First, you may feel threatened in some way when you think about surrendering completely to your love for your spouse. Do you feel that you can lose yourself in that love without risking losing your individuality? You can allow yourself and even embrace change without compromising who you are. Growth is always possible and it never has to mean growing apart. You and your spouse can have disagreements without arguments.Second, trust is essential in any relationship-especially a marriage. You can give in to your spouse without the fear of losing anything and without fear of being judged. It is possible to keep the passion alive in your marriage for the duration of your lifetime. The only time you are truly known is in your intimate, long-term relation with your spouse. Third, your lover cannot know who you truly are unless you open up your heart completely. Can you be a participant in a loving relationship with your spouse without being vulnerable? Being intimate always comes with a risk with your spouse and you must be willing to face that risk. Fourth, you and your spouse need to be able to make sure you create a supportive environment or else you willnever be able to share your feelings freely with each other. You must realize spontaneity and control do not work well together. In fact, they cannot work together at all. if control is an issue with either of you, it needs to be addressed. Dependence is a harmful thing in any relationship and it must be changed into a healthydependence. Finally both spouses need to be open to the fact that neither of you can grow without learning from your mistakes.Once you learn how to forgive yourself, you can learn how to forgive your spouse and grudges cannot be held. Broken hearts will not heal if that heart is put at risk again. The point of romance is to grow together in love and intimacy. Love and intimacy can mean a number of different things to different people and all of them are essential to a healthy relationship. Live together, learn together, growtogether and love together.
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Last night I saw the delightful movie, ‘Julie and Julia.’ It was an inspirational film, based on two women who followed their passions and lived out dreams beyond their expectations.But that is not what compelled me to write on this sunny Saturday morning. No. It was Julia Child’s marriage to her husband Paul, that so intrigued me.They had the warmest, most loving, relationship. They really had the ‘secret’ to an intimate marriage. In fact, I was so impressed, I encouraged my 19 year old daughter to see the movie, if for no other reason than to observe the relationship between Julia Child and her husband.So what made their marriage so unique? What did they know that we don’t?They lovingly encouraged each other, privately and publicly, and often with a good dose of humor. They also believed the best of the other, and that set in motion a relationship so sweet, so tender that they were each a far better person for it. And their marriage was one we all dream of.Examples of Encouragement in Julia Child’s Intimate Marriage:1) Julia and husband Paul are having dinner in a restaurant (where they live in Paris) and she’s trying to decide what to do with her days. First she considers learning to make hats. You can see Paul doesn’t think it’s the best idea but rather than put her down, he asks, “What do you really like to do?” She responds, “Eat” and he leans in “And you’re so good at it!” to which she agrees and they both start laughing hysterically.2) They are having a Valentine dinner with friends and Julia is telling about when she and Paul met, she was only a file clerk but “Paul designed all the secret war rooms. Why, he single-handedly won the war.” After Paul heartily agrees, he raises his glass of wine to her, “Julia, you are the butter to my bread and the breath to my life. I love you.”3) After eight years of working on her cookbook, Julia Child receives a final rejection letter from the publisher. Of course she is devastated and Paul snuggles with her and comforts her, “Your book is a masterpiece. It will change the world.” .And of course it does go on to change the world of cooking.What would happen in our relationship, if we chose to encourage our spouse? Believe the best in them? It’s a decision we can make today. Never mind if we don’t feel that they are encouraging us. It has to start somewhere and since we know that the only person we can change is ourselves; the action has to be on our part. We have to make the decision.Go see the movie. or not! But put a little ‘love and encouragement’ into your loved one and see your relationship grow and improve to a new level of intimacy. By the way: Don’t limit encouragement to your spouse. Watch all your relationships grow by encouraging your children, co-workers, friends, parents.
People who are married often ask, “Why is marriage so hard?” Marriage is hard work, it doesn’t come easy. What does a marriage means to them? Some people say it is a status, some will say it is a processs, some also say they will only get married when they are pregnant. Whatever the answer that is going to be, I am sure not all understand the true meaning of marriage.The fact is marriage is a lifetime commitment. It takes two people to make the love perfect. Two lovestruck people get married because of their deep love and admiration, but when both are unable to deal with each other’s weaknesses, they will find their marriage very hard to maintain. The fact is before when both get married, many underlying issues such as living style, habits may not be known to the partner before hand and when reality sets in, they find it hard to accept the fact of being like this.Hence, in order to make the marriage better, we have to put in time and effort to understand each other. It is when of you are able to withstand through the test of time, your relationship will turn stronger and it is because of all these beautiful imperfections in life, it makes your marriage special and different.Marriage is again all about hard work because you need to learn how to compromise with each other. Learning the art of give and take in a relationship is not a day thing to understand too. We also learn to accept, respect and trust in each other. The key to a successful marriage should comprise of all these.Be together, share your joy and sorrow with your spouse. Your love will blossom with hard work. There are ways to bring back happiness into your marriage even if your marriage has hit the rocky path.
