It’s funny how we find ourselves in situations that we’re unsure about, disgusted with, tired of, and so on and so on…..but find it difficult to find ourselves really considering all of the reasons why we’re in that situation in the first place. It’s like…we hide the painful parts of reality from ourselves to protect ourselves….protect our ego. Yes… it’s a defense mechanism that we use to maintain our sanity. Unfortunately, leaving out important parts of your story doesn’t help you….more often than not it hurts you because you stay in DENIAL.
Relationships require work. The effort you invest will pay dividends if you’re willing to look, listen, learn, laugh, and love DAILY. We do it…I know you can do it too. By no means are we saying it’s easy…but we are saying IT’S POSSIBLE. In order for you to get good at anything, you’ve got to be willing to commit and make some sacrifices along the way. The more you do it…the easier it will become. Make a decision today y’all to love daily. You deserve it….your partner deserves it…and your relationship needs it.
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My man of 2 years wants me to address him as master when i talk to him. He also wants me to get permission for everything. This has been his personal preference regardless of the fact that i told him how i feel about it. I have also talked to some people about some things in our relationship and I regret it because of how it made him feel. I asked other people because i needed the opinions of people who had done the marriage and relationship walk. I was doing everything to make sure I treated him like a king and to show him i love him but he doesn’t see or feel it. I love him and I want things to work for us but i no longer want to put down my emotions and beliefs to satisfy him. How can you get this point across to him?
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By Evann Gestaldo
It may be better for your health to sleep in a separate bed than your partner—but a new study finds that the happiest couples are those who sleep close together.Very close together, as in less than an inch apart. A survey of 1,000 people found that those who kept such close parameters had an 86% chance of reporting they were satisfied in their relationship, compared to 66% for those who slept 30 inches apart or more, the Telegraph reports. Another predictor of relationship happiness: touch. While 94% of couples who made physical contact throughout the night reported a happy relationship, just 68% of couples who kept their distance did the same.
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By Tyomi Morgan
It’s always a beautiful thing when two people who have a mutual attraction toward one another can come together and agree to commit to each other in a union that will ideally shape each individual into a better person through love. In the beginning, everything is fresh and those feelings of butterflies from having something new and exciting can often lead to rushed decisions and overlooking certain habits or traits that could develop into deal breakers later in the relationship.
One common issue that sends relationships down the road of brokenness is a lack of communication. It happens too often that people dive head first into a relationship before having those necessary conversations about what the relationship standard will be. I like to call this standard the “relationship contract”.
What Is a Relationship Contract?
So what exactly is in this “relationship contract” and why is it so important? I’m glad you asked! The relationship contract is a set of rules that you and your partner decide upon as the guidelines for your relationship. A relationship can be as open and as free as you want it to be, or as discreet and closed off as you want to make it. The main focus is placing your ideas and concerns on the table to discuss them.
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By Linda & Charlie Bloom
Great relationships take a lot of work. You’ve got to do your own work if you want your marriage to work. If you don’t do the work, you won’t get the benefits. The idea that we have to work in order to create a worthwhile relationship has been around for quite a while and many of us, particularly relationship ‘experts’ and therapists have been affirming the idea for so long that we rarely question it’s veracity. But what exactly does working on your relationship really mean? Is it really true that the willingness to do “the work” is the critical factor in determining the quality of your relationships? And what exactly IS the work that relationships require anyway?
The idea of work is so embedded in our beliefs about relationships that we rarely, if ever, question these assumptions when we hear them in conversation or read them in self-help books. Might there be some benefit to taking a closer look at this notion? Perhaps. As my grandmother used to say, “it couldn’t hoit”.
