Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Faith and Trust. . . You Must Have Both!

Filed under: Belief,Faith,Relationships,Trust — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – The Bible

Dr. Ernest Holmes wrote: “Faith is a mental attitude which is so convinced of its own idea – which so completely accepts it that any contradiction is unthinkable and impossible.”

Faith&TrustHere is Ernest Holmes’ definition of faith in the glossary of the book, “The Science of Mind:” Faith is a mental attitude, so inwardly embodied that the mind can no longer deny it. Faith is complete when it is both a conscious and subjective acceptance. Faith may be consciously generated. In spiritual terminology, faith means a belief in the presence of an invisible principle and law [another word for God] which directly and specifically responds to us. “Thy faith has made thee whole.”

“Our mightiest ally (our indispensable ally) is belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or feel. Resistance wants to rattle that faith. Resistance wants to destroy it.” ~ Steven Pressfield

“We trust people because they showed up when it wasn’t convenient, because they told the truth when it was easier to lie and because they kept a promise when they could have gotten away with breaking it.” ~ Seth Godin

faithOkay… thanks for reading this far. I say all that to say this: You must never stop working on building trust in your marriage and have faith that it will work long-term! Be clear about this: faith is trust! Trust continues to build over time and when both partners demonstrate to each other that true “Love” exists and is present in their relationship. Need I mention unconditional Love? Without doubt, the hardest thing to do, is to love unconditionally.

You “will” face challenges in your relationship! Faith and trust is the glue that keeps everything together. Faith must be based on trust, not signs and evidence. Trust is another way of cooperating with each other. Faith in each other requires trusting that people are inherently good. Never betray your partner’s trust! Never. Trust takes time to build and seconds to break. Faith in each other can help rebuild it.

“We all have moments when it seems like everything is going wrong. It’s unavoidable. Its that enormous leap between your lowest moments and the moments that you think will make you happy that faith is required. It’s precisely when things are at their worst that you need “faith” the most.” ~ James Altucher

Trust the creative power within you. Some people call it God. Trust yourself. Trust you partner. Work together. If you need help, ask for it.

How strong is your faith and trust in “your” relationship?

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

BE Who You Are!

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Most people can spot a phony a mile away. I’ve been running into quite a few people lately who seem to be trying to be something or someone they are not. Every time we make small choices to fit in, we are burying a little part of ourselves down deep. Which got me thinking…

BEwhoyouareWhen you learn to be yourself, you learn to trust yourself. You will begin to listen to the “voice” within. As you acknowledge this inner-connection, and begin to listen to it, your life will begin to be different in a much better way. You will give up the notion that you have to pretend to be someone you are not.

This inner-voice or intuition is always right. Listen to it. Follow its advice. It will let you know when who you are being isn’t really you.

It can only be wrong when we make it wrong by not listening to it and by doing what “we” think is best. This inner-voice is committed to serving you in a way you are not being used to being served. You nurture it by listening to it and trusting it to never lead you astray.

If you are still unclear about which voice I am referring to, remember the last time you had to make a major decision. You sensed what you had to do, you listened and made a conscious decision to follow its direction. You knew what was right for you.

Truth is always within you. Listen to its voice. It will guide you into new and often uncharted waters where you can proceed with assurance that while you know you are the captain of your ship, you get to make the decision about listening and then go in a direction that your inner-voice or navigator says is right for you.

Hemingway“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~ E.E Cummings

When you be yourself you don’t have to worry about what you say. I’m not talking about having a total disregard of people’s feelings. I’m talking about being yourself so that you express the truth about who you are in a way that demonstrates that you are a warm, caring, sensitive human being. Not worrying in the sense that you really don’t have to be concerned with remembering what you said last time you were with that person or who you were.

When you allow yourself to truly “be” yourself, you become the truth about yourself. Truth never forgets who it is. It’s the same consistently. It just is!

