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Keep Your Marriage Rock Solid (Even When You’re Stressed)

October 23, 2013 at 9:36 am , by

If anyone or anything can come between you and your partner, by definition, your relationship is “shakable.” What does it mean to have a shakable relationship? It’s too fragile to withstand the next challenge that will come your way.

A fundamental piece of creating an unshakable love is coming together as a team with your partner. We at Love and Passion Coach have a different definition of the word “team.” Most people think of a team as “teamwork,” meaning “You do this, and I do that, and together we get everything done.”

Sweetie, that’s not the kind of team I’m talking about!

Think of it more like a sports team. If you were on the field playing a sport as part of a team and one of your teammates dropped the ball, you wouldn’t stop in the middle of the game with your hands on your hips and say “Hey, you’re going to screw this up for everybody! What’s wrong with you? You should have done it like this instead!”

No, you just pick up the ball and run with it! That’s true team spirit. It’s when the other person’s problems are your problems and their goals are your goals! That’s the kind of team it takes to create an unshakable love — where nothing and nobody can come between the two of you.

Well, if you are in a relationship like that, that is not the formula for creating an unshakable love! Any relationship where one or both partners speak badly about the other partner or tear them down is a fragile relationship that can’t withstand the next challenge that’s coming down the road, whether that be a financial crisis, an ailing parent, loss of a job, or a health crisis. These big stressors are just a part of life.

Keep reading the solution to building a rock-solid marriage even when life gets stressful at YourTango.com: How To Create An Unshakable Love

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How to Make “I Love You” Meaningful

October 2, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Three simple words, one perfect sentence, complete with a pronoun, a verb, and an object. It’s a sentence that is supposed to carry with it great intent, reveal the most intimate caring, and define relationship status. But do the words “I love you“ really convey all that they are supposed to?

The words “I love you” roll quite easily off our tongues when we speak them to our children. We, as women, are simply bred to automatically and immediately love our children, and for most of us, this comes naturally. It may be less often that we say “I love you” to our parents and siblings, but when we do it’s usually intentional. When it comes to romantic relationships, however, we need to be extra careful that, when we say those words, the people who hear them know that we truly mean it. And more importantly, we need to understand that we mean it. Has there ever been a time when someone you “loved” said “I love you” many times and yet betrayed you, or you felt it was simply lip service?

Here are 10 ways to put “I love you” into action, make our relationships more meaningful, and avoid overuse of these three powerful words:

1. Expand your vocabulary
Instead of always saying “I love you”, use words that you don’t usually say but also have meaning, like “I’m so lucky to have you,” or “I love that you…” or “I admire you for…”

2. Accept yourself and your needs
Accept that the other person is not you. One of the things that prevents a person from loving another fully is our relationship with ourselves. Separating yourself from the other is not only healthy, it is a key to a successful relationship.

3. Actions speak louder than words
Express your love in a variety of ways by bringing a small gift, a flower, a card, or a small token that you think the other person would like.

Read 7 more ways to say “I love you,” at YourTango.com: 10 Beautiful Ways to Say ‘I Love You’

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When One of You Wants It More: Sync Up Your Sex Drive

September 16, 2013 at 9:52 am , by

Feeling ho-hum about your sex life? Have a productive talk with your partner and get busy!

Whether you want sex more than your guy does or he desires more intimacy more than you do, the bottom line is this: out-of-sync sex drives can ruin an otherwise healthy relationship. Why is this? Because as long as one partner is always playing the role of “pursuer” and one partner is always playing the role of “rejecter,” someone’s going to start to feel resentful… and that’s where most breakups begin.

Now, this doesn’t mean you and your partner are necessarily headed for splitsville just because you’re not on the same page sexually. However, it does mean that you should to get to the bottom of your sex drive imbalance and work it out together — as a team. This is definitely possible for couples willing to put in a little bit of work. Here’s how to do it:

If your guy wants more sex than you do:

In general, men use sex to feel close. What’s the difference with women? They need to already feel emotionally connected in order to get intimate. If you’re finding it hard to get excited about sex, or you’re feeling pressured by your guy, talk to him about it. Let him know that you need him to show up for you; that he needs to be nurturing and sweet outside of the bedroom. You could say something like:

“For me, foreplay starts outside of the bedroom, and it’s that ongoing connectedness that I need to feel in order to get excited for sex. For example, I’d love it if you would compliment me, give me massages or bring me coffee just because you love me and want to make me feel good. Because right now, I feel like you only do those things to get me in the bedroom. Is that a shift you feel comfortable with?”

Read the rest of the tips at YourTango.com: Sex Drive Out-Of-Sync? Get It Back In Gear With This Advice

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Labor Day Date Ideas: What To Do This Weekend

August 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm , by

Can’t make it to one of these destinations this weekend? We surveyed couples from all over the country to see how they would suggest spending this upcoming Labor Day Weekend, and the results made us totally jealous.

