Sep 21, 2013

The Emotional Stages of Divorce

It's unfortunate when married couples get a divorce. It affects not only the immediate family members involved, but family and friends around them as well. Depending on how the couple deals with this can help or hurt the situation a great deal. There are various stages one may go through before or during a divorce. Reading about them here could help in realizing what is going on inside and help a person to cope with all the emotions that may come up.

Disbelief, Denial and Shock

You realize things have not been going well for a while, but you never thought it was this bad, to actually have to get a divorce over. Maybe you haven't even tried couples counseling yet, so you are in shock. The worst is when a spouse has had an on going affair for an extended period of time and now wants a divorce. How could they do that to you?

Anger or Fear

At this point you could be very angry for various reasons, as mentioned above, or you could be in fear of not knowing what will happen in the future. If you have anger issues, be mindful of them and try not to do anything you may regret later.

Emotions and Depression

Now you are getting very emotional and wondering where it all started to go wrong. You may try to think about things that happened in the past and where you could have done something different or said something else. You may start to realize it is a lost cause and start to feel depressed.

Begging and Bargaining

You may be asking your spouse if there is any way the two of you can fix this. You may even be begging to try couples counseling or asking if there is something you can do to save the marriage.

Release and Letting Go

Now you are slowly releasing the anger and resentment you may have felt and starting to let go of all those negative emotions. You realize both parties play some role when a marriage ends in divorce.

Acceptance and Moving On

You now accept the inevitable and are able to look to the future and start to make plans. You realize life must go on, even if it isn't the way you planned it.

Hopefully you will have a friend or family member that will help you both while you go through these stages, so that you can deal with them in a mature manner and have an amicable divorce. "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"

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Sep 20, 2013

When Should You Say, "I Do" ?

After two years of romancing your partner you sense it's time to “tie the knot”.

You see that marriage has its benefits, as well as its downfalls, and it seems easier to resolve the differences along the way, rather than to evaluate the pitfalls ahead of time.

Beyond the roses and wedding cake is the “forever” of marriage. After the wedding day has come and gone, you are left with the task of building a relationship with your partner.

How will you know if you and your partner are both ready for a lifelong commitment?

Here are some tips that will help you identify whether you and your partner are ready for marriage – or whether you should end the relationship and seek another.

1. How well do you communicate together?

There are several levels of communication, from shallow chit-chat to deep “under the surface” communication. To understand how well your partner communicates, look for situations where he or she is under pressure, even if you have not ever had troubles together. The way your partner handles issues of anger will reveal the real heart of their character.

If they are able to clearly communicate to an aggressive person without becoming angry or aggressive themselves, you may safely trust that they have specialized communication skills which are suitable for marriage.

2. What are your common interests?

Marriage survival experts indicate that having a set of common interests outside the bedroom assists you with your relationship, as it helps you to have fun together. These interests strengthen your relationship and add flair to life.

If your interests are too wide apart, or non-existent, then you may find it difficult to stay together. If you plan to stay married for any length of time then you will not want it to be a chore to be involved with your partner’s hobbies or sports.

3. What are your thoughts about children?

Only half the people that get married have a plan for children in their relationship. The other half just “let it happen” along the way.

Sooner or later you or your partner will bring up the question of having kids. When is the right time for children in your relationship? When will you be able to afford the extra cost of child rearing? Have you got a strategy for their education?

Having children means taking on extra responsibility as a parent, and moves your relationship from husband and wife to father and mother. This added dimension has shown to be the cause of many separations in today’s society, so it is best to know how you expect to handle this with your partner before you tie the knot.

4. How will you work out your finances?

The last major factor affecting marriage is the use and control of finances. Ironically this is one of the most under-planned issues in marriage, as the old adage pervades most peoples thoughts, “Two can live as cheap as one.” But this is only half correct!

Investigate with your partner how much income you both receive. Will you both be working? Will you have a saving account? Are you getting a mortgage as well? Can you set a budget for daily living and household expenses and keep to it?

