How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Feeling Holi-Dazed

for those who are lonely

“When I was young and had children still at home, we would put up our Christmas tree the week after Thanksgiving.  Twenty years ago, that was early.  We were the first ones in our neighborhood to have our big tree up right in the living room in front of the window.  It was like “Look at us, we did it, here is our tree and presents!”  The children were so excited, as this was a real family event.  We would play Christmas music as we decorated the tree.  I would bring out the presents that had been hidden for the past month, and we would have hot chocolate and a special dinner the night we decorated our tree. It was all a big deal.  I’m not sure when I began to dislike it, but I think it started when my kids left home. No, it was when my mother got cancer”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Every year, the retail stores are rushing to beat each other out as to who is ‘first in line’ to bust out the Christmas decorations.  I clearly remember in the early 90’s, stores started shelving their new decorations for Christmas right after Halloween.  That seemed so early to me.  Now, some stores put up their Christmas decorations in July, right after the fourth.  It’s like, “Please, can’t we just enjoy our beautiful fall sweaters, new boots and coats, and the turning of the leaves without seeing Christmas stuff everywhere?  What ever happened to long walks in the fall season, holding hands, curling up in front of the fire with a good book or games, and raking piles of those stunning leaves?”  Now, we are all in this big rush to bring on Christmas.  Or are we all guilty as charged?

I must admit that back in the day of decorating my tree, well, I really did it up big.  It took me almost an entire month to decorate my entire house inside.  I had bows tied on everything.  Garland and ivy were strung to every mantle and hearth.  I custom-made Christmas stockings and one year, I stenciled all of the gift-wrapping designs on each present.  I was quite the little Susie-Q Handy-Girl.  Presents were carefully selected as early as June and hidden away until time for wrapping.  I was so organized that now I realize this was just part of my OCD tendency for completion to details.  Once I was divorced and was raising my baby son by myself, I started putting up SIX Christmas trees.  Yes, six trees were in my home.  I had one, nine-foot tree in the family room and then also, there were five three-foot trees in other rooms of the house.  My son had his own tree with little cars on it and in my bedroom, I had a pink tree with little shoes and purses hanging on it.  The kitchen had its own tree with china doll tea set collections.  Now, when I look back, I think to myself, “How ridiculous.”  People would come from miles away just to see my Christmas decorated home.  The one thing I did not do was to overspend.  I always stayed within my budget.

Things changed drastically when my mother got cancer. I did not put up a tree that year.  Christmas seemed commercial and fake to me all of a sudden.  Perhaps I needed a slap in the face to come back to the true meaning of what Christmas is all about.  I had fallen into the trap of retail crap and had forgotten about the birthday of Christ, the meaning of family, and the value of life itself.  Sadly, I had been a victim of retail monopoly.  For about eight years after my mother got cancer, I did not put up any trees.  In fact, I gave them away, as well as all of my decorations.  I took them down to the Salvation Army.  All I wanted to do was to spend time with my mother and prayed so hard for her to recover.  She has survived for 12 years.  And, I want at least 20 more years with my mom.

So, by now you must be asking why I wrote this article about Christmas and the holidays.  The reason is because I am already receiving calls from those needing advice on how to deal with the stress of the Holi-Daze.  People are booking appointments with me, asking for advice on how to juggle so many activities, parties, and family functions.  And, then there are those who have nobody at this time of year.  This is very lonely and stressful, especially for single parents or the elderly.

The following are: Five Quick Tips for Turning Your Dazed Days Into Holidays You Can Enjoy.

1)      Slow down.  As silly as this might sound, just please do not feel like you have to be on a wild, crazy clock to get everything completed within a certain time-frame.  The truth is, you don’t.

2)      Prioritize what needs to be done first.  This will require some goal-setting.  Once you do this, you will not feel so pressured to get everything done immediately.

3)      Enjoy the moments as they happen.  Simply stated, if you are constantly focused on where or what needs to be done tomorrow, you cannot enjoy today.  Then, you are robbing not only yourself of YOU, but also, you are cheating others out of what and who you are all about.

4)      Decide what and who really matters to you in your life.  Now, I know this will not be a point that some may take kindly to, but I promised to always tell the truth.  And, the truth is this.  If you are constantly trying to please everyone, even people you do not like or enjoy being around, this means you are spending less time with those who you do enjoy spending time with.  Time is precious and can never be replaced.  Use it wisely and don’t let anyone take time who is not worthy of you.

5)      Learn to say “NO.”  Some people have a difficult time saying “no” to those they don’t especially care for, to parties they do not want to attend, to family members who are constantly dragging them down, or whatever that bugs them.  Just say “no” when you need to.  You will be much happier in the long run.

 

If you find time on your hands and want to do something for humanity, you can always offer your services at the local shelter and provide babysitting, work in a soup kitchen, or visit the isolated elderly.  Many elderly people cannot leave their homes.  The only time they have companionship is when Meals on Wheels brings them food.  Did you know this?  It is a fact and is very sad.  The isolated elderly just want someone to talk with.  A couple of hours each week means so much to a person who does not have anyone.  This is the biggest gift you can give to someone…the gift of YOU and your time.

Blessings to all this holiday season, wherever you are, and whatever you do.  May all of your wishes come true.  Mine have, just by being here with you, in spirit and in love.

 

After Ten Years in a Relationship With My Partner, How Do I Keep It Hot and Sizzling?

keep the fire burning

 

 

 

“I am not going to act like it is easy to keep a marriage or partnership together after ten years or more, because it is not.  Quite frankly, having a healthy marriage over a decade takes a lot of work.  One of my marriages lasted for 17 years.  We went out on regular dates even when we were dirt poor.  My husband (at that time) gave me many compliments and seemed to adore me. I valued him as my husband and as the father of my two children. I never took him for granted.  Marriage is not stress-free, but when it works, there is nothing better”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

A partnership and or marriage is a beautiful union of two people when it is full of love and fun.  One hopes this will keep you inspired throughout your life. However, that same partnership or marriage runs the risk of getting dusty and dreary over the course of years.  Many times, the partnership becomes “lifeless” as years go by because couples tend to focus on the stresses of daily life.  They may ignore the cherished relationship that they should be working on with their own partners.

When you feel such a case is starting to slowly eat away at your union, this is the time that you should start to act on it, and I do mean to act on it quickly.  This is a perfect signal that you should work to keep your relationship hot and sizzling, which may be something that has died out after years of monotonous activities. Bring back the sizzle and spark that you used to have, like when you were just starting out in the relationship.  Do you remember that  vigor and enthusiasm?  This is really never too difficult to accomplish, especially if both of you are willing to work on it together.

Keep in mind that a strong partnership requires a firm foundation to lean on, plus a lot of work. With patience and effort, you can surely succeed in bringing the relationship back to bliss and making it more exciting. The romance and passion within a relationship do not have to decline as the years go by.  The key is to revive the romantic sizzle with persistence and heartfelt endeavors.  Please read the five keys to keep a relationship hot and sizzling.

