The One Thing You’re Missing That Makes a Healthy Relationship Impossible, Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

Sometimes we shoot ourselves, or our relationships, in the foot by our own action or inaction. There’s something called a relationship killer (or at best, prevents your relationship from being all it can be.) The bad part about it is although most of us do it, we don’t realize we do, or how much damage it does to our relationship.

An article in YourTango.com shares a quote that emphasizes the importance of this, or what happens when something isn’t present in your relationship.  “It isn’t always easy, it’s an integral part of everyone’s lives; without it, it’s nearly impossible to live a productive, happy life. And without it in a relationship, it’s nearly impossible to have a healthy, growing partnership.“

 

That’s a harsh warning. When this particular thing is missing from your relationship it becomes impossible to have the relationship you hope for.

So, what is this one thing?

It’s not love, it’s not respect, and it’s not even money. It is forgiveness, and it has a major impact on your relationship. Love, respect, patience, and maybe even resources (money) play a part in your relationship, but a lack of forgiveness can completely break down the relationship.

Every one of us makes mistakes, and everyone of us will eventually do something which hurts, offends, or even disrespects our significant other. The way you keep moving forward and allowing  your relationship to grow is through forgiveness. Here are three things to keep in mind when you need to forgive your spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

1) You are flawed and make mistakes too. This is the first thing I think of. I make a lot of mistakes. I say and do a bunch of dumb stuff, yet my wife still loves me and respects me. When she does something, it makes it a little easier to forgive her knowing all the forgiveness I’ve been afforded.

2) You hurt yourself when you hold onto things. I read the following quote from Maya Angelou, which sums it up. “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats up the host.” Basically, the longer you hold on and don’t forgive, the more you hurt yourself.

3) It can help calm the situation. We refer to a specific Bible verse when one of our kids gets angry because one of their siblings did something to them. The verse says, “a kind word turns away wrath.”  We encourage both the person who feels wrong and retaliates as well as the person who did the wrong and is now being yelled at to use kind words. Forgiveness works the same way, as it can calm a situation.

Forgiveness should be a priority and practice in your relationship. Until you forgive,  your relationship will become stagnant and it will be impossible to have the growing, healthy relationship you desire.

What are some other ways you can be quick to forgive in your relationship?

 

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship in 2014 , Dr. Terri Orbuch

If you’re looking to add spice to your love life, more fun to your weekends or a better way to resolve conflicts, 2014 is the perfect time to do it.

This year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution for yourself, why not resolve to make your relationship stronger, healthier and happier? Here are six ways to turn a good relationship into one that is exciting, passionate and really happy! These strategies are based on my long-term study, ongoing since 1986 and funded by the National Institutes of Health, where I learned what makes couples happy and keeps relationships strong. [1]

1. Resolve to lighten up.
Finding: One of the qualities I observed among the happiest couples is the ease with which they relate. They joke. They shrug their shoulders with a smile. They are accepting. Sometimes we forget what brought us together in the first place.

Solution: In 2014, sit down with your partner and tell stories about how you first met. Then share with your partner a quality that always makes you smile. This two-part exercise helps couples get back in touch with the happy side of their relationship, as opposed to the more serious side.

2. Resolve to be an inspiration to each other.
Finding: The happy couples in my study don’t criticize each other, but instead inspire their partners by working on and improving themselves.

Solution: In 2014, take responsibility for your own behaviors, actions and words. Get in shape. Get things done. Put a date night on the calendar. Don’t wait around for your partner to do it. You are a team, so when one partner contributes, the other will reciprocate.

3. Resolve to focus on the positive.
Finding: The happy couples in my study focus on what is going well in their relationship, rather than on the problems and the negative aspects.

Solution: In 2014, think of small behavioral changes you can both try that help each other feel loved, noticed, cared about, supported and valued. It can be as simple as giving a heartfelt compliment, touching and kissing or surprising your partner by doing a dreaded chore or errand.

4. Resolve to empty your “pet-peeve pail” frequently.
Finding: I found that happy partners pay attention to the small stuff, the daily obstacles and bumps in the road. They don’t let small issues pile up until they cause big problems.

