Nov 4, 2017

Financial Pairing

Finances prove to be one of the hottest of hot button issues for couples because money, like many other items, reveal a great deal through a subconscious vector about an individual's beliefs and needs.

Couples sometimes are unaware of what their fighting about when money comes into the picture. Being aware of potential pitfalls and finding the correct ways to address them gives couple the ammunition they require to come out the other side stronger and better prepared for the future.
Potential Pitfalls

By their definition, couples faced with areas of concern need to spot them before they engulf their vision. While possible to slog through a deep puddling, it is always much easier to walk around it remaining dry. The best way to redirect is through seeing the obstacle approaching from the horizon. Let's look at some concerning areas.

Values: Individuals may value money differently. Often this comes from the example set at home when they were growing up. The strange thing is a full disclosure of the past will not indicate where those values lie.

For instance, someone growing up with a great deal of financial security may cause them to devalue or overvalue money. The same can be said when someone grows up with very little money. This sort of conversation requires couples to dig into more than the financial setting they desire.

Fighting: With the varied values, a fight about money causes deeper emotions to be stirred. If a person feels their being judged for decisions they make with money, this could cause them to lash out. Couples need to accept the person for where they are, seek to understand one another and minimize the tendency to shame the other person.

Familiar Patterns: Growing up, certain pattern will have been established. Couples who saw their father keeping a strong eye on the finances may see their role in relation to the history.

This becomes challenging when one or the other excels at an area where they expect the other to take the lead. Couples need to avoid doing what is expected because it places their financial security and relationship at risk.

Excelling Beyond the Pitfalls

Couples possess keys to succeeding with their finances. None are more important their unity and communication. By discussing the problems at hand, couples can combat the financial problems they face.

* Connected Finances: Though frightening, couples who meld their finances into a single account stand a better chance of succeeding.

* Debt: There is no their debt or your debt. There is only debt. Couples need to attack the debt as a unit to be free of it sooner and possess a common goal.

* Budgets: Both partners spend, so both partners need to have a hand in budgeting. This prevents confusion or possible fights about perceived overspending by one partner or the other.

* Invest: While planning for the future, this includes investing. One may do the research and take the lead, but this is not a one person show because both lives are tied to what happens with the investments.

* Secret Free: Not hiding spending from the other person is important. These types of secrets, though appearing harmless on the surface, undermine the financial trust and places the relationship at risk.

Couples heading into the future with open eyes and strong partnership stand the best chance of surviving. Attacking finances as two independent contractors leads to greater strife.

Talking about the things they face and remaining unified in the face of all tendencies to the contrary ends up being the best course. Be strong and talk. The result will be happier and more stable home.

Nov 3, 2017

Capturing the Relationship in a Song

Couples seek ways to define their relationships. Some share a great meeting story. Others tattoo their skin with a meaningful word or symbol. Since the advent of coupling, music represented the ideal representation of a relationship.

A song carries a multitude of meanings, grant deeper understanding of what the pair means to one another and be a touchstone of history when times get tough. How does a couple pick a song? It can be tricky. Looking at the options available and how they can be tailored allows couples to make the right decision.


Capture a Memory

By tying into a key event, couples find a song central to the time in their past. Most relationships possess moments when something is discovered. It could be the first date, the initial profession of love or the romantic evening when each felt truly heard by the other.
Generally speaking, these memories have a natural soundtrack with ambient noise or possibly a song playing in the background. The song will need to capture all of these aspects along with what the couple experiences. Doing so requires an ear for a feeling more than a faithful recreation of the event.

Love Songs

The music industry has long produced prepackaged slices of emotional distillations. While they are easy, couples need to find their own special ways of saying they love one another. Love songs, like greet cards, can leave little room for the nuances of the relationship.
This does not mean classic tunes with strong melodies and clear words will not target the relationship. It sometimes means others will consider the song theirs as well.

Make It Special

Like a blank sheet of paper, couples write their own love in unique ways. Maybe something from the past, like a standard, captures the timelessness of a couple's feelings about one another.

A driving beat or cries of a protest song might demonstrate how the pair stands against the world. Teasing out the aspects of the relationship which prove different from other relationships cracks avenues of expression beyond the traditional ballads. Here are some options for couples.

* Defiance: A forged unit against the normality of society
* Loyalty: Existing beyond the span of life world calls back to eternity.
* Silly: A swing song or light hearted dance tune provides an alternative aspect to the seriousness of commitment.

