When you think about it, every couple in every relationship is set up for failure. It is impossible to be emotionally available to your partner 100 percent of the time. In fact, you will miss most of your partner’s bids for emotional connection out of mindlessness.
But failure is not the problem. Even a mother who failed to be responsive and available 50 percent of the time can raise a child to be a healthy adult who has healthy relationships. According to psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, the difference between “good mothers and bad mothers is not the omission of errors but what they do with them.” How a child copes with everyday failures and fluctuations is directly related to the degree in which their parent creates an environment for a secure attachment bond and how that parent repairs their errors.
This is no different in our romantic relationships. The difference between happy couples and unhappy couples is not that happy couples don’t make mistakes. We all do. How couples handle conflict resolution is what separates the relationship Masters from the Disasters.
How do we heighten our happiness? There are many ways and one size does not fit all. Below I discuss a few key things that has worked for me and those closest to me – how a small group of us went from downbeat and drained to a happy and hopeful in a few short years…
1. Savor the joy of simple pleasures. – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free. They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times. They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness. It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love. Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.
Whether we are in the process of falling in love, or have been married for 16 years, we all know that it feels amazing to be emotionally connected our partner. Much less understood is how a couple can start holding hands with a close connection and then begin the painful process of falling out of love.
The beliefs you adopt in pursuing your relationships determine the type of relationships you end up with.
We are attracted to those who confirm the beliefs we hold about ourselves.
Meet Miguel. Miguel plays games, hides his true intentions, and manipulates women to stay in a relationship with him. His beliefs about relationships cause him to naturally attract women who also play games and manipulate people. His ex-girlfriend Jamie, who doesn’t play games, was attracted to Miguel initially, but by the third date she grew sick of his behavior.
Open your eyes to see what you are doing that may be causing secret sorrow and tears in your child’s life.
Sometimes parents don’t realize the impact certain behaviors have on their children. Loving parents don’t want to harm their children physically or psychologically, but if you’re not careful it can happen. These actions can cause those precious little souls you love so much to cry in the night, unbeknownst to you.
1. You allow your small children to see distressing news
Children don’t have the experience to process news-reported tragedies. Everything becomes very real, like it happened next door or could happen right in their own house. Even if it could, little children should not be burdened by the possibility of it. They can be frightened to their very core. Watch what your children see on TV news and what you talk about in their presence.
As human beings, the stories we subconsciously tell ourselves about our circumstances, about others, and about life in general drastically changes how we feel. If the stories are positive, we tend to feel good. If the stories are negative, we tend to lose hope.
Of course, there’s more to feeling good than just thinking positive. The details of your present reality matter and make a difference, but generally speaking, you’re not going to have a good day today if you’re hell-bent on telling yourself otherwise.
To a degree you know this already, right? But there’s more…
Is your house always a mess? Here are 12 habits that will help keep your home clean and organized.
I love a clean home. It makes me happy to be in an environment that is clean and well organized. If I lived alone I could probably get away with cleaning my house once a month; but that’s not my reality.
When you add up over a decade worth of online conversations with our community of readers, the live events we’ve hosted in support of our book, and hundreds of one-on-one coaching sessions with course students, Marc and I have a lot of experience when it comes to helping people find and resolve the pain points that have been holding them back. But I am still frequently surprised by the interesting ways people frame questions about their challenges.
Last night a reader named Karla sent me an email that caught my attention, simply because the subject of her email read: “Things Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do” (An interesting title for an article, I thought.)
Part of Karla’s email read: “I love your book. It has helped me get through some seriously tough times. But even though I’ve made progress, I often struggle with emotional weakness. I persistently resist what I know I need to do for myself. So I was wondering, what do emotionally strong people NOT do? The reason I ask is that I’ve spent a lot of time implementing positive habits in my life, but I haven’t really focused on removing any (parallel) bad habits.
High school and college were great, but now they’re long gone. Adulthood starts when you give up these 20 things.
I hate it when people say “something is the new something.” You know — gray is the new black (or something equally insipid). However, I can’t help but agree that 30 really seems to be the new 20. As a woman in my 20s, I’m a little discouraged by the stupid things some of my peers still think is OK. It’s time to step it up and start acting like adults. This is getting embarrassing.
In case you need a primer, here are 20 things you should outgrow by age 25.