Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Married? Now You Can Begin Dating Again!

Filed under: Dating,Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 7:22 am
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One of the secrets of keeping a marriage great is to never, ever stop dating! Do you know what kills love in marriage faster than anything else? Boredom. When we get bored with each other, it’s all too easy to start ignoring each other’s needs, taking each other for granted and to stop being kind. That is never a good way to begin a marriage.

How about making some new memories? You must never stop stirring the romantic pot. Now is not a good time to settle in. You have to keep actually doing things together… FUN things! Just because you’re married now, doesn’t mean your dating life is over. It is, in fact, just beginning! You went through the single dating phase and now it’s time for married dating.

WEDMarried&Dating“I encourage you to date your spouse, pursue them whole-heartedly, and understand that dating shouldn’t end just because you said, ‘I do.'” ~ Jarrid Wilson

Karl Pillerner, PhD., a Cornell University gerontologist, and author of “30 Lessons for Loving: Advice From the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships and Marriage,” learned this secret from a 70 year-old woman, Leigh. Leigh and her husband had each been married before and agreed to treat their marriage together as a lifetime date.

What a great idea! Latch on to this idea because it is an important tool to keep love alive, exciting and interesting.

Here’s why it works: When you go on dates, you do your best to be interesting, upbeat, attractive and attentive. You try to make the person you are with feel special.

When people have been married a long time, they often begin to take each other for granted. Always remember, what you take for granted… disappears. When this happens, we don’t feel the need to make an effort, because, after all, we know they love us, so why do we need to?

What? Down deep in your heart, you know the answer to that question. You do need to. When you make an effort, you fuel the spark that makes a marriage thrive.

Another aspect of dating is that it’s exciting because it offers an element of the unknown. Married couples who try new things… take spontaneous trips… and give surprise gifts increase their odds of remaining happily married.

Treating marriage like a date doesn’t mean that there won’t be trying times. The trick is to view the difficult days of a marriage like the time between dates – not as a problem with the relationship but as an unavoidable intermission from it. Then we look forward to when we can resume the date of our lifetime.

Larry’s NOTE: A special “thank you” to Karen Larson for bringing this to my attention.

Copyright © 2015 – Karen Larson and Larry James. Karen is the Editor of Bottom Line Personal.

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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.

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, February 14, 2014

Don’t Give Up Your Friends Once You Marry!

Filed under: Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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It’s important to maintain friendships. I once knew a woman who after getting married stopped seeing all her single friends she cherished before marriage because she thought it was more important to be dedicated to her husband. Little by little her friends gave up on her.

That was a very bad choice. Ten years later, she was divorced. It took her 5 or 6 years to make some new friends. She was lonely and everyone she used to know had moved or had moved on with their lives.

CoupleWITHfriendsHappy people don’t focus on a single passion or relationship.

They usually have multiple hobbies, belong to multiple clubs and organizations and socialize with a broad range of different friends and acquaintances. This diversification of interests reduces the risk that their happiness will suffer a catastrophic lost… e.g., should a divorce occur.

Her dedication to her husband was admirable, however when she stopped seeing her friends she lost touch with part of the past that – up to the point of her wedding – had played a very important part in her life. After divorce she felt lost.

On the other hand, things do change when you get married. Some of your single friends will sometimes feel out of place and may drop away. Other so-called friends who perhaps were not the best people to be hanging out with; those who may have been a not-so-good example of a true friend and may want you to do some of the things you did while single may not be a good influence upon your marriage. If you continue to hang with them – I have known instances where they have caused major upsets in your relationship with your partner.

You may want to cut out all those wild and crazy nights out with the girls or the guys! Stumbling home after a night out at 2:30 in the morning should be in the past, unless it’s with each other. 😉

They must be your friend, perhaps your best friend – as well as be active in all the other roles a spouse plays in marriage. You would be wise to have other friends as well. The lives you were living before you met were an important part of what made each of you who you were. To suddenly drop all your friends is a mistake.

Some couples go so far as to completely give up everything they previously found fulfilling and important in order to spend time together. The problem with this is, over time as you became closer, you became more and more dependent on each other to meet your individual needs.

