Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Bitter Criticism Is Like Cyanide To Relationships

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Most people muddle through life without ever thinking about what they do, why they respond the way they do, how they can become better people, improve their emotional stability, change they way they respond, or increase their understanding of others or their relationships with them.

Why?

It’s not as if people are born as experts on themselves or human relationships. And merely “being oneself” is no guarantee of anything remotely resembling self understanding.

It’s important to talk about how we feel, and what we think without negative criticism from each other. Open lines of communication are imperative to maintaining and nourishing relationships. Communication must be ongoing, open, honest, and without strident tones and condemnation.

It would seem reasonable then, to seek understanding not only about oneself, but about others, and relationships, and to endeavor to improve oneself and one’s relationships with others… especially and particularly familial and spousal relationships. Could it be that bilateral lack of such effort – aka LAZINESS – is responsible for the increase in divorce rates in America? For lack of genuine emotional intimacy? Lack of sexual intimacy? Lack of proper parenting?

People are not born smart. We’re born stupid. It’s a choice to remain that way.

—//—

“People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.”
– Gary Chapman

It’s Not Me, It’s You: Why Criticism Poisons Happy Marriages By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott 

Criticism is an insidious behavior that comes into marriage and eats at the core of our identity. Few things will shut down intimacy quite like being criticized or controlled, and it is capable of immobilizing your emotional health and personal growth, especially within your relationship.

Nobody enjoys being criticized or picked apart, but it’s especially painful when your spouse – your soul mate – is the one being critical and hurtful to you. It’s demoralizing to be treated this way when you’re doing your best to make a contribution and add value to your relationship… but you get criticized instead of appreciated. Criticism can easily break a heart, and that’s a terrible place to be in your marriage.

What makes a person critical?

We often refer to critical people as “control freaks” or “high-maintenance people.” Control freaks are compelled to Read the rest of this entry »

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The Not Too Tall Tale of the Tail -or- The Shortened Tail’s Tale

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I don’t much write about myself on this blog, and there are several reasons for that, not the least of which is that, in some way, I don’t think many people care… either about me, my life, or anything else other than what is beyond the end of their noses. And yet, I may be wrong.

Call it skeptical, if you will, or perhaps even cynical, but to my way of thinking, there are many more things which are far more interesting in life. And of those things which are interesting, I am probably least among them. For those primary reasons, I do not write about myself, or my experiences. Further, I suppose that what I think, and how I feel is adequately expressed in the thoughts that do proliferate on this blog. Besides, I don’t have to be talking about myself all the time. I think that’s a rather healthy self-perspective – to not be self-consumed, but to be more concerned with others, than with self. The word for the antithesis of that characteristic is narcissism. And I am definitely not that.

Be it right, wrong, or indifferent, it’s what I’ve done. And for the greatest part, I probably won’t change that – though I perhaps could, to some extent. We’ll see.

However, this time, I’d like to take a brief respite, or departure from that approach, and share something that, for one reason or another, continues to touch my heart. So for a moment, please indulge me.

Today, I was Read the rest of this entry »

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Thinking about foot rubbing… and marriage

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who came up with this idea of marriage, anyway?

Read on, for a very thoughtfully expressed idea, from a non-religious perspective.

A thought experiment about marriage

A world in which sexual intimacy could not produce children would never have come up with the idea of marriage.

 In previous articles, I have asserted that if sex did not naturally lead to children, no one would ever have conceived the idea of marriage. My claim may be obvious to most people, but we live in a world in which people who never intend to have children get married; so, of course, do some people who want children but are infertile. In generations past, we felt compassion for those who married but did not have children, because it was presumed that they wanted children, since, after all, they married one another. No longer can we presume this. The era of contraception and surgical sterilization has altered the face, so to speak, of the childless couple, and consequently the face of the married couple.

The quest for same-sex marriage begins here. In a world where seeking marriage is seeking a community-endorsed way to have sex and bear children, the idea of same-sex marriage is like the idea of a square circle. The very idea of same-sex marriage is conceivable only in a world that is using the term “marriage” in a completely different way, to refer to something of a completely different nature.

Allow me, then, to make a case for my assertion about sex, children, and marriage through a “thought experiment”—a scenario in which human beings have no word for, no concept of, marriage.

Imagine a colony of young men who have no memory of ever having lived anywhere else. Properly speaking, the men do not even know that they are men, but only that they are different from all the other creatures they encounter. They hunt and gather. They are naturally social beings who care about each other, form friendships, try to please one another, generally Read the rest of this entry »

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At first glance, it’s shallow. Then, you realize… you’re in over your head.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You can’t go it alone.

