Sunday, February 24, 2013

Is Your Relationship Ready for Marriage?



Relationships can be extremely difficult but they can also be very fulfilling. If you want your relationship to be fulfilling you HAVE to do it right. Cutting corners in relationships only leads to conflict and drifting apart rather than toward each other.  Below is a list of things to consider before you get married.

1. Are you faithful to each other?
It may sound obvious but you would be shocked at the number of people who say their vows while being unfaithful. So get this one right, no exceptions. "Open" marriages are not made to last.

2. Have you discussed your expectations for marriage and life together?
Many people picture marriage different than their spouses do and then get married and are severely disappointed. Communicate your expectations before you even get engaged. Make sure your expectations are compatible. If they are not try to find middle ground that works for both of you. If you cannot do that do not get married.


3. How well can you communicate?
Marriage REQUIRES good communication. Throw away guilt trips, passive aggressive behavior and assumptions. If he/she does something right, tell them. If you have hopes for an anniversary tell them. If you are upset, tell them and don't just expect them to figure it out. TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK. Do not blame. Fight for the relationship, not to win the argument.

4. Have you figured out how to manage your money?
Money can be a huge source of conflict. It is stressful if you don't have an effective plan or if you are not on the same page. See a financial counselor if you are not able to figure out a solid plan on your own.

5. Are you closer to your parents that your potential spouse.
The bible was on to something when it said you should leave your parents and attach to your spouse. It causes huge marital issues when you go to your parents for companionship and help more than your spouse. Make sure your spouse is your best friend, not your mom.

6. Have you worked through any trust issues?
Trust/insecurity issues can put big wedges in relationships. Make sure you are working toward solving this before you get married. If your marriage starts with trust issues and you are not working on it, it is not likely to last. A good marriage requires trust.

7. Can you communicate about sex?
Sex, in laws and money are the top three biggest marital issues. Make sure you can communicate about sex. It can be amazing or it can be horrible. Communication around this topic will help lead which direction your sex life will go. Don't be afraid to see a counselor if you have been sexually abused in the past and are struggling in the area. Make sure your sex life is love/each other based not lust based.

8. Are you committed?
Couples that view marriage as a life long commitment are more likely to work through issues than couple who view divorce as an option. As un-romantic as it sounds, being stuck with someone for the rest of your life is motivation to be nice to them. It is a rather simple concept with big implications.

If you feel like you are solid in all of these areas you might be a great candidate for marriage. Marriage should be taken seriously. I strongly recommend every couple going through pre marital counseling to make sure there are not any issues left un-turned. If you do struggle in some of the above stated areas it doesn't mean you cannot get married, it just means you have some things you should work on first. Working on  your relationship is the best gift you can give to each other. Do it right and reap the benefits.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Ways People Screw Up Valentines Day


1. Do not communicate your expectations.
Are you hoping for flowers and going out to eat but never tell you man! DO NOT ASSUME HE KNOWS YOUR EXPECTATIONS! If you communicate them to him your chances of getting your hopes met are much higher. Throw away the idea that it is more romantic if he thinks of it on his own. It's not fair to expect your partner to know what you hope for if you never tell them.

2. Use it as a pity day.
Are you single and depressed because you don't have a date? Instead of having a miserable day, why don't you use this as a day to show friends and family that you care about them. You don't have to be romantically involved to show love on valentines day!!

3. Don't plan in advance.
Do your plans usually get screwed over last minute because the wait is too long or child care fell through. You knew valentines day was coming for all of your post adolescent life. Plan for it in advance  so your day doesn't have to have unnecessary screw ups. (I know, helpful info from a post a day before valentines day :/ )

4. Go through the Motions.
Do you do the same thing every year and it's starting to get boring? Be creative. Find a way to celebrate your love in a unique way that fits you and your significant other. It doesn't have to be dinner, flowers and movie. It can whatever you make it!!

5. You ruin your night with bitterness.
So you wanted to go on cruise for valentines day and you guys are going on a walk instead. You have a choice. You can be angry and disappointed or you can choose to have a good time anyway. Make the most of what is in front of you and don't let bad attitudes ruin your day.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to Improve Your Child's Self-Esteem


1. Teach the value of mistakes.
When your child makes a mistake help him or her understand that mistakes are helpful for learning.  Do not bring up past mistakes as a way to humiliate or punish them.

2. Point out specific behaviors or actions that your child does well.
Children especially do not see on their own what they are good at. An adult, especially their parent, is the most powerful tool in helping children see their strengths. Remember do not say, "Good job." but rather, "You colored in the lines very nice.".

3. Do not do everything for your child.
You might feel like you are loving parent for doing every little thing for your child. Unfortunately, truth be told, this sends the message that your child is not capable of doing it themselves. They hear this message loud and clear.

4. When you see a strength give your child more opportunities to use it.
If your child is good at sports, put them in sport. If they are caring call on them when a child is sad.  Take advantage of utilizing a child's strength. Nothing boost a child's self esteem more than if an adult needs their help!

5. Quality time sends a powerful message.
Simply spending quality time with your child sends a very powerful message that they are lovable, and worthy of another person's time. This is no small task. Children will carry this message into adulthood- good or bad.

Children's self-esteem can be very fragile but it is something to take very seriously. How we view ourselves shapes our ambition,  spouse choice, and future success. If we think we are an incapable loser, why would we try for things outside of that category? Many people break up with significant others because they feel like they are not "good enough" for them. Prevent this kind of future for your child. Parents have the most influence over this, but start young! It is easier to build  on a solid foundation than to try and build on a rocky one.