One of the first things that we may notice when we begin to examine our beliefs about work and relationships is that we often aren’t exactly sure what the “work” of relationships really is, and consequently tend to default to our associations with the word “work” in our efforts to better understand the concept. When you think of “work”, if you are like most people the associations that you have are not likely to be especially thrilling or even particularly pleasant. The American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘work’ as “the exertion of physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production of something.” Synonyms for work include labor, exertion, travail, drudgery, trouble, chore, and toil. “Toil” a word frequently associated with work means “to proceed to make one’s way with difficulty or pain. To labor continuously and strenuously.” Phew! Is it any wonder that most of us have a certain degree of resistance to the notion of embracing work as a path to anything?
So if you have any confusion or mixed feelings and thoughts about doing your relationship work, it’s with good reason, and you’re not alone.
Yet the desire for loving relationships and the pain of living without them can be strong enough motivators to provoke efforts on our part to confront our confusion, challenge the odds and overcome our resistance, persistent though it may be. The question however, still remains, what exactly IS this “work” that relationships require? In confronting this question it becomes obvious that paradoxically, doing “the work” often requires us to redirect our attention away from our relationship, and focus instead on ourselves, sometimes even to the extent of running the risk of losing the relationship itself. Barry and Maya found this out the hard way.
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By Lisa Merlo Booth
Growing up the youngest of five children, I quickly learned that one way to get attention was to excel. If I could be the best at something, then I would stand out.
So I learned to hide and stand out at the same time. I would hide all my imperfections behind a wall of invulnerability and I would make sure my performance was top notch so I could stand out in the crowd. Not a bad plan…or so I thought.
These past several months I’ve been a part of many group experiences. What has struck my about these experiences is the intimacy created when a person chooses to be vulnerable and share his/her imperfections. For someone who does not do this readily, this was powerful for me to see up close again, and again.
Not surprisingly, I also noticed how it felt to be on the other side of someone who was more walled off, invulnerable, and/or more prone to telling others how he/she was doing everything well. The impact, I saw, of putting on a façade of perfection and invulnerability, was…distance. I watched as the group gravitated to those who shared and left the others to themselves. This wasn’t out of anger or upset, it was just a natural response to someone who is more walled; walls tend to be cool and hard and not much fun to try to relate to.
This was hard for me to take in since I can definitely be in the invulnerable group. When I was younger I saw crying as a sign of weakness; sharing your fears, imperfections, and weaknesses, was a crazy notion that would result in you getting hurt.
As I get older, I can see more clearly that not sharing your vulnerabilities, difficulties, and humanness, in a situation where it is safe and healthy to do so, can render a person as unapproachable (even if that is not his/her intention).
For those of us who were taught, either by experience or words, to be strong, look like we have it all together, hold our emotions close to our chest etc., it’s important to note that this choice comes at a price.
The price is lack of intimacy and often poor health.
Personally, holding things in takes a toll on our bodies. Pretending we’re not stressed, doesn’t take the stress away. Unfortunately stress has a way of beating us up. Cancer, depression, heart problems, stomach problems etc., can all be linked, in part, to stress and poor self care.
Similarly, being “strong”, perfect, and invulnerable, also wreaks havoc on our relationships. Intimacy is about sharing yourself with another; it’s not about being an island unto oneself.
If you want to pretend you have it all together and not share your fears, struggles, vulnerabilities, hopes and dreams, then stay by yourself. There’s no need to share if you’re alone. Enjoy the safety of living in your head.
If, however, you want to be in a healthy, intimate relationship, then learn to share yourself in a moderate, intimate way. If you’re not sure what that looks like, below are some tips:
• Talk about what’s in your head. What are your thoughts, fears, hopes, beliefs?
• Share your past experiences as a way of helping your partner to get to know where you come from. What was it like growing up in your family? What was your neighborhood like? What were your parents like?
• Share some funny stories. Intimacy isn’t about being serious; it’s about bringing the other person into your life. Share some fun and laughter.
• Talk about what’s troubling you. Don’t say everything is fine if it really isn’t. Let your partner in.
In general, intimacy is all about getting to know one another on a more authentic level: no pretending, no facades, and no walls.
