You Can Improve Your Relationship

It seems as if creating successful relationships with our significant others and parenting children are two of the most difficult jobs we face and yet we get no formal training in either. Its as if people believe that we are born with an inherent ability to do these two things. Yet, look around us. In the US, the divorce rate is slightly over 50%! I dont know anywhere but baseball where a 50% average is a good thing.

Couples go through life getting along when times are good; and fighting with, ignoring, or leaving each other when things get tough. Most people believe that to seek help with their relationships means to admit a certain kind of defeat that says something about who they are as a person. Or possibly, they believe that relationships are something we are just supposed to be able to manage on our own. Or, finally, some people believe that those out there helping couples cant know any more than they do. After all, whats to know about keeping relationships together?

Well, the truth is that there is a whole lot to learn when it comes to relationships. Unfortunately, the only training most of us ever receive is the passive learning we get through the modeling of the adults who live in our house with us and the media. Now, I dont know about you, but my parents had only received the informal training they got from their parents, and they from my great grandparents and so on back through the generations. There is so much more to know about relationships than that!

Also, my parents have helped support that 50% statistic cited earlier in that they divorced sometime around their 25th wedding anniversary. What I learned about relationships from watching them is that couples never argue, especially in front of the children. On the surface, my parents had a very happy marriage but my father experienced a stereotypical mid-life crisis and suddenly questioned the meaning of life and decided marriage was holding him back somehow.

In some ways, this type of training may have been as bad as those who have parents who argue all the time. Disagreements are a natural by-product of relationships. It is virtually impossible for two people to come together and create a life without some of their ideals, values, opinions or day-to-day activities coming into conflict with each other. The question becomes how the couple manages this conflict.

There are many things to consider when speaking about couples and their challenges and areas for growth and development. The first is compatibility. I know there is an expression that says opposites attract and I believe there is some accuracy in that statement when you think of attraction as that chemical interaction that occurs when two people meet and are attracted. This chemical attraction doesnt care what the other persons values are, what is important to him or her, the personality characteristics involved, or what either of you likes to do in your spare time. Compatibility is a key for a successful, healthy relationship. Go to http://www.therelationshipcenter.biz and take the free Assessment to determine your compatibility with your partner.

A second consideration is simply that there are major differences in how men are in relationships compared to how women are. Women generally dont understand men because the men dont act like women and similarly, men dont understand women because they dont act like men. And since a woman has never been a man and a man has never been a woman, how does each learn about these important differences? John Gray researched and wrote about these issues in his book, Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. But I would say that the majority of people in relationships dont take the time to learn about these gender differences. It is easier to point a finger and blame the other person for his or her irrational behavior.

As mentioned earlier, a third area of growth is learning how to manage conflict. There are time proven methods for resolving conflict that we dont learn in school or from a book. There are ways to actually hear each other in relationships. By placing the relationship FIRST in importance, these methods can be implemented by couples to greatly improve their satisfaction.

There is so much to learn about satisfying relationships that your parents never showed you. Please dont become one of the statistics of divorce or perhaps worse, stay in a miserable relationship to honor your marriage vows while having so many regrets about your life as the time ticks away.

Take charge and take control of your life. Learn some new ways to improve the relationship you are already in or to prepare yourself for being a better, improved partner for the next person in your life.

Your Sexual Past – Does it Bother your Boyfriend?

The last thing your boyfriend wants to think about is another guy having been with you (whether we’re talking about sex or just hooking up). Envisioning some other guy getting down with you can literally drive him crazy. 

Have you had a checkered sexual history that’s filled with lots of experience? If so, your boyfriend might have trouble dealing with this. But this is something that he must accept. 

Don’t you dare let someone else throw your past in your face or hold it against you. If it’s ancient history (or only a few months ago), let it stay there, and move on. 

He must accept you for all that you areIf he’s chosen to be with you…he needs to accept you for all that you are. And that means everything. It doesn’t mean he has to like your sexual history, of course, but it means he can’t hold it against you. It’s completely unfair for him to want to date you and then start knit-picking about details from your past. 

If he’s constantly bringing up your pastTell him flat out that he’s going to have to accept everything about you if he wants to date you. Let him know he has two choices: 

a) You two break up 

b) You two stay together…but he can never mention your sexual past ever again. Never. Not even when you two are fighting. 

Learn from your mistakes and move onThe few moments of pleasure that come from sex and hooking up can have a permanent effect on you reputation and self-esteem. If you’ve chosen to change your “free loving” ways, you’re doing the right thing and that’s what matters most. On the other hand, if youve only had a few hookup and your man is making a major issue about it, you might want to rethink whether you really need to date such a puritanical person.

Breaking Up & Staying Friends

In some way or another, breaking up and staying friends is sort of like getting back together with an ex. Only this time you two will not have a romantic relationship. It will only be a platonic relationship. There are some benefits and drawbacks to this. Read further and then decide whether breaking up and staying friends is right for you.