If you are like most families, there is no budget that controls the way the finances are spent. As a result there is pressure to work extended hours or multiple jobs in order to survive.

You will need to make your partner aware of how you expect finances to be spent, and find out how they expect to set up finances after the big day.

These questions need to be answered at the time you accept or decline your fiancés request for marriage.

If you are able to honestly work through these questions together, you will be able to determine whether it is the right time to say, “I do.” "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"
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Sep 19, 2013

Weekend Getaways for a Happy Marriage

Life seems to get busier and busier as time goes by and before we know it another month, season or even year has gone by and you realize that you haven't had a vacation or spent any quality time with your partner in a long, long time.

While we can't control many things in life such as work or family commitments it is important to understand that everything in life requires nurturing otherwise it will slowly decline and a marriage is no different.

Spending some quality time together over a weekend at home is a good thing but as there are usually regular distractions such as the phone calls, friends dropping by or neighborhood noise, it is important to get away to a couple's retreat where you don't have these distractions.

Having a regular weekend getaway with your partner allows you to spend that quality time together without the day to day interruptions and distractions and allows you to reconnect with each other. Make a point of planning your weekend getaways as a regular thing on your calendar and be as committed to it as you would be with any business appointment as that quality time together is as important as anything else because if your marriage begins to breakdown then everything else in life is affected as well.

The best retreats to look for are those in hinterland type locations that are special couple's retreats which do not allow children. These rules make these retreats very quiet and relaxing which allow you and your partner to focus on each other without any noise or distractions at all.

Some tips to make the most of your weekend getaway:

- Surprise your partner by phoning ahead and planning for some flowers to be placed in your room with a special note attached. This will certainly be a memorable surprise.

- Turn off the cell phone. This is an important one as you must eliminate as many outside distractions as possible to focus your attention on each other.

- Put on some relaxation music and give each other a massage, or alternatively pay for a professional couple's massage. Many couple's retreats have good deals on massages and other treatments which help to relieve the built up stress from daily life and are a great experience to share together.

- Share a spar bath together with some small candles, music and a glass of wine. Most couple's retreats have a spar bath in the room or cabin and also have candles and wine to save you having to bring your own.

- Go on a nature walk together. Many couple's retreats in hinterland locations have walking trails through forest areas which can be very enjoyable to do as a couple.

- Sit on the floor of your room or cabin facing your partner and hold each others hands while meditating. This is not only relaxing and a good way to release stress but also a very bonding experience.

By planning for a regular weekend getaway as a couple to spend that essential quality time together you will stay connected as a couple and keep your marriage strong no matter how busy your life is in between times. The small investment of time and money required for these getaways every few months will pay big dividends in the long term of your marriage. "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"
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Sep 18, 2013

Can 'Mixed' Marriages Work?

As society becomes culturally intertwined, it becomes more common to see marriages between individuals of different racial background. How are these marriages surviving and even flourishing?

In some countries the prejudice and stigma are so great that couples who become involved romantically with an individual of another race may find the pressures of family and society become too overwhelming to resist. In other countries, a general level of tolerance leads many to consider mixed relationships, but an undercurrent of bias deters them from marriage. It is a fortunate group who find the level of acceptance in their society means that their marriage is rarely, if ever, marred by prejudicial onlookers.

It is a sad fact that intolerance has become part of human nature, but individuals who have found love in a different race have fought the challenges for hundreds of years. What does that mean for their marriages?

To comment on it from a purely secular viewpoint, it might be said that the fight to become a couple in the first place may well help a couple to create a bond together that is not easily broken by outside influence.

A couple who can outwardly show their abilities to see beyond the superficial may be better able to hazard the storms of marriage.

Is a mixed couple's marriage stronger than a non-mixed couple? NO. Many couples face trials which create a similar sense of 'us-against-the-world' - an outlook that may sound negative but which creates an environment of trust and reliability between the couple. It also fosters a feeling that they have fought together and can take on any obstacle as a team.