If you have found that you are in a sexless marriage, don’t worry – you are not alone. According to a study done by Newsweek, 15-20% of couples are reported to be in a sexless marriage. The definition of a sexless marriage, according to some experts, is a marriage where the couple has sex less than 10 times a year. This is a very loose definition, and if you are unhappy with the amount of sex you and your partner are having it can leave you feeling rejected, frustrated and resentful. These negative feelings can then leak into other aspects of your relationship, causing frequent and heated arguments.I am sure that you have heard it said that once the honeymoon phase of a relationship is over, the amount of sex a couple has dramatically decreases. This saying is a myth; however, it is based on a small amount of truth. The truth is, it is only natural for the antics in the bedroom tend to cool down over time. It is also important to keep in mind that it is very rare for a couple to share the same amount of sexual drive their entire married life.There are many reasons why the passion in your marriage has dwindled. Judith Steinhart, a clinical sexologist in New York City, says it best, when she said: “Problems in a marriage [like] lack of trust, anxiety, financial issues, misunderstandings, pressure from children, all can impact a couple’s sexual patterns.” Whatever the reason for your sex drought, there is hope out there for you.
Act 5 scene 1 of Romeo & Juliet opens with Romeo in Mantua, and faithful aide Balthasar about to deliver rather unwelcome news: Juliet, new made wife of the young, passionate Romeo, is dead.No more had Balthasar delivered his famous lines “Her body sleeps in Capel’s monument, and her immortal part with angels lives”, than Romeo jumps into action. Instantly aroused, Romeo leaps aboard his steed, and off to Verona he races where fate takes over, and the rest, they say is history. Often, it’s much better to simply wait and see what the facts of the matter are before leaping, jumping, reacting or otherwise responding to any situation, particularly where the added flammability of personal passion is a factor.Here’s a rather extreme example, but instructive nonetheless. In August 1914, rulers of the great powers of Europe–The Austria-Hungarian alliance, Germany, France, and Russia to the East–were on the verge of cataclysm. Diplomats scurried back and forth between capitols seeking to defuse ever growing tensions; state letters were exchanged from one high level diplomatic pouch to the next; trains raced between Paris, Berlin, Vienna, but the tension seemed only to increase, not dissipate as everyone expected. Then the powder keg was lit, when Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a young Serbian nationalist on the streets of Sarajevo, and the world, for four long, blood soaked years, went mad. Looking back on that conflagration with the luxury of 100 years of hindsight, an interesting theory has emerged. One new technological advance, though seemingly innocuous, indeed, seemingly therapeutic to the growing unrest, the telegraph, is blamed for Europe’s descent into chaos in 1914.The telegraph? That should have allowed for those same world leaders to more closely monitor the dispositions and intentions of their counterparts, n’est pas? Non? Nyet?It seems that the technology was so new, so unfamiliar, and so productive of anxiety in the fledgling users, that each felt an overwhelming impulse to react to whatever clackety-click message arrived from whichever potential enemy or source. There was too much information pouring in at the time for them to digest, and too little understanding of what it all meant. They were simply overwhelmed, and in that situation, filled with anxiety and fear of the unknown, they panicked. The result was nearly 50 million deaths, and four years of the worst carnage and horror the world had ever known.What does this rather melodramatic scene have to do with your marriage? Hopefully nothing, except for this: given the luxury of time to reflect, especially with all the information available to us, we nowadays make reasonably good decisions. In our marriage, my wife and I have what we refer to as the ’48 hour rule’. Just as the name implies, for any substantial decision, house repair, kid crisis, vehicle issue, expenditure over about 50 dollars, we refer to the 48 hour–let’s-put-this-aside rule, and almost invariably our decision about whatever has arisen is better than an instant, gut-reaction one might have been.Some of the time the decision is identical; sometimes they’re very different, even polar opposite; sometimes, and this is perhaps the larger point, there’s no decision to make because the event, crisis or issue has simply dissipated or resolved itself. And invariably we’re glad we invoked this rule, and remain comfortable with the outcome.Recently our daughter, newly married, announced that, for reasons irrelevant here, she and her new hubby were through, done, history. She was moving out, finished, didn’t want to talk about it. The way it was presented was, of course, a pretty transparent attempt to get a rise from us, and enlist our help against the scoundrel who would do such a dastardly deed. Her vocabulary, volume and sense of indignity were palpable on the phone, reminiscent of some hyperbolic Hollywood vixen scorned and demeaned, bent on the most painful and irreversible mayhem on the lad, my new son-in-law.The 48 hour rule? Instantly and absolutely. It worked very well when we decided on the spur of the moment to book our vacation to Paris instead of Key West. (The keys are magical). It worked ever so well when another daughter announced she would quit college over a “useless, asinine stats course I have to take and I’ll never use!” The graduation was delightful. It worked even when we decided to go ahead with the purchase of the Honda wagon, even with its 93,000 miles. At 130,000 it’s barely broken in.The scrapping newlyweds? Love birds once again. How long did the little dustup last? You guessed it, about 48 hours.It’s a useful tool to cool things off, allow, as doctors say, the tincture of time to do its magic, and to deal with what we have even today, too much information that makes us react too quickly, forcing decisions we likely would have made differently. The 48 hour rule: try it. But wait a couple of days.
