Taking Things for Granted

1378540_10151694935438456_596636773_nI was traveling down the highway today when I realized that this is the first year in many that I can actually recall enjoying the fall foliage.  I have been living here in New England since I was 5.  I suppose when you spend so much time around something that you become immune to it.  The realization makes me feel like I have been asleep for years, unconscious to my surroundings.

My mother loves to tell the story of when I was very young, most likely around 6, when we were in the car one October day and I said to her, in all my innocence, “Someone should tell God that he does a really nice job painting the leaves.”

I’m not sure what the cause was to heighten my awareness this year but I am grateful.  Perhaps it’s because I have been out in nature more or that I’ve been taking so many pictures.  Maybe It’s a part of my recent awareness in the here and now.

I started noticing the changes early on.  It started out as a few leaves and became gradual as the more healthy trees seem to stay green longer.  The colors vary and each tree is unique and magnificent in its own way.  It reminds me of us. How we go through phases in our lives where we feel like we are dying inside but everyone else still seems to see our beauty.  It’s still there.  The leaves may completely fall and the trees may seem bare, but it is not long before the flakes of winter arrive here in New England and the trees show their beauty as they stand tall, holding snow on each branch as if to say, “I caught this for your to admire.”  A sign of strength.  The spring comes and life returns as with us, the cycle of the things we go through in our lives.

Take time to notice the beauty in, not only your surroundings, but in others in your life as well.  Don’t take the beauty of others for granted, just because you see them all the time.

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What Do You Mean, You Don’t Like Me?

It should never be our goal in life to please everyone nor should we ever expect everyone to like us.

There will always be people who do not agree with our views or what we say, do or act around them, just as we too come across people we don’t like.  Everyone acts differently around different people.   Some people bring out the best in us and we can relate to them easily.  Some have an easy-going personality and aura, others do not.  Some people will make us uncomfortable or may offend us (sometimes unintentionally and sometimes intentionally.)  There are others who engage in lifestyles that we just don’t agree with and that may cause us to feel uneasy.  For whatever reason, we were not all meant to get along.

It is usually the people we don’t get along with who don’t like us.  There are others who will not like you and you have no idea why because you enjoy them.  If the friendship, or even business relationship is important to you, it never hurts to ask if there is a reason for (their actions that make you think they don’t like you or words that they say that are indicators.)  It’s then on them to be honest or glaze over the subject.  The way they are acting may just be a part of their personality and you were just taking it personal or they may reveal a true issue, in which case, you have a starting point to work with.  This should only be done with people you truly care about or enjoy being around.

For those who are just acquaintances who you don’t particularly plan on having in your life, it’s not important that they like you, at least, it shouldn’t be.  There’s no need to waste your energy worrying about it.  I’ve watched and heard people, and even been guilty of, wasting hours of time that could have been spent being productive, happy and positive instead, being disappointed and racking my brain trying to figure what I may have done wrong for them to dislike.  Let it go.  As long as you are being your authentic self, it doesn’t matter.  You shouldn’t try to change who you are just to please someone else.

One of my favorite says is from Eleanor Roosevelt, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  Let them think what they want.  You, go on living as you normally would.  One thing I like to point out often is that we are with ourselves 24/7.  We are the only ones who are.  The most important person we should care about liking us, is ourselves.

If you are interested in more tips on how to decrease your stress and increase your happiness, please see the sidebar for categories or titles that may be of interest to you and feel free to follow this and share it with others.  You can also visit my newest blog site, “Where the Ghosts Live – The Haunted United States,” for all things paranormal.  Check that one out at http://www.WhereTheGhostsLive.WordPress.com.  Thank you for stopping by.  Please leave a comment to show your support.  ❤

Missy Bell

Every Scar Carries a Fascinating Story

Every scar carries a fascinating story.  We have to remember this when dealing with other people and respect their individuality, even when we do not know what they have been through or cannot see those scars.

Most scars are often thought of as being visible on the body but there are many internal scars that people carry that are invisible.  Everyone carries some sort of internal scar on their heart or soul; each one is different and as unique as the person themselves.  You will not see these types of scars and have to remind yourself on occasion that they exist.  Most people don’t care to discuss them because they obviously bring up bad memories.  Discussing the reason for the scars causes them to recall that pain all over again. 