With the world becoming what some have termed a 'melting pot' of cultures, many couples find that aside from their outer appearance they share much of the same cultural background.

In marriages where there is a clear difference of traditions it could be noted that to marry outside of one's race would indicate a flexibility and strength of character which would smooth out many of the cultural distinctions. Perhaps a genuine interest and love of their mate's culture could also attribute to a healthy marriage.

Whatever the situation, in today's society, as many cultures are beginning to adopt a less respected view of marriage, it is wonderful to see couples who outwardly, or even privately, are able to stick together as one and fight off the intrusions that so often pull marriages apart.  "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"

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Sep 17, 2013

3 Surefire Ways To Annihilate Your Marriage Relationship

1. Fail To Listen Well.
2. Always, Always Seek To Win As An Individual.
3. Get Involved -- And Stay Involved -- In Pornography.

-- 3 Surefire Ways To Annihilate Your Marriage Relationship --

Surefire Annihilator Number One: Fail To Listen Well

Practice the following and you will most certainly be laying the foundation for the successful launch of a failing relationship in your marriage:

Listen without heart,
Talk more while listening less and less,
And instruct or point out failures more than you compliment, build up or affirm.

Surefire Annihilator Number Two: Always, Always Seek To Win As An Individual Instead Seeking To Win As A Couple

Practice the following well and you will most certainly lay a solid foundation for destroying intimacy, disheartening your spouse, and establishing a negative distance between both of you:

1. Make winning as an individual the unspoken -- or worse, spoken -- goal of the majority of conversations with your spouse.

2. Make every effort to "win" as an individual in public settings with your spouse.

Surefire Annihilator Number Three: Get Involved -- And Stay Involved -- In Pornography

Exhibiting unfaithfulness of the heart through repeated involvement with pornography sends potentially crippling signals to a marriage partner. Among the many of those signals, here are three:

"Am I not loved for who I am?"
"Am I not good enough?"
"Is he (or she) involved with someone else?"

--- 3 Surefire Ways Build Your Marriage Relationship ---

First, a disclaimer: "surefire" does not mean...

No conflict,
Complete joy,
Or even completely saving a marriage.

But it does mean this:

The suggestions below will promote the establishment of patterns within a marriage relationship that will allow it to stand the test of time -- and stand it well -- if they are followed with heart, determination and consistency.

Surefire Builder Number One: Commit To Being A Good Listener

Strive to get these three down and you will be well on your way to being thought of as a loving, caring partner in the journey of life:

1. Listen with heart.
2. Talk much less when listening more is needed most.
3. And compliment or build up like crazy in the process.

Surefire Relationship Builder Number Two: Commit To Winning Together

Once again, please understand this: seeking to win every time, in every way possible, for self-serving reasons will hinder any marriage relationship.

Instead, seek with passion and purpose the following:

Strive to win every time,
In every way possible,
As a couple.

Surefire Relationship Builder Number Three: Guard Your Heart With Regards To Sexual Temptation

Faithfulness -- internally and externally -- counts in a marriage relationship.

It counts “Big Time!”

Strive to make a big time win by guarding your own heart and nourishing the heart of your mate by being committed to maintaining your faithfulness from the inside out.

Staying away from the enslaving nature of pornography and cultivating purity and appreciation of your spouse reinforces such mutual feelings as:

"I am loved."
"I am valued."
"I am adequate."
"We are safe."

--- In The End ---

In the end, it will be:

Your heart that causes you to establish purposes that build your marriage...

Your commitment to those purposes that gives your marriage hope...

And your patterns of behavior based on your commitment that makes it work.

Now go and make it so! "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"
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Sep 16, 2013

How to Re-spark a Marriage

If you are hitting a lull in your love life, maybe this article will do you some good. Do not panic. Do not rush and get a divorce. A lot of people feel the same way you do. When you were first married you were chasing goals:

*Find a mate.Check.
*Pursue mate until he or she gives in and goes on date. Check.
*Try to impress them and get them into the bedroom. Check. *Propose. Check.