Think About a Playlist

What if the song was not a single song? With the vastness of love and music, couples should feel no need to limit themselves to a single song. One can begin the process, set a template and capture the initial feelings. From there, the playlist can be formed by events occurring in the moment.

If the couple weathers a difficult patch, they can select a song to commemorate the struggle. A change in roles, maybe as parents, could open a path for different songs. This could be part of an anniversary tradition at the five or ten year marks building the library as the relationship extends. Then the couple will possess a living musical timeline of their relationship.

Songs capture love as love captures the heart. View this tradition with clear eyes and not as a stodgy idea of a bygone era. Couples with songs have a tangible attachment to their own history. One with a beat they can hum together.

Nov 2, 2017

Bonding Through Activities

Couples share a deep connection. Any couple communicating on a regular basis secures details, can answer specific questions and may be able to provide preferences for their partner. While conversation supplies key points of information, true bonds form in a variety of ways. Couples who do things together feel closer to their significant other. So let's see some activity options for couples.

Couples can stretch themselves physically, mentally and emotionally by exploring activities outside their comfort zone. The ideal aspect of these are for one person to introduce these things to the other. Tone is important when entering these areas of expertise. The expert should avoid coming off as a know it all and the new individual should be open to several concepts.

High Physical: Activities of this type force greater movement and reliance on another person. Proper preparation including stretching, adequate hydration and equipment needs offers couples the chance to work together and grow closer.

* Hiking: Exposure to the beauty of nature and opportunities to talk make this activity doubly beneficial.

* Golf: Take the upside of hiking and add a competitive element allows couples to interact with one another in new ways.

Low Impact: These get everyone in a similar head space without some of the more difficult problems like overexertion, sweating or hurt feelings. For some reason, play never feels too competitive, so it allows for a different connection.

* Miniature Golf: All the fun of the big version with playful windmills demonstrating how to get around obstacles.

* Frisbee: Tossing a flying disc around the park reduces stress, lets couples talk and puts no pressure on accomplishing a goal.

* Experiencing Art: The body is not the only thing stimulated by activities. The mind and heart can be moved as well. The best ways to access these aspects is by connecting to art.

* Galleries: A low cost option exposing couples to a wide range and styles of art permitting discussions of taste and feelings.

* Museums: This avenue gives couples access to curated art of a high caliber stirring a variety of emotions.

* Outdoor Festival: A plethora of music, comedy, folk art and forms of expression can stir the artist within and draw them closer.

Giving Back: Thinking outside oneself breaks down barriers to parts of a person's life and heart. A partner who shares an intimate experience like serving beside their significant other will see and show compassion only available through acts of service.

* Soup Kitchen and Shelters: In these place, gratitude for a warm meal and place to stay demonstrates one's own riches.

* Shared Cause: Need abounds in the animal, medical and countless other charities. Couples only need to follow their hearts.

* Clean Up: Couples looking a chance to serve in their own backyard can find a park and surrender their time and energy.

These are only a handful of options available. Couples are only limited by their imaginations. After a discussion, they can find any number of things to bring them closer together. The best option is to set a things on the calendar tasting each experience on its own. From there, they can find the things which speak to them and delve deeper into those activities forging bonds that will last a lifetime.

Nov 1, 2017

Three Layers of Intimacy

Intimacy is defined as a close, familiar, affectionate and loving relationship with another person. Even on its surface, the word is charged while cutting across multiple aspects of relationships. Culture squashes the word into a tiny box making it palatable for everyone and not challenging anyone. For couples to endure, their understanding of intimacy must extend beyond the traditional or simple delving into deeper areas of closeness, familiarity, love and affection.

Physical

In a culture obsessed with the physical, the simplest forms of intimacy fall into the purview of the body. Some of the greatest negotiations in a relationship can center around physical intimacy. From the first kiss to more personal acts, this is a dance played out starting with the first flirtations. Nervous teenagers are not the only ones to wonder if the first date will end in locking lips. Even the ones who know the final page of the date grow nervous when walked to the front door at the end of the evening because of intimacy of the act of kissing another person.

On a baseline level, physical intimacy cannot be pushed aside as a strictly biological hurdle to be bypassed. The excruciating sweetness of being near another person makes all the nerves and risk worth it. Even as it is important, physical intimacy is not the pinnacle of connection. Physical closeness does whisper delicious promises of deep depths than anyone else dares to dream of.