We weren’t meant to go it alone.

We all need help.

So, here’s some help.

I Thought I Understood About Men But I Didn’t

By Shaunti Feldhahn

Have you ever been totally confused by something the man in your life has said or done? Have you ever wondered, looking at his rapidly departing back, “Why did that make him so angry?”

Have you ever been perplexed by your husband‘s defensiveness when you ask him to stop working so much? Yeah? Me too.

But now, after conducting spoken and written interviews with more than one thousand men, I can tell you that the answers to those and dozens of other common perplexities are all related to what is going on in your man’s inner life.

Most are things he wishes you knew but doesn’t know how to tell you. In some cases, they’re things he has no idea you don’t know.

Light bulb On!

It turned out that these men shared some surprisingly common inner wiring. At their secret inner core, many had Read the rest of this entry »

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Marriage Tips: A Healthy View of Conflict

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Just as in our physical life, when we fall down, it’s because we lose our balance.

It’s not our sense of equilibrium that is lost – it may still be intact – but our physical bodies, the thing we use to communicate with the external world, has taken a spill.

It’s important to get back up, and to continue toward a path that leads to understanding.

Remember: It’s important to think about how you think.

Marriage Tips

Gaining a Healthy View of Conflict

By Tim and Joy Downs

The very presence of conflict in marriage is a source of embarrassment and even shame for Christian people.

Here are three revolutionary ideas – thoroughly Biblical ideas – that can change the way you look at conflict in marriage.

1. Marriage will not always be enjoyable.

Marriage workshops are dangerous places, and marriage is no different. Marriage is Read the rest of this entry »

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How to: Prepare for a Successful Marriage

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 16, 2012

To put yourself on a more sure foundation for establishing a successful marriage, just don’t do it.

Cohabit, that is.

Human nature being what it is, we don’t often like being told not to do things.

We take particular delight in going against the grain. The reasons why are myriad. And yet, at times, there have been valid reasons why, or why we should not to do things, that – for one reason or another – have not been communicated effectively, if at all.

One area in which ineffective communication has occurred is pre-marital relationships.

Sure, there are various colloquialisms for the notion and practice of cohabiting – such as “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” “try before you buy,” and others – some of which many of us have heard for years. What’s interesting to note, is that we’re now discovering, is that, well… they were right.

But again, the problem with those aphorisms, no matter how true they may be, is that they presume a certain level of understanding. They presume communication has occurred, and that the understanding and rationale of the question ‘why’ is present.

As we’re finding out, the understanding and rationale of the question ‘why’ is absent, which also means that a certain level of understanding is absent, which therefore means that the foundation for the truth of the aphorism is entirely absent.

Read on to learn more about the fascinating findings.

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

By MEG JAY April 14, 2012

AT 32, one of my clients (I’ll call her Jennifer) had a lavish wine-country wedding. By then, Jennifer and her boyfriend had lived together for more than four years. The event was attended by the couple’s friends, families and two dogs.

Illustration by Karen Katz

The BIG slide - what does it mean? (Illustration by Karen Katz)

When Jennifer started therapy with me less than a year later, she was looking for a divorce lawyer. “I spent more time planning my wedding than I spent happily married,” she sobbed. Most disheartening to Jennifer was that she’d tried to do everything right. “My parents got married young so, of course, they got divorced. We lived together! How did this happen?”

Cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500 percent in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million. The majority of young adults in their 20s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation. This shift has been attributed to Read the rest of this entry »

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What to do those times when the “Big Bang” is only a whimper

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 13, 2012

Marriage Tips

Sometimes Sex is Just Sex

By Mark Gungor

Many married people are not having an active sex life for no other reason than they “don’t feel like it” – meaning they think they have to feel this great desire and/or a huge emotional connection at the front end or sex isn’t going to happen. Now, I’ll dispel this myth regarding the requirement of a huge emotional connection.

Women, more often than men, get hung up on this one and think they have to have all these warm and fuzzy emotions to feel like they can get physical with their husbands. I’m not saying that you always have sex with no emotion or connection – that would not be a healthy relationship. But what I am saying is that sometimes sex can just be sex. The joining together of a husband and wife to get close to each other, relieve stress, enjoy the release and just have a good time enjoying one another – no romance novel level of desire or surge of emotions required! Again, much of this comes from the media – with chick flicks being a huge culprit.

There are a couple of things that you must understand about Hollywood sex… First, it is not real; they are actors and they are being paid to act! Second, and probably most important, Read the rest of this entry »

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First, it’s all about the sex. Then, you learn you gotta’ get along. Here’s some help on the getting along part.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 16, 2012

It’s been said concerning marriage, that folks are attracted to each other because they make each other horny – if for no other reason.

