Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Thursday, March 8, 2018

What Men Need to Understand About Women and Sex!

Filed under: Intimacy,Relationships,Sex — Larry James @ 9:30 am

Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C and Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, Guest Authors

“She used to love sex. When we were in college we’d have sex three times a week. She truly enjoyed it. She initiated as much as I did. I don’t know what happened, but it’s not the same. Can’t we get back to that? Why did things change?”

This is a common complaint we hear from men. In the beginning of the relationship, sex was frequent and extremely pleasurable for both partners. As the relationship grew and the couple married and started a family, physical intimacy changed. In our practice, we hear men say:

• She’s just not into sex like she used to be.
• She no longer initiates.
• I hear “no” more often than I hear “yes.”
• It seems like a chore to her.
• She must not be attracted to me anymore.
• I feel like she has sex out of obligation, more than desire. I want her to enjoy it.

It’s vital that men know how women feel about sex as life progresses. Here are five important things men need to understand about women and sex:

1. Women desire sex; but, not when they are overwhelmed and tired.

Most women feel burdened by all the chores and “to-dos” on their endless lists. They are wired to “take care” of the family, regardless of whether they work 40+ hours per week. There’s a general feeling of being responsible for ensuring the family system runs smoothly.

What You Can Do: Take some chores off her list. Ask her, “Honey, what can I take off your plate?” Or say, “You relax tonight. I’ll do the dishes and get the kids ready for bed.”

2. When women feel emotionally connected, they want sex more.

Most women need to feel close to their partners as a prerequisite for sex. Men may be able to have sex after an argument or being apart for a time, but it’s not like that for women.

What You Can Do: Remember the romance. Do small things that make a big difference. Leave her a love note. Bring her a rose or her favorite candy. Give her a back rub. Communicate your caring by listening actively.

3. For women, sex begins in the kitchen.

Foreplay is vital for women, and I don’t just mean in the bedroom. Women need a prelude to feel connected. You can’t just dive right in.

What You Can Do: Touch her lovingly during the day. Give her a 10-second hug or a kiss that’s more than a peck. Tell her she looks beautiful and sexy.

4. Sex for women is a great stress buster.

Men usually feel their desire and then have sex. For women, they may not feel aroused to begin with, but once they “get into it” they are glad they did. It relaxes them and provides a sense of intimate closeness.

What You Can Do: Encourage her to relax and remind her that sex relieves some of the tension and stress. It takes the two of you away to another reality.

5. Women need their partners to make them feel desired.

As women age, and especially after having kids, they need their partners to let them know they are still beautiful and sexy. Women are extremely aware of changes to their bodies as a result of age and child bearing, and may become very self-conscious. It’s vital for a partner to make her feel desirable.

What You Can Do: Tell her how sexy she is. Give genuine compliments. Buy her a negligee. Plan an overnight or weekend trip and take her away from the stress.

More than anything, partners need to communicate about their relationships, emotionally and sexually. Make a habit of “checking in” with each other and asking how to best “love” each other. One simple question, “What makes you feel loved by me?” may make all the difference.

BONUS Articles: Want More Intimacy?
It’s Never Too Late to Get Back on Track… S#XUALLY!
Why Sex is Good for Your Health
Making Love vs. Having Sex!
Reignite Your Interest in Making Love! (Not interested in enriching your sex life. DON’T READ THIS!)

header_block_resized.png©Copyright 2018 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, therapist in Owings Mills, Maryland. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment 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 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
Follow Larry’s Relationship Pintrest Page at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

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Friday, January 26, 2018

What Legacy Will You Leave Your Grandchildren?

Filed under: Legacy,Life Lessons,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
Tags:

The sun is setting on a warm summer day, and a cowboy in his mid-fifties is leaning on a fence post with his dusty work gloves tucked away in his back pocket. He watches the colors of the sky change as the sun melts into a cool, dark night. It’s a majestic finale and his reward for persevering through a hard day’s work to provide a good life for his family.

That man was my Granddad Joe, and that’s the scene I imagine when I think of him. The vision is symbolic of a life well lived and the legacy that he left within our family and among those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Granddad Joe grew up during the Dust Bowl doing whatever he could to survive on the farm. His work ethic came from a necessity of working 14-hour days, laboring through the heat in the summer and the bitter cold of winter blizzards. Granddad Joe went to be with the Lord last year, but his work ethic was inherited by my father who, in turn, passed it on to me.

