Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Love must be as much a light as it is a flame Henry David Thoreau

Successful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience — trial and error.

Here are 10 principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

  1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
  2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
  3. If you do what you always do, you will get the same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude, and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.
  4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.
  5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.
  6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth — i.e., someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.
  7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope — almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.
  8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” — when it feels good and when it doesn’t.
  9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges and bringing up the past. They remember that they married an imperfect person — and so did their spouse.
  10. A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

Today’s article was written by Mitch Temple and is shared from the following website: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/daily-living/keeping-romance-alive/ten-secrets-to-a-successful-marriage

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Love is a Choice: 30 Ways to Love in Action

Love is not what you say, love is what you do. Unknown

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen

I recently went with girlfriends to hear one of our favorite beach bands play. Since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, I talked a friend into taking me home early.

While walking to our car, we witnessed a couple fighting. There was no pushing or shoving.  Fists weren’t involved.  Bizarrely enough, this couple was on opposite sides of the parking lot having their fight over their cell phones.

Due to the volume of their voices, the fight was easy to follow. Apparently, she didn’t give a rip about anyone but herself (his point of view) and he was a control freak (her point of view). There was much discussion back and forth and the words weren’t very nice, so I’ll gloss over that. However, what struck me about that fight was how pointless it seemed.

Did that couple realize how lucky they were to have each other? I wanted to scream at both of them, “What if something tragic happened to one of you on the way home tonight—would this fight have been worth it?”

I see too many couples take their relationships for granted. They forget why they fell in love. They forget the dreams they had and the plans they made. They forget their promises and commitments. The “healthy” of their relationships is based on personal happiness, rather than doing what is best for the both of them.

Love is a choice, not a feeling or an emotion. It’s a decision you make every day of your life. Even when your mate doesn’t take out the trash, or spends too much time at the mall, or when your new haircut or outfit goes unnoticed, or when poor financial decisions set you back—you can still decide to love.

Love is for better or worse. And when you choose not to love, you’ve given up and given in.

It’s a decision you’ll regret.

Take it from a widow that wishes every day that she had her husband at home to leave the toilet seat up, or scatter Popsicle sticks and papers all around the couch, or smoke stinky cigars in the house, or forget to pay the bills or pick up the kids. All those imperfections about your mate are what you will miss the most when they are gone.

Choosing to love isn’t always easy, but it is worth the effort.  Here are some ways you can choose to love on a daily basis:

1. Let go of the little things. If you are truly honest, you’ll realize most of them are little things.

2. Give more than you take in your relationship.

3. Love without strings attached.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

5. Look at the world through your mate’s eyes. Seeing things from their perspective helps you better understand their actions and motivations.

6. Pay attention to your mate. Look at them and focus on what they are saying or doing.

7. Before you blame, examine yourself first.

8. Let it be okay that you don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.

9. Accept and celebrate your mate’s differences and uniqueness. Face it—you can’t change them, but you can change your attitude about their quirks.

10. Validate your mate’s feelings. Don’t try to “fix” their perspective or contradict them. Accept their feelings without judgment or correction.

11. Hold hands.

12. Work as a team. You are life mates, not roommates.

13. Be flexible with your mate. While consensus is always the goal, sometimes we have to bend to the other’s wishes.

14. Share your vulnerabilities and fears with your mate. A load carried by two is easier than one carried alone.

15. Be faithful to your mate, both emotionally and physically.

16. Don’t hide things from your mate. Trust is fragile—handle with care.

17. Send love notes—a card, text, voicemail, or message on a sticky note or the bathroom mirror will do.

18. Laugh.  A lot.

19. Speak respectfully of your mate. They like to hear you talk about them favorably in front of others, but it means even more when you talk glowingly about them when they aren’t around.

20. Encourage your mate to be the best person they can be. Support their hobbies, learning interests, and passions. Be their biggest fan.

21. Apologize. And mean it.

22. Forgive. And mean it.

23. Develop couple rituals that are known only to you. 

24. Work on goals and dreams together. Planning is half the joy.

25. Public displays of affection!

26. Say “yes” more often than “no.”

27. Appreciate the inner beauty of your mate.

28. Accept and love your mate’s family and friends.

29. Schedule time alone together, even if it’s just a walk around the block or drive in the country.

30. Love yourself. You can’t decide to love another until you can decide to love yourself.

Loving another person isn’t easy, and it can’t be based on feelings or emotions that fluctuate like the weather. Choose actions that show your love, and make the decision to do it every day.

Today’s article was written by Cynthia Hughes Lynch and is shared from the following website: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/love-is-a-choice-30-ways-to-love-in-action/

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The Effects of Your Positive Words

 

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. Zig Ziglar

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
— W. H. Auden

Water… we are surrounded by it. It drops on us from clouds as rain. We bathe in water and we use water for cleansing everything. Oceans, rivers, lakes… they all consist of a large quantity of water. Most of the time we take water for granted. We drink it, we waste it but the main problem is we do not realize water is more than just water. Water is so much more than we think and in this article, we will talk about the importance of water and the connection between water and positive words.