As you give up those things you find fulfilling and important for the sake of the relationship, this places a tremendous burden on your spouse to fill the void of whatever you gave up. And this burden will create neediness and dependency, as well as resentment and boredom.

Every marriage needs space between the spouses. No one can grow in the shade. When your partner focuses solely on you, you run the risk of becoming dependent upon each other and experiencing a monotonous coexistence. Not good. It is within this space that you find energy, passion, eroticism, quiet time, and personal fulfillment. Close friendships outside of the marriage are equally important.

One caution… Don’t share your marital woes with your friends. They are only getting one side of the story and they may talk you into something – a separation or divorce – that would have a devastating effect upon your relationship with your partner. Going over all the details of the issue with your friends is more likely to pump up your distress, make you feel angrier and even betrayed – not better. You and your partner must learn to talk about anything and everything, all the time. If you have issues you cannot reach agreement on, call a relationship coach.

Continue trying new activities, joining new groups and building additional friendships even if you already have things and people you know that make you happy. Always be true to yourself. Your friend hasn’t changed because you’ve gotten married – you have. Keep that friend. You’ll need someone to go shopping with. Or even to do all those things that your husband won’t do, e.g., get facials, pedicures, etc. You can’t have a girls spa day without your girlfriends. They’ve been with you through thick and thin. They will always rally behind you whenever you need it. Maybe you can’t hang out as much since you are married, but true friends are hard to come by so you don’t want to give up any.

The same goes for husbands!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry 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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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Advice to Young Married Couples

Filed under: Coaching,Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

WittyWordsmith, Guest Author

Many things change in a marriage over time, especially if a couple decides to marry young. Divorce is common, and a reason behind those “irreconcilable differences” could simply be the fact that one or both spouses feel that those changes aren’t reversible. Isn’t that to be expected, though?

MarriageAdviceEvery year brings different situations that can drastically alter someone’s world view and desires. These alterations usually happen slowly, and may even go unnoticed at first.

It’s no secret that marriage takes work, and lots of it. Saying that those who marry young are unwise isn’t true for people that are willing to work hard at growing old together. What is unwise is when a couple tries to morph into the same person over time, as is often seen.

In an effort to start their marriage together, the two people try to adapt themselves to each other by blending all they can of their lives. It is vital that each person takes on hobbies and interests totally independent of the other, as not to lose themselves along the way. Doing this without growing apart is simple, but definitely not easy.

The most important thing to remember is to keep your spouse plugged in. Share experiences with them and let them have a part in it, even if it’s just to observe. Not only does this keep good conversation and communication alive in the young marriage, but it lets the other person enjoy the experience in their own way.

If a particular hobby happens to bore the spouse it might be more difficult, but they should still be included in new developments or creations. Even when there is no true interest in the activity itself, couples can still discuss their crafts and share in the excitement. One may love cars as the other loves reading; while neither personally enjoys the other activity, there is still positive exchange taking place.

This sort of communication does several things for a marriage. First, it tells your spouse that you still find them interesting and want to be a part of who they are becoming. Next, it helps each person learn to listen better and appreciate the other’s desires and see what excites them.

Last, but not least, the sharing of experiences helps strengthen the connection to the way your spouse is growing and changing. Five to ten years from now, nobody is looking back and saying, “Who are you again? And why am I supposed to love you?” This is known to happen frequently when a couple marries young and feels they have grown too far apart over time.

Remember that people stay true to themselves at the core, even over time. Of course, there are instances where drugs, mental issues, and physical trauma may alter a personality, and in these situations there are no absolutes. In most circumstances, it takes a lot to make someone’s values and opinions change. Even when it seems like there is nothing in common between two people anymore, the basics of who they are will remain intact.

It is vital for you to communicate, often and always; even if it feels like a chore at times. Let your other half know what makes you tick and why you love the things that make you who you are. Give them a chance to appreciate it and you. It’s important that this part of your marriage gets checked on frequently, or else it gets harder and harder to recapture. Don’t let who you are becoming turn into a mystery, or there won’t be any mystery to why it didn’t work.

