imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day

dog and pancakesHow do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Is it a special day for you or is it just another day?

Every year on February 14th, many people give cards, candy, flowers or some special gift to show a loved one how much they care.   Spouses or friends may arrange to have a special meal or a night out to celebrate this event.  Images of hearts and red flowers are seen in stores, restaurants and other public places.  Some people even choose to get married on Valentine’s Day.

It is great to see people engaging in loving activities but it seems such a shame that it only lasts for a day or so.  Many people have to be reminded to show love to the people around them and once Valentine’s Day is over, the love gets put on the back burner until next year.  Love should be a habit that we live every day.  We should make our loved ones feel special every day, not just one day a year.

Everyone has a love language – something that makes them feel special and important.  We often give love to others using our own love language and this doesn’t work very well.   We may feel loved when someone gives us a gift, but they may feel loved when we do something nice for them.  So if we give them a gift, they may not feel the love we want to share with them.  We need to find out what their love language is and try to show love to them every day.  By showing continuous love, it will make your relationships stronger,  it will make your marriage better and you will be happier!  Here are the 5 different love languages (as found in the book by Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages):

  • words of affirmation – encouragement, supporting and caring words
  • acts of service – doing something nice, a helping hand
  • receiving gifts – choosing something they like
  • quality time – spending time
  • physical touch – hug, kiss, gentle touch, high-five, handshake

You can visit the following website to discover what your love language is….www.5lovelanguages.com

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Ten secrets to a successful marriage

Bride and groom kissing.Anyone who is married knows how hard it is to have a successful, happy marriage.  It takes a lot of hard work and patience to make any relationship work, especially when you are married and have to spend a lot of time together.  We are all different and we have to accept our differences and work together.  Sadly, many marriages break apart because situations become too difficult and people just give up.

Mitch Temple wrote the following 10 secrets to a successful marriage.  These are taken from Focus on the Family……………

Successful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience – trial and error.   Here are ten principles that will help you create and maintain a successful marriage.   I have learned these from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.

2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.

3. If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.

4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.

5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.

6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth – i.e. someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.

7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope – almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.

8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” – when it feels good and when it doesn’t.

9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges, bringing up the past and remembering that they married an imperfect person – and so did their spouse.

10. A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

 

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A marriage checkup

couple eating ice creamMost of us do regular checkups with our doctor or dentist.  We take our vehicles into the shop for a regular checkup.  We take our pets in for their annual checkup.  But how many of us do a regular marriage checkup?

I often see couples walking down the street, not talking or connecting in any way, seemingly distant from each other.  They appear to be strangers who just happen to be walking side by side.  I see couples sitting in a restaurant eating who are busy texting on their phones or reading the newspaper and not one word comes out of their mouths.  There is no communication and no indication that they even care about each other.

How does life get to this point where people are just existing and not living?  What happened to the excitement when they first met and went out on a date?  They have forgotten to do regular checkups on their relationship and have drifted apart.

Marriages require constant attention.  They need maintenance just like a car or they won’t work.  If your marriage has fallen apart, you need to start doing some repairs.

  • Determine what is missing from your marriage and what you need to make it work again.  What brought you together in the first place?
  • Communicate.   Many marriages suffer because couple stop talking to each other.  Always try to keep the lines of communication open and resolve any issues before you go to bed at night.
  • Sit down together and do a personal assessment.  What are your strengths and differences.  Determine how you can support each other.
  • Forgive each other for past hurts.  Nothing hurts a marriage more than holding on to what has been done in the past.  We all make mistakes but this doesn’t mean we should continue to hurt each other.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are telling the person it was okay to hurt you, it is an act of releasing you from hanging on to the anger and bitterness.
  • Agree to disagree.  People think differently.  There will be many instances where you don’t agree and this is okay.
  • Find activities that you can both enjoy.  It is okay for couples to have different interests and spend time with friends, but it is important that you have activities to enjoy together.  Try something new that neither of you have ever done.  It could be fun!
  • Spend time together.  Many couples are too busy with work and outside activities that they rarely spend time together.  This will push people further away from each other.  Try to eat together, watch a good movie, take a walk or sit and watch the sunset.  Take a vacation to a romantic location and bring back that old spark you used to have.

If you take the time to do regular checkups on your marriage, it will run a lot smoother.  You will feel better, have more energy and enjoy life.   Don’t wait any longer.  Get started today!