This is what comes to my mind when I think of a legacy. I often ask myself, What kind of a legacy do I want to leave? How do I want to be remembered when I’m gone? For me, I know that I want a legacy that my children, grandchildren and many generations after that can be proud of – just like my father and my grandfather.

It’s never too late to consider your impact on the world. Following are some ideas to consider as you develop a vision for your legacy.

Know what you stand for.

Which qualities are most important to you? Let these traits be the guideposts for how you see the world, how you spend your time, where you spend your money, and how you make decisions. Look to your role models, and identify the qualities that impacted your life in a positive way.

Live your values.

What we do is more important than what we say. Values mean nothing if they are not put into practice every day. And I do mean practice. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail on occasion. We all aspire to perfectly embody our values, but being human, we will fall short. It’s all part of living and learning.

Talk about things that matter.

One day, when I was growing up, I went out with my dad to feed the cows. I decided to run up a hill instead of riding in the truck with my dad. As I approached the top of the hill, I got tired, gave up, and hopped back in the truck. After a few minutes of silence, my dad said, “That’s the difference between you, your brother, and me. We would have crawled up the last 50 feet before quitting.” His words stung but he meant them with love and affection, and it’s a lesson that has pushed me to persevere through hard times. If he’d have kept quiet, I wouldn’t have learned.

Encourage yourself and others with slogans.

When I was in high school, I asked my dad why he kept his head down and always worked hard. His response was, “One day it will all pay off.” That slogan has always stuck with me. Simple phrases like that are easy to recall, and they can help you uphold your values when the going gets tough. Here are some other examples. Choose your own slogans, write them down, say them often, and share them with others, especially children.

• Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
• Do good and good will come to you.
• Treat others as you would like to be treated.
• Always assume positive intent.
• Those who deserve love least need it most.

Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” This verse isn’t necessarily about a financial inheritance, but can also be interpreted as the life lessons we gain from our role models and the legacy we will one day pass on to our children. Together, generation-by-generation, we’re making our home, our community, and the world an even better place.

FirstUnitedBank.jpg© 2018 First United Bank. All rights reserved.

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment 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 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
Follow Larry’s Relationship Pintrest Page at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Monday, January 22, 2018

Valentine’s Day! Gifts Through the Times…

Filed under: Relationships,Valentine's Day — Larry James @ 10:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Deborah Lansing, Guest Author

The countdown to Valentine’s Day is on–the big day for love and romance is five week’s away. And you know what that means, guys? Time to start making those romantic plans…and shopping for the perfect gift. No pressure, right? And, for the love of all that is good, do not forget to mark the day in your phone…because, yeah, we know some of you forget!

So what do you get this year? That really depends on how long you’ve known the person you’re with—whether this is a significant other, spouse, new relationship. If you just started getting to know each other, then Valentine’s Day isn’t such a big responsibility. You’re not expected to go all out with flowers and all the big stops, because, yes, that could be way over the top (and kind of pushy). A small bouquet or gift is fine for a new relationship. Maybe talk about what the two of you want to do that day…keep it casual. Unless, of course, the relationship is really heating up. Then you may want to make a lasting impression.

If you’re shopping for a longtime love or spouse, Valentine’s Day is more of an event. But how much of an event depends on the two of you. If you’ve been together for a while, then you probably have an understanding about tastes and expectations. Maybe this means flowers, jewelry, candy. Or you may be a low-key couple and order pizza and queue up a few movies. Valentine’s Day means something different to every couple.

But what if you really want to do something different this year? Make a big splash perhaps. If this is the mother of your children we’re talking about, Valentine’s Day is a great time to present her with a pendant or ring with the family’s birthstones. Or maybe she’s always wanted diamond earrings? You can always surprise her with a unique bouquet—something beyond roses like sunflowers, daisies or even succulents!

Esquire has an amazing list of really unusual—and fantastic—gifts for women. Think boots, crossbody bags and “a badass earring!” Just so you know, big earrings are back! Small stackable rings are also a nice choice. Bath items like lotions and bubble bath, though, can be hit or miss. You really have to know his/her fragrance preference. Stylecaster also recommends breakfast in bed…complete with lots of heart-shaped balloons! If you’re on a budget, you can usually buy Mylar balloons at a dollar store!