Five Blazing Keys to Keep a Relationship Hot and Sizzling

  1. Go out on a date with your partner:  Date nights will both give you and your partner intimate times together. This is the time when you will think nothing except only the things about the both of you and your love for each other. This date-night should be scheduled in advance.  Go watch your favorite movies in the theater, have dinner at your favorite restaurant, or take a walk on the beach –  whatever or wherever you may want to spend your date.  What is important is that you are both together in an environment where you are free from all the stresses of the utility bills, children, student loans or mortgages.
  2. Reminisce of the time about how you fell in love with each other:  This will keep you reminded of the beautiful things that you have seen and are still seeing in your partner, yet you fail to compliment because of the busy day you are having. Also, this will prevent the rise of a half- hearted effort in keeping your relationship alive and healthy.
  3. Take time to romance each other again:  Even if you have a busy schedule, making time for each other will focus on bringing the significance of the relationship back to the partnership.  Surprise your partner with gifts.  Even the simplest or not so expensive gift will do, almost always.  When you do this, you are demonstrating that you never forgot your partner amidst activities you have without him or her.  Leave little love notes inserted in your partner’s work notebook, on the bathroom mirror, or on the car’s dashboard. This is a very simple way ofsurprising your partner that will give him or her a pleasant jolt of love.
  4. Put your partner on first priority again:  This is a biggie! This can be done by simply doing the sweet little nothings that you have done for your partner before, but have rarely done lately or seldom at all.  You have a lot of choices for this. Maybe you can give your partner a back or foot rub after a long day, or perhaps you can do the dishes when you don’t usually help with this chore. This will show your partner how you really care and value him or her. The more you do these unexpected sweet little nothings, the more your partner will have the urge to do likewise.
  5. Have a fresh approach:This is not to change your entire personality, but to have an upgrade of the usual predictable approaches that you have been doing. This new approach will surely add zest to  your eagerness for each other.

Keep in mind that a partnership is very precious and has to be kept robustly blazing at all times. The number of years must never be the reason for your relationship’s downfall or for you to turn boring to each other. You should never wait until your anniversary or on special occasions to do something special and different (in a sweet manner) for your partner. When you do it for no reason at all,except to let your partner know they are appreciated and adored, you will both live joyfully.  In addition, you will also set  good examples of love that your family, friends, and children will follow in time.

 

How to Put More ‘Thanks’ Into Your Giving

delight yourself in the lord

“I have never cared much for the Thanksgiving holiday, once I grew up and became an adult.  As a young child, it was a blast.  We would load up the car with my three siblings and lots of food, and then sit in the back seat while my father would drive what felt like a very long distance to my Grandmother’s home out in the country. I think it was about 150 miles each way.  Once we arrived, we would immediately eat a huge meal of turkey and all the fixings.  I remember eating so much food that I always had to spend time in the outhouse because my belly was way too full.  After our meal, all my cousins and I would dash outside to the barn to build tunnels in the hay and pick on the younger kids before I would have a major asthma attack or end up being bullied myself.  Yes, those were the good old days…full of family, fun, and good times”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

Growing up means losing some, if not all, of your family traditions because you now have a family of your own.  You are expected to visit your spouse’s family (if you are married), or swap holidays, or do whatever it is that you decide as a couple to do.  With my first marriage, I let my new husband walk all over me and tell me how it was going to be.  I was young, like right out of high school.  I got pregnant with my first child and had him within 15 months.  The men would go out hunting, walk into the paternal Grandparents’ home with stinky, dirty hunting clothes and muddy boots on, sit down, and expect to be waited on. And, they were waited on.  The first time I witnessed this, I told my new husband that I was not going to do that. He asked me “why not?” and I told him I was not his servant, that I was his wife and partner, and then when we were alone, I got in his face about how poorly he had just treated his Grandmother.  He told me she ‘liked’ it.  I told him how wrong he was.  About two years into our marriage, I quit going with him for Thanksgiving or any other holiday to his parents’ or his grandparents’ home.  I could not stand the disrespect.  And so, now you may understand why I dislike Thanksgiving.

What about all of the single people out there? What do they do and where do they go if they do not go back to their parent’s home?  I used to have single people over when it was just my baby son and me after I divorced.  We would ask people who were alone to come and eat with us.  I never fixed turkey, because it is not my favorite thing.  My goal is to never cook a whole turkey.  Perhaps I am the only person who wants to be able to say that, but it is important for me to cook foods that I like, especially on holidays.

I have even heard of couples who have been together for many years, yet one partner goes off to be with his or her family and the other partner does the same with their own respective family.  Where does that stop and when does the couple say, “No more.  We are together and you either like or respect us as a loving couple, or we are out of here.”  Why do people have such a difficult time standing up for what they believe in?

Here in the metropolis I live in, there is no need for volunteers at the homeless shelters to serve up meals on holidays.  This seems to be the time of year that churches and other organizations want to really help out. I am so thankful for their generosity.  When I was a college Professor, I taught my students about service learning and working with the homeless by going to the shelters and feeding 705 people per night at the largest shelter in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  My students interviewed some of the homeless people and found out that they are just like you and just like me.  They were hungry, they needed a bed to sleep in, and they wanted to have their dignity restored.  One woman interviewed, was in her 80’s.  Her home had been destroyed by fire.  She was at the shelter because she did not want her children to know that she had nowhere to go.  All of her children lived out of town and had no clue she was homeless.  Yes, you guessed it.  I bawled my eyes out after that story. It made me sick.

I held my emotions together as I heard story after story and especially, after coming back to the campus several times with all of my classes and listening to their stories.  My students learned life’s lessons that I could have never taught them in a classroom.  They were humbled, they were sad, but most of all, they were thankful to be exposed to what happens in our world, in our own backyard, less than two miles from the beautiful campus I taught at and where they attended school.

Their giving legacy lives on.  I received a letter last week and one today from former students who told me they had been back to the shelters many times and had taken their families to help, also.  When they told me their lives had been changed forever, my comment was, “Mine, too.”

Who can you invite to dinner, who can you help to hold up in esteem, who can you say a prayer for as you partake in your traditional Thanksgiving meal this week?  You may not know a name, but I’ll bet you do not look away the next time you pass a homeless person on the street.  They do not want to harm you.  They just want to be fed.

This article is dedicated to any and every person who has broken bread with someone they do not know, or for those who want to make a difference in our world.  God bless you and peace to all.

 

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Hero?

When there's no way out, let God in

“All my childhood life, I was bullied and tormented for being ugly.  Therefore, by the time I was in my late teens, I had already become an advocate for many children’s’ groups and the elderly.  I rallied for the underdog. In my 20′s and 30′s, I actively worked with various civic groups to help young mothers.  By the time I reached my late 30′s and 40′s, I spearheaded rape crisis 24-hour hotlines, sat as a silent witness in the courtroom – studied and took notes on the judge’s behavior towards the victims, and gave over 5,000 hours as a volunteer to domestic violence causes. As a Professor, I taught my college students about service learning through hands-on work with the homeless population, including homeless and underfed children, homeless mothers, and the isolated elderly.  I designed these programs and watched as my students became teary-eyed, humble, and interested in others when they normally would have just looked away.  Not once, did I ever think of myself as a hero, because I am not”
~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

So, you may be asking what prompted me to write this article about heroes, especially if I don’t consider myself to be one.  Definitely, I am just an ordinary person.  No, that’s not true. I am not ordinary…I am weird.  But alas, that will be a different article written on another day.  I am writing about what it takes to be a hero in light of the devastating Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.

Rarely, if ever, do I watch the news or regular television.  It is just not my thing.  I love to write and writing especially turns me on when I can write regarding things I am passionate about.  The words come flying out of my brain and onto the keyboard as fast as I can type.  This is precisely what I am experiencing now.  You see, when I think of a hero, or many heroes, I get really turned on.