Communication

Intimacy in the midst of conversation reveals a great deal about the person. It can disclose dreams, hopes and the most fervent wants. Words, though sometimes crude tools, possess the gift to grant greater insight into the person in the relationships than any physical act alone could ever hope to ensnare.

This intimacy sits firmly between physical intimacy and deeper waters because some of the first things shared can be the ways in which physical pleasure can be granted and received. It takes courage to stop a partner and request they linger on a neglected patch of flesh. The receiver gains greater insight into their partner and the sharer feels appreciated and closer to the other person. This communication is never limited to the corporeal, immediate or temporary. It can be a first and important step.

Emotional

The heart represents one of the deepest levels of intimacy for a couple. The heart holds so much in the way of seeing a person for who they are with the pains they have suffered, the hopes they strive for and the ways in which they seek to protect themselves. Imagine if a partner possess access to all of these things. How close would a couple be? How well would they know one another? How much love could they experience and express?

A couple without higher forms of intimacy may find this level almost impossible to reach without an intermediary. They may not feel safe around the other person. They might not feel as though their needs matter. This is why physical connection leads to speaking about such closeness and ends up revealing the deeper parts of themselves. While challenging, the sweetness of knowing someone on this level can only be matched by someone being know in a similar manner creating the be best infinite positive feedback loop.

Couples must step beyond what is easy and into what is deeply hard. Only in the center of a relationship filled with deep intimacy can all the benefits of lasting, passion love blossom. Take the chance to be as intimate with someone safe and taste the ambrosia of true love.

Oct 31, 2017

Resisting the Urge to Divide Shared Friends

Couples, especially those that have been together for a long time, establish a co-mingled group of friends. While starting out in separate categories, the divisions grow confusing after multiple shared activities, gatherings and holidays.

Couples become tempted to have friends, both those they knew before getting together and after, chose who they will continue to associate with at the end of the relationship.

By establishing a hard line us or them situation, it becomes sad for everyone involved because of the pressure to make the right decision. Here are a few reasons why not making shared friends pick sides will end better for everyone.

It Does Not Feel Good

The simplest reason stems from the fact no one feels good when having to make a decision like this. The couple may feel betrayed if an old friend decides to hang out with their ex.

Friends will sense they are behaving in a way counter to either their old or new friend. This may cause either the couple or the friends to avoid talking about the discomfort generated by the situation cutting off a large part of the relationship due to discomfort.

Placing the Pressure on the Friends

No matter how it is couched in discussions, the friends will always feel pressured to make a decision in which someone will be hurt. Couples should recall times when they have been placed in a similar scenario.

Recalled discomfort often allows for a better way forward rather than adding to the struggle before shared friends. Empathy can be challenging when couples feel pain over the break up, but they need to understand their friends are no happier about the situation.

Loses More Friends than Retains

In the heat of making a decision about who to remain friends with, even the best of friends may chose to not decide. This choice causes damage to the divided couple and the friends everyone's circle of support diminishes leaving each to fend for themselves.

It can be hard to see it in such a light in the throes of pain. This makes the right decision all the more important preventing the spread of damage from the break up.

Friends Are Not Property

During the dissolution of the relationship, couples will divide several things like shared mementos, a piece of furniture or even valuable gifts carrying too much sentimental value.

The difference between even the most personal items and friends is people can never be doled out evenly. Friends have feelings and preferences. They will not be handed off at the whim of someone. Nor should they be.

In the end, couples tempted to lay claim to friends will likely find themselves alone in their pain. They should seek to respect their former partner and their shared friends by letting each party make their own decision, respect the choices made and relish those friends seeking to support both sides.

Rare are the friends whose love is deep enough to envelop the world and they should be treasured as such by not being forced to decide with whom they will associate.

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Oct 30, 2017

Your Ex is Dating Again...Is It Too Late to Make Up?

A common truism for couples who have separated is the door on any future romance has been closed. While true in most respects, one does not need to surrender to an inevitable condition when an ex begins dating someone new.

Realistic expectations, relational growth and mature friendship must exist if things will return to a place where romance rises again. Seeing these roles for what they truly mean and implementing key changes offer a chance for love.

The Expectation Experiment

People often believe they possess a clear understanding of what they want. Unfortunately, they rarely take into account how their view might be skewed. Several things kick expectations from realistic to unrealistic.

