Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is It Time to Get Rid of Marriage?

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

I’m still not over Jennifer and Brad, and Mariah and Nick; but now, Ben and Jen? I really thought, or was hoping, their marriage would last. Every day we read about marriages breaking up. It’s very discouraging.

REL-DumpMarriageI was under the impression that divorce was decreasing in the U.S.; recently I searched for the facts. I found a review of marriage and divorce trends over the last 144 years. Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, Randal Olson, researcher at University of Pennsylvania, plotted the numbers. It’s fascinating to see the correlation of marriage and divorce rates with historical events. Check it out.

The data shows that divorce rates have been steadily declining since the 1980s; however, so have the marriage rates. It also shows:

The rate of marriage today is at the lowest point ever recorded in U.S. history.

That was news to me. It made me wonder: Has the institution of marriage in the millennium outlived its usefulness? After all, we don’t necessarily depend on each other for financial support, childcare and housekeeping.

Bob and I see two glaring problems with marriage in this day and age:

1. Today’s marriages are based on romantic feelings of love – the weakest link in relationships. We assume love will last forever. The truth is love can last, IF we nurture, sustain and grow it over a lifetime. Sounds easy, but it’s a tall order in our hectic day-to-day lives.

2. We aren’t prepared for the job of being a millennial spouse. On our wedding day how many of us know:

• Feelings of romantic love will die if they are not consistently fed
• Hard work is required to sustain a healthy, loving marriage over a lifetime
• Skills including communication, negotiation and conflict management need to be learned and practiced
• Money and sex are the two issues couples have most conflict about
• Marital satisfaction statistically plunges after children are born
• The true job description of being a marital partner isn’t written down, not to mention we may not have the right training for the job?

marriages:divorcesIf you saw an ad for Spouse in the Help Wanted section, it would go something like this:

Job Description: Seeking committed, mature individual. Responsible for health and well being of self and others, physically and emotionally; dedicated to hard work; devoted and loyal for life, despite future offers; team player; ability to identify, analyze and face obstacles to team welfare; prepared to learn and practice advanced communication, conflict resolution and negotiation skills, especially around issues of money and sex; willingness to share and sacrifice own needs at times for team; stamina to persevere and maintain quality of job performance despite years of hard labor, multiple organizational changes and transitions; and only a 60% success rate.

Did you realize this is what you were signing up for? Sounds daunting.

However, Bob and I still believe in marriage. What could be better than weaving a life together, through good times and bad, persevering, learning and growing from tough times, being able to enjoy and appreciate your accomplishments, having companionship and a best friend along the journey to find meaning in this world?

In addition, research-based evidence shows that the job of spouse comes with incredible benefits. A review of the research by the US Department of Health and Human Services finds that married people have:

• Better physical and mental health
• Improved economic well-being
• Improved well-being of children as adults
• Better long term health
• Greater longevity

So add good health, long life, higher income, and healthier children to the job description. It is worth the work.

Have a conversation with your partner about the “relationship house” you have built and make a plan to repair any damage. Strengthen the foundation and redecorate based upon what you both want for the future. It’s never too late to make your connection even stronger.

Image Source: Rings image by www.Public-Domain-image.com

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. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Before You Give Up…

A survey of counseling professionals from YourTango.com – one of the the digital leaders in love and relationships – offers compelling insights into why marriages fail.

Be4UgiveUP2The leading cause of divorce? Communication problems, followed by sexual infidelity and “not spending enough time together/not mutually prioritizing the marriage.”

When you have a problem, not communicating with your partner about it sends a message of its own. They get to make up what they think the non-spoken messages convey. Women are skilled in this activity. 😉

She might conclude that you do not love her as much as you used to. She might decide you just do not care anymore. HER lesson is to understand that when you do talk, it is time to honor YOUR feelings and just listen. On the other hand – what is she supposed to think? You won’t talk! You often totally close down at the most inopportune times, sometimes because you don’t know what to say or how to say it.

