THE GREATER GIFT CAME LATER
My husband was seriously injured at work in August 2002. He was unable to work for about six months. Much of his income is from overtime and his disability pay did not equal even 25 percent of the income we count on. We have five children and this was a massive loss of income for our family. It became necessary for me to work a second full-time job.
Most days I went to my teaching job at 7:00 a.m., went to my second job as a cashier at a local retail store at 4:00 p.m., and dragged myself home around midnight, knowing I had to do the same thing the next day. I still had to do lesson planning and somehow squeeze in family time. I worked seven days a week, and was rarely home. My youngest child, seven years old at the time, missed me so much that he started carrying a picture of me to school in his pocket.
Until then, I’d been very active in my church. But I became too busy for most of my church life and missed many meetings. Word spread about our situation, and I received many calls with words of encouragement and emotional support from fellow church members.
THE TOP 3 VULNERABILITIES THAT RUIN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
All couples come to experience the raw buttons of their partner. Happy couples understand each other’s imperfections and enduring vulnerabilities, while unhappy couples use these enduring vulnerabilities as fire power in the heat of a battle. Instead of holding hands, they point fingers.
Pushing Each Other’s Raw Buttons
Steven and Ruth met while traveling through Brazil five years ago. Both are in their late thirties, and both had a difficult childhood.
Steven was abandoned by his father at the age of 6. He felt like a burden because his mom constantly stressed about money and his childhood expenses.
24 SIGNS OF A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON
Highly sensitive people often “feel too much” and “feel too deep”.
Are you a highly sensitive person? Do you know someone in your personal or professional life who may be highly sensitive? High sensitivity can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli. A highly sensitive person may be an introvert, an extrovert, or a combination of both.
Although there are many positive attributes to being a sensitive person (such as greater ability to listen and affirm, greater empathy and intuitiveness, better understanding of others’ wants and needs, etc.), in this writing we will focus on aspects of high sensitivity which adversely affect one’s health, happiness and success, and often complicate relationships. Below are twenty-four signs of a highly sensitive person, with excerpts from my books: “Are You Highly Sensitive? How to Gain Immunity, Peace, and Self-Mastery(link is external)” and “How to Communicate Effectively with Highly Sensitive People(link is external)” These traits are organized into three major categories: Sensitivity About Oneself, Sensitivity About Others, and Sensitivity About One’s Environment.
THE DEATH OF LOVE ISN’T NATURAL: THE 7 STEPS TO SEPARATION
“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source, it dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds, it dies of weariness, of witherings, or tarnishings, but never a natural death.” – Anais Nin
Marriages rarely end overnight. They tend to unravel over time, in ways that are now fairly predictable thanks to research by Dr. John Gottman. In 1986 Dr. Gottman and his colleagues built a Love Lab to learn the secrets of lasting love and understand why love dies.
By studying couples for over 40 years, Dr. Gottman could predict with a 90% accuracy which marriage would fail, and which would succeed. These are the factors he found most often contribute to the dissolution of a marriage:
NEGATIVE EMOTIONS OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONNECTION
When I work with couples, it’s not uncommon for one partner to say, “I can’t handle my partner’s anger,” or “Her crying overwhelms me, I don’t know what to do.”
The other partner expresses, “He never listens to me,” or “She never cares about my life.”
The problem here is that an emotionally dismissive response blocks emotional connection, and over time, erodes trust, the foundation of a happy and positive relationship.
SHOULD YOU TELL YOUR PARTNER YOU CHEATED?
Will telling the truth help or hurt your relationship?
I’m going to say this up front: I am not a fan of lying and keeping secrets in an intimate relationship. If you are looking for someone to tell you that after you cheat you should probably just keep things quiet for the sake of your relationship and your partner’s well-being, because learning that you cheated would be painful for her/him, look elsewhere. Before you do, though, you should know that the glue that holds healthy and enjoyable long-term relationships together is not sex, money, or even the kids. It’s trust. When you violate your partner’s trust, you violate your relationship — even if you’re just keeping secrets as opposed to actually lying (although in my opinion, keeping secrets is just another form of lying).
Consider the definition of infidelity that I use in my recently published book, Out of the Doghouse: A Step-by-Step Relationship-Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating:
“Infidelity (cheating) is the breaking of trust that occurs when you deliberately keep intimate, meaningful secrets from your primary romantic partner.”
4 THINGS YOU MUST GIVE UP TO MOVE FORWARD TODAY
Let me share a short story and some important life lessons with you…
Last night, Marc and I received a new thank you email from a longtime reader and course student named Kevin (we’re writing about him today with his consent). He said our book and life coaching sessions helped him and his wife Laura maintain a positive, intentional mindset as they struggled and grew through one of the most difficult periods of their lives. Certain sections of his email nearly moved me to tears:
“As you know, after injuring my back, losing my job because of it, being evicted from our apartment, moving in with Laura’s parents, nursing my five-year-old through a nearly fatal bout of strep throat, I was stuck in a tragic rut for far too long. And I was sitting on the front porch feeling sorry for myself, yet again, when my old college buddy called me crying and said, ‘Mel-Mel-Mellisa, my baby girl just died in a car wreck.’ And suddenly I felt like the lucky one.”
AN OLD MAN’S 7 RESOLUTIONS FOR A NEW YEAR
As we age, it seems, life presents us with two options: denial or humility. And, in my opinion, if you decide to trade-in your denial about your limitations for a little bit of humility, you might as well fold some of that humility into your New Year’s resolutions…
This year, I’m going to stretch.
I’m not going to stretch because I’m training for the 2020 Summer Olympics or a marathon or a Tough Mudder, or even a 5k. No, these days, at the ripe old age of 41, I’m not stretching out of ambition, I’m stretching for the sake of prevention. I’m stretching so I can walk into the grocery store without a limp. So I can ascend a flight of stairs without pulling a hamstring. So I can roll out of bed without throwing out my back.
20 TRUE STORIES OF HEARTBREAK AND RESILIENCE THAT WILL MAKE YOU THINK, SMILE AND CRY
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
The wisest, most loving, and well-rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have been shattered by heartbreak. Yes, life creates the greatest humans by breaking them first. Their destruction into pieces allows them to be fine-tuned and reconstructed into a masterpiece. Truly, it’s the painstaking journey of falling apart and coming back together that fills their hearts and minds with a level of compassion, understanding, and deep loving wisdom that can’t possibly be acquired any other way.
Angel and I have worked with hundreds of these incredible people over the past decade, both online and offline, through various forms of coaching, side projects, and our live annual conferences. In many cases they came to us feeling stuck and lost, unaware of their own brilliance, blind to the fact that their struggles have strengthened them and given them a resilient upper hand in this crazy world. Honestly, many of these people are now our biggest heroes. Over the years they have given us as much, if not more, than we have given them. And they continue to be our greatest source of inspiration on a daily basis.
HOW YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE DETERMINES HOW YOU LOVE THEM
All of us have an inner narrator that describes the scene and characters of our lives. If your inner narrator writes a script of your partner and marriage in a negative tone, it’s easy to make assumptions that create negative interactions.
I want you to meet Courtney and Nate, a couple who has been married for 11 years.
On this particular day, Courtney comes home grumpy from work and sees dirty dishes on the kitchen counter. She starts yelling at Nate about the house being filthy. Nate immediately feels attacked. He thinks, “Wow, she is really grumpy right now. This is not fun. I hope she calms down soon. I wonder what happened at work today that’s making her so upset?” We will call this side of Nate, Benefit of the Doubt Nate.