These scars are a part of that person.  They will often act in a certain way to avoid the very situation that caused it in the first place.  Think about that very carefully.  You may often wonder why people act the way they do and claim that you just don’t understand them.  If you keep in mind the invisible scars it will help you to realize that they may be acting in a certain way to avoid future scars of the same nature.

Let me give an example; if, when you were a child, you were screamed at every time you spoke up for yourself or every time you crossed someone’s path or got in the way, after a while, you would stop doing those things to avoid the confrontation.  Perhaps, you would do everything you could to avoid confrontation all together.  This could be a character trait that carries with you into adulthood and may perhaps, last a lifetime.  Other people may not understand why you are like that.  There is a great possibility that you don’t even understand why you do it or realize the cause of how it developed. 

There are many scenarios that could cause scars, even much deeper than this.  Since we are the only ones who are with us 24 hours a day, every day of the week, you may not realize what even your best friend or significant other went through during their day or what they have going on in their own head that causes them to act the way they do.  Some scars are formed by the things we say to ourselves.  These can be just as detrimental as anything someone else says to us.

We all need to be patient with others and realize that they did not experience the same things we did in our lives.  They come from different backgrounds, experienced different events and had different ways of interpreting situations.  No two people will ever be the same, even twins.  We need to have acceptance for that.  Once we do, we will relate better to those in our lives and not everything will be a struggle.  When someone acts differently from us, we will understand that there are underlying reasons.  It is not important to conform everyone to be just like us.  That would actually be detrimental.  It is not a battle we should even entertain.

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If you’d like a visual, look at a still photo of a group of people who are experiencing the same thing. The attached picture here is of my kids with their friends simply looking in the mirror for a photo.  Each and every one had a different expression on their face.  It’s because each of them were creating their own experience, their own way of interpreting something that simple and their own way of expressing their individuality.  It’s fascinating really.

So, the next time you notice someone acting differently from how you would and you find it strange, remember that there are reasons that you may never know, based on scars they may never be able to speak of.  Don’t point out that they are wrong or try to change them, merely try to understand that they are just different and they have their own reasons.  Acceptance goes a long way.

I encourage you to comment below with your feelings or examples of this and what you got out of it.  Please let me know if this helps you in any way.  Feel free to share with your friends or follow the blog.

I have started a new blog as well.  If you are interested, check out my other page, “Where the Ghosts Live,” which is about all things paranormal, at http://www.WhereTheGhostsLive.wordpress.com.”

A MUST READ If You Ever Want To Swim With The Dolphins

This is one of my bucket list items and I can guarantee I’m not alone.  I know my husband and children are very interested as well.  I have touched a dolphin before at the New England Aquarium in Boston and I think we did at Sea World but that was so very long ago and for such a brief time that it only made me want to experience more.

I decided to find out some information on what was available and what the current rates would be.  This is one thing that, even after crossing off my first swim with them, I cannot be sure it will remove it from the list completely because I’m sure I’ll want to do it again.

After doing some research I found something amazing.  There are excursions that actually last longer a week, not just 30 minutes or an hour!  Before this research I had no idea.  I thought I would share those with you.  I’m sure if you are interested in just doing a half hour or so and you have a specific location in mind, you can easily find the one that’s right for you.  The prices on those range between $169-$400.  I included a couple of those at the bottom.

Dolphins are majestic and have been said to have amazing healing powers physically and for the soul.  I can’t wait to find out first hand.

5-7 DAY EXCURSIONS

layout-image_r2_c2Dolphin Expeditions in the BahamasWebsite: http://www.dolphinexpeditions.com/

I have never heard of this, but there is a place called Bimini in the Bahamas where you can spend a week on their boat and at a private island resort.  You will have a full week to experience the dolphins in their natural habitat and swim with them.  They have an all-inclusive, all you can eat buffet, free snorkel gear and suits.  Prices are around $1457.00.00 per person-US dollars,  for one week, almost all inclusive.  On their website they state that they will also match other Bahamian Wild Dolphin Swim Organizations discounted prices of equal value to help make your special dolphin week a reality.  This is for an entire week.  Here’s what they state about their price and what it includes:
Here is what is included:  All boat government taxes including the Bahamian 45.00 eco tax. accommodations for the week, yoga in the morning-if you wish, all meals and snacks prepared on the boat-including departure and return dates, fuel charges, non-alcoholic beverages, all snorkeling gear…This is not the normal rental gear, it is the absolute best and most comfortable gear that is available…and it’s free!  And they have brand new monofins of most sizes so that our guests can give them a try and swim like a dolphin.

