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Question that matters

Ed, my buddy, got divorced because of golf, baked potatoes, and blackflies. See, Ed liked to play golf, which was no big deal—until he and his wife, Amy, started having money problems and she’d remind him that he’d blown $500 a month “whacking a little ball around.”

Ed also was a slow eater, while Amy tended to gobble her dinner down rather quickly.

By the time he’d buttered his baked potato, his wife had finished her meal. Which was no big dea—except that it reminded them daily of how different they really were.

Finally, Ed’s job was transferred to Bangor, Maine, which was no big deal—except that Amy was a Texan who “couldn’t deal with blackflies,” she said, and, unlike Ed, came from a big, very close family that she missed just a little too much.

These tiny hitches mutated into one festering, ugly, insurmountable problem, but that’s not the really sad part about Ed’s story. Instead it’s what he asked me 10 minutes before he took his marriage vows: “Do you think I’m doing the right thing?”

The time to ask questions is before you go diamond hunting. We asked scores of marriage therapists and both married and divorced men to suggest key questions you should ask her (and yourself) to gauge compatibility and to reveal potential hot spots in your relationship.

Check out the questions linked on the left side of this page. Getting four or more answers that don’t jibe with yours should give you pause. It’s how you resolve your differences that will guarantee a long and happy marriage.

Money

Ask her:
What would you do if you won $100,000 in the lottery?

You must find out her financial priorities.

“One of the biggest problems couples have is money and, specifically, differences in styles of spending and attitudes about their budget,” says Karen Sherman, Ph.D., a couples psychologist in New York City. You’ll learn how she views money, saving, and long-term investing.

Will all of it go toward cars and trips, or most toward retirement? It’s not essential that you share the same investment strategies. What’s important is to use the conversation to prompt a discussion about financial behavior: how you pay bills, invest the year-end bonus, or decide on major purchases. If your attitudes don’t mesh, now’s the time to get the issues on the table and build a consensus.

Degree of potential difficulty:
HIGH

Her Family

Ask her:
What’s your favorite holiday? How does your family spend it?

It’s important to learn about her family roots.

Where you spend the holidays can be a huge political issue. “The underlying issue is whose family comes first, and that stands for who has the power in the relationship,” says William Doherty, Ph.D., a professor of family and social science at the University of Minnesota and author of Take Back Your Marriage.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM to HIGH

Religion

Ask her:
Do you believe in God?

This helps you find out how compatible your faiths and religious rituals are.

In a Syracuse University study of 120 married couples, those who shared religious holiday rituals reported more marital satisfaction than the pairs who practiced holiday rituals separately.

It’s not necessarily the religion itself that’s key—though the particular religion you practice can certainly be a huge issue with her family—it’s all the things that go with it. “When you engage in celebrations and rituals, there’s usually a lot of planning involved, something to look forward to that’s meaningful to discuss,” says Barbara Fiese, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and coauthor of the Syracuse study.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM to HIGH

Her Work

Ask her:
What’s your dream job? Where would you most like to live?

You need to know her goals, and how far she’s willing to go to reach them.

Just asking shows support for her career, an important factor. A George Mason University study of 117 married couples found what the Wonderbra people have known for a long time: Those who felt they had more support had greater satisfaction than those who felt unsupported.

It’s also a good time to find out how far she’s willing to move away from her family. “It’s a very underappreciated area of stress—where are you going to live, whose family are you going to live near—yours or hers?” says John K. Miller, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist at the University of Oregon.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM

Your Work

Ask her:
What was your dad’s work schedule like?

You need to find out whether she’s already lived with a man who had the same work ethic and schedule as yours.

Maybe her dad worked a 7-to-3 shift every day of his life, came home and played with the kids until they went to bed, and never worked weekends. Maybe he owned a business and set his own hours so he was always home for dinner.

But your job—or your future job—may require late meetings, 60-hour workweeks, and business trips. And that can put stress on a relationship.

