IF YOU STOPPED BELIEVING IN LOVE, READ THIS ESSAY NOW
Have you endured a lot of heartbreak, and now you’ve
stopped believing in love? I’m here to give you the courage and insights you
need to trust love one more time. Read on…
always fascinating to me the responses I receive when I tell women that if they
want to break their Prince Harming patterns, then they
must stop overly prioritizing finding a man who is sexy and successful.
They must ALSO prioritize finding a man who:
revels in open, honest communication
displays 20/20 listening skills
shows a Gumby-like flexibility for compromise
women wind up laughing heartily at my description of this evolved kind of man.
insist this type of man does not exist!
“You’re a female chauvinist!”I’ve called these women.
further explain to these women how prejudiced they are being – because they
cannot believe it’s possible for men to be emotionally evolved.
wonder these women have stopped believing in love!
they believe in love – when they have stopped believing there are men out there
who are capable of communicating honestly and deeply from their hearts?
“You’re basically saying that all men areemotional bimbos,” I tell these women.
the combo of the words “female chauvinist” and “emotional
bimbo” shock these women into a fuller awareness of how
gender-prejudiced they’re being.
these women that they must stop being “negative evidence collectors,” seeking
proof that all men are “emotional bimbos.”
warn these women about how they can accidentally encourage a self-fulfilling
prophecy of bad behavior from their man – if they treat a good man
to their bad attitude toward him.
instruct these women to become “positive evidence collectors.”
assignment: They must mindfully start to look for proof of the plentiful,
wonderful Prince Charming–esque guys who are out there.
These good men could be married to or dating their lucky girlfriends.
Or they could be written up in the news.
Maybe they are working alongside them at their offices.
Plus they could even be in the very bed with them – right beside them!
women against using the words “always” and “never” –
in either reference to their love life or men as a category.
“I will never find a man who values growing.”
“I always meet guys who cheat.”
time you create a sentence with an “always” and/or “never”you set
yourself up with a limiting belief that can create a self-fulfilling prophecy
of doom and gloom.
when you use “always” and/or “never” in
a sentence, you put yourself in a hopeless, depressed frame of mind.
I’m with someone who says they’re depressed, I assign them to jackhammer-drill
down to find and dump their pesky “always” and/or “never.”
one of these two words is at the root of their depression – draining them of
faith and vitality.
The words “Always” and “Never” are liars.
whisper mean beliefs into your subconscious and conscious mind, about how you
will forever be unable to change your situation.
call these beliefs “permanent” and “pervasive.”
are wildly dangerous to your spirit and your potential for a happily ever after
The truth is:
very rare that there’s a “never” or an “always” in someone’s life.
Have you stopped believing in love?
If so, try to locate your “always” and “never” limiting beliefs.
Try to understand the root of these beliefs. Do they come from your childhood and/or a series of bad experiences?
Next, be willing to unblock these limiting beliefs. Be open to the possibility that you can find a good partner – someone who truly has lots of emotionally evolved qualities!
This brings us to lawyer time. Pretend you’re a lawyer! Find proof that your “always” and “never” are liars!
Finally – get yourself to fully accept that good partners are very much walking around on this planet! Once you believe in the existence of these good quality people – you will be more likely to find them!!
It’s amazing how powerful changing your belief system can be. When you
change the way you look at men and love, you wind up changing what you notice
JOHN GOTTMAN AND BRENÉ BROWN ON RUNNING HEADLONG INTO HEARTBREAK
To a seasoned couples
therapist, the telltale signs of a relationship in crisis are universal. While
every marriage is unique, with distinct memories and stories that capture its
essence, how it looks at its core, the anatomy so-to-speak, adheres to certain
truths. The bones of love, what builds trust (and breaks it), what fosters
connection (and disconnection) we have widely come to understand through the
work of Dr. John Gottman.
Gottman, renowned for
his research on marital stability and demise,
and recognized as one of the ten most influential psychotherapists of the past
quarter-century, has at this stage of his career amassed over 40 years of
research with 3,000 participants. The quality and breadth of his studies are
recognized as some of the finest and most exemplary data we have to date, and
serve as an underpinning for how we understand what makes love work.
Enter Brené Brown, a
self-described researcher, storyteller, and Texan. She’s gritty and funny, and
like Gottman, a formidable researcher. Over the past two decades, Brown has
studied shame, vulnerability, courage, and empathy. She’s published five New
York Times #1 bestsellers, and over 40 million people have viewed
her TED Talk on vulnerability. Her passion
for living a wholehearted life is contagious and convincing. Her research has
confirmed a core human need to belong and connect, and at a time when many of
us are feeling the absence of such, she’s tapping a deep well—inspiring a tribe
of the wholehearted, people committed to practicing shame-resilience, Daring Greatly, and embracing vulnerability.
Gottman coined the term
“Masters of marriage” to describe the couples in his research whose
relationships not only endure, but thrive. These are people who cultivate
trust, commitment, responsiveness, and an ability to cherish their partner’s
feelings throughout a lifetime. Brown speaks of the “wholehearted” individuals
who engage their lives from a place of worthiness. They cultivate courage,
compassion, and connection. Both groups, the masters of marriage and the
wholehearted, display a host of traits that we now know are associated with
health and thriving.
