Monday, June 4, 2007New Beginnings! What to do, What to do?
Alone again? Perhaps it's time to invent a new beginning. A little "solitary refinement" will help. You can do that most effectively by working on you; preparing for love. . . alone.
There is no shame in starting over.
How do you work on YOU? You begin by paying attention to what you need to be fulfilled as an individual. Focus on YOU! Self inquire!
Here are a few questions to help you get started. Are you happy? Sad? Disappointed in where you are in the relationship you have with yourself? Angry? Resentful? When you are alone, do you feel lonely? Are you always blaming others for what happens to you? Do you have regrets or guilt about the last relationship that didn't work out the way you had hoped it would? Do you know that something is missing in your life and you are not quite sure what it is? Are you always looking back?
Do you know what it feels like to live in the present; to really be present to what is going on? Do you know specifically what you NEED from a relationship? (Have you really ever thought seriously about that? Make a list.)
Are you feeling sorry for yourself? Do you continue to attract the same kind of people from one relationship to the next? Have you yet to reach a point where it becomes pointless to complain because you now know that relationships are what YOU make of them? Have you lost touch with the spiritual side of things?
Have you forgotten to be grateful for what you do have instead of feeling resentful for what you have lost? Do you know down deep inside that there must be something better?
These are just a few questions you can answer that will cause you to begin to understand that no matter how hopeless or how great things appear to be, they can always be better.
What else can you do? Get totally honest with yourself. Start holding yourself accountable for who you are in the matter; how you feel about the way things are. When you do, you will learn that it is time to stop blaming your former love partner and start taking full responsibility for YOUR share of the problems that caused the break-up in the first place.
Relationship problems are NEVER only one person's fault. If they affect you, the problems are shared problems. If you are together, you can work on them together. If you are alone again, you must work on them alone. Of course, you can choose not to, and there are consequences.
When you decide (and only WHEN you decide) to do something different, you must promise yourself (a promise you intend to keep) that you will do everything within your power to be happy instead of holding on to being right. In other words, discontinue justifying what doesn't work and begin to do something different.
Is there more you can do? Read good books about relationships that stimulate your thinking; that inspire you to a better way of living. Attend seminars and workshops, not just about relationships, but those that empower you to change the way you have been. That's the smart choice because the old way didn't work very well, did it?
This could also mean dropping a few of your loser friends. You know who they are. Hanging around people who bring you down does not support a healthy love relationship with you or anyone else. Become involved in a support group; one that supports you in being a better you; one that uplifts your spirit.
Begin to journal. Get honest with how you FEEL about things; how things "really are" instead of how you "think" they are. Write it all down. Be honest with yourself! Spend a lot of time thinking about what's happening right now, instead of dwelling on the past. There is no future in the past. Being concerned about something that has already happened; something you cannot change, keeps you stuck. To begin again; to really move ahead, you must work on YOU! Let go of the past.
What are the benefits of working on YOU? One of the rewards for working on you is that you begin to feel good about who you are! You begin to love you again! Not the self-centered love that distracts you from being loving to others, but a genuine love-of-self; the kind of love you can share with others.
Loving yourself for who you are causes you to feel like a whole person again. When this occurs, you may be ready for another relationship. . . when it shows up. Not before. Unless you work toward this magic moment, you may always continue to be disappointed with the relationships that show up in your life. Opposites do not attract. That's a myth. Remember, like attracts like. You attract to yourself that which you are. You always have. You always will.
If you cannot handle the most important relationship in your life - the one you have with yourself - then you will never be able to truly relate to a relationship with two people in it.
We spent so much of our time being concerned about the relationship we are in with someone else, that we forget about ourselves. This is called "losing yourself in the relationship." This can never be a healthy way of being.
Working on yourself takes discipline, determination and doing something different. For lasting change; the kind of change that makes a difference, you must "change your behavior."
The relationship we have with ourselves and the relationship we have with others takes intentional effort. This, we know is true: "We must work on relationships ALL THE TIME, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed!" Relationships should never become a struggle. They become a struggle when someone is not pulling their fair share of the load.
It is difficult to feel good about yourself, when you know you are letting your love partner down by not giving yourself your full attention. You take care of you - your partner does the same. It's difficult, if not impossible, to pay attention to the overall relationship unless you both know how to focus attention on yourselves first. Two broken people can't fix each other.
You only have the choice to fix you! To invent a new beginning, you must first acknowledge the problems that require solutions. To fix yourself, you must never stray from the path of self-discovery. You must always know where you stand with yourself. The only way you can do this is to be attentive to, and intentional about having the best relationship with yourself that is humanly possible.
