Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Post From Seed For Couples

Below is a great post/tweet I just read from Seeds for Couples. It's some excellent tips for a healthy marriage:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What About Money?

Many studies have shown that money is the single biggest issue over which couples disagree. How money is to be handled is often not discussed before marraige, and it needs to be. The rule of not talking about money or politics may be appropriate at a party, but not if you're planning to spend the rest of your life with someone!

Money represents different things to different people. For some, money is power. S/he who makes the most gets to decide how it's spent. For others, it is status, and for still others, security. Are you a spender or a saver? Do you have an investment and/or retirement plan? Are you saving for something big like a house or college education? How do you feel about debt? Are you living within your means? Do you hoard money?

Fist, you need to know your own feelings and attitudes about money, and then, your partner's. These are important and necessary discussions to have. I'd love to hear from some of you - how have you handled money in your marriages? What has worked for you and what hasn't worked?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Four Little Words that Could Get Your Marriage Back on Track

We have another guest blogger today. Dana Flannery is a marriage celebrant and Website Marketing Consultant. She has written dozens of articles for brides and same sex couples preparing for a life time together. Here's what she has to say:

Sometimes the biggest change can be the simplest and there are four simple little words that could help you make the change that saves your marriage. No, not, “I love you, but” or “yes dear, I will”, not even “You’re right, I’m sorry”…. Conflict resolution is not about giving in to what the other person demands or just avoiding fights, it’s about expressing how you feel and giving your partner clear instructions on what you need – “I feel, I need” the four little words that could save your marriage!

The Argument Circle

Are you a grudge holder? Nit picker? Nagger? Closed book? Our own behaviors are hard for us to recognize and even harder for our partners to ignore. This can establish a damaging and unrelenting cycle where a single argument is never really concluded, allowing it to be built upon with every additional incident until a marriage turns sour.

Identifying the problem

If simply identifying the exact problem in your marriage was that easy, nobody would ever get divorced. They say there are three sides to every story, his, hers and the truth and nobody can see all three.

Instead of taking on such an overwhelming task, take the smaller step of identifying which feelings are lighting the fire in an argument. For example, your partner is late for dinner, you worked hard but it’s gone cold and it’s not the first time. Your reaction may be anger even though what you are feeling is frustration or hurt. Identifying the feeling isn’t as easy as you might think. Throughout our lives, we develop emotional protection mechanisms and in “fight or flight” situations, we race to our protected state, be it anger, depression, rage, hurt or even denial. The first step is to rule out your default protective state and get to the core of what you are feeling.

Angrily shouting at your partner for being late is different to telling them “I feel unappreciated” which is the actual, real problem.

Remember though, you must always express it as “I feel (emotion)” never “I feel like you are always…….” This is about how you feel, not about their behaviour.

Tell Them How To Fix It

Just about every marriage suffers communication problems to some degree. If you feel you’ve been telling your partner the same thing over and over again (they’ll call it nagging) it may be that they are not sure how to resolve the issue. A clear statement of what you need done will rule out any communication problems.

So, instead of ranting about being late, give your partner a clear, easy to follow instruction for correcting the situation:

“I need you to call if you are going to be late”

Put it into Practice

Your partner now understands how you are feeling and they have a clear instruction on how to correct their behavior. If need be, ask them to repeat it back to you to be sure that there are no communication issues. Your partner may respond with their own feelings and needs “I feel pressured. I need you to understand how busy my job can be”

Once you’ve identified a way to resolve the problem together, work at putting the new conditions into place. When your partner calls to tell you they’re delayed, make sure you show that you appreciate the call and that you understand that they have a high pressure job.

To Forgive or Not to Forgive….

If your partner is unwilling to respond to your emotional needs (not forgetful but unwilling) you may need to consider therapy or even more dramatic measures. While many marriages can be saved, some are better broken, especially when one partner exhibits grossly inappropriate behavior such as violence or control.

But if you see that your partner is actively trying to respond to your emotional needs and working on communication problems, then maybe your problems can be resolved and maybe you’ll find your happy ever after…after all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Things to Discuss Before Getting Married

Today we have a guest blogger, Rohitesh Naik. Although I don't believe he's read the book, it's amazing how his article essentially sumarizes it!

Gеttіng mаrried iѕ vеry еxсitіng! Fіrѕt thе рroрosаl, then thе rіng, аnd оf cоurse thе bіg daу!

