Take a quick look at the picture beside us. Closely! What does it make you think of? It makes me think of a number of different things. Primarily, it makes me think of how do couples solve this sex, love and intimacy puzzle?
"Is that a gun in your pocket or are you happy to see me?" - Mae West
The following was overheard in a bar, but it could have been anywhere.
"Well, what the hell is intimacy if it isn't sex. Hey, I mean if we are intimate we get sexy together, right. Budda budda bong bong. You know get hot and wild, crazy passionate. That is being intimate. Right!"
What are the "languages of love" ? Sounds interesting, yes. Are there really five different languages of love that one can speak? And what does that mean for a relationship? Is it complicated? Does it work to improve a relationship?
Most of us believe marriage should be based on love. But some days it seems as though you and your partner are speaking two different languages? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman teaches couples to identify, understand, and speak their partner's primary love language. These love languages he calls quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.
By learning the five love languages, you and your partner will discover your own unique love languages and find practical steps to real love. Chapters are organized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with specific, simple steps showing how to express a specific language to your partner and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can begin to build a lasting, loving marriage together or get back the love you buried somewhere.
Gary Chapman hosts a US nationally syndicated daily radio program called A Love Language Minute that can be heard on more than 150 radio stations as well as the weekly syndicated program Building Relationships with Gary Chapman, which can both be heard on fivelovelanguages.com.
I recommend The Five Love Languages as a very good starting point. It can improve your relationship in a matter of months. Buy it, read it and practice it.
This is not the only thing you can do. Next time we will talk about the essential communication skills you must learn and use to have a truly loving relationship. Remember, to be heard and understood is to be loved.
Have a mindfully loving week.
Live, love and laugh, Marianne and Bob.
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Now is now and then was then! Christmas has changed a lot over the years and it is very different today.
What has changed? Well, for me the technology has changed dramatically. The close feeling of Christmas is still there, but in some different forms.
We love visits from friends and family. It is wonderful to sit around and share some food, friendship, love and laughter. We are grateful for the cards we get and for the emails and text messages people send. We are happy to pick up the phone and hear a Christmas greeting from a familiar voice. It is good to phone someone and hear their loving voices and wish them Christmas Happiness and love.
We are pleased that we deal with our human greediness by limiting the value or number of presents we give. We are happy to see that some deserve more than others. Not everyone has equal needs.
I still feel that Christmas at its heart is about being grateful and sharing love and wealth. Sometimes we still have to work at delivering what we believe and self awareness and self acceptance helps us do just that.
Marianne and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.
What are the top issues which start most arguments with couples? What are the issues that cause most of your arguments? Share your top issues below. Go ahead, it is painless. We will share the results with you in the next post. No names or email addresses necessary. It takes 1 minute.
Usually couples begin to argue about something because things go out of balance. It can seem to be a little thing, but it triggers a big underlying issue. For example, I end up mislaying something, my smart phone. It is not soooo important, still we end up arguing. The real issue in this case could be criticism and self respect. Not what I first became angry about.
In a relationship you are part of a team, Team Realtionship. When things go well you function well together. You have a sense of harmony and happiness, Real Love. A relationship is not about worshipping the other or putting yourself in second place. It is about we, the two of you working to create a balanced and happy life. You create and keep Real Love in the relationship.
How to keep that balance, keep the love? Learn some proven techniques.
An important step is to solve your problems when they come up. Identifying the underlying issue as you have just done creates a focus for discussion. (Have you finished? Do it Now!) Problem solving is only possible when you have a full and complete discussion of the issue before you focus on the problem solving.
First step always, using the Speaker - Listener technique (scroll down to Marriage Divorce and Love #3), discuss fully the issue that has come up. Take your time. This part is most important. Rather do it when you cool down. Take a time out and agree to come back to it later.
Now it is time to speak with each other. The children are asleep, or with mom or the babysitter and the TV, cell phones, tablets and computers are turned off. You are sitting down to speak with and listen to each other as equal partners. The discussion ends when both of you feel you have been heard and understood.
Now you can agree to move on to problem solving. We will give you a technique in the next post.®
Have a very good weekend. Live, Love and Be happy, Marianne and Bob.
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So many choices so little time. Too much indecision leads to fewer possibilities as time goes by. What does it all mean? What is the key to making changes in your life?
There are three key things we all can do to change to the lives we want and value. Simply stated,there are three steps. First you must mindfully accept where you are at. Second, you must decide where you want to go and visualize it. Third, you must act. Starting has amazing power and leads to the next step, and the next and so on. That is called Success!
Now, let´s take a closer look at each of the three steps.
