tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3560542649439295132012-01-16T19:16:43.313+11:00Healthy RELATIONSHIPS MatterThe essence of a happy life is found in the quality of our relationships!Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.comBlogger98125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-64914341328565313832012-01-16T19:16:00.000+11:002012-01-16T19:16:43.329+11:00How Do YOU Deal With Conflict In Your Relationship?<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-H7k_V8ndSjE/TxPc1t3eJaI/AAAAAAAAArE/md41-1z9lQw/s1600/Angry+Couple.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-H7k_V8ndSjE/TxPc1t3eJaI/AAAAAAAAArE/md41-1z9lQw/s320/Angry+Couple.jpg" width="213" /></a></div><div class="post-body entry-content" id="post-body-199498337212189501" style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.4; position: relative; width: 498px;">Whether we like it or not, conflict is very much part of life. It can occur with your partner, your child/ren, your parents, your boss, your employees, your friends, your relatives or any other person with whom you come in contact. Often, it is not the fact that conflict occurs that is the problem, but how you deal with it.</div><div class="post-body entry-content" id="post-body-199498337212189501" style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.4; position: relative; width: 498px;"><br />To most people conflict is something from which they shy away. They may be so afraid of conflict that they would do just about anything in order to avoid it. Alternatively, their discomfort might express itself in aggressive behaviour or language .<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><i>Ask yourself: “How do I behave when conflict arises in my life? Do I…..”</i></span><br /><br />* Pretend that everything is alright even when it isn’t?<br />* Withdraw from the person who raised a conflict issue?<br />* Withdraw from conflict situations?<br />* Give in or do whatever you can to ‘fix’ the problem, even if you don’t consider it your problem?<br />* Give another the ‘cold shoulder’ or the ‘silent treatment’?<br />* Get angry, blame, shame, criticise or use sarcasm?<br />* Scream, yell and/or become physically violent?<br /><br />If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you would benefit from learning more about effective conflict management and resolution. Learning to effectively deal with conflict is an invaluable life skill.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Here are a few tips:</span><br /><br /><ul><li>Don’t deal with the issue causing conflict in the heat of the moment. Nobody is objective at that time.</li><li>Deal with the issue at hand. Dredging up everything that has annoyed you about the other person or the current conflict situation during the past five years is not helpful.</li><li>Focus on the conflict issue or behavior instead of attacking the other person’s character or motive.</li><li>Don’t threaten or manipulate, and don’t call the other person names.</li><li>Give the other person an opportunity to say what they wish to say. Listen carefully and seek to understand what they are saying from their point of view.</li><li>Don’t push the other person into a corner, allow them to “save face”.</li><li>Don’t be afraid of discovering that you are wrong. If you are, say ‘sorry’!</li><li>The issue causing conflict may not be a matter of right or wrong – you may need to ‘agree to disagree’.</li><li>Sometimes ‘meeting halfway’ may be a necessary compromise to achieving resolution of your conflict.</li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-6491434132856531383?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-17487678759975609802011-12-22T11:06:00.000+11:002011-12-22T11:06:47.366+11:0010 Priceless Gifts for Christmas - Part 2<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8wzoEmR6o9o/TvJz_XF1cBI/AAAAAAAAAq8/i9yVYpThkxg/s1600/Screen+shot+2010-12-08+at+12.11.33+PM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="125" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8wzoEmR6o9o/TvJz_XF1cBI/AAAAAAAAAq8/i9yVYpThkxg/s200/Screen+shot+2010-12-08+at+12.11.33+PM.png" width="200" /></a></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">6. THE GIFT OF FLEXIBILITY<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Flexibility is a virtue that can especially be tested at Christmas time. Your ideas around how to celebrate may wildly differ from other important people in your life. What type of gifts, how many and how much they should cost can be a bone of contention. If you are in a blended family environment, as so many people seem to be these days, you may be struggling with questions such as:&nbsp;‘Will the children be upset if you don’t celebrate Christmas the way they’ve been used to?’ ‘How can you incorporate their wishes with your own traditions?’&nbsp;'How can you stay cool in the face of last minute changes that are forced on you by people over whom you have no control. Flexibility doesn’t come easily to most people. If you are one of those I’d strongly recommend that it is amongst the gifts you give yourself this Christmas. Flexibility will ensure that you remain intact even if you can't meet everybody else's expectations, that you will survive frustrating last minute changes and that you'll be able to deal with all the other difficulties that Christmas can bring in its wake.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Flexibility is one of the sweet rewards of one’s openness to learning, change and growth. (S. Ridden)<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">7. THE GIFT OF KINDNESS<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">It’s usually easy to be kind to those who are kind to you. Today I would challenge you, however, to try and be kind even to those who aren’t kind to you. This could be anyone. They might be family members with whom you don't usually see eye, it could be an absent parent, your stepchild/ren, your partner’s ‘ex’, your own ‘ex’, your rellies. I can almost hear you groan as I am writing this : “I could never be kind to the this person or that one. I certainly couldn't be kind to my my partner's ‘ex’ or to my own!&nbsp;Yes, I know it’s a tall order, but it can bring some wonderful rewards. Firstly the ‘ex’ might be so surprised by your different way of responding to them this Christmas that they might be stunned into civil behaviour. That alone will be worth the effort! It also pays to be kind to your stepchild/ren. Why? Because it helps them know that they are welcome in your home, models desirable behaviour and opens the door for them to be kind in return. The kindness you extend to other, especially those who you find difficult to be kind to, opens the channels of greater understanding and greater peace. Just remember 'what goes round comes round." It may not come round straight away, but it always does in the end.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows. (Stoddard Alexandra)<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">8. THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Forgiving seems to be one of the most difficult things to do. One of the reasons for this is the meanings we tend to attach to forgiveness. Some of those might be:” If I forgive I am saying that whatever someone else (no matter how bad or nasty) did to me wasn’t really their fault”; “... it didn’t matter and didn’t really hurt me”;” ...they were right and I was wrong”; “... I don’t have the right to be angry/upset/sad…..;, “it’s all my fault; etc. Naturally, attaching meanings like these to forgiveness makes forgiving a very difficult task. There may be few or many people in your life that you have to forgive So, who'd really want to do that? Well, if you wish to live your life filled with purpose, want to be happy and to be filled with inner peace and joy, the answer is: YOU! “Never” I hear you cry in disdain and I do understand. Just like every other human on the face of this earth I've found myself in the position of facing the forgiveness challenge. What I have learned in the process is that although forgiveness is a wonderful gift to give away, above all it is a gift you give to yourself. It miraculously blesses you in many ways. It sweeps from your heart the anger, hatred and rage you may be feeling. It frees you from the shackles that tie you to the ‘offender’ and, last but not least, it has the power to set you FREE. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">When we forgive, we perform a miracle hardly anyone notices, but when we forgive, we heal the hurt we never deserved. (L B Smedes)<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">9. THE GIFT OF PEACE<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">In this world peace is a precious commodity. Amidst the senseless tragedies that occur all over the globe, the difficulties we face in our own lives and the busyness that is so much a part of our daily existence, peace isn’t easy to come by. Remembering that we can only give away the things we possess ourselves, we need to ask the question: “How do we ensure that we have peace in our own hearts and lives?” No doubt, different people will come up with different answers. Some of you may find peace through their personal values, others through their spiritual beliefs. Whichever one of those may be true for you, just be sure that you don’t neglect this aspect of your life. The only way you can be calm in the midst of the storms that soemtime rage in your life, is through having a peaceful center. Once acquired, you are then equipped to give the gift of peace to those around you.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center, so does a person. (Norman Vincent Peale)&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">10. THE GIFT OF LOVE<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Of all the gifts we can give at Christmas or at any other time of the year, the most perfect gift is the gift of love. For some of us this may be a whole lot easier said than done? And I truly do understand - but isn’t it worth a try? It will also be easier to set into motion when you remember that every human being wants, and indeed needs to be loved.&nbsp; They not only need to be loved but need the love to be unconditional. What does that mean? It means that they are loved whether they are good or bad, whether they are well behaved or not, whether they do what you want them to or not, whether they deserve it or not. This may be a concept that you are not familiar with. It certainly isn’t what most of us have experienced in our own families. When you remember, however, that this concept - this need and, indeed, hunger for unconditional love - is just as true for YOU as it is for the next person &nbsp;- your partner, parents, children and every other person that’s part of your life - it puts a different light on the subject. If this kind of love hasn’t been part of your experience it won’t come easily to you. All the same I’d encourage you to try because love is one of those special gifts that, once given, returns to you a-thousand-fold and will bless you (and all those who are the recipients of it) more than any other gift every could.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. (Dr. Karl Menninger</i>)<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">There are three things that remain – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is LOVE (Bible – 1 Cor 13:13)<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 16pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Mpjd2qPZBwU/TvJzXvVZCPI/AAAAAAAAAqw/4_yGPRdF384/s1600/Screen+shot+2010-12-08+at+12.11.33+PM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Mpjd2qPZBwU/TvJzXvVZCPI/AAAAAAAAAqw/4_yGPRdF384/s320/Screen+shot+2010-12-08+at+12.11.33+PM.png" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><br /></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: red;">MERRY CHRISTMAS !</span></i></b></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-1748767875997560980?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-37367925855979276572011-12-10T21:26:00.000+11:002011-12-10T21:26:56.366+11:0010 Priceless Gifts For Christmas<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gyBjpMQCKdQ/TuMMzEDn3kI/AAAAAAAAAqU/ChONWsJhj3A/s1600/xmas%2B3.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gyBjpMQCKdQ/TuMMzEDn3kI/AAAAAAAAAqU/ChONWsJhj3A/s200/xmas%2B3.png" width="200" /></a></div><br />Rushing through a beautifully decorated Shopping Centre the other day, I yet again became aware of the pressure so many of us put ourselves under at this time of year. Driven by expectation, tradition and even peer-pressure we battle through crowds in search of the ‘perfect’ Christmas gifts for those we love. This can be a difficult challenge indeed. Whilst pleasing our families and friends is a very important aspect of Christmas let’s not forget in the midst of our buying sprees that whilst some gifts cost little money and others a lot, the most important and precious gifts any one of us can give are the gifts that are priceless. <br /><br /><i>In the hope that you may choose to present your loved ones with at least some of them this Christmas, I’ve created a list of ten of these gifts for you. Here they are: </i><br /><br /><b>1. THE GIFT OF ACCEPTANCE</b><br /><br />This Christmas why not spend some of your energy on accepting things for what they are? Your house may not be as new, as large or as lovely as you’d like it to be, your partner not helpful or accommodating, maybe your parents not as loving and your children not as studious. Yes, accepting things for what they are means exercising greater tolerance. It means being more open to changing, learning and growing, but isn’t that what a full and interesting life is all about? And no, it doesn’t mean that you have to bury the dreams you have for a bigger and better house, or that you can’t encourage your partner to become the helpful and accommodating spouse you’d love them to be, that you cannot demonstrate to your parents the kind of caring you’d like them to show you and that you don’t train your children towards becoming the best individuals they can be. But let me encourage you to, just for a little while, let go of your longing and striving and simply focus and accepting your lot. <br /><br /><i>We must accept life for what it actually is -- a challenge to our quality without which we should never know of what stuff we are made, or grow to our full stature. (Ida R. Wylie)</i><br /><br /><b>2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION</b><br /><br />Kissing, giving a hug, a friendly smile, a warm look won’t cost you a cent and will make the recipients of these gifts feel warm, appreciated and loved. Okay, so you and your partner haven’t seen eye to eye on every issue in the last few days, weeks, months or even years; your kids often aren’t quite as lovable as you would like them to be and life isn’t always going the way you would like it to go. Well, great gifts aren’t always easy to give, however once presented they have magical powers. The gift of affection opens people’s hearts, helps them feel good about themselves and therefore makes it much easier for them to feel good about you. It helps them lay aside their grievances, even if it’s just for a time. You never know, it might even help the important people in your world look at life from your perspective. Affection is a powerful gift that blesses both giver and recipients. <br /><br /><i>Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them. (Richard E Evans) </i><br /><br /><b>3. THE GIFT OF LISTENING</b><br /><br />Ah, to listen well is indeed a gift. It means to be quiet whilst the other is speaking. It means to hear without interruption, judgment, self-defense, without drifting off into thinking about other things, without being busy mentally preparing a response – it means to just listen……………. with your ears, your mind and your heart. Listening in this way tells the speaker that you value them; that you respect whatever they have to say; that you recognise and acknowledge the right they have to their opinion, even if (perchance) you should not agree. It tells the speaker that you wish to connect with them in a deeper and more meaningful way, that you are happy to place their need to express themselves before your own and that you are willing to consider carefully whatever they may say. Listening is a wonderful gift indeed. <br /><br /><i>To listen without judgment is to give a gift of honour, respect and unconditional love. (Sonja Ridden)</i><br /><br /><b>4. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER</b><br /><br />Being a great parent, a caring child, a good partner and trusted friend can be a difficult task. It may take so much of your energy that it might seem as though there is little time left for anything else. This makes laughter a particularly special gift. This Christmas, try to create as much fun for yourself and your family as you can possibly muster. Watch crazy movies, play fun games, get everyone to tell stories that make you laugh. Remember that laughing is like medicine as was so beautifully portrayed in the movie ‘Patch Adams’ (did you see it?). Look at the healing power contained in laughter: It stops you from taking yourself and all your troubles (real as they are) too seriously, it chases away the ‘blues’, helps you and those around you relax, it is therapeutic, enjoyable, contagious and….it makes you feel good. <br /><br /><i>Fun is about as good a habit as there is. (Jimmy Buffet)</i><br /><br /><b>5. THE GIFT OF APPRECIATION</b><br /><br />How about telling your partner right now: “Thanks honey, I am so glad you did that for me!”? It’s so easy to get hung up on everything that’s not working the way we want it to, to notice all the things that others don’t do right for us, to be annoyed, upset or critical of those around us. How often do we take the time and make the effort to pay attention to all the things that are right, good and positive in our lives. How often do we determine to thank those around us for all the little things that usually go unnoticed? If your partner kissed you ‘good bye’ this morning, your child gave you an unexpected hug, one of your relatives phoned to see how you are....did you appreciate it? And even more importantly, did you say “thank you”? If your partner cleaned the porch, washed the dishes, took out the rubbish, brought you a bunch of flowers, did you show your appreciation? If you haven’t done it as often as you’d like, now is a good time to start. Tell him/her how glad you are about having them in your life, for the way they care for you, for their love. Appreciation is like a plant, the more you water it, the better it will grow.<br /><br /><i>Focusing your attention - daily and hourly – not on what is wrong, but on what we love and value, allows us to participate in the birth of a better future, ushered in by the choices we make each and every day. (Carol Pearson)</i><br /><br /><i>Stay tuned for an exploration of the last 5 gifts.</i><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-3736792585597927657?