Good relationships don’t just happen. I’ve heard many couples state that, “If I have to work at it, then it’s not the right relationship.” This is not a true statement, for as long as you work hard at looking your best, work hard at loosing weight, work hard at being recognized by your boss, work hard at being a good parent, then why should it be so difficult at making your relationship work?
I’ve realized over time while at couples or dating forum and ladies talk room that there are some choices you can make that will not only improve your relationship, but can turn a failing relationship into a successful one. As you celebrate Valentine today, take these tips with you and improve on your relationship:
1.BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF: It is often said that ‘No one can make you happy, but YOU’. Being happy for yourself is the most important choice you can make to improve your relationship. By so doing, you take absolute responsibility for your own feelings and needs. Invariably, this means that instead of trying to solicit happiness and security from your partner, you learn how to do this through your own thoughts and actions. By so doing, you are learning to treat yourself with kindness, caring, compassion, and acceptance instead of self-judgment. No matter how wonderfully your partner is treating you, for as long as you continue to judge yourself you will always feel unhappy and insecure. Instead of brooding and getting angry at your partner for your feelings of abandonment when he or she is late, preoccupied and not listening to you, not turned on sexually, and so on, you should look inward and discover how you might be abandoning yourself.
When you learn how to take full, 100% responsibility for yourself, then you stop blaming your partner for your insecurity. The most important gift, vital to a good relationship you can give yourself this Valentine season is to learn how to take loving care of yourself, take responsibility and make it happen.
2. KINDNESS, COMPASSION, ACCEPTANCE: Sure you’ve heard of ‘Do unto others what you expect them to do unto you’. Simply said; treat others the way you want to be treated. This is the essence of a truly spiritual life. We all yearn to be treated lovingly – with kindness, compassion, understanding, and acceptance. We need to treat ourselves this way, and we need to treat our partner and others this way. Relationships flourish when both people treat each other with kindness. While there are no guarantees, often treating another with kindness brings kindness in return. If your partner is consistently angry, judgmental, uncaring and unkind, then you need to focus on what would be loving to yourself rather than reverting to anger, blame, judgment, withdrawal, resistance, or compliance. Kindness to others does not mean sacrificing yourself. Always remember that taking responsibility for yourself rather than blaming others is the most important thing you can do. Some women claim to have neglected themselves due to child birth or raising children thus leaving their partners to the memory of what they looked like during courtship. This is self injustice as far as I am concerned. You are not helping yourself nor your relationship. If you are consistently kind to yourself and your partner, and your partner is consistently angry, blaming, withdrawn and unavailable, you tried everything possible and no result, then you either have to accept a distant relationship, or you need to leave the relationship. You cannot make your partner change – you can only change yourself.
3. GRATITUDE INSTEAD OF COMPLAINTS: Positive energy flows between two people when there is an “attitude of gratitude.” Constant complaints creates a heavy, negative energy, which is not fun to be around. Practice being grateful for what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. Complaints create stress, while gratitude creates inner peace, so gratitude creates not only emotional and relationship health, but physical health as well.
4. LEARNING INSTEAD OF CONTROLLING: When conflict occurs, you always have two choices regarding how to handle the conflict: you can be open to learning about yourself and your partner and discover the deeper issues of the conflict, or you can try to win, or at least not lose, through some form of controlling behavior. We’ve all learn many overt and subtle ways of trying to control others into behaving the way we want: anger, blame, judgment, niceness, compliance, care taking, resistance, withdrawal of love, explaining, teaching, defending, lying, denying, and so on. In most cases, all these ways create even more conflict if not properly communicated. Remembering to learn and listen instead of control is a vital part of improving your relationship.
For example, most people have two major fears that become activated in relationships: the fear of abandonment – of losing the other – and the fear of engulfment – of losing oneself. When these fears get activated, most people immediately protect themselves against these fears with their controlling behavior. But if you chose to learn about your fears instead of attempt to control your partner, your fear would eventually heal. This is how we grow emotionally and spiritually – by learning instead of controlling.
5. CREATE DATE TIMES: When people first fall in love, they make time for each other. Then, right after getting married, they get busy. Relationships need time to thrive. You need to create your own ‘kid time’, pretend to be kids once in a while and let loose of all inhibitions. It is vitally important to set aside specific times to be together – to talk, play, share quiet moments, make love. Intimacy cannot be maintained without making out time together.Today, the pressure of making a living is taking a toll on memorable love life but you have to create it and make it happen.
