By Guest Nicole
Diamond tells her old friend Lynn about what happened with Blue. Lynn thinks she should get revenge. Diamond strongly disagrees. (Lynn is from Diamond's old congregation @bow_tie_bros_comics or see #bowtiebroscar) Proverbs 14:17 "The one who is quick to anger acts foolishly..." Ecclesiastes 7:22 "for you well know in your heart that many times you yourself have called down evil on others. Psalms 103:10 "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor has he repaid us what our errors deserve." How do we react when faced with rejection or when a brother or sister may do something thoughtless or hurtful? (This is an example of a courtship stopping before it really gets started but what if you were in a longer relationship that ends? Awake 7/15 p.10 "When a Courtship Ends" has great advice.)
By Guest Nicole
Stashing, as the Metro reports, is that thing where you’re in a new relationship and everything seems great, except for one thing — you’ve never met any of your new love’s friends or family.
You’ve let this person fully into your life, but they haven’t even so much as acknowledged your existence on social media or introduced you to one of their pals. Uh oh, you’ve been stashed.
Basically you're being kept a secret for one reason or another, like a little treasure stashed away in an underwear drawer. Ugh.
Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/21/stashing-dating-slang/#UFb53n8wEaq6
By Guest Nicole
Relationships are not static because people are not static. We change all the time, which means our relationship changes all the time. How we handle this change, however, greatly influences the quality of the partnership—and eventually can mean the difference between one that lasts and one that doesn't.
If we’re actively working on our relationship, this dynamism creates opportunities for personal growth, excitement, playfulness, and new layers of connection. But if we’re passive about our most important relationship—if partnership is a box we check before moving on to the next goal—this constant change opens the door to numerous threats that can ultimately kill the partnership.
We want relationships filled with love, connection, security, and joy. So, here are five of the top relationship killers—and how to beat them:
1. Emotional triggers and recurring fights:
Nobody goes into a relationship with the intention of making the other person miserable. Yet many of us have recurring fights with our partner that can, over time, make the partnership unbearable.
Gal Szekely, psychotherapist and founder of the Couples Center in San Francisco, says not understanding emotional triggers is the problem.
"Relationships really evoke some of our deepest longings and needs, such as wanting to feel loved, wanting to feel safe, wanting to feel on the same team," he says. "So when our partner says something that for us feels like they're not doing those things—loving us, appreciating us, supporting us, sharing with us, making space for us—then we have a strong reaction."
These are our emotional triggers, says Szekely, and usually we only have a couple of these hot-button issues that set us off.
Handling this relationship killer starts with recognizing when we have stumbled across an emotional trigger in our partner and not responding to their emotions defensively. Once we’ve paused and identified the deeper need that our partner feels is under threat, we can address the real issue and defuse the situation relatively easily.
2. Giving up:
Relationships take two, but sometimes one of us gives up and stops working on the partnership. The root cause of emotionally checking out is not having our needs met. When we feel disconnected long enough and feel like our partner is not listening, when there are issues and tensions that never get resolved, we eventually disconnect from the relationship and handle our issues and our emotions ourselves. We work around the problems in our relationship because we struggle to resolve them.
Addressing our needs and the needs of our partner is the antidote to a zombie relationship, suggests Kim Bowen, relationship counselor and founder of Dallas-based the Marriage Place. It starts with turning our complaints into wishes.
"Learn how to communicate what you want and need without it sounding like a criticism," Bowen recommends. "Drop the complaint and focus on the wish."
Instead of complaining that our partner always comes home late, for instance, we might tell them that we love them and really wish they would come home and spend more time with us.
"You just need to tweak one little thing to turn the whole thing around," she says.
3. Different values and needs:
What do issues with money, sex, and kids all have in common? These challenges all stem from differences in values and needs.
"The big challenge that couples bump into is often their value systems from their childhood or growing up," notes psychotherapist Jeremi McManus.
With money, for instance, we might be a little bit more of a spender and like to enjoy the money we earn, while our partner is more of a saver and tends to be more conservative about money.
The trick for avoiding this relationship killer is getting on the same team, according to McManus. We start by listening to our partner for a couple minutes without responding, then verbalize what they said so we get their emotions and perspective right. When we’ve heard our partner, we can challenge ourselves to recall a similar situation in our own life until we can relate and see where they are coming from.
Once we and our partner have done that, we can more easily harmonize our differences or at least accept our partner’s different take on the matter. Having trust in our partner’s fundamental goodness also goes a long way.
"If we can look at what our partner is doing from an altruistic perspective—in other words, we believe what they are doing is coming from a place of good and not a place of harm—it really shifts how we perceive what’s happening in the situation," McManus says.
4. Not understanding ourselves:
Communication is a huge issue, as all relationship experts tell us.
"But people are looking at communication in the wrong way," says Debi Maldonado, life coach and co-founder of the Academy of Jungian Spiritual Psychology. "They are thinking the problem is with the partner instead of the reflection of themselves."
That’s because we give our partner the script to play out, and we interpret their response through the lens of our own issues. If we worry about abandonment, we find abandonment in our partner. If our partner isn’t working with us, it might be because we’re not working with our partner.