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-40666977584502952802011-11-15T17:40:00.002+11:002011-11-15T17:49:47.840+11:00The Brain In Love<object width="526" height="374"> <param name="movie" value="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"/><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><param name="bgColor" value="#ffffff"></param><param name="flashvars" value="vu=http://video.ted.com/talk/stream/2008/Blank/HelenFisher_2008-320k.mp4&su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/HelenFisher-2008.embed_thumbnail.jpg&vw=512&vh=288&ap=0&ti=307&lang=&introDuration=15330&adDuration=4000&postAdDuration=830&adKeys=talk=helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love;year=2008;theme=how_the_mind_works;event=TED2008;tag=Culture;tag=Science;tag=Technology;tag=brain;tag=cognitive+science;tag=literature;tag=love;tag=poetry;tag=psychology;tag=relationships;tag=women;&preAdTag=tconf.ted/embed;tile=1;sz=512x288;" /><embed src="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" bgColor="#ffffff" width="526" height="374" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" flashvars="vu=http://video.ted.com/talk/stream/2008/Blank/HelenFisher_2008-320k.mp4&su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/HelenFisher-2008.embed_thumbnail.jpg&vw=512&vh=288&ap=0&ti=307&lang=&introDuration=15330&adDuration=4000&postAdDuration=830&adKeys=talk=helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love;year=2008;theme=how_the_mind_works;event=TED2008;tag=Culture;tag=Science;tag=Technology;tag=brain;tag=cognitive+science;tag=literature;tag=love;tag=poetry;tag=psychology;tag=relationships;tag=women;&preAdTag=tconf.ted/embed;tile=1;sz=512x288;"></embed> </object><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-4066697758450295280?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-24307652660892943912011-10-26T20:19:00.000+11:002011-10-26T20:19:54.698+11:00Forgiveness Is One Of The Greatest Gifts You Can Give To Yourself<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sHRcgDyy_Ug/TqfQFdoQOLI/AAAAAAAAAlA/XF78mz--eS0/s1600/Happiness.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sHRcgDyy_Ug/TqfQFdoQOLI/AAAAAAAAAlA/XF78mz--eS0/s320/Happiness.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Forgiving is one of the most difficult, and yet, one of the most important&nbsp;things we are sometimes called to do in our love relationship. As much&nbsp;as parts of us want to get the whole unpleasant business over and&nbsp;done with, something inside us wants revenge, wants to see the person&nbsp;who has hurt us suffer, grovel and beg; wants to extract an eye for an&nbsp;eye and a tooth for a tooth…and the greater the hurt we’ve suffered,&nbsp;the harder it is to contemplate the possibility of forgiving.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Consider the following example:</span></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Rochelle feels devastated! She’d suspected it all along. She isn’t blind&nbsp;and, as she told her girlfriend the other day: “<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Women just sense these&nbsp;things</em>”. After she'd experienced some sleepless nights, some weeks of making pointed&nbsp;comments and quite some time of feeling confused, insecure and&nbsp;unsettled, Mark finally confessed. When he told her that he had been&nbsp;contemplating having an affair Rochelle’s whole world seemed&nbsp;to collapse. She had sensed that he’d been attracted to his new&nbsp;work colleague from the day she’d first laid eyes on her. Now her suspicion&nbsp;was confirmed. The fact that Mark hadn’t acted on the attraction he&nbsp;was feeling, that he had confessed and asked her forgiveness didn’t&nbsp;even come close to touching the deep sense of betrayal and hurt she&nbsp;was feeling. How could he do this to her, the woman who some years ago had&nbsp;supported him every step of the way through his ugly marriage-breakup? How could he even think of betraying her, the woman who&nbsp;had embraced his children and had created a new home for all of&nbsp;them? She just couldn’t believe it and she most certainly could not&nbsp;forgive him. After all, he had really done her wrong!&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Should Rochelle forgive Mark?</span></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Absolutely!&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Why - I hear you cry in outrage - should she do that? HE’s at fault! HE’s&nbsp;‘done the dirty by her’, HE should pay the price!</span></span></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Yes, he did wrong (well, at least he toyed with the idea) and, no doubt,&nbsp;this situation put a deep and painful dent into thus couple's relationship.&nbsp;However, Rochelle really only has two useful choices in this matter. She&nbsp;can either decide that Mark is no longer worthy of her trust, thus&nbsp;conclude that without this vital building block in the foundation of their&nbsp;relationship house their marriage is no longer able to&nbsp;survive, or she can acknowledge the fact that Mark ‘slipped up’,&nbsp;appreciate that he confessed and understand that he'd had the courage to ask for her&nbsp;forgiveness because he came to the conclusion that the relationship he has with her is infinitely important to him than anything or anyone else.&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />If Rochelle takes the first option, the only realistic action she can take is&nbsp;to end the relationship. If she takes the second route, the only useful&nbsp;action she can take is to make the conscious choice of trusting again.&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Sounds simple when boiled down to basics but, of course, is nowhere&nbsp;near as simple in reality where we must deal with feelings of betrayal,&nbsp;hurt pride, anger, anguish and fear. All these feelings are legitimate&nbsp;and need to be acknowledged, verbalized and, unfortunately, also need to be felt.&nbsp;Having done this, however, it is time to move on as staying stuck in such&nbsp;an unpleasant space causes couples to fruitlessly walk around in&nbsp;ever tightening circles that only lead to more fights, more anger and&nbsp;endless pain.&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Forgiving seems to be one of the most difficult things to do. One of the&nbsp;reasons for that, I believe, is the meaning we tend to attach to the&nbsp;word forgiveness. We might think that if we choose to forgive we are&nbsp;letting the offending person off the hook by saying: “<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">It wasn’t really his&nbsp;fault</em>” or“&nbsp;<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">What she did didn’t truly hurt me</em>” or "<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">They were right in hurting&nbsp;me and I was wrong in being upset about it</em>”. Clearly, if we think such&nbsp;thoughts as these it won’t be surprising that we can sometimes agonise&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />for weeks, months and occasionally even years over some hurt,&nbsp;offense or wrong done to us.&nbsp;If this is an experience you can relate to, ask yourself: ‘<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">What purpose&nbsp;does this serve? Who is actually being punished here?</em>’ Your answer, of&nbsp;course, has to me: ME!&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />So, does it make sense to punish yourself for a ‘crime’ someone else&nbsp;committed against you? Is it useful to hurt yourself even more when&nbsp;you’ve already been hurt so badly? Of course not! But in our distress&nbsp;and anger we rarely think as logically as this. The bottom line is that&nbsp;forgiveness is far more about you than about the offender. Yes,&nbsp;forgiveness is a wonderful gift to give away but, above all, it is one of the&nbsp;greatest gifts you can give yourself. LB Smedes said: “<span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">When we forgive,&nbsp;we perform a miracle hardly anyone notices, but when we forgive we&nbsp;heal the hurt we never deserved.”&nbsp;</span><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Forgiveness miraculously blesses you in many ways. It frees your body&nbsp;from the poison of hurt and pain. It releases your heart from anger,&nbsp;hatred and rage and… it frees your soul from the shackles that have&nbsp;firmly tied it to the person you least want to be tied to - your ‘offender’.&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Last but not least, FORGIVENESS SETS YOU FREE</span>.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-2430765266089294391?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-37515126113314455712011-10-12T20:21:00.001+11:002011-10-12T20:21:20.644+11:00Tolerance, An Important Relationship Virtue<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-30QBInHOpHk/TpVa6kn1WJI/AAAAAAAAAg0/er6cWn6QSJQ/s1600/angry+couple+in+bed.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="227" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-30QBInHOpHk/TpVa6kn1WJI/AAAAAAAAAg0/er6cWn6QSJQ/s320/angry+couple+in+bed.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">"It just drives me nuts! She never, and I mean NEVER screws the top back on the toothpaste. I remind her all the time, I plead and beg and rant and rave but she simply won't do it!"&nbsp;</em>Guy tells me in utter frustration in one of our sessions.&nbsp;<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">"You can't imagine how many fights we have about this",&nbsp;</em>he adds<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">. "She thinks that I am being unreasonable, picky and controlling but how hard is it to screw the top back on the toothpaste when you've finished with it?"&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><span style="font-style: normal; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">I ask him how these fights usually end.</span>"Well, after a fight she stalks off to the bathroom, demonstratively screws the top back on the toothpaste, gives me a dagger look and climbs back into bed”.</em></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">“And then what happens?” I ask...."<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Well, then she turns her back to me and goes to sleep." So, no romance on those nights?”</em>&nbsp;I query . "<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">No way, after one of those she won't even turn around to say goodnight!"</em></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Guy has surely won the battle …but it would seem to me that has also lost the war!</strong></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">I often wonder why it is so difficult for most of us to show&nbsp;tolerance towards others. Why is it so important to have things go 'our way', win an&nbsp;argument, a game or a sports competition? Why do we so often&nbsp;<strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">have to&nbsp;have</strong>&nbsp;the last word? Why do we walk away from a verbal&nbsp;wrestle, thinking:&nbsp;<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">‘Boy, did I show him’!</em>&nbsp;or ‘<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Good, I’ve really put her in&nbsp;her place this time!’&nbsp;</em>Why do we need to engage in a verbal wrestle at all?</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">The Concise Oxford Dictionary tells me that&nbsp;<strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">TOLERANCE means having&nbsp;a disposition to be patient with or indulgent to the opinions or practices&nbsp;of others.</strong></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">I believe that most people have a strong competitive streak,&nbsp;which may well be part of our genetic make-up but is also strongly reinforced by the&nbsp;society we live in where WINNING IS EVERYTHING.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">I suspect that&nbsp;the spirit of competition comes upon us at a tender age. As soon as a&nbsp;sibling appears in our world we most likely begin right there and then to&nbsp;compete for mother’s attention. We’ll feel mightily put out when we&nbsp;realize - somewhere in our 1st&nbsp;year of life - that she has other things to&nbsp;attend to apart from cuddling or feeding US. And so it continues. God help him or her&nbsp;who tries to play with our toys by the time we are 2; claim&nbsp;Daddy’s knee that we believe has only OUR name on it at age 3; show off&nbsp;the pretty dress to Sandy whose dress is nowhere nearly as gorgeous as&nbsp;MINE at age 4; tell Bob next door that “MY daddy is bigger than yours,&nbsp;so watch out!” at age 5.&nbsp; If we don’t have people in our world who have an&nbsp; understanding of these dynamics or who are unable to help us balance our natural selfishness (which is a normal part of a child’s growth process) with a level of empathy and sensitivity the competitive spirit simply grows and grows within us.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">School forces us into its own competitive mould. If you do well&nbsp;academically, are the prettiest girl or the sportiest boy you get a lot of positive reinforcement! If not, you simply fade into the background. If you are&nbsp;unable to keep up with the majority of kids, happen to have a wart on&nbsp;your nose or suffer the great misfortune of being covered with acne&nbsp;you’ll most likely be the butt of cruel jokes.&nbsp;If you’ve been subjected to years of this type of treatment, by the time you reach adulthood you will have absorbed tens of thousands of demeaning&nbsp;messages, and chances are high that you have come to the following conclusions:&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />‘<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">If I am not a&nbsp;winner I must l be a loser;&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />‘If I don’t conform, I just don’t fit!”<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />“If I don’t perform to some external standard, I’m a failure!’</em>’&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">“If I don’t get the first, they’ll get me.”</em></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">So then, given all of that, is it any wonder that being tolerant of others is pretty difficult?&nbsp;??<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Not really!&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />But easy though this is to understand it needs to also be noted that intolerance is incredibly tough on our relationships and can be an absolute deal-breaker.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Going back to my earlier example</em>: How important is it REALLY that the top of the toothpaste is replaced after each use? Who dies if it isn't?&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Why make such a big deal out of something so insignificant?&nbsp;?<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />IT’S ANNOYING!!<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Sure but so what? Could it be that some things Guy does annoy his partner too? Of course, and if she unpacks everything she can't stand about him at those times when he has a 'go' at her, the two of them can have a really good fight OVER NOTHING!</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Am I saying that you shouldn't try to rectify those idiosyncrasies that drive your partner nuts? Not at all! I am suggesting though that you don't get your knickers in a knot over some habit, personality quirks or other expression of your partner's need to retain a bit of themselves in the relationship because IT SIMPLY ISN’T WORTH THE FIGHT.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Think about it - what might happen if you showed a bit of tolerance?&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />How would it be if you lost the occasional battle?</strong></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">I’d like to challenge you to ask yourself why you feel the way you do each time intolerance strikes. If you do this chances are that you’ll find your feelings have little to do with the&nbsp;current circumstance but are deeply rooted in an earlier time of your&nbsp;life.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">* Perhaps you didn’t have a voice as a child and simply had to ‘shut&nbsp;up and put up’ with whatever you were told to do?&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* Maybe you were&nbsp;bullied at school and made the decision right there and then that no-one would ever do this to you again?&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* Could it be that you swallowed a&nbsp;lot of things you might have liked to have said to someone who&nbsp;held a place of significance in your life but never did for the ‘sake of&nbsp;keeping the peace’?</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">There could be 1001 reasons hiding in your past&nbsp;that may be responsible for why you feel particularly intolerant now. Be&nbsp;sure that you explore this possibility and do whatever it takes to get rid of any destructive baggage that you carry with you from the past. If you don’t you can be sure that your&nbsp;unresolved issues will continue to have power over you and will not only make your life a misery but also the lives of those you love.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Once you’ve discovered why your tolerance level is so low and have&nbsp;released the emotions that belong to a different time in your life, you&nbsp;will find the&nbsp;<strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">following hints</strong>&nbsp;much easier to implement:</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">* Every so often be sure to let others enjoy the pleasure of being right.&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* Pick your battles wisely.&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* Don’t major on things of minor importance.&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* Always give others the benefit of the doubt.<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* Remember that people are imperfect.<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* Recognise that YOU ARE IMPERFECT TOO …....and realize that the world won’t come to an end if you get things wrong every so often!</div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-3751512611331445571?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-88867424113398034342011-10-07T09:48:00.000+11:002011-10-07T09:48:43.510+11:00Understanding The Value Of Separateness In Your Love Relationship<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LR4dPhnvDkY/To4vyhSWIlI/AAAAAAAAAgw/2iVRpGRvBow/s1600/David..Andrea.at.HN.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LR4dPhnvDkY/To4vyhSWIlI/AAAAAAAAAgw/2iVRpGRvBow/s320/David..Andrea.at.HN.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">In the early stages of a couple’s relationship when their greatest desire&nbsp;is to spend as much time as possible together and melt right into each&nbsp;other if only they could - as described in the togetherness article - they&nbsp;may find the concept of separateness difficult to comprehend.&nbsp;Unfortunately, a lack of understanding or an inability to appropriate this&nbsp;concept can set the couple up for a co-dependent relationship. This&nbsp;basically means that they become so entangled emotionally that they&nbsp;lose a healthy sense of self. As co-dependence is a breeding ground&nbsp;for control and manipulation (whether subconscious or otherwise) as&nbsp;well as confusion, resentment and anger, recognising the necessity of&nbsp;separateness in a couple’s relationship is vitally important.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">A true and&nbsp;lasting love can only be based on a foundation of freedom.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">SEPARATENESS</span>&nbsp;is just as important for the healthy development and&nbsp;maintenance of a couple’s relationship - whether that be a marriage, a&nbsp;de-facto relationship or any other love partnership - as is&nbsp;TOGETHERNESS.</div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">INTERNAL SEPARATENESS:</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">In order to understand what internal separateness means we need to&nbsp;have an understanding of what it does not mean.