Putting Romance Back Into Your Marriage

by: Mark McAuley

Let me start by saying I am not a psycholigist or therapist, I am just a guy, who was married for 16 years, until that ended about a year and a half ago. I am now in a new and exciting relationship, which I believe will work out great. I am forty years old and just speaking from experience. Hopefully these tips I give you will spice up your love life again.

Often times in a marriage or long-term relationship, couples tend to fall into a routine. What maybe started out as a very romantic relationship, begins to slow down as bills, children, work and all the pressures of life conspire to give us stress and lead us away from what is really important.

I would venture to guess that most divorces stem from this problem. You see each other As a business partner, parenting partner, chore partner. But not so much as a lover. You have to drive the kids here and there, while your partner is getting the groceries. There is always something to do,and it usually does not include being alone with your partner.

Every once in a while you remember what it was like in the beginning, and think why can’t it be like that again. By the way, both sexes think this, the problem is they only think it, and usually don’t talk about it.

When the kids are small, I know it isn’t as easy to make time for each other, but the most important thing you can do for your marriage is to MAKE time. If that means getting grandma and grandpa to watch the kids overnight, or splurging on a babysitter once a week, it would be the best investment you could make in your marriage.

If you could get away with your partner for a date night once a week, you won’t regret it. Whether going out for dinner, or a movie, or a long walk together, it will bring the two of you closer together. Plus, getting away from the kids is a great stress reliever.

Then when you get back home, still with no kids around, a great way to spice things up in the bedroom, is with lingerie. It may sound cliché, but it really works. Think about it ladies, your partner sees you all week as a mom, housekeeper, breadwinner. The last thing he is thinking of you as, is a bedroom goddess. Believe me, if you come home after a nice night out, and you go upstairs and put on a beautiful piece of lingerie, a nice teddy, or corset, body stocking, or bustier, you’re partner will definitely be put into the mood.

It will make him see you as he used to see you. More than a mom, etc. After all, isn’t that what you want?

But, don’t stop there. A great way to spice things up is to try things you never tried before. That could be something as simple as bringing some food into the mix, you know strawberries, whip cream, things like that. Then, there is always the massage, everybody loves a massage with warm oil. Just the fact you are doing things differently will really help spice things up. We all know that we fall into a routine in the bedroom after a while. The only cure for that is to change things around.

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Listening Skills For the Happily Married – 7 Ways to Improve Your Relationships Without Saying Much


By Stephanie Chupein

Almost all couples come into counseling and report poor communication with their loved one. They are usually not looking for someone to just hear their words or listen absently, but to share their experience, their view of world. This sharing of experience validates their existence and their value. “The first duty of love is to listen” (Paul Tillich). When we feel truly listened to, validated, our spirit soars and we can relax or grow or change or be.

A lack of true and intimate communication can lead to loneliness, a sense of isolation and ultimately anger at the person we hold dearest. It cuts to our core need for connection, to be known as we are.

“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.”

Sue Patton Thoele

However, we don’t converse in ways that allow this to happen. We are trained to converse from an adversarial position. Many things get in the way. Our own thoughts and agenda, assumptions and preconceived ideas, and our own emotional reactivity to what our partner is saying can block our ability to truly hear what is being said.

Here are some tips to improve your ability to listen to your partner. What you get in return will be a more satisfying and open relationship.

1. Make eye contact. The words we use to express our views are only a small percentage of communication. To send a message to your partner that you are truly paying attention, make eye contact. Lean into them, soften your facial expression, and keep your body stance open and non-judgmental.

2. Focus on what is being said and its underlying meaning. Good listeners do not spend their listening time preparing their defense or trying to correct what is being said. Good listeners first attempt to hear the words and then the underlying meaning of what is being said, even when they may disagree with the content. Steven Covey says, “seek first to understand” what your partner is saying. This is easier said than done because it calls for you to suspend your own needs and focus on the needs of your partner. It calls for you to temporarily put your need to correct the facts, defend yourself, or judge your partner’s statements aside while you focus on understanding.

3. Mirror and validate what is being expressed. Mirroring your partner’s facial expressions, body language, and words is part of the reciprocal nature of a conversation. It is almost a dance that lets your partner know you understand what is being said. The ultimate in mirroring occurs when a healthy parent is responding to an infant. They mimic the child’s facial expressions, noises, and emotions, letting the child know he or she is not alone. Through this process, the infant can grow and develop. It is the same with your partner. You can each grow and develop through the process of providing an empathic ear to one another. When you validate you respect what is being said and ultimately felt, even if you may not agree with the content.