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Copyright © 2014 – WittyWordsmith. “Listen to your voice, the one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue, leap and the net will appear.” These beautiful lyrics by Jason Mraz pretty well characterize my passion for love and life. As an avid reader and searching writer, my interests are relationships, literature, animals (dogs in particular), travel, and the coffee industry. Life is hard, yet beautiful and real. I spend my time with my husband of nearly 7 years, my 3 dogs, and my loving family and friends. http://WittyWordsmith.hubpages.com/hub/advice-on-marrying-young

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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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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You’re Married Now, Stop Hanging Out with Your Single Friends!!

Filed under: Opposite Sex Friends,Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am

Is there anything wrong with having a close friend of the opposite sex after you’re married?

Wait… what?!

The idea that you and your spouse are a married couple and should work on replacing your single friends with other married couples is just ridiculous. It’s a great idea to have a mix of married and single friends so that when you decide to host a dinner or Super Bowl party there’s more than just one ‘type’ of person in your crowd. It will make for more interesting and dynamic conversation and an overall better time!

oppositesexfriendsWhile it’s true that some of your single friends may feel a little uncomfortable hanging out with someone who is married, I recommend maintaining friendships with both sexes after you are married. While the friendships were great during singlehood, in marriage, these relationships can prove problematic. The caveats? There are three things to remember:

1. Be sure your level of trust is high with your partner. Trust is foundational to a healthy marriage. If your partner is of a jealous sort or has trust issues, you may want to have a conversation with them to be sure that they are alright with you spending the evening with a friend of the opposite sex. Let’s face it, there are some things that you used to do that you may not want to do since you are now married. Your bar-hopping days are probably over. There is far to much temptation there. Most affairs begin as an innocent connection between two people.

2. Be sure that your single friend is not a bad influence on you. If they are, they become avoidable friends. Opposite-sex friendships are tricky and can be a direct threat to your marriage, but they don’t have to be. Be sure that the intentions of both the friend and your partner are pure.

3. Ask yourself, “Would you behave differently around your friend if your spouse were present?” “If you answered “yes” to this question, your opposite-sex friendship may be a real threat to the quality of your marriage. It may even be in the best interest of your marriage to either significantly limit or actually end your close friendship. In it’s place, it may be wise to nurture a “best friend” relationship with your spouse instead.

coupleundertreeFear comes not from the friendship, but in keeping the friendship non-sexual; which can be difficult given that 90 percent of the time one of the individuals has experienced romantic feelings for his/her friend. Time spent with the friend should never supersede time spent with your partner.

Here is one of the keys. Now that you are married there can be no secrets. It’s best to introduce your partner to your friend by all going out to dinner together. Ask how your partner feels about meeting with your friend.

There are compelling reasons to be cautious about opposite-sex friendships outside of your spouse’s company. No matter how happy and secure your marriage, you should always protect your relationship against temptation, deception and potential affairs.

So can women and men be friends? Of course they can. But there is a silent understanding that some friendships are meant to be nothing more, and as with all relationships, there are certain rules that need to be followed. There are things you can do only in a relationship with your partner, and things, which you can only do with your best friend. Maintain the dignity of those things to maintain the dignity of both your relationships as well, without messing up either of them.

It’s fine to have friends of the oppposite sex, but make sure that they know and spend time with both you and your spouse. Stop the private chit chats or e-mail. If you hang out with this friend, invite your spouse and any signifigant other of your friend as well. it’s important for every married couple to set some clear boundaries in terms of relationships with the opposite sex. These boundaries do not mean that you have to stop yourself from doing things that you like, but when you are handling a girlfriend and a female best friend, or a boyfriend and a male best friend, then you can’t be doing the same kinds of things with both of them.

In a truly healthy relationship, you can have both: the person you love, and the person you just love to hang out with.

Your thoughts?

BONUS Article: Can Spouses Have Friends of the Opposite Sex?
Friends Beyond Marriage, Part 1
Friends Beyond Marriage, Part 2

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
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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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Friday, May 11, 2012

So… What’s the Secret to a Happy Marriage?