Solution: In 2014, bring up things that bother you, but do it in a positive way. You might say, “Honey, it feels really comforting to me when our house is tidy, and I feel stressed out when I come home to dishes in the sink and clothes all over the floor. Let’s come up with a solution together.”

5. Resolve to be more empathetic.
Finding: The happy couples in my study try to understand their partner’s perspective or frame of mind.

Solution: In 2014, whenever you find yourself feeling critical, resentful, angry or judgmental, try to switch places with your partner and imagine his or her perspective or frame of mind. Most arguments, conflicts and bad feelings between partners could be totally defused if empathy were to become their default reaction.

6. Resolve to seize the moment.
Finding: The happiest couples in my study were not content with a relationship that was decent, okay or so-so. They described their partnership as great or amazing, and themselves as incredibly lucky and grateful. By paying attention to the relationship on a daily basis, they kept their partner very happy and their relationship very strong and healthy.

Solution: In 2014, don’t settle for a “good-enough” relationship where you get along most of the time, managing the house, jobs and family competently, but where the passion, excitement and fun are gone. Seize the moment to try new things together, practice new behaviors and get back in touch with your love for each other. Try to do something good for the relationship every day.

References:
[1] Terri L. Orbuch, The Early Years of Marriage Project. University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research. Supported by a grant from NICHD (HD40778).

Personal Development, by Kristi Anier, Customer Happiness Manager MindvalleyAcademy.com

Personal development is a fascinating and fun journey… most of the time.
Sometimes you become aware of aspects of yourself that you don’t like. These are usually the things that need the most attention. If you find yourself denying or dismissing some part of you that you KNOW needs changing but you’re resisting it, it may help to read some personal development quotes to keep you motivated.

After all, the work you put into yourself is for your benefit!

Suggestion: every day, choose one quote to meditate on. Put yourself in the author’s shoes and see things from their point of view, especially if you don’t understand or agree with the quote. What new awareness can the quote spark in you?

1. “When you want something,all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

2. “As soon as you stop making everyone else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be.” – Nina Guilbeau

3. “The word ‘listen’ has the same letters as the word ‘silent’” – Alfred Brendel

4. “It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action.” – Ilyas Kassam

5. “Even in the most peaceful surroundings, the angry heart finds quarrel. Even in the most quarrelsome surroundings, the grateful heart finds peace. – Doe Zantamata

6. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius

7. “Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

8. “If there is no wind, row.” – Latin proverb

9. “You are the way you are because that’s the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be different, you would be in the process of changing right now.” – Fred Smith

10. “The mind maketh good or ill, wretch or happy, rich or poor.” – Edmund Spenser

11. “What a folly the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard to throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal.” – John Hove

12. “People do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” – James Allen

13. “What you subconsciously want, you will get. And what you subconsciously do not want, you will avoid.” – Bo Sanchez

14. “Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau

15. “Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass. – Owen Feltham

16. “What comes, is called.” – Ki Longfellow

17. “All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]

18. “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – E.E. Cummings

19. “The things that we love tell us what we are.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

20. “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” – Don Marquis

21. “When you plant a seed of love, it is you that blossoms.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

22. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. – Helen Keller

23. “To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” – Jill Bolte Taylor

24. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius

25. “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?” – Katherine Graham

26. “Learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world.” – Charles Kettering

27. “Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” – Margaret Young

28. “I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is a temporary condition.” – Mike Todd

29. “Have you ever noticed that when there is a problem, you are always there? The problem is yours – both in perception and in responsibility. Clear the beliefs in you that see it as a problem, and the problem disappears!” – Dr. Hew Len

30. “Don’t look where you fell. Look where you slipped.” – Unknown

31. “The secret to my success is that I bit off more than I could chew and I chewed as fast as I could.” – Paul Hogan

32. “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time give ourselves permission to excel.” – Eloise Ristad

33. “If it’s still in your mind, it’s worth taking the risk.” – Paulo Coelho

34. “The bolder the action, the greater the genius, magic and power that is likely to flow from it.” – Robert Ringer

35. “An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupies.” – Arnold Glasgow

36. “You either move toward something you love or away from something you fear. The first expands, the second constricts.” – Tom Crum

37. “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” – Raymond Lindquist

38. “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” – Thomas Edison

39. “You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration.” – James Allen

40. “You can’t cross a sea by merely staring into the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

>>> Click here to read the article on our blog

Use these personal development quotes and the personal development tools available to you within the Silva Method to help you on your path of personal growth. Get inspired by the wise words of others. And if something doesn’t resonate with you, put yourself in the author’s shoes and try to see things from his or her perspective. You just never know what a quote can spark within you!

