Definitely love can hurt. Whenever we choose to open our hearts up to another even if just a little........there is the potential for someone to get hurt.... But is hurt enough to walk around guarded and unwilling to share yourself with another? I think that love is too beautiful to avoid. Love is so much more than emotions. Love is the ability to lift someone higher than ourselves...... Love is the ability to feel even when external facts say otherwise.....Love is telling your heart that it is ok to open up and spread your wings and fly.......... Love is allowing your heart to beat faster as it recognizes the excitement of feelings for another. Love is also a choice because oftentimes the things we do define the love felt in our hearts. We choose to love and that choice often compels us to behave in a certain way..........The choice to love causes us to at times cover the other person's faults, it causes us to forgive, it causes us to be strengthened in struggles, it reminds us that we don't need to be self absorbed, it causes us to not be rude, selfish, irritable, etc. Love creates a nurturing, submissive environment as each person seeks to serve the other.......... In the absence of love, a relationship would be dull, void of the life it takes to thrive.......So why should we open ourselves up to the pain of love? I say that because without it we would never really know what it is like to live free of the limitations of our self absorbed lifestyles. Each moment we choose to give in to the passion of love, we choose to thrive. We choose to add to our lives by becoming partner driven. We choose to cease from the chaos of trying to figure out life all by ourselves and we open our minds and bodies up to the infinite possibilities of ecstasy! It's the pure satisfaction of connecting ourselves to another unhindered ......... So the question becomes, not can true love hurt but rather can we afford to live with the hurt of choosing to never love..........? It doesn't matter that true love can hurt because even if you do not find true love, that can hurt............
Openness is such a challenging concept to master in any relationship. Our natural tendency is to be consumed with self! That means we see life and situations through the biased lens of our individual worldview. It often takes discipline and patience to begin to decide to force ourselves to be open to embracing the heart of another........ When we are open we allow ourselves to experience feelings and perspectives contrary to our own. Openness allows a person to consider the other side, to accept that there is an alternate view and to then change or adjust behavior based on the new knowledge bought to our attention. Openness allows us to be determined in becoming one with another person. At times openness allows us to consider the other person more highly than we do the quest of "being right," or "being comfortable." Openness causes restriction to take a back seat because limitations are few as the heart seeks to embrace and accept........... Take this picture above for example......... He didn't want to be open with again taking annual pictures for the holiday but he decided to be open and in the process he began enjoying himself. This is just a simple example of openness but in many of our relationships it can really get a lot more complicated. No matter how complicated the issue becomes, having the ability to be open can definitely enhance a couples' chances of weathering any storm of conflict. If we remember that we are a team and that we are on the same side, all barriers can be erased as we aim to create harmony and peace in our relationship. After all, who wants a war zone in their house all the time??!! So let's aim to be open with each other in 2018! Its January and the perfect time to try some new behavior. Be open this year! Even if you don't like doing a particular activity but you know that your partner does....be committed to trying it. If you feel emotionally stuck in your relationship, be open and attempt to listen to the heart of your mate without judging, fussing or complaining. Ask yourself why is it so important to get your way this time? Is there any emotional baggage driving your refusal to be open to your partner? What will being open do to enhance your relationship? Is there an opportunity for greater emotional intimacy if you decide to be open? Always remember that for any conflict it "takes two to tango." If one or both persons decide to resist the urge to fight and instead be open, it greatly increases the chances of resolving the matter with minimal damage to both partners. Believe it or not, words can and do hurt so choose wisely this year and reflect greater levels of openness with each other! Happy loving!
First you have to realize that you may be the “wrong” person too! Lol Never be so arrogant that you think that you have it all together while your partner is the one with all the issues. If you think that blaming the other person will improve your marriage, it won’t! This is the last thing that you want to do! Realize that both of you are contributing to what’s wrong. Get over yourself, take ownership for your part and spend a little time and energy focusing on what you can do differently…… Become the spouse that you want your partner to be. Is there any way that you can respond differently to your partner’s imperfections? Can you humble yourself long enough to listen? Not just to his or her words but also to his or her heart…….. Do you recognize that you are a little different than what he or she expected? Do you admit that life can often times throw you curve balls that it may take a minute for either of you to get up from? Can you admit that you too are becoming the “wrong” person for your marriage?