Not included: All travel expenses to the island and off, gratuities and one night dinner out to check out the local cuisine.

On Indigo they also have new custom paddle boards that can also be paddled as kayaks for one or two persons. It’s one of my new favorite things to do.  They were the first to paddle to the Sapona and play around inside…everything underwater loves coming to play with the boards.. turtles, rays and assorted fish of all kinds. Underwater world up close and personal.

They also show pictures of a shipwreck and talk about visiting several private deserted islands!  This sounds amazing!  But it is not in everyone’s budget.  I think it is comparable to the price of a cruise though and if you are looking for a longer excursion, this just might do the trick!  Reserve well in advance because they only take 12 people per boat per week.

media_slideshows_2012_Dolphins & People_dolphins+people (1)Wild Quest: website: http://www.wildquest.com  (I think this one is my favorite!)

They are also located on the island of Bimini in the Bahamas and have a week excursion.  They tout this as a “holistic, meditative retreat.”  They offer this experience from April to November.  They spend the night on land and head out daily around 11:30 in the morning to start their day.  They are a 20 minute flight from Ft. Lauderdale.  They also have morning yoga, breakfast buffet, packed lunches, evening bon fires and swimming at the beach in the pristine water.  There is a photographer on hand who records the experiences of the week and has a DVD available for you to take home at the end of the week.

I should mention a few things this includes: Sunday night hotel accommodations in Ft. Lauderdale, shuttle transfer to the airport on Monday, airport transfer on Saturday morning, 5 nights accommodations on the island in a shared double room, all meals except one dinner out to sample the local cuisine, 5 days out on the catamaran (weather permitting,) all group activities and complimentary use of their kayaks.

The flight from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Bimini is not included and costs approximately $295 per person.  Airport taxes and gratuities are not included as well.  You must pay to rent the snorkel equipment through this excursion.

When I went to check the pricing, I noticed something unique.  They offer different entertainment each week so you should book well in advance.  The one I would like is with a Psychic/Medium/Teacher.  Yes, please!  $1,895 per person.  OF course, this would be the most expensive.  Prices range between $1,595 to $1,895 per person for the week.

konasurfnSwim With Dolphins:  Website: http://www.swimwithdolphins.com

This unique experience is centered mostly around couples and their commitment to each other and is located in Kona, Hawaii.  This 5 day excursion includes classes on the dolphins, snorkel practice, beach time, free meals except Friday night, hotel, hula fun, a Polynesian show, and several seminars on relationships to include; Secrets to Sensual Intimacy, Learning Massage for Blissful Relaxation, Enriching Your Relationship and a Reaffirmation Ceremony in the local chapel.  The price is $1,459 per person booked as a couple more than 45 days in advance.

 

DAY EXCURSIONS

thumb_DolphinSwim2Discovery Cove: Website is: http://www.discoverycove.com

Their day packages include access to all their signature experiences and you can include the dolphin experience with it.  Their packages also include 14 days admission to Sea World Orlando, Aquatica, Seaworld’s Water Park, and for an extra $22 you can include Busch Gardens.

You can choose three options here.  You can go with the Trainer for a Day option, upgrade this to the Ultimate Trainer for a Day, or the 30 minute dolphin interaction.

The Trainer for a Day includes the 30 minute interaction plus an enhanced deep-water interaction with dolphins including a private photo session with two dolphins, dynamic behaviors such as the “double-foot push,” in which the guest is pushed through the water by two dolphins, feeding tropical fish in the The Grand Reef, special meet-and-greets with tropical birds and small mammals, behind-the-scenes tour of all Discovery Cove support areas,  shadowing a trainer for the day and includes all other Discovery Cove amenities.  This option costs between $229-$399 per person, depending on the date you choose.

You can upgrade this to the Ultimate package with is everything above plus a private individual photo session with 2 of the dolphins and a gift bag for approximately $20-30 more per person.

There is one package that includes a 30 minute dolphin interaction, snorkeling in The Grand Reef, encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets in Freshwater Oasis™, hand feeding exotic birds in a free flight aviary, relaxing on pristine beaches, freshly prepared breakfast and lunch and unlimited snacks, drinks and alcoholic beverages, float along their river, Lockers, sunscreen, snorkel gear, changing facilities, and free parking.  This package runs between $169-$199 per person, also depending on when you book.