Having had the good
fortune to train in both the Gottman Method and The Daring Way® (an
experiential methodology based on the research of Brené Brown), I cannot help
but wonder, what life would be like if we could take our cues from the masters
of marriage and the wholehearted? How might this shape who we
are as individuals in a partnership? What might the ripple effects be to our
children and society at large if we aspire to love as Gottman and Brown are
The implications of
following in the footsteps of the masters and the wholehearted are huge. The
Harvard Study of Adult Development, the most extensive study of its
kind, has taught us three things. First, that loneliness can kill as surely as
smoking or alcoholism, and that when we are connected, we live longer and
healthier lives. Second, the quality of our relationships matter. It’s not the
number of friends we have, or whether or not we are in a committed relationship
that predicts thriving. Being in a high-conflict marriage is bad for one’s
health. It is worse than divorce. Third, good relationships don’t just protect
our health. They protect our mind. Memory loss and cognitive decline are more
prevalent in lives permeated by conflict and disconnection.
And if that is not
compelling enough, Brown’s research on the implications of shame paints a
similarly grim picture, depicting shame as correlated with loneliness,
depression, suicidality, abuse, trauma, bullying, addiction, and anxiety.
So while love may not
heal all wounds, it is undoubtedly a panacea for preventing them.
Gottman and Brown give us
a map—a macro perspective of the wilderness of our hearts, and the wildness of
love. It’s a rocky path, fraught with challenges and risk. But vulnerability is
inherent in any stance that places courage above comfort. And should we decide
to follow it, the destination it promises to take us to is nothing short of
paradox of trust
Gottman, in his
book The Science of
Trust, astutely asserts that loneliness is (in part) the
inability to trust. And sadly, the failure to trust tends to perpetuate itself.
For when we don’t trust, over time, we become less able to read other people
and deficient in empathy. He states, “Lonely people are caught in a spiral that
keeps them away from others, partly because they withdraw to avoid the
potential hurt that could occur from trusting the wrong person. So they trust
nobody, even the trustworthy.”
According to both
researchers, it’s the small interactions rather than grand gestures that build
trust and break it. “Sliding door moments,” as Gottman calls them, are the
seemingly inconsequential day-to-day interactions we have over breakfast, while
riding in the car, or standing in the kitchen at 9 p.m. Within each act of
communication, there is an opportunity to build a connection. And when we don’t
seize it, an insidious erosion of trust ensues, slowly overtime.
Our relationships do not
die from one swift blow. They die from the thousand tiny cuts that precede it.
But choosing to trust is
all about tolerance for risk, and our histories (both in childhood and with our
partners) can inform how much we are willing to gamble. Brown speaks to the
paradox of trust: we must risk vulnerability in order to build trust, and
simultaneously, it is the building of trust that inspires vulnerability. And
she recommends cultivating a delicate balance, one where we are generous in our
assumptions of others and simultaneously able to set firm boundaries as a means
to afford such generosity—being soft and tough at the same time, no small
our stories write us
According to Gottman, the
final harbinger of a relationship ending is in how couples recall memories and
the stories they tell. Memories, it turns out, are not static. They evolve,
change, and are a living work-in-progress. When a relationship is nearing its
end, at least one person is likely to carry a story inside themselves that no
longer recollects the warm feelings they once had for their partner.
Instead, a new narrative
evolves, maximizing their partner’s negative traits, and quite likely,
minimizing their own. “Self-righteous indignation” as Gottman aptly refers to
it is a subtle form of contempt and is sulfuric acid for love. This story,
laced with blame and bad memories, is the strongest indicator of an impending
breakup or divorce.
But, as Brown cautions,
“We are meaning-making machines wired for survival. Anytime something bad
happens, we scramble to make up a story, and our brain does not care if the
story is right or wrong, and most likely, it is wrong.” She points out that in
research when a story has limited data points, it is a conspiracy, and a lie
told honestly is a confabulation.
In social psychology,
this pre-wired bias is referred to as the fundamental attribution error (FAE).
The FAE speaks to our tendency to believe that others do bad things because
they are bad people, and to ignore evidence to the contrary while
simultaneously having a blind spot that allows us to minimize or overlook what
our behaviors say about our character. In short, we are partial to giving
ourselves a pass while not extending the same generosity to others.
When our minds trick us
into believing we know what our partner’s intentions, feelings, and motives are
we enter a very dark wood—one where we truly can no longer see the forest for
the trees. The ramifications of this are significant because the stories we
tell ourselves dictate how we treat people.
In portraying ourselves
as a hero or victim, we no longer ally with the relationship, but rather, armor
up and see our partner as the enemy. And if memory is malleable, and we’re
prone to spinning conspiracies and confabulations, there is a strong likelihood
that we run the risk of hurting ourselves and those we love in assuming this
tendencies towards mishaps and misperceptions is not easy. It requires a
certain humility, grace, and intentionality. But as Stan Tatkin points out in
his TED talk, Relationships are Hard, “We are mostly
misunderstanding each other much of the time, and if we assume our
communication, memory, and perception is the real truth, that is hubris.”