When you are ready; when you have given yourself adequate time to prepare for love again. . . a relationship with someone else will be there. You will find each other.
Imagine the possibilities? Two whole, healthy people, together! Each feeling good about themselves; loving themselves and sharing that love with each other. Can you imagine both love partners working on the relationship they have with each other and supporting each other in their own personal growth?
If you believe it, really believe it, and make sure you are always doing the best you can to cause it to be this way. . . anything is possible!
What to do? Don't waste time. Begin again. . . now! Never stop working on YOU!
By Larry James
Suddenly, it's clear to you now. The relationship is over! What are you going to do now?
Caution: Don't complicate your life by beginning to date too soon after a break-up. How soon is "too soon?" That will depend upon the circumstances of the breakup. Rule of thumb: Six months or more.
"Or more?" you say. Yes! Six months or more!
When you cut your finger. It takes time for the wound to heal. If the sharp edge cuts to the bone, it may take longer. A thorough healing of a broken heart takes time too.
The biggest mistakes that newly singles can make are things that most singles refuse to believe and, as a result, they soon find themselves experiencing the same relationships as in the past. It is an even bigger mistake to not acknowledge that these colossal blunders really are mistakes. Some of you may have made these mistakes more than once.
I know from personal experience that if you will evade these avoidable errors in judgment, ALL of your relationships will work better.
The biggest mistake that newly singles make is getting involved with someone else before the hurts of the past have healed.
Two closely related mistakes include not taking full responsibility for their share of the problems that caused the breakup in the first place and making sure that those issues are complete before beginning again.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and over and expecting a different result. Knowing your heart needs healing and refusing to do anything about it doesn't help prepare you for the next relationship. It only prolongs the agony.
How can you avoid these mistakes? By living solo for awhile.
Before you can successfully get involved with and have a "healthy" love relationship with someone else, you must first get involved with yourself!
When it comes to analyzing yourself, don't be an ostrich. Get your head out of the sand and take a loooooong look at what you did that may have contributed to the break-up and promise yourself that you will make some changes "prior" to your next relationship.
The time of real personal growth is when you are alone. Singles should use this time to reflect on the behaviors they did and didn't like in their former partner. Create a "romantic résumé" that lists their positive points and what you are looking for in your next mate.
It's time to experience how it feels to stand on your own; taking care of you, paying special attention to who you need to become to attract a passionately monogamous, infidelity-free, fun in the bedroom relationship. You must learn to stand alone again before you can again stand together. . . side by side.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't date, it only means, that when you decide to date, you must resist the urge to become intimately involved with anyone else too soon. This is easier when you date lots of people. Don't grab the first one that comes along. Play the field. Make "having FUN" your only priority.
It requires a lot of effort to be in a healthy love relationship with someone else. You don't need to expend the additional energy it will take to do that AND work on fully recovering from your last relationship at the same time. That's just not smart. When you strain a muscle, good doctors will insist that you give it a rest if you want it to heal. That's smart. Give a monogamous, committed relationship with someone else a rest for now.
Broken relationships take time to heal. The relationship I am talking about is the broken relationship you have with yourself. Not only must you know this, you must acknowledge that there is a problem that needs repair before the healing can begin.
We seem to drift around, not knowing what to do, blaming our ex, our mother- in-law, the cat, everyone but the real culprit.
If you want to know what the problem is in your relationships, it's very simple. Look into the mirror. There it is! You must muster the courage to look the problem straight in the eye and declare your independence from it. It's time to take responsibility for who you are, what you do, how you think, who you date. . . everything.
The most important relationship to you right now is the one you have with you! Rebuilding a relationship with yourself must be your highest priority. This significant first step must occur before you can be who you need to be in another healthy love relationship with someone else. For the time being, spend lots of time working on preparing for love - the love that you will share with someone else in the future.
The problem with moving too quickly to the next relationship is that there needs to be a cooling off period; that time when you begin to look at the real problem and start making some new choices about shedding all of the baggage of the last relationship.
Reinvent a healthy relationship with you! Rediscover who you are! Take some time for yourself. Feel the pain. Acknowledge it. Feel it and know that it is only and always your choice to feel that way. Then do something different! In time, as you begin to acknowledge the mistakes you have made in the past and MOST important, accept responsibility for your share of the problem that caused the breakup, the hurts of the past will begin to heal.
If you also make a conscious decision to resolve not to allow those same problems to happen again, you will begin to feel better about yourself and the pain will ease. In time, you will look back and wonder how you could have let something like that happen to you. You will also wonder how you could have allowed yourself to feel the way you feel right now. You will look back in disappointment. You will be proud that you no longer will allow yourself to grovel in self pity and pain like you did in the past.