When you face the fear and go ahead and take the risk to be you, you create a freedom that has it be okay to know yourself and most important, to be yourself. Be you and be free! Freedom always follows risk.

BeingYOUWho you are being is your statement about yourself to everyone around you. People depend on their perception of others 80% of the time and reality only 20% of the time. When you be yourself, you “are” reality and it doesn’t make any difference whether people perceive you as yourself or someone you think they think you need to be. It is infinitely more important to be yourself and much easier too. #1, you don’t have to remember who you were being the last time you were with that person and #2, you feel much better about yourself when you know you are not putting on airs [to act better than you really are].

When you know that the truth about who you are it is much easier to conjure that up than phoniness, you will give up being who you’ve been and truly be who you are. It’s important to create relationships based on being the true you.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Sometimes, you need to step outside, get some air, refresh yourself and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to become. It’s time to stop trying to be someone you think someone else thinks you should be and just be yourself.

I suppose another way of saying this is that you no longer have to pretend. It’s making sure that what and who other people see is really you. In other words, what you see is what you get… consistently.

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Staying Close In Separate Beds

Anymore, it is not unusual to find that many married couples often sleep in separate beds. The National Sleep Foundation reported in a 2005 survey that nearly one in four American couples sleep in separate bedrooms or beds.

The reasons include snoring, disruptive sleep, temperature preferences, different sleep schedules or sleep habits. Snoring, farting, moaning and stealing the bedcovers can keep anyone up at night. You probably do it, too. I denied it for years because it didn’t bother me because I was asleep. ;-) With sleep disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea all too common and on the rise, it is understandable how couples might opt for separate bedrooms.

SeparateBedsWhatever the case may be, the bigger issue is that sleep disturbances due to differences like this can create big relationship problems. Resentment can build. However, couples who genuinely love each other can work through those differences. Open and honest communication is the key. It’s important to avoid being influenced by negative social stigma of separate beds.

Most people believe that for many people sleeping with a partner is very comforting and soothing. Although touch makes us feel good, spooning can increase body heat and make it difficult to stay asleep. But you have to be awake to feel that. There haven’t been many scientific studies about the impact of couples sleeping together. However, experts believe oxytocin, the “love hormone,” is released through touching, including cuddling. According to neurologist Dr. Rachel Salas, assistant medical director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep, increased oxytocin helps the body relax, encourages healing and reduces blood pressure.

Light sleepers may be disrupted if their partner shifts positions throughout the night. For those who need to escape from a thrashing partner or simply need their physical space but still want the security of a partner close by, a larger bed may enable them to sleep together and get a good night’s sleep. If you’re living with a partner who snores, has restless leg syndrome or talks in their sleep, sleeping separately may be the only way to get a good night’s sleep.

Why should a person’s rest be impeded by another person’s own quirks and habits? Truth is, it shouldn’t. Some couples call it “protecting each other’s solitude.” There is no shame in sleeping in separate beds if there are issues that keep one partner or the other from getting a good night’s sleep. Many believe that when a married couple decides to sleep in separate beds, the marriage is in trouble.

There, is of course, the issue of sex. Sex is not only an obvious part of marriage but also an important part of maintaining a healthy marriage. It’s important to develop a morning and nighttime routine so that couples can still work those closeness hours in without sacrificing quality sleep or sexual intimacy. Be sure to stay touchy-feely with each other. Plan your romps between the sheets together. Touch enhances the sense of intimacy and it also has a measurable biological effect. It’s not only important for holding onto the romance – touch is vital to emotional and physical health. Look for other ways to connect outside the bedroom, such as having at least one date night each week, engaging in a hobby or fun activity together. Sleeping in separate beds often has the opposite effect and spices things up, creating a more date-like atmosphere. Your bed, or mine?

As with most things in life, there is one caveat. Sleeping separately is only beneficial if it’s really about your sleep quality – not something more. “If you’re splitting up at night because you’re fighting, or because you’re having sex issues, then it’s going to do more harm than good,” says Susan Heitler, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Denver, Colorado, author of “The Power of Two: Secrets of a Strong and Loving Marriage” and founder of the marriage skills website PowerofTwoMarriage.com.