Maybe you are afraid you might appear weak, or she might lose respect for you, and on and on. Maybe it is because every time you do allow yourself to become vulnerable enough to talk, she butts in with HER feelings!

The typical woman has a need to verbalize, communicate, declare, express, vent, chatter, discuss, dialogue and debate the problem; she needs to continue to talk about it until she is finished talking about it. To her, this means she cares. It is the way SHE solves problems. YOUR lesson is to know that this is the way she is.

Some couples give up too easily! He doesn’t take out the garbage and she want’s a divorce and it’s not about the garbage! Undelivered communication is a relationship killer. Being emotionally honest and having intimate conversations can cause you to feel vulnerable.

When two people really love each other, they openly and honestly communicate. They talk about what matters. No withholds. They have learned to talk about anything, and everything… all the time, and I must add… that is relevant to their relationship.

If the relationship you are in doesn’t feel like there is a lot of love showing up, it’s time to begin demonstrating a higher commitment to finding that love again.

For those who might give in and let go of a potentially great marriage, think about what breaking up means. Take your time. Think some more. What were you feeling when your partner proposed? What were you thinking? What happened that even has you “thinking” about leaving? Think about that. What “REALLY” happened. Be honest. Let go and allow yourself to inspect what happened. You are not allowed to blame your partner. Forgive. Forgive YOU first, then whoever else needs forgiveness. Have a candid conversation with your partner about what you are “feeling” and what’s next.

It’s more fun to stay together and to make up than to deal with the stress that often happens when you are alone and lonely.

Don’t get me wrong. Not every relationship issue is solvable for the benefit of both. And there is always a time to let go and move on. Only you can decide.

So… before you give up, communicate! It’s time to wake up… NOW… not break up! Don’t let your relationship fizzle. Have a candid talk with yourself first, then a candid conversation together. (A calm, loving, low decibel conversation, works best!).

So, how can couples divorce-proof their marriages? Sixty-five percent of experts agree the most effective way is by improving communication, followed by decreasing negativity/criticism. Only about four percent cited more or better sex.

Final Thought: If you need help, ask for it!

BONUS Article: For Men Only – Have No Undelivered Communication!
Together… Until the Love Runs Out
Halfway to Each Other…

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – 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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Monday, December 22, 2014

Divorce Does Not Have to Be a Nasty Break-up!

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

After talking with my former wife, I hung up, sat back in my chair and thought: “I know she really loves me!”

WoW!

A wave of realization rolled over me. Although I already knew this, this sudden mind fart got me thinking. We love each other, however, although we were married for 20 years and after a long time, reconnected; lived together for about 5 years and again we are apart, we still see each other often.

DivorceNOTmessyIt just wasn’t in the cards for us to be together forever. It’s obvious that we love each other and… we are not together. We had a friendly parting of the ways. We have had honest conversations about what cause the breakup. We both said, “I’m sorry” and have forgiven each other and realize that you can love someone and choose not be together.

When someone really loves you, they won’t try to change you, but they also won’t let you settle for anything less than you were created to be. If someone wants to be around you all the time, that’s not love – it’s infatuation. As love matures, two people will realize that they often need to do things separate to maintain their own identities.

LauraWasser

For more info, click the book cover!

During the time we do spend together, she will often ask about, and show sincere interest in, the high and low points of my work day. We show respect for each others views. I have found that it’s possible for you and your partner to be on completely opposite poles of the political spectrum and still remain friends. The key feature is not what your beliefs are, but how open you can be to accepting your partner’s perspective as valid.

We often spend time reliving our most enjoyable moments from the past, and do so in a positive and supportive way.

Ours is a love of deep friendship and support. I am a better person now than I was before I met her and so is she. Sometime along the way, she became my best friend. I am proof that you can love someone and choose not be with them. As a relationship coach, I know this is not common, but how my wife and I handled the end of our marriage some years ago was a contributing factor to having our divorce go smoothly and end up still being very special friends. We both communicated the truth about the marriage. We walked away knowing it was both of us who contributed to the downfall. It was a very powerful feeling.