Part of the healing is acknowledging that there were indeed problems that you were responsible for. Knowing that is not enough. DOING something different is! For now, working on you is the first key to unlocking a future chock full of infinite possibilities. Whatever you want, wants you too.
It is now time to STOP blaming someone else for the misery you are creating for yourself. It's time to forgive them so the hurt will heal. Nothing is unforgivable. That is only and always your choice too.
The hurts won't heal until you will allow yourself to forgive.
I suppose the real question is: Just how long do you want to feel the way you feel right now?
If you think that he or she was solely responsible because of what they did or didn't do, then you are missing the point. It's time to let go of that and focus on taking full responsibility for the choices that are available to you right now. Blaming others will only and always keep you stuck right where you are.
It will take a new discipline to do this. Can you do it? You must understand that the pain you feel right now is only temporary. Medical science has yet to prove that anyone has ever died from a broken heart. Broken hearts can mend. It takes time and you must do the work. You can do it! And you will do it when the desire to feel better about yourself again becomes stronger than the benefits of holding on to a past that obviously didn't work.
It takes no strength to let go, only courage.
Let the healing begin.
Saturday, March 31, 2007Is Jealousy Destroying Your Relationship?
By: Michelle E. Vasquez, MS, LPC
Jealousy is a common problem that couples present when they go to counseling. When one partner chooses jealous behaviors, the dynamics of the relationship change. They are no longer a couple in an Adult Relationship. Now they are caught in a cycle of Investigator and Suspect. The Investigator spends an enormous amount of energy checking up on the Suspect, who may or may not be doing anything reprehensible. The Suspect spends time defending and explaining his/her behaviors. They are locked in a pattern which will destroy their relationship and they usually don’t what to do.
Both partners are miserable playing this game. The game is all about Control. "If I don’t check up on her, she'll make me look stupid" or "He'll make a fool of me." People who choose jealous behaviors may not realize that their behavior looks pretty silly or even crazy. Their partner didn't "make" them look stupid.
I was actually told by several women that "all men cheat." If this is your belief, you are probably an Investigator. Problem is: you have to sleep sometime. You can’t chain yourself to your partner. You have decided that you alone are capable of controlling your partner’s behavior. What’s more, it's your Job as his partner to keep him from cheating on you.
What a way to live your life, spending your time spying on each other! Trust is a decision. It’s not based on how the other person acts. If you choose to stay with a partner who is not trustworthy, you are doing so with your eyes open. If you are choosing jealousy without cause, you are doing so to control your partner.
The very things you do to control your partner are the things that will drive your partner away. Are you ready to try something different?
Keep in mind that jealous behavior is a choice you are making. It starts with your thoughts: I wonder where he is. She’s probably with someone right now. Why didn't he call me when he said he would? Why is she wearing that dress? Who was that woman who called him?
These thoughts lead to your behaviors, such as calling excessively (read, more than twice during work hours), listening in on phone conversations, checking phone lists and emails, interrogating your partner, and many other destructive behaviors.
You begin to feel awful after imagining all of the things your partner is doing (these are thoughts; you can change them). You can also change your behaviors if you choose to. If jealously is destroying your relationship, there is hope if you are willing to do the work.
First, if you're with someone who is trustworthy, you can change the thoughts that are plaguing you. Whenever you get those thoughts that start your heart racing, ask yourself the following questions:
What evidence is there that my thought is true?
What evidence is there that my thought is false?
What would someone else say about this thought?
What other explanation could there be?
After you answer these questions, decide what new course of action you will take based on this exercise. Repeat this as often as needed. Hopefully, you will soon find yourself feeling calmer and less ready to play the Investigator and Suspect game.
Article Source: http://activeauthors.com
Michelle E. Vásquez is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in San Antonio, TX. Visit www.michellevasquez.com for more tips and tools about relationship building and sign up for the free newsletter, Relationship Success, while you're there. Check out these blogs for more articles about relationships: languageofrelating.blogspot.com and awaresingle.blogspot.com.
By: Michelle E. Vasquez, MS, LPC
If you're convinced that you and your partner don't communicate, you may have tried many ways to improve your communication with each other, with poor results. You may think that telling him over and over will do the trick. You may believe that raising your voice will get her to listen. All that results is a shouting match that ends up in hurt feelings and silence, or worse.
You are, in fact, communicating. It's just not working like you want it to. Here is a list of ten ways to improve your interactions with your partner to increase your chances of a successful dialog with each other.