Positive vs. Negative

Did you know one positive word can change water’s structure? There is proof. A Japanese scientist named Masaru Emoto made a series of tests and discovered some very interesting results. Emoto realized both positive and negative words can have an influence on water’s structure by changing water’s crystals. During his study of water, Emoto came to some fascinating revelations. He came to a belief that water was the so-called ‘’blueprint of our reality’’ and our emotional energy and vibrations can change the physical structure of water. Emoto’s tests mostly consisted of putting water in glasses and then exposing it to different words, pictures, and music and then freezing it and analyzing how water crystals look. And through his research and analysis, he came to the conclusion that if we “influence” water with positive words, pictures, or music that water crystals will be nicely formed. On the other hand, if one puts water near negative influences, such as saying negative words, or if you turn on some loud heavy metal music then the results would be the total opposite. Those water crystals will be distorted and formed in an ugly and negative formation.

What Emoto also believed is water from different sources will have different crystal formations by default. This means water from a mountain stream will have a different molecular structure than water from our homes.

Differences in the appearance of water crystals through different influences are visible in Emoto’s photographs. Positive words created nicely shaped crystals, while negative words created ugly, disease-like crystals making water appear dirty and sick.

Also, water crystals looked different when influenced with different genre of music. Water reacts differently when, for example, playing soft melodies of Mozart versus strong and aggressive sounds of heavy metal.

Say Positive Words to People Around You!

Above, we read how Dr. Emoto discovered how water reacts differently when influenced by both positive and negative influences.

But what happens with us when we are influenced by both positive and negative things? Do we react the same way water reacts? Does our molecule structure also change when someone says something nice to us?

The answer for that is simply — yes.

Humans are 60 percent made of water and as such we are also prone to changes. Our molecule structure also changes when influenced by different words, music, movies, scenes of violence (or love), etc.

If a person is positive, cheerful and optimistic, it can change how other persons around him or she will feel. That person can, just by being close to others, spread positive energy. There are many real-life proofs that being positive (just like negativity) spreads and it’s the same with positive and negative words (words of gratitude, affection, complimenting words), music and songs that spread positivity, even nice pictures. The water in us reacts to those positive things and because of that, we need to say positive words to other people around us, our family, our lovers, our coworkers. Your positive words will make everyone feel better. After all, positivity is something that all of us need.

So, next time when you want to say something to someone, think for a second or two. Because even one word or one sentence can influence another person for life. Be careful about the words that are coming out of your mouth.

You can make one person’s day just by saying thank you and saying some complimentary words or words of appreciation. Always do your best to be positive and to stay positive, because there is always something nice and beautiful you can be thankful for today. And before you know it, the feeling of joy will spread, bringing a smile and that spark of life to others.

And that is something all of us should do.

Today’s article was written by Mehdi Toozhy and is shared from the following website: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mehdi-toozhy/the-effects-of-your-posit_b_9557912.html

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You Can Do More Than You Think

There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do Henry Ford

“If you’re going to doubt something, doubt your own limits.” -Don Ward

There’s a Saturday Night Live sketch that features Kenan Thompson as a middle school student with a broken knee. Scarlett Johansson and his other classmates repeatedly convince him to attempt walking, quoting a teacher who frequently lectures on the power of positive thinking. Despite their promises that anything is possible, he repeatedly falls flat on his face.

I loved this sketch, not because of some schadenfreude-induced need to see children crying. I love it because it reminds me of the many times I’ve seen comments on blog posts about possibilities, where people cite things that are obviously not possible.

While we can do a lot in life, running on a leg that you just broke is not (currently) medically possible. Flapping your arms and flying like a bird is just not possible. Turning your horse into a unicorn is just not possible. And switching bodies with your best friend, though commonly seen in movies, is just not possible.

Now that we got that out of the way, we can focus on the many difficult things that are, in fact, possible, despite what people once thought.

It is possible to run a 4-minute mile. It is possible to fly a heavier-than-air plane. It is possible for a person to walk on the moon. It is possible to perform a full-face transplant. It is possible for an African American man to become the President of the United States.

People do “impossible” things every day. If we believe in ourselves and take smart risks, we can, too.

You might not be able to leave your job tomorrow, but you can discover your passion and start a business. You may not be able to win a Webby Award tomorrow, but you can create a site that makes a difference in the world. You might not be able to change that you have a physical limitation, but you can find a way to empower yourself because of it, not in spite of it.

Today if you find yourself dwelling on what’s possible, remind yourself: You can do more than you think if you’re willing to stop making excuses and start testing your limits.

Today’s article was written by Lori Deschene. Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Today’s article was shared from the following website: https://tinybuddha.com/quotes/tiny-wisdom-you-can-do-more-than-you-think/

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Why Forgiveness Will Change Your Life

Forgiveness is the essence of freedom. It will free you from your past; it will free you for your future. It will free up space within you to create the life and the love you really want. (I’m talkin really, really want.)