But getting mаrrіеd іsn't onlу abоut thе wеddіng-the qualіtу оf the marriage thаt fоllоwѕ іѕ whаt rеаlly сountѕ. So hоw dо уоu makе sure уou ѕtаrt on thе rіght рath? Rеаd оn for thе 10 mоst іmрortant thіngѕ уоu shоuld disсuѕѕ bеfоrе marriagе.

1. Decіsіon Mаking

Sincе marrіаgе іs аll abоut соmрrоmіsе, thе аrt оf nеgоtіаtіon іs an imроrtant ѕkill. Make ѕure уоu and yоur pаrtnеr agreе аbоut hоw the relatіоnship ѕhould wоrk. Shаrіng deсіsіоnѕ аnd deсіding tоgethеr whо should dесіdе whаt rеquirеѕ lіѕtening, nеgotіаting, аnd рrоblеm-solvіng ѕkills. You don't nееd tо bе pеrfeсt аt іt, but yоu both neеd to undеrѕtand what уou're working to.

2. Chorеѕ аnd Tаѕks

Arе уоu taking сarе оf lаundrу аnd сleanіng whіle уоu mаn doеs уаrd аnd hоuѕеwork? You ѕhоuld never аѕsume theѕе tаskѕ wіll be divviеd uр-talk аbout thеm. Relаtіоnѕhіp rоlеs hаve bеen chаnging fоr уearѕ and dіffеr frоm fаmіly tо fаmіly. Talking abоut thеsе tаskѕ bеforе mаrrіagе gives yоu a foundatіоn tо build later disсuѕѕіonѕ if and whеn you fіnd уоu аrеn't hарру wіth thе ѕіtuаtіоn.

3. Chіldren

Dо you bоth wаnt сhildren? Hоw mаnу? And іf уоu dо hаvе сhіldrеn, how dо уou рlаn tо raise thеm? Fоr ѕomе people havіng chіldrеn sееms lіkе an obvіоuѕ pаrt оf marrіage-but not еverуone. Diѕсusѕіng hоw manу сhildrеn you wаnt bеfоre mаrrіаgе cаn ѕаvе уou thе trоuble of finding оut yоur partnеr nеver wаntѕ kіdѕ after marrіаge.

4. Rеligіоn and Vаluеѕ

You'rе probablу аlrеаdy mаrrуing someоnе whо ѕhares the sаmе vаlues аѕ уоu. But religіon and vаluеѕ аre importаnt to diѕcuѕѕ bеcauѕe реоple uѕuаllу tаkе theѕе thіngѕ much more ѕeriоuslу aftеr marriagе, and еѕресiаllу ѕеrіоuѕ аftеr having сhildrеn.

5. Connесtion tо Famіly

Will yоu sреnd Chriѕtmаs Eve wіth hіs fаmіly, аnd Chrіstmаs day wіth yours? Thеѕе detailѕ mаy nоt seеm tоo imрortаnt nоw, but theу саn bеcome a mаjor sоurсe оf соnflict wіth famіlіeѕ іf everyоnе fееlѕ thеу'rе nоt getting enough оf уour time. Familу devotion cаn cauѕе futurе conflict if уоu hаvеn't aссeрted оnе аnоthеrѕ imрortаnсe оf family.

6. Cаreers

Cаreеr pathѕ usuаllу changе оver tіmе, ѕо yоu need tо know that your раrtnеr wіll be suрроrtіve аnd rеsрeсtful оf уоur dесіsіоns wіth уоur сarееr, аnd that yоu wіll be thе ѕаmе with thеіrѕ.

7. Sex

You ѕhоuld bе аblе to оpеnly and frееlу dіsсuѕs sеx wіth yоur pаrtnеr. Alwаys be ореn аnd honеѕt аnd willing to cоmmuniсаte abоut іt. Mаkе ѕurе thаt you cаn both talk аbоut sex сomfоrtаblу becаuse ѕеx thаt's nevеr dіѕсuѕѕеd саn beсomе unѕаtiѕfуіng to оnе оr bоth оf уоu.

8. Monеy

Arе you а sаvеr whіlе yоur pаrtnеr іs а ѕрender? Mоneу trоubleѕ arе the lеаding cauѕe оf rеlаtіоnѕhір рrоblems, and it'ѕ impоrtаnt tо dіѕсuss thеm befоrе they gеt out оf contrоl. Agrее on budgetѕ and mоnеy sреndіng habitѕ thаt fit bоth оf yоur neеdѕ.