Still in need of ideas or inspiration? Check out the infographic that looks at “Valentine’s Gifts through the Ages” below.

BONUS Articles: Yes, You CAN Write a Valentine’s Day Letter!
Little Known Facts About Valentine’s Day!
Chocolate is still “in” for Valentine’s day
Candlelight Tips for a Romantic Interlude
Be My V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E All Year Long!

Cupid, another symbol of Valentine’s Day, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards. Be sure to read” “The Story of Cupid.”cupid

Copyright 2017 ~ Deborah Lansing. Deborah Lansing was born and raised in San Diego, California where she attended Santa Clara University and graduated with a degree in Marketing. She has surfed since she was a teenager, and enjoys pretty much any activity that involves spending time in the sun.

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentContact: 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
Follow Larry’s Relationship Pintrest Page at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Thursday, December 21, 2017

7 Strategies to Survive the Holidays When You’re Hurting

Filed under: Health & Wellness,Holidays,Personal Growth,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
Tags: , ,

Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C and Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, Guest Authors

• My wife is having an affair. It hurts.

• I wonder if we’ll make it to next Christmas. I’m so sad. This could be our last holiday together.

• I want to divorce my husband, but I have to wait until after the holidays. The anxiety is killing me.

• This is the first year since we split. Everything’s changed. It’ll never be the same.

• My kids are going to be with my ex for the holiday. I feel so lonely.

• As a relationship therapist, these are the kinds of things I hear from individuals and couples in my practice.

• The holidays can be incredibly painful when you’re hurting.

In your mind’s eye, you picture everyone else having a jolly time – cheerful and excited; enjoying the holiday season; decorating; cooking; singing; giving and receiving gifts. Yet you are suffering. You feel so alone. You may have sad or anxious thoughts, such as:

• There is nothing to celebrate this year.

• I’m so depressed; I just want to stay in bed.

• I don’t want to decorate.

• I’d like to go to sleep and wake up when it’s all over.

• I’m going to skip the holidays this year.

• I’m so isolated.

I want you to know that although you feel alone, you are not. There are many people who feel sad, depressed, or anxious this time of year.

When life is on the upswing, the holidays may bring added joy and happiness. But when that’s not the case, the holidays may highlight your unhappiness and distress, especially if you are facing the loss or potential loss of a significant relationship.

After all, the holidays are not really about the gifts, the songs, or the pretty decorations. They are about the relationships we have, the people we are giving to or receiving from. They are about sharing the songs and the decorations with others, about eating the latkes or drinking the eggnog together.

I recall one of the times I hurt during the holidays. I grew up in Baltimore. My dad was a cardiovascular surgeon who specialized in emergency medicine. Several years after my parents’ divorce, my dad was offered an opportunity to develop an emergency trauma center at the University of Oklahoma, similar to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. I understood why he couldn’t pass up this opportunity, though it meant he would live 1,334 miles away. He left. As a going-away gift, I gave him an album with pictures of me and my siblings.

It was hard that first year. I went out to visit in December. He and my stepmother hadn’t made any close friends. So, for the holidays they had an “orphan’s dinner.” They rounded up people they worked with and neighbors who didn’t have family locally and invited them to bring a dish to the dinner – and they had to dress like orphans. It was actually fun and we had a very nice time. It’s one of the memories that has stayed with me. I admired the creativity. Instead of focusing on their loneliness, they created a new tradition, which went on for years.

If you are hurting because your relationships are not on solid ground this year, you have some choices to make. You have some control.

Here are seven strategies to survive the holidays when you are hurting:

1. Accept Your Feelings

Sit with your feelings and acknowledge them. Even the most intense feelings will lessen over time. After unthinkable losses, people are more resilient than they imagine. In my practice, I’ve journeyed with people for 25 years through tremendous hurts and losses, through the most painful periods in their lives. I’ve had my own share of pain and losses, too. We can’t imagine surviving them until we do. And then we thrive once again.

2. Be Kind to Yourself

At difficult times, we are more likely to think negatively, to criticize or berate ourselves. Thoughts start with, “If only I had …”; “I wish I would have …”; “I’m worthless because …”; “I’m a failure because …” Validate your feelings; they’re real. But don’t stop there. Work on changing your thoughts to more positive ones.