6. FUN AND PLAY: We all know that “work without play makes Jack a dull boy.” Work without play makes for dull relationships as well. Relationships flourish when people laugh together, play together, and when humor is a part of everyday life. Stop taking everything so seriously and learn to see the funny side of life. Most couples are rather nice, warm, friendly and jovial with outsiders but when it comes to their partners, they are like night and day. Intimacy flourishes when there is lightness of being, not when everything is heavy.
7. SELFLESS SERVICE: How beautiful is it when both of you venture into a project together? Work on a selfless service together, volunteer and enjoy feelings of mutual selflessness. A wonderful way of creating intimacy is to do service projects together. Giving to others fills the heart and creates deep satisfaction in the soul. If you are having problem in your relationship, volunteer at a relationship coaching group, listen to others talk and visualize yourselves in their position. You may come to realize that yours is not worse after all. Engaging in this type of service moves you out of yourself and your own problems and supports a broader, more spiritual view of life.
If you and your partner agree to these tips, you will be amazed at the improvement in your relationship and how happier you would be. Remember, love and life go beyond Valentine day, make your relationship last longer!
Marriage is a commitment, a relationship involving the joining of a man and a woman. It is as old as creation itself, dates back to the creation of Adam and Eve. To my mind, it is the union of two people from different background, with different orientation, attitude to life and philosophy. The fusion of all these characteristics from two willing people coming together as one body and soul for the purpose of recreation and mutual exchange of feelings and moreover as source of comfort for one another makes up the total components of marriage.
Sex is described as the sum of the structural, functional and behavioral characteristics of living beings that sub-serve reproduction by two interacting parents and that distinguish males and females. Given that sex plays an important role in marriage, how would you cope if hooked in a sexless relationship?
Cicero says ‘ the first bond of society is marriage, the next, our children, then the whole family and all things in common’. Could we have achieved all these feats without explore our intimacies? One definitely is an architect of the other. Where one is missing, the center cannot hold. Now, if sexual bond ceases to exist in a marriage, what is the fate of that relationship?
A friend once narrated his experience in the course of my regular probing about matters of the heart. He claimed to have been living with his spouse since their marriage of 12 years but the last four years has witness a complete turn off in their sexual lives. After the last child, the woman just tuned off sex completely. She became fully engrossed with her children, her work and her religion. They have not had any sexual relationship in the last four years, yet they live under the same roof. Surprised? Shocking you may say but it is real.
The wife is a complete opposite of the man, highly introverted and very conservative. She does not believe in outward expression of love especially in public places or when friends and families are around. She loves her husband but in her own way. She simply wants to live her life for her children; which to her, was the reason for getting married after all, secondly, for her job and finally her religion. And the husband, you may ask? She just wants him to be there, always at hand when needed. She takes care of him by ensuring he is well fed and well taken care of at home but not sex wise. She is not just cut out for it.
The husband on the contrary is a happy go lucky man. Outwardly expressive, willing to arouse all feelings to ensure sexual pleasure but always gets rebuffed by the wife. What did he do, sure you want to know. He found an alternative means to his satisfaction. Discreetly, he engaged in extra marital affairs. The wife on the other hand is oblivious of happenings around her. For as long as she goes to work and come back to meet her husband at home, she is satisfied. If he has cause to come back late, she attributes it to his work schedule in the office. As far as she is concerned, there is nothing to be afraid of because she believes that lack of sex between them is not enough ground to break the relationship. How realistic? Is this a case of being gullible or simple ignorance?
In my quiet moment, I pondered over the scenario and concluded the wife probably had a psychological issue about relationship while growing up and has refused to outgrow it.
This is a woman that would give everything to please God but not the institution constituted by God. To her, sexual intercourse with her husband would not give her spiritual satisfaction. How ironic? Even the scriptures kick against sexual denial in marriage on either party. For her to have taken this position simply beats my imagination, perhaps am not conversant with the scriptures. May be I am missing something yet to be discovered.
While pondering over the issue, a few tips readily come to mind which I hope would be useful for whoever is in the same boat like my character.
1. Before signing the dotted lines, talk about sex, find out your partners point of view on matters relating to sex. This will help to identify his/her kind of person in sex related matters and will assist you in making the final decision if you both are sexually compatible.
2. Share and compare notes on your past experiences while growing up. Dig into a few things in the past especially if you know you want to spend the rest of your lives together, it helps to shape the future. Remember you can only proffer solution to problem shared.
3. Recognize you cannot change your spouse but you can help overcome the past and chart a new course if both parties are willing.