MindvalleyAcademy.com

7 ‘Healthy’ Relationship Myths That Need To Be Busted Immediately, By Perrie Samotin

The concept of a healthy relationship can definitely be subjective—some couples believe heavily in the traditional trajectory of dating, engagement, marriage, and kids, while others find that so-called “norms” don’t necessarily suit them. Whatever the case, there are certain ideologies that all happy couples share—regardless of how they approach life’s Big Stuff—that includes mutual respect, a sense of fun, and shared values.

However, there are also plenty of false notions about what makes a healthy relationship that aren’t even remotely true, and can create unrealistic expectations. Here, we’ve broken down 7 healthy relationship myths that need to be busted, stat.

Myth #1: People in a healthy relationship never fight. False! Everyone in happy relationships find themselves embroiled in spats now and again, which is normal and healthy because it means you’re speaking up, voicing your opinion, and trying to resolve things that irk you. However, if you find yourself in daily screaming matches or knee-deep in jealousy, accusations, or negativity, it may be time to reassess your seemingly healthy relationship.

A good means of measurement? Research has shown that for every argument or unpleasant confrontation, you should experience four to five feel-good encounters.

Myth #2: People in a healthy relationship have to share all the same interests.
While it’s fantastic to share some interests, most healthy relationships flourish when each party has things to enjoy that their partner might not. Not only does this provide necessary time apart, but it also opens the door for each of you to potentially teach the other about things you’re into. If you’re feeling like you and your partner really don’t share any commonalities, try choosing one thing to unequivocally do together—a cooking class, weekly trips to a museum, bike riding on Sundays, etc.

Myth #3: People in a healthy relationship have sex constantly (and it’s always amazing!)
Laughing yet? This myth can definitely be busted, as most people in healthy relationships aren’t jumping into bed every single chance they get. In fact, the frequency of sex should be less of a concern as the quality. Of course, if you’re really not happy about the way things are going in the bedroom, talk about it—people in healthy relationships aren’t mind-readers, either.

Myth #4: People in a healthy relationship have to adore each other’s families and friends. Nope, but people in solid relationships do treat certain friends or family members they may not love with respect. Nobody said you have to adore your boyfriend’s cousins, but that doesn’t give you a pass to be nasty, bratty, or snarky when you’re with them. If something legitimately bothers you (his mom making cracks about your weight/your job/your hair, or his friends always ignoring you), talk openly to your partner about the problem, instead of turning on the chill factor whenever the person in question comes around.

Myth #5: People in a healthy relationship have to follow a typical life trajectory. We all know that, typically, the pattern goes: dating, moving in, getting engaged, getting married, having a kid, buying a home, having another kid, and so on. While that’s obviously wonderful, not every happy couple follows that life path. In fact, if portions of that trajectory don’t suit you, your only going to be miserable in the long run. The trick is to agree with your partner on what works for both of you, and going from there.

Myth #6: People in a healthy relationship have to love living together all the time.
If you do decide to live together, that doesn’t quite mean it’s all sunshine and roses 24/7. For folks who live in cities, cohabitation can be cost-effective, but also slightly claustrophobic at times. Compromises must be made, space must be shared, and responsibilities must be attended to. It’s definitely an adjustment that’s often worth it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never miss being able to throw your stuff wherever you want, blast your music as late as you choose, or decorate solely according to your own taste.

      

                                    

                                     

                                      

                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 The concept of a healthy relationship can definitely be subjective—some couples believe heavily in the traditional trajectory of dating, engagement, marriage, and kids, while others find that so-called “norms” don’t necessarily suit them. Whatever the case, there are certain ideologies that all happy couples share—regardless of how they approach life’s Big Stuff—that includes mutual respect, a sense of fun, and shared values.