Ask yourself, “If my child or best friend was saying these things, what would I tell them?” Tell those things to yourself. Love and embrace yourself and your inner child.

No to stress! 3. Take the Stress Off

Often, we put pressure on ourselves, especially when it comes to cooking and gifts. Do you:

•  Think you should make every dish instead of asking others to bring something?
•  Believe all the dishes and desserts should be homemade from scratch?
•  Obsess about getting the “perfect gift”?
•  Spend more money than you can realistically afford?
•  Wrap every gift meticulously?
•  Go overboard on cleaning and decorating?
•  Feel you have to attend every function you’re invited to?

Take the pressure off. These are things you can control. Buy some ready-made food. Ask others to bring a dish or dessert. Get the “good enough” gift. Do less decorating, wrapping, cleaning. Or say, “I wish I could host this year, but I can’t.”

When you are hurting, reach out to friends or family for support, even if you have to push yourself.

4. Connect with Others

When you are hurting, reach out to friends or family for support, even if you have to push yourself. Feeling connected to others is often what soothes our pain. Go to some of the events you’re invited to, even if you stay for only a short time. Remind yourself the holidays are about sharing with others.

5. Start New Traditions

The one thing we can count on is life always changes. Eventually, all traditions end. Kids grow up, marriages end, a family member passes away, and your children start their own families. Traditions feel good because they are familiar. They reassure us that the world is safe, that there is something we can count on. Many of us don’t like change, but none of us can escape the fact all traditions change eventually.

6. Help Others

One of the best ways to not feel isolated is to volunteer where others need help. Work in a soup kitchen, serving meals to people who are poor or homeless. Find a charitable or religious organization in your community and attend an event to pitch in. Volunteer at a hospital.

These acts of kindness not only help the community, they serve to remind you that you are not alone and there are people who have suffered (or are suffering) more than you. This is not meant to invalidate your own suffering, but to remind yourself that pain is a part of life – and it will pass. Helping others may give you a different perspective on your suffering and make you feel more connected.

7. Practice Self-Care

When you don’t have anyone there to care for you, you must care for yourself. Being alone won’t last forever, even if it feels that way. Some suggestions:

•  Cook your favorite meal.
•  Try not to overeat.
•  Get seven to eight hours of sleep.
•  Meditate or listen to soothing music.
•  Stay away from alcohol; it’s a depressant.
•  Don’t use drugs to cover up the hurt. You may only create another problem for yourself and your family.
•  Treat yourself to something special that you wouldn’t ordinarily do – a show, a pedicure, a spa day.
•  Explore nature. Bundle up and go for a walk. Breathe in the cold air. Practice mindfulness.

Now it’s your turn. What are you going to do to survive the holidays? If you need help, coaches are here to support you.

“What’s difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does or says something that tempts us to close our hearts because their heart was closed. That is hard. But that is also how we grow. We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold to our loving center no matter what the world throws us.” ~ Marianne Williamson

BONUS Article:  Rx for the Holiday Blues!

© Copyright 2017 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, therapist in Owings Mills, Maryland. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment 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.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s 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
Follow Larry’s Relationship Pintrest Page at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Monday, December 18, 2017

Different People Hear Differently!

Filed under: Listening — Larry James @ 10:30 am
Tags: , ,

What you say is not nearly as important as what we hear. Which means that the words matter, and so does the way we say them. And how we say them.

And what we do after we say them.

It takes two to be understood. Not just speaking clearly, but speaking in a way that you can be understood.

Empathy is not sufficient. Compassion is more useful, because it’s possible to talk to someone who is experiencing something that you’ve never experienced.

The words above are from a blog post by Seth Godin.

“External factors in the home also make it difficult for couples to be attentive to one another. Household chores, tending to children, working from home, and a host of other necessities can definitely present challenges to communication. This is true even among the most loving and supporting of couples.” ~ © 2014 MarriageMoment.org

Rather than becoming upset or angry when your spouse appears to be inattentive, accept responsibility to gain their attention. When the words, “We need to talk” are heard it makes most men quiver with fear. So, instead, when you need to have an important talk, choose a good time and quiet place to initiate conversation. If your partner had a tough day, is tired, has a lot on his/her mind, is busy with an important task, etc., it may be wise to wait for a better opportunity to talk. And talk you must. Never let important conversation slide.