Secondly, commit to creating change! This is perhaps the hardest thing to do when you are not “feeling” it. Realize that effort has to go into making your marriage work….. Think about some of the things that you wish could be different. Ask yourself, how can I contribute to our change? Is there anything that I could do differently to help us move in the right direction? If you can’t think of anything, you have already given up! Realize that if you have given up, there is almost nothing that can help you to see things differently. You forfeit your right to hope when you give up. You cripple yourself by feeling like you are “stuck” in a horrible marriage. However you have to realize that this is a marriage you both created. You at some point sacrificed your oneness by failing to see yourself as a team. You have to figure out how to empower yourself again, how to dream again, how to feel again that this man or woman is good enough for you to change and worthy enough for you to be patient with. I bet that’s how you managed to walk down the aisle to this imperfect being……You dared to dream. You looked past the imperfections and believed enough that you were willing to “leap!” Forget about what he or she is not doing……… Start doing whatever you want to see differently in your relationship. If there is not enough romance, begin planning some nights that will be difficult to remember. If there is no communication, initiate some scheduled times to talk. If you feel disconnected, schedule some intentional moments to connect. Help to change whatever is not working. Instead of tearing down, build up by changing your perspective and game plan.
Thirdly, keep distractions to a minimum by cutting off anyone or anything that steals any piece of your heart that should belong to your spouse. There are so many things and people that remove our attention from our mate. What is it for you? What prevents you from having the patience to work on your marriage? What is distracting you so much that it leaves you taking that person for granted? What monopolizes your free time? What are you throwing yourself into so much that it almost irritates you when your spouse asks for a bit of your time? It is a bit difficult to admit when you have been yielding parts of yourself to another person, hobby, or thing. However the reality is that it can easily happen. Especially when you feel as if expectations have not been met. It is so much easier to run away and retreat emotionally into that habit, career or other relationship. So just stop it. Don’t overthink it. Don’t rationalize why you are justified in being distracted. Just stop it. Turn your affections, time, and attention back to your spouse. Of course this doesn’t mean you need to give up everything but it does mean give up anything that is distracting you. Be balanced as a person with friendships, hobbies, and career goals but know when you are using these things to avoid the empty feelings inside stemming from your unhappy relationship. At some point you will have to deal with your marriage. Stop putting it off.
Lastly, create your plan for growth and take one step at a time. If you don’t have a plan or vision for your marriage, you will never move forward. You have to decide what you want and think about what steps you need to take to get there. To accomplish anything in life, you have to have a plan. Of course you are not limited to that first draft. You can alter your plan and steps as often as you would like. Just move forward. Don’t sit there waiting on change to happen when you own some of the responsibility to move your marriage forward. Either you become committed to your plan or you allow someone else’s plan to overwhelm you because it takes you in a direction that you do not want to go in. What is your step one? What needs to happen first? What can you focus on and work on initially? What small thing will begin moving you in the right direction? I know it may feel silly but go ahead and write out your plan step by step then Go For It!
Many of us wait a lifetime to hear those three sacred words………… “I Love You!” Saying “I love you,” is quite easy to do, however acting out those three words is what stumps many of us. Too often the words come out of our mouths but the actions stay locked up somewhere inside struggling to get out, struggling to get ourselves out of the way realizing that true love sacrifices, serves, and satisfies. Tina Turner once asked, “What’s love got to do with it?” I say it has everything to do with how long your relationship lasts, and how good your love is because real love says, in spite of our temporary feelings, we will continue to act in a loving way as long as it takes………… We have to be intentional about our love lives just as intentional as we are in going after whatever we want in life. Taking care of ourselves and our relationships takes effort and discipline but as with anything else great worth having, the hard work does eventually pay off if the end result is a whole, healthy, happy marital relationship! So let’s look at 5 ways to say “I Love You,” through our actions.