This is not your average theme park.  Check out their video on the website for a better view of what it looks like and what you can expect.  This is by reservation only.  They can only accommodate 1,300 people per day.

Dolphin Discover:  Website is http://www.dolphindiscover.com

There are several places and types of experiences listed with this website, too many to list.  I suggest that you check it out in case you plan on visiting any of the following locations; Cancun-Isla Mujeres, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Cancun, Puerto Aventuras, Riviera Maya, Punta Maroma, Los Cabos, Mexico City’s Six Flags, Vallarta, St. MArtin, Grand Cayman or St. Thomas.

Also keep in mind, when you book a cruise, most warm water locations offer a dolphin experience as an add on while docked at one of the ports.  Be sure to look for them.

I appreciate you taking the time to read about this adventure with me.  I have officially started a bucket list with this as one of my top 5.  What’s on your list?

For posts that will move you toward greater inner peace and happiness, check out the posts to the right and search the categories.  There is something for everyone.  Thank you for stopping by and that you for sharing and liking the ones that you like and be sure to sign up to receive updates.

10 Quotes That Will Truly Inspire You

I have been writing inspirational status’ on Facebook for several years now.  These status’ are about what I am personally learning at any given time in my life and I word it in a non-specific way so that other people can benefit from what I am learning.  Often times I write them just for me, as a reminder of where I need to focus my attention, as if it is advice to myself.

The fascinating part of doing this, and another reason I have continued for so long is because I received such a great response from my friends who happened to be struggling with something and my quote put into words what they were feeling or exactly what they needed to hear that day.  I became addicted to helping others at a young age and so when I learned this was helping others, it was only natural for me to continue.

I went through some of them and gathered them together to share with you today.  I will not stick with one subject though because, chances are, if I vary the topics, you may have a better chance of finding something that resonates with you.

Please keep in mind, these are my quotes.  I did not take them from the internet or from someone famous.  I wrote these.  I would be flattered if you share them, but if you do, please be sure you put it in quotes and include my name at the end for credit.

  • FEAR:  “Identify one of your fears that is stopping you from doing something you want to do. Evaluate that fear and question whether or not it stems from your past and if it’s even a valid fear in your present. Your fear may be outdated and no longer serving its purpose in which case you need to eliminate it and move on to accomplish what you hope to accomplish.” ~ Missy Bell
  • WORRY:  “Worrying about something you have no control over and hasn’t happened yet is like trying to shovel the driveway before it snows!” ~ Missy Bell
  • FACING LIFE’S CHALLENGES:  “Challenges are placed before us so we may learn more about ourselves and to give us practice in learning how to overcome them in the future.” ~ Missy Bell
  • MAKING A CHANGE:  “It is so much more important to change how you think than to change how you look.”  ~ Missy Bell
  • TRUTH:  “Want to know the truth? You already do. Whatever you believe to be true is your truth but not necessarily everyone else’s.” ~ Missy Bell
  • PERCEPTION:  “We experience disappointment, sorrow and a heavy heart in order to be able to appreciate joy, bliss and enlightenment.  Without having felt the negative emotions, we would not be able to recognize or appreciate their opposites.” ~ Missy Bell
  • SELF-ESTEEM:  “You are awesome and amazing. Don’t ever listen to anyone who tries to contradict that statement, especially yourself!” ~ Missy Bell
  • RAISING CHILDREN:  “Teach your children well for someday you will need them to reteach you what you’ve forgotten.” ~ Missy Bell
  • AFFIRMATION:  “Today is a new day and I choose to be happy in it.  I will see by the light of love, not by the spotlight others are shining upon what they want me to see.  I will focus on what I can control and not stress over what I cannot.  I will dance to the beat of my own drum and make beautiful music in the process.  I will be who I am an only apologize when I am not.  I will not worry about what others think of me as long as I am happy with my own actions.  I will accept others for who they are.  I will live for now but plan for a brighter tomorrow.  I will not settle for by falling into false beliefs that this is as good as it gets.  I will start each day accepting the day before as it was and asking myself how I can improve myself today.
  • SUCCESS:  “Define your success not by the success of others but by your ability to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. If you feel unsuccessful, create new goals.” ~ Missy Bell

I hope some or all of these touch your heart in some way or inspire you.  Please let me know if you have a favorite!!

