Happy Couples Tips

unduhan-31They might be 30, or 75. They come in all colors, shapes, sizes and income brackets. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been together. Whatever the demographics, when you see a happy couple, you just know it!

How do these couples stay in love, in good times and in bad? Fortunately, the answer isn’t through luck or chance. As a result of hard work and commitment, they figure out the importance of the following relationship “musts.” Because few couples know about all of the musts, I think of them as the relationship “secrets.”

Happy Couples and Their Secrets

1. Develop a realistic view of committed relationships.

Recognize that the crazy infatuation you experienced when your romance was new won’t last. A deeper, richer relationship, and one that should still include romance, will replace it. A long-term relationship has ups and downs, and expecting it will be all sunny and roses all the time is unrealistic.

2. Work on the relationship.

An untended garden develops weeds that can ultimately kill even the heartiest plants. And so it is with relationships. It is important to address problems and misunderstandings immediately. Some people believe good relationships just happen naturally. The truth is that a good relationship, like anything you want to succeed in life, must be worked on and tended to on a regular basis. Neglect the relationship, and it will often go downhill.

3. Spend time together.

There is no substitute for shared quality time. When you make a point of being together, without kids, pets and other interruptions, you will form a bond that will get you through life’s rough spots. Time spent together should be doing a shared activity, not just watching television.

4. Make room for “separateness.”

Perhaps going against conventional wisdom, spending time apart is also an important component of a happy relationship. It is healthy to have some separate interests and activities and to come back to the relationship refreshed and ready to share your experiences. Missing your partner helps remind you how important he or she is to you.

Marriage on Reviving

unduhan-32Is your marriage alive and well, or is it time to dial 911? Chances are the health of your relationship falls somewhere in the middle — slightly out of shape and tired. Unfortunately most of us tend to take the health of a marriage for granted. And we don’t realize how important a happy, healthy relationship is until it’s time for marital CPR.

Maintaining personal health requires work — exercise, good nutrition, rest and regular checkups. No one teaches us that the same kind of maintenance is also necessary in order to keep a marriage alive. Love between a parent and child is unconditional. Love between a husband and wife is not. As divorce statistics would indicate, an untended marriage falls apart too easily. The good news is that there are ways to make a marriage survive, and better yet, thrive.

Your Marital Diagnosis

There are warning signs or “symptoms” when your marriage is “under the weather.” Here are some key symptoms:

  • feelings of chronic resentment toward your spouse
  • lack of laughter between the two of you
  • desire to spend free time with someone other than your mate
  • too much time spent playing the “blame game”
  • conversations between you are laced with bitterness and sarcasm

Relationship Revival Program

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? If so, it’s time to revive your marriage by following this program.

  • Make the marriage your priority, not an afterthought. Set aside regular time to be alone with your partner. If kids are in the picture, hunt for a “network” of trusted babysitters. If money is a concern, compare the cost of a night out with that of marital therapy or a divorce attorney! Get the drift? Start doing some of the things that used to bring you joy, and helped you to feel more connected. There are plenty of activities that you can do for free — a long walk, star gazing or window-shopping are all simple pleasures that can bring you closer together.
  • Resuscitate your romance. Remember how the sparks flew when you first met? It’s probably not too late to rekindle the embers. Surprise your spouse with a homemade Valentine (any day of the year!) and a bottle of champagne. Light up the bedroom with candles, or put a love note in his briefcase. Last but not least, initiate lovemaking. Passion is the glue in a marriage — it helps you feel close to your mate, and makes getting through rough times a lot easier.
  • Accept what you can’t change. Much marital strife is caused by the belief that you cannot be happy in your marriage as long as you must live with your partner’s bad habits or imperfections. Have you noticed that no matter how much you gripe and moan, these things don’t change? Rather than trying to control what you can’t, work around his quirks and focus on the positive. We all respond much better to praise than to criticism. And here’s the paradox: Sometimes when we stop fighting the way things are, they actually do change. No guarantees, but it’s worth a try.