You might try to fall asleep together in the same bed with the understanding that if one partner disrupts the other’s sleep, that person will slip off to a different room during the night. Be sure your bedroom is sleep friendly. No TV or other distractions. Creating a comfortable bedroom environment is also important. Darkness, a moderate room temperature, and cleanliness all can affect sleep quality.

It’s important to not allow sleeping apart to rob your marriage of its special connection. In other words, sleeping apart can be great if you’re doing it for the right reasons.

BONUS Article: Separate Beds Are Liberating

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Understanding Verbal Abuse

Filed under: Abuse (Emotional & Physical) — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Angela Lambert, Guest Author

Abuse can affect the lives of people regardless of age, gender or social status. Although people most often associate abuse with physical violence, it can come in many different forms including verbal abuse. Because of the nature of verbal abuse, its damaging effects are often underestimated and misunderstood. This can be a problem for people who are the victims of it. In addition, it can make it difficult for people who suspect that a friend or loved one is being verbally abused. To help combat verbal bullying it is important to educate people and raise awareness.

What is Verbal Abuse?

verbalabuse1Verbal abuse is a type of emotional abuse in which a person uses words, body language, or behavior to cause emotional pain or distress to another person. Although it is not physical in nature and does not leave visible bruises, it is just as damaging and can leave an individual with emotional scars and trauma.

With verbal abuse, the abuser uses words as a way to exert control and dominance over the victim. It is a behavior that is often thought of in terms of domestic violence; however, it can occur in places of work, school, etc. Spouses, teachers, employers, girlfriends, boyfriends, or friends can be verbally abusive. When it comes to relationships, it is often a precursor to physical violence.

The Signs of Verbal Abuse

It is important that people recognize when they are being verbally abused. When looking for the signs of verbal abuse, it is necessary to consider the actions of the potential abuser towards the victim. Consistently criticizing or insulting, humiliating, and even ignoring the victim is a clear and obvious sign of verbal abuse. Using words to discount or minimize a person’s experiences or achievements is also a common sign of abuse.

The abuser will often manipulate conversations or the words of the victim, or make the victim feel unworthy or unloved. A verbally abusive person will also blame the abuse on the victim. Dismissing hurtful comments as if they are “no big deal,” or turning them into a joke is another sign of verbal bullying, as is constant negative comments about friends, family or even one’s ethnic group. Withholding words or reactions is also considered a sign.

AbuseThe Effects of Verbal Abuse

When a person is the victim of this type of abuse, he or she is affected in numerous ways. In general, the victim often loses a sense of self; whether that is a sense of self-esteem, independence, peace, or confidence. The individual typically lives in fear of the abuser and what he or she may say or how they react. With children, the effects of verbal abuse can potentially last a lifetime. According to studies by Florida State University, children who are victims of this type of abuse may become adults who are anxiety and depression prone. In addition, they may also tend to grow into adults who have a more negative self-image.

Recovery from Verbal Abuse

The psychological and emotional effects of verbal abuse are severe and can negatively affect many areas of an individual’s life, from their sense of confidence to relationships. To begin the recovery and healing process, people who have been victims of verbal abuse will need to take the proper steps. One of the first steps is to recognize and acknowledge the abuse for what it is. Additionally, a person must be able to place the blame where it belongs, which is on the abuser and not themselves. Often this requires the help of others, and the abused must be willing to seek out help. Help may come in the form of family or friends.

domesticViolenceChildren who are victims of verbal bullying at school should seek out the help of parents or teachers. When the abuse occurs at home, help may come in the form of a teacher or a social worker. In severe cases of abuse of either adults or children, the help of a counselor or therapist is often necessary to aid in the recovery. Depending on the situation, a counselor can also help the victim learn how to set limits and ask for change if the relationship is an ongoing one.