Then, they get married – ’cause they think 0ne another other “hot.” And, that they are. It’s a case of pure, raging hormones. “Estrogen calling testosterone… come in testosterone. Oh… there you are!

The sex comes easy. Then, to stay married, they figure out and learn how to live with each other.

And that requires a whole lotta’ work and forgiveness.

How do we treat one another?

How do we want to be treated?

How do we need to be loved?

Marriage Guide for Busy Couples

By Ellen Wachtel, JD, PhD

Marriages start out tender and loving… but demanding careers and the daily job of running a home and raising children turn too many relationships into cold, methodical business arrangements.

As a marital therapist for more than 25 years, I’ve found that most couples have little time or energy for the complicated “relationship exercises” that are frequently suggested by some therapists. So I’ve developed very simple strategies built on basic truths about what makes love last. These strategies can be integrated easily into everyday life to reverse negative relationship patterns and build on positive ones.

They are effective even if just one spouse starts practicing them.

* Make your spouse feel good about himself/herself — and then your spouse will feel good about you. In strong, loving relationships, couples make ego-boosting comments to each other every day.

* Look for admirable qualities in your partner. It becomes too easy to Read the rest of this entry »

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How will I know when I have found the right one?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don’t we always have questions?

Knowing what we want, and what we need are important. Yet often, being the right one is more important than searching for an elusive imaginary “right” one.

Dear Rachel,

I know this question sounds a bit ridiculous, but how do I know when I have found “the one”? I have always had this dream that one day I will meet the right man, we will lock eyes, and just know that we are soulmates. But now I’m worried that I keep passing on great guys because there were no fireworks like I expected when we met. And I am scared that while I wait for Mr. Perfect, I am letting go of Mr. Almost Perfect. How will I know when I really have found the right guy?

Still Single

 

Dear Still Single,

Life would be so easy if, when we met the right person, a neon light would start flashing “Your Soulmate!” If only we could always know instantaneously as you describe. And for some people, it really does happen that way. Which I think makes it all the harder for those for whom it doesn’t happen that way. Take any of these romantic notions, such as love at first sight, and you will find real-life examples of people who met and just knew. I mean, look back to Read the rest of this entry »

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Freud asked, “What does a woman want?” Here’s the answer.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 24, 2012

Some years ago, a group named “The Association” had a popular song which lyric said in part,

“Cherish is the word I use to describe
“All the feeling that I have hiding here for you inside
“You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I had told you
“You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I could hold you
“You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I could
“Mold you into someone who could
“Cherish me as much as I cherish you.”

Of course, the title of the song is – appropriately enough – Cherish, which was their first #1 song, which topped the charts in 1966.

They had other hit songs, among them “Never my love,” and “Along Comes Mary.” While it has been recorded by many other artists, “Cherish” remains perhaps their best-known work, which is also a BMI Award Winning song.

What Every Husband Should Know About His Wife

By Les Parrott

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, said, “Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not yet been able to answer the great question: What does a woman want?

Well, Freud, may not have been able to identify the deepest needs of women, but modern research has. A wife‘s most basic needs in marriage are: Read the rest of this entry »

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Relationship Maintenance and the Importance of “Honey do’s”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 3, 2012

I can hear it now: “Take out the papers and the trash, or you don’t get no spending cash…”

But that once-popular song was addressing the parental role to the child. This issue deals with the nature of the marital relationship. And yet, the perspective of maintenance is one which remains the common denominator in both.

Español: Agua entubada English: Faucet Deutsch...

It’s often said that the single most important job in all the world – and one which is most unfortunately overlooked, even maligned – is maintenance.

For example, we maintain our bodies by and with food, bathing and exercise. We similarly maintain our clothing by washing, drying and properly folding or putting away each item. We maintain our dishes, cups, plates and flatware, as well. We maintain everything in life… including our relationships. Maintenance is the solitary unifying and common job in all the world. There is nothing we do not maintain.

Knowing then, that our relationships are myriad, it should come as no surprise that we must consider their various component elements and how they jointly fit together to comprise the thing that is our marriage.

A Woman’s Self-Esteem Is Tied To The House

 By Chuck Snyder

Because my self-esteem is not tied to how our house looks, I sometimes don’t get around to making repairs as quickly as my wife, Barb, would like.

It would be simple to Read the rest of this entry »

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The Practical Side to Commitment for Husbands & Wives

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 9, 2012

Periodically, in this blog I have shared tips for spouses – husbands & wives – to improve the quality of their marriage. Typically, those entries have been from other reputable sources, not merely my opinion, nor something from a popular consumer magazine that presents the relationship “flavor of the day.”