The wholehearted and
masters of marriage bypass such hubris and navigate the terrain of
relationships differently than those who get lost in the wood. If we want our
relationships and quality of life to thrive, it’s essential we take our cues
from them and cultivate new habits.
emotions (and the suck)
To do so, we must first
expand our emotional repertoire to include a wide range of feelings, not just
our go-to ones. “Emotion-embracing,” as Gottman calls it, is a central building
block for healthy relationships. We are aiming for what Pixar’s Inside Out so
brilliantly depicts: inviting sadness, joy, anger, disgust, and fear all to the
Put simply, Brown
suggests we “embrace the suck,” stating that the wholehearted demonstrate a
capacity to recognize when they’re emotionally ensnared and get curious about
their feelings and perceptions.
Both Gottman and Brown
draw on the Stone Center’s Strategies of Disconnection, which
propose that people respond in one of three ways when hurt: by moving away,
moving toward, or moving against that which feels painful. And what I find
interesting is that while Gottman advocates for turning toward your partner
when injured, and Brown speaks more to leaning into (and getting curious about)
our own uncomfortable emotions, both are emotion-embracing and courageous
stances that emphasize mutuality over individualism.
Unfortunately, most of us
are not taught as children to embrace painful feelings. It’s counterintuitive
and goes against our neurobiological wiring. If we have a traumatic history,
all the more so. And our society by-and-large is an emotion-dismissing culture.
But as Brown cautions, there’s a price to pay when we selectively numb
emotions: when we numb our painful feelings, we also numb our positive ones.
So, if we want the good things in life (and I think most of us want the good
things), then it’s a package deal.
If the most significant
indicator that a relationship has reached a tipping point is a rewritten story
devoid of fond memories, then it stands to reason that a narrative free from
blame, interwoven with curiosity and even goodwill is indicative of love that
will last. Therefore, one of the central tasks of any healthy relationship is
to co-create stories from a lens of “we” versus “me.”
It involves little (and
big) reckonings as Brown calls them, sliding door moments where we pause long
enough to reflect and ask ourselves (and each other), “What is going on right
now?” Together, we cultivate a broader understanding of a disagreement or hurt
feelings, one not possible when left alone in our heads to spin narratives that
defend our most vulnerable parts and simultaneously ensure that we will go to
our grave more swiftly, lonely, and armored.
When I reflect on the
lessons of Gottman and Brown, one concept stands out: we must run headlong into
heartbreak because there are things far worse than having our hearts broken.
Such as the harm we inflict on our loved ones when we disown pain and transmit
it onto them. And the legacy of trauma that ripples into our children’s hearts
and the generations to come—veiling us in a seemingly impermeable barrier to
vulnerability and all the fruits that go with it.
And let us not forget the
Harvard Study of Adult Development and the toll that a conflict-laden life
combined with emotion-dismissing has on our health.
Yes, running headlong
into heartbreak is running directly into vulnerability. It involves
uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. But, as Brown reminds us,
vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and
Should we choose this
path, there will be moments (likely many) where we find ourselves facedown in
the dirt because the road to wholeheartedness guarantees we will get our hearts
broken—again and again. But, in choosing to embrace heartbreak, we empower
ourselves to experience the myriad of ways love manifests itself and the beauty
life affords us. In the end, it’s not a question of if we will experience
heartbreak but of how.
When you look at pornography, what you end up
seeing is a long line of naked bodies. When you look at pornography for years,
you end up seeing years and years’ worth of long lines of naked bodies.
I do a lot of work with guys who, in their
past, looked at porn for years. They don’t look at porn anymore, but they have
a very hard time controlling where their eyes go when real-life women approach
them. While it seems natural that we should be able to control the physical
movements of our eyes, the connection between exposure to pornography and how
it conditions us should not be such a surprise. It is, in fact, one of the
greatest tragedies caused by porn.
Porn teaches men that women are bodies. I’m
using a broad definition of the word “porn” here. I’m referring to any
seductive display of a woman’s naked body, whether that’s a pornographic video,
a Playboy image, or a scene from Game of Thrones. I’d
even throw in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, the
gateway to porn for scores of men, as its seductive photos have created the
same conditioned response: women are bodies.
We know this message
isn’t true, and we’ve seen its tragic consequences in our culture, yet it
continues every time a pornographic image is consumed.
A Hyperbolic Example
Let’s look at a hyperbolic example. A baby boy
is born on an island separated from the human population. All he sees his
entire life are videos and images of nude women either having sex, desiring
sex, or posing seductively.
Then, at age 25, he is placed into the general
human population. How is he going to view the women that he meets and interacts
with every day?
That’s a scary thought, but it shouldn’t be
surprising. He’s going to see women as two-dimensional sets of body parts whose
only purpose for existing is his own sexual gratification. This has nothing to
do with how a woman is dressed, for this will happen regardless of the style or
fashion. Throughout his entire life his eyes have darted straight to her body
parts, so that’s what they will continue to do, because he thinks that’s what a
I say some of this because I’m still shocked
at how secular culture can embrace pornography in all its forms, yet somehow
not see the connection between it and the sexual objectification and abuse of
women in the real world.