Here is an over-simplified solution: When your partner talks to you… turn down the TV, get rid of any distractions and LISTEN! Paying attention takes conscious effort. It is highly conducive to building a sense of connection to your partner. You say, “I love you” in a very special way when you pay attention to your partner! It’s truly a matter of respect!

If you are the partner who is not being heard… it may be necessary to make a request. I once put on my “feelings” hat and said to my partner; “Can you understand how frustrating it is for me to tell you something that I consider very important only to have to repeat it because you are not paying attention when I speak? It feels like your not interested in what I have to say.” I got a quick apology and her immediate attention.

If any of this rings the bell for you, it is important to understand that you have valid emotional needs, – one of which is being heard – and when those needs are ignored, relationship conflicts arise.

“Effective communication – especially in times of conflict – calls for a focused dedication and repetitious practice. It calls for honest self-evaluation, humility, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to change according to the needs of the relationship. And it takes (at least) two.” ~ Thom Rutledge Quote, LCSW

For the Guys

Listen to your partner when they need to be heard. Listening (in a relationship) is an art. It takes practice. It not the kind of listening that signals, “Yeah, I heard that… now what?” It the kind of listening that lets your partner know that you really care about what she is saying. When she speaks… you must focus on what she is saying. Make eye contact. Drop what you are doing. Turn off the TV and really pay attention to what she is saying. Don’t get defensive. Just listen. If she is speaking about a bad day, resist the urge to “fix-it!” She really doesn’t want a Mr. Fix-it, she wants a committed listener!

whenshespeaks.jpgFor the Gals

Say what you want, clearly. Don’t hint. Guys don’t get hints. That’s the way their brain is wired. Men cannot read your mind. Don’t have any undelivered communication. Say what you mean and mean what you say. No wonder you think that he doesn’t listen. He doesn’t have a clue about what you are talking about. I’ve been criticized for saying, “Say things worth listening to,” as if I meant that you don’t. The point is, when you want your guy’s attention, wait before you speak until you have it. If he is not in the listening groove… be patient until he is. Then, be clear and specific about what you want.

“Rarely is there a time when it is appropriate to withhold relevant communication in a love relationship. Communication is too important to take casually. Say what you mean. Say what you feel in a loving way and say it nevertheless. When you say what you know needs to be said, you will never have to worry about saying the wrong thing.” ~ Larry James

For Everyone

Almost everyone agrees that communication is the number one problem is most relationships. Communication is about speaking and listening. It’s not about always trying to defend your position or holding on to being right. It’s also about negotiation, compromise, and much more. Learn to be good at it. When one person is speaking (no interruptions), the other is listening (paying attention), and vice versa. Maintaining respect for your partner’s point of view is critical regardless of whether there is agreement or not.

“According to the University of Missouri, it takes 25 percent of our mental capacity to hear what someone is saying, leaving the other 75 percent to wander wherever it wants. However, discipline and active engagement in the conversation can significantly improve your listening skills.” ~ Lily Obeck

The secret to communicating effectively with your partner is listening! Many of us are poor listeners. We lose interest as soon as out partner begins to talk about something that has been a concern or that has caused conflict in the past. We find ourselves dipping into our bag of tricks and using anything to avoid that conversation and it’s usually begins by not listening.

Copyright © 2017 ~ Seth Godin and Larry James. All rights reserved.

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment. 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.

letsbefriends2

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
Follow Larry’s Relationship Pintrest Page at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How to Keep Holiday Harmony with Your In-Laws

Filed under: Holidays,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
Tags: , ,

Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C and Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, Guest Authors

HolidayHarmony.jpgGoing home for the holidays? Many people do. If you are close to your in-laws, consider yourself lucky and enjoy your holiday season. For the rest of you, keep reading. There are ways to minimize difficulties with in-laws if you and your partner prepare upfront.

Many couples in our practice are doing just that – talking with each other about how to manage and reduce the stress around visiting each other’s families. It’s especially complicated when there are blended families. The best defense is a good offense. So, set time aside for you and your partner to create some holiday harmony.

Here are 5 steps to keep holiday harmony with your in-laws.

1.  Have Realistic Expectations.  Anticipate the issues that will arise and plan for them. You can predict who is going to be the backseat parent, who will talk your ear off without asking you one question about yourself, who will comment on how you are dressed, or worse yet, how much weight you’ve gained, who will gossip about other family members in the room.

