Saturday, January 29, 2011

SSHHH--SECRETS TO A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP--OR NOT!

I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON THIS SUBJECT. I LEAVE IT TO THOSE WHO ARE--AS WELL AS THE PEOPLE I KNOW WHOSE RELATIONSHIPS HAVE STOOD THE TESTS OF LONGEVITY.

FOR EXAMPLE: MY YOUNGER BROTHER AND HIS LOVELY WIFE WERE HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS--STARTED GOING TOGETHER WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG TEEN-AGERS. AFTER GRADUATING THEY GOT MARRIED, PARENTED THREE BOYS AND NOW HAVE SEVERAL GRANDCHILDREN.

JOKINGLY, I ASKED MY SISTER-IN-LAW, "HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO STAY MARRIED TO MY BROTHER THIS LONG?"

SHE LAUGHED AND TOLD ME THAT IT HADN'T BEEN EASY, AND THAT THEY HAD SEPARATED A COUPLE OF TIMES BEFORE THEY FINALLY GOT IT TOGETHER. SHE SAID, "WHEN WE WENT BACK TOGETHER THE LAST TIME WE MADE A PACT."

I ASKED, "AND WHAT WAS THAT?"

SHE SAID, "WE MADE A VOW THAT WE WOULD NEVER EXPECT ANYTHING OUT OF THE OTHER--EXCEPT FIDELITY."

THEY HAVE BEEN HAPPILY MARRIED FOR NEARLY FORTY-FIVE YEARS. I SAY, "WAY TO GO BRO'".
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ACCORDING TO THE "EXPERTS", THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GROW AND KEEP THE GLOW IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP:

1. CHEER EACH OTHER UP!

BE EACH OTHERS "CHEERLEADER". LET YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER KNOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THEM ON A REGULAR BASIS. BE SUPPORTIVE. USE KIND WORDS. PRAISE WORKS WONDERS.

MY OLD GRANNY USED TO SAY, "YOU CAN CATCH MORE BEES WITH HONEY THAN YOU CAN WITH VINEGAR." MEANING--THE NICER YOU ARE THE BETTER CHANCE YOU HAVE OF "CATCHING".

PIERCE J. HOWARD,Ph.D AUTHOR OF "THE OWNER'S MANUAL FOR THE BRAIN", SAYS THAT THE CHEERLEADER STYLE METHOD PACKS A POWERFUL BRAIN PUNCH AND IT'S MORE EMOTIONAL. IT GIVES BOTH PARTIES A BIG SURGE OF "FEEL GOOD" ENDORPHINS, COUPLED WITH OXYTOCIN--A HORMONAL BONDING AGENT. SO THE NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO SCORE POINTS--WHISPER "SWEET NOTHINGS" THAT ARE MEANINGFUL.

LADIES, IF YOUR GUY DID THE DISHES--TELL HIM, "THAT WAS SO THOUGHTFUL OF YOU HONEY--THANK YOU." AND GUYS, LET HER KNOW HOW WONDERFUL DINNER WAS, OR HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THE WAY SHE GREETS YOU WHEN YOU COME HOME FROM WORK.

YOU GET THE MESSAGE--DONTCHA?

2. GO ON A DATE!

SCOTT HALTZMAN, M.D., AUTHOR OF "THE SECRETS OF HAPPILY MARRIED WOMEN" SAYS,
"DOING NEW THINGS STIMULATES PRODUCTION OF THE ATTRACTION HORMONE DOPAMINE--AND WHEN DOING THEM TOGETHER, YOU ASSOCIATE THE RESULTING 'HIGH' WITH EACH OTHER!"

TRY NOT TO MAKE THE "SAME OL' SAME OL'" DINNER AND A MOVIE TYPE DATE--ALTHOUGH IF NOTHING ELSE--THAT'S OKAY. GET CREATIVE, HAVE A PICNIC IN THE BACKYARD, OR IF IT'S COLD, IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE. MAKE SURE THE KIDS ARE AT GRANDMA'S OR THE BABY SITTERS.

HOW ABOUT SALSA, OR LINE DANCING. YOU COULD GO BOWLING, OR ICE, OR ROLLER SKATING IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE THAT BEFORE--OR EVEN IF YOU HAVE--IT COULD BE FUN--AND FUN IS WHAT WE'RE GOING FOR HERE. HOW ABOUT COFFEE AND DESSERT AT A COZY RESTAURANT AFTERWARD AND HOLD HANDS.

