Jan 11, 2014

Domestic Work Can Keep Love Alive for couples

A typical housewife's day starts and ends with the same thing:  household chores

A fulltime housewife wakes up early to prepare breakfast and then she makes sure everybody eats well.  When the hubby and the children are off to work and to school, she cleans the house and does the laundry.

A housewife's day is either spent tending her garden or buying groceries.  Then she hurries home and prepares dinner for the family.  Dinner is the time for conversation with the family.  After washing the dishes, the housewife tucks everybody in bed and then she can do things that she enjoys - like reading or needle work.  The next day is spent following the same routine.

A working mother, on the other hand, is not less of a housewife just because she spends the day in the office.  A working mom just needs to plan her day ahead so she can work and at the same time perform all the household chores.

A housewife, fulltime or working, can only do so much before she finds out that she is already at the end of her wits.  A housewife who does all of the household chores will have very little time for her husband or her children.  If she has extra time she is probably too tired to enjoy the extra hours.

There are housewives lucky enough to have husbands who share the household chores.  In marriage, sharing is a manifestation of the couple's commitment to honor and care for each other.  But this is the ideal setting.

In reality, the sharing of domestic chores has become one of the sources of conflict between spouses. Research will show that housewives are mainly responsible for house work.  However, a little help from the other spouse would be a great help.

The arguments most couples have start out with the wife complaining about having so much to do for the family that she no longer has time for herself.  This is usually the phase when the wife is already burned out.   When the husband hears this, he counters by saying he is also too tired and that doing the household chores is not his responsibility

Due consideration should be given to husbands who work and whose wives stay home the whole day.  In this case his earnings are the husband's contribution to the household.  The wife, whose sole contribution to the family is her house work, should do her part and not complain.

The present economic situation however has forced both husband and wife to work and contribute to the family income.  In this situation, both spouses are expected to share in the household chores.

Most husbands complain that their wives no longer have time for them.  Many housewives are so busy with their daily mundane tasks that they forget how to have a good time.

Surveys show that sharing in the household work can be less stressful and depressing for both spouses.  When the household chores are divided, there is more time for the spouses to enjoy each other's company.

Among the most common household chores include buying groceries, disposing of garbage, meal preparation, care of the children and laundry.  Husbands who want to ease their housewives' burden can choose a task they are most comfortable with. 

An offer to help with the household chore will not only brighten the other spouse's day, but in return, she will be extra nice and caring, not only to the husband, but also to the children.

Reasons why men are hesitant to do household chores:

1. Cultural influence-Most cultures tend to be patriarchal where men play the dominant role.  Because of this, men look at household chores as something below them are relegated only to women.

2. Gender-bias-The way children are raised is responsible for how they turn out as adults and how they look at their role in society.   There are men who were raised with the traditional idea that a man's role is to earn money for the family and a woman's role is to take care of the household.

Women can encourage their spouses to share in the household work by talking to them about how heavy the workload is and that any help would be appreciated.  It would also help if women would specify the exact task she wants assistance with so that the men will not be left guessing,

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Jan 10, 2014

Re-introduce Romance Into Your Married Life - Keep It Fun.

In marriage, it is the woman who is most likely to complain that the romance is gone or missing from the relationship.

After several years of being together, you might have become so used to each other that you both tend to forget to spice up the relationship with romance.

The secret to a healthy and a happy marriage is to re-vitalize it by constantly thinking of ways to renew your vows and make each other feel how important you are to your partner.  

Here are some tips on how you can re-introduce romance into your married life to liven things up:
1. Reminisce about the good times that you had together.

Life is too short to spend time dwelling on the bad things. Instead, turn it around and make the best out of the good times that you had together.

Re-visit a romantic vacation spot where you celebrated your anniversary.

For the husbands, “court” your wife again. Schedule regular dates and spend some time away from work, your house and your children.

Having some ‘alone’ time together will surely liven things up a bit and start   putting the romance back into your marriage.

2.  Be more understanding and tolerant of your partner’s mistakes.
It is said that the first few years of marriage are the best times that you have as a couple.

As the years pass, you get to be more lax in showing your affection to your partner. You argue about little things and you find the marriage stifling.

If you learn to become more understanding and tolerant of the other’s shortcomings, a lot of petty fights will be prevented. Also, learn to be more sensitive to the needs of one another.

With a sprinkling of a more positive outlook in your married life, you’re sure to be get back on track and have a wonderful married life.

3. Be honest with your feelings.
Generally, there is a misconception that you love your mate for what you think he or she is. In reality, you fell in love because of what you think that person will become for you. You expect your partner to change or be someone that they are actually not .This could lead to a lot of hurt and misunderstanding between a couple. Instead of trying to mold your partner into someone that you want them to be, why not look the other way?