Death do us part. Huh? This is much harder than most people expect! So, how do you re-spark a marriage?

The thrill of the chase and having someone to grow old with sounds sweet until you actually find yourself growing old. Then their idiosyncrasies start to eat at you. He cannot even dress himself. She can't seem to cope with day to day dramas without getting emotional. Over time these small things can eat at you until you feel as if you are only married because the other person depends on you completely.

But was it always like that? Was he always hopeless, or she hopelessly emotional? Most likely the answer is yes. Why did your feelings about this change? Try this little experiment to find out. Pull out a notepad when you get a few minutes alone, and write down two columns on it. One for the things that you liked the most about your spouse while you courted them. The other use for the things that really drive you crazy. It may help to cover one list while you work on the other. When you get done compare.

Notice the similarities between the lists? Everyone gets tired of something they do constantly because they are made to do it. Doing stuff together that is fun and pointless can revive that spark you felt. It does not have to be expensive. It can be anything that you both enjoy that you rarely do. Monopoly is cheap, and you can do it over and over again. Just spending the time together with no goal insight can make you grow closer.

Or, start a silly collection that you can keep up together. Collect foil from bubble gum wrappers. Wad them up and see what picture you see in them. Anything you can do out of the ordinary will break up the monotony you have come to know and may help you to save a marriage.

Basically you may have forgotten what it was like to just be together being silly. You marry the ones who you feel you can be yourself with, and over the course of the marriage you become more like the other person. It's not a bad thing. This meshing creates ties that can hold through anything as long as you take time to remember what the differences you had were, and how much you still admire the qualities of your spouse. "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"
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Sep 15, 2013

Is Marriage a Contract or a Covenant?

Is marriage a contract or a covenant?

So many times we hear marriage referred to as a contract. Sometimes it’s even called “just a piece of paper”.

One dictionary definition of a contract is, “A binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law.” A contract, by definition, is a give/get relationship between two or more parties. You agree to do something and in return you get something for your efforts.

A builder signs a contract stating that he or she will build you a house and in return you agree to pay them a pre-determined amount of money. If the house is not built or the money isn’t paid, then it’s off to court.

Many great things have been accomplished through the use of contracts. A contract essentially attempts to keep honest people honest and dishonest people to a minimum.

A contract can be an extensive five-hundred page document, researched and compiled by top-paid lawyers over a grueling amount of time, listing multiple “what-if..” scenarios and agreed upon outcomes, or it can be a simple verbal agreement bound by a single handshake.

However, in most cases, when two people marry, the signed marriage registration document merely states that the two people mentioned in the document were joined in matrimony. It does not mention anything about things agreed upon – who will give what, and what they will get in return from the other person.

Even the vows don’t contain any “What I will get in return” statements. They only contain what each party will give and not what they will get. This is because love is a very powerful “life force”. It is not just an emotion. When someone truly loves another they don’t count the cost. Parents will risk their own lives without a thought to save the life of even one of their children.

Marriage is a contract in that it binds both people together, but it is much more than that. Marriage is a more like a covenant which is much deeper than a contract. In a marriage covenant, each party agrees to give themselves totally and unconditionally to their partner. It’s an “I’ll be there for you no matter what” attitude. That’s the commitment level required to make a marriage work.

Is this a hard commitment to live out in practice? Ask any marriage that has survived many years and you’ll hear the answer to be a resounding “Yes!” Marriage, like anything good, has to be worked at if it is to succeed and each party enjoy years of fulfilling life with their spouse. Ask those same couples if it was all worth it and you will also hear a resounding “Yes!”

Marriages break down when one or both of the parties consistently fails to live out their commitment to the other and the load is too much to bear for the other partner.

It’s only when both parties live out their married lives to each other as a covenant, and not just a contract, that a marriage can be strong and survive in today’s world.

Living out a full covenant of married love can bring a joy, a strength, a closeness, and a life filled with love that truly lasts until “death do us part”. "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"
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