Our relationship was complete! Notice that I did not say that the relationship was over. Relationships never end. You can be complete with a relationship but they never end. Death, divorce, or separation does not end a relationship, it only changes it. As long as you have memory, you will have a relationship.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~ Socrates

Why am I telling you all this? I want you to know that divorce or separation does not have to be a nasty break-up. It does not have to be a disaster. That would be called an unhealthy divorce. It can be a friendly parting of the ways. We both chose to be respectful of each other, not to get stuck in the blame game, and to take the high road and have a smooth split. Painful as it is, successful divorce can help both of you to begin new lives that offer a second chance at future successful relationships. You can choose to have a healthy divorce if you are willing to both move beyond your ego. How well you perform this task in large part will determine how your own personal future will turn out.

The changes brought on by divorce can be overwhelming. But now more than ever, it is important to take care of yourself. Must separation put an end to friendship? Certainly not. Although we are apart, we remain friends. Tap into your network of support, turning to family, friends and a professional coach for assistance and comfort.

No matter what happened to cause you to be apart… forgiveness and a mutual respect for one another can make things go much better.

BONUS Article: Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!
After Divorce: 8 Tips for Reinventing Yourself
The Three Biggest Mistakes Newly Singles Make
Who Would You Have to Become?

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, November 20, 2014

Together… Until the Love Runs Out

Just Married… “It all started out perfectly. We were so in Love, but somewhere along the way the Love ran out!”

When you fall in love with someone, the infatuation you both experience is exhilarating. You are elated. Everything is just dandy. You are doing the happy dance! You both are sure this will all help hold the relationship together.

Life is good. AND then…

TillLoveRunsOutWhat you take for granted… disappears! You stop dating. Bad mistake. Those sexy lover’s talks turn into lover’s quarrels, then arguments or disagreements become more prevalent. Children are born (Hmmm, didn’t expect so many changes) – more responsibility. Effective communication is on a downward spiral. Differences in their personalities and opinions begin to surface. Resentments begin to build. There’s not much sexual intimacy anymore, if any. The relationship feels empty. You move progressively farther apart. You both begin to lose interest and then someone says the “D” word!

“All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest, never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.” – Ann Landers

He leaves his dirty underwear on the floor for her to pick up. She nags him to help her with the housework and he says, “Ill get to it later,” and never does. She begins to shut down. He knows she’s angry but when he asks her, “What’s the matter?” she gives him the silent treatment or walks away. Communication is by far the single biggest aspect that holds lovers together or tears them apart.

First of all, the Love doesn’t run out. It’s still there. We simply allow the fire for each other to go out. You must consistently fan the flames with Love and attention. Probably not on purpose, but when you stop working on the relationship and begin to take each other for granted, what would you expect? It takes work – the kind of work you do together – to keep the fire burning. It takes a lot of energy and commitment. Never lose sight of why you married your partner in the first place. Successful relationships do not work on autopilot.

Why do couples drift apart? Couples drift apart when they do not take time to talk and listen to each other. Ask him or her and the answer you usually get is that they’ve just drifted apart. It’s time to get rid of the drift word. Never allow yourselves to drift apart.

Holding on to what doesn’t work and being too darn stubborn to try to make it better serves no one and makes no sense. A stubborn person always thinks they are RIGHT. They are often into being right so deep that there seems to be no way out and sometimes that drift happens so slowly that they just don’t notice until it’s too late.

“Oh, no! I didn’t see that coming!” A comment like this usually comes from someone who was being complacent and was taking their partner for granted.

How does this happen? What makes people run away instead of holding on to each other, letting go of what doesn’t work and renewing their intention to allow the relationship to heal when tough times happen?