Find out what your partner thinks you should improve on. Try to think if this change will bring about a better you. This could lead to a lot more room for improvement in your married life, and allow your partner be happier with the new you.

4. Try to express your love for each other freely and be generous with compliments.

Nobody ever turns a good compliment down. As a couple, freely complimenting each other – and doing this often – would help put the romance back into your married life.

Also, over the years, you tend to overlook the basic things like thanking our spouse for a favor done, or complimenting her on looking great or saying I love you.

If you just go back to basics and not forget these simple courtesies, you will have a more respectful relationship that you both will be contented with.

5. Talk and listen at the same time.

A typical household problem is the wife nagging her husband. Try to prevent this by listening to each other and then take the time to let the other talk.

Men are not compelled to talk as often as women. Try to balance this by making your husband talk while you listen, because he will likely just listen while you do the talking.

Keeping your communications open is another way to improve your relationship.

6. Always be attractive for your partner.
One of the most effective and sure fire ways to put romance back into your married life is by improving your appearance. If you have had your hair done in a certain style for years, why not try to change it to look a little different?

Having your partner see you in a new light will may put the passion back into your marriage.

All in all, you still need to "work" on keeping your marriage strong and alive.

By re-introducing romance into your relationship, you are just might live the rest of your married life to the fullest!

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Jan 9, 2014

Another Key to a Solid Marriage - Never Go to Bed Angry

“Never go to bed angry” is a cliché that we always hear. This has proven to be very sound advice, and is a motto that many couples live by.

Marriage is the ultimate consummation for two people who are in love. Your wedding is not the “happy ending” to your love story, instead,  it is just the  beginning of your life together.

For a married couple who is just starting out, petty fights and arguments
can not be avoided.  The first few years of your marriage will be the test if to determine if you can actually “live” with each other’s bad or annoying habits.  The strength of your love for each other will serve as the “building block” of the rest of your years together.

During petty fights, it is good to remember that having an argument is natural. You and your spouse are two different people and you can expect your individual personalities to clash.

Here are some ways you and your spouse, as a married couple, can strengthen your bond and improve your marriage:

1. Fight if you need to.

This is when the rule mentioned above will apply. As a couple, you will have arguments, disagreements, and conflicts of interest. Even a minor thing like household chores can lead to disagreements..

The key to a ‘healthy’ argument is to get everything out in the open.
Take a look at this example. During a quarrel the husband may be given the ‘cold’ shoulder by his wife. The wife thinks that her spouse is not being sensitive enough when it comes to  her needs. He is  caught totally unaware, but when he tries to confront the issue head-on his wife gives him the ‘silent treatment’. Eventually, their marriage will crumble because the anger on both sides is not dissipated. The wife was not able to let off  ‘steam’ because she kept everything bottled up inside.

In this case, it is better if you bluntly confront the problem. Argue and fight if you need to.
At first, the two of you will be angry enough to confront each other. After you get everything out in the open, sound reasoning will rule and calmness will follow.

After the storm, the two of you should be reasonable enough to listen to each other then come up with a solution and make up.  Do not worry, this may not always be the case,. Your love for each other and the foundation that the two of you have established since you were married should help patch things up.

Just remember to avoid keeping your feelings all bottled up inside. If you do this, past hurts will return and might eventually cause a huge argument that will be even harder to resolve.

2. Wipe the slate clean once you make up.

After the fight, make sure that you both know what started the argument In the first place.

You and your spouse might have entirely different reasons for being angry. Listen to each other and determine what caused the other to hurl accusations or hurtful words. If you are a husband exerting your ‘authority’ over your wife, she should know the way that you feel.

If your spouse was hurt by something that you did not actually mean to do. Try to explain that you would never intentionally do anything to cause her to be hurt or angry. This leads to the basis and foundation of your marriage which is mutual love and respect, and you could eventually patch things up.

3. Do not be afraid to admit if you are wrong.
Pride in marriage has a very expensive price to pay. Do not put this pride between you and your spouse. If you are in the wrong, do not be afraid to admit it, then apologize.

Remember that you are together in spite of your individual differences. Go back to what brought you together in the first place and you can never go wrong.

By practicing these things and making it a habit to settle your fights before going to bed, you will have a solid and stable marriage that is based on trust and love.

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Jan 8, 2014

The Only Way to Spice up Your Marriage: Exploring Common Interests

Married couples seem to go into a lull at some point in their shared lives. There will always come a time when someone works too hard while the other stays at home with their children. It is not really that bad, it is just the way things will be at one point. Someone has to work to sustain the whole family while the other one has to stay home to supervise the children.

This is the lull, where everything, from morning to night, Monday until Sunday, seems to repeat itself. You go to work in the morning, you come home from work in the afternoon, you cook for your children, and you discipline your children. The routine is the same every day.  A person has the tendency to get bored and will sometimes feel that the marriage is a total failure. This is when the couple should realize that they have to explore other areas of interests to prevent this lull from happening. This does not really have to mean that you should love and/or hate what your partner does... You just have to show genuine interest in every aspect of his/her personality.

