Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Monday, August 24, 2015

Marriage is Not a Test Drive…

It’s for real and for life. Or, at least, that’s the way it is supposed to be.

Although the divorce rate is not as high as most people think – 50% of all marriages are NOT ending in divorce, according to the Census Bureau. 72% of those who have ever been married, are still married to their first spouse! We have been both accepting and adding to a deep sense of cultural discouragement about marriage by continuing to quote a distorted statistic. In affect it’s a discouragement that instead of motivating couples, leeches hope from marriages. A discouragement that, it turns out, is based more on myth than reality.

WEDTestDriveRegardless… The divorce rate is still too high because couples give up, they begin to take each other for granted, they stop working on the relationship and then they let it fall apart. The effects of divorce on couples and especially children is difficult to calculate.

A good marriage takes your whole heart. Selfish people can’t pull it off. Having a healthy marriage is not easy. It’s takes working together, even when you don’t feel like it. A total commitment from both partners must be your highest priority.

Love is never enough.

The vows that you say during your wedding ceremony must be taken seriously. True, they are just words, and are easy to say when you are excited about being in love. However, vows are a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment to your partner; a solemn promise often made to a deity committing oneself to an act, service, or condition.

Test driving a marriage often comes from those who enter a marriage knowing that there are issues that need to be settled, but they proceed hoping it will get better and all work out and knowing all the while that they can always get a divorce if it doesn’t. That kind of thinking is a recipe for disaster. Marriage works out for those who not only speak the vows, but actually have an intention to keep them – no matter what it takes.

There are only a few legitimate reasons why couples should get a divorce. Cheating is not necessarily one of them. Although difficult, you always have a choice to forgive. I’ve seen couples who, with the help of a good coach, forgive and very quickly shift their focus to the work of having a happy and healthy relationship – totally new and exciting again. It can happen.

Continuous emotional and especially physical abuse is number one! Death, divorce, or separation do not end a relationship, they only change it. As long as you have memory, you will have a relationship. So, my best advice: Forget divorce if you want the relationship to end. It won’t. You may be better off both agreeing to begin working on the relationship you are presently in.

“Test driving a car is very similar to driving the same car after you have bought it. But living with someone before you are married is nothing like living with the same person after you are married. The relationship is totally different.” ~ Rabbi Aron Moss

Rabbi Moss goes on to say that if you follow the traditional system – first use the mind and do some research, then slowly introduce the heart when you meet – you are more likely to make it. First find out about their values and their character. Do they see marriage as an ideal, do they believe in family, are they committed and focused in their personal life, do they have integrity and trustworthiness, are they good-natured and considerate? If so, they might be a good match.

Cohabitation puts men in the driver’s seat. They get what they want – sex and companionship – without giving what they fear the most – commitment.

Only 30 percent of couples who live together actually get married. (Source: John D. Cunningham and John K. Antill, “Cohabitation and Marriage: Retrospective and Predictive Comparisions,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 11 (1994), pp. 77-93.) Damage does occur when couples choose to live together. Marriage cements love with a commitment. Living together leaves you vulnerable, causing you to doubt the level of your partner’s dedication. It’s the adult version of playing house.

SHESproposingCohabitation fosters enough intimacy to facilitate childbearing but not enough commitment to make people deliberate about their choices to become parents.

“When a woman makes marriage the condition for giving herself to a man, she may lose a guy who has no interest in commitment, but she will challenge a “good man” to take the step of a marriage covenant. Feminists tout that cohabitation gives women freedom and independence rather than being tied to a man. However, women are far more likely to flourish economically and emotionally within the stability of marriage.” ~ Dr. Juli Slattery

Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Reality check – the decision to get married is unlike any other decision – it’s not a temporary commitment. The marriage license does not expire after it’s been filed at the court house. Please…take some time to really get to know each other. I may be old fashion, but from my experience as a relationship coach for nearly 20 years, a long engagement – one year or more – (while not living together) seems to work best. The longer couples wait to make that first serious commitment of marriage, the better their chances for marital success.

Before you make the commitment to get married, if there is any doubt… any doubt at all, do not pass GO… do not collect… in other words do not get married. I can assure you that the odds are it will NOT get better after marriage.

In playing house and stocking up on premarital Ikea furniture are we all heightening our risk for divorce? (Although the time it takes to put some of that stuff together might suggest otherwise.) 😉 A new study from the nonpartisan Council on Contemporary Families says, “No.” Moving in before marriage doesn’t automatically make you a divorce statistic. Choosing a partner way too early, however, just might.

You should never rush something that you want to last forever!

BONUS Article: Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!
Divorce Does Not Have to Be a Nasty Break-up!
Who Would You Have to Become?
Ending the Test-Drive
Think Long and Hard…
Sociological Reasons Not to Live Together
The Work of a Successful Marriage Begins After You Say, “I do!”
Tie Up Your Loose Ends Before You Tie The Knot

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Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

15 Honest Questions The Person You Marry Should Be Able To Answer

Paul Hudson, Guest Author

Marriage really is a beautiful thing. I used to think it was a bit pointless, just a piece of paper that allows you an extra tax cut. However, the more I thought about it, the more I learned to appreciate what marriage could be.

Marriage gets a bad rap because most people are really bad at it. It’s not marriage’s fault. It’s the couples’ fault for being neither mature enough nor smart enough to manage.

QuestionsI used to believe people couldn’t possibly promise to love someone else in 10, 20 years when neither their partners nor they will be the same people they are now. But that’s the point. We know that the future is filled with uncertainty.

Regardless, we still want that promise because it gives us courage to give ourselves to another without reservations.

You may not be able to keep that promise, but you can keep the promise to do your best to be an amazing life partner. That’s all anyone can really ask for. If you’re thinking about tying the knot then be sure that your future life partner to-be can honestly answer these questions to your liking:

1. Why do you love me? ~ People seem to feel this is a question that doesn’t especially need answering. Most will say we love others simply because we love them – a horrible answer. All people need to know exactly why it is that they love the people they love.

Loving someone is a very selfish act, and it’s okay. You love the person you love for what that person does for you and how he or she makes you feel.