But I also say it to set the table for the
real men who are now caught in the trap they have built for themselves over
years of being conditioned by porn. Most of us are at a point where we aren’t
condemning the man who is looking at porn, or who has looked at it in his past,
but are extending a hand of grace and help. But now this man’s physiological
responses to women have been trained to see them as sexual objects and to
subconsciously glance at their body parts as a now-instinctive act of
consumption and gratification.
Can this conditioned response be stopped?
The good news is, it can be. But not without
some intentionality and hard work. For most men it will take more than a sermon
or a lecture to get their eyes to do what their mind and heart want.
The Problem with the Porn Mindset
The foundation of this rewiring process begins
with our approach to how and why we are avoiding pornography in the first
place. If you’ve been told to not look at pornography because it’s bad and
sinful to do it, you might be able to cut out porn from your life, but your
porn mindset is likely to remain. Porn did something to your mind, something
that has to be undone. More than just training yourself to avoid pornography,
you have to rewire your mind from the porn mindset.
The problem with the porn
mindset is it doesn’t see all of a woman (or man), it only
sees their body parts. We all know we are more than body parts.
We all know our mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives are more than body
parts. We know that we are all complex beings. We know that what makes
relationships both rewarding and challenging is that we are complex beings.
Every woman, just like every man, has strengths, weaknesses, stressors,
anxieties, pain, joy, personality, values, and a long list of other attributes
that separate humans from the animals.
for sex doesn’t allow for this. His design for sex is that all of
someone is embraced in a lifetime commitment. When you deal with all of
someone, conflict is sure to come! But the bond of commitment is there to
sustain it. All requires selflessness, which is the definition
of love. Sex and body parts are only one ingredient inside of this recipe, not
something that was designed to be indulged in on their own.
When tempted to lust, the only way to get
beyond the body-part-mindset is to understand that behind every woman’s body is
a full, whole, complex woman. She is a soul. There is a depth and sacredness to
this that I can’t put into words.
If you’re married, you know what I’m saying is
true because you see it every day in your own wife. There may have been a day
when you first met that you only saw her physical attributes, but you now know
she is a much more complex equation than that (praise God). The same is true
for every woman on the planet.
Let the Rewiring Begin
Porn has taught you to
see: BODY. You have to be rewired to see: WOMAN. And to apply what this means. You
look into her eyes because that’s where she is. She is a she,
not a that. She’s not an object to be consumed.
Body parts separated from the person are only
things. God didn’t call you to consume people, taking life away from them, he
called you to bring life to people. This is the foundational
calling of all Christians.
We live on a planet full of human beings.
Full, whole, complex human beings. Porn has taught us that women aren’t fully
human and we’ve been conditioned into believing that lie whenever we consume
them for our selfish gratification.
The path of rewiring means taking the truths
of Scripture and letting them renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2) away from the
lies porn has taught us.
woman is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), full of his dignity,
honor, and complexity.
woman is fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together by God himself
woman has a soul.
woman is God’s.
Repeat these truths to yourself daily when you
spend time praying and reading your Bible. Repeat them in prayer all throughout
The next time your eyes want to go toward a
woman’s body, remind yourself of the truth that she is a whole person and all
that means. Look her in the eyes and see her that way.
“PC culture” is just the words we use now to talk about other people. It’s literally just updated terminology.
– Cameron Esposito
The world of love and its accompanying vocabulary is expanding. The days of “one-size fits all” or even “one-size fits most” orientation labels are a thing of the past. To help us look to the future, however, it is often helpful to draw from what we know.
In this case, we’re looking to etymology and a linguistic element called the “combining form.” Here is our guide on combining forms used to express different types of love and relationships, and how you may see them used.
Monogamous = one + marriage Colloquially we understand “monogamy” to mean being in one committed relationship at a time, not necessarily marriage. But, as we’ll dig into later, our terminology could use some expanding, as not everyone is choosing to engage with the institution of marriage.
Homosexual = same + sexuality/sex partner This is typically used to describe those who prefer same-sex partners. As we expand our definitions, we may come to find that this refers mainly to who a person is sexually attracted to, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate who that person is romantically attracted to.
Heterosexual = other + sexuality/sex partner This is used to refer to people who are mostly (or strictly) attracted to people of the opposite sex.
Bisexual = two + sexuality/sex partner If we hold our definition strictly to its Latin roots, bisexuality refers to one who is attracted to two, and only two, genders. With our ever-evolving understanding of gender expression, this term is potentially limiting and its definition adheres to a now-outmoded, binary construct of gender. Colloquially, bisexual refers to someone who is sexually attracted to both men and women, and the term pansexual or omnisexual offers a more broad perspective (men, women, and gender non-conforming/non-binary individuals).
A note about pansexuality and/or omnisexuality It’s important to note here that when someone identifies as pansexual, it means they can be attracted to someone anywhere along the gender identity spectrum. It does not mean, however, that they are attracted to everyone and everything. Every person is unique and has their own proclivities, turn-ons, and traits that attract them to another person. Just as a heterosexual woman is not sexually attracted to ALL men, an omnisexual person is not sexually attracted to ALL people.