1. Remember what drew you to him or her in the first place! Can you remember the first time you saw each other? What were you thinking and feeling? Did you feel like you would do whatever it took to get their attention and keep it? Was it in the way that they smiled? The tone of their voice? Their charm? Their sexiness? What was it that you remember got your attention? Having the ability to remember and even meditate on that remembrance can often be the catalyst to igniting that hidden fire. Buried beneath the issues you have gotten through is still the man or woman who first caught your eye and eventually your heart!
2. Resist the urge to blame. Blaming each other easily kills a relationship. Try to stay open to seeing both of your contributions to the state of your relationship. Refuse to blame the other person for the way that you behave or act. Of course we respond to each other out of hurt or pain at times but does it benefit either of you to insist that it is always someone else’s fault? Be responsible for what you do and allow the other person to see themselves without always having a finger pointing in their face.
3. Recognize when communication needs to improve. Screaming and yelling never accomplishes anything. Neither does stonewalling. Don’t hold your partner emotionally hostage to your control. Communicate even when you feel the urge to pout and not talk. Withdrawal often keeps the other person in bondage to your control, unable to resolve an issue until you feel like talking. That’s not right. It’s unfair. Only give yourself time out to let anger subside but once it does, deal with the issue. If you are challenged in communicating, be willing to change a little in order for each of you to be heard and UNDERSTOOD! If you don’t understand, ask, ask, and ask again………….but be nice in your asking. Don’t belittle your lover.
4. Release old hurts and past mistakes. This is very hard to do when we are offended but it is the only way to move on. In any great relationship, there will be some level of offence or hurt but you have to be willing to release yourself and your partner. If not you become glued to the past, unable to see your future together. Only look back to learn and to know what not to do next time but don’t look to long! Keep walking ahead.
5. Restore passion and intimacy. There is no excuse for lack of intimacy in a loving relationship. Every girl wants to be held and feel secure while being cherished and every man wants to know that he has captured his wife’s heart and can securely hold and protect her. If the flame has dwindled, find out where the holes are and plug them up immediately before someone comes along and fulfills his or her needs. Never leave your partner hanging sexually or emotionally. Your anger is not an excuse to withhold yourself from each other. Get over yourself and be busy about demonstrating your love! Happy loving!
How common is it for people to step outside of the comfort and security of their committed relationships and enter into a whirlwind of lies and deceit finding comfort in the arms of another? The statistics are actually discouraging and make you wonder if there is even a chance that your marriage will survive the ugly cancer of extramarital affairs……….. According to some, “everybody cheats!” It appears to be very easy for some of us to fill our emotional and physical needs with someone other than our spouses?
Even though we know it may be wrong, how easy is it to let go of these precarious relationships before we cross the line into the danger zone? Is it easy to back away once our heart carries us in a direction that we never expected it to? In a culture where we are taught to just do what “feels right to you”, it is so easy to miss the truth of infidelity……… So what is this truth about infidelity?
The truth is that affairs can happen to anybody and willpower alone is not an adequate defense. Prevention is often our biggest weapon. According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 74% of men and 68% of women said that they would have an affair if they knew they would not get caught. ( http://www.statisticbrain.com/infidelity-statistics/ ) 57% of men and 54% of women admitted to infidelity. I am sure that the statistics are actually higher due to the unlikeliness of people to actually admit to having an affair……………
When I first began my journey of working with couples, I was a little naïve. Of course I knew that affairs happened, I just never expected the scope of the problem to be so wide. I quickly realized how many people never even expected to step outside of their marriage but as life went on, emotional connections with outside people eventually led to intimate connections climaxing into infidelity. Of course there are some who like to cheat and who actually look for opportunities to break their marital commitment, but there are still vast numbers of individuals who find themselves in a situation they would have never dreamed of. They didn't look for the opportunity, it just happened!