How to Dealing With Differences

You enjoy sports; your spouse would rather read. You are meticulous and efficient; your spouse is quite disorganized. You love to socialize; your spouse prefers privacy.

‘We just aren’t compatible!’ you tell yourself. ‘Why didn’t we notice that when we were dating?’

Likely you did notice it, at least to a degree. But back then you were probably quicker to make concessions—a skill that you would do well to revive, now that you are married. This article will help you do that. First, though, consider some facts about supposed incompatibilities.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Some differences are serious. A big part of dating is determining compatibility. Hence, when serious differences are discovered while dating, many couples break up rather than unwisely entering into a polarized marriage. But what about less serious differences—the kind that are unavoidable in any marriage?

No two people are completely alike. Therefore, it is normal for spouses to have differences in one or more of the following areas:

Interests. “Outdoor activities have never appealed to me,” says a wife named Anna, * “but my husband grew up climbing snowy mountains and trekking for days through the bush.”

Habits. “My wife can stay up late at night and still jump up at 5:00 a.m., but I need seven to eight hours of sleep or else I get grumpy,” says a husband named Brian.

Traits. You might be reserved, while your spouse is expressive. “I grew up not talking about my personal problems,” says a husband named David, “but my wife came from a family where everything was discussed openly.”

Differences can be beneficial. “My way might be good, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way,” says a wife named Helena.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO

Be supportive. A husband named Adam says: “My wife Karen has zero interest in sports. But she has come with me to several games and has even cheered along with me. On the other hand, Karen loves art museums, so I go with her, and we spend as much time there as she wants. I do my best to show an interest in art because it’s important to her.”Bible principle: 1 Corinthians 10:24.

Expand your view. Your spouse’s outlook on things is not necessarily wrong just because it is different from yours. That is a lesson that a husband named Alex learned. “I always felt that a straight line is the shortest way from point A to point B and that any other choice would be deficient,” he says. “But being married has helped me to realize that there are many ways to get from A to B and that each method is effective in its own way.”Bible principle: 1 Peter 5:5.

Be realistic. Being compatible does not mean being identical. So do not conclude that your marriage was a mistake simply because a few differences have become evident. “Lots of people fall back on ‘I was blinded by love,’” says the book The Case Against Divorce. However, “every day you spent together happy,” continues the book, “shows that despite whatever innate differences you have, you can love each other.” Try to “continue putting up with one another . . . even if anyone has a cause for complaint.”—Colossians 3:13.

Try this: Write down what you like, love, and find compatible about your spouse. Then write down the things that you find incompatible. You may find that your differences are less serious than you think. The list will also reveal where you can be more tolerant or supportive of your spouse. “I appreciate it when my wife adjusts to me, and I know she appreciates it when I adjust to her,” says a husband named Kenneth. “Even if it means a sacrifice on my part, seeing her happy makes me happy.”Bible principle: Philippians 4:5.

Discuss Problems in Relationship Tips

When you and your spouse discuss a problem, do you seem to end up further apart than when you started the conversation? If so, you can improve the situation. First, though, there are a few things you should know about the different communication styles of men and women. *

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Women usually prefer to talk out a problem before hearing a solution. In fact, sometimes talking is the solution.

“I feel better when I have expressed my feelings and know that my husband understands me. After I talk about it, I’m over it—usually within just minutes after the conversation.”—Sirppa. *

“I can’t move on if I don’t have a chance to explain to my husband exactly how I feel. Talking it out is a form of closure for me.”—Ae-Jin.

“It’s like detective work. As I talk, I’m analyzing each step of the problem and trying to get to the root of it.”—Lurdes.

Men tend to think in terms of solutions. That is understandable because fixing things makes a man feel useful. Offering solutions is his way of showing his wife that she can rely on him for help. So husbands are baffled when their solutions are not readily accepted. “I can’t understand why you would talk about a problem if you didn’t want a solution!” says a husband named Kirk.