Let’s explore other combinations!
Polyamory vs polygamy Polyamory and polygamy are not the same thing. Polyamory means many or more than one love/emotional connection, usually simultaneously. Polygamy refers to plural marriage and is colloquially tied to certain factions of the Mormon faith. Just as many Mormons are not polygamous, to equate polyamory with polygamy would be a miscategorization.
Often, polygamists we see represented on television (Big Love, Sister Wives, My Five Wives) are practicing polygyny (-gyny from the Greek gynos or Ancient Greek gunḗ, meaning woman), the state or practice of having multiple wedded wives at the same time. A woman with multiple husbands at the same time would be practicing polyandry (-andry from the Greek andros, meaning man). To continue playing with combining forms, a person with just two wedded partners simultaneously is practicing bigamy.
Equating the two is, however, understandable, as polyamory is usually referred to as “ethical non-monogamy” (unethical non-monogamy is cheating). We know from our combining forms that -gamy means marriage, so it would be logical to see the opposite of monogamy (one marriage) as polygamy (more than one marriage). But as the ways we look at marriage (and the reasons we get married) change, it makes sense to expand our definitions and terminology for love relationships, and move outside binary thinking. Polyamory is not actually in opposition to monogamy, just different.
This misconception may be due to the fact that culturally, our understanding of the terms monogamy and even polygamy precede our awareness/understanding/acknowledgment at large of polyamory.
Not-Necessarily-Straight A’s A- is a fun combining form because it’s basically just saying “no thank you” to whatever follows it. For example, someone who identifies as Agamous is choosing not to have marriage, as a concept, in their lives. An individual can identify as heteroromantic (romantically attracted to or gets “crushes” on people of the opposite sex), but asexual (not interested in sexual activity with anyone, thank you).
Everything on a spectrum A note of caution: labels are most helpful in self-exploration, or to further your understanding of someone who already uses them. Labels are less helpful when they’re being used to define or confine someone without their permission. If the introductory combining forms featured here feel too limiting, specific, or two-dimensional for you, you may want to check out the “More Complicated Attraction Layer Cake.”
The best part about exploring an expanded world of love and relationship definitions (aside from being able to hold your own at a cocktail party) is the empowering feeling that can come from finding something that more accurately describes how you feel.
In Anne of Green Gables, Anne hates when people point out her “red” hair, calling it her “lifelong sorrow.” But later, when a neighbor tells Anne her hair has become “a real handsome auburn,” her outlook changes. A more specific word makes all the difference.
Editor’s Note: We have decided to limit this introductory exploration to the areas that best speak to the work we do: love and relationships.
REVEALED! BIG REASONS NIGERIAN MEN CHEAT, MANY WOMEN ARE GUILTY OF NO. 4
A lot of women usually wonder why men cheat in spite of the effort they put into the relationship to make it work. Truth is, there’s no better way to keep a man than having to build a good relationship with him. The question is, how does one go about building the right relationship with her partner? The best way to go about it, is to first, look at reasons why a man would contemplate infidelity in the first place. Having a clue, for this reason, would give a better perspective on possible solutions to apply.
1. Never let him forget you exist
We all know adulthood can be exhausting, most times with so many responsibilities and bills to take care of. Most women get so busy they don’t make time for their men and family. In spite of how busy both of you get, a quick text to him saying “I love you,” or “I miss you” or “I have a special surprise for you when you get home!” won’t be a bad idea. You get to rekindle the spark in your relationship with these little pins of love. Using your love for him to push out guilty thoughts out of his mind, just in case he thinks about flirting.
2. Spark up your sex life
If you are feeling a little jaded with your intimate routine (even if you blame him), then he is most likely tired as well. Spark up the bond by being the person to initiate copulation more often, and then take control of the play. There are numerous things you can do to spark things up that would leave no room for some other woman. Try any of the stuff he liked when both of you were first dating.
3. Do things with him, and for him
I know this is no news but some guys live for their lovers, and some guys just put up with them. Be the type of lady men would live for. It won’t make you “unliberated.” It will seemingly make him your willing ”cabana” boy, doing everything he can to satisfy you. Cook sumptuous meals he enjoys. I know this is particularly hard for most female folks but if you can, try watch the football match with him. This would rekindle the bond both of you feel for each other and won’t give other women the chance to wreck your relationship.
When you nag, you inadvertently chase your man to another woman. To prevent any loopholes do not nag or argue provocatively. Verbally assaulting a man can throw the man into a messy emotional turmoil with nowhere to fall back to. Unlike women who have alternative options during their lows, like girlfriends and moms, your man is likely to fall into the hands of another woman who might just smooth things up and make him feel good.
What are your thoughts on this? Kindly leave a comment and don’t forget to share.
Depending on what
you refer to as long distance,
expectations may vary. Some people consider living in different cities as long distance. In my opinion, if you can drive to
someone at any given day or time, then your relationship is
not really long-distance.
Couples who can
spend every weekend together can thrive very easily as long as they are
committed to each other. Being in a position to discuss things one on one is
the key to a long-lasting relationship.