A twice-married woman summarized her attitude toward drifting in the following manner: “I think drifting describes so many people in this world, especially with so much external pressure and stimulation hitting us constantly. We deal with it all by not dealing with it at all. It certainly expresses what I do about so much that is difficult to face in my life.”

It’s time to reconnect! Here are only a few of the changes you should consider working on:

• focus on communicating better and more often
• become better listeners
• avoid blaming
• begin dating again – Make one night each week a date-night
• take responsibility for your actions and feelings
• spend more time together as a couple – Discover new activities you can enjoy together
• be more affectionate and considerate
• surprise each other with special things, not just on special days
• become partners in parenting
• respect each other’s differences
• find moments to connect with your partner many times every day
• support each other in extended family conflicts
• invent new ways to nurture your relationship
• journal your feelings in a private journal
• remember to say, “I love you” (out loud) to your partner at least once every day (more often is best!)
• place a priority on spending quality time together
• be proactive by creating a plan together
• overlook those small negative habits your partner has that get under your skin – Focus on what you Love about them
• seek professional coaching

Now begins the restoration of your marriage and the path to reconnection! Prevent yourselves from drifting apart by making your marriage a top priority. Growing together as a couple is an essential component in any happy marriage. Are you willing to change?

“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa

BONUS Articles: 12 Real Reasons Why Couples Drift Apart Over Time
“How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…,”
Back to the Future
Reasons Why
The Do’s and Don’ts – When Your Partner Becomes Distant

broken-heartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Few Steps to Take Before You Complete a Relationship!

Effective communication is at the top of the list and is essential for a relationship to survive. Relationships are all about communicating your needs and understanding the needs and feelings of your partner.

Relationship expert Rachel DeAlto says, “If your sex life has gone from 60 to 0, it is a bad sign that your relationship is on the fritz. A little ebb and flow of desire is normal, but if one of you has lost the desire completely (without any underlying medical condition involved) it may be time to end it.”

CompleteRelationshipWith no sex going on, boredom sets in. Being together is uninspiring. If you can’t remember the last time you had sex, your relationship is most likely in trouble. There is no more “making love,” it’s only sex. You’re not really connecting anymore. A relationship without making love is no longer a healthy relationship.

One partner often with initiate fights over the most insignificant things. If the small things that never used to bother you are now more infuriating then usual, that too can be a red flag. Affection wanes. Complements cease. Trust slowly fades. You rarely hear, “I love you” anymore. There is no longer any text messages or sexting with thoughtful reminders of the love your partner has for you. One partner or both seems to lose interest in doing things together. After a disagreement, you no longer hear the words, “I’m sorry.” Red flag.

A war of words is a great way to vent and can actually be healthy. Why? Because it shows you both still care. However, when there is no resolution to issues that come up, it’s time to talk.

One partner may begin seeking more attention from the opposite sex. Warning… cheating can make your relationship worse than it already is. Reaching out to someone else is never the right answer.

For some, calling a relationship quits is like having to stop paying on a life insurance policy that has outlived its usefulness. We’ve put so much money in it, we are reluctant to give it up. And at the same time we know we must.

It’s sometimes difficult to know when a relationship is over, however often the answer is right in front of us. People change. Often people are brought together to teach each other lessons and when the lessons are learned, they move on. I know. That is hard to accept. It does happen.

The one way to be sure that the relationship is over is when one partner “refuses” to work on the relationship. You become completely indifferent to your partner. It takes two people, working together to make a relationship work. One cannot do the work of two. You know when something is over because every part of your being says it is. Trust your instinct. It rarely steers you wrong.

What to do? Are you living in denial that things will return to the way they used to be? It is never wise to turn a blind eye to the warning signs! Could you both give it another try or agree to a trial separation? Could you both agree to go to counseling together? If you can both agree to counseling, go into the sessions with a wide open mind. Read: “And if All Else Fails?” (see link below).

