Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marriage: Breaking the Cycle



In marriage we get into cycles. There are good cycles and there are bad cycles.  BOTH partners are responsible for the cycle. Here is how it works.

Bad Cycle:
Wife says something grumpy---- husband response defensively----- wife is offended by his defensive response and gives him the cold shoulder----husband is angry wife is ignoring him so he doesn’t do what she asked---- wife is angry he will not do what he asked so she refuses sex--- husband looks at porn because he feels justified since his wife isn’t giving him any…… and on it goes

Good Cycle:
Husband make wife breakfast in bed---- wife is so grateful that it leads to sex--- husband is sexual satisfied and feels appreciate so he is motivated to do the wife’s to do list--- wife is so grateful he did the to do list that she makes a really special supper for him--- husband is appreciative of his wife’s previous action that he asks her to cuddle and watch a movie together after the kids go to bed… and on it goes

Now at any point each partner has the power to break one of these cycles. Any point one person can response sweetly or poorly and jump to the other cycle. This is a very powerful concept. If you can start to recognize these patterns in your own marriage you can prevent a series of relationship damaging events from ever happening.

Example:
Husband is grumpy and exhausted from the day and is short with his wife--- wife recognizes the exhaustion and offers to make him supper and encourages him to relax--- husband feels respected, valued and more rested, and then has more energy to talk sweetly and spend time with his wife--- wife’s needs get met and it is no longer a challenge to be sweet to him--- both the husband and the wife’s needs are satisfied--- potential conflict averted.

Breaking these cycles means stopping yourself before you respond emotionally, but the benefits are a happy and satisfying marriage. If you and your spouse are stuck in the bad cycle don’t be afraid to seek help.  Breaking long time habits is not easy to do!

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Find The One


1. Are you being realistic about your expectations?
It is good to have standards such as "doesn't beat me" or "is a good person", but if you are waiting to find someone that is meets 1002 of your expectations you may be waiting a long time. Make a list of your expectations and sort out which ones are negotiable and which ones are needed. It would be a shame to miss out on a happy and fulfilling marriage because you thought you needed a guy with a six pack, who was also passionate about knitting.

2. Do you give up before the relationship ever really had a chance?
Relationships take time and effort to develop. Some people are hoping for an instant connection, "love at first sight", but the reality is most people do not experience that. For many it takes many months before those feelings come.

3.  Are you meeting people in the right places?
Is the only place you are meeting people at bars, but you are hoping to find a person that is really into God? You might have a harder time finding the one if you are looking in the wrong places. Go back to your expectations and think about where that person would spend time.

4. Are you putting effort into developing romantic relationships?
If you hide every time some one seems interested it is going to be hard to get married. Do you flirt back when some one pays special attention to you? Do you talk to people you are interested in, or do you just think about how great they are? Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone in order to meet the kind of person you are looking for? That might mean joining a club or organization in order to expose yourself to the right kinds of people.

5. Are you attracted to the right people?
If you are spending time dating people or pursuing people that you wouldn't actually marry, you are wasting your time. Before you start dating some one ask yourself, "Is this person marriage material". If they are not do not date them or pursue them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

5 Reasons Why People Do Not Have Friends




Do you wish you had more friends? Do you seldom have plans? You are not alone in feeling this way. Millions of people report being lonely and wishing they had more friends.  This is a common reason for depression and anxiety.  Research studies support that people with strong personal communities have better health. We were designed to have friends. So if you are struggling with this, let’s look at some possible reasons why.
  •  Do you push people away by accident? Some people have a hard time opening up and others interpret this as a rejection and stay away. Being open about your life makes people feel like you trust them and then are more comfortable with you.
  •  Do you assume insult before it happens? Some people carry insecurity that is so strong that they get insulted unnecessarily. People like this have a hard time having close friends because they are quick to assume people don’t like them or think ill of them.  
  •  Are you trust worthy? If you cannot keep people’s personal information private, people will be hesitant to share with you. You need to be a safe person to open to, if you want people to share their life with you.
  •  Do you put effort into meeting people? It is hard to make friends if you never leave your house or if you are never around people.
  •   Do you accept invitations to social events? Often times people have very specific conditions for which they will socialize and if those aren’t met, they will not go out. That is ok until they feel lonely because those opportunities don’t come up much.