The easiest place to look would be into sports. Does your husband love to play or watch basketball/football/baseball games? Does your wife love to play tennis or volleyball? Maybe it’s time for you to have a change of heart and learn to like the sport your partner loves. Learn the basics, or perhaps, let your partner teach you and when your partner sees what you’re doing, he/she will appreciate it and return the favor the next time.

Other games include board games where you could compete together with your children and have family time together. Puzzle games are another option. Both of could enjoy working together to complete the puzzle.

Traveling might be another option. Many people love traveling and exploring new places certainly would end boredom. Travel by sea and experience “life in the slow lane”.  Another option is to travel by airplane so you could get to your destination faster and experience other places and cultures as you travel to Asia or Europe. Traveling is a sure way to stop the doldrums of marriage.

Another interest you could both pursue would be interest in each others job. You don’t have to be an accountant to learn why your husband is worrying about a few cents missing or a computer programmer to realize why your wife has headaches because the function of this or that is not working. It only takes a few days to learn the basics of what your partner is doing. You don’t have to learn it all, just be interested enough in them to realize what your partner is having problems with.

You could also pursue some religious interests. Join groups that will help you or your partner then perhaps you could help others with their problems. This would be fulfilling and a wonderful experience for both of you.

Perhaps your partner reads a lot, there are a number of things you could do if that is the case. You could let him/her read to you before you sleep. Nothing beats the feeling of sleeping soundly with the one you love at your side. He/she will also love the feeling that you are secure with him/her.

What if your partner is a writer? There are things you could do to help. If he/she writes articles then do the proofreading. Tell him/her your opinion on the subject matter. Do your best to understand what he/she writes and form your own opinion. Writers love criticism, too, since it’s one of the ways they’ll know that someone has read what they wrote. Criticize him/her or praise what he/she did. It’s the only way they’ll realize that you’ve done your “job” of reading his/her article.

No matter what you do, the best thing is to put yourself into your partner’s shoes. Learn to love what he/she loves and show some interest in what he/she does. It is only way you can eliminate your boredom and you’ll learn to appreciate your partner more fully too.

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Jan 7, 2014

Listening: Key To A Successful Marriage

To achieve success in any endeavor, the parties involved must be open to the idea that each has to put in some time and effort to make things work. Such an endeavor includes a long, as well as a satisfying married life.

Often, people tend to overlook the fact that marriage is a constant process of sharing and learning.  It is a given that love is in the picture, but then it does not just end there.  It is a continuous process of striving to be a good spouse, and being a perfect  partner is not an impossibility.

Good News or Bad News
A USA Today article posted on July 18, 2005 claims that there has been a significant decline in the divorce rate all over the United States.  The U.S. divorce rate is currently at 17.7% per 1,000 married women.  A very considerable decrease compared to the 1980 U.S. divorce rate, which is at 22.6%. 

However, there has also been a significant decline in the U.S. marriage rate. From the 76.5% per 1,000 unmarried women in the year 1970, there has been a 50% drop to this day's meager 39.9.

Does this imply that there is a growing concern among Americans that fewer couples prefer not to marry? Or are married couples trying to keep their marriages strong and fulfilling?

Why Do Married Couples Call It Quits?
The main causes of divorce in 2004 have been determined to be the following (in correct order, from highest rank).

- extra-marital affairs
- family strains
- emotional and/or physical abuse
- mid-life crisis
- addictions like, but not limited to alcoholism, gambling
- being a workaholic

But if you look closely, these situations could have been prevented had there been an viable and strong foundation for the relationship built on trust and fostered by good communication.

Hearing  Versus Listening

Aside from both of these activities requiring the use of one's ears, hearing and listening are two totally different things.

Hearing is basically a mere physical process all people are born with.  It is a natural response people have when presented with the stimuli  of sound.  Hearing is very passive.  On the other hand, listening is a skill requiring both physical and mental processes. The process of  listening is a very hard task and it requires one's full and consent concentration.

Communication, in the purest sense is achieved only when thoughts and messages are properly transmitted and clearly received Of course, this involves listening in it’s  purest sense.

Listening Improves Relationships

Contrary to popular belief, listening is actually not a simple skill.  In spite of the tremendous practice people get, or at least think they get from listening to normal day to day interaction with different people, most people are not very good listeners much of the time. Why?  For the very simple reason that listening is such a complex skill to master.

Marriages and friendships, as well as other forms of relationships rely heavily on good listening skills between the parties involved. To improve a married couple's relationship, both spouses must learn to listen to understand rather than just to listen to argue.  With listening, the spouses learn and know more about each so there is little space for tensions and arguments.

