HOW TO REPAIR THE LITTLE THINGS SO THEY DON’T BECOME BIG THINGS
All couples argue. Happy couples argue well. They have strategies for dealing with their inevitable disagreements, and they process their feelings so they don’t bottle up.
We know from Dr. Gottman’s research that both partners in a relationship are emotionally available only 9% of the time. This leaves 91% of our relationship ripe for miscommunication.
The difference between happy couples and unhappy couples is not that happy couples don’t make mistakes. We all hurt our partner’s feelings. The difference is that happy couples repair, and they do so early and often.
THE 3 REASONS YOU SHOULD NOT TRY TO MAKE ANYONE HAPPY
We are shoveling mulch like our lives depend upon it.
My three kids are loading wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, and I’m hauling and dumping and spreading and sweating. Eventually, my nine-year-old son Quinn asks a completely reasonable question. “Why are we going so fast?” I tell him I want the flower beds to look beautiful when his mom gets home. To which he responds with another totally reasonable question: “Because you are trying make her happy?”
The word “exactly” is on the tip of my tongue. But then I bite my tongue.
ONE PERSPECTIVE SHIFT YOU NEED WHEN YOU CAN’T CHANGE ANYTHING ELSE
My body sometimes feels sore, but it works. I haven’t slept well in a few nights, but I have been waking up in one piece. My wallet is not full, but my stomach is. I don’t have all the things I’ve ever wanted, but I do have everything I need right now. I’m thankful, because although my life is by no means perfect, it is MY life and I choose to be thankful in it, as I continue to do the best I can.
To a certain extent, I’m sure you can relate.
For all of us, every day, it’s about keeping things in perspective and then letting our perspective inspire the next step forward.
WHY COUPLES STOP HAVING SEX: THE PARADOX OF YES IN SAYING NO
Sexual desire is leaving the American bedroom faster than a Kansas tornado will rip apart a house.
Long-term relationships, far too often, experience a dwindling sex life. “Experts” often blame the coals of passion on women; their vanishing libido post-marriage. Their keen focus on raising the little ones while ignoring the man next to them.
The lack of female desire is a profitable industry. Thousands of books, full of “theories” on why women lose desire, fill bookstores. Meanwhile drug companies with pills like Addyi are “closing the gap” with a Viagra like pill for women.
8 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG
“The best way out is always through.”
“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”
That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.
Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.
ONE THING YOU GAIN WHEN YOU LET GO OF CONTROL
Yesterday I met up with an old friend, someone whom I care about deeply but have internally struggled with for years because I’ve always been worried about her health.
I want to help her heal, because I feel I’m losing her.
I want to teach her the time-tested tools for living a happier, simpler, healthier life that I’ve helped so many other people with — so she can give up her addictions, take up exercise and mindfulness, nurture her needs, and suddenly be transformed into a healthy person again.
SAVING A MARRIAGE AFTER AN AFFAIR: A WIFE’S STORY (PART 2)
I didn’t set out to forgive him.
Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have ever been able to. Maybe having that goal—forgiving my husband for betraying me, for forsaking our vows, for wounding me more deeply than I have ever been wounded before or since—right from the outset would’ve prevented me from taking care of myself, really taking care of myself to the point where I only thought about what was best for me and for the kids and didn’t think of him at all.
Only after I gave myself the space for that kind of sustained self-care was I able to think about whether or not there was a “we” worth fighting for, or whether Tim had shattered it when he made the decision to start an affair, and then the series of ongoing decisions to keep the affair going.
THE 9 MOST OVERLOOKED THREATS TO A MARRIAGE
Dr. Kelly Flanagan
I feel bad for marital communication, because it gets blamed for everything. For generations, in survey after survey, couples have rated marital communication as the number one problem in marriage. It’s not…
Marital communication is getting a bad rap. It’s like the kid who fights back on the playground. The playground supervisors hear a commotion and turn their heads just in time to see his retaliation. He didn’t create the problem; he was reacting to the problem. But he’s the one who gets caught, so he’s sent off to the principal’s office.
Or, in the case of marital communication, the therapist’s office.
20 POPULAR WAYS TO STAY UNHAPPY FOREVER
Ready for a quick, fresh reality check?
Dale Carnegie once said, “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It’s what you think about.”
I don’t think anyone could say it any better than that. I’ve watched so many friends and acquaintances search tirelessly for happiness by changing jobs, moving to new cities, pursuing intimate relationships, and tweaking all sorts of other external factors in their lives. And guess what? They’re still unhappy. Because they spend all of their time and money adding positive externals to their lives when their internals are still in the negatives.