Sep 30, 2013

Don't Divorce Your Children

Divorce is certainly an emotional time for families. In fact, it ranks as one of the most stressful experiences in life. However, it is not only the adults who experience this stress. If the adults are parents, their children often suffer greatly. Their suffering can not be entirely eliminated. A certain amount of grief at the 'death' of their parents' relationship is to be expected. Nevertheless, while the adults are going through typically arduous legal wrangling it is important for them to remember the needs of their children and put them first. Deciding to cooperate for their sake will help to protect the children's emotional well being by maintaining their sense of security and need for unconditional love. Marital breakdown is difficult for everyone - especially children. There are several ways in which loving, responsible parents can cooperate for the good of their children. Even though the marriage may have broken down, the parental relationship is 'till death do us part'.

Child and youth counselors emphasize that children need lasting relationships with both parents. More often than not joint custody is granted because of this accepted understanding. Ideally, the relationship of the parents should be business-like and cooperative for the sake of the children. Children should not witness hostility between their parents and should not hear negative statements about either parent. It is recommended that parents commit to regularly scheduled meetings, in a neutral location for the purpose of discussing child-related issues. Education, medical, religious and moral issues that concern the children's well- being need to be dealt with by both parents. If emotions prohibit calm conversation, there are often family justice counselors available in the community to facilitate these important meetings.

Children going through the divorce of their parents usually have many questions and worries. Compassionate responses are required and it certainly takes mature parents in order to put aside their own issues and help their children gain some understanding about a situation over which they have no control. Unfortunately, many children experience guilt and often blame themselves for the marital breakup of their parents. Counseling - whether group or individual - can be an effective way to lessen this destructive burden. The objectivity of the counselor may help the child open up and share his/her feelings. As children mature, their questions will differ so the issue of their parents' divorce is never really over. A commitment on behalf of both parents to open communication with the children will reassure them greatly. "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"

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Sep 29, 2013

Are You Meeting Your Spouse's Emotional Needs?

Marriages are made in heaven they say, but eventually, every marriage has to come down to earth. The honeymoon "orbits" gradually decrease in passion and intensity, due to other priorities that demand our attention. More so, when the bundle of joy arrives!

Loving glances are gradually replaced by frowns, the stars in your eyes do not shine so brightly anymore, and your attempts at intimate conversation is punctuated by wails from the little intruder. You discover, as almost every married couple before you have discovered, that the feeling called "romantic love" has to be nurtured by a continuous process of meeting each other's emotional needs.

What is an emotional need? It is a deep desire within you that, when satisfied, gives you a feeling of extreme happiness and contentment. If this desire is unsatisfied, it leaves you with a feeling of unhappiness and frustration. It follows, therefore, that when a husband and wife meet each other's most important emotional needs, they will be so happy and contented with each other that, they will experience passionate love, and stay in love as long as these emotional needs are met.

But, each of us have different emotional needs, and even if both spouses have the same emotional needs, their priorities for each emotional need may be different. For instance, love and romance for most men are sex and recreation; for most women its affection and intimate conversation. Now, if such a husband and wife pair would spend a recreational evening together, show intense affection, with deep, intimate conversation, it would naturally lead to sexual fulfillment. The result? Passionate love, since the most important emotional needs of both are fully met!

You, and your spouse, fell in love with each other because you both met some of each other's most important emotional needs, and the only way to stay in love, long after the honeymoon is over, is to keep meeting these emotional needs.

So, the first step for you, and your spouse, is to identify what are your most important emotional needs - those that will make you the happiest and most contented. The easiest way is to sit down, take a sheet of paper, and jot down what you would like your spouse to do/not do, that would give you the greatest happiness. A list, of at least five of your most important emotional needs, in order of priority, would be adequate for a start. When you both are ready with it, exchange the sheets of paper.

Now, that you, and your spouse, know what you can do for each other that, will make you both the happiest and contented married couple, it only remains to learn how to become experts at meeting these emotional needs. The degree of expertise you both acquire at meeting each other's most important emotional needs will be measured by the intensity of the fire of love and passion in your marriage. "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"

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