The best ways to save your marriage will depend entirely upon the nature of the marital problems you are currently facing. What gaps are there in the relationship, what areas do the spouses need to work on and seek to improve? What aspects of the marriage have stagnated with the passage of time and which have resulted in the partners becoming dissatisfied and unhappy?Actually acknowledging and admitting that there are serious problems which lie within the very essence of the relationship is an extremely daunting and intimidating affair and the spouse who is able to take that all essential first step and ‘get the ball rolling’ is to be commended for their courage. It is important that whenever a married couple is outlining the various grievances and issues that they wish to resolve, that they do so in a non-confrontational, non-abusive manner whereby no guilt or blame is apportioned and where the parties can express their feelings without fear of recourse.The purpose of this exercise is to conduct an audit of the relationship with the view of resolving the issues wherever and whenever that is possible and reasonable. The exercise is not intended to serve as a sounding board or a soap box on which the spouses can then use every single petty grievance, annoyance and slight suffered (whether real or perceived). Once the problems and issues have been identified, the spouses should ensure that they sit down and have a frank discussion with one another in order to highlight common areas of concern, as well as negotiate a solution to them.Many spouses are terrified of engaging with this particular process for fear that by revealing their feelings and emotions that they will end up causing a lot of damage to the relationship and that their partner will not be in a forgiving mood. The fact of the matter is that by biting your tongue and not actually speaking up, you will end up creating a lot more resentment and bad will in the long run than if you were to actually state how and why you are feeling the way you are.Communication, trust and honesty are all key ingredients in the successful development and progression of a relationship and to that end then it is vital that the parties actually ensure that they strive to honor and achieve these objectives.
Almost every relationship encounters rough waters. Some will need professional involvement. If you decide to start professional Marriage Counseling with a marriage counselor, psychologist, or life coach, please know that a pre-requisite is not only the fee but the beneficial process of all parties.Here are five questions you should ask yourself prior to this process; be sure you put your 4 ‘yes’ answers and the 1 ‘no’ at the right places.Question # 1: Is there a problem or you only agree to the process because your spouse wants to? ‘Yes’ is required; your definition of the problem must be well defined. Do not begin if you deny there’s a problem. The practitioner’s office is not where one should learn about the marriage conflict. It is most beneficial that both parties consent to the counseling process.Question # 2: Do you contribute to the problem? Unless you view a marriage as a system – where there are certain homeostasis or balance occurring between the two elements of the system (the partners), there is no point seeking marriage counseling. You will find no real practitioner who will not relate to you both as two parts of one system. This means that you both can’t help but to impact and interrelate with each other. Your behavior will cause a reaction by your mate, and vice versa. It is highly unlikely that one person is solely responsible for the entire problem in a marriage. “It takes two to tango.”Question # 3: Are you having positive expectations? A self fulfilling prophecy is a powerful force that motivates and creates reality, and this is a pre-requisite most crucial in the marriage counseling. If not, one partner would most likely be passive or expect the therapist to perform miracles to make positive things happen. The “You fix me” or “You fix my spouse” message or expecting problem solving style from the marriage counselor is absolutely unacceptable. Each partner must engage and participate. My role as a marriage counseling professional is to explore, analyze and understand behaviors or chain of behaviors. Then I help to re-engineer the relationship. So you better expect to see powerful changes occurring between you and your spouse.Question # 4: Are you ready to accept and adopt changes in behavior? Before considering your answer, be aware that most people declare that they would expect to see their partner change, or at least change first… Without a willingness to make your own adjustments in the marriage, there is no point in beginning the marriage counseling process. The ‘yes’ attitude in essence gives a strong message that you are going to be an active partner in the ‘renewed’ marriage.Question # 5: Is it O.K to dedicate an entire week-end (only) to the marriage counseling process? Your busy agenda… The amount of time marriage counseling takes is dependent on a number of factors; the amount of resentment, period length of unhappiness and willingness to change are just a few. It’s definitely an investment of time, effort and money which can be stressful for some people. You must accept the ‘NO’ answer, since there is no “quick fix”.