The best defense against this negative projection is understanding ourselves, according to Maldonado.
"Look at the theme in your relationship. What is your top complaint about your partner? Explore where that issue is showing up in other areas of your life," she says. "When you start to see the pattern, you'll be better equipped to take responsibility for the issue. Because other people aren't all putting the same idea into your mind: The common denominator is you."
5. Growing apart:
Finally, one of the most pernicious relationship killers is slowly growing apart as a couple. This comes back to the idea that our relationship is changing all the time; one morning we wake up and realize there is no spark, no connection, no shared journey. We have grown apart from our spouse, and now we’re moving in different directions.
Drifting apart is a result of failing to allow the relationship to evolve the relationship as we do. Because we grow, our relationship also must grow, or the bonds that connect us will weaken over time.
What I’ve found in my relationship coaching practice is that protecting against gradual drift requires renewing the relationship periodically. This is done by reviewing expectations and shared plans as we evolve, and adjusting roles over time. This review and adjustment should be a conscious activity we do with our partner several times per year.
We also must maintain our journey together by centering our planning and decision-making on the couple as a whole, not just us as individuals. Are we making plans for ourselves alone or for the couple as a unit? Are we including our partner’s current needs or are we ignoring them? The more we focus on the couple when we make decisions, the better we will make the journey together.
Relationships are anything but static. Strong couples understand this, and they stay strong through proactive maintenance. It is not a question of if but when we will encounter these relationship challenges. What we do next makes all the difference.
By: Peter Kowalke
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Sabrina here and I'm going to share some insights that will change all of your relationships for the better, especially your relationships with men. It comes down to one major realizations and that is: no one can ever make you feel a certain way. Allow me to elaborate.
Let's say you have two girls who are equally attractive, equally smart, equally successful and so on. The only difference is that one is supremely confident and the other is extremely insecure. Now let's say these girls date the same guy. And let's say the guy makes the exact same comment to each girl, maybe he says something about her not being the hottest girl he's ever dated or something stupid like that. In this scenario, the confident girl will laugh it off. She will instantly recognize that he's trying to get a rise out of her and she won't give him the satisfaction of a response. Instead, she'll brush it off and will start to reconsider whether she wants to be dating someone so pathetic.
The insecure girl, however, will crumble and start to doubt everything about herself.
She'll stalk his Facebook profile endlessly trying to search for ex-girlfriends to figure out what they have that she doesn't. She may start acting passive aggressive towards the guy in an attempt to get compliments, affection, and apologies out of him. She'll start putting an insane amount of effort into her appearance in an attempt to win him over and prove how hot she is. She will whine to her girlfriends about how “ugly" and "insecure" he made her feel.
Now how can the same comment affect two people so differently? He said the same thing, shouldn't it have had the same impact? No, because the impact of an insult is in direct proportion to your sense of self.
If you feel amazing about yourself, nothing anyone else says will change your mind. If you stand on shaky ground, you will get knocked down time and time again.
I, like the majority of women, suffer from the occasional body image issues (this is something I actively work on, as we all should, and I am nowhere near as vulnerable to this kind of thing as I was in my younger years).
Several years back, I was at a boyfriend's place eating a yummy cake I had baked. We were sitting on the couch watching a movie and when I leaned over to cut myself a second slice, he pinched a layer of my flesh and jokingly said, "You sure you want that second piece?" Suffice to say I was furious and had to summon all the restraint I had not to take the cake and slam it in his smug face. Instead, I stormed out of the apartment, waited a few minutes for him to come out and comfort me, and when he did, proceeded to lash out at him for making me feel fat. He apologized profusely, of course, but my anger took weeks to subside.
And during that time, I was constantly analyzing my body and complaining about it. I would also make a big show about how little I was eating in front of the guy in some twisted attempt to make him feel bad and get him to apologize again and tell me how thin and beautiful I am.
Looking back, the only reason his words had such an impact is because I was already insecure in that area. Rather than accepting that this was my own insecurity, I blamed him for making me feel that way. (FYI- I'm not condoning what he did because it was pretty immature, I'm just using this example to illustrate a larger point.)
If that same thing happened to me today, I probably would have laughed and called him a jerk and said, “Yes, in fact I am having a second slice. I may even have a third," and that would be that. No arguing, no crying, no guilting, no resenting, none of the usual relationship killers.
I like my body as it is, so why should I allow anyone to make me feel otherwise? The choice is up to me and I choose to formulate my own opinions of who I am and how I look, rather than relying on outsiders to determine these things for me.
Another person's approval has no ability to affect your mood unless you think what he/she says is valid. If someone makes a comment and you have a reaction, it's because you already felt that way about yourself.
When you can truly internalize this, you will realize that there is no use harboring anger and resentment towards someone for making you upset or insecure.
When you allow your insecurities to dominate, you will be on high alert for anything that validates these feelings. Being constantly on the lookout for disapproval will guarantee you find it everywhere. If you go into the world expecting to be rejected, then you will see rejection everywhere and in everything.