IN OTHER WORDS--KEEP THE "SWEETNESS" IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP SO THAT BOTH OF YOU CAN ALWAYS SAY, "HOW SWEET IT IS!"

3. IT'S OKAY TO FIGHT!

YOU SHOW ME COUPLES WHO NEVER ARGUE, AND I'LL SHOW YOU TWO VERY BORING ROBOTS--OR A COUPLE OF DEADBEATS.

I'M NOT TALKING "KNOCK-DOWN, DRAG-OUTS".

I'M SURE THAT THE MAJORITY OF US WOULD LIKE TO HAVE CALM, PEACEFUL, LOVING RELATIONSHIPS--MOST OF THE TIME.

LET'S FACE IT--IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.

ACCORDING TO ABDUL-BAHA, SON OF THE PROPHET-FOUNDER OF THE BAHA'I FAITH,
"ANGER CONSUMETH THE LIVER."

KEEPING RESENTMENTS BOTTLED UP INSIDE CAN, AND DOES CAUSE MYRIAD HEALTH PROBLEMS.

WE'RE NOT ADVOCATING TAKING YOUR ANGER OR HURT FEELINGS OUT ON OTHERS BY VERBALLY OR PHYSICALLY ABUSING THEM.

HOWEVER, ERNEST HARBURG,Ph.D, ONE OF THOSE EXPERTS SAYS "IF YOU BURY YOUR ANGER AND BROOD ON IT, USUALLY YOU RESENT THE PERSON WHO CAUSED IT, AND YOU DON'T TRY TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM."

HE WAS PART OF A STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN. RESEARCHERS LOOKED AT HUNDREDS OF MARRIED COUPLES OVER A SEVENTEEN YEAR TIME SPAN AND FOUND THAT THOSE WHO EXPRESSED THEIR ANGER IN SOME WAY WERE HAPPIER, HEALTHIER AND LIVED A LOT LONGER.

WHEN YOU HEAR THE BELL--SHAKE HANDS, LACE UP THOSE GLOVES AND COME OUT--WELL--YOU KNOW! AS LONG AS YOU FIGHT FAIR, YOU'LL BOTH WIN IN THE END!!

4. SPEND SOME ALONE TIME!

I'M ASSUMING YOU'RE NOT SIAMESE TWINS (WELL YOU COULD BE, BUT IF YOU ARE NOT), YOU AREN'T "JOINED AT THE HIP" AS THEY SAY. IT'S EASY TO GET BORED ON OCCASION. PLAN SOME TIME DOING OTHER THINGS THAT INTEREST YOU. TAKE UP A HOBBY OR GO BACK TO SCHOOL IF IT'S FEASIBLE.

MY ELDEST DAUGHTER TOOK UP DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING--IT TURNED INTO A BUSINESS, WHICH MEANS SHE SPENDS A LOT OF TIME ON THE COMPUTER. WHILE SHE IS COMPUTING HER SWEETIE READS, OR DOES HIS OWN THING. THEY BOTH HAVE LARGE FAMILIES AND GO TO GATHERINGS TOGETHER OFTEN.

ONE OF MY SONS IS A GOLF NUT--IT IS HIS METHOD OF DE-STRESSING. MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW HAS HER ALONE TIME AS WELL, AND QUITE OFTEN SHE AND THE KIDS JOIN HIM ON THE GOLF COURSE. THEY HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR NEARLY TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.

NANCY O'REILLY, Psy.D, SAYS, "BEING APART FOR A BIT GIVES YOU BOTH SOMETHING INTERESTING TO TALK ABOUT LATER. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, FEELING LIKE YOU HAVE UNIQUE TALENTS AND HOBBIES MAKES YOU FEEL MORE VALUED, WHICH LEADS TO GREATER SELF-ESTEEM, WHICH ALMOST ALWAYS LEADS TO HAPPIER RELATIONSHIPS."

WHETHER YOU "FORE" PLAY ON THE GOLF COURSE, OR "ROAR" RACE CARS OR RIDE A GREAT HORSE; PURL ONE KNITTING SHAWLS, OR HAVE FUN PAINTING WALLS.
WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE--ENJOY YOUR "ALONE TIMES" AND I'LL QUIT WITH THE SILLY RHYMES.

GRETA GARBO ONCE SAID, "AY VANT TO BE ALONE." AND SHE WASN'T EVEN MARRIED!

GOD BLESS! SEE YOU NEXT TIME!!