We may all have slightly different answers as to why we love someone, but if we aren’t able to exactly define the parameters of our love, then we’re likely to struggle later on once the initial intensity dies down. If your partner can’t answer why he or she loves you now, then imagine the inevitable uncertainty down the road.

2. Why do you want to spend the rest of your life with me? ~ “Because I love you” is not a good answer. Life is a journey – one that is best not traveled entirely alone. However, not everyone has the same destination in mind. Wanting to take different pit stops along the route is one thing. Wanting different things out of life is another entirely.

Your partner should be able to tell you what life experiences he or she hopes to share with you. It’s these little goals you set for yourselves that make your life special.

3. Will you do your best to keep the romance alive? ~ Keeping the romance alive is not an easy task. Yes, it’s all mental, but keeping interest for such a long time is difficult. It takes a lot of work and creativity. It takes the other person regularly trying to please and impress you, which in itself becomes increasingly difficult with each new year.

Romantic love cannot survive on its own; both of you are going to have to maintain it constantly. Is your partner willing to keep the romance as one of his or her main priorities?

4. Will you grow with me, and not away from me? ~ We may not know exactly where our lives will take us and what we will learn — who we will become — along the way, but we can make a conscious effort to grow closer together and not apart.

Most people grow apart over the years because they feel like they’ve accomplished everything in their relationships that needs accomplishing.

This is one main reason marriages end up being so horrible – people think that there is no greater peak to climb than the one their relationship is already resting on. Marriage shouldn’t be the end, it should be the beginning.

5. Will you stick through the rough times? ~ The good times are a piece of cake. The difficult times, however, will destroy your relationship if you allow them to. There comes a point in every relationship when you have to make a decision. It’s a decision that, if made, is only made once. You will reach a point where you will either decide you are going to be there for this person for the rest of his or her life, or not.

If you decide you’re going to stick with this person then you can’t allow any tragedy or outside force to shake that decision. This is one of the most important decisions we make in our lives – or, as it often turns out, fail to make decisively. Has your lover made the decision? Have you?

6. Are you willing to lose some battles in order to keep the peace? ~ The key to a successful marriage is taming your ego. No matter how competitive we are, sometimes you just need to pick your battles. Sometimes the arguments and the stress just aren’t worth it.

What you need to understand is that 99 percent of arguments aren’t arguments over fact, but rather over opinion. An opinion is neither right nor wrong. Sometimes you just have to let things be.

7. Can you promise to put us ahead of everything else? ~ Life has a lot to offer. And if you’re anything like me, you have a very large appetite. We want everything life has to offer, and then some. The problem is we don’t have enough time to have it all; our lives are too short. We can only pick a few things we consider important and do our best to flourish in those areas.

The beauty of marriage is that it can be used as a base to build the rest of your life on. Your partner should be just that: your partner. Your relationship is the most important thing in your life because it’s what makes the rest of your life possible.

LoveUoutLoud8. Will you be a great parent? ~ Again, how could anyone know he or she will be a great parent? Easy. You just decide you’re going to be. That’s it. No tricks. No gimmicks. Just a decision and then action.

Some things don’t need too much thinking involved. You’re going to be great because you decided you will be. Will your lover do the same and be a great role model for your children?

9. Will you be sure to remind me how much you love me regularly? ~ People not only want, but need to hear it. We need to be reminded you love us because we know that love doesn’t always last forever. We want to hear the words and then have that reassurement reinforced with actions showing how much you love us.

It really is enough just to love us, but understand you need to love us the way we need to be loved — just like we need to love you the way you need to be loved in order for you to be happy.

10. Can you promise to do all you can to keep that spark alive? ~ Sparks don’t spark on their own. Think about how a lighter works. You have a spark that lights the fuel, which creates a flame. But how does that spark, spark? You have to create a force that will result in the energy creating a spark.

Just the same, you can’t expect sparks to keep flying if you’re not trying. If you want to have a happy and healthy marriage, then you need to find someone willing to devote the necessary energy.

11. Will you support me if I can’t support myself? ~ Not just financially, but mentally. Maybe even physically if necessary. No one knows what life holds. The unexpected happens, often leaving us weak, hurt or even permanently damaged. Will your partner carry you when you can’t walk?

Will your partner support you when you’re weak at the knees? Will your partner carry the family you’ve created until you regain your strength? Is your partner capable of mustering the strength to fight battles for the both of you?

12. Will you promise to continue to pursue your personal goals and dreams? ~ Marriage is not entirely the end of the person you were and the start of a new you. Sure, being in a serious relationship does require a person to change in many ways.

Yet, there’s a part of us we can never, under any circumstance, let go of. The dreams, wants and hopes we have — our personal goals – must stay alive.

When we lose them, we lose ourselves and inevitably lose the person we love. Marriage isn’t just an “us.” It’s also a you and him/her. You have to juggle being the person you have always been with being a part of a larger whole. It’s not easy. But it is necessary.

13. Will you not allow yourself to let go? ~ Will your partner take care of him or herself by eating healthy and exercising? Will your partner get regular checkups and take vitamins? This may sound silly, but I’ve seen what letting yourself go can do to a marriage.

Moreover, I’ve seen how not maintaining your health can make the lives of those closest to you incredibly difficult.

Yes, your family should take care of you when you need to be taken care of – but it’s your responsibility first and foremost to take care of yourself. No people should become a burden to those they love.

14. If I’m the first to go, will you be there with me until the end? ~ Will your partner hold your hand when you’re too weak to hold it back? Will your partner kiss your forehead and tell you he or she loves you, that you made life worth living? That, because of you, life made sense? Will your partner be there for your last breath, when you find yourself pressed betwixt fear and content?

No one should leave this world alone. It’s said that we leave it the way we come into it, but even when we come into it, there’s someone there to hold us. I understand most people don’t like to think about death, but seeing as it’s an inevitability, it’s better to plan ahead.

15. Can you promise me that if my time is cut short, you’ll continue to live on for the both of us? ~ You love this person. You want him or her to be happy regardless of whether he or she is with you or without you. If death collects you ahead of schedule, you’ll want to know during those last few seconds that the person you love will continue to live life to the fullest.

That your partner will continue to do great things, continue to be happy, and – if you have children – continue to love your children and guide them through life.