Filed under: Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags:

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT, Guest Author

Nothing is perfect and marriages aren’t either. The reality is that conflict happens and in fact, it is healthier to successfully navigate through challenges than to stuff your feelings. This behavior has a tendency to become resentment, a toxic force if left unchecked. How do couples successfully navigate through conflict and keep it manageable while others do damage to each other? John Gottman, PhD, refers to successful repair attempts as the “happy couple’s secret weapon.”

marriagesecretsThe beginning stages of conflict are wrought with possible paths to take, some helpful and some not. I imagine there have been a few times in your life when you’ve gotten irritated around a particularly tense subject with your spouse. You likely either successfully or unsuccessfully diffused what might have been a big argument.

There are a few types of repair attempts; the ones that happen along the way that help mitigate a higher level of conflict (low level) and the ones that are needed when real emotional damage has been done to the other (high level).

One of the biggest problems I see coming up between couples in my therapy practice is unresolved anger or sadness around things the other did or said which in worse case scenarios can stretch into years of simmering discontent creating an emotional gap or disconnection between them. The irony is that much of these resentment markers might never had existed had repair attempts been made at the time.

7 ways to make a repair attempt in the moment to keep from escalation: (low level)

1. Use humor

2. Ask your partner what they need from you right now

cartoon3. Validate their emotions

4. Apologize in the moment

5. Touch them gently

6. Verbally remind both of you that you’re on the same team

7. Empathize with them. “I get you.”

7 ways to make a repair attempts when real emotional damage has been done: (high level)

1. Take responsibility for your behavior

2. Verbally apologize with sincerity

3. Give your partner a hand-written, personalized card

4. Tell them you love them and didn’t mean to hurt them

5. Ask them what they need from you to help salve the wound

6. Share your ideas around how you got triggered and how you plan to work on avoiding it happening again

7. Tell your partner why they are worth it and what they mean to you

The best way to avoid problems in the future is to nip problematic situations in the bud – in the moment. However, often times this is easier said than done. If you miss the window of opportunity and things get heated, remember that you can still make a repair attempt after the fact.

Do it for your spouse – and for the marriage.

You can find more tips and tools for creating a better relationship including how to assess the emotional safety in your own, practice active listening and strengthen the over-all foundation in your marriage with The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook for Couples.

BONUS Article: Working Together Helps Get Your Own Needs Met
Put the “Fun” in Relationship Fundamentals!
Need Some Romantic Ideas?

LisaBrookesCopyright © 2012 – Lisa Brookes Kift. Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com with tools for marriage, relationship and emotional health. A frequent consultant for the media, she has appeared in numerous publications and online news sources including CNN.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine. Learn more about Lisa’s private practice working with individuals and couples in Marin County, CA at MarinTherapyandCounseling.com.

2heartringsLarry 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 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

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Work of a Successful Marriage Begins After You Say, “I do!”

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

Marital bliss is not something that just magically happens after you say, “I do.” It’s a relationship where both parties need to communicate about what’s going on in their life. When you spoke your wedding vows to each other you made a commitment to make your marriage work. Now that you are past the “I dos,” it’s time to get to work!

eggshellsAccording to a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, nearly 40% of Americans believe marriage is obsolete, and only 54% of American adults are married, down from 72% in 1960. However, some experts argue it’s not marriage itself that’s obsolete; it’s the stereotype of what a “perfect” marriage is that’s antiquated. Marrying the person you love and turning your marriage into a happy one – requires immense hard work. And you are the one who has to do the work. It’s a constant process to make it better.

Your wife/husband should be your very best friend! No excuses. If this is true – and you “know” it is – you should be able to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling about your marriage relationship. You should not have to walk on egg shells wondering whether you will say something that will upset the apple cart.

Something to consider. Preventative maintenance works. To me, what that means is: You shouldn’t just be together hoping everything will work out fine. It means that if you really want a healthy love relationship with your partner you both must continue to work on the relationship all the time, not only when it’s broken and needs to be fixed.

Read about relationships. Study them. Good relationship books can give you ideas that you can use to make your relationship better. Make plans to attend relationship workshops and seminars. If things begin to go sideways, find a good relationship coach – sit down and talk about what’s going on and together determine what you need to do to fix it.