Also, if staying in a relationship with someone who has been verbally abusive, ask that he or she participate in counseling as well. Additionally, support group sessions with other victims of verbal abuse may also prove helpful to the recovery of some. In addition to therapy, there are certain self-help strategies that a person can take to aid their recovery. Keeping a journal to document emotions and thoughts is a positive way to express oneself about the abuse and the recovery process.

Read self-help books on improving self-esteem. Being active and socializing with positive people can also help. It is important for people not to isolate themselves which may encourage depression and stress. By participating in positive activities and meeting new people, a person can make strides towards re-establishing his or her self-esteem and confidence.

BONUS Article: Domestic Violence Sucks!

AngelaLambertCopyright © 2014 – Angela Lambert. Angela Lambert is a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at Morningside Recovery, 3421 Via Oporto, Newport Beach, CA 92663. Visit their Website at: http://www.morningsiderecovery.com/about/

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, July 14, 2014

No Excuses!

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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If you truly have a desire to have your relationship work, you cannot allow yourself to offer excuses.

no-excusesNo excuses!

There are only results or reasons why. The reasons why are the excuses we come up with to avoid taking responsibility for our relationship and to avoid doing something we may be afraid to do and know must be done.

Just do what must be done! What is YOUR hesitation?

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Encore Article ~ An Affirmation for Letting Go

Filed under: Letting Go — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Larry’s NOTE: Lately, many of my coaching clients have needed to let go of a relationship. If what you need to let go of is a relationship, this is for you. I wrote this affirmation many years ago when I needed to let go of a troubled relationship. I suggest that you print it and read it the first thing every morning and the last thing at night until you feel you have made the break. I trust that it will assist you for letting go as it did me.

Let-Go-Let-GodI am willing to trust. I know that to the degree I am willing to give up my search for a healthy love relationship, I can have it. I know I can have whatever I am ready and willing to receive. Individual receptivity is everything. Without it, nothing changes. With it, all things are possible. I no longer insist upon my choice.

I know that the only thing I lose when I let go of something I am afraid to live without is the fear itself. I am stronger than anything that frightens me!

I let go of the past, and I am free to think clearly and positively in the present. I am not my past.

Letting go is the natural release which always follows the realization that holding on is an energy drain and it hurts. Letting go happens effortlessly when there is no other choice. Letting go does not mean giving up.

LoveNote… A life without love in it is like a heap of ashes upon a deserted hearth — with the fire dead, the laughter stilled, and the light extinguished. – Frank P. Tebbetts

Letting go is a journey that never ends. Never. It only begins — over and over again — each time I can glimpse something higher than my own painful certainty over who I think I am. There is always something higher; a life beyond the limits of my present sight.

To see what is farther I must be willing to lift my eyes from their present point of focus. Release always follows revelation and real revelation is always a glimpse of something that was only just out of sight.

I know that stress in my love relationship exists because I insist! What I resist, persists. I am tied to whatever I avoid.

LoveNote… The heart loves, but moods have no loyalty. Moods should be heard but never danced to. – Hugh Prather

It is a mistaken belief that I must push my love relationship in the direction I choose that keeps me in a strained and unhappy relationship with it. Reality has its own effortless course, and I can either embrace its way or struggle endlessly with mine.

I do not need power to flow.

I let go of that part of myself that is certain it is better to suffer and feel like someone than it is to just let go and quietly be no one. I give birth to a new me that never has to hold on to anything because it is already everything.

I dare to walk away from all of the familiar but useless mental and emotional relationships that give me a temporary but unsatisfactory sense of self. My true identity is calling me and to hear it I must be willing to endure, for as long as necessary, the fear of self-uncertainty.

This form of seeming self-abandonment eventually turns into my greatest pleasure as it becomes increasingly evident that the only thing certain about fear is that it will always compromise me. When it comes to who I really am, there is no compromise.