4. Identify your spouse’s strong sexual point and leverage on it. You never can tell, it might just work wonder.
5 When her mood is right, find out if she ever enjoyed making love with you, if you hurt her during love making or perhaps you have not been performing up to her expectation and would like to take her suggestions. If she is the shy and conservative type, put it in writing.
6. Create a relaxed atmosphere of congenial collaboration. Be open, don’t get boxed up, don’t be withdrawn it will only worsen the situation.
7. Be nice to your spouse and show empathy not pity. Create warm ambiance to boost her confidence that you are always there in good and bad times. Do not act nice and warm simply to have sex, make a regular habit of it.
8. Go down memory lane with your spouse. Remind her of your sexual life in the beginning, before the advent of the children, the sweet early stages.
9. Don’t give up on her. You can make a difference in her love if your love is genuine.
10. Finally all couples should remember that religion is a way of life. You cannot shy away from your marital responsibilities in the name of God. I bet God does not approve of that. Perform your bedroom duties and let love reign.
Do you live under the same roof with your spouse like two estranged partners and now you have no idea how you can turn things around? It absolutely doesn’t matter who started the fight and whose fault it is, right now you want to get him/her back and you can do it. I want to share a few tips with you on how you can get your loved one back into your arms!
1. Genesis: Reflect on how it all started, make notes of the causes, think of solutions and be willing to discuss it maturely.
2. Avoid argument: Even when you think you are right, let peace reign by listening more and saying less. Men love to be seen to be in control especially in the heat of an argument, consent there and then but find a more convenient time and avenue to further discuss the matter when tension might have died down. You will be amazed at the result.
3. You are not the same person I married: Remember it takes two to tango. Both of you will undergo changes in the course of the relationship. The success of every marriage depends on the partied involved, have it at the back of your mind that you cannot totally change your spouse no matter how hard you try. On the contrary, you both need to work on improving the status quo. Think back to the early days of the relationship and recapture those sweet moments, picture the image of that same person you married, the way you are now and find the missing link and improve on it. Whatever gave you the kick then than still be worked on.
4. Great Expectation: You probably expect too much from your spouse. You were looking forward to a perfect relationship where none existed. Every relationship has its own limitations. Come to think of it, we really can’t love everything about ourselves as individuals, we simply turn the other eye to our negative sides and try to work on it if we choose to while we project our positives. The same applies to our relationships, it’s all about management. You should be able to accommodate and look for a middle course rather than expecting too much that will constantly put you at loggerheads.
However, let your spouse know what he/she is not doing right without necessarily rubbing it in. Be matured about it without hurting his/her pride.
4. Accept your mistakes: Don’t always be on the defensive. Learn to accept your mistakes and strive to make a change. Make conscientious effort to work at correcting it even when its difficult for you. Remember your objective is to restore the shine in your life and be happy. Just remain humble!
5. Intimacy: The bedroom is the center of intimate activities. A lot goes on behind closed doors that remains strictly between couples. Excitement and romance are two key essentials in a relationship; a tense atmosphere cannot generate these two, avoid it if you can. Create sensation within the home, splash lovely perfume on your body before bedtime, put on a lovely lingerie, spread chocolate on your spouse and lick it off slowly (men crave for these outside so why not give him and let him scream for more). Try to fish out your soft spots and make the best of it. Remember, we all love adventure of any sort. Be creative!
6. Don’t compare: You had your choices before hooking up with your spouse, don’t wallow in regrets. Remember Beauty and the Beast? ‘I wish I had known’ could be very destructive to a relationship and for as long as you still chose to remain together forever, don’t over-flog your spouse’s weak points or personal attributes. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. You have the beast already, why not turn him/her to your angel. Happiness comes from within. You can make your spouse into that admirable creature you envy so much, where there’s a will, there’s way; invest in your happiness and you’d be better off for it.
7. Bonding: Be a family and not a living partner. Children may come into a relationship and gradually create gaps if care is not taken. Draw a line between your love for your husband and that of your children, don’t knock heads! Let the children know they cannot take your spouse’s place while your spouse cannot take their place. It’s all about understanding. Don’t spite your spouse to please your children or vice-versa, it sows discord. Remember you are one big happy family!
We all experience jealousy at one point or the other even within the nuclear family and especially in our love lives.Jealousy can bring relationship to an end before it started if not properly managed.
Jealousy could lead to an unpleasant experience for the chronically jealous partner who often misinterprete innocent actions. Avoid negative thoughts and doubts unless you have no confidence in your relationship or you simply do not trust your partner.
