Saturday, March 10, 2012


Guest post from: Steve Delaney

I hate to admit it, but ever since we got Cable Providers in our area, and we got cable, I have gotten into watching reality television. The reality television that I like to watch drives my husband crazy. He hates to hear anything about the “Kardashians”. I started watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and have caught all of the spin-off shows too. My husband says that if he has to hear anything that starts with a “K” that he just might loose it. My best friend and I like to get on the phone and chat about what happened on the show that day. Our husbands think that it is ridiculous. They say that we talk about these people and call them by their first names like we know them. I guess now that I think about it, when we do talk about the show it probably does sound like we are talking about people that we know and not people that are on television. I’m sure a lot of other people do the same, surely it can’t be unique to us!

To Keep The Love Alive In Your Marriage You Must MAKE TIME

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By Patty Apostolides

In the beginning of a relationship, love seems to have a life of its own. Without much effort, you feel like you are on top of the world. You catch yourself smiling and laughing often, and feeling warm inside whenever you are with your loved one. Everything and everyone suddenly appears better through the rose-colored glasses of love. This euphoric feeling does not last forever, however. After the first year of marriage, the day to day activities of being married, working in a job, raising a family, buying and maintaining a home, etc., all take their toll, and romance takes a back seat.

Love has to be worked on, just like a gardener with his garden. Although he has planted the seeds, and expects the sun and rain to do most of the work, he still has to pull the weeds out of the garden, to fertilize it, and water it if there isn’t enough rain. That is the same with a healthy, loving relationship. When love becomes a high priority in a marriage, it is taken care of and nurtured daily. The resulting love rewards you by growing into a more mature, mellow, committed feeling, and when tested, rises up to meet the challenge. How does one keep love alive in a marriage?

