Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Friday, November 28, 2014

How to Argue With Your Partner

Filed under: Arguments,Conflict,Guest Authors — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Laurie Puhn, Guest Author

You can argue and still have a happy marriage – if your arguments lead to solutions rather than lingering bitterness. Four ways to encourage this…

Alter argument patterns ~ Many couples have fallen into argument patterns that lead to more anger instead of a peaceful resolution. Maybe she criticizes, he gets defensive, she dredge up an old disagreement, he insults her, than she storms off – again and again.

How2ArgueMaking even a minor change near the outset of an argument could prevent this pattern from recurring, improving the odds of a positive outcome.

Example: As soon as an argument begins, stop and say, “Let’s sit down at the kitchen table and talk this through.” Sitting is a particularly useful suggestion because it helps the brain remain calm and rational during arguments rather than shifting into panic-driven fight-or-flight mode.

Ask neutral questions when you feel wronged by your spouse ~ Married people sometimes see nefarious intent in their spouses’ missteps where none truly exists.

When you feel you have been wronged, ask calm, nonaccusatory questions that encourage your spouse to explain his/her actions. Imagine that you’re a dispassionate detective trying to get to the bottom of the situation, not the aggrieved party.

Example: Your spouse is an hour late for dinner. Rather than explode in anger about how he take your time for granted, calmly say, “What happened? You’re an hour later than we had planned,” or “I tried calling your cell, but there was no answer.” There might be an innocent explanation. Perhaps your partner lost tract of time… or perhaps his phone battery was dead.

Stop arguing about pointless stuff ~ Don’t argue about what your adult children should do or over facts that you can easily check. There are pointless arguments. Your adult children probably aren’t going to do what you want them too do anyway, so it makes no difference if you or your spouse disagree over what should be. And if a fact can be looked up, just agree to look it up when you can, rather than let the disagreement become a full-blown argument. Alternatively, you could turn the disagreement into a lighthearted low-stakes bet – “I bet you a dollar that I’ve go this one right.”

Team up to find a solution ~ People are more likely to live up to the terms of an agreement when they feel that they had a role in crafting it. Thus the best way to prevent a problem from recurring in a marriage isn’t thinking up a solution – it’s sitting down with your spouse to think up a solution together.

Example: Don’t tell your spouse, “Keep a cell-phone charger in your car so you can call the next time you’re going to be Late.” Ask your spouse, “What could be done to avoid this happening again?” If your spouse doesn’t think up the charger situation, raise it yourself in the form of a question – “How about we keep cell-phone chargers in our cars?”

LauriePhunCopyright © 2014 Laurie Puhn, JD. Laurie Puhn, JD, is a couples mediator in private practice in New York City. She previously served on the board of the Harvard Mediation Program. She is the author of, “Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship Without Blowing Up or Giving in” (Rodale). Visit her Website at http://www.LauriePuhn.com.

ljspacer

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.

Subscribe 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.

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

Advertisements

Friday, October 31, 2014

Don’t Try This at Home!

Relationships can be awesome. For them to be awesome… they take work. They take paying close attention to them, nurturing them and expressing lots of love in many different ways. Here are a few things that you may need to work on.

Never say hurtful things to your partner. Telling your partner that you really didn’t mean what you said is a lie. You meant it when you said it. Don’t let too much time go by before you say, “Im sorry. I was wrong to say that,” and move on.

DontTryThisDon’t ignore your partner. Giving your partner the cold shoulder because you are angry only drives a wedge between the two of you. Communicate. Pay attention to your partner.

Never offer advice unless it is asked for. Offer a listening ear instead. Your ears will never get you in trouble. Don’t talk. Be a good listener.

Don’t be a cheater. Usually cheater cheat because they are not getting what they need from the relationship they are in. Learn to ask for what you need from the relationship.

Stop being judgmental. Allow your partner to be who they really are. If you are constantly judging your partner for what they do or say, it might be good to reflect that upon yourself.

Don’t be a complainer. Begin by focusing on the positive things that show up around you.

Don’t hold back what you are feeling. And don’t fake your feelings. Saving up does’t work. When you bottle up emotions, it is going to end up in a huge fight.

Don’t be apathetic. Avoid audioapathy. That is a word I coined to identify someone who is apathetic to listening to their partner.