But “understanding must precede advice,” warns the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. “You have to let your partner know that you fully  understand and empathize with the dilemma before you suggest a solution. Oftentimes your spouse isn’t asking you to come up with a solution at all—just to be a good listener.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO

For husbands: Practice empathetic listening. A husband named Tomás says: “Sometimes after listening I think to myself, ‘That didn’t accomplish anything.’ But often that’s all my wife needs—a listening ear.” A husband named Stephen would agree. “I find it best to let my wife express herself without interrupting,” he says. “More often than not, she finishes and tells me she feels a lot better.”

Try this: The next time you discuss a problem with your wife, resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. Make eye contact, and focus on what she is saying. Nod in agreement. Repeat the gist of what she says to show that you get the point. “Sometimes my wife just needs to know that I understand her and that I’m on her side,” says a husband named Charles.Bible principle: James 1:19.

For wives: Say what you need. “We might expect our spouse to know just what we need,” says a wife named Eleni, “but sometimes we do have to spell it out.” A wife named Ynez suggests this approach: “I could say, ‘Something is bothering me, and I would like you to hear me out. I don’t need you to fix it, but I would like you to understand how I feel.’”

Try this: If your husband prematurely offers solutions, do not conclude that he is being insensitive. Likely he is trying to lighten your load. “Instead of getting annoyed,” says a wife named Ester, “I try to realize that my husband does care and wants to listen but that he also just wants to help.”Bible principle: Romans 12:10.

You Must Ask Before Filing for Divorce

Divorces are never easy, and can get messy. You should make every effort to avoid this unfortunate event, which occurs for 40 to 50 percent of U.S. marriages.1 But if you’re in an unhealthy relationship, it may be time for a change.

Whatever reasons you have for filing for divorce, it is a decision that should be made independent of emotion. Divorce decisions should only be made after you weighed all your options and are prepared to fight for your assets and custody of your children.

Every situation is different, but we’ve broken down the four essential questions you must ask yourself before proceeding with a divorce filing. As with any major life decision, a little thought and preparation can make a tremendous difference down the road.

1. Have I Tried to Repair the Relationship?

Is divorce your best resolution? If the current state of your marriage is non-violent but making you unhappy, you should seek professional help to determine whether you are going through a rough patch or whether ending your marriage is the only way to move forward. If personal issues are affecting your marriage, you may end up finding the same issues in future relationships if you do not address the root of your unhappiness. Consider these steps to repair your relationship before seeking a divorce.

  • Identify main conflict points: There is no perfect marriage. However, as psychologists suggest, there are things you can do to improve your relationship. A recent study concluded stress can cause even the strongest marriages to crumble.2 If stress is a conflict point in your marriage, counseling can be a valuable tool to help. Whether it’s stress or financial concerns, by identifying the main conflict points in your marriage you may be able to tackle these issues and resolve your marital problems before resorting to divorce.
  • Seek outside guidance: If you struggle to communicate and remove emotion from your marital conflicts, you may benefit from bringing in a third party to help. Whether you choose a therapist, counselor, Pastor, Rabbi, Imam, or anyone else, a respected outside voice to facilitate communication with your spouse can make a tremendous difference, and may help repair your relationship.
  • Try to improve communication: Communication is essential to any strong relationship, but not just any small talk will suffice. Meaningful conversations, where couples continue to get to know one another, is the kind of communication that will make a relationship last. Many couples complain that after a few years the conversation is centered around to work, chores, and the children, as opposed to when they first got together and it involved more varied and interesting topics. Psychologists suggest that the solution to resorting to the mundane in relationships can be remedied with novelty,2variety, and surprise. You may find that improving your communication may increase your happiness.
  • Is this a phase, or an unsolvable difference? Whether you went to counseling together or sought counseling on your own, you will want to determine whether your marriage is salvageable or if your conflicts can only be fixed through a divorce. If after trying to work out your marital problems there is no solution but divorce, you must prepare yourself for the next steps and be as informed as possible. Surround yourself with a network of support and seek legal advice before any major decision. Next, you will want to determine whether to stay in or move out of your marital home.
2.Am I Safe in My Home?