So to conclude: if you are feeling lonely try opening up, ignoring insecurity, and keeping people’s secrets.  Get out of the house and go places where people are. Join a club, a church, volunteer or get a job where you can meet people. Once you do get an invitation to socialize be flexible.  Don’t let your fears keep you from being happy.   If these tips aren’t enough to help do not be afraid to see a counselor. Social skills can be taught. I have been teaching social skills since 2006. Just remember no matter where you are at. You do not have to be lonely. Seek help. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

When Grandparents Divorce

The Cover is FINISHED! 
Coming this fall! Children's book and parent guide on grandparent divorce. Answers tough questions like: 
What can I do if my children are displaying behaviors related to the divorce?
Infants would benefit from you keeping routines and schedules the same. Keep comforting blankets and toys nearby, and don’t be afraid to be extra affectionate with your infant. Having more cuddle and play time will help to reassure them.
Toddlers may need you to spend extra time with them. Schedule in extra time when dropping off or leaving your child behind.They may need extra reassurance. Be extra affectionate, both verbally and physically. Be patient with signs of regression and
understand that with time and support, the child will most likely catch up to where he was.
Preschool and elementary-age children need more verbal reassurance. Provide them with opportunities to talk, write or draw about how they are feeling. Reading books about the topic can help them process and understand what is going on. This can also
help them to feel like they are not alone or wrong for feeling a certain way. Gently letting them know that the divorce is final will help them to accept the changes, and move forward. Making plans for when they can see their grandparents can help reduce
some of their anxiety. Reminding them that they are still loved, and it was not their fault, is important.
For teens keeping the lines of communication open is very important. It can be helpful for teens to have a healthy adult outside of the family to talk to, such as a youth pastor, teacher, or family friend. Talking to teens about how things will change and how things will stay the same, can help as well.Writing and drawing can also be healing for a teenager. If behaviors get out of
control, seeing a counselor or therapist can help at any age

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to Have Great Sex



Our early sexual experiences shape the way we view sex for the rest of our lives. Mark Gungor calls it “imprinting”.  How you imprint can really help your sex life or it can damage it severely. We all desire to have great sex someday. Lucky for us, there is now research on how to do that. 


Imprinting scenario one: a man who imprinted on lust and sex alone. 
The following is a quote from Mark describing a person that had their first sexual experience based in lust not love:
    Now (possibly for the rest of his life) he is likely to view sex in the context of “lust” and “naughtiness”. This is the man who will constantly be pushing his wife to try some outrageous new behavior, take sexual risks or constantly role-play – all in an attempt of re-living that experience that has had such a profound impact on his psyche. 
Scenario number two: a man who imprinted on the girl he loved.
Now take a man and a woman who have their first sexual experience in the context of love and marriage. They wait until their wedding day to have sex. Sex becomes a deep expression of their commitment and love for each other. In this scenario the man “imprints” on the woman, not the sexual experience itself.

If a man imprints on the lust or sex any woman will do. In scenario number two the man associates sex with this woman he “imprinted” on. He does not have eyes for other woman. This piece alone will improve his sex life tenfold.  When a woman feels as if she is the only woman in the world to her man, her sexual responsiveness will skyrocket.

Men often feel sexual urges and fall into porn to meet their needs. They feel that this will satisfy their needs. Unfortunately porn is like a drug that will never satisfy. The more you have it, the more you want it. Soft core porn become too tame and no longer meets your needs, so you go deeper, and on it goes. Porn can be so consuming that you can develop a sexual disorder from repeated porn exposure / masturbation. With this disorder you will NOT be able to experience ejaculation while having sex with a woman. Men, like an athlete, can actually train their bodies to only ejaculate to porn and masturbation. These men traded in real woman and real sex for fantasy and their hand.

What to do with this information:

1. Now what do you do with this information if you have already had your first sexual experience? REPROGRAM YOUR BRAIN. FOCUS ON THE GIRL. Try for one month to give up porn and lusting after women. Only focus on your wife. When you feel thoughts creeping in, distract yourself. Commit to only thinking about your wife sexually for one month. In one short month you should start seeing benefits in your sex life.
Women who are reading this: be open to your husband’s sexual advances. A sexually satisfied man is going to resist porn and temptation a 1000 times easier than a man that hasn’t gotten any in 3 weeks. Communicate about your sexual wants and needs!

2. Those of you who have not yet had your first sexual experience! WAIT! Do it right so you don’t have to struggle through the long road of recovery. If you want good satisfying sex, do not masturbate or have multiple partners. Wait for marriage so you can imprint on your wife. Then you can enjoy the benefits of your hard work the rest of your life. Masturbating leads to ejaculating as fast as possible. It is hard to satisfy a woman if you can only last 1-2 minutes. Couples that wait for marriage divorce at a fraction of the percentage compared to the rest of the world. 