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Internal separateness DOES NOT mean</span>:&nbsp;</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Behaving as though you weren’t married.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Making independent choices of a significant magnitude.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Treating your partner as though his or her wishes do not matter to&nbsp;you.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Ignoring or disregarding your partner’s needs.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Being selfish and uncaring.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Internal separateness DOES mean:</span>&nbsp;</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Understanding and accepting that you carry full responsibility for&nbsp;your own thoughts, attitudes, feelings, beliefs, values and&nbsp;behaviours.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Understanding and accepting that your partner carries full&nbsp;responsibility for his or her thoughts, attitudes, feelings, beliefs,&nbsp;values.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Understanding and accepting that you cannot change another&nbsp;person, not even your partner.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• Giving up on trying to change your partner.&nbsp;Understanding and accepting that each partner carries full&nbsp;responsibility for their own internal wellbeing draws an all-important&nbsp;boundary between a couple that enables each one of them to work&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">on their individual shortcomings rather than wasting their precious&nbsp;energy on attempting to change their partner.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Example:&nbsp;</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Marianne screams her frustration at Simon: “It’s your fault that I am so&nbsp;angry all the time! If you didn’t take your son’s side in everything but&nbsp;listened to me for once, I could be happy for a change.”&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Does her frustration sound reasonable? Absolutely! Will her behaviour achieve the desired results? Not likely!&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Let me explain:&nbsp;</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Marianne sees Simon’s behaviour as the problem because she believes&nbsp;that if he listened to her and supported her in her relationship with his&nbsp;son she would no longer feel angry. This is totally understandable.&nbsp;However, Marianne does not recognize that she cannot change&nbsp;anyone’s behaviour other than her own and so, blaming her husband&nbsp;for HER feelings isn’t going to get her anywhere other than (eventually)&nbsp;the divorce courts. How much better would it be if Marianne decided&nbsp;to take responsibility for her own feelings and reactions and would say&nbsp;something along the following lines:&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">“When you don’t listen to my side of the problems your son and I have&nbsp;been having, I feel really helpless because it doesn’t seem to matter to&nbsp;you what I say. When that happens I feel hurt and totally powerless,&nbsp;because I just don’t know how else to tell you what’s going on for me.&nbsp;For me to be happy in this relationship I need to feel valued and loved&nbsp;and that can only happen if you listen to me and try to understand my point&nbsp;of view, too.”&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Communicating in this way, Marianne takes responsibility for her own&nbsp;feelings whilst at the same time, without blaming, letting Simon know&nbsp;how his actions are impacting on her and what she needs from him in&nbsp;order to feel safe and happy in their relationship. Approaching their&nbsp;difficulty in this way ensures that Marianne does not violate Simon’s&nbsp;boundaries, that she retains her own integrity yet gives Simon all the&nbsp;information he needs in order to make helpful choices.&nbsp;Remembering that true love can only be rooted in freedom, giving a&nbsp;choice is of vital importance. Because Simon now does not feel&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">manipulated, controlled or treated like a little boy who needs to be&nbsp;told what to do, he is far more likely to change his behaviour to one&nbsp;that is more conducive to a happy love relationship than he would be&nbsp;if he felt coerced or manipulated.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Respecting our partner’s boundaries also helps THEM keep their self-esteem intact and to feel truly valued and loved. It helps US recognize&nbsp;that WE ARE NOT at the mercy of our partner’s behaviours, but have&nbsp;the RIGHT TO MAKE CHOICES that are appropriate and healthy for us. It&nbsp;gives us permission to say “no” to something we don’t agree with,&nbsp;approve of or aren’t wholeheartedly prepared to do. It also gives our&nbsp;partner the same rights and privileges.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">EXTERNAL SEPARATENESS:</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">The freedom to retain our individuality (not having it resented, ridiculed&nbsp;or quashed) also allows us to continue doing the things we love but in&nbsp;which our partner has no interest. For instance, if you enjoy ballet (like&nbsp;me) and your man (like mine) would much rather endure all kinds of&nbsp;torture than sit through Swan Lake, this does not mean that you have&nbsp;to give up your love for ballet! It just means that you have the&nbsp;wonderful opportunity to call a friend who shares your passion and with&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">whom you can make ballet concerts your special girl’s nights out. If&nbsp;your partner enjoys a blokey get-together for footy grand finals (which&nbsp;are of no interest to you), it doesn’t mean that he has to give up on this&nbsp;pleasure for your sake. You can hate it all you like whilst respecting that&nbsp;this is something he enjoys. With this in mind, why not stock up the&nbsp;fridge with his favourite beer, wish him a great night and vanish to your&nbsp;bedroom with a good book or use the opportunity to catch up with a&nbsp;friend.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Individual differences, preferences, likes or dislikes will only have the&nbsp;power to diminish your love for each other if you give them that power.&nbsp;If you decide that these can, in fact, be the very things that make your&nbsp;relationship more interesting and more colourful, then you can see&nbsp;them as empowering and positive.</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; line-height: 18px;"><br /></span></span><br /><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="color: red; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">I trust that this post (together with the previous one) provides a useful illustration of the importance of&nbsp;both, TOGETHERNESS AND SEPARATENESS. Clearly, only a couple who&nbsp;trust each other can have true togetherness and the kind of&nbsp;separateness that enhances a love relationship. This demonstrates how&nbsp;vital it is to a healthy relationship that couples have all essential&nbsp;building blocks in place, as one or just a few of them simply cannot&nbsp;provide the type of foundation that promises to withstand the storms of&nbsp;life they are certain to encounter throughout their relationship journey.</span></em></div><div><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="color: red; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br /></span></em></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-8886742411339803434?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-49854629906534056932011-09-26T10:11:00.000+10:002011-10-07T09:56:41.795+11:00Togetherness - What It Means For A Couple<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ue5XYOl_ZG4/Tn_CsK142MI/AAAAAAAAAgc/IJmdLFrQXeo/s1600/couple+holding+hands.gif" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ue5XYOl_ZG4/Tn_CsK142MI/AAAAAAAAAgc/IJmdLFrQXeo/s1600/couple+holding+hands.gif" /></a></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">In the first bloom of love most couples want to spend as much time&nbsp;together as they possibly can. Grace and Adam were no exception.&nbsp;They would call each other numerous times throughout the day, would&nbsp;sneak away from work for a quick lunch as often as they could and&nbsp;were counting the hours until evening when they could again be in&nbsp;each other’s company.<br /><br />Once married Grace and Adam spent every available moment&nbsp;together. They shared their innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes,&nbsp;hopes, dreams and enjoyed getting to know each other.</div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">In time Grace and Adam got to know each other so well that it wasn’t&nbsp;at all unusual for one to finish the other’s sentence. As the years went&nbsp;by, however, they found that they had less and less time for each&nbsp;other. After all, their lives were terribly busy dealing with work, children&nbsp;and the thousands of other issues that tend to come along with family&nbsp;life. And so they did what many couples do - without really noticing&nbsp;they allowed other things to become priorities in their lives. They now&nbsp;rarely talked about anything other than their family concern, which&nbsp;more often than not turned into heated arguments that caused Adam&nbsp;to feel uncomfortable and guilty and left Grace with a sick and shaky&nbsp;feeling in the pit of her stomach.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Life went on this way until the day after Adam had spent yet another&nbsp;night working till the wee hours of the morning and Grace had spent&nbsp;yet another night in tears, feeling angry, abandoned and wondering&nbsp;what Adam had really been up to during all those work-filled nights.&nbsp;She had come to the end of her tether and just knew that if nothing&nbsp;changed in their relationship it wouldn’t be long before it would be&nbsp;over. It was this recognition that brought Grace, and soon after also&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Adam, to my practice.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">It wasn’t difficult to establish the real issue in this couple’s relationship.&nbsp;The problem was neither another woman nor was it any other shameful secret. Their problems was simply that over time they’d lost that&nbsp;special feeling of togetherness that had so delighted them in the&nbsp;beginning of their relationship. Together with that feeling they’d also&nbsp;lost their intimate connection and eventually the love they’d had for&nbsp;each other. Thankfully, it wasn’t too late for this beautiful couple to&nbsp;regain their losses and once they began the rebuilding process, things&nbsp;very quickly turned around for them.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">TOGETHERNESS</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">is achieved through discovering the inner world of one’s&nbsp;partner. For Grace and Adam this meant re-discovering each other by&nbsp;openly and honestly allowing the other to see the person they had&nbsp;become over the years. They needed to share with one another their&nbsp;thoughts - painful though this was at times - their feelings which had&nbsp;received quite a battering, their hopes and dreams which had all but&nbsp;died. To rekindle their love, they first needed to accept their partner in&nbsp;their current state without passing judgment or apportioning blame.&nbsp;They needed to re-evaluate their priorities and be willing to make the&nbsp;necessary time commitment to reconnect on a variety of different&nbsp;levels. They had to discover that actions speak louder than words and&nbsp;that the greatest message we can give another person is: “I love&nbsp;you enough to give you something really precious, something I will&nbsp;never be able to regain – MY TIME!” Grace and Adam needed to&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">take time for the following:&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">1. TIME FOR COMMUNICATION:</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">The ‘ins and outs’ of effective communication are discussed in other&nbsp;articles that can be found on this site, so I won’t go into that topic again in this one, but would like to remind&nbsp;you that the discussion of all things - whether good or bad, joyful or&nbsp;painful - is essential to building and maintaining a healthy couple’s&nbsp;relationship. I would also like to remind you that good communication&nbsp;skills can be learnt.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">In order to re-open their communication channels Grace and Adam&nbsp;decided on a 20 minute time-slot after work to take a relaxation break&nbsp;and have a chat about their day before tackling the usual dinner-time&nbsp;chaos. They also made the commitment to escape their home one night&nbsp;a week for the specific purpose of reconnecting.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">2. TIME FOR DREAMING, VISIONING and GOAL SETTING:&nbsp;</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Together-times provide wonderful opportunities for sharing one’s&nbsp;personal hopes, dreams and visions. For Adam and Grace it was&nbsp;important to re-establish some of their old and create some new&nbsp;dreams as well as setting new relationship goals.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Questions that could be explored during this time are:&nbsp;</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• “How would we like our relationship to be in 2 years time?”&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• “What would we like to see happen with our family relationships&nbsp;by the end of the year?”&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• “What can we do towards making these dreams and visions a&nbsp;reality?”&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">3. TIME FOR PLAYING:</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">It’s so important to make special time together that is simply used for&nbsp;playing. Whether the play-time is spent playing a sport together, going&nbsp;to fun places, enjoying board or card games, going to concerts, the&nbsp;circus or the movies really doesn’t matter. All that matters it that it adds&nbsp;a sense of wellbeing, relaxation and fun to the relationship. Adam and&nbsp;Grace decided that they could make best use of their playtime by&nbsp;combining it with their exercise needs and chose to use it for learning&nbsp;to play golf. Last I heard, they were having great fun in the process.</span><br /><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br /></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-4985462990653405693?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-78450131714318097042011-09-14T14:40:00.001+10:002011-09-14T14:46:02.540+10:00Communication Can Make Or Break Your Love Relationship<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_rSzIcl8hoA/TnAwEuJTcYI/AAAAAAAAAgM/-X7n2y5l4Lw/s1600/Angry+Couple.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_rSzIcl8hoA/TnAwEuJTcYI/AAAAAAAAAgM/-X7n2y5l4Lw/s320/Angry+Couple.jpg" width="213" /></a></div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">The next vital building block to creating a solid foundation for a healthy&nbsp;and satisfying marriage, de-facto partnership or other couples&nbsp;relationship is effective communication. Effective communication is an&nbsp;art that can be learnt. Whilst verbal communication is its most obvious&nbsp;form it is also important to recognise that much, and in fact most of our&nbsp;communication, occurs through body language.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">(</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">a) Body language:</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">If you haven’t consciously thought about that aspect of&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />communicating ask yourself how you would feel if:&nbsp;</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><br /><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br />• Your partner raised an eyebrow in response to something you’ve&nbsp;just said.<br />• Your husband smiled and nodded in agreement as you speak.<br />• You detected a smirk on your wife’s face as you are telling her&nbsp;something that’s really important to you.<br />• You partner didn’t take her eyes off you whilst you speak.<br />• Your de-facto barely suppressed a yawn whilst you are telling&nbsp;him about something that made you really sad.<br />• Your lover’s facial expression was one of great compassion and&nbsp;concern.<br /><br />The feelings you’ve just identified are a clear illustration of the&nbsp;importance of body language. As you have the power to tear your&nbsp;partner down by merely raising your eyebrows at the wrong time, or to&nbsp;build him or her up by giving a nod or smile at the right time, isn’t it a&nbsp;worthwhile exercise to learn as much as you can about body&nbsp;language? Once learnt and used wisely, your knowledge will be of&nbsp;great benefit to everyone you love.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Just to get you started on that process, a few simple rules of effective&nbsp;body language are as follows:&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br /></span><br />• Look at your partner whilst conversing with him or her.<br />• When something important is to be discussed, stop doing&nbsp;whatever it is you are doing at the time and give your husband<br />or wife your full attention.<br />• Let your lover know by your facial expression that you are&nbsp;listening to him or her.<br />• Ensure that your facial expression is friendly (or at least neutral)&nbsp;when you look at them.<br />• Smile at your partner often.<br />• Also remember that a gentle touch, embrace and kiss can&nbsp;speak louder than words.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">(b) Verbal communication:&nbsp;</span><br /><br />Basically, verbal communication is a series of two people taking it in&nbsp;turn to transmit and receive information. Easy, right? Wrong!!!! I&nbsp;couldn’t count the times I hear a couple’s complaints: “He never hears&nbsp;what I say” or “She just won’t listen to reason!”<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Let’s look at an example of destructive communication:&nbsp;</span><br /><br />It’s Thursday night: Jenny, seething with frustration, shouts at Robert&nbsp;who appears to be glued to the television: “I am sick of you! You come&nbsp;home, turn on the telly, grab a beer and plonk yourself in a chair. You&nbsp;are rude and lazy. You don’t kiss me when you come in, you never&nbsp;help and I hate it when you ignore me all the time”.<br />Robert replies, his voice dripping with sarcasm: “Well, if you wouldn’t&nbsp;always start nagging me the moment I walk through the door I might&nbsp;be a little more talkative and, who knows, even be helpful.”<br />Thus begins yet another fight in the Selling’s household.<br /><br />What could Jenny and Robert do differently to get a more positive&nbsp;result?<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Consider the following 10 points to <a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=191:the-importance-of-assertiveness-in-relationships&amp;catid=37:counselling-area&amp;Itemid=55">more effective communication</a>:&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Jenny’s frustration is boiling over - clearly this issue has been festering&nbsp;for a while.