The death of a loved one can ruin you. It can break you in ways that make full-recovery impossible. Can your partner promise you to find the strength and courage to press forward?

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I’d want for the woman I love is for my departure to be her downfall. If my being in her life or leaving her life will in anyway destroy hers, then I clearly made a mistake by allowing myself into her life.

Copyright © 2015 – Paul Hudson. A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. He primarily addresses the successes and downfalls of love and life. Visit Paul’s Website!

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Think Long and Hard…

We all know what the wedding is. It’s a celebration of Love between two people who love each other and want to be together, raise a family and live happily ever after. However, the wedding is merely a big show that publicly tells everyone that a partnership has been made between two people.

There is one time when the show must not go on. When the wedding ceremony and the celebration ends, the marriage begins. By understanding the difference between the two, many more women and men, might begin the think longer and harder about rushing into a marriage.

ThinkLONGandHardIt is something that should not be taken lightly and should be given much thought because after the dream of a fabulous wedding is over, reality begins to knock at the door, just waiting to enter.

Most everyone who has ever been married will agree that the first couple of years is probably the most difficult. The honeymoon phases hasn’t ended… or has it. The first couple of years should be a great time for the couple because the couple should be enjoying their new lives together as wife and husband. Unfortunately, this belief is not as true as previously thought. Why are the first several years of a marriage between two people who are suppose to be happily and madly in love so difficult so early in their marriage? Perhaps it’s because the newlyweds are finally in a marriage! The wedding is over. Reality sometimes really gets their attention.

Many couples begin to realize that they were so in love with the idea of getting married and having an amazing wedding that they never gave much thought about life after the “I dos!” They finally see that they might not actually know and in some cases even love their partner as much as they thought they did because the desire of a fabulous wedding was what really mattered to them at the time. Love and commitment for their new partner must continue to be a high priority after the wedding for marriage to work. The ceremony IS the wedding, but the wedding in NOT the marriage.

There is good news. It may surprise you to know that the myth that half of all marriages end in divorce is simply not true. According to the Census Bureau, 72% of those who have ever been married, are still married to their first spouse. And the 28% who aren’t, includes everyone who was married for many years, until a spouse died. No-one knows what the average first-marriage divorce rate actually is, but based on the rate of widowhood and other factors, we can estimate it is probably closer to 20 – 25%. For all marriages (including second marriages, and so on), it is in the 31 – 35% range, depending on the study.

According to sociologists Jeffrey Dew and W. Bradford Wilcox, married couples who spend time alone talking or doing an activity together at least once a week were 3.5 times more likely to be happier than those who did not. Learn to communicate better.

Seems pretty easy to achieve, except for the fact that most Americans are extremely busy. Dew also reported that among married couples without children, time spent with each other’s spouse declined from 35 hours to 26 each week. Much of this was due to each person needing (or wanting) to spend more time at work. And those with children saw a decrease of 13 hours per week to nine, likely due to an increase in time spent with their children.

CannotRushA study from the National Marriage Project found that more and more young adults today are delaying marriage because they see it as a capstone that comes after achieving one’s life goals – professional and otherwise. Marriage used to be a given. Now it is a choice. These days, a happy marriage requires a serious commitment of time and energy that can be difficult to maintain.

If you are thinking of getting married… think long and hard about rushing into it. Rushing is a big mistake. Spend some time to be together. Be patient. It’s okay to take your time to really get to know each other. Get to know his/her family. Spend time with happily married couples. Ask questions. Premarital counseling/coaching is always a good idea… before the engagement – not after. Hold off on having children until you are really ready to be a parent. Children truly change the dynamic of marriage. Have you discussed religion, children, careers, division of labor, in-laws and geography with your partner? If not, how do you anticipate that you’ll be able to successfully merge your two lives together?

As a full-time wedding officiant and relationship coach, it raises a red flag for me when I ask a couple who have contacted me to perform their wedding ceremony – “How long that have been together,” and the answer is anywhere from two months to a year. Long engagements are a good thing. Never let fear of being single cause you to move forward with marriage until you are absolutely sure you are ready for a long-term commitment. You must have a healthy respect for commitment.

Marriage makes a relationship Divine. Getting married means that something bigger than both of you is bringing you together. Something wonderful happens after the wedding ceremony and as you walk hand in hand into a new life together. Publicly declaring your love in front of friends and family in a formal ceremony, and then signing a marriage license that legally seals the deal can make your twosome feel meaningful in a way that simply living together long-term might not. Simply using the terms “wife” and “husband” causes couples to think of each other in a more permanent, you’re a part of me/I’m a part of you way.

Avoiding marriage before your late 20s and dating a partner for at least two years will greatly reduce your risk of things falling apart in the future. Only fools rush in.

The key is to spend as much time talking together about your marriage – before marriage – as you did in planning all the details of your wedding!

BONUS Articles: Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!
Things Someone Should Have Told You Before Your Wedding Day

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Newlywed Romance Tips…

Filed under: Marriage Tips!,Money Matters — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Newlyweds who watch five relationship movies together are half as likely to divorce or separate within three yeas as ones who do not, reports Ronald D. Rogge, PhD. His research focuses on understanding relationships and the early years of marriage.

RomantiicTips4NewlywedsWatching five movies from the more than 100 listed at Couples-Research.com and then discussing them using the site’s interactive tools will help couples actively set aside time to prioritize and focus on their relationship, thus strengthening bonds.

Researchers at the University of Rochester are looking for couples to participate in a research study of how reflecting on your relationship using popular movies can impact relationships over time. Interested? Click here!

• Here’s another way too help your relationship: From Martha beck’s latest book, “Martha Beck Collection; Essays for Creating You Right Life” she says, “Always tell yourself the truth! The most intimate connection in your life is the one you have with yourself. Dishonest in your relationship is at best counterproductive, at worst catastrophic. If you want your relationship to work, tell yourself the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This can be difficult. We all tell ourself lies, whether occasionally or habitually, often without realizing we are lying to ourselves.

Fortunately, we can always locate our own untruths: Just follow the fumes of suffering. Believing lies makes us miserable. That’s why all effective counseling, from therapy to chatting with your nana, focuses on trusting your gut and owning your thoughts and feelings.”

• Practice non-judgment with your mate. Judgment kills empathy. Guess what? Empathy is necessary because empathy is what fuels trust and intimacy!