As I mentioned, I don’t watch tv, but I do get my ‘fix’ of the news by reading current data the minute I log on to my computer.  I was particularly watching, reading, and listening to as many reports as I could receive during Hurricane Sandy because my sister lives near Washington, DC.  I knew she had lost her electricity.  Not only that, but I have numerous friends who live in NY, right on the Jersey Shore, and along the coastline.  I was scared silly for them and just kept praying for a diversion of some kind.  This ‘Superstorm’ – as it had been named – was headed right in the path of everyone I loved and cared about.  My biggest fear was that all the cell phone towers would be knocked down and then I would have no updates on the physical safety of everyone I loved.  I don’t remember the last time I felt so useless.  It was a miserable feeling.  I asked God to please give me strength to do what I do best, which was to remain steadfast so I could provide prayer, comfort, and courage to those who reached out to me – even though I was scared half out of my wits.  I never let anyone know I was so afraid for them. Prayer got me through that terrible darkness.

Heroes emerged from out of the blue.  One young man saw a taxicab with the driver going down under in the river below from the comfort of his high-rise apartment.  He said that he never thought about what to do…he just did it.  He left his building, dove into the river, and rescued this cab driver.  When asked why he did that, he said that he could not live with himself if he had let that person die.  He also said that he was not a hero.  Well, I think he is.  We heard stories of NYU Hospital evacuating all floors.  Newborn babies were wrapped up and held tightly by nurses as they fled to safety to another hospital.  One infant was less than two pounds.  I’ll just bet the parents of that little, precious bundle think that nurse is a hero, as are all of the nurses, doctors, nurse assistants, and staff who worked around the clock to care for people they did not even know.  What about neighbors who offered each other a warm place to stay when they had electricity and the others did not have any power?  And coffee shops who were providing free coffee to complete strangers?  Are they heroes, or do you think they were just trying to catch media’s attention and boost their business when things turn back around again?  Let me answer that question for you.  They were/are heroes.  Those business owners were NOT thinking about their business right then.  They were being compassionate.

Every single day, we are surrounded by heroes, most of whom go unnoticed.  With that said, I want to give a great big shout out to some of these heroes.  Thank you to the nursing home staff, firemen, police officers, Veterans and all military personnel, city and utility workers, day care staff, teachers, professors, babysitters, clerks at the grocery store, auto mechanics, hairdressers, counselors, coaches, friends, and family.  This is only the tip of who I’d like to write down, or the list would encompass about 15 pages in length. My own nephew is a lead foreman of a tree-cutting crew in a small town in Missouri.  Their crew left last week, four days before the hurricane hit shore, so they’d be ready to help cut trees out of power lines.  Dusten is still gone and will be gone until his services are not needed any more.  His job is dangerous and he is a hero…just ask his wife and four young children.

My daddy is my hero, as is my Vietnam Veteran and Mr. Menandro – A Bataan Death March Survivor.  Heroes come in all sizes, colors, shapes, and descriptions.  Most of the time, they will not own up to being recognized as a hero.  So, again, I ask you, “What does it take to be a hero?”  It takes compassion, kindness for others, and deep genuine concern…traits that sometimes, in everyday life, are forgotten about.  It has been said that it takes devastation to make us see what we really have been blessed with.  I have been blessed with the gifts of writing, teaching, and helping others.

What are you blessed with that can help to make you an everyday hero to someone, somewhere?  You have talents that you may not even be aware of.  Blessings to you, my friends.

 

How to Go From Spooking to Hooking Your Dream Date in Real Life: Five Apple-Bobbing Gulps to Devour Before Your Next Date

are you struggling with relationships

“Even as a little kid, I never cared much for Halloween. Sure, I dressed up in costumes and wore them to school like everyone else, went out on the 31st with my big brother and grabbed as much candy as I could in our neighborhood, and then pigged out on most of it before ever getting back home.  I knew my mother would ration it out so I wouldn’t have a sugar “high” and get sick.  Cowardly, I must admit that I was scared to death of most costumes and all those creepy masks.  They were frightening to me and caused many nightmares.  I was secretly one of the few kids who was glad Halloween only came around once every year”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

We all know that both girls and guys have questions about dating in the real world and how to“hook” their dream date, right?  There is always the mystery behind the façade being displayed during that first meeting or date.  Is the guy or girl the real deal, or are they a creep?  What if they are a ghost or goblin and nothing more than that?

Have you attended a Halloween party as an adult in full costume where your face was completely covered with your eyes showing only?  If so, think back to that time and the reasoning behind the purpose of the mask and costume.  You dressed up like that to keep a secret from others and to maintain anonymity.  So, how did that work out for you?  Furthermore, how did that work out for your date, if you were already with someone, or if you were single and trying to meet and greet, how did it go?  Was the mystery enticing enough to make you seem approachable or were you spooky, ghostlike, or creepy?

I personally do not like surprises because I’ve never had a good one.  Now that I have said this, you can perhaps better understand why Halloween, with costumes, masks, and spooks, scared the living daylights out of me.  I like and appreciate authenticity.  Games are great as ice-breakers with groups of people, but when it comes to dating, most will tell you they prefer the real deal over phonies.

Okay, so how does one go from spooking to hooking a dream date in real life?  Listed below are five apple bobbing gulps to devour and think about before going out on your next date:

1) Forget the word “dream” when it comes to dating.

If you sit around wishing for a dream date and refuse to date an imperfect person, you are setting up an unrealistic expectation and moreover, you are setting yourself up for failure in the dating world.

2) Get real. 

Simply stated, this means to be authentic and the first place to begin is with YOU.  If you automatically say that you have always been “real” I would more than likely challenge you on that.  It takes some work to get real and live authentically.  I can expound more about authenticity on a later post and will definitely do so.

3) Think for a long time if you have been a “game player” with your dating habits and in your relationships. 

Do you know why you are dating?  No, I haven’t lost my mind…this is a serious question for you to think about.  Why are you dating?  Do you want to just date many people and be a “player” with all the parties involved?  If so, do you tell the people you are seeing that this is your game plan, or are they all being played as fools while you use and mistreat them?  Maybe you really enjoy dating several people all at the same time.  Be honest with yourself and your answer, for gosh sake.  Are you dating to find a compatible partner?  Perhaps you are dating to discover your life mate.  Be purposeful in knowing why you are dating so you will not be disappointed with your selections of partners.  One of the reasons people are disillusioned later down the road is because they never really figured out why or who they wanted in the first place.

4) Be relatively happy with yourself before dating anyone or trying to develop a relationship with someone else on an intimate or personal level. 

You cannot be happy with someone else if you are not happy with yourself first.

5) If you are dating or in a relationship, treat your partner with respect and like they are the only person in the world. 

Now, I know I will receive some crap over this last bullet point, so let me clarify.   Many people are so caught up with their own schedules, lifestyle, and workloads that they tend to place their partner in the big black kettle for a witches’ brew to cook on its own, instead of making that person feel like a priority.  This is a huge mistake.  If left in the kettle too long, your partner will eventually become resentful and begin to feel neglected.  I am not saying to “babysit” your partner.  I am merely stating that your date, mate, or partner should be one of your priorities in life, not left in the kettle to dry up or brew over.

Above all else, remember to treat someone the way you would like to be treated.  We must drop the high expectations of a dream world and a “dream” date/mate.  Once you can let go of this ghost, you will set yourself free to find the date or love you’ve only heard about from others.  Hold on and get ready for the best is yet to come!