9. Tіmе Togеther

Do уоu рlаn on ѕрendіng еvеrу Sunday wіth yоur pаrtnеr watching mоviеѕ? Yоur раrtner mау havе ѕomethіng elѕe раned fоr theіr Sundaуѕ. Dіѕcuss thеѕе thingѕ and dоn't аѕѕumе whаt your раrtnеr wоuld lіkе to do-it cаn lеad tо unnеcеѕѕarу diѕарpоintmеnt.

10. Drugs, Alcоhol, Gаmblіng

By thе time уou dеcidе tо get marrіed to yоur partnеr, уоu'rе рrobаblу аlrеаdy wеll awаrе оf аnу аddiсtіоns they maу have. If somethіng іs serіouѕ enоugh to rеquіrе help, dіscuѕs how уou'll handlе іt tоgеther. Dеcide іf оnе of bоth оf уou ѕhould ѕeek сounѕeling and be surе уоu аgree аnd deаl wіth іt togethеr..

About the Author : Rohitesh Naik, a Freelance writer and a Internet Marketer who presently writes about the Upcoming Verizon Phones. It includes all the the news and updates about New Verizon Phones.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grieving the Losses That Come With Divorce

The following is an article I wrote for the website:

No matter how easy or difficult, friendly or acrimonious your divorce, there will always be a certain amount of grief to be experienced. Just like with the death of a loved one, the death of a marriage is accompanied by sadness, anger, guilt, and, eventually, acceptance. Even if you are the one who wanted the divorce, you will experience grief.

Children rarely escape unscathed in a divorce. It hurts them, even if ultimately, the divorce is better for them than seeing and hearing their parents constantly fighting. Their lives change. They may lose a certain sense of security. They may be going back and forth between two homes – at least one of which is new, and therefore strange, to them.

On some level, children will miss a nuclear home and the absent parent, even if, on the surface, they have sided with one over the other, or if they appear to be unphased by the changes. Sometimes a divorce requires a move, and maybe a new neighborhood or new school. Maybe a once stay at home Mom will have to go back to work. Life will be different for them in many ways, and change is always at least a little frightening.

Everyone in the family suffers financially from a divorce. The bottom line is that it takes more money to support two households than it does one. That means sacrifices are made on everyone’s part. Sometimes it means downsizing a house, or having no money for any discretionary spending. I’ve seen so many people struggle financially as a result of divorce, and while they may not regret the divorce, they often underestimate the financial struggle it is.

If one person wanted the divorce and the other didn’t, the person who is left often feels alone. They miss the presence of a partner in the house and they feel lonely. Sometimes they also feel unprepared to handle the things their spouse used to take care of, whether that’s balancing the checkbook, doing yard work, or laundry, cooking, or helping the kids with homework. And of course, the person you once loved very much, is no longer in your life in the same way, and that is a huge loss.

Socially, divorce brings about many challenging changes, and usually a lot of loss. Couples who were friends with you and your spouse will often struggle with mixed loyalties. Rather than chose one over the other, they will often pull back all together. You will likely not be invited to things that are more couples’ oriented. Most likely, you will need to develop a new social life as a single person and that can be difficult and scary. Divorce support groups can be a wonderful place to start.

Maybe the greatest loss is the loss of the hopes and dreams that you invested in your marriage. There was a time when you were very much in love and you had visions of what your life would be like together. You made a lot of plans and spent time and energy in the expectation that you would together create whatever your personal version of that white picket fence was. And then, it either didn’t happen, or it all came tumbling down.

But the good news is that we human beings are a resilient bunch. You will go through the grieving process and eventually get to that point of acceptance, and you will have learned a tremendous amount about yourself in the process. Life will be different, but different is neither good nor bad, it’s just different. And about those hopes and dreams – they don’t have to die. You’re older and more experienced and probably have some other ideas now about what you’d like, but by all means, hold onto those hopes and dreams. With all you’ve learned and experienced, you’ll have a clearer path for getting there, even if the picket fence is green next time!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Never Being Childish About Children

Today, I have a guest blogger. Trevor Munday is a marketer for Vanquis Bank,, has an interest in psychology and been happily married for ten years and counting.

It seems in today's society, things often happen in reverse: couples have kids, move in together and finally get married. Sometimes these relationships work out, but statistics would suggest that for the majority, this is too much intensity on a relationship at an early stage of its development. Although couples can stay together for the sake of children, a relationship often suffers if the participants feel that the focus is on children, and not on each other. The best types of relationships stem from a mutual admiration that is furthered by the addition of children; this is also the most stable environment in which to raise a child.