• Take time to schedule a relationship tune-up several times a year. The truth is, we could all use one occasionally. Attend a relationship seminar. Read a great relationship book… together. Talk about it. What did you learn that you can plug into your own relationship? Call a relationship coach. It’s always best to get coaching before you need it. Unfortunately, some couples wait until there is no opportunity to keep the relationship together.

• One of the primary causes of relationship issues is the sensitive subject of money. You are perhaps both used to spending your earnings as and when you like and it may be difficult to have another person impose on your financial decisions – particularly if one of you earns more than the other. Couples you have strong relationship live longer and have a much better change of staying together. The classic line in many wedding ceremonies includes the words, “for richer or for poorer.”

Couples who once smoothed over spats with a little shopping therapy can no longer afford to fill that prescription. Marital roles are shifting as onetime breadwinners adjust to long bouts of unemployment. Husbands and wives are blaming each other for bad investments and onerous debt.

Money is the biggest stress on married couples in many years. It seems to be the top reason that most couples find themselves in major disagreements. Although the longer they are together, the less they argue about money. It is imperative that couples discuss financial statuses beforehand and as you make plans for the future. Make some agreements and keep them.

• The dreaded housework hangup. Nowhere is it written that the wife must do all the housework! Another idea for minimising the risk of conflict is to divide up the housework early on in your marriage. Agreements work well with this issue too. However you do it, make sure that you settle the matter fairly so that neither of you feels taken advantage of; after all, you want to feel as though you have entered a loving marriage, not signed on as a housekeeper.

• Keep the romance alive. With today’s busy schedules it’s important to make time to spend with each other. Never stop doing the thing that brought you together in the first place. Schedule a weekly date-night.

• And finally… Never deprive your partner of S-E-X, otherwise they may hop into someone else’s bed and worsen the situation. Have fun with intimacy. Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you! Read: “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers!

What are some of the ideas you and your partner use to spice up your relationship? Please add them to the comments for others to share.

BONUS Article: Till Death Do Us Part???

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Wedding Is Just One Day, A Marriage Is For Life – Not Forever!

Filed under: Marriage Tips! — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

When planning a wedding, it is important to bear in mind that although the day is important and has a lot of high points, the day itself should never be bigger than the future you plan to have together!

Your wedding day is a very important day, however many brides and grooms get so wrapped up in the preparations that they remember very little of the ceremony and often are so exhausted that they skip the wedding night festivities.

just-marriedGetting prepared for marriage – a long-time deal – begins with a promise to work together to make your marriage mean something. Some couples rush into marriage for the wrong reasons. They think that love is enough. Sorry to pop your bubble, but love is never enough. It takes much more. Do you have the tools to make it great? If you don’t or know what it takes… you have some work to do BEFORE you tie the knot. Those who are called to the married life should be ready to learn what their vocation means and to acquire the skills needed for a happy marriage. Marriage is not always easy. That’s why you need to take time to prepare for marriage.

If you are getting married you should have every intention of making this arrangement stick for life. With statistics as they are… that means making a commitment to always be working together on your relationship. Marriage is not an agreement, marriage is a commitment. True love demands commitment. Life-changing decisions require a strong intention to do whatever it takes to make it work. A firm foundation is built on many things – mutual interests, shared beliefs, integrity, selflessness, forgiveness, patience, open and honest communication, appreciation, understanding, acceptance, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and, of course, love. Did I miss anything? Anything less doesn’t usually work.

“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” ~ Fawn Weaver

When you first meet, the hormones are dancing. You are in lust… well, you know what I mean – all candles and sex and witty banter. Despite what guys think, your wife won’t always want to wear that see-through teddy. Falling in love sometimes clouds your thinking. I may be old fashion, but I believe in long engagements. Developing a forever relationship takes time. How long, you ask? Until you are absolutely sure that the one you love doesn’t have any secrets you would regret finding out later. Some couple agree to run a background check on each other. Is your partner maxed out on their credit cards? Take your time getting to know each other. Take as long as it takes… however long that may be. Never rush into marriage.

When you first meet, your partner can do know wrong. However, the longer you are together without marriage, the better you will get to know each other. Be sure you are not getting married because you feel lonely. Marriage is never a cure for loneliness or boredom. It really sucks to be with a lonely person. Usually their self-image is a question they have not yet answered. How are your coping skills?

beachproposalBe together. Often. In different settings doing lot of different things. Living together? I know a lot of couples do it. Not recommended. There is no commitment in living together. There is always a back door from which to escape. You may argue that a marriage license is just a piece of paper, and it is. And it’s a legally binding agreement that is intended to last a lifetime.

“Well, we need to live together to see if we are compatible!” Are you kidding? You don’t really need to live together to know if your are compatible. All I’m saying is, be sure marriage is your next best step. If you must live together before marriage, set a date for your marriage. If it’s meant to be, both partners should be okay with that. If not, that could be a red flag.

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” ~ Franklin P. Jones

I’ve been a relationship coach since 1995. The sad tales that some couples share with me are very hard to listen to because I’ve heard their story before. They fell in love. Shortly after, they moved in together. There was talk of getting married someday. But it’s been 6 years now and he still hasn’t proposed. Sad to say this happens more often than you would think. If you have any doubts… don’t get married just yet. Some couples opt for a couple of relationship coaching sessions prior to marriage.

Women and men often worry that the role of wife or husband might eat into their own sense of individuality. You have to make gradual adjustments. Be patient. Never rush. If you both really love each other and are “truly ready” to accept the changes and responsibilities that go with marriage… jump in.

Remember that ideally and spiritually both of you are like one soul and two bodies; if you hurt each other, you hurt yourselves as well. You would both be wise to remember the spiritual aspect of your lives.

Marriage is deeply satisfying, incredibly fulfilling and loads of fun. Marriage should be celebrated as the optimistic and glorious thing that it is. Start each day with a warm kiss or a hug and an “I Love you!”

Just make sure you do it for the right reasons.

BONUS Articles: What Your Mother Never Told You About Life After Marriage
What Really Changes When You Get Married

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Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (96 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Have You Planned Your Marriage… or Just the Wedding?