Never ever let your love diminish. Respect each other. When you give respect, you get respect. Never take each other for granted. This can be a killer for a relationship. When your partner feels taken for granted, not respected or acknowledged, and feels that others are a higher priority than him/herself, resentment brews. A regular “state of the union” check-in with your spouse as to how she/he is feeling about the relationship can help avert resentment build-up.

Communicate. Communication is key. Talk to each other as much as you can. Couples who stop talking will find that their marriages don’t last. Express your love in romantic ways. Compromise. It can’t always be your way. Don’t be selfish. Marriage works best when you give to your partner the love that you need. Pay attention to important dates. Remember birthdays and anniversaries.

sippingshakesForgiveness is another important key. No one is perfect and invariable your partner will do something that hurts you. Be willing to forgive. Read, “Forgiveness… What’s it For?

Resolve conflict quickly. Don’t let the pot boil over. The more time you wait to move to a solution the more difficult it will be to take the first step. Say, “I’m sorry,” when you need to and mean it when you say it. Never nag. Nagging is genuinely harmful for maintaining harmony in your married life. Never use harsh words. If physical or emotional abuse occurs, move quickly to get professional help. If it requires leaving to get out of harms way, do it NOW!

When you get angry… “think” before you speak! Always express appreciation even for the small things your partner does. Listen! Be attentive to your partner. NEVER talk about your exes. If your partner has children from a previous marriage and they must communicate with their ex about the kids, be as understanding as you can.

Don’t hide your feelings. If you’re happy about something, speak up. If something is bothering you, speak up. Be loving when communicating something that is bothering you.

Share responsibilities. Nowhere does it say that only the woman should do the housework. Nowhere! Share. Take turns doing chores. Share and delegate your responsibilities among each other so that there is balance at work and home.

Remember to say, “I love you!” (outloud) at least once each day. Those three magical words brightens up any face and makes the relationship grow fonder and more intimate. Be vulnerable, open and honest about your fears and hopes; share yourself without fear of failure or being hurt.

Keep the romance alive. Romance will make the relationship spicy and juicy. Never allow business, chores, or children to get the way of your romantic life. Always express your feelings to your partner and try out ways to make them feel special for no reason except that you love them. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion. Plan to have FUN together.

Read Greg Godek’s book, “1001 Ways to Be Romantic.” Have a healthy relationship requires planning, creativity and commitment. Make time for each other just as you use to when you were dating.

GreatSexThese are but a few things you can work on – issues that tend to surface in my relationship coaching sessions. No one said that a successful marriage was going to be easy. Remember you are a team… and you should work together as such.

Great sex! That’s important too. For you to share intense intimacy… all other factors of a healthy relationship must be in place. It’s difficult to make love with someone with whom you are pissed off. 😉 Love each other. Physically, yes; but emotionally, too. Always keep in mind what it was love that brought the two of you together. Hang on to it. Whatever happens, remember that you’re in it together.

Marriage, like any other worthwhile endeavor, requires patience and practice – it needs help now and then, both during the good times and when things become difficult. Never let problems build up till they are uncontrollable. And certainly never underestimate any problem that comes up. Often a small problem – when allowed to fester – could have been solved with 5 minutes of discussion, turns into grounds for divorce. Don’t let that happen to you.

redhot

More info – click book cover!

When there is difficulty, it may require outside help. Never be ashamed to ask for help. I am sadden when I hear of couples who move so quickly to divorce rather than muster up the courage to seek help and try to make a marriage work. It’s not easy. Maintaining a marriage is one of our most significant challenges. And there is a solution for every problem. If you can’t find it, perhaps someone else can. Don’t give up so easily.

BONUS Articles: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This…
Unleash Your Romantic Fervor!
Need Some Romantic Ideas?
Focus on Spending “Quality” Time Together
Ear Candy, Anyone?

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/
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting Married? Start at the Beginning!

How do you make a marriage that will last? You must start at the beginning. From the jitters to cold feet, to the burning questions you should ask each other and come to terms with before you walk down the aisle, we have listed some of the most obvious questions for you to consider before you say, “I do!”

“Will you marry me,” is not the only question couples should ask!