Don’t say you will do something but never do it. You are only as good as your word.

Give up being jealous! Being jealous is a cry for more love, but is a dysfunctional and dangerous way to ask for it.

Stop trying to change your partner. Instead, focus on changing yourself to be someone who accepts your partner for who they are. Always encourage growth and change. The art of caring for another is rooted in love and respect.

Stop trying to be someone you aren’t. Admit your weaknesses. You re not a superhero. Talk about them. Ask for assistances.

Don’t neglect their own self-awareness. Always take care of you!

Stop being suspicious of your partner. Trust is paramount. It is the foundation of a healthy relationship. If you don’t trust your partner to be faithful, honest, caring or anything else, then you’re not in a good relationship. AND you are the only one who change how they feel. They don’t let fear overpower your love and trust.

Get rid of your expectations. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems. When you don’t get what you expect, you get disappointed. When you get disappointed, sometimes you get angry, frustrated, resentful, etc. Focus on what you NEED from your relationship and don’t settle for anything less.

Don’t keep secrets from each other. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Remember, omissions are lies. Be open and honest in your relationship. Being honest is the only way to be at peace with yourself and others.

Don’t focus on the past. Let it go. Be present in the present. Always remember… forgiveness works.

Don’t focus on your partner’s flaws. Maintain sincere love in your heart for them. The more you see the good in them, the more good you will uncover in yourself.

Don’t be mad because the sharing of the chores are not equal. Work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. Guys: Nowhere does it say that the woman does all the housework. Just because your father sat on his ass and expected dinner to be on the table at a certain time, doesn’t mean you get to be like your father! Household chores must be shared.

Don’t snap at your partner. If you are angry or upset, say so – in the most loving way you can. Bickering happens. Ask for a time-out. Then come back and explain what your were angry about.

Never look at past relationships as failures. There are no failed relationships. There are only lessons to be learned. Only look back to see how far you’ve come and what you have learned from the lessons that were presented to you at that time.

Stop taking your relationship for granted. Make time for those you care about. Two people can wake up next to each other, yet it like they are miles apart. What you take for granted… disappears.

BONUS Article: 25 Things People in Healthy Relationships Don’t Do

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.

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Challenge: A 24 Hour Cell Phone Fast!

First of all, let me say that modern technology is terrific. I love it… and we have a new phenomenon – cell phone addicts! We even have a new phobia – nomophobia: the fear of being out of cell phone contact. Welcome to the digital age!

Can you remember a time where people just used to have conversations? If someone is talking to you, you should be listening to them. Not to worry. Your cell phone will still be there at the end of the conversation, then you can check it or whatever yo do with it. There is a reason that when you get text messages, they stay there on your phone. They won’t go away until you delete them. No need to rush to read your texts. There is a reason it’s called an in-box. Text messages stay there so you can go back and look at them later. Here is the point! If you are with people… be with the people! We all need to interact and talk more face-to-face and enjoy the moment.

CELLphobiaA recent study on cellphone activity conducted at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, found that college students spend nearly nine hours per day on their cell phones.

The report, “The Invisible Addiction: Cellphone Activities and Addiction Among Male and Female College Students,” revealed that of the 164 students surveyed, 60% admitted that their excessive phone use might be an addiction. Smartphones are so ingrained in daily life that it’s not surprising that addiction to such devices is on the rise.

One student recently said, “If I don’t feel my phone vibrate within a 15-minute time range, I check it,” he says. “Now that I think about it, I might be addicted to my phone.” Might be? Half of being smart is knowing what your dumb at. It’s been said that the average person spends 4 years of their life looking down at a tiny screen. Do you? Do you tune out from people trying to have a conversation with you by constantly checking your smartphone screen?

CellPhoneFastWe can’t escape social media “and” we can control how it gets in our way of good communication with a real, live human. Are you a cellphone addict? It’s time to take a break from your online life to experience real connections. When you’re in public and you start to feel alone, put your hands behind your head and step away from the phone. We are beginning to be a generation of idiots… smart phones and dumb people. We need to relearn being in the moment. Remember when we just ate the food instead of Instagramming it first?

