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Browse Topics > Relationship CATEGORIES 
Are you having problems with your significant other? Did you meet someone that you are interested in but don’t know what to do about it? Do you just need to talk to someone, but don’t want to worry your family or friends. Feel free to discuss with other members. They’ll be sure to keep your secret!
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Brides want to have a fit and toned body to show off on her wedding day. The only way for a bride to look fit and toned is to actually exercise, because nothing else will give the look. There are several tips that brides can use to get their bodies to look sculpted and fit on their wedding day. These are seven of the best tips:
1. Keep a Food Diary
Brides who keep food diaries are more likely to lose weight, which helps enhance the beauty of toned muscles. Brides who are aware of what they eat helps them learn about their eating habits and makes them more responsible for taking control of healthy eating habits. When women begin to keep track of their food intake through the day, they notice how much snacking they do while sitting at work or watching television.
2. Change Up Your Workouts
When women get bored with their workouts, they lose interest in working out in general. Adding variety to your workout routine makes exercising more than a routine. Brides should try out yoga classes to work on stretching and strengthening the body. When is the last time you saw a yoga instructor with flabby arms? You probably can’t remember because yoga tones the arms so well.
3. Swap for Tea
Many brides do not realize that they drink so much of their daily caloric intake. Hot chocolate, lattes, alcoholic beverages, sugary sodas, smoothies – they all add up over the course of the day. If you swap at least one of those beverages for a hot tea for 90-days, you could lose up to 6 pounds before your wedding.
4. Swap for Water
One of the best beverages for any woman is water. When women are dehydrated, they tend to think they are hungry. So, before you open the fridge or cook a meal, drink a glass of water. Your body will then have time to really decide if you are hungry or not. .
5. Soup’s On
Eating a cup of soup is an excellent way to cut down on calories. Brides who want to lose weight enjoy a cup of soup at one meal each day notice more weight loss than those who do not add soup to their diets. The key is to choose a soup with a light vegetable base rather than a creamy base.
6. Sleep Well
Researchers have discovered that women who do not get enough sleep each night are more likely to gain weight than women who sleep a full, satisfying night of sleep. There is not anything much easier than burning calories while sleeping.
7. Have Fun
Brides often worry too much about how they look and how the wedding will go. It is important to remember the point of the wedding – to celebrate the beginning of the marriage. Developing a fitness routine is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind healthy, thus keeping the marriage healthy, too. If you can find ways to exercise each day with your future spouse, you can spend even more time together.
Following these tips, brides are certain to look great on their wedding days, not only on the outside, but on the inside, too.

Full article at http://bit.ly/XLpLFp

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What do you do if your best friend is having an affair with your other best friend? I want to tell. This is a mess!
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Is it ever ok to lie to your significant other? Even if it’s to protect them?
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How do you know when a relationship is over? What are the signs?
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7 Relationship Problems and How to Solve Them

Here’s how to resolve the most common relationship problems and get your love life back on track.
By Carol Sorgen

It’s the rare couple that doesn’t, sooner or later, run into a few bumps in the road. If you recognize ahead of time what those relationship problems can be, you’ll have a much better chance of weathering the storm, experts say.

Ideally, a couple should discuss certain basic issues -- such as money, sex, and kids -- before they decide to start their life together. Of course, even when you do discuss these issues beforehand, marriage (or a long-term, live-in relationship) is nothing like you think it’s going to be.
n spite of the fact that every marriage experiences relationship issues, successful couples have learned how to manage them and keep their love life going, says marriage and family therapist Mitch Temple, MS, author of The Marriage Turnaround. They gain success in marriage by hanging in there, tackling problems, and learning how to maneuver through the complex issues of everyday married life. Many do this by reading self-help books, attending seminars, browsing articles on the Web, going to counseling, observing other successful couples, or simply by trial and error.

Here are some common issues and ways to resolve them:

Relationship Problem: Communication

All relationship problems stem from poor communication skills, says Elaine Fantle Shimberg, author of Blending Families. ’You can’t communicate while you’re checking your BlackBerry, watching TV, or flipping through the sports section,’ she says.