In this post, I’m going to talk about what forgiveness really is, why it’s so important, and how to make it happen. If you’re interested in changing your life, keep reading.

Most of us are under the misconception that forgiveness is about the other person. I definitely used to think this way. I thought, “They are going to come to their senses about how they have harmed me, and then they are going to come crawling back, and then maybe I’ll forgive them!” (said with a sneer and a really ugly look on my face).

Of course, that’s what I thought before I knew better, because I was listening to my ego. Thankfully, I now understand the truth about forgiveness.

The reality is that it starts and ends with you. It has very little to do with the other person. 

I know—this is hard to understand at first. But here’s the deal: what we hold onto within ourselves dictates our reality. Holding a resentment is like holding yourself hostage. Only you can release the prisoner, and (reality check) YOU are the prisoner.

We choose to forgive when we decide it’s more important to be happy than to be right. We choose to forgive when we decide we are ready to let ourselves be free.

I know this is provocative stuff. You might be thinking, “But wait, I was really, really wronged!”

And you’re right, you probably were.

Forgiveness is not about denying what was done to you. Quite the contrary, actually.

Forgiveness is about feeling the hurt, the pain, and the anger about what happened to you, and even amid all those feelings, making a choice to forgive. 

Forgiveness is a decision.

Well, why is forgiveness a decision you’d want to make? Because unresolved resentments dictate our lives.

One more time, because it’s that important that you understand this statement: resentments dictate our lives.

When we hang on to resentments we can’t escape them–we may escape the people who triggered them, but unfortunately the feelings we’re running from will make their way back into our new relationships. It’s an infuriating process!

We often think the answer is outside of us–if we just found the “right” person we wouldn’t feel the pain we’ve felt in other relationships.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the truth is that what you hold onto internally is going to show up in front of you. Resentments included. That’s the bad news.

The good news is: forgiveness is how you let it all go.

Forgiveness has the power to transform all of your relationships. (Seriously, this is powerful stuff). You can forgive anyone, and you might want to think about forgiving everyone.

But let’s start small. Choose someone you are resenting and go through these steps. See what happens. Be open to a transformation. If it works–if you actually let your harsh feelings go–your whole world can change. So why not give it a shot?

Here is a mini-guide of what to do:

Step 1: Become Willing to Forgive. 

Willingness means that you are open to the possibility of forgiving. You are OPEN to it. It is a possibility. It does not mean that all of the sudden, you’re over it. It does not mean you erase the past (which is actually just stuffing it into the unconscious—we already know this is a big no-no).

It just means that you consciously create within your mind (and heart) a space for the possibility of a new reality—the reality that you are no longer resentful; a reality that you have forgiven.

Step 2: Bring Your Resentments to the Surface. 

Ask yourself, “Why am I angry?” Clearly pinpoint the feelings you are holding. You might want to make a list—how have you felt wronged or victimized? Just get clear.

Step 3: Distinguishing Soul from Ego. 

This step is all about recognizing that we are all essentially good people who’ve been hurt, and because of this, we make mistakes and hurt others.

We have a true self, which is our inherent goodness (Soul), and a wounded self, which operates from fear (ego). It is your wounded self, not your true self, that hurts other people. This is true for everyone.

When we operate from our wounded self (out of fear and hurt), we hurt other people. And we’ve all hurt other people! Many of us have hurt people that we really love! This doesn’t happen because we’re bad. This doesn’t happen because we are flawed, or less-than, or just plain f-ed up!

It happens because we’re also hurt! And the same goes for anyone who has hurt you too. Anyone who hurts others is also hurting. Does this make it ok? Of course not! But it’s true, so it’s better to recognize it as a reality rather than staying caught in the illusion that certain people are evil.

Viewing others as “bad” calls for justification of anger and resentment; viewing others as wounded calls for compassion.

(Again, this isn’t easy, but it’s true.)

Step 4: Look at Your Part. 

It’s time to look at your part and to take some personal responsibility. Ask yourself, “How have I brought pain to this person or situation? How have I done a similar thing that was done to me?” This can be hard to do, but it is so important.

Getting honest about your part in the situation is essential. Your part may be that you’ve done something similar to what was done to you (this is often the case, especially in our adult relationships).

Or your part may be that you’ve held onto your own anger and hatred against a certain person for a long time. (This might be the case for things that happened to you when you were young.)

Get as honest as you can. Go down your list, look at the specific things you listed, and ask yourself “Have I done a similar thing?” You might be surprised at what you find.

Step 5: Surrender. 

Now you’ve done all the dirty work and it’s time to let your feelings change on their own time. All of the steps above will guide you towards a shift.

I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take, but I can tell you that if you intend for it to happen, it will. If you can, spend a few minutes each day going through these steps and see what changes.

You will forgive.

And when you do, everything else will change for you too.

Today’s article was written by Shelly Bullard and is shared from the following website: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6522/Why-Forgiveness-Will-Change-Your-Life.html

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