However, there are also plenty of false notions about what makes a healthy relationship that aren’t even remotely true, and can create unrealistic expectations. Here, we’ve broken down 7 healthy relationship myths that need to be busted, stat.

Myth #1: People in a healthy relationship never fight. False! Everyone in happy relationships find themselves embroiled in spats now and again, which is normal and healthy because it means you’re speaking up, voicing your opinion, and trying to resolve things that irk you. However, if you find yourself in daily screaming matches or knee-deep in jealousy, accusations, or negativity, it may be time to reassess your seemingly healthy relationship.

A good means of measurement? Research has shown that for every argument or unpleasant confrontation, you should experience four to five feel-good encounters.

Myth #2: People in a healthy relationship have to share all the same interests. While it’s fantastic to share some interests, most healthy relationships flourish when each party has things to enjoy that their partner might not. Not only does this provide necessary time apart, but it also opens the door for each of you to potentially teach the other about things you’re into. If you’re feeling like you and your partner really don’t share any commonalities, try choosing one thing to unequivocally do together—a cooking class, weekly trips to a museum, bike riding on Sundays, etc.

Myth #3: People in a healthy relationship have sex constantly (and it’s always amazing!) Laughing yet? This myth can definitely be busted, as most people in healthy relationships aren’t jumping into bed every single chance they get. In fact, the frequency of sex should be less of a concern as the quality. Of course, if you’re really not happy about the way things are going in the bedroom, talk about it—people in healthy relationships aren’t mind-readers, either.

Myth #4: People in a healthy relationship have to adore each other’s families and friends. Nope, but people in solid relationships do treat certain friends or family members they may not love with respect. Nobody said you have to adore your boyfriend’s cousins, but that doesn’t give you a pass to be nasty, bratty, or snarky when you’re with them. If something legitimately bothers you (his mom making cracks about your weight/your job/your hair, or his friends always ignoring you), talk openly to your partner about the problem, instead of turning on the chill factor whenever the person in question comes around.

Myth #5: People in a healthy relationship have to follow a typical life trajectory. We all know that, typically, the pattern goes: dating, moving in, getting engaged, getting married, having a kid, buying a home, having another kid, and so on. While that’s obviously wonderful, not every happy couple follows that life path. In fact, if portions of that trajectory don’t suit you, your only going to be miserable in the long run. The trick is to agree with your partner on what works for both of you, and going from there.

Myth #6: People in a healthy relationship have to love living together all the time. If you do decide to live together, that doesn’t quite mean it’s all sunshine and roses 24/7. For folks who live in cities, cohabitation can be cost-effective, but also slightly claustrophobic at times. Compromises must be made, space must be shared, and responsibilities must be attended to. It’s definitely an adjustment that’s often worth it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never miss being able to throw your stuff wherever you want, blast your music as late as you choose, or decorate solely according to your own tastes.

Myth #7: People in a healthy relationship never have to work at it. This is probably the biggest myth of all, as a good relationship takes a lot of work, even if you get along on the day-to-day. When we say work, however, we’re talking about compromising, being less stubborn, and working on things you know you need to change. We’re not talking about changing who you are completely for another person, constantly apologizing for yourself, or putting up with abundant jealousy, anger, or negativity.

The trick is figuring out what, ultimately, will make you  better as an individual and as a couple, as you obviously don’t want to work on something that makes you miserable way more often then it makes you happy.

Support Groups for Relationship Issues, Support, Self-Improvement, and Healthy Living (from the Gazette)

Most communities have support/self-help groups on various topics. These informal meetings can be invaluable resources and extensions of services that are provided by health and mental health professionals. This is also a way for interns to obtain their required clinical hours towards licensure…by facilitating these types of psycho-educational groups.

 

For a full list of upcoming health events visit www.gazettenet.com/living/health/

CODEPENDENCE — A Codependence Anonymous meeting for adults recovering from codependence and learning to develop healthy relationships meets every Sunday night, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church, 867 N. Pleasant St., Amherst.