If you’ve decided you want a divorce, your decision to leave or stay in your home can have serious implications. The safety of you and your children is most important, but if you’re not in any immediate danger, you should speak with an attorney before leaving your home, as it could affect your custody hearing. However, if you are in an abusive relationship you must take the necessary steps to remove yourself (and your children) from danger. The American Bar Association reports that Divorces often bring on an increase in such violence – 50 percent of serious assaults occur at or after the point of separation.3

  • Are you in a victim of domestic violence?: Domestic abuse is different in every relationship but is never acceptable, nor something anyone should have to endure. There are some warnings and red flags which the National Domestic Violence Hotline identifies to help you determine whether or not you are in an abusive relationship.4 If you are a victim of domestic abuse, the law is on your side, and there are many resources to help you.
  • Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: The National Hotline can help you find a path to safety. The number for the hotline is 1-800-799-7233.5
  • File a restraining order: You may want to consider a restraining order or asking a judge to order the abusive spouse to move out. However, keep in mind that a restraining order may be limited in scope. If you chose to leave and take your children you should consult a lawyer to obtain a court order for custody. Otherwise, kidnapping accusations may arise.
  • Consult an attorney to discuss the domestic abuse: The attorney you consult should address the following questions to determine your best course of action.6 Take the time to provide honest and detailed responses.
    • Are you ever frightened of your spouse?
    • Do you feel safe at home?
    • Does your spouse throw objects?
    • Are you allowed to spend time with family members and friends?
    • Do you have access to spending money?

What is Cubicle Love

What to keep in mind when things heat up at the watercooler.

One of my best friends is a social worker at a community mental health center. She took the position immediately out of college, viewing it as a natural step in the development of her career.

Within the first month, she found herself working closely with a handsome speech pathologist who treated a number of her clients. Now, many case meetings and treatment-plan reviews later, they’re engaged.

Bet you’re not surprised—or shocked. Most people crave social interaction and companionship. What better place to find it than on the job? After all, office life is hospitable to the development of romance on many fronts. Daily interaction, a safe and generally dependable environment and common interests are all conditions that can ignite an initial spark between two people.

Casual interactions, from laughter over a cup of coffee or heated discussions in the conference room to mutual schmoozing at a trade show, can naturally evolve into attraction. However, reconciling the personal and professional benefits and the perils of an office affair is a formidable task.

Dating a coworker may seem an ideal solution for those who just don’t have the time to meet a potential partner. Unlike the sometimes uncomfortable surroundings of a bar or nightclub, the office usually permits romance to blossom gradually and within an atmosphere of trust and respect.

Moreover, mates who are on the same career path usually find it easier to understand one another’s needs and to empathize with the demands that the job entails—an appealing benefit in any relationship.

And an unspoken truth about office romance, be it short-lived or long-term, is that it usually provides the kind of excitement that many of us crave. Sure, flirtation is fun. And the forbidden nature of a workplace relationship adds drama to the grind of our daily lives.

Teenagers in relationship

 

Revealing the secret world of adolescent boys and girls.

Rory’s parents had discovered that Rory was sexually active and wanted to know how to handle his request to have Jen (his girlfriend) “sleep over” when they were planning to be out of town. They decided to talk it over with someone because they had different opinions. When Rory, who was now seventeen, had posed the question, he had told his parents that he had seen me and suggested that they call me.

Waiting between sessions, I could hear Susan’s and Mike’s raised voices on the path to my office as I sat working at my desk.

“This is the door to her office.”

“No, this way, over there!”

After a few minutes of this I decided to stand at my entryway to guide them.

Mike was a tall man with the same broad shoulders as his son, the football player. He looked like he knew where he was going, but he had already passed my office and was opening the door to the toolshed. Susan was still at the very top of the path. She was on her hands and knees, admiring an English ivy pushing its way out between two rocks. I thought she might be trying to take a cutting. I waved them both in.

Hurrying around my largest tree, Mike arrived first and shook my hand vigorously. “You need to post a map out there just to get around your backyard!”

“Good idea, it can be pretty confusing,” I said.

As we sat down inside, I could see what Rory meant when he said that his parents were in different places. Mike coughed and complained loudly for several minutes while Susan cleaned off her ivy cutting in the bathroom. She seemed oblivious to her husband’s frustration with the delay.