Make Time

You need to designate quality time with your loved one. Don’t take it for granted that he/she will always be there when you want them. Remember all those dates you took when you were courting? Now, it’s not so easy. There’s usually someone else making demands on him/her – whether it’s the children with their homework, or the boss expecting you to work late hours, or even an elderly parent that requires assistance. Also, it now might require finding a baby-sitter, or juggling the time with another activity that might take precedence. Whatever happens, make time for each other. Also, make time to hug and/or kiss each other often. You’ll be glad you did. The time you spend together will re-energize you and make you feel good for the rest of the day.
If you can’t get away, you can still set a date at home, after the children are asleep. The important thing is to have fun together. Here are a few things you can plan to do at home together:
Physical intimacy – might put some soft music in the background, maybe even dance together.
Pour a favorite drink, make an ice cream sundae, or grab some munchies, and have fun talking with your loved one.
Play a favorite board game or card game, anything that makes you enjoy yourselves.
Make popcorn and watch a favorite video.
This is not the time to solve life’s problems or issues. If there are any lurking issues in the background (and these may be keeping you from enjoying yourself), then sometimes you just might have to talk about it first, get it out in the open in a loving environment, then continue with your plans. Often, positive energy is tied up within us when a problem or issue has not been resolved.
Use these times to tell him/her how special they are to you (how intelligent, how thoughtful, how loving, how caring, etc.).
What is Romance?
Romance is the opportunity to show your loved one how special he/she is to you. It means taking the time for them, and making time, even if you don’t have it. It doesn’t mean thinking only about yourself, or having only your needs met. It means putting the other person first. Here are some ideas to spice up your romance:
Do small acts of kindness – give him/her flowers, or a little gift, or write a poem, etc.
Say “Thank you” and “I Love You” often.
Be considerate of his/her feelings, etc.
Take long walks together – anywhere.
Share jokes at mealtime. Laughter is a great way to share one’s love.
Visit a museum, visit community festivals, tour a new site, or attend a lecture together.
Hug and kiss often.
If your spouse doesn’t do things for you, then show him/her by gently pointing out what you like. If you like flowers for your birthday, and you haven’t gotten flowers, then let them know, particularly when he/she asks you what you would like. Don’t think they can read your mind, let them know.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Over time, we learn how to read our spouse. Their behavior, their actions, are important clues that alert us to how they are feeling. Often, we think we know what they are thinking, and we become sloppy, and don’t talk about it, or they don’t bring it up.
For example, if he had a bad day at the office, and comes home snapping at the children and being tense, the last thing to do is to take it personally. Invite him to relax, as dinner is prepared, then after he’s eaten, ask him how his day was. Sooner or later, the truth will come out, and you will learn what happened. You need to be a responsive listener, and not criticize your spouse, for he will surely clam up. The last thing he wants to hear is criticism.
Other signs that can bring on a spouse’s anger/tenseness:
Hunger: If your spouse hasn’t eaten for awhile, not only their stomach growls, but they growl also. Keep your husband well fed (but not overfed)
Criticism: Try and avoid criticizing your partner. If there is something bothering you, then voice it in a way that you don’t point fingers or blame him/her. Try not to keep distance between you. Communicate your feelings, how his/her action affected you, and how you were hurt by that action. Never, ever criticize your spouse in public. An apology is forthcoming, no matter how right you thought you were.
Tiredness: If your husband has been working all day, and you ask him to do a bunch of chores when he gets home, don’t expect him to thank you. See if you can spread the chores out, so they include the weekend. Planning ahead helps here.
Take Care of Your Body
Although you may not look like you did when you were dating years ago, you can take measures to look just as good if not better.
Physical wellbeing – make sure you stay in shape, eat the right foods, and dress nicely. All these actions not only get more compliments your way, they make you feel good about yourself, so that you can be more confident in yourself.
Spiritual wellbeing – don’t neglect this powerful aspect of life. Pray, go to church, believe. Studies have shown that families that pray together, stay together.
Mental wellbeing – if you are a stay-at-home mother, find some good books to read, or read the newspaper or magazines. This will allow you to keep abreast with interesting topics, and will provide your spouse an interesting partner to discuss life issues with.
Don’t Substitute
Don’t substitute anyone or anything else for your loved one. Don’t go to a coworker or a friend, and share intimate secrets, because you may be betraying your loved one’s trust. Don’t watch television or be on the computer all the time, when you could be spending quality time with your loved one. Don’t spend all your time with the children, ignoring your spouse, because your husband or wife should be number one on the list. If people, organizations, or children clamor for your attention, put your spouse first, and then them. When you put your spouse first, you’ll notice you won’t need to be going to all these other people for emotional support. You’ll also notice you’ll be having more fun with the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with. Don’t underestimate the importance of love in a marriage. Cherish and nurture it, and you will have made the best investment in your life.
Patty Apostolides is author of Lipsi’s Daughter. She has also published poetry and written several articles.

To Keep The Love Alive In Your Marriage You Must MAKE TIME

"I Don't Want to Break Up, but I Don't Know How to Stay Together"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our Tr├ĘsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My boyfriend and I have had a rocky relationship. When we met, he hadjust broken up with his long-term girlfriend and I was still in arelationship. I actually carried on a long-distance relationship withhim and my LD boyfriend for four months before I finally broke up withmy boyfriend. Needless to say, they both found out and the new bfdumped me. After talking through things, for about two weeks, he agreedto forgive me. But he wanted me to move (to another country) to livewith him and be with him. I did . . . but I had trouble finding a joband since he was the only person I had to talk to most days, I feltconfined and resentful. Worse, I checked his emails one night and foundout he had been secretly meeting his ex, buying speakers with her,going to movies, etc. He even had emails in his draft folder tellingher how much he missed her and how he was sure he wanted her back. Iconfronted him, and he said he was trying to maintain a friendship withher and that those were written at low points when he had doubts. Hesaid he finally cut off all communication with her in December. I hadto fly home for my grandmother's funeral and at this point I'm not surewhen I will be back. Because of all the turmoil and craziness andbecause he thinks I can't forgive him, he said we should breakup. Logically, that makes sense, and it might be easier for me to finda job here. But breaking up with him just feels WRONG. Despiteeverything, I feel like we should be together.