 

How to Re-Kindle the Flames With My Partner After Ten Years: Five Burning Ideas

I am not going to act like it is easy to keep a marriage or partnership together after ten years or more, because it is not.  Quite frankly, having a healthy marriage over a decade takes a lot of work.  One of my marriages lasted for 17 years.  We went out on regular dates even when we were dirt poor.  My husband (at that time) gave me many compliments and seemed to adore me. I valued him as my husband and as the father of my two children. I never took him for granted.  Marriage is not stress-free, but when it works, there is nothing better”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Marriage is a beautiful union of two people when it is full of love and fun.  One hopes this will keep you inspired throughout your life. However, marriage, when not kept refreshed regularly, runs the risk of getting rusty and dreary over the course of years.  Many times, marriage becomes “lifeless” as years go by because couples tend to focus on the stresses of daily life.  They may ignore the intimate relationship that they should be working on with their respective partners.

When you feel such a case is starting to slowly eat away at your marriage, this is the time that you should start to act on it- fast.  This is a perfect sign that you should rekindle some of the flames that may have died out after years of monotonous activities. Bring back the spark that you used to have, like when you were just starting out in the relationship, and both of you were high with passion.  This is really never too difficult to accomplish, especially if both of you are willing to work on it together.

Keep in mind that a strong marriage requires a firm foundation to lean on, plus a lot of work. With patience and effort, you can surely succeed in rekindling the flames to make your marriage more exciting. The romance and passion within a marriage do not have to decline as the years go by.  The key is to revive the romantic flames with persistence and heartfelt endeavors.

Five Burning Ideas to Re-kindle the Flames

  • Go out on a date with your partner: Date nights will both give you intimate times together. This is the time when you will think nothing except only the things about the both of you and your love for each other. This date-night should be scheduled and will not take too much of your time. Go watch your favorite movies in the theater, have dinner at your favorite restaurant, or take a walk on the beach –  whatever or wherever you may want to spend your date.  What is important is that you are both together in an environment where you are free from all the stresses of the utility bills, children, student loans or mortgages.
  • Reminisce the time of how you fell in love with each other: This will keep you reminded of the beautiful things that you have seen and are still seeing in your partner, yet you fail to compliment because of the busy day you are having. Also, this will prevent the rise of a half- hearted effort in keeping your relationship alive and healthy.
  • Take time to romance each other again:  Even if you have a busy schedule, making time for each other will focus on bringing the significance of the relationship back to the marriage.  Surprise your partner with gifts.  Even the simplest or not so expensive gift will do, almost always.  When you do this, you are demonstrating that you never forgot your partner amidst activities you have without him or her.  Leave little love notes inserted in your partner’s work notebook, on the bathroom mirror, or on the car’s dashboard.  This is a very simple way of surprising your partner that will give him or her a pleasant jolt of love.
  • Put your partner on first priority again:  This can be done by simply doing the sweet little nothings that you have done for your partner before, but have rarely done lately or seldom at all.  You have a lot of choices for this.  Maybe you can give your partner a back or foot rub after a long day, or perhaps you can do the dishes when you don’t usually help with this chore. This will show your partner how you really care and value him or her. The more you do these unexpected sweet little nothings, the more your partner will have the urge to do likewise.
  • Have a fresh approach:  This is not to change your entire personality, but to have an upgrade of the usual predictable approaches that you have been doing. This new approach will surely spice up your eagerness for each other.

Keep in mind that marriage is very precious and has to be kept vigorously flaming at all times. The number of years must never be the reason for your marriage’s downfall or for you to turn bland to each other. You should never wait until your anniversary or on special occasions to do something special and different (in a sweet manner) for your partner. When you do it for no reason at all, except to let your partner know they are appreciated and adored, you will both live joyfully.  In addition, you will also set  good examples of love that your family, friends, and children will follow in time.

Baby Makes Three – Help!: Six Tips For Coping With My Partner and New Baby

“It has been more than 15 years since I have had a new baby in the house.  Nonetheless, I distinctly remember taking care of a newborn, feeling exhausted, and trying to keep up with household chores, all while still going to college both day and night.  Somehow, I thought that I could handle it all.  Boy, was I wrong!  When there is a new baby in the house, many adjustments must be made.  Quite often, the partner feels left out.  With just a few tweaks, a newborn’s arrival can be a complete bundle of joy for the entire family”  ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

Having a baby for the very first time gives a woman a multitude of emotions.  She may feel  excited, overwhelmed, scared, or worried.  Added to these high-strung emotions are the struggles that come with all those emotions, including learning the steps on parenting.  And please, let’s not forget to mention all the laundry, folding, and chores that must be done in little time.

The baby must always be the top priority from day to night. Constant attention must be given, from feedings to diaper changing.  Amidst the busy schedule that a new mother has to deal with, she also must remember to keep the adult relationship with her partner equally as important.  You might be thinking, how on earth are we supposed to adjust to these new demands and still find time to nurture our own relationship.  So how does one have romance with a new baby in the house?  Who has time?  Who feels like it?  Who cares?   

Six Tips For Coping With My Partner and New Baby

  • Make time for each other.  This can be done at least once a week on a routine schedule.  Call in a babysitter or ask your mom or sister to watch the baby for the night. This way, you can both take a rest from all the stress that you have come across throughout the entire week and focus spending some time together with nothing to worry about.  Reminisce the time when it was just the two of you snuggling together.  Go to a movie or head to your favorite restaurant. You can even try going to the beach and lounging there for a while.  Whatever date idea you have in mind, go and spend some time with your partner. What is important is that you prioritize some moments alone with your partner to rekindle the romantic flame.
  • Steal moments when baby is sleeping or having a nap.  Since newborns sleep most of the time, simply use this as an advantage to have a romantic stroll as you push your baby’s stroller. The fresh air from the outdoors is good for your child while sleeping.  It also affords you and your partner the benefit of a lovely walk and at the same time, the chance to talk with each other.  If you are inside the house and too tired to have a walk, you can also cuddle with each other on the couch or give each other a massage.  By spending time together, you can make use of the quiet time wisely by giving time to listen to each other, holding hands, and just simply resting together.
  • Show your affection and sweet little nothings. Affection and sweet little nothings must never be forgotten even if you are too busy.  The simple gestures of holding hands or giving your partner a kiss in the middle of your busy baby schedule will always lighten up the mood.  If your partner is going to work, take a little of your time to write a love note and insert it in the briefcase.  Keep in mind that these simple acts of showing your love and kindness do not need a lot of effort or time.  However, they will never fail to show and convey to your partner how much you love and care for him or her.
  • Do something sexy.  Experiment doing something new and sexy, even if it is only weekly.  Sneak while your baby is asleep, and go have sex in a different room, other than the bedroom.  There’s no rule that says sex can only be enjoyed at night.  Why not try a little quickie in the middle of the day? Or, perhaps you can have also a quick, intimate routine in the morning by showering together.  These are just a few examples to elevate your mood for the busy day that you may be facing.
  • Create a baby-free love area.  Fashion a specific area for your love nest.  No diaper changing allowed!  This designated love-zone will become very special since you can just relax with your partner as your baby is quietly resting. This will be the perfect place where you can spend quality time enjoying some loving with your playmate. You can give and accept sweet, tender  backrubs, hold hands, and get naughty in your baby-free love area.
  • Five minute bond. Time is of great essence, especially when you have a baby who is in constant need of your attention and care. You might not notice when you start drowning from all of the things you do for your baby, all of which may leave your partner feeling a bit left out. That is why it is very essential to spend at least five minutes of your day to bond with your partner. Take time to ask him or her how the day was. This can be done during your dinner time, while you are putting baby down for sleep, or before you both go to sleep. This way you both get updated on each other’s activities and you will recognize each other’s efforts, as well.