Let go of the past. The past is yesterday. It is irretrievable. When you relate to the past, you relate to no one or any thing. You are literally talking to yourself. No one else is listening. You have already heard all you have to say about that, so, let go.

A Course in Miracles says, “You cannot really not let go what has already gone. It must be, therefore, that you are maintaining the illusion that it has not gone because you think it serves some purpose that you want fulfilled.”

It is certifiable insanity to conjure up my own reality based on the past and relate to it, rather than to relate to the present which is the only reality.

LoveNote… Relationships are part of a vast plan for our enlightenment, the Holy Spirit’s blueprint by which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love. Relationships are the Holy Spirit’s laboratories in which he brings together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth. – Marianne Williamson

I say goodbye to the past and hello to the present.

I am enthusiastic about who I am becoming! I know that no one sincerely asks for a new life until they are thoroughly dissatisfied with the old one. I am and I let go. When I allow myself to let go of what is old, I stay true to what is new.

I believe that as with all insight, higher understanding itself contains not only the instructions I must follow, but the strength I will need to carry them out.

Starting life over again is the key to a new me. I see the beauty and significance of starting over – over and over and over. Every present moment is always new and new is always right now! The new dies to the ever-new in an endless celebration of Life.

This is it!

I live in the present. I never let the past dictate the direction of the present moment. I give my best to my endeavors.

What lies ahead for me can only be good.

True peace and harmony are a part of who I am.

I have come to the realization that what is possible for me to become only truly changes when I am willing to see what is impossible for me to continue being.

My true nature is already fully independent and flying freely. I have found my wings.

I let go and let God. And so it is.

Thank you, Father!

LoveNote… He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love. – I John 4:8

BONUS Articles:See You At the Beach!
At the Beach. . . Alone Again

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Monday, July 7, 2014

Rewind to the Good Times!

Happily ever after is complicated. Happy weddings are a dime a dozen, however, happy marriages are much more rare and therefore more precious than gold.

It’s important to think to the future, say, 50 years down the road and wonder if the person you have chosen – with things sagging and the wrinkles more predominant, etc., etc., – is this someone you will still be excited to be with and love? Or will you say to yourself, “What the hell was I thinking?”

RewindtoGoodTimesI have performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies and often I wonder what things will be like for them. It’s exciting to plan for your wedding together, but how many couples really know what they are getting into?

You stand hand-in-hand at your wedding with the excitement of the moment, smiling radiantly, facing your guests as you walk out into the world together and into a completely different commitment; one that has you promise to work together, come what may and no matter what. And suddenly the world has somehow shifted. All at once everything looks different and it is. You both get that marriage is not a back up plan to diminish your loneliness.

Marriage is something most people go into completely unaware of what they are in for. Hmmm. Kinda like life. Some couples – who experience the deep love that is necessary for marriage to thrive – make it. Some give up when they’ve been together for a while because they lose the excitement that was present on their wedding day.

You are not suppose to stop working on your relationship once you get married! They think that it will last. AND it can… and it takes lots of work, and it’s different. And I’m not sure most couples grasp how much things will change. (Especially after the kids show up.) Is “together forever” in the cards? Or is your marriage founded on the fantasy of forever together and based on an illusion of how you think it should be?

I heard a bride whose ceremony I performed several years ago say, “If you can survive the stresses of a wedding, you can survive anything… marriage should be a snap!” Then she laughed and admitted to me that there have been many ups and downs. She told me that one thing she learned from her mother was when issues surfaced it is important to never let too much time go by before you talk about how to make it all better. I agree. Never let issues marinate in your anger and disappointment. That is a recipe for disaster.

Marriage isn’t always a snap. It depends on the couple. Have they equally considered the benefits? Have they seriously considered the consequences of marriage. Their actions and decisions in their marriage are like that. They all have consequences.

It’s easy to make a wedding happy. You just throw a ton of money and liquor at it. A happy marriage is more difficult to make happy because if you throw a lot of money and liquor at it, it often makes things much worse.