Problem-solving strategies:

Make time ... yes, an actual appointment with each other, Shimberg says. If you live together, put the cell phones on vibrate, put the kids to bed, and let voicemail pick up your calls.
If you can’t ’communicate’ without raising your voices, go to a public spot like the library, park, or restaurant, where you’d be embarrassed if anyone saw you screaming.
Set up some rules ... like not interrupting until the other is through, banning phrases such as ’You always ...’ or ’You never ...’
Remember that a large part of communication is listening, so be sure your body language reflects that. That means, don’t doodle, look at your watch, pick at your nails, etc. Nod so the other person knows you’re getting the message and rephrase if necessary, such as, ’What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we’re both working.’ If you’re right, the other can confirm, and if what the other person really meant was, hey, you’re a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you, perhaps they’ll say so but in a nicer way.
Relationship Problem: Sex

Even partners who love each other can be incompatible sexually. Compounding these problems, says Mary Jo Fay, is the fact that men and women alike are sorely lacking in sex education and sexual self-awareness. Yet, having sex is one of the last things we should be giving up, says Fay, who addresses the topic in her new book, Please Dear, Not Tonight. ’Sex brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy,’ she says.

Problem-solving strategies:

Plan, plan, plan, Fay says. Make an appointment -- not necessarily at night when everyone is tired. Maybe during the baby’s Saturday afternoon nap. Or perhaps a ’before-work quickie,’ Fay suggests. Or ask Grandma and Grandpa to take the kids every other Friday night for a sleepover. ’When sex is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation,’ Fay says, adding that mixing things up a bit can increase your sexual enjoyment as well. Why not sex in the kitchen? Sex by the fire? Sex standing up in the hallway?
California psychotherapist Allison Cohen, MA, MFT, also suggests learning what truly turns your partner on by asking him or her to come up with a personal ’Sexy List.’ And, of course, you do the same. What do each of you truly find sexy? ’The answers may surprise you.’ Swap the lists and use them to create more scenarios that turn you both on.
If your sexual relationship problems can’t be resolved on your own, Fay recommends consulting a qualified sex therapist, who can help you both address and resolve your issues.

Relationship Problem: Money

Money problems can start even before the wedding vows are said, from the expenses of courtship to the high cost of weddings. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recommends that couples who have money woes take a deep breath and have a serious conversation about finances.

Problem-solving strategies: The NFCC offers the following advice for having that much-needed financial conversation:

Be honest about your current financial situation. If things have gone south, continuing the same lifestyle that was possible before the loss of income is simply unrealistic.
Don’t approach the subject in the heat of battle. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and non-threatening for both parties.
Acknowledge that one partner may be a saver and one a spender, understanding that there are benefits to both, and agreeing to learn from each other’s tendencies.
Don’t hide income or debt. Bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, debts, and investments to the table.
Don’t blame.
Construct a joint budget that includes savings.
Decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills.
Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.
Decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It’s OK to have individual goals, but you should have family goals, too.
Talk about caring for your parents as they age, and how to appropriately plan for their financial needs, if necessary.
Relationship Problem: Struggles Over Home Chores

Nowadays, most partners work outside the home -- and in today’s economy -- often at more than one job, so it’s important to equitably divide the labor at home, says Paulette Kouffman Sherman, PhD. She is the author of Dating from the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart.

Problem-solving strategies:

Be organized and clear about your respective jobs in the home, Sherman says. ’Write all the jobs down and agree on who does what.’ Be fair: Make sure each partner’s tasks are equitable so no resentment builds.
Be open to other solutions, Sherman adds: If you both hate housework, maybe you can spring for a cleaning service. If one of you likes housework, the other partner can do the laundry and the yard. As long as it feels fair to both people, you can be creative and take preferences into account.
Relationship Problem: Not Prioritizing Your Relationship

If you want to keep your love life going, making your relationship a focal point does not end when you say ’I do.’ ’Relationships lose their luster,’ says Karen Sherman, PhD, author of Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make It Last. ’So make yours a priority.’

Problem-solving strategies:

Do the things you used to do when you were first dating: Make gestures of appreciation, compliment each other, contact each other through the day, and show interest in each other.
Plan date nights. Schedule time together on the calendar just as you would any other important event in your life.
Respect one another. Say ’thank you,’ and ’I appreciate ... .’ It lets your partner know that he/she matters.

Relationship Problem: Conflict

Occasional conflict is an inevitable part of life, says New York-based psychologist Susan Silverman, PhD, but if you and your partner feel like you are starring in your own nightmare version of the movie Groundhog Day, it’s time to break free of this toxic routine. Recognizing these simple truths will lessen anger and enable you to take a calm look at the underlying issue.