If you’re invulnerable, walled off, and/or perfect, you’re not real. It’s difficult to be close to a perfect, invulnerable wall; they’re just no fun to hug.
CHALLENGE: If you tend to be closed off, “perfect”, or invulnerable (i.e. never cry, don’t share your emotions–other than anger and joy—and keep your problems to yourself), then it’s time to decide whether you want to be in a relationship or by yourself.
If you want to be in a relationship then begin to let your walls down. Start by choosing one or two people you trust and begin to let them in. Begin to share a little deeper than usual and see what happens. If your partner or friend meets you, then continue to share. If not, choose another person to try this with.
Remember, being human means we are all imperfect, vulnerable, and wanting connection. Begin to embrace these characteristics.
I have been married to my husband for one year. We just celebrated our 1st Anniversary, just days ago. The year has been VERY challenging and I’m not sure what I expected, but I never thought that I would be at a point where I am questioning if I should have married him.
My letter would be too long to discuss every detail, however, the current issue has prompted me to get your opinion on our latest challenge:
My husband has shared a medical diagnosis with some friends of his. These are not “our” friends, but “his” friends. I know these people, but I don’t believe I have a relationship, where I would share my medical record with them. However, I asked my husband, who did he share the information with, I said “one person”, than it became “two”. Needless to say, I was furious. Although, the diagnosis, is not life threatening, it is still. NO ONE BUSINESS.
We are working on our trust issues already, but how can I begin to trust my husband, when he continues to do things to violate my trust in him?
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We’ve said it before…but we’re gonna say it again…who you are today is a result of the bio/psychosocial/and emotional experiences you had “yesterday”. There’s no escaping it. Who you were will always be a part of you. The question is.. will you allow your past to imprison you OR propel you to a whole new height? The choice is your. The first step to taking action is being aware of how who you were is impacting who you are. Ask yourself…how is my emotional DNA impacting my relationship. Use that answer….that awareness to bring about a transformation in your life and in your relationship.
Just recently while on a radio interview we were asked about first steps to find Mr. or Ms. Right. After a short commercial break we returned to the airways with the notion that self love should be the first love. It’s not a new idea…but it’s an idea that many people don’t really get. Most people are looking for external validation and external affirmation so much so that they unfortunately forget to look in the mirror and wrap their arms around themselves. It’s o.k to love up on yourself. If you don’t nobody else will. The below is an excerpt from Psychcentral.com showing ways in which putting yourself first….being selfish….can better serve you in finding lasting love.
- Remind yourself that you are lovable. If you don’t think you are worthy of love, no one else will. If you think you can only be loved by people who need you or by being needed, give it up. Focus on developing yourself. Start your day with a few quiet minutes to remind yourself of your best qualities. Write them down. Decide to put at least some of those qualities out there for the world to see every day.
- Respect yourself enough to expect others to treat you with respect. If someone is disrespectful, calmly remind them that you expect to be spoken to respectfully, even when you may be wrong, even if you are in disagreement. Of course, that means being equally respectful of other people when they are wrong or in disagreement.
- Work on any feelings of insecurity you may have. If you think the only people who will love you are those who are grateful to you; if you need to be in control in order to be secure; you have work to do. Instead of rescuing yet another person as an avenue to “love,” love yourself enough to focus on developing your sense of self-worth.
- Love yourself enough to take care of yourself and to present yourself well. That means get enough sleep, eat sensibly, and get some exercise. Being attractive doesn’t take $40 fingernails, a $200 haircut or $500 shoes. Attractiveness that lasts beyond a first impression takes being healthy and put together.
- Do your personal emotional work. If you have been told you are “too needy” or “too controlling,” take it seriously. Think about whether the comment was justified. Of course, sometimes people say such things in anger. But sometimes they are onto something — or part of something. If you don’t feel like you can be an equal partner with a person you see as your equal, you might want to consider some therapy to help you sort out why and what you can do about it.