</span><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 1</span>&nbsp;– Areas of concern or conflict should be addressed long before&nbsp;they become huge mountains of anger and frustration.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Jenny shouts.</span><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 2</span>&nbsp;- Issues of concern or conflict should never be addressed whilst&nbsp;seething with frustration. At frustration point your capacity to think&nbsp;clearly and rationally is diminished as your emotion is in control of your&nbsp;tongue and your actions. This may cause you to do or to say things you&nbsp;later regret.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 3</span>&nbsp;– Issue of concern or conflict should be raised in a calm, non-attacking and non-judgmental manner. Attacking and judging merely&nbsp;raises your partner’s defence mechanism, which may either cause him&nbsp;to shut you out (won’t hear you) or to counter-attack (yell back).<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Robert is plonked in front of the TV at the end of a week-day.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 4</span>&nbsp;– Times for discussing areas of concerns or conflicts should be&nbsp;chosen carefully. Addressing them when either you or your partner is&nbsp;overtired, exhausted or in a rush will not bring the desired result.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">“I am sick of you! You are rude and lazy”&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 5</span>&nbsp;– Always separate the person from their behaviour. Express clearly&nbsp;how you feel about his actions, but do not slander him in the process.&nbsp;Calling Robert rude and lazy does little more than attack his character.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">“You don’t kiss me when you come in, you never help and I hate it&nbsp;when you ignore me all the time”.</span><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 6&nbsp;</span>– Share your feelings appropriately and phrase discontent in&nbsp;language that leaves the other person’s self-esteem intact. This makes&nbsp;it much easier for your partner to ‘hear’ and understand your needs,&nbsp;wishes and desires.<br /><br />Example: “I am hurt by your action” rather than “I am sick of&nbsp;you”. “I am unhappy with the fact that I need to do all the<br />evening chores without your help” rather than “you are lazy”. “I&nbsp;feel unappreciated and really hurt when you ignore me, etc.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Robert replies, his voice dripping with sarcasm.&nbsp;</span><br />Sarcasm gives a message of disrespect and is a one of the many&nbsp;*communication killers that have the power to destroy relationships.<br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 7&nbsp;</span>– Give your partner undivided attention. When you discuss issues&nbsp;of concern or conflict your body language should express your&nbsp;willingness to ‘hear’ what your partner has to say.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">“If you wouldn’t always nag at me the moment I walk through the&nbsp;door…”</span><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 8</span>&nbsp;– Do not counter-attack. Counter-attacking simply escalates&nbsp;the conflict and brings neither of you closer to a useful resolution.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 9</span>&nbsp;– Do not defend yourself. Rather than defending your actions,&nbsp;which is what most people do when they feel attacked, you need to&nbsp;make an attempt to hear what your partner is really trying to say.<br /><br />• Listen attentively to your partner’s concerns.<br />• Accept that these are real for her regardless of how you might&nbsp;feel about them.<br />• Appreciate that your love-partner is giving you a key to her&nbsp;heart.<br />• Apologise for hurting her.<br />• Find out what she needs from you to feel physically and&nbsp;emotionally connected and supported.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">…”I might be a little more talkative and maybe even a bit helpful.”&nbsp;</span><br />Once you’ve got the REAL message (as in the example above) and&nbsp;have accepted her emotions, concerns and grievances the door is&nbsp;wide open for you to bring your concerns and grievances by following&nbsp;the same process.<br /><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Point 10</span>&nbsp;– Make your own case and choose a way forward. No doubt&nbsp;you have reasons for your actions that seem legitimate to you and&nbsp;need to be aired. Perhaps you are feeling exhausted, overworked,&nbsp;overloaded? Maybe you were raised in a home where mum was the&nbsp;family slave. Maybe you are upset over something totally unrelated.&nbsp;Who knows???<br /><br />Unless the <a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/communicationstyles.pdf">communication channels</a> are opened between you and&nbsp;your partner, neither will EVER know what REALLY goes on in the other&nbsp;person’s head and heart. Without this knowledge there will be more&nbsp;and more fighting until one or both of you decide that it is ‘all too hard’&nbsp;and withdraw emotionally. Once emotionally withdrawn, reconciliation<br />becomes very difficult and your marriage is in serious trouble.<br /><br />Sharing deeply brings many rewards. Both of you feel ‘heard’ and&nbsp;‘understood’. As a consequence your self-esteem rises, you feel&nbsp;emotionally connected, nurtured, supported and truly loved.<br /><br />Congratulations, you’ve successfully cemented yet another important&nbsp;building block into the foundation of your couple’s relationship.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-7845013171431809704?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-64416573501857570092011-09-06T07:49:00.000+10:002011-09-06T07:52:25.112+10:00The Role Of Commitment In Your Love Relationship<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sIKxnycH7K4/TmVDlQ0ndbI/AAAAAAAAAgE/IPJ9-v2S0xE/s1600/couple+laughing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sIKxnycH7K4/TmVDlQ0ndbI/AAAAAAAAAgE/IPJ9-v2S0xE/s1600/couple+laughing.jpg" /></a></div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">The Oxford Dictionary states that commitment means an engagement&nbsp;or obligation that restricts freedom of action. Translated into practical&nbsp;terms this looks as follows:</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• If I am committed to truth I choose not to exercise the freedom&nbsp;to lie.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• If I am committed to a healthy lifestyle I make a choice to forgo&nbsp;the freedom of eating pizza every night of the week, drinking&nbsp;excessive amounts of alcohol or eating huge slices of chocolate&nbsp;cake.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">• If I am committed to fitness I ignore the freedom to snuggle up in&nbsp;my warm bed rather than go for a chilly morning run.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">So, how does this work in the relationship realm?</strong></span><br /><br /><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">When I commit to my partner - at the point of marriage or other&nbsp;binding partnership agreement - I make a conscious choice to say&nbsp;“NO” to any other love relationship. I choose not to look over the fence&nbsp;where the grass might appear greener. I decide to deal with difficult&nbsp;partnership issues when they arise rather than letting them build up to&nbsp;explosion point, or worse, to the point where I can no longer stand the&nbsp;sight of my partner. I share my concerns with my partner rather than&nbsp;taking them to my friend of the opposite sex who may appear to&nbsp;understand all my woes. I don’t entertain thoughts of how&nbsp;uncomplicated, wonderful and easy my life would be in another&nbsp;relationship….perhaps with&nbsp;<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">soandso</em>who is super sexy or&nbsp;<em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">suchandsuch</em>&nbsp;who is a real SNAG (sensitive new age guy). Instead, I remind myself of&nbsp;the fact - when temptation strikes - that I have made a binding&nbsp;agreement that restricts my freedom to take any action that would&nbsp;irreparably damage the relationship with my partner.<br /><br />I can just hear some of you mumble under your breath: ‘That’s easy for you to say….you&nbsp;aren’t married to MY husband!’ or ‘You have no idea how hard it&nbsp;is…you don’t live in my circumstances!’ And you are right. I don’t know&nbsp;what it is like in YOUR shoes. But I have, for 30 years, remained in&nbsp;a marriage that has had its own share of ups and downs, as those&nbsp;of you who’ve read my book would know. So, let me assure you that I&nbsp;know it isn’t easy but I also know that it can be done.<br /><br />It's important to recognise that for a couple’s relationship to function well both partners need to be committed.<br /><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Commitment in a couple’s relationship means:&nbsp;</strong><br /><br />Till death do us part, through sickness and in health, for richer and for&nbsp;poorer we choose to work together in making our marriage the best it&nbsp;can be; we deal with issues as they arise; we talk about our concerns,&nbsp;worries and grievances with one-another; we move closer together&nbsp;when the going gets tough; we give each other respect and honour&nbsp;even when we don’t particularly feel like it. Commitment means that I&nbsp;support my partner (without expecting anything in return) when he or&nbsp;she is in need of special attention and that I can rely on him or her to&nbsp;support me in a similar way when it is my turn to need some extra help.&nbsp;When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence I ensure&nbsp;that I make an extra effort to nurture the grass on my side so that it will become more luscious and more desirable to me than any other.<br /><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Finally, let me say that without commitment you have nothing. Without&nbsp;commitment your relationship house is built on sand and will NEVER&nbsp;withstand the many challenges life has in store for you.</strong></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-6441657350185757009?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-49953356778359832982011-08-24T12:19:00.001+10:002011-08-24T12:22:56.892+10:00The Importance of Respect In Your Love Relationship<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BaYiTJiuRZg/TlRgbLoXr-I/AAAAAAAAAgA/WpICLRB5cOo/s1600/couples+at+beach.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BaYiTJiuRZg/TlRgbLoXr-I/AAAAAAAAAgA/WpICLRB5cOo/s320/couples+at+beach.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">RESPECT i</span>s a vital ingredient for the creation of a happy, healthy and&nbsp;satisfying marriage, de-facto relationship or, in fact, ANY relationship.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><b>Respecting your partner means</b> acknowledging and accepting them as an individual with their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, strengths&nbsp;and frailties, all of which may be very different from yours. Respecting&nbsp;your partner does not necessarily mean agreeing with their beliefs&nbsp;and values. It does mean, however, recognising those things as&nbsp;belonging to them and as being an important part of what makes&nbsp;them the unique individual they are.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">It's essential that we acknowledge their thoughts, feelings, beliefs etc... as valid even if, at times, we fail to understand them. We must not belittle them,&nbsp;should never make fun of them and resist any urges we may have to&nbsp;punish our partner for them. This, by the way does not mean that we should never challenge our partner’s attitudes or behaviour, especially if that behaviour is inappropriate, unhelpful, destructive or in any other way has a negative impact on us. However, for this kind of challenge to be&nbsp;effective it needs to be made in a respectful manner that separates our partner’s actions from who they are as a person, and we need to do so in a way that leaves&nbsp;their dignity intact.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">For a love relationship to thrive, respect needs to be mutual.&nbsp;Being treated with respect is vital to a person's emotional well-being. Feeling respected helps us recognise our value and worth, increases our self-esteem&nbsp;and fulfills our need for relational safety. Mutual respect is&nbsp;also essential to effective conflict resolution.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">To illustrate this point, let’s look the following scenario:</span></span></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Sandy’s partner Tom believes that in order to retain a good relationship&nbsp;with his children from his first marriage he needs to allow them to do as&nbsp;they please. After all, they only visit every second weekend and only&nbsp;spend one week-night at Sandy and Tom’s house. Sandy strongly&nbsp;disagrees with Tom’s views and feels that by not creating any limits for&nbsp;his children he is not only doing them a disservice but is also&nbsp;demonstrating a lack of consideration and love for her.<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />Sandy and Tom have had many heated arguments about this issue.&nbsp;They’ve had angry confrontations during which they’ve called each&nbsp;other hurtful names. Doors have been slammed, tears have been shed&nbsp;and a variety of ‘punishments’ have followed these run-ins ... from Sandy giving Tom the cold-shoulder treatment to Tom refusing to come home&nbsp;until the early hours of the morning. Despite the fact that Sandy and&nbsp;Tom love each other dearly they often are miserable and plain<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />unhappy.</em><br /><br /><span style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">How could this scenario be changed in an atmosphere of mutual respect?</span></span></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Sandy would acknowledge that whilst she definitely disagrees with&nbsp;Tom’s view on how to deal with his children she accepts there is a&nbsp;reason for which he has this view that, no doubt, makes sense to him.&nbsp;The moment she demonstrates this kind of respect for him, Tom no&nbsp;longer needs his wall of defence. In the safety of knowing that he&nbsp;won’t be ‘attacked’ for his view, he can now explore the whys and&nbsp;wherefores of the beliefs he holds regarding his children. Doing this<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />without his defences in place there is a good chance that he&nbsp;recognizes, and is even able to admit, that his views are based on fear&nbsp;and are neither wise nor helpful to his relationship with his children or to his relationship with Sandy. Recognition leads to understanding. Understanding leads&nbsp;to acknowledgement. Acknowledgement opens the door to change.&nbsp;</em></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Alternatively, Tom could ask Sandy why she feels so strongly about this&nbsp;issue and why she interprets it as a lack of consideration and love for&nbsp;her. If this is asked in the spirit of ‘I really want to understand what’s&nbsp;going on for you’ Sandy will be able to verbalise her thoughts and feelings&nbsp;with honesty and without getting too fired up in the process. She will also be able&nbsp;to tell him how she sees his unwillingness to place limitations on his&nbsp;children impacting their sense of safety, security and emotional health;&nbsp;how this is making any weekend planning impossible; how frustrated&nbsp;and powerless she feels when he gives the children permission to do as&nbsp;they please whilst in their home; how it feels as though she has no rights&nbsp;and, in fact, has no place in her own home whilst the children are&nbsp;there. In an atmosphere of mutual respect these comments are made&nbsp;without acrimony and are received without the walls of defence going up.&nbsp;Tom accepts that Sandy’s feelings are valid and that in order to retain&nbsp;their relationship he will need to make some changes.</em></div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Can you, by this example, see the importance of mutual respect as a foundation block&nbsp;for your relationship? If you can and feel that this is not yet in place or perhaps isn't strong enough to withstand the stresses and strains of everyday life, it's vital that you make the&nbsp;all-important decision to, together with your partner, work on this issue.&nbsp;It is never too late to implement new ways of relating and it is the kind&nbsp;of investment in your future that will pay rich dividends.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-4995335677835983298?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-42240680652389440792011-08-13T13:10:00.000+10:002011-08-13T13:10:44.634+10:00Trust In Relationship - What Does It Mean?<div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #cc0000;">Following my last post, I'll now start taking an in-depth look at the 8 foundation building blocks that are essential for building a lasting love relationship. Today we take a look at TRUST.&nbsp;</span></i></strong><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br /></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cNVRl8oesUI/TkXrJC_Ka6I/AAAAAAAAAf4/fTG3649CHn4/s1600/couple+-+dark+skin+%2528not+yet+used%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cNVRl8oesUI/TkXrJC_Ka6I/AAAAAAAAAf4/fTG3649CHn4/s1600/couple+-+dark+skin+%2528not+yet+used%2529.jpg" /></a></div><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">TRUST</strong>&nbsp;is the main building block for a happy and healthy partnership. It&nbsp;provides the safety and security that enables us to open our ‘innermost&nbsp;self’ to our life-partner. As it’s those treasures that live in the recesses of&nbsp;our heart that make us the unique beings we are, it’s essential to our&nbsp;sense of being fully known and loved that we allow our partner to enter&nbsp;that space. If we do not feel safe enough with our partner to let them&nbsp;see our strengths and frailties, our likes and dislikes, our hopes and fears,&nbsp;our relationship will be an unfulfilling, insecure and empty one. It will be&nbsp;one in which we never know whether we are fully loved, accepted&nbsp;and appreciated just for who we are.</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">As this often is even more difficult to establish in a blended family&nbsp;circumstance where trust is frequently challenged by circumstances that&nbsp;are outside of our control, I’ve chosen to set a scene that illustrates&nbsp;such a situation.&nbsp;Imagine the following:</div><div style="-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; border-collapse: collapse; color: #353f48; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="color: #993300; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="color: black; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Rita feels as though she always comes a sad last in her partner’s life.&nbsp;When Bob’s children stay in their home they seem to take up all his&nbsp;time. He asks them how they would like to spend the weekend and&nbsp;entertains them from morning till night. How she would like to spend the&nbsp;weekend doesn’t seem to matter to him at all. When his ex-wife calls,&nbsp;Bob jumps to attention. He vows that this is only because he wants to&nbsp;keep things amicable between them (for the sake of the children!) but&nbsp;Rita wonders time and again why he is so quick to respond to his ex-wife’s calls but seems to be super-glued to whatever he is doing when&nbsp;she (Rita) wants something from him and whenever she queries him&nbsp;about this, he just tells her ‘not to be so stupid!”