Insist on a “we need to talk” moment. Find a quiet spot where you can talk about how you are feeling about the relationship. If one partner doesn’t want to talk, ask them to just listen. A lack of communication is a red flag.

If there is a slightest bit of interest from both partners, you can, if you both want to – rekindle the flame and begin again. Most couples seldom can do this on their own. Hire a relationship coach. Take your time. Ease back into the relationship. To do this you must both be willing to set aside your differences and start doing the things that brought you together in the first place. It’s never easy, however, I’ve coached couples where one has cheated on the other, reached some new decisions and got back together. Forgiveness played a huge roll in that happening. The ultimate betrayal of cheating is one of the most difficult to move past… and it can be done if “both” partners are willing to do what is necessary to make it happen.

Often a trial separation will give you time to sort out what you really need to do. However, there must be agreements. One such agreement must be to agree to not see other people during the separation. The time you each spend alone should be a time to either make some new promises to be together or to leave the relationship.

If he or she will not agree to coaching, it may be wise to choose to go yourself. Coaches can offer tips about how to handle what you are going through. If therapy is out of the question, when you finally get the courage to say, “It’s over,” be honest, and be kind. Break ups do not have to be over with both of you hating each other. You once loved each other. Be different. Remain calm. Do your best to understand the hurt and anger you both may feel. Reassure your partner that he or she is someone with whom you have shared a great adventure, however now it is time to move on. Decide for yourself that you will do everything you can to have the “completion” of your relationship be amicable. That too, is not easy, however it will be a statement of who you are as a person.

Notice that I did not say that a break up will END the relationship. A relationship can be over and complete, however, death, divorce or separation will not “end” a relationship. It only changes it.

Unless there is physical or emotional abuse in your relationship, rarely will a relationship coach advise you to leave the relationship. It’s never their choice… only yours.

It may be time to stop investing your time and energy into a relationship that’s not working. If all else fails, your best bet is to admit your relationship is over and begin again to focus on taking care of you.

BONUS Article: And if All Else Fails?
Relationships NEVER End!
The Three Biggest Mistakes Newly Singles Make

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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Advice to Men After a Divorce Following 16 Years of Marriage (Women Should Read this too!)

Gerald Rogers, Guest Author

Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had.

Beach-Cuddling1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and un-judging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

startingOver14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

MEN – THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

Larry’s NOTE: Loreena Hackett brought this article to my attention on her Facebook page. Thanks, Loreena!

Copyright © 2014 – Gerald Rogers.

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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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Friday, April 19, 2013

NEVER Speak the “D” Word…

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

I repeat, NEVER say the “D” word to your partner.

Remember, you cannot un-ring a bell. Once you threaten divorce it becomes an option.

dwordToo many people are too quick to get a divorce. Something happens. You become angry and in the heat of battle, you threaten divorce. You should never make life-changing decisions in the midst of emotional turmoil.

Marriage is the most sacred of trusts between two people. When you married, you made some promises. Just because you are disappointed at the anger, bitterness, ambivalence, or venom you are receiving from your partner, remind yourself that divorce is difficult for both people, no matter what the circumstances are. Divorce is a game changer.

“You shouldn’t get a divorce until you’ve turned over every stone and investigated every avenue of rehabilitation possible; you have no unfinished emotional business; you’ve researched, planned and prepared yourself legally; you’re ready to adopt a new standard of conduct with your children and you’re willing to create a new relationship as a co-parent.” ~ Dr. Phil

divorceSeparation, divorce or death do not end a relationship… they only change it. As long as you have memory you will always be related. You can recognize when a relationship is over AND it never ends. You can be complete with a relationship but they never end. The relationship only becomes different… it never ends. Letting go and moving on is the difficult part.

Caution: Leave your friends and family out of your fights. It is not wise to share your marital woes with your friends. They are only hearing one side of the story and will often unknowingly talk you into divorce. Your friends often feel that they must choose who they will favor and who they will lose.