Relationships become more complicated over time mostly because we allow them to be. Conflict may build to intolerable levels before the relationship erupts. There is a secret to overcoming an unhappy marriage.If there is currently conflict in your marriage take a deep breath and an honest look at the conflict. What are the conflicts that come up on a regular basis? If your spouse would like the cap put on the toothpaste or the toilet seat to be closed why would anyone allow that to be a source of ongoing conflict? Simply take care of those things and be done with it, chances are it is a small shift in patterns that should cure the situation.I bet you’re glad you didn’t come to my office and pay me $150 for that advice! The harsh reality of it lies beneath the surface though. It usually isn’t the toothpaste cap or the toilet seat. You could do those things all day long and the target would just move. It would be the coffee grounds on the counter, the way the car is parked or how you fold the newspaper after reading it in the morning/If you want a better marriage it will require better communication, sure it’s great to know the quirky things like toothpaste cap desires but where is the source of conflict? The process to discover the underlying reasons for conflict may prove more difficult but once discovered can dramatically improve your marriage.If it isn’t immediately apparent to you what the real conflict is and you have difficulty getting your spouse to discuss their needs and desires you may need to take a different approach. It has taken both of your efforts to get here. One person taking the initiative to make positive changes can make the difference in a relationship. With the proper assistance you will be on your way quickly to overcome your unhappy marriage and create the relationship you desire..
Most couples find it easy to do things together but find playing together a tedious and a difficult task. This has made romance difficult for them because playfulness is the foundation of romance. You can never be romantic unless you are playful and you cannot be romantic and be too serious. Please try to loosen up a little.Couples should spend time together, playing and relaxing. They should spend time to be in their own world enjoying the best of time.Children do enjoy the best of time playing together. The best way my little boy can ‘punish’ me if I offend him is to say “Daddy, I will not play with you again”. Little children do appreciate the wonders of playing together; they love you when you are their playmate.Playing should be part of our family life. It create a sense of friendship and brotherhood. It create closeness, intimacy and bonding. It also brings out the best in us and make us to enjoy the best time, thus profiting our life.When you see two young people in love, they are fond of doing lots of things together such as playing, visiting good places, strolling together, observing nature, appreciating the beauty of the sky, watch the ocean, spending time at the beach; thereby enjoying their lives and moments. Immediately after the wedding, most couples fails to continue this act but concentrates on making a living and raising their children. That is the beginning of difficult family life and decline in their love life.Couples that wants a strong family life should make playing together a business.
For some of the women reading this, you are about embark on a no holds bared, fact finding mission into your husband’s mind. Let’s get started with a few myths exposed and facts revealed.Fact . . . All those ‘share-your-agony / accomplish nothing’ websites where wives-in-misery commiserate by giving essentially worthless advice about what did not work for them will not help you encourage your husband to be more romantic.Myth . . . Your husband does not love you because he is not romantic. This false statement is mostly found in the ‘share-your-agony’ websites.Fact . . . Your husband is not more romantic for one or a combination of four main reasons:
Not comfortable with the emotional element of romance
Too much stress or not enough (perceived) time.
Not focused, not organized or may forget important dates.
Not aware of just how important romance is to you.
Myth . . . By showering your husband with romance, he will get the idea, seek out his hidden inner romantic child and create the romantic oasis you so desire and deserve.Fact . . . Your husband will become more romantic and your marriage more passionate for one of two primary reasons: (Or a combination of both.)
He wants please you, make you happy and improve the marriage because he is basically a really good guy.