&nbsp;</span></em></span><span style="color: #993300; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="color: black; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" /></span></em></span><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span style="color: black; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />In another house, in another town Simon is at the end of his tether.&nbsp;Each time Evelyn’s daughter complains to her mum about him, his wife&nbsp;(Evelyn) ‘loses the plot’, tells him what a big mistake it was that she&nbsp;married him; that her first partner was a much better father than he is&nbsp;and that there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t consider&nbsp;leaving him.&nbsp;</span></em><br />Would you say that there these relationships are based on a&nbsp;foundation of trust? Before you read on, give yourself a moment to&nbsp;consider the following questions:<br /><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">* Who are the people in your life whom you trust implicitly?<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* What is it about those people that makes them trustworthy?&nbsp;<br style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" />* What are the qualities that engender trust?</strong><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br /></strong><br /><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Let’s take a look at the most obvious trust-inducing qualities:&nbsp;</strong></em><br /><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Honesty&nbsp;</strong>– People who value honesty don’t lie. If they do something&nbsp;wrong or make a mistake they don’t make excuses, fob you off or&nbsp;whitewash the truth. Honest people usually do what they say and have&nbsp;no trouble standing up for what they do. <br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Loyalty</strong>&nbsp;– Loyal people are those who stand by you even when it’s&nbsp;uncomfortable or inconvenient; even if it makes them unpopular or&nbsp;puts them in a difficult position.<br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Reliability&nbsp;</strong>– Reliable people are those who carry out their promises&nbsp;even when they don’t feel like it. They will do what they commit to&nbsp;doing and if, for some unforeseen reason they are unable to do so, will&nbsp;let you know as soon as they become aware of this themselves. <br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Predictability</strong>&nbsp;- Predictable people act in consistent ways. They do not&nbsp;swing like pendulums from being loving, caring and kind one moment&nbsp;to becoming rageaholics the next. They are stable in all their ways.<br /><br /><em style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #990000;">Questions you need to ask yourself about your love-partnership:&nbsp;</span></strong></em><br /><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">How big is the building block of trust in your relationship?&nbsp;</strong><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Is it sturdy&nbsp;enough to be part of the foundation that holds up your partnership&nbsp;house?&nbsp;</strong><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Is it solid enough to withstand a storm or two? &nbsp;</strong><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><br /></strong><br /><strong style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #990000;">If your answer is ‘no’, what will you do about it?</span></strong></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-4224068065238944079?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-29746549167777187082011-07-31T11:47:00.000+10:002011-07-31T11:47:42.339+10:00How To Build A Lasting Love Relationship<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vSPKDf1eekk/TjSzL1chnFI/AAAAAAAAAfs/wJsG1M7GCdk/s1600/bHappy_Mature_Couple.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vSPKDf1eekk/TjSzL1chnFI/AAAAAAAAAfs/wJsG1M7GCdk/s320/bHappy_Mature_Couple.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="post-body entry-content" id="post-body-3028539065354662688" style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.4; position: relative; width: 498px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: red;"><i><br /></i></span></div><div class="post-body entry-content" id="post-body-3028539065354662688" style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.4; position: relative; width: 498px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: red;"><i>Marriages are breaking up at an alarming rate - yes, even in Australia!</i></span></div><div class="post-body entry-content" id="post-body-3028539065354662688" style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.4; position: relative; width: 498px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: red;"><i>So, what’s new? Gossip magazines are filled with celebrity breakups week after week and as tends to follow, we (the general public) more and more accept 2nd, 3rd and even subsequent marriages as being ‘the norm’. But at what cost? What is the real cost of separation? And I am not referring to the financial cost, although that can be absolutely debilitating. What I am talking about is the mental and emotional cost - the stress and distress that accompanies separation and divorce.</i></span><br /><br />After separation or divorce at least one of you is wading through the splinters of your shattered dreams. Where children are involved, they too are left to pick up the pieces - pieces that are far too heavy for little people. Often working with couples who go through this process all I can say is that the cost is enormous.<br /><br /><i>So, what can you do? How can you make sure that your relationship is one of those that's going to last?</i><br /><br />You need to build it! Yes, you need to put into this process just as much time, effort, planning, goal setting and plain old elbow-grease as you would if you were going to build a house. A love relationship, just like a house, needs strong and solid foundations. My understanding - although I’m not a builder - is that a house needs a concrete slab before it can be successfully built. So, imagine your house going up on a slab of dirt, gravel or sand. How long would it take before it would come crumbling down? Would it be able to withstand gusts of rain, wind storms or the heat of summer? I doubt it!!!<br /><br />We need to recognize that the same is true for a love relationship. Unless it is built on a solid foundation, it won’t take much to shake it, crack it and, eventually, break it. The building blocks that ensure that your relationship house is built on a strong and sturdy foundation are:<br /><br />TRUST<br />RESPECT<br />COMMITMENT<br />EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION<br />TOGETHERNESS<br />SEPARATENESS<br />TOLERANCE<br />FORGIVENESS<br /><br /><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: red;">Please join me as we'll for the next so many weeks I take an in-depth look at these individual building blocks.</span></i><br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Love begins when the needs of someone else become more important than your own.<br />(Lao Wei, Strawberry Wisdom)</span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-2974654916777718708?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-19805178794333801202011-07-16T18:06:00.000+10:002011-07-16T18:06:12.273+10:00The Gift Of Imperfection<div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #cc0000;"><i><b>Having just watched this TED video entitled 'The Gift Of Imperfection' I feel that it is truly worth sharing. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this.</b></i></span></div><div><br /></div><object height="326" width="446"><param name="movie" value="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="wmode" value="transparent"><param name="bgColor" value="#ffffff"><param name="flashvars" value="vu=http://video.ted.com/talks/dynamic/BreneBrown_2010X-medium.flv&amp;su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/BreneBrown-2010X.embed_thumbnail.jpg&amp;vw=432&amp;vh=240&amp;ap=0&amp;ti=1042&amp;lang=eng&amp;introDuration=15330&amp;adDuration=4000&amp;postAdDuration=830&amp;adKeys=talk=brene_brown_on_vulnerability;year=2010;theme=a_taste_of_tedx;theme=how_the_mind_works;theme=what_makes_us_happy;event=TEDxHouston;tag=Culture;tag=communication;tag=social+change;&amp;preAdTag=tconf.ted/embed;tile=1;sz=512x288;"><embed src="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="446" height="326" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" flashvars="vu=http://video.ted.com/talks/dynamic/BreneBrown_2010X-medium.flv&amp;su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/BreneBrown-2010X.embed_thumbnail.jpg&amp;vw=432&amp;vh=240&amp;ap=0&amp;ti=1042&amp;lang=eng&amp;introDuration=15330&amp;adDuration=4000&amp;postAdDuration=830&amp;adKeys=talk=brene_brown_on_vulnerability;year=2010;theme=a_taste_of_tedx;theme=how_the_mind_works;theme=what_makes_us_happy;event=TEDxHouston;tag=Culture;tag=communication;tag=social+change;"></object><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-1980517879433380120?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-5694094479696066342011-07-03T17:19:00.009+10:002011-07-03T17:51:27.861+10:00Helping Your Teen To Have a More Positive Body Image<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uwupSC0pKO8/ThAegIXWKxI/AAAAAAAAAes/6D8NQHyxXGk/s1600/article-page-main-ehow-images-a05-sa-6l-teen-positive-body-image-800x800.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 196px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uwupSC0pKO8/ThAegIXWKxI/AAAAAAAAAes/6D8NQHyxXGk/s200/article-page-main-ehow-images-a05-sa-6l-teen-positive-body-image-800x800.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5625029471935802130" /></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial;"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">A healthy body image is key to happiness and well-being. Many teens suffer from a poor body image. They are subject to low self-esteem, depression, bouts of dieting and binging, and long-term eating disorders. Parents can help their teens develop a more positive body image.</span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"></span>1. Avoid talking excessively about food and calories. Don't obsess over food yourself.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">2. Don't talk about your weight, your teen's weight or someone else's weight. Don't make comments about other people looking "good" because they have lost weight.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">3. Have fun, but nutritious, food available in your home 24/7, as teens get hungry all the time. Unusual shaped crackers, cheese sticks, carrot and celery sticks, peanut butter crackers, and deli meats are all good snack options.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">4. Make food interesting. Find healthy and fun </span><a href="http://www.ehow.com/recipes/"><span style="text-decoration:none;text-underline:nonecolor:#A92300;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">recipes</span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> you can make with your teen or your teen can make with a friend. Smoothies are one option. They are nutritious, easy to make and can be made in a variety of flavors.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">5. Limit the amount of media to which your teen is exposed. Watch television with her and talk about the media images she sees, like super-skinny models. Try to read </span><a href="http://www.ehow.com/fashion/"><span style="text-decoration: none;text-underline:nonecolor:#A92300;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">beauty</span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> magazines with her, so you can talk about unrealistic body images that are portrayed. If possible, keep track of the websites she visits, so you can also discuss those with her, if necessary.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">6. Give him compliments. Compliment his appearance when he looks nice. Give him unexpected compliments. Tell him he looks cute when he first gets out of bed in the morning. Remember to compliment his actions too. Actions are just as important as appearance.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">7. Encourage positive-self talk. Never let your teen body-bash herself in your presence.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">8. Lead by example. Never say anything negative about your body in your teen's presence. Practice your own positive-self talk in front of your teen.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">9. Help develop your teen's talents. Encourage </span><a href="http://www.ehow.com/hobbies-games/"><span style=" text-decoration:none;text-underline:nonecolor:#A92300;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">hobbies</span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, interest in arts and crafts and music and participation in sports. Excelling at extra-curricular activities will help promote self-esteem.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">10. Keep the lines of communication open. Let your teen know she can talk to you about any subject. Do not be afraid to bring up body self-image with her, if you see her struggling with it.</span></p><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Article Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_6170837_teen-positive-body-image.html</span></i></p> <!--EndFragment--> </span><p></p><!--EndFragment--><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-569409447969606634?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-38283674024787217652011-06-18T10:23:00.005+10:002011-06-18T10:33:29.231+10:00Building A Happier Future<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aDowc57KNuU/Tfvw27mvvsI/AAAAAAAAAeI/7njVHNWK0zQ/s1600/Family%2BConflict.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 136px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aDowc57KNuU/Tfvw27mvvsI/AAAAAAAAAeI/7njVHNWK0zQ/s200/Family%2BConflict.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5619349786578632386" /></a><br /><!--StartFragment--> <p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">All loving parents want the best for their children. You do everything humanly possible to provide for them, to enrich their lives, and to make them feel loved. Perhaps now more than ever, you are acutely conscious of wanting to give your child all the love, support, and guidance he or she needs, but suddenly everything seems harder and more complicated. You and your family are not alone. For more than half of all North American children, divorce is a fact of life.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span><span class="abyline"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">By M. Gary Neuman and Patricia Romanowski</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /><br /></span><span class="abody"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">How parents handle their divorce determines a lot about how their children will fare, both today and tomorrow. That sounds like a big responsibility, and it is. But it is also an incredible opportunity, for no one -- no psychologist, member of the clergy, teacher, friend, or relative -- shares with your child the extraordinary relationship you two have. No one knows your child better than you do, and no one is in a better position to give him the security, guidance, structure, and support he needs now. You may not be a child development expert, but you are something much better: a concerned, conscientious, and loving parent who's willing to learn how to help your child. With your help, your child will not only be shielded from unnecessary pain and confusion surrounding divorce, he will grow and thrive. One day he will be able to look back on his childhood as a loving, joyful time touched by divorce, not a once-blissful state ruined forever by divorce.</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p><span class="asubhead"><b><u><span style="font-family:Arial;color:#FF6666;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Time for a change</span></span></u></b></span><b><u><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> <o:p></o:p></span></span></u></b></p> <p><span class="abody"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">The first step we should take as parents, teachers, and concerned adults is to change our thinking about divorce. We need to realize and to begin acting as if we believe that divorce is an appropriate option for a troubled couple who cannot resolve their differences. In fact, many studies have determined that children living in high-conflict but "intact" families grow up with more problems than children from low-conflict, divorced families.</span></span></span><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> <o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p><span class="abody"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">We must stop regarding new family structures -- single-parent, step, and blended -- as somehow inferior and support these families for what they are: real families. We owe it to our children and to ourselves to acknowledge the positive lessons that can emerge from divorce and to communicate with our children so that those lessons can be learned.</span></span></span><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p><span class="abody"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">I'm always fascinated that we can look back on even the most dire tragedy and see it as a catalyst for emotional growth, yet fail to view divorce in the same light as, say, a parent's death or some other uncontrollable event. Until we separate social, largely theoretical attitudes toward the institution of divorce from our feelings toward those who must experience it, we force families already struggling to rebuild their lives and reshape their dreams to bear an additional burden. In doing so, we punish the children by increasing their alienation and diminishing their self-esteem.</span></span></span><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p><span class="asubhead"><b><u><span style="font-family:Arial;color:#FF6666;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Your child's greatest asset: you</span></span></u></b></span><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><u><span style="font-family:Arial;font-size:14.0pt;"> <o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p><p><span class="asubhead"><b><u><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#333333;"><a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/index.php?view=article&amp;catid=37%3Acounselling-area&amp;id=207%3Abuilding-a-happier-future&amp;option=com_content&amp;Itemid=55">Click here</a> <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;">for the complete article. </span></span></span></span></u></b></span></p> <!--EndFragment--><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-3828367402478721765?