I know we have so many issues: trust, baggage from the lastrelationships, needing to communicate better. Do you think it'spossible for two people to work through all that? Do you think it'seven worth it? I haven't spoken to him in 24 hours and it already hurtslike hell. I know if it's meant to be, we could take a break and seefrom there. But I just want him in my life.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice.


Using eHarmony: Why Hasn’t My Match Responded To Me?

By Dan Collins for eHarmony

It happens all the time, but it never gets any easier—you meet someonenice, start up a conversation, and everything seems to be going well …

But suddenly it’s three days later, and your match, the cool new personwho loves Arabica coffee and thinks your hair looks cute, hasn’treplied back to your last message! What’s going on? Are they notinterested? When is it appropriate to panic if you feel you’ve beenleft hanging?

We hear from customers with this issue on their minds every day. Andsometimes, when they’ve reacted in haste, mistakes are made that can’teasily be taken back (such as closing a match, or writing a panickyfollow-up message). So before you do something rash, take a breatherand think for a moment about all the reasons you might not be hearingback from someone. Here are some tips to help you cope when you’rewondering what’s what from a wayward match:

Tip #1: Remember, this person has an entire life outside of eHarmony

.When we’re waiting on replies from someone, it’s easy to fret whenthings don’t seem to add up. “We’ve been writing to each other aboutevery other day, and now it’s been four days! He’s two days late! Whereis he?”

What that equation misses, though, is that even for the most dedicatedeHarmony member, eHarmony is only one small part of their entire life.And sometimes they will need to be away from the service. Life’sinterruptions sometimes attack quickly, without leaving the otherperson time to let you know what’s going on with them. Minoremergencies, such as a sick child, a sick computer, or a sick car, canmake getting back to a match virtually impossible in the short term!And we haven’t even talked yet about how much time and energy can betaken up by work.

Tip #2: Not everyone has the same expectations about what’s “normal.”

Remember the olden days? Well, probably not, but you’ve seen them inmovies: there was once a time when the rituals of dating were codified.Boys were expected to call girls two days after a date if it went well,and after three dates, they’d be going steady, and he let her wear hisvarsity jacket. Stomachs still had butterflies in those days, andhearts still got broken, but you knew where you stood, and whose turnit was to do what.

But even before online dating and the internet, dating rituals hadalready become more complex than they were for Wally and the Beav. Andnow we’ve added a layer of complexity that everyone is stillnavigating: how do we act confident but not disinterested, polite butnot clingy, civil but still romantic, in an era when we’re meetingpeople for the first time online?

We wish we could give you an answer, but we’re still figuring it outourselves. Nobody knows! And one of the things people don’t haveconsensus on is on what is appropriate and what is not. In your mind, aprompt reply might be the only polite and rational thing to do, butfrom the other person’s perspective, writing back to you too oftenmight be impolite. They may even worry about how they seem to you,whether they’re being too pushy or “eager,” which brings us to the nexttip…

Tip #3: Your matches may be just as exited, or nervous, as you are.

Dating humbles us all. Nurses and mountain climbers, CEOs andbikers—even people who have nerves of steel can get tongue-tied when itcomes to meeting someone they may be romantically interested in. Thatgoes double if it’s their first time using eHarmony or their first timedating in a while.

The chances are good that the person on the other side of yourconversation has a whole host of feelings about talking to you. Andthey may need a moment to weigh how they feel, not just about you butabout themselves and where they are in their emotional lives. Ouradvice is, let them have that moment! Often, a person who needs a shortbreak from communicating will come back even more invested in theconversation. On the other hand, it’s true that sometimes people dodecide they are not ready to date, which brings us to our final, leastfun point to hear (but it’s true)…

Tip #4: All conversations have to end sometime.