Problem-solving strategies:

Conflict resolution skills can help you and your partner learn to argue in a more constructive manner, says Silverman, who offers this advice:

You are not a victim. It is your choice whether to react and how to react.
Be honest with yourself. When you’re in the midst of an argument, are your comments directed toward resolution, or are you looking for payback? If your comments are blaming and hurtful, it’s best to take a deep breath and change your strategy.
Change it up. If you continue to respond in the same way that has brought you pain and unhappiness in the past, you can’t expect a different result this time. Just one little shift can make a big difference. If you usually jump right in to defend yourself before your partner is finished speaking, hold off for a few moments. You’ll be surprised at how such a small shift in tempo can change the whole tone of an argument.
Give a little; get a lot. Apologize when you’re wrong. Sure it’s tough, but just try it and watch something wonderful happen.
’You can’t control anyone else’s behavior,’ Silverman says. ’The only one in your charge is you.’

Relationship Problem: Trust

Trust is an essential part of a relationship. Are there certain behaviors that are causing you to not trust your partner, or do you have unresolved issues that are hindering you from trusting others?

Problem-solving strategies: You and your partner can develop trust in each other by following these tips, suggested by Fay.

Be consistent.
Be on time.
Do what you say you will do.
Don’t lie -- not even little white lies, to your partner or to others.
Be fair, even in an argument.
Be sensitive to the other’s feelings. You can still disagree but don’t discount how your partner is feeling.
Call when you say you will.
Call to say you’ll be home late.
Carry your fair share of the workload.
Don’t overreact when things go wrong.
Never say things you can’t take back.
Don’t dig up old wounds.
Respect your partner’s boundaries.
Don’t be jealous.
Be a good listener.
Although relationships have their ups and downs, there are things you can both do that may well minimize marriage problems, if not help avoid them altogether, says psychologist Karen Sherman. Be realistic. Thinking your mate will meet all your needs -- and will be able to figure them out without your asking -- is a Hollywood fantasy. ’Ask for what you need directly,’ Karen Sherman says.

Use humor -- learn to let things go and enjoy one another more. And be willing to work on your relationship and to truly look at what needs to be done. Don’t think that it will be better with someone else; the same problems you have in this relationship because of lack of skills will still exist.

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Doesn’t the old ettiquite rule apply any longer that you have to call and let people know you are coming to the house before you arrive. That’s what I always thought, I wouldn’t just show up on someone’s door step.
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8 Tips to Avoid Marriage Counselling:

The Happy Relationship: 8 Tips to Avoid Marriage Counseling
Experts say for a happy relationship, it’s important to heighten and reinforce your sense of oneness, then guard and protect it.

By Sarì Harrar and Rita DeMaria Ph.D from The 7 Stages of Marriage

Make your relationship a priority.
The mental shift from me to we can be startling: You’re a team—responsible to someone else in a new and profound way. Claudia Arp, who with her husband, David, founded Marriage Alive International and co-authored marriage books including 10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage, comments, “We see a lot of husbands and wives who never, ever reprioritize their relationship after marriage. They’re still entwined with their family of origin, putting their parents and siblings first. Or they’ve been on their own for years and don’t realize that their friends or job or other interests no longer take precedence. You need to be able to say ‘My spouse comes first.’ This is your anchor relationship. If you establish this now, it will be easier to hold on to when life becomes more complicated later in your marriage.”

Marriage and sex therapist, Pat Love, Ed.D., says, “In our culture, we don’t do ‘we’ very well. We’re better at autonomy: I can take care of myself, I can give to you. But being a real unit means taking another step: making the relationship itself a priority. Other cultures do this much better—the Japanese have a concept called amae, which loosely translated means the delicious experience of interdependence. It’s a goal worth striving for.”

Create couples rituals.
Establishing a healthy boundary around your union isn’t always easy: When University of California, Los Angeles, researchers interviewed 172 newlywed couples, problems with in-laws and other relatives ranked with communication, money management, and moodiness as top challenges. Do something regularly that bonds you, such as 10 minutes to chat before bed, always having morning coffee together, listening to music, or saving Saturday for date night. Give yourself permission to cocoon.
Check in daily.
Marriage experts recommend couples do something that big business has employed for decades to keep workers happy, productive, and in the loop: hold regular team meetings. Luckily, yours will be more fun than listening to Bob from accounting go over the last month’s sales numbers. One version of the daily check-in helps couples keep communication flowing freely with an agenda.

• Start by appreciating something about each other.
• Offer up some new information from your day.
• Ask your spouse about something that has bothered or puzzled you (or something about yourself).
• Make a nonjudgmental, complaint-free request (“Please fold the towels when you do the laundry. I couldn’t find any this morning after my shower.”).
• And end with a hope that could be small (“I hope we can go see that new movie Friday night”) or lavish (“I’d love to retire at age 50 and sail the Mediterranean with you.”).