Learn to be disciplined enough to deal with jealousy maturely by taking the following steps to deal with your jealous partner.
1. Self Examination: Why do you often get jealous? You need to identify the cause that triggers your jealous attitude for you to be able to deal with it effectively. Think of a past scenario and examine what, if and why.
2. Emotional Outburst: Are you hot tempered or you simply pent up your emotions? Do you read meanings into every action and bottle them up for the doom’s day?
You need to learn how to manage your emotions to avoid unnecessary suspicion.Communication is the key word no matter how tough the issue is. Discuss like matured adults and not overgrown babies.
3. Do Not Assume: Assumption could wear the red label that triggers the gun powder.Always get to the root of matters before taking action. Get all necessary information before raising the dust. The ability to carry out research and look into why your partner took certain action and decisions would help to determine if your jealousy is warranted or baseless.
4. Forget Your Ego: We all have ego that can rear its ugly head sometimes but you have to ensure that you do not allow your ego to becloud your sense of reasoning. Your partner may express innocent appreciation of the opposite sex or a more successful friend or pal. Do not feel deflated, have confidence in yourself and walk tall, don’t stoop.
5. Do Not Create Avenue for Suspicion: Avoid cozy chats with the opposite sex especially when your spouse or partner is with you, its a tell tale sign and shows disrespect for the relationship at hand.
Watch out for text messages that can upsurge your relationship.
Avoid tell tale signs that can give you away and makes you tongue twisted like lipstick stains, love notes in the jacket or wallet, hotel bills for a weekend escapade, sexy gifts and many more.
6. Communication: Essentially the key to a jealous free relationship is Communication. Lay your cards on the table and avoid discreet affairs. Communication is the major driving force in any relationship. Talk about anything and everything. Avoid keeping ‘criminal silence'(as coined by my husband)over any suspicious matter. You may just be worsening the situation. Above all, both partners need be reasonable in dealing with jealous issues or any family issues at all.Do not give room for rumor mongers.
Food For Thought
Always remember that jealousy could be healthy in a relationship if properly managed and it could be a waste of precious moments if otherwise mismanaged.
It’s okay to let emotions fly once in a while but wouldn’t you rather savor fun filled relationship than watch over each other’s shoulders for tell tale signs?
Just learn to appreciate and respect one another and you are on the path to a blissful relationship.
I Will Do anything For You!
Does this phrase sound familiar? I bet it does. We all make promises on the lips without necessarily taking it to heart.
It could be fun at times listening to the young ones talk about proposing styles. The moment they get carried away by a lady’s beauty, they become completely different especially those who lack self control. The mind is obsessed with how wonderful she will be in bed. (Tell me it’s not true…). The intensity of the pursuit becomes intensified especially if the lady is playing hard to get. It suddenly becomes a do or die affair, the male ego is deflated if he does not succeed hence the pursuit.
Perhaps if the intention is genuine, it could be worth the effort but if it’s just to lay a babe and move on hmmn, I don’t know! Is it worth it chasing after something without any commitment towards sustenance. In the heat of this pursuit, they come up with all kinds of empty promises which may never see the light of day.
The beauty of a commitment is when you promise to do something, and you ensure it is done. Integrity is the watchword but how many people truly possess it in relationships. The euphoria of loving begins to thin out after your partner consents to the relationship. After all, you have won the chasing battle, but sustaining it becomes difficult. The commitment to make a relationship works I believe is more demanding than the chasing game. It is at this period that you begin to reflect on all the sweet nothings promised by your man and some may never happen.
Here are some tips to ponder over before committing yourself:
1. Love is the foundation encapsulating all other factors. Does it exist in the relationship?
2. Identify why you really want to remain in the relationship. What do you feel inside of you whenever you are together?
3. How is your relationship accepted amongst family and friends? (Unless you both agree it doesn’t matter).
4. Do you have phobia along the line that it may not work? Why? Think deep.
5. Are you bothered about something in the relationship like attitude, physical appearance or anything else that comes striking in your mind that you know you cannot change?
6. If a child is involved, what is the level of acceptance into the relationship?
7. Do you enjoy each other’s company so much that you want to spend the rest of your life doing all the sweet nothings that will make a success of it or simply tolerating each other?
We tend to overlook a lot of things when we are swept away in love but a trivial issue in a given relationship can mess up a lot of things. Therefore, before you get carried away with ‘I will do anything for you’ stuffs. Think deep and be convinced you are taking the right steps in the right direction. Remember, ‘true love is like a pair of socks, you got to have two and they got to match’.