In order to figure out if staying friends with your ex is worthwhile to you, you must figure out if either one of you still has strong feelings for each other. If either one of you still want to get back together romantically, then there can be no possibility of having a platonic relationship because there will always be some longing there to get really close.

One possibility of being able to stay friends is if you and your partner find partners of your own who satisfy your need for romantic and emotional love. At that point, you will likely have reached full closure and are now strong enough to have a friendship level relationship with your ex. One example of this scenario can be found on the Santa Claus movie with Tim Allen. His wife left him and found another man, while Tim found fulfillment somewhere else. They were both fulfilled, therefore they were comfortable being friends with each other, even though they were exes.

Another drawback of breaking up and staying friends is the very real possibility of one of you getting jealous once the other one begins to have a romantic relationship with another person. This is the downfall and most common reason of failed friendships between ex lovers. If one of you feels jealousy clamoring to the surface, then friendship after a relationship is not for you. More often than not, this scenario happens, and in order to prevent this, it is best to go cold turkey. Give yourself at least a couple of months before contacting them again.

Sometimes in order to feel the benefits of friendship, you do need to be apart for a couple of months. If this might sound awkward or counter intuitive, consider the fact that you don’t know what you have until you lose it. After a little time passes, you might realize what a friend you actually had. Or your partner might realize what a good friend you were and then come back to you with mended ways. Either way, a little time apart might do both of you some good.

The few benefits that do exist when staying friends after a breakup beg the question: Why? Why would you want to stay friends with your ex after a breakup? If your new romantic partner is okay with it, then that will be fine. But if they are not okay with it, then you will have to choose whether you want to continue the relationship with both them and your ex. Some people would view that as baggage while others would see it as something totally doable. It is entirely up to you.

How Much Are You Dependent on Your Marriage

Marriage is the best form of companionship designed by mankind. After marriage a person is assured of at least one friend for life. Marriage gives some assurance that one will have a companion through thick and thin till the end. We cannot call our other friendships and relations so dependable. That is why marriage is important. All this was certainly true, few decades ago. Is it so even now? How far are you dependent on your marriage to derive satisfaction and peace in life?

Now let us examine some personalities. For my first example I will take a man/woman who is career oriented. For whom nothing matters other than the career and achievements in the work place. What kind of married life will such a person have? One can assume that such a person will not be very dependent upon married relationship. Such a person will not undergo an unbearable shock if marriage breaks.

Take another example of a person who has a large group of friends and socially networks very well. Attends all the functions, parties and celebrations thrown by friends. If someone is a typical social animal that thrives in a group of friends and invents reasons for gatherings, will he/she depend on the married life for happiness? Such people are not highly dependent on their married life for happiness. Their attitude is different.

On the other hand, let us take an example of a person who is introvert and likes to remain with and shares more time with family. Such a person is a devoted family person and may get devastated if separated or after the death of spouse.

All of us derive different pleasures with different relationships. Our priorities vary. Our value system varies. Because of these differences in our personalities, marriage may or may not play a very important role in every ones life.

Tips to Keep Your Marriage Alive

Is your marriage boat rocking? Maybe you are thinking what happened to all those vows you took when you got married. It happens with the best of us. We start out with the best of hopes to do something great out of our marriage and then we falter along the way. However, if you give it a little more care and attention, maybe you can still keep your marriage alive.

If issues have cropped up between the two of you, then you need to first think for yourself how those issues started. In most cases, you will find that it was nobody’s fault and then it was the fault of both of you. If you can, get someone neutral whom you trust in and tell him or her of everything that has happened between your partner and you. They may be able to give you a great perspective on where the fault actually lies.

Whosoever is at fault, you are responsible as well. Being accountable for it is something that can really help you. Own up to your shortcomings. Accept to yourself that the mistake was not wholly your partner’s. Once you have done that, you must gather the courage to go up and speak to your partner. Tell them that you do not want your beautiful relationship to come to an end because of some trivial issues and tell them that you are expressly sorry for whatever happened. It does not matter if they apologize or not. You are not looking for an apology here. You are looking for a better life together. If you get back together, you have the whole life ahead to analyze what went wrong.

Bring the fun back into your relationship. Maybe things have started to sour because you are no longer as exciting for each other as you were before. Plan something together, like going on a vacation… just the two of us. This can work amazingly well in bringing both of you close together. When you get back together in this manner, you will both realize the fun aspect of your relationship that you have been missing so far and you will want to rekindle that passion once more.

Throughout all of this, you have to maintain an optimistic attitude. Keep confidence in yourself. Go on as nothing has happened to mar your relationship. Do not give out the slightest hint that your relationship has soured and that it is heading for bad times. If you think positively, then you will see the difference it makes for your partner’s perception of you.