Ask: Is it good for our relationship?
When you bump up against any important decision in your marriage, don’t just talk about whether it’s good for you and for your spouse. Make it a point to talk about and think about whether it’s good for your marriage. “You’ll know the answer almost intuitively if you stop and ponder it,” Dr. Love notes. This may come down to how much time something will take away from your time together, whether it will make things stressful between you, or if it involves people who in some way threaten your relationship (lunch with your ex, for example). If you don’t even want to ask the question, that’s a red flag that whatever it is—from working late to “surprising” your spouse with an expensive new living room sofa to making individual plans on your usual date night—isn’t going to be good for your marriage.
Create a code word for love.
Remember the elementary school joke about “olive juice” — say this silly phrase, and your mouth automatically makes the same movements as when you say “I love you.” Find a secret way to express your love that only the two of you understand. It comes in handy if your spouse calls when the boss is standing beside your desk, and creates that “just us” feeling anytime you use it.

Build healthy boundaries.
Marriages need what experts call a semi-permeable boundary that allows friends and family to connect with you but that doesn’t interfere with your own desires and plans. This can be especially complicated when it comes to your families of origin.

The biggest challenge is often deciding how you’ll handle the holidays. Will it be his family’s house, yours, or will you start a new tradition in your own home? How often will you talk on the phone or visit—and how much will you share about the details of your marriage? “Parents can work with or against a new couple,” Claudia Arp says. “They need to be getting on with their own marriage, going from being child-focused to partner-focused. Your marriage can be a transition time for them as well. Don’t cut them off—you really need that love and support. Do communicate your decisions about your needs in a kind, calm way.”

Cheer each other on.
“One of the most important things to me is that my wife, Rebecca, is for me and I’m for her,” says Lee Potts, a retired computer programmer from St. Louis, Missouri. “It sounds simplistic, but it’s really important. I’ve been married twice before, and I don’t think we had each other’s best interests at heart like this. We had our own agendas.”

Arp suggests that encouraging your partner is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. “If we don’t, who will? Our bosses and co-workers? Don’t count on it! Our children and teenagers? Ridiculous!” she says. “Our mates need our encouragement.” Three strategies she and her husband recommend in their workshops: Look for the positive in your new spouse; develop a sense of humor; and give honest, specific praise—describe what you appreciate about your spouse.

Schedule time for your marriage first.
Don’t relegate your relationship to scraps of leftover time. “In mapping out your schedule for the next several weeks, why not start with writing in date times for you and your mate?” suggest Claudia and David Arp. “Then add discretionary things like golf, shopping, and community volunteer activities.” No time? Wonder why? Do a calendar review. You’re overcommitted if friends, visits with your parents and extended family, hobbies, clocking overtime hours on the job, or volunteer and community commitments have crowded out the three kinds of time you need with your beloved: casual catching-up, scheduled dates, and intimate encounters. Same goes if your evenings are TV marathons or Internet extravaganzas. “Unless you’re willing to make your relationship a higher priority than other relationships and activities, you won’t have a growing marriage,” notes Claudia Arp.

Disconnect from the 24/7 office.
Heavy use of cell phones and devices can mute your happiness and dial up stress in your home, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers found recently. The study tracked the technology use and moods of 1,367 women and men for two years. Those who sent and received the most calls and messages were also most likely to say that this “work spillover” left them tired and distracted at home. “Technology is really blurring the lines between home and work,” says lead researcher Noelle Chesley, an assistant professor of sociology at the university. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may give you more flexibility. But your boss doesn’t tend to call you with the good news—you don’t hear that you’ve done a great job on the project; you do hear that suddenly there’s a deadline crisis.” Setting limits could lift on-call stress: Check e-mail once in the evening. If a call’s not urgent, muster the courage to say, “I’ll look into it first thing in the morning.” And simply turn off your cell phone or laptop at a certain time in the evening.

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How do you feel about this? We want to hear your comments.

About Half of First Marriages Don’t Last 20 Years
CDC: More Couples Living Together Before Marriage
By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

March 22, 2012 -- The trend toward delaying first marriages continues in the U.S., with couples increasingly choosing to live together before saying “I do,” the CDC reports.

Between 1982 and 2010, the percentage of women under the age of 45 living with a partner outside of marriage nearly quadrupled, from 3% to 11%, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The new report on first marriage trends confirms that the dramatic changes in marriage seen in the latter half of the 20th century continued into the first decade of the 21st, researchers say.