A wedding is just a day, but a marriage is for everyday. Of course, you must take a lot of time to plan a wedding, but you would be wise to not get so caught up in planning that you need a reality check. Getting married is a significant milestone. It’s the beginning of a partnership that will be challenging and rewarding in equal measure.

WeddingPlansCouples that I have coached before and after the wedding are sometimes surprised at the changes that occur when the two of them make the commitment to stay together forever. If they have not been also committed to personal growth, the kind that opens the door to tremendous opportunities for personal growth and personal development, the surprises keep on coming. Many couples don’t think past the wedding. Some have unrealistic expectations about what the days together will be like after their big day.

Those unfulfilled expectations almost always cause problems. When we don’t get what we expect, we usually get disappointed, frustrated, resentful, angry or worse.

The scenario often goes like this:

1. You live your life…
2. You meet someone and you fall in love
3. You become engaged (everything seems to be perfect)
4. You spend numerous hours planning for the wedding
5. You get married
6. … and everything changes.

The work of the marriage, the work that continues long after the bills for the reception and gown are paid, and long after the honeymoon photos are placed into an album or on a website, must become your highest priority.

It’s different when you are with the one you love everyday. The wedding was only part of your love story. Now you must concern yourself with all the things that some couples I talk with have never imagined. Marriages either get better or worse, they never stay the same. Things are always changing. Then comes the opportunity for personal growth.

• How long do we wait before we begin to want children?
• Separate checking accounts or one?
• Who pays the bills?
• Will you have a budget – and promise to stick to it?
• Will you have a savings plan – and promise to stick to it?
• When we have children, what spiritual path will they take. This can be a difficult choice when the parents are of different faiths.
• Etc., etc…

There are so many things to think about after the big day. What will your future together be like?

If you want to reach the full potential in your marriage, it must be worked on all the time, not only when it’s broken and needs to be fixed. Working together is the key. Having patience with each other.

PlanYourMarriageWhen I have the opportunity to coach couples before the wedding, I urge them to make key decisions before the wedding, not after. One couple after we had a serious talk about all the things that might happen after the wedding, decided to postpone their wedding for six months while they continued to work on the issues that came up during our time together.

That is also another reason for both the bride and groom to work together during the wedding planning stages so that when issues do come up they can mutually come to the conclusions that will satisfy both. When I hear that the groom may have said to his future wife, “It’s whatever you want to do at the wedding, honey… I don’t care” – that raises a red flag for me. Grooms need to know that the marriage begins with the planning of the wedding and they do need to be involved. When you plan things together that becomes a reflection of you as a couple and how you may choose to make decisions once the honeymoon is over.

It’s important for you to know that if you become unhappy with your partner about something, it stands to reason there are things about you that they may be unhappy about. Letting a problem fester only makes it harder to solve down the line. Talk – sooner than later. Communicate without fighting. Remain calm, express your love and tell your partner what’s on your mind in the most loving way you can. You need to work together.

With all the demands that other people and responsibilities make on your time, it’s easy to put your own needs on the back burner. Remember to live your own life, too. Agreement about how you do that is a wise conversation to have before you marry.

Make your partner a high priority. Every marriage is different, but the best marriages all share love, respect and joy. Maintaining a healthy and vibrant relationship isn’t always easy. It’s much easier if you always work together. When you first marry, you are each other’s whole world. That feeling isn’t sustainable forever, but don’t let your partner slip to the bottom of your priority list after kids, job, friends and hobbies. Remind your spouse – often – that they are important to you. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.

Always remember, making a healthy marriage work is a shared responsibility! It takes two… working together!

BONUS Articles: The Work of a Successful Marriage Begins After You Say, “I do!”
Romantic Ideas to Make it Valentine’s Day All Year Long!
How To Keep Your Love Alive
Ways to Relight the Flame of Love

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Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (96 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Marriage Secrets Of Highly Successful Couples

Filed under: Marriage Tips! — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Larry’s NOTE: As a bride and groom prepares for a life together, it is important to know what really makes a great marriage work. Victor is right on target with some inspiring words for newlyweds.

Victor M. Parachin, Guest Author

Over lunch with a friend one day, Kevin was asked about the “secret of your obviously happy and healthy love relationship.”

enjoyeachotherKevin responded, “I married a wonderful woman and made the commitment to apply myself to the relationship with the same energy that I place into other important areas of my life: school, work, health, friendships. I didn’t want to be casual about the relationship nor take it for granted. My partner has pretty much done the same thing. Consequently, we make a great team. I can’t imagine being without her.”

Highly successful couples like Kevin and his wife know that making the relationship a top priority is vital. They don’t allow it to derail. They know the ingredients that are necessary to keep each other content, happy, healthy and satisfied. To put it simply, philosopher Paul Tillich observed, “Any deep relationship to another human being requires watchfulness and nourishment.”

So listen up: Here are the 10 secrets of highly successful couples:

1. Successful couples enjoy each other. It’s just that simple. They like to be together, talk together, do things together. Former Beatle Ringo Starr has been married to his wife Barbara for more than three decades. He says the “secret” to the couple’s longevity is this: “I’m just blessed that she puts up with me. I love the woman. She loves me. There are less down days than up, and we get on really well. We spend a lot of time together. That’s the deal.

2. Successful couples fight skillfully. “In conflict, be fair and generous,” is wisdom from The Tao. When two people live together, they are bound to have differences of opinion and disagreements. Successful couples fight but do it skillfully; in a way that leaves the relationship stronger, not weaker. One technique they employ is their choice of words. For example, University of California (Berkeley) researchers looked at “connected” couples and discovered that they tend to use plural pronouns (“we”, “us” and “ours”) rather than singular pronouns (“I”, “me” and “mine”). As a result, they were less likely to feel stressed out after the disagreement than couples who used singular pronouns. “Using ‘we language’ during a fight helps couples align themselves on the same team, as opposed to being adversaries,” notes lead author Benjamin Seider.

3. Successful couples seek and offer forgiveness. They may not forgive and forget, but they do forgive and let it go. When they have done something wrong or hurtful, they offer an apology. When they are the wronged party, they accept the gift of an apology. Successful couples travel the pathway toward forgiving, which is outlined by author Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who cites these four stages for arrival at complete forgiveness:

Forgo: Take a break from thinking about the person or event for a while.