I’m thinking that couples don’t often talk about the things that matter in a marriage. When you don’t talk, you can lose that awesome connection you had when you were first together.

So… when your togetherness doesn’t feel like the excitement you experienced on your wedding day, what can you do?

There is a line in my wedding ceremony that says, “Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place!” Can you remember how to have fun together?

Part of the solution is to rewind to the good times. Stop and think about the things you did that attracted you to each other. Remember that “feeling?” You can experience that feeling again and regain the closeness that connected you emotionally. And you both need to accept responsibility for what happens next.

How often do you tell each other how much you really care? Do you go to sleep at the same time? Research shows that 94% of couples that snuggle in bed say they are happier together. Do you work together to get things done around the house? Nowhere is it written that housework is the woman’s job! Do you kiss often or is that something you think only newlyweds do? How often do you say, “I love you,” (out loud) to each other. Do you still light candles, put on some romantic music and have a quiet evening together? That can often bring back those loving feelings.

Do you still have weekly dates and have FUN together? Do you share your feelings with one another? Do you listen – really listen – to your partner? Do you show appreciation and give your partner praise? Do you treat your spouse with respect and kindness” Do you often hear, “Not tonight, I’m too tired,” or “I have a headache?” Resolve: No more fake headaches. I seriously doubt that you used that lame excuse when you were first together. Maybe you need a little late night “wake me up,” if you know what I mean. These behaviors have natural consequences.

“Just as weeding and watering is essential to a healthy garden, taking time to communicate and listen to your partner is critical if you want your relationship to thrive.” ~ Sara Eckel

Being married has advantages. For well over a century, researchers have known that married people are generally better off than their unmarried counterparts. As early as 1897, sociologist Emile Durkheim was theorizing about why married adults have lower suicide rates than unmarried adults. In a recent survey David Ribar notes that links between marriage and better health in children and adults “have been documented in hundreds of quantitative studies covering different time periods and different countries.”

AND to have a happy and successful marriage takes work! Lots of working together. Lots of work! Are you both on the same page? Are you putting forth the effort to make your partnership really work? How would your life together be different if you did?

That might be a great topic for conversation sometime soon!

BONUS Articles: The Secret to Staying in Love

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Red Rose Bud For Her Pillow…

Filed under: Relationships,Romance — Larry James @ 9:00 am
Tags: , ,

Some men just don’t get it! They say they love their partner, but rarely surprise her with something romantic. Taking the time to stop by a card or flower shop to do more than tell her how much you care without words is a great idea. A flower is a beautiful way to convey unspoken meaning.

Women love surprises. Especially the ones that show that you were thinking about her and that you had to go a little out of your way to make it happen.

RedRoseBudSo… guys! Listen up! If you are little bankrupt in the romance department it’s time you learned that a single red rose bud means only one thing. It means, “I Love you!” Red roses are given to those who you want to show love and passion and people for whom you have great respect. The shade of the red has a meaning as well. Bright red means Love.

So if you really love her, here is your assignment for tonight or certainly no later than tomorrow night. Stop by a flower shop, pick out the most perfect red rose bud available, buy it and attach a small note telling her that you were thinking about her today and express how much you really love her. Make sure it has one of those little water holders around the end of the stem to keep it fresh. Sneak it into the house and display it on her pillow. Plan to go to bed at the same time. Wait for its discovery.

It’s high time we work a little harder to put more romance in our relationships. Don’t wait until you made a boo-boo to give her flowers, do it for no reason other than you love her and think she is special. It’s one thing to say, “I love you,” and quite another to demonstrate your love in special ways. Plan to do something out of the ordinary that is especially romantic for each other at least once each week.

Short of ideas? There are a multitude of romantic ideas on this blog. Click here for many, many more.

BONUS Article: Rose to the Occasion…

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Want a Grrreat Relationship? Ya Gotta Work it!

Happily-ever-after is a myth! Let’s begin there.