Remember when you had one phone at home and it was plugged into the wall? You couldn’t take it with you. When you returned, you pushed a button and listened to your voice-mail.

Here is my one-day challenge to you. Let’s call it a “24 Hour Cell Phone Fast!” A sort of digital detox. Just for one day, when you are with your partner or friends, turn your cell phone off or better yet… leave it at home. Ignore your smart phone for only 1 day. Don’t use apps, or play games, or Twitter, or Facebook, or engage in idle texting or check the weather. Look up, and look around. Perspective is a beautiful thing, and it’s hard to get any when your face is glued to a screen. When you return, you can check your texts and your voice-mail. Perhaps it will help you feel really present, and more in-the-moment. I think we could all benefit from an occasional digital diet.

But today, there you are, with your sweetheart looking at your smartphone or tablet, swiping, scrolling, texting, reading, while she sits across the table. Not a good scenario. Obviously we all need to stay connected with e-mail, work and friends, “and” still be present with our close friends and partners. Cell phones can be corrosive to the relationship. Our smart phones are hurting our relationships – and that’s hurting us.

Recently, Applebee’s – the world’s largest casual-dining chain – filed a trademark for something called “No Tech Tuesday,” which is rumored to be in anticipation of a program of the same name.

Here are a few horrifying facts that are intended to cause you to put down your phone.

• Using a cell or portable electronic device while driving increases the risk of crashing by 300%!

PutDownYourPhone2• The average time your eyes are off the road when texting is 5 seconds! At 55 mph that is enough time to drive the length of a football field.

• in 2011, 3,360 people died in a crash related to distracted drivers.

• Parents on smart phones often ignore their kids.

• A study in the Journal of Hospital Infection showed a greater risk of contamination in medical wards where mobile devises were being used.

• A study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden reported that heavy use of cell phone use increased depression as well as sleep disorders (specifically in men).

• A microbiologist at the University of Arizona concluded that cell phones have more germs than toilet seats.

• THe iPhone keeps track of a lot of personal information. Your phone is constantly tracking your coordinates and saving them to a secret fie. Which means that if someone gets access to your phone or computer, they can tell exactly where you’ve been.

Somewhere I read that 33% of people would rather give up sex than their cellphone. What is this world coming to? You don’t own your phone. Your phone owns you and that is a sad state of affairs.

Even the Pope got on the bandwagon. Speaking to a 50,000 strong crowd of German altar servers recently, Pope Francis warned of time wasted with eyes glued to screens.

iPhones, Androids and smart phones are everywhere and there are some places they shouldn’t be. I was saddened to recently see a good looking couple having a candlelit dinner together and both of them had their cell phone and were checking things out between bites. NO! It should and could have been a very romantic time together. It would have been much wiser to silence the ringer, put the phone away and ignore it until the date was over. You should be having meaningful conversations not being digitally connected to each other. I thought you were supposed to give your partner – not your smart phone – your full attention when on a date and that conversation was a two-way street. I was tempted to walk over and say, “Put your cell phones down, look each other in the eyes and talk to each other, for God’s sake!” It’s a matter of respect! Here’s a tip: Keep your cell phone off the table during meals so that you’re not interrupted or tempted to fiddle with it when you’re with the one you love.

It’s time we put down our phone and reconnect with each other. Connections are made by people, and not technology.

Perhaps this video poem will inspire you to take on my “one-day challenge” and put down your smartphone!

And finally…

BONUS Articles: 5 Ways to Deal With Dinner Party Guests Who Won’t Put Down Their Phones
Put the Cell Phone Down
How to Persuade Someone to Stop Using Their Cellphone During Lunch With You
Cell Phones, Bras, and Breast Cancer Risk

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.

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Fix a Relationship in 5 Steps

Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD., Guest Author

Originally published on GoodTherapy.org.

“Can this relationship be fixed?”

Troubled couples often ask this question in relationship or marriage counseling. Having exhausted all the tools in their toolbox, partners come to therapy as their last resort, feeling rather hopeless.

FIXrelationshipFixing a relationship doesn’t require a personality makeover, but it does take effort and energy to hone your communication skills and create deeper intimacy and connection. These five steps will start you on your way to repair:

1. Face and embrace your differences. ~ Ever know a couple who never seemed to argue, who was the envy of other couples in your circle of friends? They seemed to be the perfect pair. Next thing you know, you’re shocked to hear they’re splitting up.