4. Manage your reactions. Strong reactions to your partner usually result from a disagreement in what is being stated. You may become emotionally reactive because they said something that you experienced as hurtful, fearful, or shameful. However, understanding, compromise, and resolution cannot result until each party is heard and understood. This goes back to a temporary suspension of your own needs and if only for a few moments, existing only for your partner. Your turn will come, but if that is your primary focus, you will not extend an empathic ear and will ultimately not “get” your partner.

5. Avoid making assumptions. Even couples that are just learning to communicate often make assumptions about what the other will say. Maybe this is a result of earlier hurtful experiences, but making assumptions cuts your partner off and does not allow them to fully express themselves. Even if you do know what your partner will say, he or she needs to say it.

6. Empathy, empathy, empathy. Empathy is the ability to experience the emotional content of another human being. Ron Shaffer describes empathy as “the inner experience of sharing in and comprehending the momentary psychological state of another person. By accepting your partner’s feelings in a nonjudgmental manner, you will create an open and safe environment. For true intimacy to occur, a safe environment in which to be heard must exist engaged between couples. Empathy is the basis for growth and change. It is what a mother provides her infant daughter; it is what a therapist provides his client; and it is the element that allows us to grow and change. Empathy is transformative.

7. Be polite and kind. Rather then shining light on your partner’s weaknesses, focus on his or her strengths. Be gentle with weaknesses, and sometimes they melt away. Focusing on weaknesses strengthens them and leads to bitterness and anger. Avoid interruptions, negative facial expressions, and giving only partial attention. Treat your partner in the ways you would like to be treated – with respect and dignity.

The transformative nature of good listening can be an amazing aspect of a healthy relationship. We are drawn to and keep people close who make us feel worthy, valuable, and understood. These skills will enhance not only your primary relationship, but also your relationship with your children and co-workers.

STEPHANIE C. CHUPEIN, M.Ed.

LICENSED CLINICAL MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST 8288 Telegraph Road, Suite A Odenton, MD 21113 443-909-0013 stephanie.chupein@comcast.net

http://www.sc-mft.com

http://buildingcompassionaterelationships.blogspot.com

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Sex After Kids? How New Moms Can Keep Romance Alive


x After Kids? How New Moms Can Keep Romance Alive
by Arlene Pellicane

It’s the end of the day…finally. You’re lying in bed exhausted next to your husband. You can guess what happens next. Nothing! You’re too tired to think about sex, much less have it.

Sex can be the last thing on your mind when you’ve got a baby to feed, groceries to buy, diapers to change, and clothes to wash. But for your husband, sex is probably much higher on the priority list. So what can you do to keep the home fires burning and also keep yourself from burning out?

1. Connect emotionally each day with your husband. Spend a few minutes talking about your day, the kind of talking you used to do before kids came into the picture. You may not have time for long hand-in-hand strolls, but you can spend 5 minutes talking about what’s on your heart. When you feel connected emotionally to your husband, it’s much easier to think of sex.

2. Schedule times for intimacy. It may not sound very sexy or spontaneous, but you actually have to put lovemaking on the calendar. This way, you can prepare yourself and plan your day accordingly. It will give you and your husband something to look forward to.

3. Plan a yearly getaway. Whether it’s for your anniversary, a birthday, or another special occasion, set a time when you spend one night together without the kids. Take time to enjoy each other and communicate your love for your husband physically.

Remember that making love is a gift, not a chore. This thought doesn’t come naturally many days when you’re tired and feeling maxed out. But as you give love to your husband, you’ll receive so much love in return.

Today’s action step: Ask your husband what you can do to sexually satisfy him. Schedule a play date with him in your calendar.

Arlene Pellicane, mother of a toddler and infant, helps women lose their baby weight and thrive as wives and mothers. Her weekly podcast “Losing Weight After Baby” is full of practical ideas that work for busy moms. An everyday mom herself, you can visit Arlene’s website for free articles and exercises at http://www.losingweightafterbaby.com

Article Source: WAHM Articles

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Marriage: 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Break It Off

Marriage: 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Break It Off

By Angie Lewis



In this article I have identified seven triggers in marriage that are often used for justification for divorce, but really, none of these seven things warrant divorce or provide any validation what so ever for divorce.

1. Sexless marriage.

We don’t want sex because we have lost touch with our spouse; essentially the bond that was there has been broken. When we spend too much time towards outside interests and wanting to be with friends we don’t feel like getting sexy or even having sex with our spouse!

Marriage needs attention! But we’re giving that attention to our friends. It’s true, woman usually give marriage the most attention, but we women are also more conscious of what needs our attention and consideration in the home.

Face it, we women are more aware than men, and that is why God’s specifically designed women to be in the home taking care of EVERYTHING instead of the man.

This is precisely why you should NOT break it off. You obviously need to spend more time together and get reacquainted like when you first married. You can’t do that if you are ignoring your spouse.

If your marriage is sexless or you are having sex infrequently it is time to bring romance back into the bedroom. You know what to do.