“That’s an unknown ivy, Dr. Ponton, very unusual. Thanks for letting me take some.”

Although Mike appeared eager to begin, I sensed that it would take some work with this set of parents to move into the topic of their son’s sexual behavior. And I was right. Nearly half the session went by before we were even close to the subject.

Then Mike let me know exactly what he was thinking. “It’s against my values to ever have this kid sleeping with some girl at our house. He says he’s not going to have sex, but you can’t trust him, Susan.”

“Mike, it’s his choice, his body. You can’t control everyone,” said Susan in a frosty voice that hid more than anger.

Relationship in needed

Much too often in life, I have come across couples or one person in a couple who complained about the significant other in their life not listening to them. These people often hear, but do not listen. And this single point is what brings about the downfall of a good portion of relationships today.

Listening skills are not automatic. We grow up communicating very differently from one another, depending on a wide range of factors, gender being just one of them. But gender is usually the easiest to focus our attention on because the generalizations made about the genders hold a grain of truth in their words for all of us. “He’d rather watch football than talk to me.” “She’d rather talk on the phone with her girlfriends than go out with me.” “He’d rather go out on a night with the ‘guys’ than go out to dinner with me.” “She’d rather go shopping than go golfing with me.” And so on… Even if not always or true, we look at these examples, and things like them, and realize, “Hey, yeah, there’s a bit of me in there.” That’s why comedians so often use gender-related material to make their jokes — it’s easy, it’s usually clean, and everyone can relate to some degree to what is being made fun of.

But here’s the truth of the matter. In a typical generalization, men and women are brought up and learn completely different ways of communicating with one another. (A good book to read more about these differences and how you can overcome them is, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. by John Gray) It’s not that he or she isn’t listening, it’s that you’re often trying to communicate with each other in incompatible ways!

The sexes up to this point get along well, we believe, until they actually settle into a long-term relationship where these differences become more obvious over time. Men and women simply have different values regarding relationships, as well as vastly different ways of dealing with stress and emotional issues. Men tend to hold their emotions in, letting them simmer, and then sometimes explode in pain or anger. They typically find it more difficult to discuss and express their emotions. Women, on the other hand, can more freely and easily express their emotions and what they’re feeling at any given moment. Men and women alike will turn to outside activities, like working-out or excercise, as a means of dealing with stress or emotions. This is a healthy response. However, the differences men and women have communicating are often glossed over in the beginning stages of a relationship, even during the first few months. But over time, they become more and more apparent.

It would be demeaning and ultimately pointless of me to repeat the stereotypes so often heard about what each sex values in a relationship, since people’s personal preferences vary widely. But I will take a moment to dispel one myth — monogamy is not a more natural preference for either sex. It has often been said that women were more likely to be monogamous than men, but recent research shows this to be an untrue assumption.

The upshot of this information is simple — learning to communicate open and freely with your significant other in a relationship is the key to a happy relationship. Some general tips:

  • Expressing feelings as your own is important. Do not put them onto the other person in an accusatory manner, as in, “I can’t help it I’m angry. You’re the one who forgot to go grocery shopping.”.
  • Listen carefully to what the other person is telling you about how they feel, and learning to respond to and validate their feelings. Many couples see this as a time to argue about whether one’s feelings are right or justified. There are no such things. All feelings are right and justified to the person feeling them and one needs to learn to respect that basic truth. For instance:Wrong:
    • “Bob, I’m very hurt right now. What you said was very mean.”
    • “I’m mean?! What about you!? You’re just being a big baby now.”Better:
    • “Bob, I’m very hurt right now. Your words were very painful for me to hear.”
    • “I understand that you’re hurt… and I’m very angry as well, which is why I may have said what I did. I’m sorry.”
  • Understand that no one wins or loses an argument. Life is not a game and you don’t get a second chance. All you have “won” in an argument is additional resentment on the part of your significant other. Arguments feel better when they are a draw and you both come away from it understanding the other’s position and feelings more fully, with your respect intact.
  • Place yourself in the other person’s shoes and try and see their perspective. This is extremely difficult for some people to do, because they cannot get away from their own feelings, even for a second. But by learning to do so, one can get a better sense of where that person is coming from and what may be motivating them to say or feel certain things.