Because it is in his best interest and he derives some benefit from changing the dynamics of the marriage.
There are three components to encouraging your husband to be more romantic. Do all three and you are almost guarantied of a romance filled marriage. Like a tricycle, having only two wheels on the ground (two components of the romance formula), you are not going to get very far. And if you do get anywhere, it is going to be a real struggle.Step One – The Goal – Without condemning, complaining or criticizing, tell your husband why it is important to you that your marriage have a greater element of romance. Explain that romance is like a key that opens a woman’s heart and fulfills her need for emotional intimacy. Describe what romance looks, feels, sounds and smells like. Give your husband a target, a challenge. Men want to pursue and enjoy reaching a goal.Step Two – The Reward – Share with your husband why it is in his interest to step up the level of romance in the marriage. The truth is that while you are thinking of romance as emotional intimacy, your husband is thinking of sensual pleasure. One viewpoint is not better than the other, but they are two sides to the same coin. Tell him how romance increases the emotional connection that you feel and that leads to greater confidence in the relationship – in him. You want to change – increase the amount of romance – the marriage because it will better fulfill a need that you have (and should have fulfilled). It is no different for your husband. He will change the relationship – increase the amount of romance – when it fulfills a need that he may have.Step Three – No plan, no action! Men are, by their very nature tool users. Some use computers, others use power saws, the rest something in between. While there is no scientific research to prove this, the reason men are tool users is because their brains leak. Ask your husband to bring home three things from the store and you are likely to get just about anything besides the items requested. Same goes for the romance, your husband is going to need a little assistance to keep him on track for the first few months. There are online marriage resources designed to give your husband romantic ideas, tips and suggestions. The full featured sites even provide a personalized reminder service so that he never forgets another anniversary, birthday or special occasion. If you do a Google or Bing search for “Romantic Outsourcing” you can see what is available to your husband.The challenging part to making a long overdue improvement in your relationship is getting the subject out and in to the open. Below is a letter format that you can use to get your husband’s attention. Feel free to copy, cut , edit and paste for your own personal use. Dear (My Romantically-Resistant Husband),I’m writing this letter to you because I feel that our marriage could use a positive change.I know that romance may not be your highest priority right now. But for me, it represents more than just flowers or a nice card. It is, for me, a way to feel emotionally connected to the man I love. For women, romance is like a key that opens a door to greater intimacy, more confidence in the relationship and, yes, more desire for sensual passion.To me, romance can be gestures of affection that remind me that I am special in your eyes and in your heart. Its not about getaways to secluded islands you see in movies. But rather, a personal message, a thought, a break from the routine, or flowers every once in a while. Please don’t let this rule out the romantic getaway, if that is what you had in mind To explain it in another way, women have an ‘emotional bank account’ that needs regular little deposits. And you will be amazed how much interest builds up for you. Romance can lead to many things; a match that starts a passionate flame, the glue that unites a relationship, a door to greater sensual pleasure, the building blocks of a stronger marriage.Without a doubt, men and women are different in their needs and comfort zones. I recognize that and realize you may occasionally want a few ideas and reminders to get the romantic juices flowing. There are marriage/romance building websites for men, operated by men that may be useful to you. ________ is one website that is free to use or you can do a search for “Romantic Outsourcing”.I want you to know that I love you dearly and want our marriage to grow stronger every day. Romance is important to me. Share with me what is important to you.Your Loving Wife,XOXO One last suggestion, having only a verbal conversation is likely not to lead to lasting change. Remember your husband’s mind leaks. If he wasn’t fully invested in the change you need, want or deserve – romance will be pushed down on the list of day to day demands. The reason men respond well to a written letter is because it allows them to return to their cave, a psychological safe place, and have time to digest the issue. Your husband will take action sooner than you think. And if he doesn’t, take control of the situation, sign him up and enter the important anniversaries and dates.I have found that most men tend to initially rely heavily on a ‘Romantic Outsourcing’ website to encourage them to take action and, yes, overcome any initial hesitation. Remember, many men are, in the beginning, not comfortable expressing romance. Because, in the end, it is a display of emotional openness. It takes time to get good at being romantic and recognizing subtle emotional cues. The good news is that many of the most ‘romantically-resistant’ men go on to be regular contributors of romantic ideas – helping other husbands like yours improve their marriage. For a sports analogy, ‘Even the best athlete was, in the very beginning, way back when, a rookie player who walked out onto the field for the first time.’