Every day, conversations that began right here on eHarmony, just likethe ones you’re having with your matches, go on to become excited phonecalls, budding relationships, and even marriages!
However, whetherconversations on eHarmony lead to exchanging phone numbers (or vows!)or not, eventually the communication has to end. And for every onecommunication that goes well and leads to meeting outside of eHarmony,several communications conclude with a decision, made mutually orindividually, that the conversation needs to end.

When this happens, sometimes a match will decide to send a final emailexplaining that they have decided not to talk, for whatever reason. Andsometimes you’ll log on and find the match is closed, indicating thatperson has moved on. But it’s also true that sometimes—not every time,but sometimes—people who have decided not to keep communicating willsometimes simply not reply back. And the more matches you talk to, themore likely it is that at least some communications will end this way.So…what can you do while you’re waiting? Hopefully we’ve convinced youthat there are many reasons why a match won’t communicate, and that youshould never panic or expect the worst!  But how long is long enough towait, and what can you do not to feel powerless while you’re waitingfor a response?

Tip #5: It’s okay to follow up. But give it some time, and just do it once.

Though you can send a thousand follow-up emails to a person in eHarmonyMail, we recommend sticking to one follow-up email if you’ve beenwaiting on a reply from someone. A rough rule of thumb is to wait oneweek before sending a follow-up message. And when you do send thefollow up, be brief, and never pushy: “Hi there! I’ve really enjoyedour conversation so far. Let me know if you’re free to talk some more!”

Notice how the above language avoids putting any burden or onus on theother person. When writing to a wayward match, avoid using the word“you,” as in “where have you been?” Instead, use “I” or “me” to talkabout how you would like to hear back from them.

Tip #6: Give yourself a time cushion. And then let yourself let go.

There is no one rule for how long to wait for a communication, justlike there is not just one type of man or one type of woman. But here’sour general guideline: if you haven’t heard back from an importantmatch in a while, set yourself a timeframe—a day, a week, or whateverseems best. And if that day comes without a communication you shouldconsider the match “over” and move on.

Giving yourself a timeline doesn’t mean you have to close out thematch; it’s okay to leave a door open to future communication. But setan expiration date on how long you’ll care about hearing back! Thiswill give you a stronger sense of control, and that will bring definitepiece of mind. You might even set other goals on that day, such ascommunicating with five new people on eHarmony, or playing yourself alittle fight song to remind you to “move on!”

In conclusion, we know it’s hard to wait for a match to communicate,and even harder to decide you’ve waited long enough. But it’s a naturalpart of the dating process to go without hearing from people from timeto time. Stay calm, give yourself and the other person space tocommunicate, and remember: whether a match gets back to you promptly ornot, you are still in control of your dating experience. Make sure tostay positive and take charge, and you’re sure to have many greatcommunications!