2. You constantly criticize your spouse

If we often criticize and nag it is because we are expecting too much from our spouse, and when things don’t get done at the designated time, or in the exact way we would do it, we criticize and complain.

Faults become more apparent when expectations don’t get met. We criticize our spouse because we blame them for the disarray of the marriage. We notice all their faults, feel all their faults, and live all their faults. Essentially we are living in our spouse’s faults. No wonder we constantly criticize.

We are too connected to the faults of our spouse, and so disconnected from the relationship of marriage!

Hectic schedules can often make us come across as naggy and critical. It’s because we’re so stressed out! We want things done and think if we nag about it, it will get done. We’re so busy that we don’t have time to deal with the children, chores, cooking, career, and household.

It is perfectly ok to delegate chores around the house to help lighten the load a bit. But what really needs to be done is to back off with the criticism and let our spouse be who they are.

This is all the more reason why we shouldn’t break it off. Now is the perfect time to learn to accept our spouse for the way they are and stop trying to change things that we can’t!

God certainly does not like that we criticize and disrespect who we married, and so the first action here would be to look at our self and see what it is that WE can do to change the situation to bring less negative attention towards our spouse.

3. You compare your spouse to others and you THINK your spouse never measures up.

Comparing is wrong. When you compare in a negative way you are essentially telling your spouse that they aren’t good enough for you. It can lead to a poor self-esteem in the long run and leads to peer pressure type thinking where you spouse may feel they need to continually challenge the person they are being compared to so he or she can prove they are better in some way.

But this is a fallacy of wrong thinking taking over in how you perceive your spouse to be. Everyone is different and as long as you continue to compare two people that are different, and expect him or her to be the same it will never happen. Your expectations once again will not be met and disappointment sets in.

Don’t compare your spouse to other people. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. People are beautiful in their own way.

4. You try to change your spouse and it doesn’t work.

Try this for a change. As a self help technique, have your spouse write down YOUR bad habits, and the things that irritate him or her about you. Read them, study them, and change yourself! Reality check!

5. You don’t laugh anymore and it is impossible to have a lighthearted conversation.

Couples don’t laugh anymore because of all of the above. Marriage needs attention. Marriage needs fun and games brought into it now and again. What are you waiting for?

6. You THINK you are doing all the giving.

Are you keeping score! I know, lets play Santa!

Let’s pretend we’re Santa Clause. Now lets check our list to see who has been naughty or nice. If my spouse has been nice to me this week, I will give them a present, but if they we’re naughty, just forget it.

Children all over the world are growing up understanding all about how to give conditional love, and when they get married they can treat their own spouse conditionally like Santa did to them.

“No Dear, I’m not going to have sex with you tonight, you were mean to me all day today. Maybe tomorrow, if you’re nicer to me.” Comedy shows like to depict this kind of behavior has being funny. This conditional sex-love dilemma in marriage is all about learning to give of your self even when you don’t want to.

Couples love selfishly because they do not have the knowledge to love properly. They love the way they have been taught to love. It is a conditioned and learned experience.

What is love?

It’s not lust that’s for sure! Lust frequently gets confused with love in the beginning stages of a romance and marriage, but all lust really is, is being rapt in the novelty of a new relationship that brings with it feelings of euphoria.

Lust is a sexual thing, while love is not. You can still love someone and not have sex with them.

Love sometimes takes years to develop. Love is a process of learning through your own spiritual and mental growth, and then giving of you self, whatever that might be, even when you don’t want to. It is a practice in remembering of sorts to take action in those areas in your life that are, or should be important to you.

Bottom line, love is a development of ones self through the growing process, and then learning to practice that love to those who are important to you. It is a continual growing process that you learn to develop with time.

To give is to love, and to love is to give. Giving can only come from a heart and mind that is free of selfish precedents and self-seeking based love. This involves not just surrendering sinful and selfish ways over to God, but allowing the Spiritual Christ into your heart and mind for emotional, and spiritual support.

Without God’s support in the marriage, couples are essentially utilizing their self-seeking love in the marriage, which in the long run cannot sustain a healthy and productive marriage.

7. You no longer feel good about yourself.

You don’t feel good about your self, because you do not know your self.

Low self-worth, depression and loneliness usually mean that we are not doing something in our life that we know we should be doing. We are not using all of our abilities to come to our potential. If we are living in a particular sin in our life and feel like we can’t get out, that will keep us from coming to our full potential in marriage.

Unfortunately when this happens in marriage, we tend to be overly needy with our spouse, believing that they should make us FEEL happy and good about our self.

But is that the responsibility of our spouse?

It is God that frees us from the weakness of sin. If we are living in sin, then we are not loving our self. If we don’t feel good about ourselves, we certainly cannot love others. Resent-filled hearts cannot love, it is impossible.

