Save your Relationships: Ask the Right Questions

Not only did this post perfectly put into words a day at home with the kids, but she also so eloquently gives concrete ways to connect better with your spouse/friend/kids, etc. SO GOOD. You must check out http://www.momastery.com, but first…read this!

Save your Relationships: Ask the Right Questions.

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friendship matters

The other day I received an unexpected gift in the mail: the October issue of “Psychology Today”! There are several wonderful articles in the issue, but the highlighted article is called, “Life Lessons: 5 Truths People Learn too late” by Elizabeth Svoboda. And one of the truths in particular really hit home. Thus, the purpose of this post: I want you to know the truth because I think you might need to hear it as much as I did. So, without further ado…here it is:

“Lesson #4: Social Networks Matter: The strength of your friends is as critical for your health as the lifestyle choices you make.”

The highlights you don’t want to miss:

  • The higher the quantity and quality of your relationships, the longer you live.
  • People with active social lives were 50 percent less likely to die of any cause than their nonsocial counterparts.
  • Low levels of social interaction have the same negative effects as smoking 15 cigarettes day– and even worse effects than being obese or not exercising (from study by Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University).
  • The more social connections you have, the greater your ability to fight infection (from study by Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University)

The takeaway?: “Stress has potentially negative effects on health and well-being, but knowing your friends have your back can prevent such fallout” (Cohen).

 

my dear friend Dana with our babies!

Wow! I knew supportive friendships were important, but I didn’t realize just how much! Here’s to reaching out, making time, and enjoying a friendship today!

To read the full article (and the other 4 life lessons!) click the following link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201209/life-lessons/lessons-loving

 

the secret to a happy marriage

Ok, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… you suffered through reading alarming divorce stats. And why most marriage therapy fails. Now, you are ready for the secret.

And here it is: happily married couples share a deep friendship. This means they enjoy each other’s company and share a mutual respect for one another. They like each other.  In other words, their positive thoughts about each other override and outweigh their negative ones.

“In the strongest marriages, husband and wife share a deep sense of meaning. They don’t just “get along”– they also support each other’s hopes and aspirations and build a sense of purpose into their lives together” (Gottman, p.23).

Does this sound like your marriage? If it does, awesome! Keep on doing the things that keep you close and feeling mostly positive about each other!

If it doesn’t sound like your marriage, I pray you’ll consider doing something about it. Now, it doesn’t have to be therapy (although I’m sure you have picked up on my not-so-subtle hints that good therapy can help). It can also be through a group, classes, and workshops or even reading this book (the “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman) together.

Life is hard. Raising a family is even harder. And it’s just a darn shame when you and your partner don’t feel like much of a team. The good news is, there are a lot of resources out there that can help. Let me know if you’d like help finding them.

I wish you blessings in your journey, friend. Good luck!

dems fightin’ words

Five sure fire ways to start a fight with someone you love today:

  1. “You always __________________!”(forget to…., mess that up, try to upset me, etc)
  2. “You never ____________________!” (listen, do what I want, tell me I’m beautiful…)
  3. “You are such a ________________!” (insert mean name/label here)
  4. “You make me _______________!” (crazy, insane, angry…)
  5. “You asked for it!” (same principle as #4, anything that blames your partner for your behavior)

Five tips that will decrease the probability of a fight:

  1. “I feel ____________ (insert emotion, ex. “hurt”) when you _____________.”(insert specific behavior. Ex. “when you forgot to call me when you said you would”) This works because you are talking about your feelings over a specific behavior. You’re not blaming or making untrue all or nothing statements. When you say, “You always forget to call me!” instead of making your point and feelings heard, your partner is immediately put on the defensive.
  2. “Thank you!”
  3. “Please”
  4. “I love you!”
  5. “May I give you a back massage?”

Good luck!