It’s a dangerous fantasy to think that marriage really means you get to be happy forever. Every couple has ups and downs. We have good days and some not so good days. Expecting perfection in a marriage or a partner is a step in the wrong direction. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems. Having expectations in our culture is expected. We are brought up that way.

loveYOUHaving great expectations sounds great however when the expectation is unfulfilled, we bitch, we moan, we become disappointed. That is a problem for most people. It seems that we require so much more from a relationship than people did in the past. The expectations we have about relationships are for the most part unrealistic. Alcoholics Anonymous calls expectations premeditated resentments.

As we live longer, “til death us do part” is getting to be tall order. Sometimes we think marriage is complicated – at other times, it seems ridiculously easy.

The happiest couples have a clear sense of purpose and passion in their relationships and also outside of their relationships. It’s important to know that a marriage that runs on multiple tracks makes for a more satisfied spouse who gets to have it both ways – a committed marriage and personal adventures in uncharted territory.

“Falling in love is amazing! The excitement of meeting someone new brings out the best in all of us; the journey ahead feels like an open road full of possibility … but, then something happens: Either the relationship starts to feel stale, or perhaps money issues, kids, or trying to figure out a comfortable work-life balance comes into play. Whatever the cause, the initial spark dims or goes out altogether, and the future of your relationship becomes a long and winding road, full of pit stops and flat tires.” ~ Harville Hendrix (http://www.yourtango.com/experts/harville-hendrix/how-stop-your-marriage-falling-apart-expert)

Some people leave relationships because it just takes too much effort to keep it together. That usually means that one partner has given up and has refused to work with their partner on the relationship.

How do you keep a relationship together when it feels like it’s falling apart? Contrary to popular belief, being in a relationship is not a 50/50 percent proposition, it is 100/100 percent or it will never work.

“You have to respect each other and demonstrate it. Find something you love to do together. A few years ago we started kayaking, and we just bought bikes. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but you need to stay connected. Most of all, treasure each other.” ~ Paul Babcock, who has been married to his wife, Marina, for 32 years

When someone causes you hurt and pain and worry, it’s up to you to see this as red flags.

Make love often! Maintain that sexual energy you had when you first met. Never let it go. That takes work too.

workitGive up being right! You should now have to win every disagreement. In my many years as a relationship coach, some the things that couples fight over are downright ridiculous. Remember that all those “little” things that you have disagreements about, if you don’t talk about them they escalate and often grow into unmanageable issues that can destroy a marriage. Which brings me to the next point.

Communicate! Learn to talk about anything and everything, all the time – that is relevant to your relationship. Surrender to your best judgement. Most people know what they should do… just do it.

Practice the art of forgiveness. It is an art. It takes practice. Remember that forgive and forget is also a myth. If you’re smart when you remember, you must also remember that you’ve already handled that and you need to let it go. Flexibility is always an important component of a long-term marriage. There is “nothing” that cannot be forgiven. Nothing! Saying, “I’m sorry,” even if you would rather not say it works wonders.

“Showing compassion definitely makes spouses behave better. And the ability to bounce back from strife is the real secret that makes marriages last forever.” ~ Iris Krasnow

R-E-S-P-E-C-T for your partner is mandatory if you want your relationship to work. No respect… no sex. People who are always pissed off at each other seldom feel like making love. Regain respect and make love often! Maintain that sexual energy you had when you first met. “Eye contact during sex reinforces the love-making aspect of sex,” says sex expert Ian Kerner, Ph.D. “It also enhances the emotional intensity and sense of intimacy.” Never let go of the intimacy you share. That takes work too.

Relationships are something that need to be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed. Never take each other for granted. What you take together… disappears! The importance of supporting each other as individuals with ideas, dreams and goals of our own is paramount.

Kids, dual careers, a home to maintain, family to deal with, and friendships to sustain and you have a perfect recipe for how couples grow apart. You must help keep your relationship strong by working together. Two words spouses don’t hear often enough from one another: “Thank you!”