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-67408221887130746502011-06-03T10:17:00.008+10:002011-06-03T10:31:22.093+10:00Story Of The Blind Girl<span class="Apple-style-span" style=" ;font-size:medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial;"><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" ;font-size:medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">The other day I found the following 'story' in my inbox. As it touched my heart and I believe it contains a very important kernel of truth, I thought I'd post it for you today...</span></i></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" ;font-size:medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial;"><br /></span></span></div>There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I would marry You.'<br /><br />One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend. He asked her, 'Now that you can see the world will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.<br /><br />Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours they were mine.'<br /><br />This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.<br /><br />LIFE IS A GIFT<br /><br />Today before you say an unkind word - think of someone who can't speak.<br /><br />Before you complain about the taste of your food - think of someone who has nothing to eat.<br /><br />Before you complain about your husband or wife - think of someone who is desperate for a companion.<br /><br />Today before you complain about life - think of someone who lost theirs far too early.<br /><br />Before you complain about your children - think of someone who desires children but are barren.<br /><br />Before you argue about your dirty house that someone forgot to clean - think of the people who are living in the streets.<br /><br />Before whining about the distance you drive - think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.<br /><br />And when you are tired and complain about your job - think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.<br /><br />Before you think of pointing the finger of blame or condemning another - remember that not one of us is without flaws and examine your own heart.<br /><br />....and when depressing thoughts get you down - put a smile on your face and thank God for today.</span></span><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" ;font-size:medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial;"><br /></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" ;font-size:medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial;">(Anon)<br /><br /></span></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-6740822188713074650?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-7180630763739634652011-05-24T06:36:00.005+10:002011-05-24T06:46:54.177+10:00How to Set Boundaries And Curfews for Teenagers<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mPqnAT3RlRM/TdrHXAUsG3I/AAAAAAAAAc8/Q845nduDeQM/s1600/TSS%2B-%2Bangry%2Bparents%2Bwith%2Bteen.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 193px; height: 200px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mPqnAT3RlRM/TdrHXAUsG3I/AAAAAAAAAc8/Q845nduDeQM/s200/TSS%2B-%2Bangry%2Bparents%2Bwith%2Bteen.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5610015483881069426" /></a><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" ;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><p id="intelliTxt" class="intro" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; ">Making the transition from childhood to adolescence can be difficult for both parents and kids. At this time, the parent-child <a class="StrongLink" href="http://www.ehow.com/relationships-and-family/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(189, 51, 8); ">relationship</a> changes. Teenagers seek greater independence, which is a natural and normal part of development.<br /><br />Parents often struggle to find a balance between giving their child greater freedom and setting necessary boundaries. Although it can be a challenge, parents need to let go and help their teen make good, responsible decisions. Since teenagers are changing rapidly, it is normal for parents to feel a lack of control and for <a class="StrongLink" href="http://www.ehow.com/relationships-and-family/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(189, 51, 8); ">family</a> conflict to increase.<br /><br />Clear communication and understanding boundaries, such as curfews, can help to ease some of this discord.</p><section class="Module body FLC" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; clear: both; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><h2 class="Underline sectionTitle Heading2" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 30px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: normal; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -1px; font-family:Georgia;font-size:24px;color:initial;"><span class="line" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 7px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(255, 168, 0); font-family:inherit;font-size:24px;">Instructions</span></h2><section style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><ol id="intelliTxt" class="steps" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><li class="section" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><ul style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(255, 168, 0); font-family:serif;font-size:30px;">1</span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><p face="sans-serif" size="14px" color="initial" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; ">Create boundaries and rules in conjunction with your teenager. Set rules and discuss them with your teenager. Make sure that he understands the reasoning behind these rules and you come to an agreement that works for everyone. Teenagers respond well to parents who have high expectations, but also grant them a certain amount of autonomy.</p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(255, 168, 0); font-family:serif;font-size:30px;">2</span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><p face="sans-serif" size="14px" color="initial" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; ">Be straightforward. Avoid being sneaky or manipulative. Manipulation will make your child question whether he can trust you, and he may avoid discussing important topics with you. It will also increase arguments.</p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(255, 168, 0); font-family:serif;font-size:30px;">3</span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; ">Set curfews together. Setting curfews is an important way to keep your family <a class="StrongLink" href="http://www.ehow.com/culture-and-society/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(189, 51, 8); ">culture</a> intact and create boundaries for your teenager. Allow him to have a say; this will increase his feelings of independence and effectiveness and create greater respect for the new rule. Create a curfew time that is age-appropriate, but don't be afraid to compromise if necessary. Discuss consequences of breaking this rule. It is important that your teen feels that the consequences are fair and make sense.</p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(255, 168, 0); font-family:serif;font-size:30px;">4</span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; ">Remind your teen of the curfew you have agreed upon before he goes out for the evening. This will help to reinforce the agreed-upon rule. You can do this by posting a reminder on the family calendar and offering a gentle verbal reminder.</p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:12px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(255, 168, 0); font-family:serif;font-size:30px;">5</span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; ">Enforce consequences for broken rules, but avoid dogmatism. Allow a buffer of a few minutes, particularly if your teen is driving. This will let him be late without speeding. Discuss the reasons that he is late and allow him to explain his tardiness. Remember that everyone faces issues such as traffic jams and flat tires at times. If he continues to break the rule, remind him of the consequences and enforce them.</p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-family: sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: normal; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#333333;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">By Rebeca Renata</span></span></span></p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-family: sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: normal; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#333333;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_7721508_set-boundaries-curfew-teenagers.html</span></span></span></p></div></div></li></ul></li></ol></section></section></span><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-718063076373963465?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-44451040671940514842011-05-16T21:47:00.005+10:002011-05-16T21:52:22.911+10:00Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Dr Phil)<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cUrkv8avl6Y/TdEPBFO5otI/AAAAAAAAAcw/GcTWmQEQLDU/s1600/Couple%2Bin%2BCrisis.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 134px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cUrkv8avl6Y/TdEPBFO5otI/AAAAAAAAAcw/GcTWmQEQLDU/s200/Couple%2Bin%2BCrisis.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5607279522311938770" /></a><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">No love-relationship is 100% affair proof. As Dr Phil covers this topic extremely effectively I've borrowed his very sensible advice on this important subject for this post.</span></i></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif;">You can't control your partner's behavior, but you don't have to set yourself up to get hurt either. Inoculate yourself against infidelity by making sure you're attentive, involved and plugged in to your marriage.<br /><br /><strong style="font: normal normal bold 14px/17px Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(81, 81, 78); ">Suspect Your Partner is Having an Affair?</strong><br /><strong style="font: normal normal bold 14px/17px Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(81, 81, 78); "><br /></strong>Remember that people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Look for the common sense warning signs: A shift in patterns, accessibility, money, reliability and secrecy. A sudden great interest in grooming or dress, going to the gym, or putting on cologne. Also, remember not to accuse your partner because of unhealthy jealousy, which could hurt the trust. <strong style="font: normal normal bold 14px/17px Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(81, 81, 78); "><br /><br />If You Are Having Problems:<br /></strong><br /><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">Turn toward your partner — not away. You absolutely cannot fix a problem inside a relationship by turning outward. All that does is create problems.</li><li style="margin-left: 15px; "><br /></li><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">Don't play games in your head. It is a short step from thought to action.<br /><br /></li><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">Don't confuse reality with fantasy. We often forget that there's a difference between falling in love and being in love. You can't expect a love that grows to be like it was on the first date.<br /><br /></li><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">If you want to have a good partner, be a good partner. Put 100 percent into your marriage.<br /><br /></li><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">Is your marriage in a rut? "Bored people are boring," says Dr. Phil. Find a passion, get energized, find some time together to rediscover the love and commitment you have for one another.<br /><br /></li><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">Work on your marriage every single day — not just during the bad times. Wake up each day and ask yourself, "What can I do today that will make my marriage better."<br /><br /></li><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">Make a plan together to renegotiate your relationship. If you've gotten off track, it's never too late to get back to a better place.<br /><br /></li><li style="margin-left: 15px; ">Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise and look your best. Feeling good about yourself will radiate and your spouse will notice.<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="font: normal normal bold 14px/17px Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(81, 81, 78); "><br /></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="font: normal normal bold 14px/17px Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(81, 81, 78); ">Formula For Success:</strong><br /><br />1. Your relationship must be based on a solid, underlying friendship. Friends talk, laugh, share, and do things they're interested in together. Don't stop being friends just because you're each other's spouse.<br /><br />2. Your relationship has to meet the needs of the two people involved. Understand what your partner's needs are so you can meet them. Figure out what your own needs are and communicate them. If your needs are not being met, communicate and negotiate. Don't let resentment build.</p></li></span></div><div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif;"><li style="margin-left: 15px; "><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><br /></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Article source: http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/335</p></li></span></div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-4445104067194051484?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-56929454000615944902011-05-10T14:29:00.007+10:002011-05-10T20:47:12.741+10:00Getting What You Want In Your Relationship<a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6Wu8_BQFoJg/TckV50JjQDI/AAAAAAAAAck/GqDgtwfya7w/s1600/Couple%2BTalking.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 133px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6Wu8_BQFoJg/TckV50JjQDI/AAAAAAAAAck/GqDgtwfya7w/s200/Couple%2BTalking.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5605035294234722354" /></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" border-collapse: collapse; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); line-height: 18px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">If you are like anybody else in this world, there will be things in your relationship/s that you don't like, that cause you to feel angry or hurt and that you want to see changed. Here are some tips that will help you achieve your desired outcomes without hurting the other person in the process. </span></i></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">1.</strong> <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Be clear about what it is you actually wish to achieve </strong>- have a goal in mind.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">2. Pick the right time</strong> <b>to discuss your concerns </b>- resist the urge to tackle problems if you or the other person feel overloaded, stressed or tired.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">3. Remember the importance of appropriate body language </strong>– maintain an open posture, give the other person your undivided attention and use a calm voice.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">4. Whatever you wish to say to the other person, <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">be sure to begin your communication by affirming the positives of your relationship.</strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">5. Carefully consider what you want to say before you say it</strong> and position anything that the other person could deem critical in-between two positive statements.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">6. Be specific </strong>- give concrete examples of your areas of concern.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">7. Use <a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=171:i-statement&amp;catid=45:relationship-coaching&amp;Itemid=131">“I statements”</a></strong>, such as: '<em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">When this happens, I feel hurt and I need this to stop</em>."</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">8. State what you want, not what you don’t want, for example:</strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">I would like to go out this Saturday night” <span style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; text-decoration: underline; ">NOT </span></em><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">“Why don’t we ever go out?”</em></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">9. Be sure to stick to one subject at a time</strong> - don’t get sidetracked by or give in to the temptation to raise the other 101 issues that have annoyed you over the past 13 years.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">10. Avoid criticising, judging and coercing</strong> - these tactics only put the other person on the defensive.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">11. Avoid the following words</strong> ‘<em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">you should</em>’, ‘<em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">you always’, ‘you never’</em>!</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">12. Exercise tolerance</strong> - tolerance is a great virtue. It is NOT, like some people may assume, a sign of weakness.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">13. </strong>It's important that you <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">do not take the other person’s responses personally.</strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">14. Make statements instead of asking questions </strong>- <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">"Please don’t speak to me like that!"</em> instead of: "<em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Why do you always say these things?"</em></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">15. Make requests, not demands or threats</strong>, such as: <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">"Please do this now"</em> NOT: <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">"Do this now, or else!"</em></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">16. Remember to balance truth with kindness.</strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">17.</strong> Be assured that <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">your relationships WILL thrive</strong> as long as you keep on striving towards <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">a win/win outcome!</strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><br /></strong></p></span><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-5692945400061594490?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-1580043417157112372011-05-01T20:55:00.003+10:002011-05-01T21:03:30.623+10:00Important Assertiveness Cautions<a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HI1f5gqinqE/Tb099UY1q6I/AAAAAAAAAcQ/1OweAEyvAIY/s1600/serious%2Bcouple%2B.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 134px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HI1f5gqinqE/Tb099UY1q6I/AAAAAAAAAcQ/1OweAEyvAIY/s200/serious%2Bcouple%2B.