Keep the sparks lit so you can enjoy each other, hold hands, and make love like you did prior to having three people in the house.  This will help to bond you even tighter than before.  Just simply bring back the basics that you both did before the baby came into your lives. Though this might be a little tricky, it is necessary.  You will never regret the time spent for both your partner and the new baby.

 

Look Smoking Hot at Any Age, Darling: Follow These Quick Seven Steps

“I don’t care what anyone says about aging, maturity, or getting older.  I swear…I will do everything in my power to stay as hot-looking as I am right now until the day I die.  Is that vain?  Heck, yes.  My looks are important to me, just the same as my health, my friends, and my family.  Why would I choose to “let myself go” just because I am getting older?  No way, that is not my style” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

Our age does not define our will and our heart’s desires. Although no one can ever have power over the natural process of aging- not even the brightest minds and the highest technologies, you can take steps to preserve your beauty and vibrancy to last and get even hotter as you mature. A healthy lived life is the key towards graceful aging.  Aside from this, there are also other things that should be considered.

Many people, especially women, have a difficult time looking in the mirror every day, watching how the aging process eats away at our beauty. Women just hate having a lot of flaws with their bodies, such as cracked, dry skin, bad hair styles, or imbalanced skin tones. Women try their hardest to find ways to maintain or improve their looks.  Believe it or not, this can be accomplished without plastic surgery.

Here Are Seven Quick Steps to Look Smoking Hot at Any Age

  • EXERCISE REGULARLY:  Regular exercise is the basic and the foremost step towards getting a fabulous figure and a well functioning body. Exercising is the solution to maintain your fitness levels and good shape for most of the time. Apart from keeping your body physically fit, physical exercise also promotes sweating. The body’s sweating, in turn, will help to eradicate the toxins in the body. Exercises that give attention on strengthening the heart, bones and muscles are the highly suggested ones.
  • EAT:  One common misconception that people have these days is that when you eat, you get flab. That is the reason why many are skipping or limiting their meals, or restricting their food intake to vegetables alone. That is not right and very unhealthy. Remember that the human body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for its proper function and good health.  These can be found in vegetable, fruits, and meats. That’s why complete, balanced, eating is very essential. Do not starve yourself by skipping meals, aiming to shed off extra pounds because that will not work. If you starve, you’ll feast in return, so there’s no sense skipping a meal if you will just consume double-double the amounts on your next meal. Eat a balanced meal, eat on time, limit snacking and refrain intake of oils and junks- that will surely work.
  • PAMPER YOUR SKIN:  Do a body check and know what your skin needs. You may want to try any of the following: Indulge in frequent massage sessions to help with good skin tone.  Buy a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type to prevent wrinkles and dryness, as well as to nourish and keep your skin glowing.  UV rays are the skin’s greatest enemy, so protect your skin by applying a sunscreen lotion or cream every time you expose yourself out in the sun.  Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and to give your skin a new and healthy glow.
  • KEEP YOUR NAILS AND HAIR CLEAN AT ALL TIMES:  Apply some lotion of any kind and massage on your nails to keep them looking healthy and fresh. Also, get a manicure and pedicure done on a regular basis and choose a color that looks refined and professional.  Do your hair. Keep your hair neat and clean at all times. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that can make your hair smell good – a hair solution that can go well with your hair and scalp.  Screw your age…select a hairstyle you love that will compliment your face.
  • DRESS UP:  Dress up nicely and accordingly because the way you choose what you wear is the way what other people will look at and approach you. Go for a sophisticated and elegant look if this is your style. Remember to go with the clothes that will flatter your figure and will bring out your inner youth.  Don’t try to be somebody you’re not.  I prefer to wear “hippie-style” clothes for casual wear because this is my personality.
  • WEAR MAKE UP AND FABULOUS PERFUME:  The scent that you wear is very important. Wear a perfume that is mild and will not be overpowering.  It is far worse to have too much perfume on than too little.  And do not forget to wear light make-up that will augment your facial features and beauty.
  • BE HAPPY:  Lastly, enjoy the life of being a matured person because your aptitude to be in high spirits will help you live longer, healthier, look and feel younger for the rest of your life.  When you are happy, this joy exudes to those around you.

Hopefully, these seven steps will become part of your regular routine in maintaining your youth and beauty.  They are easy to incorporate into everyday life.  Once you implement these stress-free steps, you will be amazed just how easy they are to do and also, you will notice a difference in your appearance and attitude.  Now, go and conquer the world, you smoking hot woman!

 

Romance Gone Wrong: Five Tips to Jazz up the Love-Life in Dating

“Nothing turns a date off more than seeing his or her partner showing up looking as though they could care less about being there.  I recall several times during my active dating, I would spend perhaps 30 minutes getting ready for a date and not really invest in myself or put forth the effort of “getting super-hot.”  Now, I know why I did this.  At that time, I was not ready for a serious relationship and was merely dating just to have something to do.  I must admit, I am very ashamed of this.  Once I finally decided that I was ready to “find someone” I used all five of these tips to surprise my lover” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

When dating couples become at ease within a relationship, they sometimes run the risk of dropping off the flame of romance that connects one to the other.  The beginning stages of any romantic relationship usually involve an amorous demonstration of affection and care towards each other and much of the time, an intense attachment for the other’s presence.  But as the relationship jogs along, the course of romance might get paler.  Now that you’re getting more secure with each other, the necessity to make an impression and to amaze one another may not be as exciting as it was in the beginning.

If you feel your love-life in dating is currently on the rocks, with less spice and excitement then it’s probably high time for you to start doing simple things to fetch the “old flame” back and to jazz back up the spark that you may have ignored. Spice things up; keep the connection alive and thrilling all the way through.  Do you want to know how to do this?  Sure you do!

Five Tips to Jazz up the Love-Life in Dating

  • Go back to your dating schedules and do this at least once a week. As an alternative of just sitting at home watching television, you may want to consider going out to new and fun places that both of you have never been before. Be adventurous and spontaneous.  Keep the jive and enjoy the ride. There are so many things both of you can discover while you are on the road.
  • Don’t forget to give compliments.  A compliment is one of the sweetest things that you could say to your partner during the day. This will make your partner feel good about him or herself. Add a hint of thrill every time you say and express it – give him or her a swift kiss, a teasing touch, or whisper it softly and closely to your partner’s ear – that will surely seal the package! Remember that technique seems to work wonders.
  • Physical affection is a must at all times. You may greet your partner with a hug and a kiss every time you meet. Or you may also rub his or her head or massage his shoulders as you are watching a movie together. You may also incorporate sexy actions as you do these things to add up some hype to the affection you are conveying to your partner. This will also be a very good tool to measure your partner’s mood. If you are out in public places together, do not forget to hold hands. Holding hands may be a very simple thing, but it is very powerful as a way of securing one another and letting each other feel your warmth with a sexy touch.
  • Surprise your partner at times. Just do something that your partner does not expect you to do on that ordinary day.  For men, you can send flowers at work.  For women, you can cook and set up a romantic dinner rather than eating out. These little passionate gestures will put the sweetest smile on your loved one’s face.
  • Be adventurous, but not wild.  Doing wild things can absolutely stun your partner and can turn him or her off rather than actually giving the surprising delight you’ve probably intended.  It takes a certain personality to appreciate the “wild side.”  Be adventurous by adding a nice amount of spontaneity in the process.  Do a little tweak on the usual routines that you do with your partner when pursuing romance. This will surprise your partner in a good way and will intensify the course of your relationship as well.