Try this: Instead of talking to your friends about your partner, commit to begin really listening to your partner for at least 30 days. You may discover the “real” problem. Before you end something, you need to make sure you can walk away saying, “We did everything we could do.”

Get support. Relationship coaching is a much better option. Get a relationship “tune up.” If your partner will not go, go alone. Stay focused on healing the relationship. Learn some coping skills. It may be better for you to seek counseling rather than starting over. Good coaches are experts at listening. They can often uncover the “real” source of your frustration with your partner.

The last word: When your partner is physically or emotionally abusive, an alcoholic, a compulsive gambler, a drug addict, a criminal, a deadbeat or some other trait that makes a marriage unsafe and unhealthy, it is justifiable to end the marriage (or relationship).

heartbroken2CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – 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.

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Myth of Divorce: ReDating is a Better Option

Filed under: Dating,Divorce,Guest Authors,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Shela Dean, Guest Author

People who divorce often think they’ll be happier. Statistics say otherwise.

A 2002 study by the Institute for American Values showed that 66% of unhappily married adults who didn’t divorce were happily married five years later even when the marriage had serious problems. Only 20% had divorced and happily remarried in the same time period. You’re more likely to end up happily married to the spouse you have than if you trade your spouse for a newer model. Why?

redateHere’s why: Divorce allows you to drag all your old baggage into a new relationship and avoid dealing with your issues. It’s staying in your marriage and dealing with those issues that makes you healthier. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to have a happy marriage because the foundation for a great relationship with another is a great relationship with yourself.

There is no better context for self-improvement than marriage. Marriage provides unmatched motivation to be our best even when it means facing and overcoming our fiercest demons. Couples who go from unhappily married to happily married did so because they were willing to work on themselves first.

Every married person has a painful moment. It’s the moment when you realize the perfect 10 you thought you landed is really a flawed 6 or 7. When that first spark of attraction flashes, your brain goes into overdrive producing a cocktail of hormones that has the same effect on your brain as cocaine. Mother Nature gets you so doped up on love hormones you can’t see straight. It’s why new lovers idealize the relationship, maximize their lover’s virtues, and minimize or explain away their sweetheart’s faults. The effect of those hormones always wears off.

This coincides with something else that happens: once you’ve sealed the deal with a wedding ring, you sigh in relief and slow down (or stop altogether) doing those things you did while dating. Dating is to marriage what foreplay is to sex. It’s the seduction phase of the relationship during which you do everything in your power to seduce your beloved into wanting to spend the rest of his or her life with you.

Once courtship is successful, we relax into the relationship and think (at least subconsciously) that seduction is no longer necessary. Disappointments, hurts and misunderstandings (big and small) pile up, killing the generous and positive way in which, during dating, you saw each other.

datingheartMother Nature’s job is to get you together. It’s your job to stay together. We may be hardwired to couple but we’re not hardwired with relationship skills. Those have to be learned and that’s where ReDate Your Mate comes in.

ReDate Your Mate is a four-step strategy designed to help you:

• ReCreate the Dating You to become your best vision of You, someone who is not only personally fulfilled and experiencing self-love, but is also a hot date and a great catch.

• ReJuvenate Dating Behavior by doing again what made you fall in love in the first place and will keep you in love for the long haul.

reDate22

Click for more info!

• ReAwaken a Dating Mindset by nixing the negative and adopting a 24/7 positive and generous state of mind.

• ReVitalize Your Marriage Model into one that is based on your needs and wishes today because the reasons why you got married aren’t necessarily the reasons why you stay married.

Who among us hasn’t said, “If I only knew then what I know now, I’d do things differently?” You can’t roll back the clock. You can, however, start anew armed with what you know now. That’s what ReDating is all about—transforming your marriage by doing it better and wiser this time around.

Most who divorce look back and wish they’d tried harder. Don’t become part of that statistic. Instead, ReDate Your Mate.