To accept where you are at mentally, physically, socially and financially is the true starting point for all successful journeys of change. You must do this. For example, if I argue with my partner every day, I must see the situation for what it is. I won't make any progress if I deny it. This is not about judging or criticizing myself. It is about having the right information to make a decision from. To be mindfull and accept your reality is power information not weakness.
Once you accept where you are you have the information you need to decide where you want to be. So when I say to myself that I often argue with my partner; that is where I am. Where do I want to be? I decide that I want a life where my partner and I are happy, we communicate peacefully and have found the love again. That is my goal.
How can I get that happier and better relationship with my partner? I see that I can get help from a life coach or marriage counselor, I can read a book, speak with a friend or take a Relationship Skills course. Maybe I will do all four; where will I start. "I know! I will speak with Paul and read that marriage book. Then I will speak with my partner and we can take that Relationship/Marriage Skills course. Afterwards we can get some coaching."
Last step. Take action, start moving. So I will phone Paul and go over and speak with him. On the way over to Paul´s house I will buy the book. Before I go over to Paul´s I will make an appoinment with my wife to talk about things, us. I will ask her to enroll in the course with me.
Best of luck to all of you who want to make life changes. The process is the same no matter what you want to change.®
Get started now, and take action. Live, Love and be Happy, Marianne and Bob
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If you want to do a job you need the right tools and knowledge to do it. If I wish to build a house, paint a room, make a dress, cook a great meal, I will, in each case, need the right tools and knowledge about how to do it. Obviously the quality of tools/knowledge is very important too.
The same goes for a relationship. If you want to have and keep a good relationship then you need some tools and knowledge of how to do it. The better the tools and knowledge you can get, the better chance you have of building a good and happy relationship. When I speak of tools here, I do not mean "hammer and saw" tools, but tools such as courses, training and coaching. Click here to see our 1 day PREP course. In our opinion, PREP is the best relationship course available. It is the only course backed up by solid research!
How do you know when a course is good, training is good or coaches are competent? Good question, yes?
The answer is look at the history. How was the course or training developed? Are the people qualified or experienced? Are there references or research about the course? Are the teachers trained? When in doubt ask. And don't be shy about asking them. Who are you and why should I take this course from you?
So how do you maintain your relationship and find the love again? You develop Real Love in your relationship by investing some time and money in yourselves and the skills you must have. How much do we spend on a new blouse, a new car or an evening out for two? How long does that keep us happy? Are you willing to invest some time and money to get the Tools and Knowledge you must have to have a loving and happier relationship? Click here to read more about Real Love.
Have a great week and live, love and laugh. Marianne and Bob
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Divorce rates in countries are measured in different ways. An often used measure is how many divorces there are per 1000 citizens. This statistic doesn't tell you very much other than the trends over a period of time. What does 8 divorces per 1000 people per year really mean? Not much. It conceals more than it reveals.
A more interesting number is the percent of marriages which end in divorce. It is commonly accepted by researchers that in the USA and Norway, for example, the rate lies between 41 to 51% in first time marriages and around 60% in second marriages.
One thing is certain. Divorce rates are very high and the personal and societal costs and pain involved is enormous. It is for me, doubly sad when you think that most of us start off in marriage "in love." We have fallen in love. What a rush. What a wonderful thing, being in love. But what is love? And what is falling in love?
Take a minute now and answer those two questions for yourself. Go ahead do it, nobody has to see your answers, right? Oh, by the way, why do we fall out of love? What happens?
Well, here is what researchers and marriage and relationship counsellors have found out. Falling in love is a state of heightened arousal and euphoria created by the relationship you have with another person. Research shows that this period usually does not last longer than between nine months and two years.
During this period we are not always as practical and logical as we could be. Our feet are often not touching the ground. We live in this fantastic dream world. We see our partners as perfect and wonderful. Nothing could go wrong. But it does. Why? And how can we keep the love in a relationship?
After two years or less we start to see our feet touch the ground. We become more realistic, critical and demanding. Usually falling out of love is not the same lightning strike experience as falling in love was. In fact it takes some years before that seemingly perfect relationship you had is not at all perfect. It has become stressful, unsatisfying and unhappy.
At this point, people often ask, "What happened to the love?"
In the past there were two ways of dealing with this. To stay or to leave the relationship. Fifty years and more back in time people toughed it out. It was a commitment and they stayed to the bitter end. Looking at some of the results of this approach we see it wasn't always positive. The other way was to walk away, to get divorced. People did not divorce so easily back then. That has changed as todays statistics show.
This does not mean that those who stuck it out and stayed with it until the end were better or smarter than you. But researchers and experienced marriage counsellors have found there is a third way. That third way is to learn some relationship skills and techniques and do the work to put them in practice. This builds Real Love.