If you are looking for more inspiration or tips on how to add more inner peace and happiness to your life, choose something else from the categories to the right of this post.  Please share anything that resonates with you. 

They Will Always Know They Are Loved

Time keeps on slipping away from me.  It seems like my children were in elementary school less than two years ago.  Not the case.  This week we celebrated birthday’s for both of my boys who were born 2 years and 5 days apart.  This week they are now 18 and 20!

I can’t believe the time has moved by so quickly.  It’s been a whirlwind since they got their permits.  They are forever with friends, figuring life out, who they are, and who they want to become.  I want that for them, I do, but I miss them being around all the time.  It does make family time more special though.

Don’t get me wrong, these are the days I looked forward to forever as a young parent.  “When will I ever be able to have time to have a thought of my own without the interruption of unnecessary sounds and noises (ah, teen-aged boys, how they love to make sounds like dying seals, just to hear themselves?)  Lately, I find that I hold a full conversation with my youngest while on a car ride before I realize that he has his head phones in.  (DAMN!  What a meaningful conversation spoken on deaf ears.)

I have to hope that I have given them the best of guidance I can give, the best advice, the best word-beating a mother can give, and the knowledge of how to think for themselves in tough situations.  I hope and I pray and I hope some more.  With every month that slips by they seem further away.  A night at a friends turns into days.  Then all the friends migrate here for a night and they are off to another friend’s house.

They have both graduated and will be moving on soon.  I know the tears will flow freely on that day.  There will be tears of joy for them as they venture into the world to give the gift of themselves to it but I will also cry a few tears of sadness because I will miss the interactions and battles of whit.

I remember when they were young teens and texting and Facebook were new to us.  I posted something to my son’s page that said that I loved him.  Someone said,”isn’t he right down the hall?”  He was.  I didn’t neglect that fact nor did I not profess that I loved them to their faces.  This was merely a way of letting the world know.  I have always told my kids how much I love them.

One thing I started a long time ago and try to remember each night, especially with as far away as they already seem, is that I send them, (and my husband) a text every night before I fall asleep telling them they are loved.  As I did this tonight I thought, “this is something that can never change.”  One day they will have families of their own and we will not see each other every day, possibly not for weeks, even months on end but that text will remain and stand as a reminder that they will always be in my heart and in my thoughts and they will always be loved.

Is there something you do daily to let someone know they are special to you?

Thank you for stopping by.  Please look to the sidebar on the right for more tips and posts on how to reduce stress and increase inner peace and happiness.  Please click the like button or share to one of the social media sites below to show you enjoyed this post.  Thanks!  ❤

Yesterday’s post was Part 2 of 2 on the secrets that have kept my marriage together for more than 22 years.  Be sure to check out both parts (on the right side bar under July 2013.)

22 Plus Years Of Marriage – Our Secrets Revealed – Part 1

I have been thinking about writing this for a while now.  I have been asked by so many people what our secret is to being married for over 22 years that I figured now was a good time to divulge a few of those secrets.   I hope you will find these tips helpful in your own relationship.

I started writing this with the intention of sharing a few of my top favorites but the more I wrote, the more I added.  Therefore, I will make this part 1 of 2.  What I (we) have learned over the past 22 years could probably fill a book.  But today’s list will definitely get you started.  YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS PART 2, I GUARANTEE!!  Therefore, I encourage you to sign up to receive notifications of when I put up new posts so you don’t miss part 2.  I would also like to invite you to share this with everyone on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.  You can do so easily by clicking one of the buttons at the bottom of the post.  You never know who’s lives you may improve with this information.  I appreciate it.

I think the most important thing to realize is that love is not that “butterfly feeling” you get in the pit of your stomach.  If you believe that, you will never sustain true love.  Love is not a fairytale and (because you don’t want it to end), doesn’t have a “happy ending.”   Butterflies will come and go.  It is in the times when they are not there that the most rewarding part of love is found.  If you can keep this in mind, you are off to a great start.  Those butterflies may last for just a couple of months or maybe even a couple of years.  But as soon as things aren’t going as you planned, they may disappear.  It doesn’t mean you stopped loving the person and it doesn’t mean you can’t get those feelings back.  It just signifies a change in the relationship.