Larry’s NOTE: When I read a book, I always mark the good parts with a yellow highlighter. My copy of “ReDate Your Mate” has been transformed into mostly yellow on the inside… it’s that good! Read Shela’s book and learn how to be your own hero in your relationship. Shela Dean has written another winner! Her first book, “Frequent Foreplay Miles, Your Ticket to Total Intimacy” was a dandy and this one will keep you glued to the pages until you finish it!

BONUS Articles: Date Your Mate
Remember FUN?

sheladean

Copyright © 2012 – Shela Dean. Shela Dean is a Relationship Happiness Coach and speaker. She has counseled more than 2,000 couples since 1983 and is the author of ReDate Your Mate: 4 Steps to Falling in Love All Over Again!and Frequent Foreplay Miles, Your Ticket to Total Intimacy – a guide to improving intimacy for couples. Since retiring from the practice of law, she has shared her relationship strategies with others through one-on-one relationship coaching, seminars, and now through her new book detailing a fun and effective strategy for improving emotional intimacy. Visit Shela’s Website!

CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. 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.

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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, February 16, 2012

The One Word You NEVER Should Say in Your Marriage!

Filed under: Divorce — Larry James @ 7:00 am

What is that word? DIVORCE!!

Whatever negative words you speak or think will sow seeds of doubt. Even in the most heated argument, never ever let the seven-letter word “divorce” come out of your mouth. Being over dramatic to get your partners attention in this way doesn’t work.

NEVER, I repeat, never ever threaten the “D-Word,” (divorce) unless you are ready to file the papers. Even profanity is preferable to the “D-Word,” but never say divorce. It plants a seed that may continue to grow. Never joke about it. It sets up an intention whether it was said in anger or whether you meant it or not.

“Divorce is never a solution, only an exchange for broken hearts and even more complicated problems that grow too wild and too quickly. Divorce is not an “out;” it’s an outbreak of added stress, pain, frustration and problems.” ~ Larry and Gloria Lundstrom

About to say it? Bite your tongue! Think – long and hard – before you speak, especially when you are upset. Everyone gets angry every once in a while. It’s how you express that anger that can make all the difference in the world in your relationship.

It’s downright stupid to plant the seed of something you do not want in the mind of the one you say you love!

To say something and then say you didn’t mean it, generally speaking is not true. You said it and at that moment in time you meant to say it – perhaps to get your partner’s attention or to make them angry. Either way you lose.

You cannot un-ring a bell. Once you say words, you can’t take them back! Think before you speak.

There is never a time when people are justified in threatening divorce. Physical or mental abuse may be the only exception. Even then, if you are in that kind of situation, you must be careful what you say because threats could very well bring on more abuse and make it worse.

Threaten divorce is a way to control or manipulate your spouse into “giving in” and is never a good idea. My belief is that saying the word, in effect, sets it in motion. What you think about and speak about, you bring about.

I was once married to a woman who, when she was angry, would yell, “We should just get a divorce! This isn’t working! Why don’t you just leave?” One day, I did leave. We are no longer together.

Can a fake threat be justified. No. It is a quick way to create insecurity in your marriage. Couples need to feel secure with their partner. They need to know that no matter what happens, their spouse will never leave. Once you mention the divorce word – whether you meant it or not, it will linger forever in the head of your partner. It seriously damages the comfort level of the relationship.

Don’t ever threaten something unless you are willing to go through with it. If things are really bad a separation is better than a divorce. If often gives both partners a chance to think about whether they want to remain together. A word of warning: Dating someone while you are separated is never a good idea.

If your relationship is broken it’s important to take steps to get it fixed as soon as possible. Call your minister or a relationship coach and get help whether your partner will go with you or not. You may need some suggestions about how to cope with this kind of behavior from your partner. Most everything can be forgiven.

Divorce, even the idea of it, should always be a last resort.

brokenbandaidheartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – 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.

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.

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