Next post we will talk about Real Love. What happened to the love? What are the skills and techniques you need to learn and practice to personally grow and create a wonderful and lasting relationship? Also, a heads up. We will be holding a super one day course with lunch for max 5 couples on October 26th. Details to be forthcoming.
Hey, please remember to comment, Like Us or Tweet us below. Thanks and have a wonderful week, Bob and Marianne. ®
First, a little ramble about gratefullness. Gratefullness saved my life once when I was a long way down and needed a helping hand up again. Gratefullness can attract more of what you are truly grateful for. Gratefullness makes you feel good. Gratefullness contributes to a very positive attitude. And gratefullness can be learned and works best when practised every day.
So here is a great tip about gratefullness, start a regular daily gratefullness practice now. Use only 5 minutes per day. Buy a little lined book and write it down. Writing involves mental and physical activities so it works better than just thinking about being grateful. Start small and increase the numbers after you have built the habit. Read it after a month or two. Sweet. In the beginning you may find it difficult or artificial, but persist and feel the magic. Fake it until you become it.
Here are a number of things that I am grateful for today. There may be more or less tomorrow, but there are always many things if I just take the time to look. Anyway, some things I am grateful for today.
Today I am grateful for:
1) my intelligent, strong and kind wife.
2) my children just the way they are.
3) love and loving kindness.
4) the food I eat each day.
5) the peaceful land I live in.
6) the privelege of saying and thinking what I believe.
7) the daylight and the darkness.
8) enough money.
9) friends and family.
10) my good health.
11) the experience of being alive.
12) living mindfully.
13) what I learn.
14) the morning.
15) the light on the leaves blowing in the wind.
16) clean water.
17) the privilege of giving and receiving.
18) my 7 grandchildren, soon 8.
19) those seemingly small miracles such as breathing.
20) the green grass and wildflowers.
21) my dog.
22) my oldest son's recent visit.
23) experiencing happiness and sadness which makes them both visible.
24) the sunrise and sunset.
25) my dead mother and step-father.
26) you dear reader.
Have a grateful day and a grateful life forward. Gratefully Bob.
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From time to time it is so wonderful to inject a little romance into our often routine lives. The most obvious time for this is the weekend as most of us work. It takes just a little planning, time and usually very little money.
Be creative, thoughtful and have no expectations. Let yourself be surprised by the results you create.
Tip # 1. The morning magic moment. Could be the evening magic moment also, but not on Friday evening. At least one of you is tired and that is a romance killer. Also, have a plan to deal with the kids for a few hours or an evening at grandma's house. Have a good friend take the kids for a few hours and return the favour at a later time. Plan a little and have fun with it. Planning is fun, yes?
When the house and kitchen is a mess that is a definite distraction from romantic ideas. So maybe spring out of bed early, tidy the kitchen, take out your secret bottle of chilled champagne and blend 50-50 with orange juice (heavenly delicious). Serve it on a nicely decorated tray or plate. Visualize a romantic setting and create a little ambiance with a few candles, some romantic music. (see our music list from February 12, 2013)
Wrap up 3 chocolates and create a little handwritten note that you will attach to the Romantic Gift. Suggested wording could be "To the world's most wonderful, beautiful wife or husband. I love you. Especially when you......"
Now deliver the goods. Do they like the idea of champagne in bed? Or served at a decorated table.
Tip # 2. Super magic moment.
This is an enhanced version of Tip # 1. Deliver a note with the gift and a glass of orange juice champagne to your partner´s bed. Be a little creative with the note because when you deliver the goods it will be at another location in the house. For example, if you have a bath tub or hot tub, make a good bubble bath for them and set the rest of the champagne bottle in the bathroom. Of course a few candles is romantic and music where possible. Maybe you can pose as the waiter. With a hand towel over your arm.
Or the other location could be at a nicely set table in the kitchen complete with champagne, a lovely "cooked by you"-breakfast, with the hand towel over the arm! Remember to change your note and invite them to the right place not to the garage or the neighbours! Have fun.
Tip # 3 Get Dressed Up and Be Somebody
How about planning a dynamite homecooked meal. You can serve it with a bottle of good wine, candles , romantic music. To make it real special. Send them a written invitation saying that the dress code is "dressed up" . Men, have a shower and shave and use a little quality men's perfume. This is a quality person you will dine with. Most of all, unload the children for overnight if possible. Enjoy the meal and take a trip back to the good old days when you were in love.
Be romantic , live long and happy, Bob and Marianne.®
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Bob and Marianne own SteppingStoneLifeCoaching.