Do not settle for anything less when it comes to your love life.  Do the most romantic thing you can think of because this will jazz up the relationship and intimacy shared with each other, leading to a happier and contented life that is lived with a lot of love.

Six Surefire Ways to Get Your “Happy” Back

Striving to be Healthy is the new Happy

“This cannot be ‘me’.  I never pout, dwell on the negative things, or stay out of my ‘happy’ place for more than ten minutes.  How could it be that I had been feeling crappy, instead of happy, for almost two whole days?  Here I am with all this knowledge and life experience, plus that of helping so many others, yet I was in a crappy place…not my happy place.  I had to fix this and I mean this had to get switched up FAST.  Yes, I knew what to do.  Whew!”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Have you ever had one of those days where every single thing you touched just seemed to flop?  I had been flip-flopping for almost two days and it was driving me crazy.  In my little corner of the world, work is my life and I love doing what I do.  Nonetheless, last week I was feeling just plain crappy and that nauseous feeling was rocking my boat the wrong way.  Even though I am excellent at multi-tasking and love doing numerous projects all at the same time, it seemed as though I could not complete even one task correctly.  Perhaps I should say that I could not complete the tasks perfectly.  I am OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), so meeting up to my standards and perfection for myself are rather high.  It is not easy to live as me in my world.

Now, this can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing.  Most of the time, I can accomplish much, sleep very little, and love challenges and helping more people.  But last week, when the ‘crappy stole my happy’ – well, that is where this story really begins.  I decided to blame the ‘crappy’ on the weather.  It was raining and dismal. You know the game.  I could not take  responsibility for what was happening in my life, right?  Um, no.  That is wrong!

Listed below are the Six Surefire Ways to Get Your “Happy” Back:

1)  Before you ever get out of bed in the morning, say a prayer to your Higher Power or Source of Light and give thanks for one more day to make it right in this world.

Perhaps this sounds silly, but it is not.  Just the fact that you are alive and breathing is a blessing in itself.  I believe in God, so for me when I wake up, I take off my eye-mask and thank God for allowing me to have another day to do what it is that I love doing.

2)  Keep a Gratitude Journal.

Just try this and you will find that it truly is helpful.  The way to begin is simply by writing down five things every morning that you are thankful for.  All of my coaching clients are required to keep a gratitude journal.  This is not a tablet for you to have a gripe session in.  No complaining allowed!  If you cannot think of five things you are thankful for, start like this; I am happy that I woke up this morning.  I am grateful that I had a bed to sleep in last night.  I am happy that I have food to eat and that I know I will not be hungry today. I am thankful for being able to see, hear, and think for myself.  I am grateful for the chance to have do-over’s in life so I can be happy again.  There…I have just provided five very easy things that any of us can write down who may be reading this blog (in case you are stuck or have trouble getting started).

3)  Meditate or exercise. 

Meditation is my way of getting my happy back at any time of the day.  I literally go into my Zen Zone, get in proper position on my rug, light beautiful candles so I can smell the aroma and scents as I rub warm rocks and chant.  This grounds me.  My meditation zone is a corner of my office.  However, it is like its own little world for me, with beautiful pillows, books of grace and thanks, and tools for writing.  Exercise is also a perfect tool for releasing endorphins.  This, in turn, is healthy and can get you back on track.  You say you’re not a health nut, nor do you want to meditate?  Just go walking.  Stop with the excuses!

4)  Shake it up.

Yes, that’s what I said.  Do things a little bit differently during the day than you normally would.  If you usually stay inside during your lunch break at work, pack a lunch and take it outside.  If you don’t take a lunch break, force yourself to take one, or go for a stroll while eating healthy snacks. Just switch it up and shake it around for a bit of a change.  Quite often, this can be just what you need to get your happy back.

5) Read inspirational or motivational quotes or literature.

This can be just on the internet, like many of us do, or it can be in your Nook, Kindle, or hard-back book also.

6)  Call your best friend for a lift of spirits. 

A dear friend can make all the difference in the world in helping to get you back where you want to be.

So there you have six dependable ways to get your happy back if you get down in the dumps or get stuck.  You may be asking why or how I got there in the first place.  I was in a state of overwhelm, having survived seven weeks of major remodeling and exhaustive moving.  I do believe I earned the right to pout and be unhappy for just those two days.  That ought to last me for the next five years or so.

 

Divorced and Dating. Seven Tips on How to Get Back Into the Scene Again

“Divorce sucks.  It just sucks and there is no other way to say it.  My parents have been married for almost 60 years ansd I always thought this would be my life, too.  But it just hasn’t worked out that way.  My first marriage lasted 17 years and ended abruptly when my husband confessed an affair he had been having for the past five years.  He thought I should forgive him and our lives should just “carry on.”  He could breathe easier because he had gotten this off his chest.  I was crushed and devastated.  For the first time in 18 years, I was in the dating market again” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

Divorce is one very tough situation to go through. It’s very stressful and tiring, both in the physical, as well as in the emotional aspect, for two people.

Many would ask when is the perfect moment to start dating after a divorce. The answer totally depends on the individual and how he or she manages to cope with the healing process. One thing you should keep in mind is that it is important to take your time in the process of healing. Enjoy being single for quite a while, so that you can concentrate on your life, your goals, and your future plans before you start seeing someone new. By doing so, you can assure that you already have given yourself enough time to let all the difficulties of the past relationship subside and you can declare, without hesitation, that you have moved on and are ready to meet someone new.

When you’re officially and legally divorced and finally back to that single status, you are now in the best position to get going in life. However, it is important not to put yourself in the singles market in a desperate way and not to rush into new relationships. Maximize your time to do things right, at the proper time, with the correct person, and with the most appropriate feeling.

Since dating after divorce is considered as one difficult, yet extremely exciting new phase of one’s life, you should be guided on how you must do things in a proper way as you get back into the scene again.

Here are seven dating tips that you can follow after your divorce:

Make sure you have already started your social life before you start to date again.
Go to parties, meet old friends and make new friends first. Perhaps you should give social media a try and then choose one suitable person to date. Remember not to show your impatience and immediately date that first person you have come across. This will send a wrong signal to the one you are planning to date at a later time.

Prepare!
Prepare yourself by going to the gym and eating healthy. These things will help you get ready to show the world the new you and the new positive life you are forging ahead. Remember that if you are putting yourself in the singles market, you have to stand out and be an attractive person among the others.

When you go out on a date, do not talk about your past.
This is an intense mistake you should do so! Do not talk about your ex or how frustrated you are in your life, because that will turn-off your date and for you. In return will become a total date failure. If you want to vent about your past and get angry, do not go and bust it all out on your date.  See a professional Lifestyle Coach, Counselor, or Therapist, instead.

What you must do is to carry a great attitude about your life and think about how lucky you are for another chance that you get to seek for a new person who might be out there just waiting for you. Perhaps you will fall in love and find true love this next time.