Putting some of these ideas to work will help you to avoid boredom which will keep your marriage on track.

CAUTION: Do not ever mention the word DIVORCE in jest or otherwise unless you are ready to leave. Threats do not work. They only make things worst.

Respect. The couple with high hopes demonstrates respect for each other. When one spoke, the other actively listened. They demonstrated this by looking at the other, waiting for each other to finish speaking and often referring to what the other had said.

When things get rocky… never be afraid to seek help from a relationship coach. Sometimes it’s important to have someone who will listen to talk to.

BONUS Articles: 30 Ways to Improve Your Relationship
Forgiveness… What’s it For?
The Truth About Relationship Expectations

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Who Pushes YOUR Buttons?

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags:

It does not matter who you are… eventually someone is going to push your buttons!

Sometimes it’s on purpose and at other times, they may have caught you in a place where it just hit you the wrong way.

I used to lash out at people in my younger days. My mind would begin forming zingers to launch to get even. I soon realized that that didn’t work and that I was the one who suffered. It took a lot of restraint and self-awareness to deal with button-pushing in a healthy, positive way.

ButtonPusher2Now, I just say to myself, “You can’t get my goat if you don’t know where it’s tied up,” and move on to what’s next.

“We are all each other’s teachers, and in all our relationships – from family to colleagues to friends to romantic partners – there are going to be times when our buttons get pushed.” ~ Christine Hassler

Barrie Davenport once said, “The benefits of allowing a button to be pushed without anger or retribution far outweigh the momentary pleasure of lettin’ em have it.”

I agree, however it took me years to figure that out. I had to figure out what was behind my self-imposed fear that caused me to react instead of respond. I finally decided that allowing my buttons to be pushed was an energy drain. It was a distraction; a distraction I would not afford. Unfortunately it was someone that I was very close to. She was getting under my skin. It was dragging me down and bringing out me at my worst. I had to deflect her misplaced anger, although this was challenging. I had to learn that my buttons were MY buttons and she had no right to push them. It was a tough learning curve.

I eventually walked away from the relationship once I viewed her button-pushing as an opportunity for my own self-awareness, healing, honesty, and growth. I had to learn to love her from a distance. From my now perspective, it was a wise choice.

Everything external is internal. A tough lesson to learn. When the button pushing begins, we should examine “our own feelings and attitudes,” not just theirs. This means that if something outside of yourself is bothering you, for example, someone else’s behavior, then you have that within you as well. Duh!! I stopped judging her and focused on me – how could I be okay with the button pushing and not get wrapped up in a reaction? I learned to stop, take a slow, deep breath, I would close my eyes and (it may sound silly) imagine myself in a happy place far removed from what was going on. Next, I would go somewhere quiet and regroup.

“Projection always hides a feeling you don’t want to look at. If you examine any negative trait you insist is present in another person, you will find that same trait hiding in yourself. The more you deny this trait, the more strongly you will have to project it.” ~ Dr. Deepak Chopra

Dennis Merritt Jones observed: “The irony is – if Chopra is right – we can run but we can’t hide from ourselves. By means of the law of attraction these people will continue to show up in our lives until we learn the lesson. The sad part is many people will go to their grave having never learned the lesson because they are not willing to be honest with themselves by exploring their own inner emotional landscape.

It takes courage and compassion to be willing to see a reflection of ourselves in those who we don’t like and mindfully respond rather than react to them. I am reminded of what one of my early spiritual mentors would say whenever I became chafed and overreacted to what he was saying: “While I may push your buttons, I didn’t install them – you did.” The good news is, with mindfulness, one can skillfully uninstall those buttons. But, the first step is to become aware they are there. When another person “pushes our buttons” perhaps the gift they offer us is an invitation to practice tolerance, non-judgement or patience with ourselves.”

The woman I walked away from taught me many valuable lessons for which I am now grateful. Forgiveness was the key to maintaining a friendship with her after I walked away.

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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