When Life Takes its Course:
Things happen in
life forcing separation of two people who truly love each other. When one
person travels to a distant land for whatever reason, the couple may manage to
maintain their passion and love for an extended period of time.
the distance between the two love birds, they can
easily maintain intense passion and love for each other. Unfortunately because
of lack of physical contact, long-distance relationships cannot be battle-tested.
Because majority of the problems are either ignored or not properly resolved, they begin to create an emotional gap to a point where the relationship just masquerades a real relationship.
Love is Present:
The fact is, real
love requires time, commitment and contact with reality. A distant relationship
is more like a suspended honeymoon with both lovers waiting for the verdict as
to whether or not their boat will sink.
Unless there’s a
strong plan on the drawing board backed by two disciplined individuals, long-distance
relationships are not worth wasting time or energy on. The moment one boards a
plane marks the beginning of the end to a love story.
The Battleship in Distant
The number one
killer of long-distance relationships is hearsay. Friends and family always
have true and fabricated rumors cooking. Once the trust is broken, the bond
goes down with it. Without trust, even the strongest cannot thrive.
Holding on to
a long-distance relationship without any trust is
the worst mistake anyone can make. Without emotional connection there can be no
future. Disconnection in this area is a sign to move on with your life.
plays a huge part too. Once the chemistry starts fading, which does happen
because of lack of physical contact, the phone calls or text messages become
minimal. Communication clearly becomes a burden.
Don’t Waste your Precious Time:
When days turn
into weeks, months and eventually years, don’t look back. The pain is not worth
revisiting. It’s like opening a healed wound. I know there are always chapters
waiting to be written once that flight takes off.
there’s a definite plan and minimal time frame away from each other, trying to
build a long-distance relationship is like building
castles in the air. There’s someone special for each and every one. However, if
that someone is not right where you are, save yourself and keep it moving.
Inevitable Breakup: Who is to
relationships fail to thrive, it is nobody’s fault. The distance just plays its
role while fate opens fresh doors. Don’t miss out on the best things in life
trying to focus on the rear-view mirror. Life is best lived forward because
there are a lot of discoveries to explore.
are facts about long-distance relationships, there
are a few exceptions. Just like you are more likely to be struck by lightning
than you are winning the lottery, few love birds do push it through.
It may have nothing to do with sex; but just maybe you have emotionally given your heart to someone other than your spouse. If that describes the precarious state of your heart, Dr. Randy shows you How to Battle Against Emotional Adultery.
“Avoid the passions of youth, and strive for righteousness, faith, love, and peace, together with those who with a pure heart call out to the Lord for help.” (2 Timothy 2:22 GNT)
‘ARROGANT.’ ‘RUTHLESS.’ AND UNAPOLOGETICALLY THEMSELVES
“I feel this team is in the midst of changing the world around us as we live.”— Megan Rapinoe, the United States’ star attacker and the World Cup’s top scorer
When the athletes of the United States women’s
soccer team celebrated their 13 unanswered goals against Thailand in the first
round, they were called “arrogant.”
When they tore past France in the
quarterfinals, they were called “ruthless.”
And when President Trump, responding to a months-old clip of
Megan Rapinoe using an expletive to say she wouldn’t visit the White House if
the team won the World Cup, told her to win
“before she talks,” she and her teammates continued talking.
As the historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
famously said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” On Sunday, the
American women’s team did just that — securing a record fourth World Cup
championship to maintain its reputation as the world’s greatest women’s soccer
team (and one of the world’s greatest sports teams, period).
In the process, the Americans did more than
shine as symbols of athleticism and teamwork; they affirmed themselves as
fighters for equality on multiple fronts.
Here are three ways the team has elevated issues of fairness.
The fight for pay equity
After the American women sealed their victory
in Lyon, France, chants of “Equal pay! Equal pay!” began to grow inside the
The American team will be awarded $4 million for
its win, while the winners of the men’s World Cup last year received $38 million.
Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, said the
organization would double the total women’s prize for the 2023 tournament — but
it’s also expected to raise the men’s award in 2022.
In 2015, the
United States Soccer Federation awarded the women’s team $2 million for winning
the World Cup. In 2014, the men’s team earned $9 million even though it did not
advance past the first rounds.
Not surprisingly, the women’s national team is
not taking that disparity lying down.
In March, all the players filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against
U.S. Soccer, accusing it of years of “institutionalized gender discrimination.”
They also noted that the argument that the men’s team generates more money simply
According to the suit, the federation had
expected a combined net loss for the national teams of $429,929 from the 2016
fiscal year, but largely because of the successes of the women’s team’s, it revised its projections to
a $17.7 million profit.
Defying the sportsmanship
As the United States team rampaged against
Thailand in its first World Cup match last month, the players
leapt and celebrated nearly every goal. Clare Rustad, a former player for the
Canadian national team, called the celebrations “disgraceful.”
Last week, striker Alex Morgan pretended to
sip from a teacup after scoring against England in the semifinal. Lianne
Sanderson, her former National Women’s Soccer League teammate, said the
celebration was “distasteful.”
“I feel that there is some sort of double
standard for females in sports,” Morgan said. “We have to be humble in our
successes and have to celebrate, but not too much or in a limited fashion.”