So is there a way to affair-proof your marriage? Maybe………… or maybe not because we have no control over free-will. However I think the answer begins with the idea that we are all susceptible to making the wrong choices given the “right” set of circumstances. In essence it begins with “guarding” our hearts. Since it can
happen to anybody, the act of humbling ourselves to realize that we can all “fall” goes a long way in developing a resistance to cheating on your mate. Once we embrace this truth, we can then create a fortress around our marriages.
Here are four simple steps to begin creating your fortress:
1. Keep the lines of communication open……………Talk openly and honestly with your spouse. Secrecy often leads to disaster…… If you are struggling with feeling connected to your mate, tell them and come up with
solutions together to increase your intimacy and spark your passion for each other. There will be times when things get stale……so it’s on you to spruce things up a bit and it’s on you to communicate.
2. Take time to really study and learn your mate…………… What worked for you all years or even months ago may not work today. Seasons change and people grow. Desires change and habits change so we have to be sensitive to the evolution of our mate.
3. Know that it’s not all about you…………… The essence of a marriage is oneness which can take a lifetime to achieve. In order to adequately become one, there will be moments when you have to cater to your spouse in spite of what you really want at the time. That doesn’t make you weak, it makes you wise because the idea is to get your mate to connect. If both of you are working on the connection, oneness is inevitable. Oneness leaves less time for either of you to stray.
4. Maintain healthy boundaries……………..Know when your heart is being satisfied by another. When another man or woman starts occupying your thought life, it may be a good time to put up some boundaries. You may not be able to talk as often as you used to…….. You may have to quit having lunch together or chatting online. You may have to make the tough decision of completely letting go………….
These steps seem easy, however most of us take these steps for granted and we fail to put in the work required in maintaining a healthy and satisfying marriage. For some of us, it took work to capture the other person’s eye, so it will take even more work to keep their eyes focused on you for an eternity!
There used to be a time when I thought that falling in love was as simple as just “falling……” LOL!!!!! However I have come to realize that love actually becomes a choice because we have the free will to choose to give in to the feeling buried beneath every opportunity to connect to the heart of another. So if for the sake of conversation you follow me into this whole idea of “choosing” to love, what happens to the fairy tale……………Is there such a phenomenon as love at first sight? Is there one person out there for each of us, our soul mate? And is it possible that we missed it when we walked away from a certain relationship or were rejected by that one we felt was “ The ONE?” Do some of us just settle for second best? Should we fight for the fairy tale? Are there ever any true fairy tale endings? And what actually constitutes a fairy tale ending……..lol!
Have you ever seen a man hold open the door for his wife of nearly 20 years and wonder how they keep the
magic alive? Ever seen a woman blush and smile while holding the hand of her beau out in public as if this was her first date? Or how about ever seeing a man’s chest rise and fall on every word spoken from the lips of his woman sitting across the table from him? And you wonder, “Will I ever get that passion in my relationship?” “Will I ever have someone look at me that way…..as if I was the only person that existed in his Universe?” Smile………. I would dare to say that we have all been there, been in that corner of our minds where we long for greater passion and intimacy…..where we long to be connected and intimately intertwined in the life of another….where our absence absolutely affects the heart of another and where our presence creates a sense of satisfaction in the heart of another…………….. I reckon that the feeling that many of us are looking for is not always something that just happens……It can…..but I would venture to say that we have to make it a practice to SEIZE THE MOMENT!
Seizing the moment involves being very aware of your lover’s heart……what makes her or him smile? What little act of graciousness causes a twinkle in their eyes? What little gesture allows your lover to know that you are intimately connected to their thoughts and dreams? How many minutes can you set aside to say “ I love you,” over and over again without using words. The whole act of seizing the moments of our lover’s heart creates a plateau effect of continued intimacy and passion not dependent on external features or qualities. You see, it’s the acts of affirmation that catapult your lover’s desire for you into a whole new realm. They want to desire you even more that you want to be desired. Don’t slow down in your pursuit of your partner just because you feel that you have been taken for granted. Seize this moment and time to let them know that they really do matter. So how can you seize this moment right now you ask? By apologizing first, by planning a romantic rendezvous, by opening the door, by sharing the poem you wrote about them last night for no reason, by enhancing your outward appearance, by softening your rough tone of voice, by agreeing to something that you really do not feel like doing because it really matters to your mate, by surprising him or her with their wildest fantasy, by spending uninterrupted time together away from your cell phones! LOL. There are a lot of ways to seize the moment. Take control of what happens next for you romantically without fear or hesitation…………See the opportunity in the moment and take it!