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5601701635172969378" /></a><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" border-collapse: collapse; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); line-height: 18px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font-weight: normal; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;"><i>Having discussed in the last couple of posts the importance of assertiveness and how you can go about learning vital assertiveness skills, it is now important that you become aware of some assertiveness cautions:</i></span></span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">Caution 1: </span></strong><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">EXPECT RESISTANCE WHEN YOU FIRST START BEING ASSERTIVE:</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; ">When you become assertive, you start taking control of your own life. This means that you are taking control back from the people you have either given it to or have allowed to take it from you. As this will be new and unexpected for them they may initially resist this process. Although this will be uncomfortable for you and possibly will shake your determination, remember that the only person who SHOULD be in control over you is YOU and that you are doing no more than taking back what was meant to be yours all along.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; text-decoration: underline; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">Super Caution</span></span></strong><span style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; text-decoration: underline; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">:</span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;"> If someone in your life has a history of violence with others and/or has been violent towards you in the past, do not attempt this without the assistance of a trusted and/or skilled helper.</span></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">Caution 2: WHEN YOU START BEING ASSERTIVE, THINGS OFTEN GET WORSE BEFORE THEY GET BETTER:</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; ">If you have been compliant and passive in the past, others may find your new behaviour unsettling and perhaps even threatening. They may accuse you of being uncaring, disloyal and selfish. They may tell you that you are hurting them, might try to 'send you on a guilt trip' and might even threaten you in some way. As your new behaviour creates changes in your relationships that others are not yet accustomed to, they often get worse before they get better.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">Caution 3: ONLY SET LIMITS THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO BACK-UP WITH ACTION:</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; ">Setting limits that you are unwilling or unable to defend will merely achieve that others will not take your attempts at assertiveness seriously. Don’t say things such as “I’ll leave you, never speak to you again, ground you for 3 months, quit my job….” unless you really mean it and are prepared to back this up with your actions.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">Caution 4: DON’T START GETTING ASSERTIVE WHEN YOU ARE STRESSED TO THE MAX:</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; ">Remember that things will get more difficult before they’ll get easier when you first become assertive. Don’t start your assertiveness journey at a time when you are feeling especially fragile, particularly vulnerable or super stressed. You will need all your strength to resist the pressure.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">Caution 5: DON’T BACK DOWN:</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; ">Be prepared that the people with whom you’ve become more assertive will push against your new boundaries. When they turn up the pressure the temptation for you to back down and give in could be overwhelming. It is vital that you do not give in as this will only give the message "you aren't serious”, “if I push hard enough you’ll cave in”, nothing's really changed, you are just a walkover”.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#3366FF;">Caution 6: DON’T BECOME ASSERTIVE WITH EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE AT ONCE:</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; ">When you first start to become assertive, begin with the “safe” people in your life. Move on to the more difficult ones as you gain more confidence in your own abilities and strengths. Do not try and become assertive with everyone at once.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; "><b><i><br /></i></b></p></span><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-158004341715711237?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-88784564221913661312011-04-22T15:26:00.009+10:002011-04-22T15:45:48.626+10:00You Can Learn To Be Assertive<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6M50P0WjYok/TbEV47A9CeI/AAAAAAAAAb8/mRGIsr_n5SI/s1600/Relationship%2BSuccess.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 114px; height: 171px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6M50P0WjYok/TbEV47A9CeI/AAAAAAAAAb8/mRGIsr_n5SI/s200/Relationship%2BSuccess.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5598279879456786914" /></a><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" border-collapse: collapse; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); line-height: 18px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Continuing from last week’s topic of assertiveness, we’ll look at some essential assertiveness skills today.</em></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">1. Respect yourself</span></strong><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "></em></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">You are valuable, have something to offer and have a right to your opinion.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">State your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and needs in an honest, non-apologetic and direct way. Do not expect others to share them and realise that whether others agree or is no a measure of your worth.</p><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">2. Respect others</span></strong><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">They are just as valuable as you. They have something to offer and have an equal right to their opinion.<strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">Listen to and weigh the other’s opinion carefully. Although you have the right to agree or disagree with what they are saying, they have just is much right as you to verbalise their thought, feelings, beliefs and needs.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">3. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">Acknowledge the things you do well and don’t underestimate the value of something that comes to you easily.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">Acknowledge the things you don’t do well. Realise that you can’t - and don’t have to - be good at everything. There is no shame in admitting that you aren’t perfect.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">4. Express anger appropriately</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">Anger is a normal human emotion and it usually isn’t the feeling of anger that causes problems but the way it is expressed.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Here are a few tips on how to express anger appropriately:</em></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "></em></strong></p><ul style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 15px; list-style-type: disc; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; "><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Speak up</strong> rather than assuming that the other person is able to read your mind.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Discuss only the issue at hand</strong> and resist the temptation to bring up all other issues that have annoyed you over time.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Stay calm</strong>.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Avoid name-calling</strong> and any other expression of hostility.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Discuss solutions</strong> and, where appropriate, compromise. Example: <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">“It really inconveniences me if you consistently arrive late</em>. <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Would it help if we changed our meeting schedule?” </em></li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Always seek a win/win outcome</strong>.</li></ul><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;"><br /></span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">5. Let your ‘yes’ be a ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be a ‘no’.</span></strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">Only say ‘yes’ to things that you are prepared to do. Practice saying ‘no’ to requests that don’t meet this criterion.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">To differentiate between assertive behaviour and selfishness, please go to my article entitled <a title="Boundary Misconceptions - Part 1" href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=125&amp;Itemid=153" style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(20, 109, 172); text-decoration: underline; ">Boundary Misconceptions</a>.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Strategies for saying ’no’:</em></strong></p><ul style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 15px; list-style-type: disc; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; "><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Adopt an assertive body posture</strong>. Stand tall, make eye contact and show a friendly facial expression.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Decide on your position before you speak</strong>. If you are not sure of an appropriate response to someone’s request, don’t give one. Instead say: <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">“I’ll think about it and get back to you.”</em></li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Wait for the question</strong>. Don’t leap to a premature response! Example: A work colleague says:<em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "> “Gosh, I don’t know how I’ll get it to work tomorrow - my car is being repaired at the moment”</em>. Resist the urge to offer a ride in your car until:</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">(a) you’ve actually been asked and</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">(b)<strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "> </strong>until<strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "> </strong>you’ve had a chance to think through the practicality of making such an offer.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Decide on your wording</strong>. Don’t just think about what you are going to say but also how you are going to say it.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Give a clear answer</strong>. Beating around the bush only causes confusion and leaves a great deal of room for misunderstandings and ill feelings.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Don’t ask permission to say ‘no’</strong>. You have as much right to say ‘no’ as you have to say ‘yes’. If you ask permission as in: <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">“Gee, I sure hope you don’t mind if I say ‘no”</em>, this communicates to the other person that you consider THEM to be in charge of YOUR behaviour.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Don’t apologise unless appropriate</strong>. An apology suggests that the other person was entitled to requesting whatever you are saying ‘no’ to.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Avoid defending yourself or making excuses unless these are appropriate</strong>. Your excuses may encourage the other person to help you find a way. Example: “<em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">If you aren’t able to give me a lift today because </em>(whatever excuse you have given), <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">then what about tomorrow??</em></li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Confirm your position</strong>. Don’t expect people to accept your refusal the first time you turn them down. They’ll hang tough, especially if they have been accustomed to you saying ‘yes’ to every previous request. Be prepared that they might pressure you or attempt to manipulate you. Be sure to remain firm in your refusal.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">The broken record technique</strong>. You don’t have to find a dozen ways of saying ‘no’. If necessary, just say the same thing over and over. ‘No, I am not willing to do that.’</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Don’t wait for approval or acceptance</strong>. There is no need to convince others to accept, approve or agree with your refusal.</li><li style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Accept the consequences</strong>. You have the right to say ‘no’ but others have the right not to like it. Others are entitled to think of you whatever they will. They might consider you unkind, selfish, inconsiderate and unreasonable. When you say ‘n’o, be prepared for other’s negative reaction.</li></ul></span><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-8878456422191366131?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-19838162064523831952011-04-02T16:13:00.011+11:002011-04-02T16:41:38.369+11:00Assertiveness - An Essential Communication Tool<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t6kAitYUzkQ/TZayll8CkZI/AAAAAAAAAbI/LtMQTVfIKJk/s1600/Couple%2Bthumbs%2Bup.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 139px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t6kAitYUzkQ/TZayll8CkZI/AAAAAAAAAbI/LtMQTVfIKJk/s200/Couple%2Bthumbs%2Bup.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5590852346335891858" /></a><br /><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 14px/normal Helvetica; "><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#CC0000;">The following is an excerpt from my eBook entitled, the Art, Value &amp; Freedom of Assertiveness, which is currently available FREE OF CHARGE. To find out how to order YOUR copy, <a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=60&amp;Itemid=73">click here</a>. </span></i></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #1a4773"><b><br /></b></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #1a4773"><b><br /></b></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #1a4773"><b><br /></b></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #1a4773"><b>DO YOU</b>: </p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #1a4773"></p><ul><li>often find it difficult to say <i>“no” </i>to other’s requests or feel guilty when you do?</li><li>frequently feel undervalued and not appreciated?</li><li>generally find it difficult to set limits on other people's behaviour?</li><li>want to keep 'the peace' at all costs?</li><li>often feel like no-one cares about <i>your </i>needs and wants?</li><li>have the impression that other people are calling the shots in your life?</li><li>find it difficult to know <i>how </i>to react when others say <i>“no” </i>to your requests?</li><li>feel like you have to make up stories, manipulate or tell half-truths in order to get what <i>you </i>want or need?</li><li>frequently get angry with yourself for not speaking up when you know you should?</li><li>feel resentful of people (especially your loved ones) because they seem to take <i>you, </i>and all you do for them, for granted?</li><li>usually put up and shut up until you blow up?</li></ul><p></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 36.0px Arial; color:#0092bc;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:x-large;">Assertiveness - What Is It?</span></b></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 18.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46"><b>Assertiveness is:</b></p><p color="#373f46" style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; "></p><ul><li>a communication style that allows you to express <i>your </i>feelings, opinions, beliefs, needs and wants in a direct, open and non-apologetic way while demonstrating respect for others’ rights to <i>their </i>feelings, opinions needs and wants.</li><li>a behaviour style that requires taking responsibility for <i>your </i>actions <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(55, 63, 70); ">whilst allowing others to have control over theirs.</span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(55, 63, 70); ">a ‘way of being’ that assigns as much legitimacy, value and worth to your own needs as it does to other people's.</span></li></ul><p></p> <p color="#373f46" style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; "><br /></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 36.0px Arial; color:#0092bc;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:x-large;">What Assertiveness Is Not!</span></b></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 36.0px Arial; color:#0092bc;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Helvetica;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 36.0px Arial; color:#0092bc;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Helvetica;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">People often misunderstand the meaning of assertiveness and think that it is a form of aggression. Before you read on it is vital you understand that:</span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 36.0px Arial; color:#0092bc;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Helvetica;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 36.0px Arial; color:#0092bc;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 24px; "><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:large;">Assertiveness IS NOT Aggression!</span></b></span></p> <p color="#373f46" style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; "><b>Aggression </b>is a destructive way of communicating anger in a physically,</p> <p color="#373f46" style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; ">emotionally or verbally abusive fashion. Aggression is often birthed by low selfesteem,</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">parental role modeling, a lack of ability to see the damaging effect it</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">has on others or an inability to recognise its negative consequences.</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">Simplistically, an aggressive communication or behaviour style can be</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">considered as <i>‘getting MY way no matter what!’ </i>In contrast, the motivation of</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">assertiveness is <i>‘being equally respectful of MY rights as I am of YOURS’.</i></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">Depending on your background, your early experiences and your personal</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">way of viewing the word, assertiveness can be a rather difficult concept to</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">grasp. To gain a better understanding of the differences between aggressive,</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #373f46">passive and assertive communication styles, click on <span style="color:#0225a3;"><a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/communicationstyles.pdf">Different Communication </a></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); "><a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/communicationstyles.pdf">Styles</a><span style="color:#021f8d;"><a href="http://www.sonjaridden.com/communicationstyles.pdf">.