* The End: A blind eye to how the relationship ended may cause either an overly sunny or cloudy view of things.

* A Hard Inward Look: Most individuals find evaluating their part in the end of the relationship too great a challenge.

* Outside Factors: Stress caused by finances, differing worldviews and countless other factors shrink when seeking to reestablish the relationship.

Taking all of this into account, one must spend an adequate amount of time assessing both what happened and their part in the relationship and its dissolution. Those willing to work hard to secure a clear vision will be in a place to take the next step if the relationship can be renewed.

Being Whole and Solid

At the end of a relationship, people can long to rush back into the comfort of any coupling. People may find themselves back in situations seeking unhealthy things for themselves, hurting those they are with or both.

Keeping a clear vision, someone needs to come from a place where they are healthy including the body, mind and heart. This means finding other connections which will prevent their ex from assuming the only reason for their presence is romance. The hardest part of this step centers around genuinely seeing others and not using them to hold a place for the relationship they are waiting for.

A Friendly Foundation

For there to be any chance of a rekindled romantic relationship, a true friendship must exist. The prospect of being friends sounds easy on the surface because of the dynamic affection once existing between the two people. Unfortunately, several small patches lead to perilous pitfalls.

* Can't Be Fake: Pretense of friendship will always be discovered because it cannot be maintained.
* Honest Talk: Good friends share in the ups and downs of one another's life and hearing about growing love stabs deep into the softest places.
* Willing Joy: More than hearing alone, a friend will cultivate the happiness of the other selflessly, even when they are not the source of joy.

Only from a place of honest friendship can one hope to return to the deep held place of love in the heart of a former lover. This bears out because you will demonstrate your care for them. By witnessing it first hand, they may be warmed beyond what once existed.

This process will never be easy because it requires a strength and selflessness most people would prefer never to test. But then love is often the sweetest when borne through sacrifice, honesty and care. Being that for someone allows for old wounds to be healed and a future to flourish.

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Oct 29, 2017

Responding to a Repeat Betrayal

Popular opinion states to never take someone back after a betrayal as their actions break trust. Short sighted ultimatums rarely live in a real world where a foundation develops over time to include powerful feelings of love and desire. Some couples do reestablish their relationship following an affair, either emotional or physical. The trick becomes what to do if the philandering party behaves in an untrustworthy manner a second time. Important steps must be taken to gain freedom from the swirling pain of another's actions.

1. Gain Distance

Though it seems obvious, finding a safe place to be alone and assess the situation and one's feelings prevents rash decisions and and words. Friends and family will be quick to run down a partner who has taken advantage of one's trust again. They will cry for an immediate end to the relationship and possibly retribution by the wronged party. This will sound good on the surface, but can lead to lasting pain.

2. Assess Present Feelings

Often the rawness of pain looms large threatening to overwhelm all the other feelings present in the one who has been betrayed. It might seem like no other feelings could possibly exist. Under an avalanche of immediate damage, more delicate emotions can hide behind the rising flames of scorn. Taking a complete inventory can be vital in the process because it brings to light how the person wishes to respond.

3. Understand the Betrayer

There is a temptation to drill down into one's personal feelings without a second thought to the one who committed the wrongdoing. By taking stock of the other's life, one does not absolve them of their actions or the pain they have caused. This step, though sounding like it is for the betrayer, will actually help the harmed party moving forward by putting the two people on the same footing and not assuming the role of a victim. This process is very difficult requiring strength and time.

4. Offer Forgiveness

In the heat of the moment, a person harmed by infidelity wishes to withhold this component from the one who has committed the act. An act of infidelity with its myriad of pain requires someone to pay for the damage. Forgiving the one who has cheated again can liberate the person who has been wronged. The sense of freedom becomes supercharged if the person never asks for forgiveness and it is offered freely.

5. Decide What's Next

The time to decide whether to move forward with this person or seek another relationship comes when they no longer possess a controlling hold over one's heart. Additionally, factors like children tie people together. This does not mean the harmed party should not establish boundaries for their own health and safety. A second betrayal makes such steps even more critical.

A act of infidelity tests the bonds connecting people. It is not enough to take a hard line stance even if there is no chance for reconciliation because people never free themselves from one another. Also, one needs to let go to move forward with the one who has cheated again or with someone new. It is hard because freedom never comes without a price.

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