 

 

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Our love language

Couple HuggingDid you know that we all have different love languages?  We all speak a different language when it comes to love which results in communication problems in marriages and relationships.   Learning about these love languages and matching them to our loved ones could help make positive changes in behaviour and attitude.  Most of us have more than one love language, but usually there will be one in particular that we need more than any other.

The first love language is Words of Affirmation.  This means that we use words that build up the other person, give them compliments and show appreciation.   Some examples are, “You look great.  That is such a beautiful dress.”  “Thank-you for making that terrific supper.”  “I appreciate your help with the sale.”   Words are very important and they can make or break a relationship.  Affirming words don’t cost anything but they can have huge rewards.

The second love language is Quality Time.  Spending time with a loved one means giving them your undivided attention and showing them that you really care about them.   You could take a nice walk, go out for dinner or just sit and talk.  Time is a precious commodity and it has a lot of value in this busy world.

The third love language is Receiving Gifts.  Most of us like to receive a gift but to some people, this is the only way that they feel loved.   When you give someone a gift, it shows that you were thinking of them.   It doesn’t have to cost a lot, it is the thought that is important.

The fourth love language is Acts of Service.  This means that we do nice things for our loved one.   This could be helping clean the house, cook a meal, wash the car, take the dog for a walk, do the laundry or anything else that is considerate and caring.  By doing something for a loved one, you are showing that you care about them.

The fifth love language is Physical Touch.  People of all ages require physical touch.  This communicates that we love each other in a special way through holding hands, kissing, hugging and other meaningful touches.

Determine what the primary love language is for your loved one(s) and yourself.  Then try to communicate with them by using their love language.  This will help make positive changes to your relationships.

To read more about your love languages, read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, author and international speaker (www.5lovelanguages.com).

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Fix the one you have

Couple Having Breakfast in BedWhen we get married, we think life is going to be great.  We now have a partner that we love and want to share our life with.  Unfortunately, this wonderful love story starts to lose its magic when we realize that the person we married is not who we expected them to be.   We have arguments and misunderstandings.  We get angry and upset.   We lose interest in each other and start looking for other people to spend time with.   Communication breaks down and life becomes extremely difficult.  Then all too often, the result is separation or divorce.

Most married people have considered leaving their mate at one time or another, including myself.   But many of us hang in there for the children or because we still hope things might change.  The problem is, we keep hoping that our mate will change so we can be happy and our marriage will be great.  In reality, change IS possible, but we can’t change our mate – the only person we can change is ourselves.

What most people don’t stop to consider it that NOBODY will be exactly the way they want them to be.  If you leave a marriage because you don’t like something about your mate and look for someone who is better, you might as well not bother wasting your time, because you won’t find that ‘perfect’ mate and there will be something wrong with that new person.

Unless someone is treating you very badly, it would be much better to try to FIX THE ONE YOU HAVE!   You got married because you loved something about that person and that probably hasn’t changed.  You just discovered some problems that you didn’t like.  BUT, you already know the problems you are dealing with – if you find someone else, you will soon find out you have different problems to deal with and they might be worse than what you had.

The problem with marriage and any relationship is that we want everything our own way and we give up too easily.  Marriage is difficult and we have to work hard to make it last.  It’s easy to give up but that doesn’t resolve anything.

Marriage can be wonderful and fulfilling if both partners work together and try to help meet each other’s needs.  Instead of being selfish and only being concerned about making ourselves happy, we need to show love to our partner and the rest of our family.   This is the only way to find our own happiness.

This quote sums up what I have just said in just one simple sentence……

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.  ~Barnett R. Brickner

 

 

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LOVE IS A BOOMERANG

The following article was posted on my facebook page and I wanted to share it with you.  I don’t know if it is a true story or a made up on but it teaches a great lesson.  It is about marriage, but the message it sends can also relate to any relationship we have.  In the world today, people are encouraged to be selfish and think about their own needs instead of thinking about others.  We hear slogans like…..have it your way….you deserve a break…spoil yourself…..indulge yourself…..it’s all about ‘YOU”.  Unfortunately when we think about ourselves first, it creates problems in our marriages and other relationships.  If we want to have good relationships and strong marriages we have to work hard at doing things to make the other person happy and then this will come back and make us happy.  Love is like a boomerang;  when it goes out, it always comes back.  Please read the following story and consider what it means to your own life.
The acknowledged creator of the story is Prince Akhiro Sangukho.  You can follow his daily Updates: Just click and follow the link.   Thank you & God bless us all https://www.facebook.com/akhiroprince
MARRIED OR NOT, YOU SHOULD READ THIS …
“When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.  She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man!                                                                                                                                    
That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again. married couple
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage. This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions.  She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger. She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last-minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad.
On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore. She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore.
Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The sales girl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband…. The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. If you are not in a relationship now, remember this for the second (or third) time around. It’s never too late. If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you. If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ♥ Thank you for reading.
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How to save a marriage