</a></span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color:#0225a3;"><span style="color:#021f8d;"><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica">Learning assertiveness skills is vital for both those who lean more towards a</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica">passive style and those whose communication and behaviour styles are more</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica">of an aggressive nature. This eBook focuses primarily on assisting those</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica">whose style is predominantly passive or passive-aggressive.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-1983816206452383195?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-44894889111048343652011-03-23T13:16:00.007+11:002011-03-23T13:36:20.264+11:00How to Romance Your Wife On A Budget<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WmCyEVZbpgg/TYlZ_kSsO9I/AAAAAAAAAa8/_vooxJDhNNs/s1600/couple%2B2%2BRelat%2Bbrochure%2B.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 88px; height: 124px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WmCyEVZbpgg/TYlZ_kSsO9I/AAAAAAAAAa8/_vooxJDhNNs/s200/couple%2B2%2BRelat%2Bbrochure%2B.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5587095761338514386" /></a><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">So your pocketbook is lean but your love isn't. How do you shower your </span></span><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">beloved with adoration without breaking the bank? Here are a few ideas </span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" ;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">to help keep her heart happy.</span><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><h2 class="Underline sectionTitle Heading2" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 30px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: normal; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -1px; font-family:Georgia;font-size:24px;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:85%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: normal;font-size:10px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Georgia;font-size:6;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: -1px;font-size:24px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: normal; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10px;"><h2 class="Underline sectionTitle Heading2" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 30px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: normal; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -1px; font-family:Georgia;font-size:24px;color:initial;"><span class="line" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 7px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Instructions </span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: normal; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Georgia;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: -1px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: normal; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(0, 134, 223); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">By J. Morris - </span><span class="about" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">eHow Contributor</span></i></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></h2><h2 class="Underline sectionTitle Heading2" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 30px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: normal; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -1px; font-family:Georgia;font-size:24px;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: normal; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Georgia;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: -1px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: normal; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(0, 134, 223); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><span class="about" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;color:initial;"></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" letter-spacing: normal; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">1 </span></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 14px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">While Hallmark is great for many occasions, store bought cards can be expensive and generic. Why not make your own card? It can be as simple as using some construction paper and writing something personalized from the heart. Or, if you're </span></span><a class="StrongLink" href="http://www.ehow.com/computers/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 134, 223); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">computer</span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"> savvy, hop on the computer and create a card there. Better yet, upload a photo of the two of you and presto -- instant card with an abundance of heartfelt sentiments!</span></span></span></h2><section style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><ol id="intelliTxt" class="steps" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><li class="section" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><ul style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">2</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Flower shops make a killing this time of year. Why not avoid the hassle? And who says you need to give red roses, anyway? If you're lucky enough to live in a warm climate, why not pick your own bouquet of flowers? Better yet, it's free! If you can't, then I suggest going to the grocery store and creating your own arrangement. Face it, every gift that you put a little of "yourself" into is going to be much more appreciated than any easily store-bought item.</span></span></p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">3</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Send your Valentine romantic text messages or emails throughout the day, leading up to the promise of a romantic evening once home. It also shows that you're thinking about her all day long.</span></span></p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">4</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Chill a bottle of champagne. Wait, did I say champagne? Who says champagne needs to be expensive? Buy the less expensive brand and then make a mimosa, Bellini, or Kir Royale. (These are </span></span><a class="StrongLink" href="http://www.ehow.com/food-and-drink/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 134, 223); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">drinks</span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"> that you mix champagne with orange juice or raspberries, thus the quality of the champagne isn't necessarily as important.)</span></span></p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">5</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Don't have money for a gift? Make your own coupon book! Cut some paper in strips and list all the things you'd like to do to make Valentine's Day last more than just one day a year. Let your imagination soar. Simple coupon examples include "Redeemable for one back rub anytime" or "Redeemable for one home-cooked romantic dinner" or "Redeemable for one night of passion."</span></span></p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">6</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">When your beloved arrives home, lead her with flowers to an awaiting bubble-bath.</span></span></p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">7</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">For dinner, dim the lights, light some candles (or better yet, the fireplace!), throw a blanket on the floor and have a candle-light picnic at home. Your picnic basket can include the champagne, or maybe some strawberries and dipping chocolate you picked up from the grocery store. Allow your senses to open and enjoy feeding each other!</span></span></p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">8</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Enjoy the company of the one you love!</span></span></p></div></div></li><li class="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: left; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="stepNumber" style="margin-top: -3px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left; min-height: 35px; color: rgb(131, 175, 180); font-family:serif;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">9</span></span></span><div class="stepMeat" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 35px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><div itemprop="step" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">For an extra bonus, in the morning serve her </span></span><a class="StrongLink" href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4547_serve-breakfast-bed.html" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 134, 223); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">breakfast in bed</span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">!</span></span></p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; font-family:sans-serif;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 14px; font-size: small; ">THINGS YOU NEED:</span></p><p face="sans-serif" color="initial" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border- outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.4; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: normal; "></span></span></span></p><ul class="UnorderedTitleList" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: initial; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; border-top-style: none; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><li style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="title" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 8px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 8px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(220, 221, 220); font-family:Georgia;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">A little creativity</span></span></span></li><li style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="title" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 8px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 8px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(220, 221, 220); font-family:Georgia;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Paper (construction or otherwise)</span></span></span></li><li style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="title" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 8px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 8px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(220, 221, 220); font-family:Georgia;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Picnic Basket (optional)</span></span></span></li><li style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="title" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 8px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 8px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(220, 221, 220); font-family:Georgia;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Bubble bath</span></span></span></li><li style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="title" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 8px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 8px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: initial; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; border-bottom-style: none; font-family:Georgia;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Candles</span></span></span></li></ul><p></p></div></div></li></ul></li></ol></section><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Read more: </span></span><a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4721034_romance-wife-budget.html#ixzz1HNwm8VHA" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 51, 153); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">How to Romance Your Wife On A Budget |</span></span></a><a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4721034_romance-wife-budget.html#ixzz1HNwm8VHA" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-size: 10px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 51, 153); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"> eHow.com</span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"> </span><a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4721034_romance-wife-budget.html#ixzz1HNwm8VHA" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-size: 10px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; cursor: pointer; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 51, 153); "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;">http://www.ehow.com/how_4721034_romance-wife-budget.html#ixzz1HNwm8VHA</span></a></span></span></span></span></span></span></h2><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline- font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family:inherit;font-size:10px;color:initial;"></span></span></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-4489488911104834365?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-356054264943929513.post-79042313602607459462011-03-13T22:28:00.007+11:002011-03-13T22:41:14.979+11:00Relationship Happiness = Living With Joy<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-K56PcfkhEqU/TXyrtHzEkwI/AAAAAAAAAao/whTSXPqQLEk/s1600/family%252C%2B2%2Bkids.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 195px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-K56PcfkhEqU/TXyrtHzEkwI/AAAAAAAAAao/whTSXPqQLEk/s200/family%252C%2B2%2Bkids.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5583526429708292866" /></a><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style=" border-collapse: collapse; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); line-height: 18px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;"><i>One of the most important steps to be taken in order to </i></span><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;"><i>live on purpose</i></span></strong><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;"><i> and </i></span><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;"><i>create the greatest life possible</i></span></strong><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;"><i>s to clarify for ourselves the meaning of success. The question ‘</i></span><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;">What is success?</span></em><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;"><i>’ will, no doubt, elicit different answers from different people</i></span>.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">For some success may mean ownership - perhaps owning a business, a fabulous car, a lovely home. For others it may mean overcoming tough physical challenges , perhaps such as climbing Mount Everest, sailing around the world or trekking through Nepal . Yet others might consider success to be intellectual achievement. Each individual has cherished ideas around success and I am a strong believer in the validity of those ideas.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">However, through my years of working in the coaching arena - assisting people to achieve their greatest desires and reach their most important goals, and in the counselling field - helping people work through their greatest individual challenges - I have come to realise an important truth. <em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FF0000;"><b>Unless we succeed in our relationships with the people we love,</b></span></em><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FF0000;"><b> </b></span><em style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FF0000;"><b>all other achievements - no matter how great or how cherished - soon lose their appeal and, in fact, often become totally meaningless.</b></span></em></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">Making this discovery also helped me become aware that no matter what other goals we may have, we must NEVER lose sight of the most important one of all - to do all it takes to make our significant relationships as wonderful, satisfying and as healthy as we possibly can.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">If you feel that your important relationships could do with a 'tune-up', please read on....</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">10 STEPS TO CREATING THE RELATIONSHIPS YOU WANT</strong></p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">1. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Identify</strong> where you are at with your most important relationships. On a scale from 1 – 10 where would you consider your level of success to be in the relationship…with your life partner?...your children?...your parents?...and any other people who really matter to you????</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">2. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Decide</strong> - Where would you prefer it to be on that continuum?</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">3. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Ask yourself</strong>: Which changes can I make to move closer towards that goal?</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">4. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Write down </strong>your ideas<strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "> </strong>and then decide which of those changes will make the greatest difference . This could be a change in attitude, expectations or perhaps a change in the way you communicate. It could be that you need to spend more time with your loved ones, that you need to hold back on judgments, become more encouraging or express your love more often. It could be any one of a thousand things. Just decide on the ones that are meaningful to you.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">5. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Determine</strong> to pursue making those changes change that will create the greatest difference.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">6. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Be realistic</strong> - Making changes is tough and you will, on occasion, find yourself falling back into your old ways of relating .</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">7. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Be prepared</strong> - When you fall back, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and recommence the process with renewed determination and energy.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">8. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Remember</strong>, especially when you feel discouraged, each tiny step in the right direction will eventually get you where you want to be.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">9. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Commit</strong> to doing all it takes.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; color: rgb(53, 63, 72); font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; ">10. <strong style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">Honour </strong>each milestone and celebrate each success.</p><p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 13px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#990000;"><i><br /></i></span></p></span><div class="blogger-post-footer">All posts - unless otherwise stated - are authored by Sonja Ridden and therefore are subject to copyright. (c) Sonja Ridden<img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/356054264943929513-7904231360260745946?l=www.healthyrelationshipsmatter.com' alt='' /></div>Sonja Riddennoreply@blogger.com1