Are you really ready to take the plunge? Before getting married, it’s important for a person to determine if they’re really ready for the commitment. Opps! There’s that “C” word again! Are you looking forward to your wedding day? Of course you are, but that is a one day celebration. Marriage is for the rest of your life.

Make sure that all issues and queries are resolved before marriage, so that life after marriage does not get complicated arguing and fighting over trivial issues. A lot of arguments and fights can be averted by sitting down and discussing these issues. Let’s face it. Staying together is challenging.

Every couple marrying today is at risk. First the bad news. More than 200,000 new marriages each year end prior to the couple’s second anniversary. Are you well prepared for marriage? You better be. The truth is that less than a fifth of all marriages in America are preceded by some kind of formal marriage preparation. Far too long, the trend has been to fall in love, marry, and hope for the best.

Discuss these things and never fall into the trap of making assumptions about your partner’s preferences.

Remember: dating shows you the ‘best’ behavior. Don’t count on making changes in him/her down the road.” – Lori & Bob Hollander

First things first. Register for a couples seminar or relationship education classes or for relationship coaching. This will be your most important task when preparing for marriage. The choices you make now – before you wed – will determine the success of your marriage and relationship. Couples should begin by being more responsible when they begin a relationship. Unless you have been well trained and educated in relationships or marriage, you must be realistic in that you may need some guidance before the big day arrives.

It only makes sense to be prepared with skills and education, so that when you experience rough spots in your relationship you are prepared as a couple to weather the storm.

Don’t let the upcoming event and responsibilities stress you and your future mate. Wedding planning alone can play a major part in creating stressful situations, disagreements and grudges. Don’t get caught up in all of this. The most important thing to remember is the two of you need to stick together, compromise when necessary and stay focused on the reasons for it all. Love!

Some family members are sure to be involved in the planning and decisions. Before you get their input make a promise to each other to consider each others family and traditions and to compromise so that no feelings are hurt in the process. However, you must remember the it is “your” wedding, not your family’s wedding. They already had their wedding. This one is yours. You get to say what happens.

First, ignore the myths. Dr. Leslie Parrott of RealRelationships.com says that the number one marriage myth is that a spouse should make us whole. This myth gives engaged couples unrealistic expectations.

In other words, forget the whole Jerry Maguire “you complete me” thing! Both partners in a relationship should work on personal wholeness first, not perfection, to achieve a self-awareness that brings individual satisfaction.

Communication, along with a willingness to grow closer together, is one of the keys to a successful marriage. Unhappy, contentious marriages can lead to health problems in the spouses and life problems in the children.

These questions – ranging from playful to provocative – are designed to get you and your partner talking frankly and communicating effectively “before” you walk down the aisle.

• Why are we getting married? Pregnancy, financial security, loneliness or wanting to get out of the family home are not valid reasons to get married.

• What do we as a couple want out of life?

• What do you think we’ll be doing in thirty or forty years?

• How often do you drink?

• Have you ever hit someone?

• Do you think it is important to be faithful to one another?

• Do you have a criminal record?

• Are you willing to replace the toilet tissue roll?

• Do we like and respect each other’s friends?” I would add this question as well, “Do we like and respect each other AS friends?”

• Do we need a pre-nuptual agreement??

• Should we have a joint checking account or separate accounts or both? Money is the issue that is hardest to talk about, and it’s the one that seems to create the most conflict as a relationship progresses. How much money is there between you? It’s not an appropriate first-date conversation, but if you’re in it for the long haul, finding out each others net worth is only fair.

• Do we want to have children? What religion will we raise our children? Do we share a religion? Do we belong to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple? More than one? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation?

• Does religion play an important part in your life?

• Do you think faith and spirituality are important in a marriage?

• Are you comfortable discussing your sexual likes and dislikes? Be specific with each other and discuss what you can and cannot tolerate, and be clear on what your bottom-line expectations are around sex.

• Do you think we have problems in our relationship that we need to deal with before our wedding?

• Are we both willing to work on our communication skills and to share intimately with each other?

• How are we going to divide up the household chores?

