Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Holidays – Alone, Apart, & Anxious  Continued. . . .

girl in santa hatSharing Time With Others – So you’ve had your time to yourself. Now, consider how much time alone is best for you. At what point will you start to get lonely? It might be two days or maybe a week. Whatever it is, be honest with yourself about your personal limit. Make plans to be around other people when that alone-time limit comes. There are many activities to do and places to go where you can share the holiday spirit with others. Here are some ideas:

  • Volunteer. If it’s holiday traditions you want, forget shopping and parties. Return to the real holiday tradition by helping others. When you volunteer, you can expect two big rewards. First, you’ll be surrounded by people – by volunteers and staff who share your spirit of giving and by those you are helping. Never will someone be more grateful for a gift. Second, it’s good for the soul. Helping others in need is fulfilling, and takes your mind off of your own stuff.
  • Consider canine company. Although it may seem like an unusual idea, create your own company by offering to dog sit for friends who are going out of town. Of course, this will only work if you actually like dogs, and if you’re familiar with their dog in particular. You’ll be doing both them and yourself an enormous favor. A dog can be great company on a long winter’s night. And, who knows who you might meet? Dog walkers are usually a friendly bunch.
  • Extend invitations, and be proactive. Call up other people who might be on their own and arrange a holiday dinner, agreeing to split the meal preparation duties. Lots of singles look forward to their “orphans’ Christmas” each year, celebrating with old friends and new ones. Don’t assume that everyone you know will be busy throughout the holidays. Even if they have family commitments, they still might welcome the opportunity to escape to spend some time with you.
  • Do something with friends. This may seem obvious, but many people don’t think of it. Most of us have been conditioned to think of holidays as time for family only. We’re not used to thinking of this as a time to gather with friends. Change that. If you’re on your own, a few friends might be, too. Get in touch with them, and make some plans.

So, there you have it. If you’re going to be alone for this holiday season, make it a good one. Take advantage of what it can bring you: a chance for some quality person  al time, and a chance to get out, meet some new people and help those in need. Enjoy!

Surviving Christmas

surviving christmasThe return of magical Christmas adverts and movies to our television screens are the modern-day herald of the festive spirit. For many, though, it can spell the start of a difficult season.

Click the links below to find tips on how to cope with the holiday season whether you are alone, deciding where to spend Christmas or separated couples:

December Message

Happy  HolidaysAt AFC, we spend a great deal of time focusing on how to help couples, relationships and marriages improve and flourish. And, the holidays are a time that we are bombarded with messages about being with our loved ones. But what is that’s not possible? Maybe you’re single, divorced, separated from your family or grieving a loved one.

In this month’s blog…we try and give you tips and ideas on how to spend the holidays a bit differently- if you are alone, separated from loved ones or grieving lost relationships, filling up the time between Thanksgiving and New Years can be really difficult. Pass this along to anyone that you think might benefit from a fresh perspective of the holiday season, be compassionate with yourself and others and know that the holidays are a difficult time for many people.

CrazyYou choose the person whom you marry, but you don’t choose your in-laws…… Relationship problems with in-laws are among the most common happiness challenges – whether people are complaining about their spouse’s parents or about their kids’ spouses. In-laws have a unique power to drive us crazy.

Click here to read more about how to show love to mothers and mother-in-law’s.

n-HAPPY-MIDDLE-AGED-COUPLE-large570Is advice from a 60 year relationship worth listening to? I think so! My in-laws have just celebrated their 60 year anniversary, and recently my mother-in-law had some words of wisdom that she shared with me. One of her grandchildren had asked her “how can you tell when you are in love”, and  this is what she said.

“How do you tell when you’re in love? I had to stop and think. My mind came up with several words- all that begin with the letter P.

Privacy– way up there as a priority, it lets a person feel free and be himself.

Passion– way up there too, what’s the fun without it?

Politeness, Persistence, and Patience

Politeness– way up there, treat the one you love as politely as you would a stranger. Other basics- bite your tongue, don’t put words in the air you’ll have to apologize for later, and perhaps, most of all,  a wanting more to be with someone than not to be with someone.”

“A person needs to fall in love over and over again- how nice if it’s with the same person each time!

People change and I believe about every five years you recognize, hey, is he (she) different now? Then it’s time  to take inventory of yourself and your life, and for me, to remember back to how loving someone all started and finding if the spark is still there? For me, the answer keeps being Yes, and I find myself really falling in love again. That’s what makes life fun- with the new person that I’m living with.”

My father-in-law also put in his two cents at our wedding. He was asked by the DJ what he thought the best relationship advice was- and his answer? Just one word- “Trust”.

Personally, I don’t have the experience and wisdom of 60 years behind me, but I have seen quite a few couples over the years in the practice. It’s very true= the couples that do well with improving their relationships are patient and kind to each other, and willing to see each other from a new perspective, even through some really difficult times. Couples that treat each other with disrespect and disdain are destined for divorce. (I know, a lot of “D words” but it’s true.) Fondness and admiration can go a long way in helping to solve problems, generate resolutions and create intimacy.

So, take these words of wisdom from a successful, long term relationship to heart. And to my mother-in-law:

Thank you, Phyl, for the sage words and wisdom from the heart. I truly appreciate you being a marriage mentor in my life. 

November Message

Happy ThanksgivingNo, it’s not really November already, is it? I can’t believe it- but Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. And with the holidays approaching, family get- togethers are not far behind. This month, we have some really good tips on how to get along with your relatives at those family gatherings, and not lose your mind (or damage your relationships!) in the process. This month I have some relationship help from my mother-in-law, who knows exactly what it takes for the success of a long term marriage. Speaking of family relationships, we also have a great article on how to have a wonderful relationship with your in-laws, just in case yours needs a bit of help. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

sex_advice_flirting_020211In the beginning, flirting was probably effortless. From lingering glances to a flip of the hair, both of you were rapidly firing off cues that demonstrated a mix of interest and passion.

Fast forward a few years, past an engagement, marriage, honeymoon. Add in some careers, maybe a couple of kids, a mortgage, large appliances that need replacing, and before you know it, flirting is a distant memory.

Here are 8 easy ways to add some flirtatious fun to your daily interactions with your spouse. Try a few out today!

  1. Show interest.

When your spouse is talking to you, put the paper down, step away from the computer, let the phone go to voicemail. Make eye contact. Ask open-ended questions that have nothing to do with bills, in-laws or household projects.

  1. Tell a joke.

Humor can be magical, reducing the tension of the day, improving the mood and atmosphere. Find something funny to share with your spouse. On the flip side, be sure to laugh at his or her jokes.

  1. Wear something special.

When you have some time to spend together, or want to make time, put on something your spouse likes that you feel good in, even if it’s a clean pair of jeans and a great T-shirt.

  1. Snuggle. Rather than sit at opposite ends of the couch to watch a movie, scoot in and keep each other warm.
  2. Put that technology to good use.

Text a sweet sentiment or profession of love. Use an e-mail to say hello in the middle of the day. Calling to check in during the day? Instead of going directly into “What’s for dinner?” shock her with “I just wanted to tell you I love you.”

  1. Hold hands. The next time you’re walking somewhere together-even if it’s just through the grocery store parking lot-grab your honey’s hand. It may surprise you both.
  2. Kiss each other hello and goodbye every single time. This is a quick but meaningful gesture. Go ahead and linger over them occasionally and see what happens.

 

Happy flirting!

(Source: hitchedmag.com)

 

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