Dating For Love


Friday, March 9, 2012

Dr. Gerald E. Jackson Tells How to Prolong True Love in New Book

Jonathan Erik Veal

*Though Valentine’s Day has passed, it does not mean true love between two people stops.
It is more so about the longevity of the relationship; and how to keep the bond with your significant other.
Dr. Gerald E. Jackson, founder and chairman of G.E. Jackson & Associates Inc., is here to help. Not only is he does he provide readers with a strategic planning disciplines; but, he offers couples the opportunity to keep the relationship alive as well as a way to enhance their love for each another.
Dr. Jackson, a Southern California native served six years in the Special Forces within the United States Navy’s Nuclear Powered, Ballistic Missile Submarine Service as a navigation electronic technician; so, you may wonder what he would know about writing about true love?
“I am a romantic at heart,” said Jackson. “I love all of my life and over the 20 plus years, I’ve had some interesting experiences; and the people that I have shared my story with have benefited from it.”
Dr. Jackson’s new book, “True Love & Longevity: Romance Guide and Workplan” provides a road map to the heart and soul of loving, long-lasting fulfillment within each one of us. Additionally, it was helps those in a relationship who have experienced long days, hard work, and a great deal of heartbreak attempting to make their commitment bond healthy and vital.
“There are four keys to true love in my opinion which would help anyone who is and who is not in a relationship,” said Jackson. He describes the four keys for individuals to genuinely have an understanding of each other, truly bring out the best of each other, speaking to the interpersonal that directs to an establish and encouragement to an abiding relationship with God and his word and to establish the importance of knowing that they truly love each other. “My personal definition of true love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another,” said Jackson.
The tome will have impact on ages 15 to 54. Jackson feels within the different ages people can feel this information in extremely useful; and assist others are attempting to find answers for current and future relationships.
“This workbook definitely makes me feel that the message is being heard and people are connecting to their own reality and truth,” said Jackson. He adds that the book is helping people bring the best out of themselves; so, it is relatable for many ages.
Dr. Jackson definitely believes being a business owner and using strategic planning correlates to keeping and maintaining a relationship with someone.
“They absolutely tie together due to the dynamics that one uses to approach a business in comparison to one is reaching out to a potential mate,” said Jackson.
Here are five things that Jackson believes that will help in searching for a potential mate:
1) Put your best foot forward.
2) When offering love be truthful and honest.
3) Make sure your best attributes are highlighted.
4) Trust is a process, first you must gain respect for the person; therefore, the prospective mate will want to trust you
5) Love and Support correlate to longevity in a relationship.
Along with the novel, Dr. Jackson works along the lines of spoken-word writing, inspirational creativity and motivational speaking. His spoken-word CDs are currently available online.
Take the opportunity to enhance your spoken-word library today by logging onto: The longevity of a relationship is up the individuals involved. Will Dr. Jackson’s book be your guide?

My g/f has had 35 plus partners and I know 4 of them!

A male United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

my girlfriend of 10years has had about 35previous partners an i can't stop thinking about it and 4of them i know. i have these feelings of anger alot i still even think theres more an she is lying an theres a chance she cheated with 2 or 3 aswell im 29 an she is 37 but she was 28 when we met so i think this is 2much im really struggling 2 come to terms or get over it? i find myself drinking alot more as a result an hardly speaking to her during the frequent times i think about these issues, even neglecting my son sometimes because of his mum being a slut an it just makes me feel down all the time an the relationship always suffers as a result.but i just can't stop thinking?she also has 4children with 4 different men including me which don't help an all this before i met her its shocking to think about please give me your thoughts on this shitty situation

Fancy yourself as an agony aunt? Add your answer to this question!

A female reader, anonymous, writes 

My thoughts are that you met an older, very experienced woman with however many children, when you were little more than a kid yourself. And you were probably pretty clueless! And in the following years you have developed retroactive jealousy, resentment and all the trust issues that go along with it. Google retroactive jealousy as it will help you to understand why you feel as you do.

If things are really rotten at home and there is no way to fix it at the moment. It might be better to leave, take a break from the situation and concentrate on yourself until you are able to function properly again.

Alcohol is a mood enhancer. So if you feel happy it makes you happier. If you feel down it makes you more depressed. So drinking probably isnt helping you at the moment. It is just making you feel even worse. If you can lay off alcohol for a while it will really help you to think straight again. Because you cant while you are drinking, you might as well be poisoning yourself! Seriously! Try and cut down or give it up for now.

If you feel REALLY down, you could also be suffering from a degree of depression. So a visit to your doctor might be a good idea just to be on the safe side. And seek some counselling if you can, spend your beer money on that instead. Counselling is always a good idea for anyone suffering from RJ. If you can do any of the above it will help you to overcome how you feel. In order to function properly and be a good dad, you need to fix yourself. Forget your partners past for now and concentrate on you because you sound in crisis. So get YOU fixed up first and while youre doing it, stay very mindful of the fact that your position is not the fault of your child. He didnt ask to be brought into this situation, you brought him into it. So dont make him suffer too. Love him, care for him and be the best dad you can be. I hope you feel better and can fix or leave this relationship soon...for your sake and your childs. All the best.

My g/f has had 35 plus partners and I know 4 of them!