Try them out and be patient with yourselves as you begin this journey. Remember, Michael Jordan didn't become a professional basketball player in a day. It took years of work. So it is with relationships. You learn and work everyday to become the people you want to be, together. Enjoy the journey. It's worth it!
1. Ask to schedule a time to talk. Wait for an answer and thank your partner for agreeing to a time.
2. Set a time limit. This should be no more than an hour, and preferably 15 to 20 minutes. If your partner realizes that you honor her/his time, she will be more willing to do this again (and perhaps for longer next time).
3. Stick to one topic per conversation. This is easier to do if you set a time limit and stick to it. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming your partner. If you want to talk about another subject, ask your partner if it’s all right. If not, ask to schedule another time to talk.
4. Timing is everything: Pick a time when you are both well rested and calm. It's counter-productive to grab your partner as soon as he walks in the door or when she is tired.
5. Use Assertive Language. These are phrases like:
"I would like _____________."
"I don't like ____________."
"I would prefer ___________."
"I feel uncomfortable about ___________."
6. Request what you would like instead of demand. Use questions like:
"How would you feel about __________?"
"What do you think about ___________?"
"Would you be comfortable with __________?"
"Would you consider ____________?"
7. Accept "no" as a valid answer. Your partner has a right to disagree and to say no. When you choose to argue with a "no" answer, you’re saying that it’s not OK for your partner to disagree with you or to say no.
8. Ask for what you want, not what you don’t want. This may seem confusing, but if you're requesting that (not demanding) your partner change behaviors, express it in terms of what you want to happen:
"I would like to make the housework more even. I would like to see you do more ___________. What are you willing to do?"
9. Respect yourself and your partner. Beware of statements that begin with "you." Unless the words "are the most wonderful person in the world," come next, "you" statements often are blaming, labeling, critical statements.
10. Express your appreciation about the things you like that your partner does. Appreciation is the glue of relationships. Your partner will listen to you easier when you give large doses of appreciation on a regular basis. Caution: it won’t work if you only use appreciation when you’re trying to get something done ("I love how you wash the dishes so thoroughly. Oh, look, there’s a sink full now.")
Remember, these are guidelines to help improve your communication skills. They may seem stiff and artificial at first. Keep trying them out and you will develop your own, more effective style as you practice with the people you care about the most!
Article Source: http://activeauthors.com
Michelle E. Vasquez is a Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, TX. She has been in private practice since 2001. She specializes in working with couples with relationship difficulties. Michelle believes that self-growth is of primary importance, since it helps people get close to the people they care about the most. Check out her web site at www.michellevasquez.com and sign up for her free newsletter, Relationship Success, today.
By Kausik Dutta
All marriages will have communication problems once in a while. But when poor communication with your spouse becomes a chronic problem, all aspects of your life together can be affected. Read on for some simple communication techniques for common communication issues.
Speaking honestly and openly with your spouse may be the most important factor to effective communication. The lack of which may be one of the most basic causes behind conflicts. Before you start to blame your spouse for not being open and honest, take a look at your communication habits. Do you ever:
-Tell your spouse what you think they want to hear just to end the argument?
-Avoid bringing up an issue that’s important to you because it makes your spouse uncomfortable?
-Not ask for what you want directly, instead hoping that they will “figure it out?”
These are just a few of the common communication pitfalls that prevent honest and productive discussions from happening. By avoiding the real issues, for whatever the reason, you are not being honest with your spouse and you are cheating yourself from resolving the problem. Not only will this cause more problems in the future, but you will both feel unsatisfied and you can be sure the argument will surface again. Honest communication means discussing an issue with maturity and respect.
There is a difference between waiting for your spouse to make a point before you contradict it and actually trying to understand what they are saying. You can’t expect your spouse to take the time to listen to you if you don’t do the same for them. Encourage your spouse to open up to you – and understand that you may have to make the first move. Offering to let your spouse talk first while you listen may help them understand your commitment to a productive conversation. Give feedback as they talk and try to summarize what they have said to make sure you really understand where they are coming from. Your patience and understanding will pay off as they show you the same respect when it’s your turn to open up.
Once you’ve found what communication tactics work – use them. It may take a while to find out what methods work best, but I bet you already know what doesn’t work. Start with identifying those tactics that don’t get you anywhere; whether it’s be yelling, ignoring, or avoiding the issue. Talk with your spouse and make a resolution to identify and stop the unhealthy and unproductive communication tactics that are restricting you from effective, productive communication. And don’t be afraid to try new communication tactics. Marriage takes a lot of work and practice makes perfect.