“Working until 9, 10, sometimes later, night after night, is a constant source of stress with my wife,” a friend of mine in publishing told me. “She still doesn’t understand that this is the nature of the business at deadline time. It’s not the life she was used to.”

Degree of potential difficulty:
HIGH

Interests and Dreams

Ask her:
How do you envision your life in 5 years?

This will help you find out whether she wants to be a career girl or a stay-at-home mom or a mom with a career.

You should know whether she expects to live in a big house in the ‘burbs, an apartment in the city, or a farm in rural Kentucky. More and more research shows that the “opposites attract” notion is a myth. Successful couples usually have more similar priorities than not, says Leslie Parrott, Ed.D., author of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.

A couple has to have similar goals and a long-term plan, worked out together, to reach these goals. And, even more important, a similar tolerance for risk and sacrifice. If you don’t share the same values, they’ll be a constant source of conflict in terms of how you spend your time and money.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM

Discipline Style

Ask her:
What do you think of spanking as punishment?

You need to hear her thoughts on disciplining kids.

We assume you’ve worked out whether you both want children, and maybe even how many. (You have done this, right?) But how you’ll discipline them is a topic that’s often overlooked. Bring it up the next time you see an unruly child at a restaurant shooting jelly packets across the booth. Ask her how she’d handle it and how she was disciplined as a child.

“Either we tend to follow the way we were raised, or, if something was objectionable about the way we were raised, we do the opposite,” Doherty says. Different parenting styles can cause the most strain on a marriage because they can be a daily, even hourly, source of conflict.

“It’s chronic acid on a relationship,” says Scott Stanley, Ph.D., codirector of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver and coauthor of Fighting for Your Marriage.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM to HIGH

Genetics

Ask her:
What do your parents like to drink?

It’s important to know if there’s a history of alcoholism in her family.

“Health problems like depression and alcoholism have a strong genetic component,” Doherty says. “If her mother had depression or her father was a chronic alcoholic, there’s a good chance it could creep up and become a problem.”

It’s not a relationship killer (unless you use the terms “defective gene” or “your terminally plastered mother” when discussing it), but talking about hereditary health risks early will make it easier to discuss the same conflicts should they pop up in your relationship.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM

Your Potential In-Laws

Ask her:
How have your parents reacted to your previous boyfriends?

You should find out whether they’ll think the current boyfriend is good enough for their little princess (and whether they’ll pay big bucks for the wedding).

“If her parents don’t approve, there’s a potential problem,” says Sherman. Not that that’s necessarily a deal breaker. Who are you marrying, her or them?

What’s more important is to learn something about your girlfriend by how she responds. Is she the kind of girl who wants to please Mommy and Daddy? Or is she secure enough with herself to make her own life decisions?

Here’s a way to look for clues: Bradbury suggests asking how her parents have responded to her previous serious boyfriends, and trying to elicit how she reacted to her parents’ disapproval. Did they make a big deal over the last guy’s prison record? Will they care about yours? If she supported her past boyfriends in exchanges with her folks, she’s probably a keeper.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM

Her Father

Ask her:
What was your relationship with your father like?

This helps you find out her attitude toward men.

Especially toward the one who mattered most (before you). If her father was distant and cold, she may seek male approval. If her father was abusive or a cheat, she may have trouble trusting men.

“If there’s any unfinished business in her relationship with her father, it could manifest itself in your relationship,” says Sherman. “When people get into serious relationships, they tend to look to their mate to give them everything they need. Couples get into trouble when they don’t look closely at these tendencies early on.”

You also should consider her relationship with her mother, which could have the very same implications. If she can’t pee without calling her mother to tell her all the details, that’s not going to change after you walk down the aisle.

Degree of potential difficulty:
MEDIUM

And the Ultimate Question . . .