Do not compare your ex to your new date.
You have to leave all bad and bitter memories behind. Do not make the mistake of comparing your new date with your ex.  They are two different individuals. In addition, comparing can also spoil the new relationship you are building with your date and can even spoil your self-respect, as well.

Don’t just settle on one source on dating.
Dating sites have been very common dating matchmaking these days. With one single click, you can easily get a list of people who are computed as your match. Why not be your own personal matchmaker? Go out, explore and meet new people personally. That will be more fun and you will also get the chance of seeing that individual right in the eyes.  Additionally, you can see how that person carries himself around new people. The impression that you will get when seeing someone in person is different than those you see only through profiles in online dating sites.

Don’t waste any of your time with people who are not ready to give you a hand.
Your best friends are the most supportive people you can go to. Make use of their support to search for a new date. New-date searching is one challenging quest for you, so use all the support and resources you can have.

Make sure that it feels right.
When you choose someone to seriously date, make sure that it feels good.  Remember that in order for you to enjoy fully the advantages of going out on a date with a new person, you must have already let go of your past. You must be able to see yourself extremely happy with the one you are with right now.

These are seven quick tips that you can bring into play so you can enjoy a wonderful dating experience after divorce. Just remember that you need to meet people out and about. Smile, be friendly, flirt a little at appropriate times, go to parties and mingle, and ask your friends for help and advice.  Put yourself out there.  Happy dating!

 

Relationship Blunders: What to do When You Have One on a Date

“The very worse relationship blunder for me has to be the one time I called a date by the wrong name.  It was my birthday, and I was going out for dinner and dancing with one date and then out the following night with another date.  During the first date, I looked squarely in the face of the gentleman and called him by the wrong name.  At the time, he laughed it off, but I could tell that it really hurt his feelings.  He turned out to be a jerk and I never saw him again, so it ended up being okay.  I’ll never forget that as long as I live and since that time, I have always been excellent with names.  There won’t be any more name blunders for this chick!” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Being in a relationship may be a tough deal, especially if it is not all just about hearts and flowers. Most relationships may have a good start.  However, if one or both parties involved begins to show their true colors, that is when things could turn nasty. It is important to work on the differences between two partners, but doing so can be challenging, especially if faced with many relationship blunders. In some cases, men and women tend to commit the same mistakes that repeatedly strain the relationship and create havoc to what should be a supposedly intimate and fun date.  This could, in turn, bring about a heated exchange of toxic arguments.

It is advisable to work and avoid the common relationship blunders, especially while having a date, as things may turn out quite intense and could end up into something that you might regret. Of course, some of us tend to commit such stupid and dreadful mistakes.  Therefore, it is important to do some damage control if we don’t want to end up alone or bitter at the end of the date.

Here are four common relationship blunders and some tips that would help you smooth things out properly:

1.       Invasion of privacy – Well, most dates tend to get easily irritated when their partner is  busy answering text messages and not paying attention to them. Some dates are really pissed to the extent of pulling the cellphone away from their partner and start the never ending nagging. This can provoke the other partner and become a big turn off. It will not really look good for anyone to do this while on a date, as each one still deserves to keep some privacy. If you have already done the damage, then learn to apologize and don’t escalate the problem. Try to settle things in a proper manner and help make your partner understand what caused you to act in that manner.

2.       Domination and making too many demands – Some people tend to forget that a relationship takes two to tango, so they keep all the power and control over the relationship. In some cases, one tends to make too many demands from the other, especially while having a date. To make demands from a relationship is not really a problem, but it should be done in a moderate way. If you think that you are too demanding to your partner, tone it down.

3.        Excessive intimacy – Intimacy is a very important factor in a relationship but it may not be a good thing if you cannot keep your hands off your partner, even in public places or on a date.  If you are trying to send a message to other people to back off and this person is mine, then they surely get what you wanted to say. However, your partner can take that as a negative thing and may think that you are too possessive. Just learn when to stop kissing or being overly attached to your partner and leave the intimacy in your private realms. Too much of anything can kill off any relationship.

4.       Selfishness – Stop thinking that it’s all about you as relationship don’t work that way. If you are on a date, do not just be a good speaker, but also try to become a good listener. Do not treat your partner just like your friend that you need to just talk about some girly and boyish stuff when you are with him. If you think you are talking too much, then learn to stop and try to open topics that both of you would enjoy.

These are simple relationship blunders that people often commit. If done repeatedly, these can actually fuel feuds and conflicts between the people involved. It is important to avoid them if you don’t want to bring your romantic relationship to a screeching halt.

 

She’s a Spender – I’m a Saver: 5 Easy Steps to Compromise

“In my own relationships, I have been the saver overall, the one who makes sure the bills are paid on time and who is a bit nutty about finances.  I always had money in the bank and money in my 401k’s.  I lived within my means.  If you partner with someone who has a very different attitude about money, it can be difficult.  I would highly suggest using these five steps as a beginning for compromise”  ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

When dealing with differences with your partner, money can be an emotionally loaded aspect that is subject for a lengthy discussion. One may often focus on long-term financial goals while the other prefers the temporary enjoyment that money can bring. And this is what makes a spender and saver combination complicated and often generates conflicts in a relationship. So how do you make your financial relations with your partner smoother to avoid problems in the future? Knowing and understanding your own attitude towards money is the initial step. Here are 5 easy strategies that will help you in ensuring respect on each other’s differences without jeopardizing your financial concerns.

  • Understand the disparity between your money attitudes and spending habits. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner towards the subject of budgeting and financial planning. Be frank and considerate. Be ready for compromise by setting limitations, you can start by saying: “I am a saver, here is what it means…You are a spender, this is what that means…Let us talk about how we can get on the same page. So that we meet our needs and at the same time show the right message about money to our children.”  It is important that you both come into terms and have a calm and rational discussion. Avoid setting the stage for pestering resentment which will then lead into heated arguments.
  • The meaning of financial security may be different from one person to another. The saver needs to know that he is saving sufficient money off the top to guarantee financial security. So it is important for the saver to realize that the family does not necessarily need a million dollars for them to survive in the succeeding years. Being able to pay for the monthly mortgage until maturity and having to allocate a certain amount for the kids’ education are some of the factors that make a saver think that his/her finances are enough and sufficient.
  • Decide and enumerate what your priorities are. This is not just about planning your family budget but also talking about your dreams and aspirations in life. You evaluate your present situation and come up with choices that you should make in the near future. For example, would you prefer to buy a new car next year or have a vacation escapade instead? The various instances where your dreams collide should be your ultimate goal as a couple to make them meet on common ground. Then you decide how you will meet these goals without causing problems within the family. It will be much preferable if you both come into an agreement on the amount of money that you will invest on savings. Discussing who will administer the money is also another issue that you should resolve in the earliest time.
  • One important aspect that you should bring up is whether to have a joint or separate account. A method that works for some couples is coming up with separate accounts while also having a third household account. If you prefer a joint account instead, you can talk and negotiate on the specific allowance that each of you can spend. There are different ways to organize your finances but the most crucial is to always make sure that each one of you will have a certain amount of money that you are free to spend. This will ensure that your partner will not feel deprived of your finances. And this is quite an effective method in avoiding heated arguments.
  • Come to a decision on how to deal with everyday finances. Do not forget to talk about paying the bills, balancing the check book and making investment decisions. Another important point is to come to an agreement on how much each of you can spend without consulting the other. When you come into terms with this, you will be avoiding misunderstandings on how you handle your finances.