For more information on effective communication and conflict resolution, visit http://www.marriagemax.com
About the author:
For more information on effective communication and conflict resolution, visit http://www.marriagemax.com
Article Source: http://www.Free-Articles-Zone.com
By Gina Michelle
DON'T SUFFOCATE YOUR MAN: I don't mean he should go out to the pub every night without you as this would not be fair to you, but men (and women) do need a certain amount of freedom.
ALWAYS KEEP A LITTLE OF YOURSELF BACK: A certain element of mystery keeps it fresh and is challenging. Let him have enough that he's secure, but not too much that you appear boring or too available!
TELL HIM YOU LOVE HIM AT LEAST ONCE A DAY: Men really are big babies on the whole, and it makes them feel special.
BODILY FUNCTIONS ARE A DEFINITE TURN-OFF: Passing wind and belching are very unattractive, and going to the toilet in front of your man really is not necessary. Sharing should not extend to these habits!
DON'T LET YOURSELF GO: This has nothing to do with weight or size - lets face it we come in all packages and who determines what's sexy and what's not. I'm talking about keeping yourself and your hair clean and presentable. This will not only make you feel better about yourself, but also shows that you still care enough to be bothered. You don't have to get all tarted up around the house, just make an effort to look nice and fresh.
BE SPONTANEOUS: Don't be afraid to try something new and exiting - find out your mans innermost sexual fantasies and surprise him - he'll love it and you'll probably enjoy it too. This really helps to keep things spicy.
BUY SOME REALLY SEXY LINGERIE: It will make you feel hot and sexy, and your man will find it irresistible! There are so many sexy and fun styles available on the market right now you'll be spoilt for choice. Look at some lingerie websites with your man - you can have fun choosing it together without subjecting him to the embarrassment of high street shops.
BE GOOD FRIENDS: Listen to each other, have fun and laugh a lot.
KEEP THE MOANING TO A MINIMUM: Moaning really infuriates men so if you have to, moan to your best friend instead.
SHOW AN INTEREST IN HIS HOBBIES: You don't have to take them up yourself, just appear to be interested!
Many thanks for reading - now go forth, apply my rules, and keep your man interested!! Or for those of you trying to get rid of him - just do the opposite!!
Monday, March 26, 2007How to Find Your Soulmate Now (Part Two - Conclusion)
In part one of this article, I mentioned that there are steps involved in finding your soulmate. These steps are what psychologists and relationship counsellors use to help their clients. To better understand how these steps work, it is essential to realize how the process works. It is not a mystery, if anything what I am about to share with you is something you do very often in your life at a subconscious level. The only difference is that now you will be aware of it consciously. Prior to deciding to undertake changes that will enhance your love life, you are motivated subconsciously by incentive. (What I mean by incentive is what you will gain by finding your soulmate.)
When you think about what you will gain by doing something, for example, if you were to buy a ticket and win the lottery, think of all the things you could buy. When you think about taking a chance and buying a lottery ticket, you are motivated to take action by imaging the outcome. Similarly, as you wonder what it would be like to find your soulmate, fall in love and achieve lasting happiness, this becomes your incentive. Your mind then begins to see and feel the end result even before you act. The end result of finding your soulmate could be elation, bliss, happiness, unconditional love and acceptance. When you think about the incentive, you are driven to act. Then the question becomes how do you go about acting in the right way? This is where the secrets to achieving your heart’s desire come in. This is achieved by setting goals. The goal setting secrets are as follows. At this point I would like you to pretend you are setting the goals right now.
Secret # 1: How would my life change if I were to find my soulmate?
Secret # 2: Where am I going to find the right information to help me find my soulmate?
Secret # 3: When I have used the information to achieve my desire, how will I feel?
Secret # 4: Where in my body and heart will I feel this feeling?
Secret # 5: How will my love life be different when I find my soulmate?
Secret # 6: How will those around me feel about my success?
Secret # 7: I will act right now so that I can find my heart’s desire.
As you can see, the steps are simple. I have simplified them so that you can facilitate the process of falling in love. The above steps are counselling secrets taught to counsellors and psychologists alike. They have been proven scientifically to work miracles. I am very honoured to have shared these secrets with you. I hope your love life blossoms and that you find your soulmate and achieve the unconditional love, safety and security that you want and deserve.
Article Source: http://activeauthors.com
Resource box ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ernest Quansah, P.C., L.S.C., is relationship counsellor, TV guest, and an author who specializes in love relationships. He received his counseling training at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He is the author of the book How to Identify Your Soulmate. His numerous articles on love relationships, the definition of soulmates, and relationship success have been published worldwide. For more information please visit www.soulmateinfoserve.com. Copyright © Ernest Quansah, 2006.