The good part about being able to predict this, is that you can anticipate and prepare responses up front, instead of being caught off guard and reacting emotionally to things that you should have known were going to happen.

2.  Plan Your Responses.

  • Pick your battles: Sometimes the best response is “no response” – walk away, go to the bathroom, or bite your tongue.
  • Acknowledge and redirect: When your mother-in-law tells you how to discipline your son, say “I understand that’s how you see it.” This acknowledges you’ve heard her, and shuts down the conversation. Then move on to another topic.
  • Assert yourself: When appropriate, be authentic and direct. If your husband’s grandmother says, “I liked your hair long. Why did you cut it,” you can say, “I appreciate your opinion; my husband loves the new style.”

3.  Don’t Take It Personally.  I remember a quote from Wayne Dyer that I have often thought of at times when I felt someone was judging me: “What you think of me is none of my business.” Keep that thought in your back pocket and use it.

Remember, we can’t pick our families and we certainly can’t pick our in-laws. Marriage is a package deal and that’s what we sign up for. Whatever they think about you or say is more of a reflection about who they are, than of you.

4.  Stick Together.  Operate as a team. Maintain your empathy for each other and look at things from each other’s perspective. Your partner needs to not make you wrong for your feelings and reactions; you must be mindful that no matter what the baggage is, most people still love, and feel protective of, their parents and other family members.

5.  Plan Your Exit Strategy.  Decide up front when you will leave, but maintain flexibility. Remember, it is only one day, and you are doing this for your partner.

Preparing for holiday visits to family is a great way to head off difficulties; work on communication and listening skills; create a deeper sense of connection with your partner and set yourself up to have a wonderful time.

BONUS Articles: Have a Happy Holiday & a Prosperous New Year!
Rx for the Holiday Blues!

Copyright © 2015 by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, is a licensed counselor and co-founder of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together with her husband, Bob, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment 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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Monday, November 20, 2017

Why Do Happy People Cheat?

Filed under: affairs,Cheating — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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Rebuilding a relationship after trust has been shattered, begins with understanding why the affair happened. Most people would say, “Surely, there was something wrong in the relationship. Something must have been broken.”

If only it was that simple.

An affair: it can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness, their very identity. And yet, this extremely common human experience is so poorly understood.

• What are we to make of this time-honored taboo — universally forbidden yet universally practiced?
•Why do people cheat — even those in happy marriages?
*Why does an affair hurt so much? When we say infidelity, what exactly do we mean?
*Do our romantic expectations of marriage set us up for betrayal?
*Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage?
*Is it possible to love more than one person at once?
*Can an affair ever help a marriage?

Perel weaves real-life case stories with incisive psychological and cultural analysis in this fast-paced and compelling book.

It’s easy to blame it on the partners in the relationship – the betrayed wasn’t fulfilling the needs of their spouse, or the betrayer was just selfish and narcissistic. While sometimes that is the case, sometimes it’s not.

There are people who care about their spouse or partner, have a good relationship, and also have an affair. Esther Perel, psychotherapist and best-selling author, explores this reality in her new book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.

As a preview of the book, read Esther’s article in The Atlantic, “Why Happy People Cheat.”

Copyright © 2017 ~ Relationships Work. All rights reserved.

Need a relationship extreme makeover? Phone a friend!

BONUS Articles: My Partner Cheat? Never!
Forgiveness… What’s it For?

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment. 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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Friday, November 17, 2017

Moving From Whiner to Winner

Filed under: Attitude,Change,Relationships,Video — Larry James @ 10:30 am

Landmark Forum Leader David Cunningham recently appeared on ABC TV’s Good Morning Washington to talk about complaining, at how one can take powerful actions that can make a difference with complaints.

Copyright 2017 ~ David Cunningham. https://www.landmarkforumnews.com/tag/david-cunningham/

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment. 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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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pulling Off the Perfect Holiday Proposal

Filed under: Proposal,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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HolidayProposalEMMA.png

Copyright 2017 ~ Emma Gibson. Emma Gibson is a daughter, sister, and friend. She enjoys writing about lifestyle topics, combining her professional expertise with her love for pets, weddings, and cooking! She worked along Brilliance.com for the creation of this infographic.

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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ 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
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Monday, October 9, 2017

What Is Retroactive Jealousy?