Love, it has been said, is a commitment – it is neither exclusively, nor merely a good feeling based upon a mutual attraction, sexual or otherwise. Because love is a commitment, there are certain things that one should do to honor and demonstrate the commitment. Oftentimes as well, those commitments have been unspoken – although they may occupy significant real estate silently in our imaginations. It is precisely those times that the unspoken should be spoken.

With an eye toward speaking the unspoken, I share with you the following.

List of 20 Absolute Face-to-Face Commitments

 By Paul D. Refior

Copyright 1994, 1998 and 2005

You will certainly agree that marriage is infinitely more than a list of do’s and don’ts.

Yet one of the problems these days is that so many couples fail or refuse to acknowledge important do’s and don’ts, and these couples do not make or fulfill important commitments and promises. Read the rest of this entry »

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Marriage Relationship Tips: For the women

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 25, 2011

Often, it has seemed that in popular culture we are told one thing by the many self-proclaimed “authorities” on the teevee (aka “boob tube”) whom daily parade their guests and others as know-it-alls, while unbeknown to the viewers, there may be an ‘agenda’ behind the show – that ‘agenda’ being the promotion of the host, and their ideas, exclusively for the purpose of making money, rather than promoting something that works – for the benefit of another, regardless of whether or not it enjoys popularity in media or culture.

Also, some authors whom have risen to popularity have promoted themselves as having educational or other professional licensing credentials, when in fact, they do not – or if they do possess educational credentials, they are questionable at best. And then, others have been promoted to popularity because of Read the rest of this entry »

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On Marriage, Human Relations, and Society

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 25, 2011

At it’s core, marriage is a state of human affairs permitted and governed by the state.

In this context, the word “state” refers to governmental authority. Governmental authority in the United States is defined as being the will of the people as determined by the ballot.

Why does the state regulate human affairs?

It is because of an overriding sense of justice, an overwhelming sense of right and wrong. It is because to “do wrong by” another person is a transgression of an inherent social contract that occurs at the very core of humanity, one which is by its very nature unspoken, yet fully known in the human heart.

Why, for example, on any playground the world over, can we Read the rest of this entry »

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Making A Loving Relationship More Loving

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 21, 2011

“The true value of recycling”

That’s but one alternative title I considered giving to this entry. There are several, I suppose, that would do equally well, such as “The Taming of the Shrew Tongue,” or something similar.

In large part, relationships are vehicles that transport us and another to a place we’ve never been before. Later, once we’ve “been there,” if we like it, we seek to return. Although at times, we find ourselves returning to a place that brings pain. Sometimes also, developments in those relationships – including our responses to those untoward or unseemly events – create patterns in our lives, ones which we would do well to learn to avoid.

Finding creative solutions to our relationship problems involves being gentle, yet firm, and foremost forgiving and foregoing our perceived “right” to return tit for tat, an eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth. When we give up our own perceived “right” to inflict punishment upon another – that person being the object of our own love – then we genuinely place ourselves as lovers, co-equals, partners in the truest sense – rather than as masters.

Any successful relationship such as friendship – marriage included – requires Read the rest of this entry »

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Marriage Tips: Love Boosters for Women

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 7, 2011

From the beginning of time, marriage of a man and a woman, and the children that naturally result from that union, has created family, and continues to form the foundation of all societies the world over. We learn about relationships and how to treat others from our family. And it is to the benefit of every society to enrich the health of those foundations. Sometimes, it’s not the BIG THINGS that spoil love in marriage, as much as it is vitally important to “catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love,” of our marriage relationship.

As I have written previously, Read the rest of this entry »

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Is marriage about me, we, you, us or exactly what?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 3, 2011

It’s all about ME, ME, ME… or, is it WE, WE, WE… all the way home?

Pssst… hey, buddy, chickie!

We have some “new” news about marriage.

Okay, you’re skeptical. I would be too, if every self-proclaimed “expert” out there was yammering at me.

Seems that somebody (or somebodies) think that husbands and wives ought to be friends with each other!

What a novel concept! (I can hear it now… ‘I married you because I wanted to create a marriage.’)

Duh! Read the rest of this entry »

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Relationship Killers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 4, 2010

Twenty-Five Relationship Killers

By Amy Waterman

The following relationship killers nip love in the bud. They’ll make it impossible for your partner to love you and, as a result, will cause your partner’s loving feelings to die. If any of them apply to you, it’s up to you to change yourself.

You cannot get your partner’s love back until …Continue…

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