I think a lot of times we fail to seize the moment because we think we have a lot of time……but do we
really? Or we think that the other person should seize the moment first………We don’t want to leave our hearts dangling out there to be trampled by another…..but what if time passes you by and you lose the moment and have nothing to seize? So don’t wait for the perfect moment…..this moment right now is just as good as any!
Yesterday was one of the most exhausting days I have had in a while. Lately my schedule has been screaming to have more hours in a day! So after getting the kids down for the night, I literally sat on the edge of my bed staring straight ahead as if I was in a trance. I didn’t know what to do next because I had such a long list…….lol! Then, all of a sudden my husband walked
around the side of the bed with a small towel in his hand and a sly look on his face. As he came a little closer I saw something I had not seen in a while……..a bottle of scented rubbing oil! My Pumpkin then placed the towel beneath my feet and sat beside me about to engage in an act that I so enjoyed when we were
dating and early into our marriage. Now it’s one thing to massage the feet of the woman whose heart you are trying to win but it’s another to continue to rub her feet as the years pass by. Knowing that he himself was very tired, this simple foot massage became a labor of love, so my heart melted at his first touch. He scored enough brownie points to last the entire year! Lol……
According to Dr. Gary Chapman’s idea on love languages Norman began speaking two of mine……”quality
time” and an“act of service.” Housed in this foot rub was a quiet demonstration of his love for me. I embraced and received this subtle act of romance knowing that it took the sacrifice of time and effort. The effort was
intimately rooted in his humility in that he placed my tiredness above his own. What a way to send positive energy to your mate! Who would have thought that such an act could change the atmosphere? Smile………
Oftentimes in relationships we fail to take the time to speak to one another in the appropriate love language. We end up speaking Chinese while our spouse understands French! There are times when we know our partner’s language but we just choose to speak our own language because it’s easier or because it takes too much effort to speak in our mate’s language. Sometimes the languages are the same but the dialect is different. (ie. both of your languages are quality time but one of you likes quality time at home and the other prefers it out and about in public places) Sometimes in our selfishness we just flat out refuse to change our behavior for the sake of the relationship because our own needs are what matters most. What we have to
remember is that marriage is about “oneness.” How can we continue to make this oneness happen throughout the life of our relationship? Initially we have to care enough to learn and demonstrate the language of love your partner uniquely desires. Then we have to be consistent about sharing our spouse’s language on a
regular basis. Thirdly we have to be willing to communicate to each other what our respective languages are and fourth we have to be willing to compromise our languages for the sake of moving towards “oneness” in our relationship. Many think you say “I do,” once in a lifetime, I think you say it throughout the life of your marriage. I think you say “I do,”every single time you choose to serve your partner in loving acts!
Creating the Atmosphere........
Many of us take for granted that two people in love and married
can and do enjoy years of good marital sex. However, this is not always the case. In fact, in many marriages, there are seasons when true satisfaction just does not “happen.”It’s my opinion that
fulfilling intimacy can be created, ignited, provoked…………once the stage is set, once the atmosphere is created. You don’t have to be stuck in a cycle of failing to be satisfied. As long as there
is breath in your body, there is hope.
Is it possible that you had buried unmet needs, hurt feelings, unexpressed expectations in a sea of neglect. Could it be possible that you neglected your sacred role as communicator with your spouse? Could you have taken it for granted that he or she knew or could read your mind, understanding exactly what would bring you pleasure or pain? This neglect could have created a wedge or barrier between you and your spouse.