7 DAILY RITUALS INTENTIONAL COUPLES USE TO CULTIVATE LASTING LOVE
Due to the daily pressures, distractions, and dynamics of modern life, a romantic couple doesn’t have to be dysfunctional to grow distant over time. Long working hours and the demands of raising children can push date night, sex, and romantic vacations to last place on the priority list.
Researchers at UCLA observed 30 dual-career couples with young children to understand the daily challenges for finding opportunities to build strong relationships and families. They discovered that these couples: 1
Spend less than 10% of their time at home with each other and without their children around
Are career-focused with long working hours (partner one) and a have a double burden of work and childcare (partner two)
Prioritize children and household needs over the needs of their spouse or self
Become more like roommates, drifting apart emotionally and physically
Please every parent and guardian should teach their children and wards, especially toddlers, very early about ‘PANTS’ rules. Times have changed and the world has become a very sick and pathetic place to live. There are many paedophiles and rapists out there. Be careful, and note that everyone is a suspect here.
We must prayerfully protect our children by arming them with the right information:
P – Private parts are private. Nobody is permitted to touch them.
A – Always remember that your body is yours and yours only.
A DAD’S LETTER TO HIS SON (ABOUT THE ONLY GOOD REASON TO GET MARRIED)
It seems like yesterday you were blowing poop out of your diaper onto your mother’s lap. Yet here we are, on the verge of the birds-and-the-bees conversation. The poop was way easier.
Before we talk about sex, though, I want to talk about marriage. Not because I’ll shun you or shame you if you don’t put them in that order—although I hope you will—but because I believe the only good reason to get married will bring clarity to every other aspect of your life, including sex.
We have a bad habit of focusing on people’s superficial, negative qualities. Happiness and fulfillment can be gained by giving weight to what should ultimately guide our behavior: people’s profound, positive qualities. Appreciating these aspects of individuals fosters meaningful and mutually beneficial experiences.
Bias has been getting a lot of attention lately due to a growing understanding of the influences it has on our actions and attitudes outside of our awareness (Banaji & Greenwald, 2013). A phenomenon called negativity bias makes us far more sensitive to negative things than to positive ones. If two disparate events are of equivalent strength, the event that is negative will elicit much greater psychological activity and will impact behavior more (Baumeister, et al., 2001). Evolutionarily, this makes sense as it protects us from harm, but if our default is to dwell on the negative and to ignore the positive, then how can we hope to be happy, optimistic people?
IN RELATIONSHIPS, NOT ARGUING MEANS YOU’RE NOT COMMUNICATING
Lisa Brookes Kift
Researchers are doing a great job raising awareness about harmful things couples say and do in a relationship. For example, we now know from the work of Dr. John Gottman that there are four communication patterns which predict whether a couple will stay together or break up: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
We know high conflict couples are on a one-way trip to divorce if they don’t learn how to better communicate, take responsibility, and work towards shifting their adversarial paradigm to a more collaborative one.
THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP (WHEN FRIENDSHIP IS A VERB)
The word “friend” is a derivative of the verb “freon,” which means, “To love.” A friend is a person. And a friend is a verb…
Two years ago, as my daughter was sprouting up through her fourth year of life, I was helping her put on a pair of jeans, and the waistband strained mightily. I asked her if she would like me to loosen it. She looked at me with puzzlement and asked, “Why?” So I found the stretchy strap inside the waistband and loosened it several notches. I looked at her and asked, “Better?” This time, she looked at me with awe and she sighed,
“Oh my, that’s a lot of better.”
My daughter didn’t know how uncomfortable her pants were, because she didn’t know how comfortable they could feel. When dis-ease sets in like a slowly dripping faucet, we don’t notice it. We unconsciously adapt to it. This can happen to our pants. But it can also happen to our hearts.
TWO WAYS TO GET YOUR DETACHED SPOUSE MORE EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED
Many of the calls we receive in our office for relationship help come from people who are tired of doing all the work in their marriage, and a decade ago we would have been able to generalize that the person making that call was usually the female in the relationship. But regardless of which gender makes the call, they have asked their partners over and over again to get into gear and take more responsibility for the relationship. The response some of them get is “Why? There is really not much wrong here, and anyways, we can fix it on our own without help”. By the way, many people who come into counseling after their partner has left them say “I don’t know what happened. I thought everything was okay”. Does this sound familiar?
So what do we do with the gender differences today? Some still apply. Many men typically don’t seek outside help for their relationships for the same reason that many men won’t ask for directions. We hate not being able to figure something out on our own. Men, by nature, are trained and socialized to be independent and self-sufficient. We would rather learn from doing than from discussing. This does not make it right, and the new millennial’s are certainly changing this trend as the social culture evolves.
Many studies on gender segregation in children have discovered significant differences in how girls and boys play. Think about this the next time you’re watching children at a playground. The boys are rarely sitting around talking. They’re doing something active.
Far too often I work with guys that feel like they get walked on in their dating life. They’re unsure if the person they like reciprocates those feelings back. Most of these guys struggle in their dating lives because they choose not to assert themselves in fear of being rejected, or being deemed unmanly for seeming needy. Sometimes they lack the ability to recognize their emotions in a healthy way.
I can relate. I used to date girls that would make me feel insecure. Instead of telling them directly what made me feel insecure, I acted in manipulative ways to get my needs met. This is also known as Protest Behavior. This is unhealthy, and leads to further dysfunction in a relationship. The biggest issue in most relationships is communication and how we choose to get our needs met. Let’s start off by sharing some stories about two guys.
After a few dates with Kara, Jon felt very confused. The very first date was at a local dive bar where they sung karaoke and made friends with some of the elderly folks, who asked if they were married.
WHY SIBLINGS FIGHT (AND WHY WE ALL FIGHT LIKE SIBLINGS)
Siblings fight because they assume love is a limited resource. They assume they have to compete for caring. In other words, siblings are just like the rest of us…
I was brutal to my siblings.
I beat up on my little brother’s shoulder and I beat up on my little sister’s heart. When we were all grown and had gone our separate ways, I realized what I’d done, and I started to beat up on myself. I felt guilty about being a bully and sad about the lost opportunity to be their friend.
Even after they accepted my apology, I couldn’t forgive myself.