Although it may be a "red flag" to some to be discussing children at the onset of a relationship, children can quickly become a deal-breaker further into a marriage. Most men will not want to be tied into such an important decision early into a relationship, but being able to discuss aspirations, thoughts and practical considerations shows maturity and pragmatism. Even if one doesn't feel ready for the responsibility of children earlier on in life, people's attitudes change along with their social circumstances, and as more friends in your immediate circles start to have kids themselves, this can add to the pressure a couple may feel to have children of their own.

This needs to be a joint decision, if in a situation where one partner is fervently trying for children when the other secretly does not want any, calamity and relationship disaster are sure to follow. Open discussion, even agreement to a timetable (reviewing the domestic finances and job/time balance in one or two years) sounds clinical, but is an intelligent discussion and a responsible attitude to have when looking to bring a new life into the world.

Ensuring that this life-changing decision is a frequent discussion point (as opposed to being a bomb that is dropped at a critical moment) ensures that emotions and feelings will be even, and less of the usual reactions that we frequently fall into when confronting difficult decisions, or ones that potentially involve a great deal of change cause conflict and argument. Even if things don't happen according to plan, having had the issue in mind for a discussion point will leave both partners in a much better state to cope emotionally and intellectually with the preparation and arrival of a new child.

Monday, October 10, 2011

In case you're already dealing with a divorce

Thanks to guest contributor, Neltje Maynez, Writer/Editor at for the article, below. Although "Divorce Proof Your Marriage" is obviously best read PRIOR to tying the knot, some of you are also still dealing with an untying. Naltje offer some good advice:

A couple of years ago, I had the most unpleasant time of going through a divorce of my parents. They had been dealing with problems for a long time―but I never thought that they would reach the point of divorce. It was painful, and I still feel like I am dealing with the consequences. Luckily, I was older when it happened, so I didn't feel so affected by it. But, it's not like it was easy.

However, my parents are still having a hard time with it. I am pretty sure that if they had some counseling, or advice, their divorce could have been less painful, or at least less time-consuming. It seems like more and more people are getting divorced. I was talking with my mom, who had a small support group for divorced people and she gave me 5 tips when it came to divorce.

1) Clean Break
This is one of the most important steps of a divorce. If the papers have been filed and you are legally divorced―it's over. Do not linger with the thought of them coming back. Respect yourself and realize that your marriage is done. Although the words may be harsh―it's better to realize it now than to hold on to a wish that they will come back. Get rid of the things that they have in your place, and get your stuff back. Delete their contact info from your phone. You don't want to be tempted to want to call them back.

2) Time
Healing from a divorce takes time. You will want to get back in the dating scene because you are lonely, but don't do it. That could only lead to more heartbreak in the future. Know that even if it seems really hard, you can do it. Be strong for yourself.

3) Let it Out
Let's be honest, getting a divorce is tough. Don't try to be the hero and bottle all of your emotions inside. You have got to learn that it is ok to feel the way you do―it's normal. However, you don't want to be bitter for the rest of you life. Being angry and hurt is a normal part of being divorced, but don't let it consume you forever.

4) Treat Yourself
Think of your divorce as something that can help make you even better than you already are. If you have gain a little bit of weight, start going to the gym. Start taking care of yourself. You can even start new hobbies that you have always wanted to try.

5) Look to the Future
You are an awesome individual that can do anything that you put your mind to. Don't let a divorce bring you down. It may hurt for a little bit, or even hurt for a long time, but you can do it. Start making goals for yourself. If you have been stuck in a career that you hate, go back to school and change it.

My mom told me that these tips helped her―even years after her divorce. If you are someone that is experiencing this pain, try these tips. Divorce will never be hard, but these tips can help you on your journey. Who knows? Most people that get divorced often find that they are happier without the person they divorced. It will take time to get used to it―but if you let yourself―you can be happier and even more successful.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What Do You Wish You'd Known Before You Got Married?

I can't tell you how many times I've talked to couples a few years into their marriages, who are finding out all kinds of differences that they have. I often ask, "didn't you talk about these things before you got married?" Usually, the answer is "no." What are the things you wish you'd known about either your partner or yourself, before you took that walk down the aisle?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things Unsaid

Throughout my career, I’ve found it doesn’t matter if a couple has been together for two weeks, two years or 20; there are always differences and baggage that get swept under the carpet of life but never really go away.  The better equipped we are to know what the important questions are in life and how to go about finding the answers and solutions, the longer and stronger our relationships will be.  After all, isn’t that the point of a committed partnership?  "Divorce Proof" takes couples by the hand and helps them have those conversations.