Forebear: Abstain from punishing, neither thinking about it nor acting on (the offense) in small or large ways. Give a bit of grace to the situation.

Forget: Refuse to dwell; let go and loosen one’s hold, particularly on memory. To forget is an active — not passive — endeavor.

Forgive: Make a conscious decision to cease to harbor resentment, which includes forgiving a debt and giving up one’s resolve to retaliate.

4. Successful couples are in it for the long haul. “There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in between,” says professional basketball coach Pat Riley. Successful couples don’t just make promises to each other; they commit. After a marriage that spans 30 years, a couple named Doris and Jim say, “We are happy together because we have lived out our vows — for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health.” When Doris was in a serious auto accident a few years ago she remembers that “Jim was there all the way. He’s an incredible husband, the most selfless person. He’s the only person in the world I know I can count on.”

5. Successful couples are positive about each other. Marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, says happy couples have relationships “characterized by respect, affection and empathy, and they pay close attention to what’s happening in each other’s lives.” Furthermore, his research reveals that happy and stable couples “made five positive remarks for every one negative remark when they were discussing conflict. In contrast, couples headed for divorce offered less than one positive remark for every single negative remark.”

datenight6. Successful couples learn and grow together. One couple, after being married for 30 years, decided they would both return to university for master’s degrees in liberal arts. “It took us nearly five years. We had a great time being in class together, studying together, reading together. The program allowed us to expand our horizons as we took courses in religion, politics, literature, history, foreign policy. We even persuaded one professor to let us write a paper together: joint authors!” Partners in successful couples play to each other’s strengths and interests. If one partner becomes more health conscious, the other joins. If one partner takes up a new activity, the other partner becomes supportive and involved. The end result is a stronger emotional bond and a deeper love.

7. Successful couples never stop dating. That was one of the “secrets” of a happy relationship uncovered by Matthew Boggs and Jason Miller. The duo traveled over 12,000 miles searching and interviewing people they called “marriage masters” – those married 40 years or more. One common element to many marriage masters was their ability to keep the romance going. Some set aside one evening a week for a date, others planned romantic getaways periodically, while others still met most afternoons for conversation at a coffee or tea shop.

8. Successful couples bring each other joy. In his book, The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life’s Terms with Your Own, Ken Druck, Ph.D, tells about a workshop he gave to his wife as a birthday gift. “She had a beautiful voice that she rarely used. What better gift than to unleash the joy she already possessed.” In the workshop, participants of every age and background were encouraged to “vanquish the wagging finger of self-condemnation and sing their hearts out.” The workshop high point was a live concert for family and friends. “With the exception of our children’s births, I can never recall my wife as having been so joyful and happy.

9. Successful couples adhere to the 60/40 rule. Boggs and Miller also discovered that “marriage masters” have a high level of selflessness. “Walter” whom they interviewed, told them, “I’ll never forget what my mentor told my wife and me before we got married 42 years ago.” He looked at us and said, “Most people think marriage is 50/50. It’s not. It’s 60/40. You give 60. You take 40. And that goes for both of you.” It was a principle Walter and his wife adhered to faithfully.

10. Successful couples have shared values. When asked about her successful relationship of 58 years, “Emma,” age 87, smiled and proudly said, “It is quite an achievement. It’s important to have the same basic values. In other words, if you’re a free spender, marry someone who understands that. If you’re frugal, you need to marry someone who understands that because money is one of the stumbling blocks in marriage. Fortunately, we had the same values on most things. We usually had the same goals – we believed in education; we wanted to be moral; we wanted to raise children to be good citizens and to be responsible in terms of finances.

Poet Robert Browning put the secret to successful couples in a nutshell when he wrote, “Success in marriage is more than finding the right person: It is being the right person.”

parachin_victorCopyright © 2013 – Victor M. Parachin. Victor M. Parachin is a writer and minister whose work focuses on experiences of grief and loss and a teacher of meditation and yoga. He is also the author of a dozen books, including, “Eastern Wisdom for Western Minds,” “Healing Grief,” (from Chalice Press), “Eleven Modern Mystics and the Secrets of a Happy, Holy Life,” and “Daily Strength for Daily Needs.” Visit Victor’s Website! He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Old is “Too Old” to Get Married?

Filed under: Marriage Tips! — Larry James @ 7:00 am

You’re never too old to find true love. Reaching 60 or even 70 doesn’t mean we lose the twinkle in our eye. 😉

marriedcoupleHave you ever wondered how old is too old to fall in love? I just ran across the amazing story of the world’s oldest newlyweds… he’s 100 and she’s 93! As newlyweds, we all feel lucky that we met the love of our life, and this couple is a great reminder that age isn’t a limit on love.

This couple is also a great example of what a wedding should be about… LOVE. I’m going to guess that this particular bride wasn’t obsessed with the very latest bridal fashion and makeup or how bikini ready her body was. She was just happy to marry the man of her dreams on his 100th birthday. While you should look and feel fabulous on your big day, don’t let concern over the superficial overshadow your love story.

cartoonOnce you meet someone that you are interested in then you can be as serious or otherwise as you like. Do not feel that this has to end in marriage or that sex even has to be involved – at this age you make the rules and if you set clear guidelines at the start then you can enjoy a relationship that will give you both what you need without getting too complicated. If you are older and don’t think you’re going to find love, then you probably won’t. That’s why it’s imperative that you keep a positive attitude.

Most later-life single status is down to separation or bereavement, and the sentiments surrounding each are very different. There are hundreds of single older people who would just love to have a companion.

Washington Post columnist Abigail Trafford says: “It’s wonderful to realize that you’re never too old to fall in love, but wise to remember that you’re never too old to fall apart in love.” Trafford spent a year at the Stanford Center on Longevity at Stanford University interviewing couples over age 50 about their personal love stories. She published those stories in a book released this month called, As Time Goes By: Boomerang Marriages, Serial Spouses, Throwback Couples, and Other Romantic Adventures in an Age of Longevity.

Do you know any older couples that recently got married or would you consider a marriage in your 70s or beyond? Please leave a comment… I would love to hear your thoughts.

Update: Just saw on Channel 15, Phoenix that a couple just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary! What an inspiration.

