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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Three Ways to Maintain Real Intimacy and Feel Sexy Together

September 30, 2013 at 2:30 am , by

Today Melissa Chapman from Married My Sugar Daddy is dishing her secrets to keeping the spark alive even after years of marriage.

Those of us who’ve passed the 7-year itch portion of our marriages can probably all agree on one fact: Marriage is not a sprint it is a marathon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also rife with the kind of intimacy and familiarity that is impossible to comprehend  unless you’re fully immersed in the thick of it. And sure familiarity can be great for keeping your marriage running like a tight ship (you have pizza night every Friday, your husband knows to buy that special toilet paper you love, and before bed you never forget to say I love you before retreating to your respective sides of the bed). But it doesn’t exactly lead to  excitement or great sexual chemistry.

So if your sex life is feeling familiar and — dare I say — lackluster, you are not alone! And while I would love to regale you with my tales of attempting acrobatic double-jointed sex stunts to keep our married sex life fresh, that would be a complete disservice to you. To be perfectly honest though, I actually did buy a pair of fur-lined handcuffs once and they gave my wrists a rash. And then we couldn’t find the key (true story!). I think true intimacy requires more than props or frilly lingerie (although if those do it for you, more power to ya!). So how can you keep it fresh in the bedroom (or kitchen or back seat of the car) after years of marriage if you’re not really into crazy Cosmo-style stunt stuff? It’s possible! But just a warning: You are going to have to work at it. Every single day. But it’s worth it, I promise.

Touch each other as often as possible. Sexual attraction and the urge to get it on all begins in the mind. Touch is such a powerful tool that we often forget to exercise, especially when we’re in the throes of our daily routines and not tuned into our partners. So while you’re jotting down your grocery list or texting your friend, you still have one hand free to massage your partner’s neck, hold his hand, or brush his cheek, for instance. These seemingly-small physical gestures can connect the two of you in ways that are hard to articulate. It’s a primal connection, and a way to remind your partner that you still desire him.

Find a shared activity that you love both love. Whether it’s watching a movie on the couch, taking a cooking class, going for a bike ride, or skydiving, find something that appeals to both of you that doesn’t involve the kids (if you have ‘em). The energy and excitement you’ll get from this mutual interest will spill over into every other aspect of your life — including your sex life.

Carpe Diem kiss. Seize the moment! I know it’s 11 p.m. and the only thing you really want to do is kiss each other on the cheek and go to sleep. But if you can muster the energy, instead of kissing your husband on the cheek, give him one of those long lingering kisses (you know, the kind from before you got married). Just kiss each other. Don’t think about anything else or put any pressure on it. And if it’s just one kiss, that’s great. It’s a first step to connecting and making sure that this person you share your bed and life with is more than a comfortable roommate.

So what’s the bottom line? Intimacy in the bedroom is so much more than having sex. Remind yourself every day to check in with your spouse in small and big ways. (Maybe email him these tips so he can get in on the action too!) And of course if all else fails, there’s always a bottle of red wine…

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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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Become a Mentor

September 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm , by

Fall season’s in full swing and I can’t help but reminisce about high school. Senior year to be exact. Who can forget the whirlwind of emotions: Regents exams, acne, boyfriends, breakups. The list goes on. But perhaps the most stressful time of year was those painstaking few months before graduation, where all of life depended on whether or not I made it into the university of my choice.

This is where a good mentor comes in handy. She’s often your ally and your guide through every hurdle you’ll soon face before entering the grand halls of college: mounts of school applications, reference letters, nauseating financial aid forms, personal essays, etc. For the average 17-year-old from a working-class household, these are daunting tasks. 

Debi Lee (right) with co-mentor Ryan Breir and Indira Lopez Cruz

Debi Lee is one of many dedicated mentors at Minds Matter, a national non-profit organization that shepherds highly motivated, low-income high school students starting sophomore year. “An old roommate of mine asked me to co-mentor with her in 1996 and I’ve been doing it ever since, ” says Lee, a corporate bank executive in New York City. “My parents told my brother and I that the main reason they migrated to the U.S. from South Korea was for us to get a good education. They used to post rankings of Ivy League schools in the kitchen so we’d see it every day.” 

For many students with parents who work long hours, aspiring to top schools, even with a stellar grade point average, is a huge challenge. At Minds Matter, more than 1,400 new and experienced volunteers are dedicated to helping 500-plus young people reach their college dreams.

“It’s been an amazing process,” says Lee. “I look forward to the day when one of my mentees becomes a mentor through Minds Matter. It would accomplish the full circle I have in mind.”

 

 


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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