oriental couple upsetBeing married is certainly difficult especially in this day and ago.   No two people can live together without having arguments, misunderstandings and a million petty differences.  Even the best marriage will have times of turmoil.  If anyone tells you anything different, they aren’t being honest with you or themselves.

My marriage has certainly had its ups and downs and I could never understand why life was always so difficult.  I tried very hard to be a good wife but the harder I tried, the worse things got.   Then a few years ago, I started reading some good books on marriage and I discovered some very important things that we should know about marriage and all our relationships (husband, wife, children, friends, co-workers, anyone we are in contact with).   These things have helped me tremendously by allowing me to understand why people have relationship problems.    My marriage has gotten a lot better.   We are still struggling, but we understand each other and are working together which is really important.

  1. Men and women are different in many ways.  Until we can understand and accept our differences we will never be able to communicate effectively and work together as a married couple or have a good relationship with anyone.  We are all different and we don’t have to think and act in the same way.   We just need to figure out what our differences are and how to get along with each other.
  2. We all drag our past unresolved issues into a relationship.   Most of us have been through difficult times and are carrying along anger, bitterness or resentment.   This may be on the surface or buried deep inside and just waiting to pop up when problems arise.  We need to resolve these issues so we don’t use our past pain to hurt others and ourselves.  We often pass the blame for our past issues on to those we love and make them pay for things they never did.
  3. We are all selfish and want our own way.  Research shows that people are born negative and self-centered and that we need to teach our children how to be positive and unselfish.   Sometimes this doesn’t happen and we grow up to be selfish, negative adults.   This creates a problem in marriages or any relationship because when both sides want their own way and nobody wants to give in, conflict arises.   We need to understand that both sides can’t always be right and consider how important the issue is that you are fighting about.  Most times, we waste hours, days or even longer fighting about the stupidest, most unimportant things.  Selfishness is a huge problem for any relationship and it only destroys, it never resolves anything.

Last week I heard this story about a woman who was fed up with her husband and was considering divorce, but she wanted to hurt him as much as he hurt her before she left him.   You will be surprised at what happens.

A woman was extremely upset with her husband and decided to leave him but she was determined to make him suffer for hurting her and wasn’t sure what to do.  She went to her pastor and explained the situation to him.  She asked what she could do to hurt him very badly.   The pastor told her not to do anything quickly but to take some time so it would have a bigger effect.  For the next three months, she should be as nice to him as she possibly could.   The pastor told her to praise him, cook him great meals, spend time doing things he liked to do, give him hugs and kisses and let him watch his favourite TV programs.  This would make him feel so good that when she finally did give him the bad news, he would be absolutely devastated and she would get her revenge.

The woman did as the pastor told her and started doing everything she could for her husband.  When 3 months had passed, the pastor called her and asked if she was ready to talk about the divorce.  The woman said, ‘No way, I’m enjoying my life now and my husband has started being nice back to me.  I wouldn’t think of getting a divorce.”

I think this story has a great lesson.  That pastor was certainly a wise man.  He knew what might happen when the wife started to be nice to her husband.  He responded favourably to his wife’s actions and the Couple Using Cameramarriage began to repair.  We all want love and kindness.  If we don’t give love and kindness we probably won’t get it back.  If we don’t receive love and kindness, we won’t want to be loving and kind to others.  However, if we are loving and kind to other people, we will likely receive a good return dose of love and kindness.   Kindness has a way of rubbing off on other people.  Many marriages and relationships could be saved if people would start being nicer to each other.    Peaceful relationships are certainly worth working towards.   Sometimes now, just to make peace, even if I know I’m right in a situation, I’ll just let it go.  Some things in life are just not important enough to fight about.  Being right is not such a big deal anyway!  Peace is a big deal!

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