People are marrying for the first time at older ages, higher education remains a strong predictor of marriage success, and about half of first marriages still end in divorce, says Casey E. Copen, PhD, of the NCHS.

And while both men and women are getting married later, most have tied the knot at least once by the time they reach their mid-40s.

“This suggests that women and men are postponing marriage, but not forgoing it,” Copen tells WebMD.

Women and Men Delaying First Marriages

The new report compares findings from a nationally representative survey of women and men ages 15-44 conducted between 2006 and 2010 to survey data collected in 1982, 1995, and 2002.

Among the key findings:

The median age at first marriage in the latest survey was around 26 for women and 28 for men.
56% of first marriages among men and 52% among women now end in the first two decades.
In the latest survey, 38% of women under age 45 reported never having been married, compared to 33% in 1995.
By age 40, close to 9 out of 10 women and 8 out of 10 men will have married at least once.
Education, Ethnicity, and Marriage

The report also highlighted differences in marriage trends by ethnicity and education.

In the latest survey, African-American women were most likely to report having never been married (55%), followed by U.S.-born Hispanic women (49%), Asian women (39%), and white women (34%).

Around 2 out of 3 women (63%) whose educational achievements included a master’s degree or higher were married for the first time, compared to 58% of women with a bachelor’s degree and 37% of women without a high school diploma or GED.

Other key findings by ethnicity and education:

More than 2 out of 3 Asian women (69%) were likely to still be married after 20 years, compared to around half of white women (54%) and just over a third (37%) of African-American women.
Among men, foreign-born Hispanic men were among the most likely to stay married, with a 70% probability of a first marriage lasting two decades (compared to a 54% and 53% probability for white and African-American men, respectively).
Education appeared to have a big influence on marriage longevity. Women with college degrees had a 78% probability of remaining married for two decades, compared to a 41% probability for women who completed high school but did not go to college.
The report confirms earlier research showing that highly educated women are more likely to delay first marriages, but they are also more likely to remain married once they tie the knot.

The report appears in the March 22 National Health Statistics Report, published by the CDC.
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When you separate, when do you think it’s the right time to stop wearing your wedding ring?
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Are you too nice? Do you try to please others and not worry about what makes you happy. I have a friend that is having these problems and I found this article in WebMD. Let me know if you have any comments for my friend. Thanks.

Some people are afflicted with the ‘niceness disease’. They are so involved with pleasing others that they don’t consider what would please them. Too often, they don’t even realize that this is a problem. Even just thinking about doing what would make them happy feels selfish. Unfortunately, these same people often find that others take advantage of them, or that they are just unhappy in their relationships.
I recently came across a book entitled Anxious To Please, which addressed just this group of people. The authors, James Rapson and Craig English, explain how these people can identify themselves:
Anxious to please others, especially people central in their lives
Tend to cling, ingratiate themselves, and overly adapt in relationships
Overly concerned with what others think of them
Poor judgment about when and to whom to disclose personal thoughts and feelings
Minimize faults and flaws of those they like
Minimize their unhappiness
Out of touch with their anger
The book also describes seven basic ways in which nice people can help themselves. I briefly describe these below, along with some of my thoughts about them:
Awareness Practice: To work through any problem, you must really understand it. To this end, it is essential that nice people pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors – noting how these relate to and support their niceness.
Desert Practice: Through the practice of solitude, nice people can learn to focus more on themselves, discovering their strengths. By recognizing and feeling good about your own strengths, you are more likely to see yourself as an equal partner in a relationship.
Warrior Practice: Take action based on what you believe is right (ethical) and what you feel you want to do. To act in this way, you need to learn to hold intense emotions while not being driven by them. You must also consciously think through your own ethical beliefs so that you will know how you want to act.
Brotherhood and Sisterhood Practice: Build same-gender friendships to support you and your efforts to change. All people are strengthened by the support of friendships. This support is especially important during times when they feel vulnerable, such as when they are making personal changes.
Family Practice: Make sense of how childhood and family experience have led to you being ‘nice’. By understanding how you developed your tendency to be overly nice – to your own detriment – you are more likely to show yourself some of the support and compassion that you naturally give others.
Disillusionment Practice: Recognize that your hope to find a perfect partner who will meet all your needs and help you heal from any emotional pains is no more than a fantasy. This will free you to find a real person with whom you can develop an emotionally intimate relationship.
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