“You see men celebrating all over the world in
big tournaments,” grabbing their crotches and that sort of thing, she said.
And Rapinoe, when asked about the team’s
celebrations said: “What do you want us to do? We work hard. We like to play
BOTH PARTNERS ARE NEVER EQUALLY SATISFIED IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP
Without extensive research, one might assume that both partners in a romantic relationship would have similar opinions and levels of satisfaction.
This is a myth.
Over 5 million individuals in a committed relationship have confirmed that each romantic partner has their own unique view of the marriage or relationship. Research by Prepare-Enrich has revealed that a romantic partner only has a 25% chance of predicting their partner’s level of satisfaction and opinion of the quality of the relationship.1
The reason this happens is that each partner has their own metrics by which to assess their level of satisfaction in a relationship.
Here’s a potentially fun activity.
Write down what you think gives your partner the greatest satisfaction in the relationship. Do not share this with your partner (yet).
Ask your partner, “What is one thing we do that gives you the most satisfaction in our relationship?”
Compare their answer to the guess you wrote down.
If you find that you are spot on, bravo.
If you find that you are off, congrats! You learned something new about your partner and can do more things that support your partner’s satisfaction in their relationship with you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I had no idea that was important to you.” Even from couples who had been married for decades.
Romantic partners are often unaware of how important a given issue is for their lover, because from their perspective it’s not a big issue, even if their lover has complained about it over and over again.
From Tom’s perspective, his relationship is great. He feels connected and close to Jake. Throughout their four years of marriage, Jake has complained about the lack of time spent together. Tom thought the time spent together was perfect.
Growing up Tom spent a lot of time playing by himself and had the freedom to do things he wanted when he wanted. Furthermore, his mother never complained to his father about how much time his dad spent working in the shop or out golfing. In Tom’s family culture, there was a lot more me-time than we-time.
So when Jake brought this issue up, Tom didn’t think it was a big deal. After all, it had never been a problem in past relationships.
But for Jake, time together signified love and importance. So, when that time together continued to be limited, Jake felt neglected and like he didn’t matter to Tom.
When Jake was able to reveal these hidden emotions and Tom was able to actually listen, Tom was shocked. He had no idea how important this was to Jake.
Putting Your Partner’s Satisfaction On Par With Yours
One of the key differences between happy and unhappy couples is the attitude of a two-person system as defined by Stan Tatkin, PsyD.
“A couple’s ability to operate as a coregulatory team determines the success or failure of that relationship and is fundamental to relationship safety, security, and longevity.” – Stan Tatkin, We Do
This means that if your partner is hurting, the relationship is hurting and as a result so are you.
This means recognizing that your partner has a different perspective and experience of the relationship and you have to check in with them and make corrections so the relationship will work for them and you.
Just as we might see in a three-legged race, you can’t win at the expense of your partner.
This is part of being a member of a two-person team.
You must remember that what satisfies you may not be what satisfies your partner. But if you collaboratively work together you can satisfy the team.
In Tom and Jake’s experience, they learned to honor their unique preferences for me-time and we-time by intentionally dialoguing about how they would spend their time together and how they could make that time more meaningful
During their weekly State of the Union meeting, Tom checks in with Jake about the quality of their time together by asking what Jake liked about the past week, and then asks how this week might look. During this conversation, Jake asks Tom about his alone time and ways they can, as a team, make adjustments to meet both partners’ needs.
Ironically, just having this topic brought up by Tom on a weekly basis has significantly made Jake feel loved and important, even on the weeks when there is the same amount of time together as there was before Tom caught on.
Because Tom makes a conscientious effort to show that Jake’s satisfaction is just as important as his. This is demonstrated by bringing up the question each week.
When you take the time to communicate, truly listen to each other, and team up to make changes in your relationship, you can get closer to having a similar level of satisfaction in the relationship—one that is happy, connected, and meaningful.
This research is cited in The Couple Checkup by David Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg, and Peter Larson (p. 8). Furthermore, research indicates that a couple spending more time together does not make their assessment of each other’s relationship satisfaction more accurate. Rather, it gives them the illusion that they are more accurate. Source: Swann, W. B. J., Gill, M. J. (1997). Confidence and accuracy in person perception: Do we know what we think we know about our relationship partners? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 747–757. ↩
This is a paraphrased quote from The Couple Checkup (p. 8) ↩
A lot of parenting
questions boil down to: Is this a thing, or is something wrong? We’re doing an
occasional series explaining why certain things seem to happen to your kid (or
to your body or to your relationships) as your child grows. This week, we’re talking
about prenatal and postpartum night sweats.
For this week’s edition, I put
out a call on Twitter for questions about your
weird prenatal and postpartum symptoms — and, wow, did you all deliver. In a beautiful and bizarre
outpouring, you told us about painful carpal tunnel, constipation, thyroid
malfunctions, excess drool, itchy nipples, strange divots in your thighs and
shins that won’t go away, cured aversions to cilantro … the list goes on,
because the human body is a magical, horrible wonderland. I tallied the responses, and by my extremely unscientific calculations,
night sweats seemed to be the most common unexplained symptom from our
respondents (e.g., “I
had to sleep on a beach towel because of all the sweat and the milk leaking”). So that’s what I’m
delving into today.