We see this all the time. Couples who appear the most at peace may not be dealing with their differences. They may look good on the outside, but underneath it all they have a mountain of hurt, anger, resentment, sadness, and fear that they have been unable to share in their relationship.

They may be “pleasers” who avoid conflict at all cost. Or maybe one person controls the relationship and the other submits. Either way, they are not facing and embracing their issues.

2. Practice effective communication skills. ~

• Carve out regular time for dialogue about concerns. State your thoughts in terms of behavior, without judgment, attack, or blame. Be specific, constructive, and positive.

• Use “I” statements to convey your thoughts and feelings. Own your part of the problem. Tell your partner how his or her behavior affects you and why; e.g., “When you left for work without saying goodbye, I worried you might be angry with me.”

• Hear your partner’s story fully. Everyone’s perception is valid, whether or not you agree with it. Listen without interrupting or judging.

• Be curious about your partner’s point of view; e.g., “Help me understand what you mean by …”

• Paraphrase your partner’s thoughts. Affirming that you heard him or her does not mean you agree or disagree. It just means, “I understand and believe that’s the way you see it.”

• Empathize with your partner’s feelings. Feelings are never right or wrong; they’re just feelings. And all of them are genuine. Expressing empathy validates that you heard your partner’s feelings without judgment; e.g., “I understand that’s how it makes you feel.”

• Take your turn. Once your partner feels heard, share your story and ask your partner to validate and empathize with your thoughts and feelings. When people truly feel heard and validated, whether or not they agree, it’s like magic. They automatically feel better. Only then can people problem solve and come to consensus on solutions.

• Put the problem on the “chalkboard,” view it as a team, and resolve the problem. After each partner has had an opportunity to be heard, it is much easier to be rational and work toward solutions. Identify specific actions each person can take to fix his or her portion of the problem.

3. Love your partner the way he or she wants to receive love. ~ Make a list of responses to: “I feel loved when you …” Anything goes—give me flowers, plan a weekend away, bring home my favorite candy bar, initiate sex. Exchange lists. Giving love the way your partner enjoys receiving it is the greatest gift of all. Receiving love the way you enjoy it isn’t bad, either.

4. Create the habit of loving. ~ On holidays, we express our love with gifts and affection. On the other days, we often forget. Consciously doing small acts of love every day creates “love habits”—loving behaviors that become habitual. Practicing love habits grows connection and intimacy. It’s as simple as greeting each other after work every day with a kiss on the lips and a long hug, establishing a regular date night, going to bed together, and planning regular sex dates. When you show your love, you will feel your love.

5. Express gratitude for “the things your partner is supposed to do anyway.” ~ Most people thank their partner when he or she does something special. What if you thanked her for cooking a meal, or him for mowing the lawn? But wait. “Why should I thank my partner for the routine chores?” The answer: “Because it feels good.” Every drop of love you express nurtures and feeds the relationship.

Practicing these five steps will grow your love and connection. Start today. Share this article with your partner and ensure that your relationship lasts a lifetime. It doesn’t happen by accident.

“Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning but how much love you build till the end.” —Unknown

Copyright © 2014 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.

ljspacer

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.

Subscribe 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.

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

Monday, April 15, 2013

“One of us is wrong…

and it’s not me.”

conflictSeth Godin, Guest Author

That’s the way every single conflict begins. Of course it does, because if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a conflict, would it?

So, given that the other person is sure you’re wrong, what are you going to do about it? Pointing out that they’re wrong doesn’t help, because now you’ve said the second thing in a row that your partner/customer/prospect/adversary doesn’t believe is true.

The thing that’s worth addressing has nothing much to do with the matter at hand, and everything to do with building credibility, attention and respect. Only then do you have a chance to educate and eventually persuade.

seth-godinWe cure disagreements by building a bridge of mutual respect first, a bridge that permits education or dialogue or learning. When you burn that bridge, you’ve ensured nothing but conflict.

Copyright © 2013 – Seth Godin. Seth Godin has written fourteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. Visit Seth’s Blog.

ljspacer

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.

Subscribe 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.

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

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: