always better to give your partner the benefit of the doubt, believe she is acting in the highest good and take the high road. Look to avoid conflict, try to reduce put-downs and look at how to resolve the conflict so that you both come out satisfied.
9) Know that gentleness and kindness will go a long way. Don’t get caught up in power struggles or showing domination when it comes to your partner. As young men, we grow up in competitive environments where we needed to prove ourselves and put ourselves ahead of other men. It’s not the same in relationships. Your partner doesn’t think much of you when you get your way, prove your point, or win the argument. Harsh words and criticism are a turn-off and a soul-crusher. Let’s look to uplifting the women in our lives. Let’s speak to them with gentleness and kindness. Use softer tones and deeper intentions behind your words. Don’t kill her with your words – kill her with kindness, generosity and love. Manning up isn’t toughening up – it’s about softening up. You may not be the stereotypical image of a “man’s man” when you “man up” in these ways, but you will undoubtedly be your woman’s idea of a “real man.”
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