Finally, you need to ask yourself this: “Can I ask these questions and have an honest, intelligent conversation with this woman when we disagree?” Because if you can’t, none of her answers really matter.

source: http://www.menshealth.com


You are worth it

sometimes life sucks. sometimes life gets so hard
that you don’t wanna b put thru it no more.
sometimes life is so stressful, all u wanna do is cry.
but sometimes life is beautiful, n puts u in awe.
sometimes its happy, n all u wanna do is smile.
sometimes u just have to stay positive, n push thru the hard times.
Y? cos life’s worth it.

YOU r worth it.


13 Powerful Lessons to Learn From Happy Loving Couples

“The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together.” Barbara De Angelis

What is the secret to healthy and long lasting relationships? What is LOVE, does it really exists? Can love last forever, and if so, why are there so many relationships that fail? Why are there so many unhappy and needy people that go from one “failed” relationship to another? Is there a shortage of love in the world? How many couples do you know that they are still in love by the time their hair turns gray?

The people who are in healthy couples who manage to keep their love flourishing,

1. SEEK TO GIVE MORE THAN THEY SEEK TO GET. When they enter in a relationship, they do so because they want to share the best of them with the other person, and their main focus is to make the other person happy.

“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” Anthony Robbins

2. THEY ARE ALREADY HAPPY and because of that their love will last until the end of days. They don’t look for “salvation” when entering a new relationship, but rather they look for ways to make the other person happy, understanding that “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to their own. “ Robert Heinlein

3. AWARENESS of the fact that there will be ups and downs, good days and bad days, and that in order for their LOVE to last, they need to invest time and effort in it. You can’t take your hand off the steering wheel and expect to end up in paradise.

4. COMMITMENT. They are committed to: “have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part” and if something gets “broken”, they don’t throw it away (and a lot of times is the other person who you want to “throw” away), they fix it.

5. THEY KNOW HOW TO LOVE WITHOUT BEING NEEDY, and even though it may sound quite frightening, it’s not, for you want to be in a relationship with somebody who is aware of the fact that they are already whole and complete and they don’t need another human being in order for them to feel this way. Can you imagine all the pressure you put on your partner the moment you say that it’s their job to make you happy, and it’s their job to complete you?

“It is only when we no longer compulsively need someone that we can have a real relationship with them.” Anthony Storr

6. RESPECT and ACCEPTANCE of the differences that exist between them, without trying to constantly change the other person, allowing them to be as they are.

“When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom.” John Gray

7. COMMUNICATION and TRUST. Trust in the other person and in what they can achieve together as a couple and a very healthy way of communicating with one another.

“The fundamental glue that holds any relationship together is trust.” Brian Tracy

8. APPRECIATION of the differences and similarities that exist between them, appreciation of the work each and every one of them does and appreciation of who and what they are.

9. TEAMWORK. You know how a lot of couples, after their honeymoon stage they start to act like they are enemies? A lot of people do that, but not these people, for they understand that they are moving in the same direction and that they have the same goals and interests, and that they are part of the same team, and because of that, their love flourishes from one day to another.

“I’m here not because I am supposed to be here, or because I’m trapped here, but because I’d rather be with you than anywhere else in the world.” Richard Bach

10. SPACE. They understand the importance of having space in their relationship for they know that: “Space is a unifying field of awareness in which you meet the other person without the separative barriers created by conceptual thinking. And now the other person is no longer “other.” In that space, you are joined together as one awareness, one consciousness.” Echkart Tolle

11. CONSTANTLY LOOK FOR WAYS to IMPROVE YOURSELF. The people who are in strong, healthy and long lasting relationships are aware of the fact that: “When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself.” Deepak Chopra

They take time to work on their own person, they take time to better themselves because they know that by doing so, by bettering themselves, their relationship will also improve.

12. FOCUS on the GOOD TRAITS of the OTHER PERSON and not on the negative ones. They don’t focus on what the other person is not or on what they think might be missing from their relationship. These people are mature enough to understand that: “Problems in relationship occur because each person is concentrating on what is missing in the other person.” Wayne Dyer

13. NON-INTERFERENCE. They allow the other person to be as he/ she wants to be, without trying to control them, without trying to tell them what to think, what to believe and what to feel.