Partial Article Source: http://www.MissNowMrs.com

BONUS Article: World’s Oldest Newlyweds Tie The Knot

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Don’t Get Married…

Filed under: Marriage Tips!,Personal Growth,Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Here are a few good reasons to NOT get married and a few things that you can expect to change if you do.

Don’t get married if one of your highest priorities is to change your partner. That will not work! People change because they want to not because someone else wants them to.

Don’t get married if YOU are not willing to make some changes in your behavior. Some people have a difficult time adjusting to married life when they have been single so long. Others think that they can continue going out with the guys or going out with the gals after they are married. Having friends is encouraged outside of your marriage, however doing the same rowdy things you used to do as singles seldom fits the new lifestyle of newly married couples.

Special note to guys & gals: Settling down with one woman/man eliminates the wide selection of women/men and the thrill of the chase. Leave your ex boyfriends and girlfriends alone. There are no “hall passes” in marriage. You shouldn’t take chances when another person’s life, money, health, and future are in your hands.

Don’t get married if you are not willing to make your relationship the highest priority that you both work on.

Don’t get married yet if the fear of living with someone for the rest of your life is present. OR if you fear that your significant other turn from a Dr. Jekyll to a Mr. Hyde shortly after the chime of the wedding bells? It would be better if you postpone the wedding for awhile until you get to the real issue of what causes this fear. Wedding day jitters is an expensive angst that can be avoided. One of the challenges that I work with when coaching newly married couples is that now that they are married they often stop sending the romantic greeting cards or doing the things that brought them together in the first place. They begin taking each other for granted and suddenly they are again two singles living in the same house. That is NEVER a good idea.

“Relationships are something that must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed.” ~ Larry James

Don’t get married if you think a getting married is a license to to belch and fart more openly after getting married.

Don’t get married if the only reason is that you are tired of the dating scene.

Don’t get married if the only reason is that you think that you should get married. There is no shame in being single.

Don’t get married yet if you are so focused on your career that is has become an obsession. Your partner would be a better obsession.

Don’t get married yet if you can’t afford it. Getting married is often very costly. On average, couples that live in Maricopa, AZ (County) spend between $19,175 and $31,959 on their wedding. Make a plan to save the money while you are single. It’s considered okay to ask your guests for money if this is your second marriage and you don’t want to end up with 3 coffee makers, etc. Scale down your wedding celebration. Consider a quick wedding with a few special friends and family and have a big celebration when you can afford it. Nearly 90% of all divorces in the first 7 years are caused by money problems (usually a lack of it)! Marriage is expensive, but so is divorce.

eldercouplehavingfunDon’t get married just because you need health insurance. Marriage is much more than that.

“What really changes when you get married? People will stop asking you when you are getting married and start asking when you’ll start having kids!” ~ Larry James

Don’t get married if you are selfish. If you’ve been single for a long time you may find yourself doing what you want to do when you want to do it. That has got to change.

The true enemy of love is not hate, but selfishness.” ~ Brother Tyson Moore of Crenshaw Church of Christ in Los Angeles

Don’t get married yet if you feel you will loose the spontaneity you enjoyed as a single. Married people have a diluted and compromised idea of spontaneity. It doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, you do have a partner now to be spontaneous with, however when you are willing to compromise you will find that if your partner want to do something quickly, you may want to make an agreement that next time we can do what you want to do. You picked the activity last week, he gets to pick it this week.

Don’t get married if you are afraid your marriage will fail. Some do, it’s true, however when two people really love each other and will each hold each other to the promise of doing everything possible to make it work… it can work. Relationship coaching is a great idea. Some do it for preventative maintenance. Those couples are called very wise.

Don’t get married if you think that if marriage doesn’t work out for you, you can always get a divorce. While that is true, going into a marriage with that attitude is setting yourself up for disappointment.

Don’t get married if the only reason is you want children. When children come along, things really change. Everything you do revolves around your baby. Some husbands get jealous of the time the baby takes their wives, time which they can’t devote to them any longer. Seeking a balance in the relationship must be a priority. Agreements must be made BEFORE you get married. Do you want children? Who shops for groceries? Do you want pets? Who will take care of them? If you both are of different religions, which Church (Temple, Synagogue, Mosque, etc.) will your children attend?

Don’t get married if you’re lonely and think getting married will “fix” your life. It won’t! You must learn to love yourself first! It is not possible to give love to your partner if you don’t have love for yourself. I repeat: do not get married if you’re lonely and think getting married will “fix” your life.

Marriage is more that just being in love or loving someone. Love is not enough. Marriage means you’re keeping the best interests of two people in mind during every decision. It’s sharing the TV remote. It’s having respect for your partner and doing the little things that will make life better for both of you. Respect is the most important part of a relationship, because no matter how much you love each other, life throws surprises at you, and it’s important that you make decisions together. You get to start posting photos of what you made for dinner on Facebook. You get to share the housework. You get to accept responsibility for who you are being in the relationship. Marriage is a big commitment and saying that you want to spend your entire life with someone is often scary. A successful marriage is hard work. You must learn to laugh a lot. Sometimes at yourself!

“List five things you don’t like about your intended. Then decide whether or not you can live with these things in the long term. If you can’t think of five things, then you either don’t know your partner well enough, or you are not paying close enough attention. If you can identify five things, but you expect them to get better once you say ‘I do,’ you don’t understand marriage well enough to get involved.” —Judge Lynn Toler of Divorce Court, author of My Mother’s Rules: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Emotional Genius

When you get married you can’t do everything the way you always did. You have to learn to give and take. Your partner becomes the mirror in which you see yourself. There will be times when you may feel unloved. This is when having an agreement to have no undelivered communication will come to the rescue. Have an agreement (this is important!) to talk about anything and everything, all the time… and in the most loving way you can muster. You get to remember important dates, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. They are part of being married. Always remember, when you fell in love, you chose each other. Also remember that there may be times when you need to choose each other all over again. You need to know that marriage is a choice you have to make every day.