“Always date for one year before you make a proposal before marriage,” says Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a marriage and family therapist. “You need to see how the other person behaves 365 days of the year – birthdays, deaths, Thanksgiving, etc. You learn how they treat these events and treat you before, during, and after they occur. Give relationship a full four seasons before you think about marriage.”

I know. It’s old fashion, however a long engagement can help you adjust to the good, bad and the ugly before you take the plunge.

Taking the time to understand marriage issues is like investing in an insurance policy against divorce. Although married life will always have its difficulties, you will steadily and dramatically improve your relationship by mastering some relationship skills.

Many couples wrongly blame in-laws, money and sex for break-ups and marital dissatisfaction. However, the hot points in marriage usually result from poor communication, gender issues, sex, in-laws, and lack of spiritual health, just to name a few.

The human expectation is that love remains the same. It doesn’t. It won’t. It can’t. Things change. Time together changes things. You may want to have an agreement to occasionally review some of these questions to be sure you are both still on track.

When you ask sensitive relationship questions, give your partner time to process what they are feeling. Listen without finishing their sentences, judging, or attempting to interpret what you think they’re trying to say. Express your love and appreciation with sincerity and passion – say “I love you” every day. Magnify the intense sensation of pleasure by looking deeply into your partner’s eyes, and say it again! – Steven Connor

Need more questions? Read, “276 Questions to Ask Before You Marry.”

Relationship coaching and some serious one-on-one time with your spouse-to-be are both smart choices; sifting through your thoughts and concerns is the only way to make it to the altar in one piece. But if still doesn’t feel right, calling it off can be the right decision, even if it’s last-minute.

Dr. Gail Saltz and Dr. Drew Pinsky talk with TODAY host Matt Lauer about questions couples should or shouldn’t consider before getting married. To view the video, click here.

I believe it is better to ask too many questions as opposed to not enough.

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Parents divorced?

Filed under: Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

Where to seat them an issue?

Try this: If they get along well, both of them can sit in the front row during the ceremony, with any new partners in the row behind them. If your parents don’t get along well, then the mother (and her significant other) might sit in the front row with the mother’s immediate family in the row behind; the father (and his significant other) would sit in the third row, with their family in the fourth row (all of this holds true even if your dad paid for the wedding).

If your mother and your father’s new wife absolutely do not get along at all, it is permissible to sit your stepmother outside the reserved section. The only exception to this whole arrangement might be if you have a much closer relationship with your father than your mother; then your dad would sit in the front row with his family in the second row, your mother in the third and her family in the fourth.

Wheeew!

If you intend to have ushers seat guests at your wedding, the general rule-of-thumb is one usher for every fifty guests. If you’re inviting 100 people, you will have two ushers; for 200 people you will need four, etc. An usher’s responsibilities include seating guests, rolling out the aisle runner, and generally helping guests (“Where are the restrooms?”).

By the way, etiquette says the aisle runner should only be rolled out just before the bride enters. No one but the bride and her escort should walk on the runner.

Bonus Tip: Should you go to ex-spouse’s wedding? The short answer: probably not. The long answer: Yes. But only if you meet eight – and all eight – of the following criteria: Click here for more.

For fun. . . I have included the following from Maxim.com. Enjoy!

seatingchart

witchheartBy the way. . . have a happy and safe Halloween!

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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 are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I’m Excited!

I’ve been BLOGGING @ http://www.CelebrateLove.wordpress.com since December, 2004.

Lately I’ve felt the need to pass along some of the incredible wedding tips, ideas, observations, insights, articles, rants, commentary, suggestions, random relationship thoughts, and solutions for better relationships that I have learned from Brides and Grooms, Wedding Consultants and Planners that I have worked with through the years. Hopefully they will assist you in being more stress-free as you plan for your wedding.

I invite all Wedding Consultants and Vendors who are members of ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants) to be guest authors. Send me an e-mail with a topic, your contact info and we’ll talk.

I hope you will participate. My intention is to help everyone to connect with Brides and Grooms and other wedding professionals and that you will consider this BLOG your wedding resource. Remember to tell your friends.

You are always welcome and encouraged to post your tips, & comments on this BLOG.

. . . And away we go!

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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 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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