Filed under: Jealousy,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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Jeff Billings, Guest Author

My retroactive jealousy started five years ago… At around 2 a.m. my girlfriend and I were asleep in bed. Her mobile phone rang, waking us up. She took one look at who was calling and tossed it aside. A few moments later it beeped with the arrival of a text. Turned out it was a former “friend-with-benefits” asking if she was available to share some quality benefits. My girlfriend politely declined the request, but for some reason he found it strangely hard to take the hint and continued to pester her over the coming months.

An assortment of other former sex buddies also came out the woodwork and started cropping up on her phone, on Facebook, in conversation, etc. Many people would’ve been able to just shrug off these guys from the past without a second thought, but for some reason I became consumed by what’s known as retroactive jealousy OCD — obsessive anxiety and over-thinking about a partner’s romantic and/or sexual past.

After months of research on how to get over the repetitive images in my mind of my girlfriend’s sexual past, I discovered that certain exercises and mind hacks were able to ease the pain. The foundation for these, though, was built on first working out just what was going on inside my head.

A large part of the problem with retroactive jealousy OCD is not knowing why you’re feeling jealous about the past in the first place. Once the mind has latched onto a problem like, “Why am I feeling jealous of events that happened in the past?” though, it can be extremely difficult to release it.

Below I lay out the three core components of what’s going on in the mind when it comes to retroactive jealousy. Once I learned what these emotions were and how they were fueling my retroactive jealousy, I was finally able to start getting over it.

Fear

Strange as it may sound retroactive jealousy is not really about the past at all. It’s about anxieties you’re harboring about the present. And those are all bound up with a lack of confidence in yourself that you’ll be able to actually hold on to your partner. Retroactive jealousy, therefore, is merely an expression of this fear — that you’ll lose your partner.

The reason why these feelings are so strong is because you feel so strongly toward your partner. If you think back to an ex who you maybe didn’t care about as much, would you say you’d have been as “jealous” of their past if it had been exactly the same as your current partner’s? Probably not. So the thing to remember is that this retroactive jealousy you’re feeling is just your ego’s way of telling you to be careful because it doesn’t want to be hurt.

Judgment

Judgment plays a massive factor in retroactive jealousy. Quite simply, it’s more or less impossible to suffer from retroactive jealousy without being judgmental. This primarily manifests itself in judging a partner’s past actions. Sleeping with many people, one-night-stands, questionable exes, etc., are often very much looked down upon.

However, with retroactive jealousy it’s also not uncommon to be judgmental in some way about how a partner is behaving in the present too. So, keeping in contact with exes either in person or online, refusing to delete photos, reminiscing about the past, etc., are all actions that can inspire judgment.

A good way to overcome judgment of your partner’s past or present actions is to learn to trust them. Once you let go of your anxieties and fears that they may run off with someone else, and actually believe it when they tell you they love you, your feelings of judgment should start to dissipate.

Envy

I began to understand that envy played a part in my retroactive jealousy after comprehending that I wasn’t fearful or judgmental about my girlfriend’s sexual past in general. I didn’t particularly like the fact that she’d slept with five guys in six months, but this wasn’t what kept me awake at night. What really bugged me was one guy in particular — the one who’d woken us up at 2 a.m. in the morning and had continued to pester her for months afterwards.

I recognized that mainly I was envious of just this guy’s relationship with my girlfriend, and this was brought on by the way she seemed to treat him differently from all the other guys. While all the others had long been deleted from her phone and social media accounts, this one remained. Her refusal to remove him from her life, and generally favorable view of him, made me feel envious of their past and present relationship, and this was the final piece of the puzzle I needed to work out what was going on in my head.

If you’re struggling to overcome retroactive jealousy, focusing on these three areas of fear, judgment and envy should be your first point of call in learning how to overcome retroactive jealousy OCD. Figuring out what’s going on in your mind is half the battle, but hopefully now you know what you’re up against and are better equipped to fight it.

Copyright © 2017 – Jeff Billings.  Jeff Billings is the author of The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure and founder of RetroactiveJealousyCrusher.com — a website devoted to helping people get over repetitive thoughts about their partner’s past caused by retroactive jealousy OCD. He lives on the south coast of England with his wife, Emma, and dyslectic cat, Mike.

BONUS Article:
Romantic Jealousy is Scary!
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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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ 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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