Having a partner that has a rather different financial approach does not necessarily translate into a doomed relationship. Actually, many individuals even say that a saver-spender combination is somewhat an ideal one. The spender makes sure that the family is not deprived from leisurely things and activities that are both fun and exciting. The saver will be the one to make sure that there is enough money to sustain the lifestyle now and in the coming years. As long as you are able to strike a balance in managing your financial resources, natural tendencies will not rule your lives and will even rid you of problems in the unforeseen future.

 

My Partner Cheated: Won’t He Just Do This to Me Again and Again?

“He told me on New Year’s Day that he had been seeing the same woman for the past five years and just “needed to get it off his chest.”  What was he thinking of?  I thought I had the perfect marriage.  I was well-respected in the community, worked hard in my job, loved my husband, and had assumed full responsibility of taking care of our two children for years while my husband of 17 years was on the road in sales.  I never questioned him, or even doubted his honour to me or his wedding vows.  I thought he really loved me and would protect our sacred wedding ground.  When he confessed his cheating, I literally had the air knocked out of me.  I filed for divorce immediately” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

When it comes to relationships, cheating is one of the many hindrances that tend to scare a lot of people. Many couples often treat cheating as unpardonable and although it is quite painful, they still find themselves able to forgive their partners, pick up the broken pieces and start to move on with their lives together. This may sound true to some but majority of the people who have been cheated on are constantly contemplating on whether or not their partner will do it again. They have a recurring apprehension that their partner will do it the second time around, and this fear is what stops them from growing and attaining the true potential of their relationship.  Now, does this ring a bell to you? Do you often spend a lot of time dwelling in dreadful thoughts of your partner cheating on you yet again? Will he ever do it again?

Well, according to statistics, only 15-20% of cheaters do repeat their cheating acts. This means that most cheating partners are indisputably faithful individuals who just made a mistake and will often learn from this experience. The thing is, if you had chosen to forgive and accept your partner again, then you should also give yourself a chance to trust him again. The best thing that you should do is to move on and try your best to re-build your relationship together with your partner. It does not necessarily mean that you have to forget what happened; you just have to put it behind you and look forward to a better relationship. Letting a past experience preoccupy you and giving it the power to control your life will only make you a miserable person. It does not only lower your expectation but will also turn you into a discontented and paranoid person. The end result? The relationship you chose to save and work on will eventually fail and die.

The fact is that there is really no way to guarantee the saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is an undeniable truth that is applicable to all. So why torment yourself with doubts and awful thoughts? You are only hurting yourself by being stuck with it. Instead of relieving that painful past and creating undeserved resentment towards your partner, focus your time in igniting the flames of your relationship again. Create new and blissful memories again which will enable you to let go of that painful memory. This also means overcoming your fears and erasing all your bad thoughts deep inside.

For some of us, we cannot go back and take back a partner who has cheated.  I know that I cannot do that.  Two of my own marriages have ended in divorce, due to infidelity on my partner’s behalf.  This is where I draw the line.  I am a very accepting and forgiving person, as a general rule.  However, cheating is the ultimate disgrace to me.  Where you draw the line in the sand will be different for each person.  There is no “right or wrong.”

If your partner made a promise to never to do it again, try take his word for it. You already decided to accept his apology so make your goal to work through this crisis. Sooner or later, you can expect to have a more intimate and renewed relationship. This will even improve your communication with one another. You will also figure out what was missing from the start and direct it towards where you would like to take it in the future.

Now that you had taken the harder step after deception, which is forgiveness and acceptance, concentrate in capturing happiness together by giving your partner the faith that you always wanted to give him.

So, will a cheater ever cheat again? Yes, he COULD probably do it again but there is really no reason to drive yourself crazy over it. Not until he does it again. If ever that unfortunate moment ever happens again, you might want to slow things down if ever you feel a little insecure about it. It takes time to totally heal the wounds that infidelity has caused you. So just take one step at a time and not rush things. Deal with your fears little by little until you can fully move on without being paranoid most of the time. Have patience in dealing with your emotional withdrawal and slowly learn to trust your partner yet again, if possible.

 

He/She Left Me and I Can’t Quit Crying: What’s Wrong With Me?

“Every time I have broken up, I thought my world was ending.  Except for one time, it was me who did the ‘breaking up’ and even then, it hurt.  It is not pleasant to tell another person you do not want to be with them or that you have made the wrong selection for a mate.  In fact, it sucks to be the bearer of bad news.  But, with each and every break-up, I have learned and grown.  Additionally, something or someone better – even growth in myself – was always waiting on the other side of the fence for me” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

It is never easy when a relationship comes to an end. Whether you wanted it or not, whatever the reason behind the break-up, this can turn your world upside down. Break-ups can cause you a lot of emotional pain. You can spend the whole night staying up, crying and thinking what went wrong. Sometimes, even though it has been a year or two, the pain still feels so fresh. One reason why it is so hard to move on is because of your many expectations. Remember the day you met your partner?  You start to remember all the wonderful plans, the hopeful dreams you made and the promise of fulfilling all of them together in the future. All of those are annihilated by separation. All kinds of painful and unsettling feelings can be triggered by break-ups. What began as a high note of hope for the future will end up with profound grief, stress and resentment.

It is not easy to recover from a break-up. However it is important to keep reminding yourself that you can and you will move on. You just have to be patient with yourself because healing takes time. Here are four ways on how to cope with break-ups:

  • It is quite normal to feel a lot of different emotions in you. You will feel miserable, mad, confused, frustrated and exhausted. All of these feelings can be a bit intense. You will feel a lot anxious on what the future holds for you. Acknowledge all these emotions and be assured that as the time goes by it will eventually lessen. For a limited period of time, you will feel and perform at a less than optimal level and you must permit yourself to this. You should realize that it takes time to heal. And you have to remember that you do not have to go through all of these alone. Share what you feel to a Professional Lifestyle Coach who specializes in Relationships and also, your family and friends. Unloading yourself to someone you can trust can lessen the burden that you feel. If you isolate yourself, you will only increase the level of emotional and physical stress that you are feeling. Do not be afraid to seek help when you need to.
  • Separation or breakup involves multiple losses. You lose the one you share your dreams and experiences with. You lose someone who supports you, be it socially, emotionally, financially and intellectually. So allow yourself to grieve over these losses. Sometimes we try to shield ourselves from the pain that these losses can cause; it is understandable because it is scary to make yourself even more vulnerable to the pain. If you always fear the pain and treat it as unbearable, you will not be able to go through it. But you have to remember that an important part of the healing process is actually grieving. No matter how difficult and strong your grief is, it will surely not last forever.
  • While you are going through the grieving process, do not forget to reach out to your support system. Again, seek the help and guidance of a Lifestyle Coach and then talk with your trusted friend or family member and they can help ease the pain that you feel. Surround yourself with positive people and it will work wonders for you.
  • More than ever, taking care of yourself in the midst of this life-changing and emotional wringer event in your life, is the most important thing that you should always remember. You can be left psychologically and physically vulnerable by the negative strain of separation. Treat and learn to nurture yourself at all times. This is one of the valuable lessons you will learn from this painful moment of your life.

The healing process is not achieved overnight, so be honest with yourself and try not to think of whom to blame or dwell on your mistakes. Time will come when you will be able to look back into your past relationship and take it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself rather than a dreadful past that you want to escape. And when the right time comes, you will eventually learn to love again.