Is there any way to make sure you fall in love and stay in love?

A female United States age 18-21, anonymous writes:

My on-again-off-again boyfriend is coming over this weekend. We've been "off" for a little less than two months now. My concern is that every time we get together after a few weeks apart, the passion we have for each other is intense. But then over the course of a few more weeks, we'll be reminded each other's faults (me) or get lazy with putting effort into the relationship (him - but to his defense, he is working on a degree).

Is there anyway to make sure you fall in love and stay in love? Or do he and I both have to get used to the fact that relationships will never remain the same way they start?

And just for the record, he's about 10 years older than me. I don't know if that matters, though.

Fancy yourself as an agony aunt? Add your answer to this question!

A female reader, Shadow Rose United States + , writes

Well, if you're talking about making him fall in love and say in love, then it's impossible, and also kinda impossible to force yourself to feel something.

But honestly, you should just talk to him, and tell him that you don't think he's putting enough effort into the relationship. And you should stop focusing on his faults.

Focus on the positive things.

My boyfriend is immature. VERY immature, it's a fault of his, but I dont focus on it. I know that with my help, he'll grow out of it, but I dont let it make or break our relationship.

6 Tips for a Healthy, Committed Relationship


 Over the many years of treating couples in my private practice, I have used six behavioral directives that help committed relationships last. These directives are of course only effective when both partners are honestly dedicated to the relationship and are willing to change and grow together.

 Remember, all couples come to therapy with good intentions. They all desperately want to improve their relationships and make them last. But the only way that happens is when each partner agrees to change their behavior. No behavior change, no growth. No growth means the relationship will suffer over time.

 Here are the six tips:

1. Both partners must commit to the practice of lowering their expectations of each other.

This means they must put aside wanting their partner to be perfect in all areas and begin the process of accepting their partner for everything they are and everything they aren't. This does not mean lowering your standards or settling for someone that you are not compatible with. It also does not mean compromising your personal values and beliefs about how you want to be treated or even how you want to be loved. It simply means having realistic expectations of each other that are reasonable and practical. 

2. Each partner must begin to let go of the need to be "right." 

The old saying still holds true, "Do you want to be right? Or do you want a relationship?" This means each partner must give up trying to control the other. Each partner must let go of trying to get the other to see things their way and accept that they are both verydifferent people. Both partners must celebrate their uniqueness and not make each other wrong for it. 

3. Both partners must commit to the practice of acknowledging their own part or contribution to the problem. 

Each partner must admit and hold themselves accountable to how they negatively contribute to the discord in the relationship, otherwise the relationship becomes one of blaming the other (he said/she said) and expecting the other one to change. Each partner will have to commit to working on changing his/her own behavior without focusing on the other. This means each partner is only responsible for cleaning his/her own side of the street. 

4. Each partner must commit to the practice of monitoring their own personal "blind spots." 

This means each partner must be willing to learn about the situations (blind spots) where they get so triggered by the other that they become irrational and unable to see reality at that moment. Conversely, when this process occurs, both partners can then compassionately acknowledge each other's "hot buttons" and know when to pull back and respect the other's boundary. 

5. Each partner must commit to the practice of using assertive communication. 

Each partner will have to change the way they communicate and learn to give up communicating aggressively, passively, or passive-aggressively. For example, each partner must agree to begin using assertive communication, which involves using non-judgmental, "I" statements as a new way of relating to one another. This helps partners begin to respond to each other instead of reacting to each other. Most couples don't know how to talk to each other without triggering an argument. 

6. Each partner must commit to cultivating friends, activities and personal interests outside of the relationship. 

Both partners need to explore personal interests, hobbies, friends, etc. that are separate from the relationship to prevent putting too much pressure on each other for fun and stimulation. Each partner must have, in a sense, a minor life outside of the relationship as well to make being together fun. Being together should not feel like an obligation. 

Flickr photo by bradleygee

6 Tips for a Healthy, Committed Relationship

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