Here are our favorite romantic ideas for you and your significant other.

1. Book A Spa Day
Dana and Jared of NYC said that their most romantic date this year was when they booked a couple’s massage at the Mineral Springs resort, and spent the rest of the day enjoying drinks poolside on the roof deck. Dana’s favorite part of the mini getaway? “It felt like we were taking a mini vacation without ever stepping on a plane!”

2. Take A Trip To The Capitol
Akanksha and Samarth recently drove out to Washington D.C. for the weekend and visited the sights. “We went out in Georgetown at night, and then did some sight-seeing during the day,” Akanksha said. “The Smithsonian Museums are free on the weekends, so it helped us save some on the cost of the overall trip.”

Get 5 more great weekend date ideas at YourTango.com: 7 Best Labor Day Weekend Ideas For Couples

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A Happier Marriage: Stop Yelling and Start Listening

August 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm , by

Why does communication seem so difficult for some married couples? Why is argument the go-to communication strategy? In this new video, Marriage therapist and counselor Mary Kay Cocharo talks you through the steps you’ll need to take to become a better listener and speaker in your relationship.

First step? Stop yelling! After that, discover what it really means to W-A-I-T. Curious to learn more? Check out the video below and become a better partner to your spouse!

Video courtesy of YourTango.com: Stop Yelling! How To Turn Conflict Into Marital Bliss

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Put the Spark (and the Sex) Back into Your Marriage

August 8, 2013 at 9:57 am , by

Picture this: you can’t believe it’s summer already. Another school year has gone by, and you’re trying to decide where to go on vacation. Any idea you come up with seems like a lot of effort. And if you’re really honest? The idea of a family vacation seems exhausting.

Taking a long weekend away by yourself sounds so much more enticing. You look across the kitchen table at your husband. He’s busy writing out checks, and reminds you that he will be working late next week so you will need to pick up the kids from their various afternoon activities.

Things are comfortable between the two of you. It works. After all, you’ve been married for almost two decades. The household runs smoothly and the kids’ needs are taken care of. But you realize that you and your husband have settled into a life together that feels more like living with a roommate and less like shacking up with a lover.

Over the years, your sex life has slowly withered away to an early morning quickie every other month or so. You think back on the days when your libidos were great. You made an effort to wear sexy lingerie. He made an effort to seduce you in the ways you liked. You both made an effort to mix it up and have fun. Now it seems like passion is the last thing on your minds, settling instead for a comfy night on the couch and watching TV until it’s time to get some sleep. And while you still have warm feelings for your spouse, that flame seems almost extinguished. Tonight, as you sit across from your husband, you feel lonely and long to reignite some passion — you long to look at him as your lover once again.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. Many couples, after some years have gone by, or when the kids have moved out, look at each other as if they are compatible roommates. And for many, there comes a time when that level of complacency is no longer acceptable. Couples hit a crossroad every few years and for most couples, this crossroad will be met at least once, if not more, throughout the lifetime of their relationship.

If you are experiencing the roommate blues, here are five things you can do to bring passion back into your relationship:

1. Start dating each other again. And I mean truly dating. Plan together, make reservations, pick meaningful, fun and varied activities and begin a flirtation. Pretend that you’re still courting each other, and put that level of attention into your dates.

Read 4 more ways to get your groove back at YourTango.com: Marriage Advice To Ignite That Dying Spark

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Want a Hotter Sex Life? Be Spontaneous!

August 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm , by

You and your partner already have toe-curling, sheets-grabbing lip-biting sex nearly every day. So how can you make it even hotter? Good question. Whether you’re pretending to meet each other for the first time or you’re roleplaying as your naughtier, sexier persona, heating things up between you has never been easier. Don’t believe us? Check out these suggestions for infusing your relationship with sexy spontaneity, from four of YourTango’s top experts:

Entice your partner with a list of your biggest turn-ons. Send your partner an email listing some of the sure-fire ways to get you in the mood … and then promise him a pay-off. (And trust us when we say, he’ll be drooling.) —Meri-Arnett Kremian

Let him chase you. Give him a look as if you don’t recognize each other, and introduce yourself by saying, “I don’t believe we’ve met … ” Play a little hard to get, letting him know that you’re not the type to fool around too quickly. Give him some hints that you find him very attractive and even though you’ve never done this before so quickly, you just can’t seem to help yourself. Once he starts kissing you, tell him that you really shouldn’t, it’s getting late, you need to be getting home, you’re not that type of girl … but, of course, make it obvious from your actions that you don’t want him to stop. Keep playing this kind of push-pull game until he’s just ravenous with desire, when you finally give in because you are just too attracted to him not too. Men love the chase and giving him the chance to re-live the hunt will really get his testosterone flowing. —Jane Garapick

Read more ways to spice up your sex life at YourTango.com: 15 Spontaneous Ways To Make Your Sex Life Even Hotter
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