So much has been said about how people can improve the listening aspect when communicating.  Easier said than done, right?  However, breaking them down into small easily followed steps and quick to remember keys will probably be more effective.

Listening is anything but a neutral or passive activity.  Listening is not only hearing the words that are uttered but understanding them as well..  When a person listens, he hears not only the words, but the non-language aspect of communication like the tone, the mood, as well as the expression.  It would be advisable (as suggested by most counselors) to listen out for an unspoken mood or concerns including fears and aspirations of the speaker.  Often, these are revealed in usual conversations but are taken for granted or not paid their well-deserved attention.  And in listening, respect is a must.  Just listen.  Do not think of how you should respond.  Listen with sincere optimism and a pleasant and positive human regard.  Remember, this is a spouse, screaming to be heard and to be heard.

Simply keep these simple tips in mind, and watch your listening skills and soon your relationships improve.

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Jan 6, 2014

Sacrificing Equals a Lasting Marriage

Statistics clearly show that half of American marriages often end up in divorce.

According to relationship researchers, almost all couples, happy or not, have comparable number of incompatible differences. Sixty-nine percent of these disagreements are left unresolved.

Often, the selfish behavior of one partner separates them from their spouse. Each divorce is usually the outcome of one’s selfishness in the marriage.  One thinks of only satisfying himself; the conveniences, comforts, luxuries and freedom.

Marriage is surrendering totally oneself to another person. The wife submits herself to the husband as the husband, surrenders to his wife; marriage entails a complete surrender, meaning to sacrifice.

Together with considerations comes adaptation and adjustments. If it is already obvious that adjustment have to be made, a spouse must be eager and ready to accomplish anything that is needed.

There will be times in a marriage that spouses should sacrifice something he/she feels important such as a hobby, a job, something that a spouse likes doing, to preserve certain relationship.

To make a marriage to last, it must be guarded and protected. Each spouse has to avoid, limit or give up whatever it is that threatens it.

To others, it can require giving up a loved hobby like golf, bar hopping with friends, or stop communicating with a workmate who is clearly “getting too close.”

Spouses can sacrifice their:

1.    Beliefs.  Should both have opposing beliefs, (for example, raising their  children) spouses need to discuss matters and understand each other’s point of view.  When both really can not agree a compromise is needed  the wife might let her husband lead, as long as the husband’s beliefs are for the betterment of their children.

2.    Goals.  Married couples should set common goals so both can work as a team.

3.    Career.  When career is a threat to one’s family, one should sacrifice it.

5.    Priorities.  Remember that in marriage there is no more “I” -  entail  lot of “we”.  Set your priorities straight, your marriage should always come first.

6.    Independence.  While there are many husbands and wives who value their independence and their spouses understand, one should always consider and consult the other before a mutual decision is made.

Nobody would acknowledge that they depend on someone for strength and stability. Husbands and wives who change their ways for their spouse may be negatively viewed many who are not familiar with the circumstances.

Love enables husbands and wives to willingly sacrifice to attain a lasting marriage.

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Jan 5, 2014

Traits That Happy Married Couples Have

Based on statistics, successful marriages are becoming very rare. In fact, one in every three marriages usually ends up in divorce.

Married couples and experts do agree that the magical yet simple element in all relationships is the constant demonstration of one’s affection.

Researches show that what produces pleasure and contentment in one’s marriage was frequently demonstrating affection. 

Happy married couples have reciprocal respect for each other. Respect is shown in the way they regard each other in actions and in words; withholding humiliating words even in an argument.

In marriage, couples give their relationship utmost importance. They enjoy each other’s company and spend quality time together, like dating regularly. This indicates prioritizing their relationship that plants a foundation for their future at such time as when children have to leave home.

Each spouse must learn not to give importance to minor faults and flaws; determine the really important issues and those that are not. They become aware that the purpose or their conflicts war not really to win, but rather to establish a deeper relationship.

Successful marriages are all not alike. But researchers have discovered that there are some traits present in happy married couples that contribute to the success of their marriage.

Traits that of happily married couples include:
1.    Spouses in the relationship are giving. They give, not expecting things in return.

2.    There is commitment between each of them.  They continue to work for their partner’s happiness and are driven to work hard on their marriage.

3.    Being strong-minded makes their bond stronger.  While they cherish their individuality in expressing their opinions, making decisions and pursuing goals, putting their marital relationship in harmony is their priority.

4.    These couples have active sexual lives.  Sex plays a significant role in marriage, therefore they always find ways to make it more pleasurable.

5.    There is constant communication in their marriage. They are free to share their thoughts and opinions about anything, each one not manipulative of  the other but allowing each one to grow.

6.    Each one is sensitive to the other’s need. 

7.    They establish goals together.  They agree on their goals as “partners in life”.

Marriage is a commitment for courageous individuals ready to risk their emotions, hard work, and challenges of building a life together.

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