If we are living in our negative feelings, which many people do, we will not know the fulfillment of knowing what “real love” is.

Surrendering our guilt, resentment, angry feelings, and sin to God will free us from behaving selfishly and rebelliously toward our spouse in the marriage. Essentially it is when we let go of the hate in us that we learn to love.

Here is how it works, we give up the weakness that has been taking over our life, and we finally grow spiritually into a new person in Christ. That is when we learn to love who we are, and also loving others freely without negative feelings tearing at our flesh.

This issue is the root to all of the above issues. This is why I stress constantly in all of my articles, newsletters, and books, “to take care of your self first”.

That is the challenge most of us face on a daily basis, whether it be in our marriage or other relationships with people. If WE our in need of life, we certainly cannot give life to another.

Remember that none of these issues warrant breaking it off, they do warrant though, putting forth more effort in those areas that need our attention.

And these are the 7 reasons why you shouldn’t break it off. Your marriage needs attention!

Angie Lewis, author of new release, Journey on the Roads Less Traveled, a book about love, life and marriage. http://www.spiritual.journeybooks.4t.com/

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Understanding Why Marriages Fail Can Save Yours

Understanding Why Marriages Fail Can Save Yours

By Gregg Hall


Today about half of all marriages end in divorce with many of those not even making it to the first anniversary. We can discover the reasons these marriages failed and use that information to safeguard our own marriages. Some of the biggest issues that cause failed marriages are poor communication, arguments over financial issues, and even how and why the marriage took place to begin with.

In every relationship the ability to communicate is essential and marriage is no different. If the partners in a marriage close off to each other instead of working to resolve conflicts the problems just continue to grow larger under the surface until one or both partners explode. It is important to the success of the marriage to be able to talk to each other about dreams, hopes, and fears and feel safe about it. The bible says that “the two become one” in marriage. It is impossible for this to happen without good communication. It takes two to make a marriage work and if communication is an issue then both partners must agree to fix it.

Many couples enter into new marriages with financial problems. These problems can be anything from credit card debt to bankruptcy or even simply just not earning enough money. It is crucial that couples be honest with each other when it comes to financial matters. Almost nothing can throw cold water on a marriage faster than finding out one’s spouse has hidden major financial problems from their partner. If you don’t have a rock solid agreement to be open with each other in this area it can destroy your marriage quickly.

Another big issue is how the marriage came about in the first place. If someone feels forced into a marriage it can cause resentment that leads to the end of the marriage. For example if you get married just because of pregnancy or pressure from relatives that is not the right reason to be married. I have heard it said that you shouldn’t marry someone you can live with, but rather someone you can’t live without. I think that is a good standard to use. Ask yourself, “Can I really live without this person?”

Getting married too young can be a big factor in the failure of a marriage as well. It is far better to sow your wild oats and also get yourself straight financially than to rush into marriage in your teens or early twenties. Take the time to mature and know who you are before you try to share with someone else.

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p style=”text-align: justify;”>Gregg Hall is a consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Enhance your relationship with sexy lingerie at http://www.lingerie-plus-more.com

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My True LOVE -final chapter

My True LOVE -final chapter

2008 02 14 V day 2008 023

Then I got a call from my long forgotten teenage sweetheart. She was married and had two children. It was clear she wanted to rekindle our romance. She wanted to meet, but I refused.”I can’t forget you,” she said.”I think about you every day.”

Suddenly,everything became clear this was exactly how I felt about Khin Khin. I had spent my entire married life dreaming about my first love,even though she didn’t love me. In a way, thinking about her had become my daily meditation. Fortunately, there was still time to change.

Nwe Nwe and I had been together 25 years. Had I neglected our marriage for that long? As I became more thoughtful towards her, I realized that our marital disharmony had calmed down. we no longer disagreed about so many things, and hostilities between my wife and my mother had eased.

We started to open up to each other.One night in bed, Nwe Nwe touched my hand and said,”your hands are soft and smooth.But mine are not, you see ?”

It was true.Her pals were coarse and her fingers were calloused, the result of decade of housework.I was filled with regret that I hadn’t done more to care for her.

I finally began showing her the love she deserved. On her birthdays, which she had long stopped remembering, I started buying her gifts.Whenever I traveled to Rangoon, I would return with kimono and other clothes for her.

I have finally woken up from the dreams of my first love. I no longer dwell on the past.Instead, i focus on a meaningful present and I am helping to build a prosperous future for our children.

I am sure that I will eventually fulfil my dream of returning to my old university and to the hospital where I was an intern. But it will be with my family. It will be my pleasure to introduce this part of my life to my dear wife and long-neglected children. Although my youthful dreams will never come true, I am finally satisfied with what I have.

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