You'll interpret your boyfriend being distracted by something as him losing interest and not finding you attractive. You'll believe the grumpy man working at the bodega thinks you're a fat big because you bought a tub of ice cream. You'll think your boss is mad at you and thinks you're incompetent because he/she didn't smile at you that day. You get the point.
When you really think about it, it's kind of funny that people react so strongly to criticism. I mean think about it, why should it ever affect you?
If someone says something disapproving, then whatever! They might have a point, but who cares? No one is perfect, we all have faults and the best we can do is either accept them or work on improving them. And if what they say isn't true, then seriously, who cares? You know it isn't true!
The lesson here is to build a firm foundation for your sense of self to rest on. When you do this, no one will make you feel anything. We are all works in progress, each and every one of us. If you can accept that and be kind to yourself, your quality of life (not to mention, the quality of your relationships), will significantly improve.
Lots of love,
A New Mode
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Don't get too deep, it leads to over thinking, and over thinking leads to problems that don't even exist in the first place.
Don't overthink things. Sometimes you can convince your head not to listen to your heart. Those are the decisions you regret for the rest of your life.
You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks and months over thinking the past. Trying to put together pieces, imagining what could've been, should've been or would've been. Or you can pick up the pieces off the floor and move on as a stronger, smarter person.
Overthinking ruins friendships and relationships. Overthinking creates problems you never had. Don't overthink, just overflow with good vibes.
Overthinking – the art of creating problems that weren’t even there. You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts. Stop worrying about what can go wrong, and get excited about what can go right. There is nothing in this world that can trouble you as much as your own thoughts.
By Guest Nicole
You would know if you were in an abusive relationship, right? It would be obvious. Well, maybe not. Most women who experience abuse from a male partner spend months or even years thinking the relationship problem is something other than abuse. It's a "communication issue" or "a failure to set boundaries." Maybe you've thought your partner has a bad temper or a problem with anger management. Perhaps you think that you are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with you. In our society, we aren't very good at talking about abuse, so women are often left wondering.
A common myth is that abuse means only physical abuse. But, actually, there are many different types of abuse, including emotional, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse. These can be just as damaging as physical abuse. For example, abusive partners can attempt to isolate you or cut you off from sources of support, use sarcasm or threats to put you down, change moods to intimidate you, express jealousy, and become emotionally distant.
They can also refuse to allow you to practice your faith, devalue your knowledge or education, control the finances, or threaten to have an affair if you don't do what they ask. These and many other examples are not generally thought of as abuse. You may know there is something "wrong" but may not label it as abuse. Here's a list of seven things that abusive partners often do in their relationships. Ask yourself if your partner does any of these things:
1. Takes away your freedom to choose what you want or need
Abusive partners are controlling and often do not allow their significant others to make choices for themselves. You may find yourself unable to ask for what you need or want without your partner becoming aggressive, angry, or reactive.
2. Demeans you
Abusers are very critical. Everything—your ideas, your beliefs, your body, even your feelings—are "stupid" or wrong. You may find that you second-guess yourself—what to wear, what to prepare for a meal, who you can be friends with—because you are worried about your partner's reaction.
3. Is unpredictable and volatile
While abusers can behave in acceptable or even positive ways some of the time, they are also unpredictable and even explosive in their behavior. This leaves women feeling like they are "walking on eggshells" because they are not sure what their partners will do next. If this is happening for you, you may find yourself exhausted and confused as you try to anticipate your partner's next move.
4. Blames you or others for their abusive behavior
Abusers rarely take responsibility for their behavior. Rather, it is everyone else's fault. The boss is causing him stress. The kids are making noise. You are "pushing his buttons." The abuse is not your fault, but he may leave you feeling like it is.
5. Uses the "silent treatment" to punish or frighten you
Abused partners find that they are punished in many ways when they do things that their partner does not like. The "silent treatment" is just one such punishment. The "silent treatment" can be terrifying for women because they do not know what will happen next.
6. Limits your access to money
Abusive partners are often very controlling when it comes to money. Since we need money to do just about anything, it is a powerful way to control someone. If your partner controls your access to money or other necessary resources such as a car, the computer, or the phone, you are being abused.
7. Apologizes for their behavior and promises to change but never does
Part of the pattern of abusive behavior includes periods of behavior that appears positive—times when he might seem caring and helpful. During these "honeymoon periods," he might even apologize for hurtful behavior and promise to change. But abuse is cyclical, and although he might promise to change or appear to be changing for a while, he will not be able to sustain it. His behavior will deteriorate again, and he will revert to controlling, frightening, or explosive behavior.
If you have experienced some of these behaviors from a current or past partner, you have likely experienced abuse. That is a hard reality to face. If you are with your partner, it may be hard to think of them as abusive. Your partner might not fit the stereotype of an abuser any more than you fit the stereotype of an "abused partner," but that doesn't matter. People who experience abuse come from all economic, racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Abuse is not just reserved for the poor or weak—it can happen to anyone.
By Jill Cory/MBG
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
How long would you wait to meet a person you have been knowing/dating on line?
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.
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