CoupleCuddling“Hey gals, if you are going to bitch, bitch to his mother, not yours. His mother will forgive him. Yours never will.” ~ Lydia Netzer

Keep the intimacy in your relationship alive! This sense of closeness offers a kind of communication that goes far beyond words. The road to intimacy is paved with empathy. Get really good at making love. You should make it your life’s mission to become the perfect sex machine for your partner. It makes “everything” so much better. Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you. Kiss and cuddle often. Do spoons without making love. Make sure you and your partner are both on the same page when it comes to making love. Anyone can have sex. Making Love is special.

It’s important to remind yourself every day why you love your spouse, and be aware of what you really want out of your marriage. When problems do occur it will help you both when you know why you love your partner. A marriage based on friendship allows you to be the true person that you are. You must learn the important skill of really listening to your partner. Always make important decisions together. Be your partner’s cheerleader, not critic!

And finally, the core reason for getting married should be because you are deeply in love and want to grow old together, for better or worse. And you make each other a promise to always be awake in your relationship to times when there are lingering differences or growing distance so you can both work quickly to find workable solutions.

Opps! Oh, yes… one more finally, always remember: There is nothing that cannot be forgiven!

BONUS Articles: Forgiveness… What’s it For?
$$ Saving Wedding Tip
Beware of “Cheap” Wedding Vendors!
More articles about budgeting a wedding – Budget (11)

Photo credit: Older couple on the beach – Corbis Corporation

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Need Your Spirit Lifted? – Get Hitched!

Filed under: Having Second Thoughts?,Marriage Tips! — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Marriage can be a major mood booster, say a new Ohio State University study. Of 3,000 single, divorced, and widowed participants, those who married during the five-year study ended up in better spirits than the ones who stayed single.

“Marriage provides unique emotional and financial support,” says Adrianne Frech, a coauthor of the study. “The intimacy, the expanded family and friend network, and the greater sense that one matters to someone else all might be reasons for increased happiness.”

Contemplating marriage? Think again.

One caveat… Be sure you are getting married for the right reasons. Too many people fail to ask themselves why they are getting married and end up marrying for the wrong reasons. Don’t get roped into a premature commitment.

Reasons not to get married include getting married due to love at first sight, sexual attraction, to cure loneliness, as an act of rebellion, rebound love, out of obligation, pressure, pregnancy, and for financial gain. Some of these reasons are selfish and do not take in consideration the other partner’s feelings.

Because you are pregnant is never the right reason. While pregnancies out of wedlock are on the rise, so are divorces.

Here are a few more reasons to say, “I don’t!”

doubtingbride• Because everyone is supposed to get married
• Want to be free from parents.
• To be happy.
• To show you are an adult.
• He or she loves you.
• To save or help someone.
• Because all your friends are married.
• Out of fear that no one else will want to marry you.
• For immigration purposes.
• You are tired of being single, you’re getting older and your biological clock is ticking.
• You don’t want people gossiping about the two of you living together.
• You happen to be in Las Vegas.

When you marry for any of the above reasons you will most likely will be disappointed with what follows and those couples too frequently end up in divorce court. Most of the wrong reasons usually demonstrate the level of your self image – how you really feel about yourself. Know who you are. Before you can devote your love to someone else, you must first love yourself. Have you given yourself enough time to grow and mature on your own?

You alone are responsible for your own happiness. Too many people get married hoping their partner will fix their lives and make them happy. Someone else cannot make you happy. That is way too much responsibility to put on your partner and it’s a task they cannot complete. Happiness is a personal choice.

You think getting married will solve your problems? NOT! Seldom do I find that the wrong reason to get married ever becomes the right reason. Marrying for the right reasons is taking care of you from the very beginning.

“Because you love someone is not always the right reason. Love is not all it takes to make a long-term relationship work. If this is what is leading you to the alter stop and simply savor this someone you love. Don’t burden the relationship with marriage.” ~ Jonathan Goodman-Herrick

marriedcoupleAh! Love. That’s what marriage is all about isn’t it? Marriage isn’t what we see in the movies. Do we really understand what love is? Is there love at first sight? Lust, maybe, but true love takes time to grow. Marriages based on sexual attraction usually do not survive. Besides love, a lot of other factors are important to consider when deciding whether to take that next step.

I believe that the main “right” reason is because you are in love AND you have been together long enough to know you are compatible and you are both deeply committed to the long-term process of learning and loving together. Being compatible in a marriage is having the ability to adapt to and accept the constant changes that naturally occur. A strong foundation for marriage includes compatibility, trust, and open and honest communication.

When you talk together about life, your prejudices must be congruent. By that I mean, you see life the same way. A lack of communication is a leading reason for divorce. Divorcees often complain that their partner never listened or avoided conversations with them. You also must be good at working out your differences. Research indicates that one common theme among long-lasting marriages involves an ability to work out conflict together. You also need to share common interests and be willing to forgive when necessary.

“All relationships have conflicts. The couples that can talk out their differences, surmount the conflict, and agree on a compromise last. The partners that trigger anger and resentment in one another or are unable to talk about their differences often can’t sustain marriage.” ~ Michele Weiner Davis, Author of “The Sex-Starved Marriage” and “The Sex-Starved Wife

Here is some advice: NEVER be in a rush to get married! It worries me when I interview a bride and groom who come to me to perform their marriage ceremony and when I ask them how long they have been together, they say, “Two months” or even 6 to 12 months. REALLY? The hormones are dancing and that seldom can be long enough to know you are compatible with each other. That is not even long enough to recognize the difference between love and lust. Take some time to examine the personality and character of the person that you plan to marry. I mean… really take some time!

compatibilityMarriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment that lasts well beyond your wedding day. It is not the cure to loneliness and will not make your life more meaningful. Thinking that someone will “complete you” is crazy!

I believe that both partners should be at approximately the same level of spiritual maturity. I have found the more two people are spiritually compatible and are at the approximate same level of maturity, the stronger the marriage will be. Then, there is always the issue – if both are from different spiritual practices – which spiritual concept will you teach and raise your children?

Another good reason is that your partner knows all of your faults and loves you anyway! If both your hearts are in the right place, marriage can add tremendous happiness and value to your life.

Always remember, marriage is not about taking; it’s about giving. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place!

If you are having serious doubts about marriage… don’t get married! Serious doubts are a big red flag.

BONUS Article: What is Love? – If you are going to read this at the office, caution: There is music!

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

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