Q: Are pregnant and postpartum
night sweats really a thing?
A: Waking up with a soaking nightgown during or
after pregnancy is common. In a study of about 430 women published in 2013, for instance, researchers
found that35 percent reported nocturnal hot flashes while they were pregnant, and 29 percent reported them postpartum.
In pregnant women, night sweats peaked during week 30, while in postpartum
women, they peaked during the second week after birth.
Why it’s happening is a little more complicated,
so we asked four ob-gyns and a researcher who has studied night sweats about
what might be going on in your body, and what you can do about it.
Why are pregnant women so damn
The short answer is, we don’t know for sure,
because there’s a lack of systematic research on the topic (more on that in a
bit). But it probably has to do with their ever-shifting hormones.
During pregnancy, there’s a huge rise in the
levels of progesterone and estrogen. Once you give birth, the levels of those
hormones fall off a cliff.
Rebecca Thurston, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and director of the
women’s biobehavioral health program at the University of Pittsburgh who
studies night sweats and hot flashes, said that nocturnal hot flashes in
pregnancy seem to mirror hot flashes in menopause, and that those hormonal fluctuations might
play a role. (Several of the experts I
spoke with said that prenatal and postpartum night sweats were a rehearsal for
menopause … yay?)
Do all pregnant women get hot flashes?
No. While every person who has given birth
experiences these hormonal fluctuations, not all of them get night sweats, and
we still don’t fully understand the underlying physiology as to why this might
be, said Dr. Thurston. More than just hormones are
probably causing the hot flashes, and they don’t just happen at night.
The hormonal shifts are part of a complex set of
changes that happen during pregnancy, said Dr. Jen Gunter, M.D., an ob-gyn, frequent New York Times contributor and author of “The
Vagina Bible.” (Dr. Gunter said she remembered sweating so much at night when
she was pregnant with triplets that she’d think, “my bed is a swimming pool.”)
“There’s an increase in body temperature, and there’s changes in the blood
vessels — they dilate more and increase blood flow to the skin,” said Dr.
Gunter. So some women may find that they’re more sweaty in general, not just at
According to what little research has been done,
African-American women and women with depressive symptoms are more likely to
report night sweats during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Women with high
pre-pregnancy B.M.I.s were also more likely to have night sweats during
pregnancy but not necessarily postpartum.
First, report your night sweats to your doctor
or midwife, said Dr. Dara Matseoane-Peterssen, M.D., chief of general
obstetrics and gynecology at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. If you’re
experiencing other symptoms along with night sweats, such as a fever or a
racing pulse, that may be a sign of a more serious problem, such as an
infection or a thyroid issue.
If your sweats aren’t a sign of something more
serious, exercising can be an effective
first line of attack — whether you’re pregnant or not. Dr. Julie Chor, M.D., an assistant
professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago, said there’s some evidence
that women who exercise are less likely to experience nighttime hot flashes
than women who don’t. While experts aren’t sure why this may be, exercising during and after your pregnancy is beneficial to your health in general, so you might as well try it
(as long as you’re following safe exercising guidelines).
Focusing on creating an optimal sleep
environment can help you avoid creating a veritable saltwater marsh in your
bed, too. If your household and energy bill can tolerate it, set your bedroom’s
temperature to around 65 degrees at night, said Dr. Thurston. Dr. Colleen
Denny, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and
gynecology at N.Y.U. School of Medicine, also suggested keeping cool water and a cold compress by your bed, and
dressing in layers so you can take them off as the night, and your sweating,
As a fellow night sweater during pregnancy, my
personal suggestion is to keep a second set of night clothes by your bedside so
that you can make a quick change out of your wet pajamas in the middle of the
night without groping around in the dark.
Why don’t we know more about night
“There are major gaps in knowledge about women’s health and women’s bodies,” said Dr. Thurston. Women
overall have been less likely to be represented in clinical trials, because researchers have
historically been men. And pregnant women in particular are “severely underrepresented,” in part because of fear of
harm to their fetuses. Many of the experts I spoke with mentioned that we’re
just starting to care about the health of the mother, and not just the health
of the fetus, as vital to the overall health of the pregnancy.
But there is also a lack of study on the
day-to-day experiences of women, said Dr. Gunter. Something like night sweats
could just be a “nuisance” symptom — which is to say, uncomfortable but
ultimately not harmful. But these sorts of symptoms could also be associated
with better or worse pregnancy outcomes, and “we don’t know because they
haven’t been studied,” Dr. Gunter said. In preparation for our interview, Dr.
Gunter scanned her copy of the latest edition of a 1,400-page medical text
book, and there were just two lines about sweating, referred to as “increased
cutaneous blood flow” — she couldn’t even find the word “sweating” in the index.
Dr. Thurston emphasized the importance of
reporting these kinds of symptoms to your midwives or doctors, not just to rule
out serious problems, but also to add to the body of knowledge that exists on
women’s health. “The more we know about these symptoms in the medical
community, the more we can generate research around them,” she said.