Marriage Counseling Tips

Couples and Marriage Counseling

When the Beatles wrote, “All you need is love à” they should have added, “and the wisdom to work through tough times, even if it means seeking professional help.” This is because counseling can be a relationship-saving resource for couples. Couples counseling is also known as marriage counseling or marriage therapy when the two people involved are married.

When Counseling Can Help

Perhaps blowups between you and your partner are occurring more regularly. Or ongoing sticky issues and irritations are causing increased tension and resentment. If you have had little success working through relationship issues, find yourselves avoiding each other, or using hostile words or actions that cause emotional or physical hurt, professional counseling may help.

Sleep or sexual problems, extreme moodiness or feelings of dissatisfaction, loneliness, sadness or failure also can be clues that something is wrong. Couples counseling can uncover the underlying issues.

There may be external factors that can add stress to your relationship, including:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Step-parenting
  • Infertility
  • Chronic illness or disability
  • Substance abuse
  • Infidelity
  • Financial problems
  • Career pressures

Professional counseling can help you learn coping strategies for such periods of transition or stress.

Finding a Therapist

Your local mental health association, family doctor, clergy or friends are good referral sources. Look for someone whose education and training best fits your needs and situation. For example, a gay couple may benefit from a counselor experienced in dealing with gay/lesbian issues. Make sure your chosen therapist is licensed by the state or accredited by a professional organization.

What to Expect from Therapy

Most couples meet with their therapist once a week for about an hour each session. Generally, therapy lasts for about 12 to 20 sessions. During the first session, the therapist will review the therapeutic process, confidentiality and cost. She will become acquainted with you and your partner and the problems that brought you to counseling. She will ask many questions to understand your lives and relationship as best as possible. Both you and your partner should feel comfortable talking with your counselor.

Couples counseling is different than family therapy or individual psychotherapy. In family therapy, the focus is on helping the family figure out the large problems within the entire family (including children), and helping them to find fixes (such as improving communication). In individual psychotherapy, the focus is on a single person. While that person may talk about their relationships in session, the relationships are not usually the primary focus of the counseling.

Overcoming Communication Conundrums in Relationships

Even in the strongest of relationships, there will be times when small irritations can cause mountains to grow out of molehills, so it’s important to keep striving for better communication.

As the essence of relationships, communication has a great impact on every aspect of life. Yet the channels of communication can sometimes become blocked, even among people who care deeply for each other. It’s often difficult to put our feelings into words or concentrate fully when our partner speaks. Unhelpful silences or verbal attacks can arise and drive us further apart.

Common barriers to communication include: threatening or unpleasant behavior such as criticism and bossiness; only hearing what we want to hear; getting bored or distracted; and not expressing our point clearly. Fortunately, working on our communication skills helps us to break through this sort of impasse. So follow these tried and tested tips to stop you reaching for the expletives and reach an understanding instead.

No matter what else is going on, try to make time for your partner on a day-to-day basis. Good communication is about deepening your understanding of each other, not simply avoiding arguments. Easier said than done, of course, but making time to talk is worth the effort. All being well, these occasions will be enjoyable and bring great rewards, so make a dinner date, share a bath or go for a walk together and let the conversation flow.

Secondly, remember the importance of intimate, non-sexual contact. Hugs and kisses are the glue which holds a relationship together, and consider activities such as sport to reconnect non-verbally. Psychologists believe the vast majority of communication takes place without words through body language.

Do you believe you know everything there is to know about your partner? It may be worth checking this out by asking them questions to reveal more about themselves. To deepen the communication and understanding between you, try talking about the times when you feel happiest or your hopes and dreams for the future. Don’t assume that your partner feels the same way you do.

This could bring up relationship ‘hot spots’ – work, money, childcare – which can then be dealt with openly. Experts suggest setting up reciprocal arrangements in which you both agree to take on an equal number of tasks and chores.