For more information on this topic please visit Mark Gungor’s website:

Now every couple is different and there could be a lot of potential issues to work through, especially if there is past sexual abuse in the picture. This is a complicated topic. Do not be ashamed or afraid to seek help. It is worth it when you are on the other side of recovery. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Decision Making Made Easy




Have you ever had a really hard decision to make and debated for hours or even days to try and figure what to do?  I have the perfect solution for you black and white thinkers. Many of us have heard of the pros and cons list. Well I am taking that to the next level.

Numeric Pros and Cons
Step 1: Make a list of good things about your choice.
Step 2: Make a list of bad things about your choice.
Step 3: Assign a number to each item based on a scale of 1-5. Five means that item is extremely important to you and one means you don’t care that much about it.
Step 4: Add up the numbers in each column.

EX:
Whether or not to pet my dog:

Pros:
He likes it -3
He is soft -2
I like him -3
I enjoy petting him -3
Total points =11

Cons:
I would have to call his name or get up -4
My other dog would be jealous -2
My hands might smell like dog -2
Total points = 8

Pros wins with 11 total points. I will pet my dog.

Ok now let’s get complicated! Let’s say you are debating between two options that have their own set of pros and cons. I will show you how that works.

To pet Wally or to pet Puma:

Pros of petting Wally:
Wally holds still for long periods of time. -2
Wally is soft. -2
I like him. -3
Total Points = 7

Cons of Petting Wally:
My hands will smell like dog.-4
He takes forever to come to me when I call him. -4
He doesn’t care that much. -2
Total Points = 10


Pros of Petting Puma
Puma likes to be petted. -2
Puma comes eagerly when called. -2
Puma looks like he is smiling when he gets petted. -4
Puma taps his foot if you get the right spot. -4
Total Points = 12

Cons of Petting Puma
I will feel guilty for not also petting Wally. -3
I will feel guilty that I secretly like Puma better than Wally. -3
Total Points = 6

Now is where we get fancy and use a formula!
Choice 1 pros – choice 1 cons = choice 1 point value
Choice 2 pros – choice 2 cons = choice 2 point value
In my above example with petting Puma and Wally the formula would work as such:
Choice one petting Wally 7-10 = -3
Choice two petting Puma 12-6 = 6
Petting Puma wins by 9 points!!

Ok well I hope this makes sense to all of you and is helpful for your next decision making task. If you need help, feel free to contact me. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How to Tell if Your Marriage is in Trouble


Marriages take hard intentional work. Some times it is hard for people to know where their relationship is at. Below is a list of ways you can tell if your marriage needs a little work. There is no shame in this. Working on your marriage may be the best investment you have ever made.

Warning signs include:

  • lack of communication about every day things
  • drastically different spending habits
  • not having had sex in a long time
  • name calling
  • lack of trust
  • feelings of bitterness toward your spouse
  • purposely hurting your spouse through passive aggressive behavior
  • feeling as if you cannot be yourself around your spouse
  • feeling unloved by your spouse
  • disrespect your spouse privately or publicly 
  • feeling like you cannot communicate your feelings to your spouse 

If your experiencing any of these symptoms it does not necessarily mean your relationship is over. It could just mean your relationship needs a little extra care. All relationships have high points and low points but being willing to work hard and be intentional about your marriage can get you through that low patch. Do not hesitate to ask for help when your marriage is struggling. Often times people do not seek help until they have already decided the relationship is over. Get help while you are still motivated to work. 




Monday, May 7, 2012

10 Thoughts to Reduce Anxiety


Anxiety can be crippling. It often grows if you allow it to or do not intervene. The longer it goes the harder it is to intervene. Below is a list of list of words you can say to yourself to calm yourself down, in an attempt to break the cycle.

1. Things can get better. This is not the end of the world.
2. I am ok. There are other good things in my life that I can focus on.
3. I am capable and able. I am not a victim.
4. I can overcome this. I am strong.
5. I am safe now.
6. I am lovable.
7. It doesn't matter what people think of me. I am ok as is.
8. If my fear happens I can recover.
9. There are people that love me and support me no matter what.
10. I am adaptable.

At times you may need to repeat these sayings to yourself over and over before they sink in. Anxiety can be huge but if you are proactive there are things you can do to reduce it. Anxiety doesn't have to ruin your day or control your life. If managing anxiety on your own feels like too big of a task do not be afraid to seek help.