Love is found in your thoughts, not your heart.  It is constant work, and as with anything worthwhile, it requires great effort.  So, without further delay, on to the first set of tips:

  • Bring up any issues immediately.  There will be plenty of issues, I guarantee.  Both parties were raised in different environments, by different people who had different rules, values and parenting/role model techniques.  Therefore, expect to see things completely different from your partner.  When feelings arise, talk about them.  Don’t let them fester.  The more you dwell on something, the bigger it gets.  Focus on the solution instead.  Approach the other person with kindness with hopes of a resolution, not to lay blame or “call them out” on something.  This has been big for me over the years.  I think too much and sometimes assume there is an issue when there really isn’t.  I get it in my head that he feels a certain way and I’m usually wrong if it’s negative.  Getting it out in the open dispels those theories of mine or helps to come to a solution if I’m right.  The discussion is not heated when it is recognized immediately.
  • Listen!  If you have something that needs to be addressed it’s a good idea to “schedule it.”  I know, that sounds strange, but think about it.  Do you really want to bring something up when the other person is caught up in watching sports or their favorite TV show or perhaps in deep thought about a work-related issue?  Respecting that the person may need time to get to where they can give you their undivided attention goes a long way.  They are more apt to hear you, listen attentively and commit to the conversation and a solution.  If you are approached with something and it is not a good time for you, let the other person know politely that you need 5-10 minutes, even an hour so you can be sure the person has your attention fully.  Never bring something up in front of other people.  There is a time and place, and in public is neither of those.  Make sure you discuss this in advance so neither of you are angry when the person mentions they need time so they can focus on you.  You will really come to appreciate the honesty and the respect.  When that time arrives, make sure there will be little to no distractions (sometimes you may have to wait until you put the kids to bed.)
  • Forgive, don’t hold a grudge.  If you keep bringing up a situation that happened in the past, you will never move past it.  Forgiving, if necessary, gives you both freedom.  You no longer focus on the negative and the problem disappears.  It’s in the past, let it stay there, don’t revisit it.  If the same issue resurfaces, address it as a new situation, not a continuation.  Holding on to the negative will keep you in a negative state.
  • Have patience.  Jumping in with both guns blazing will set you up for failure before the issue is ever resolved.  If you’re angry, the other person will automatically get defensive and then it just becomes a battle over who has better come backs or arguing strategies.  When you show patience toward the other person, there are also less struggles.  You see the person with love and whatever the battle is becomes minor.  Remember that love is not war.  It is not about who wins; it’s about solving things and moving forward toward a better, trusting relationship.  Patience will also help you forgive faster.  One more thing, when you have patience with someone, they are apt to have more patience with you.  We all need that.  When we are patient with each other, there is more room for loving emotions.
  • Speak kind words daily.  Find something nice to say to the other person.  It’s easy to find the negative, like nagging over the toilet seat being left up or the toothpaste lid being left off.  After time, those little things turn into big things if you don’t let them go.  They are not important in the scheme of things.  Finding the good things in your partner will remind you why you are together, make the other person feel more confident in themselves and they will want to be that person for you all the time.  Recognize the little things they do and compliment them.  My husband and I will randomly write each other a poem or tag each other in a cute photo on Facebook.  If one of us accomplishes something, even small, in our day, the other one will mention it with a verbal pat on the back.
  • Find a common interest.  My husband and I used to have favorite TV shows.  We would set the DVR to record them so that we could watch them together, not separately.  This would give us quality time together and show each other that we cared enough to wait for the other person to watch it together.  More recently we started exercising together.  He took up kickboxing, which started to take up a great deal of his free time, and our time together.  So, after much encouragement from him, I tried it.  Now we go together.  It is a common point of interest.  We are spending time together, getting healthier together and it gives us time during the drive to discuss our day, our future and anything that is going on that we may need to get off our chests.
  • Be forever mindful.  Notice which situations set you both off and come up with a plan to catch it before it becomes out of control or ensues in a full blown argument.
  • Don’t place blame.  You are a partnership.  Seek to solve, together.  Placing the blame on the other person as I mentioned earlier, sets them on the defensive.  It will not get you any closer to a resolution.  If you are being petty, it will make you feel better in the moment but really, think about it, when you place the blame, then you become at fault for something.  Is that where you want to be?  As well as not placing blame, do not belittle the other person or throw shortcomings in their face.  They are who they are.  You fell in love with them for the good but agreed to accept the not-so-good.  I’m sure you can come up with a list of examples a mile long but try not to.  I’ll just give you one of mine so you get the idea.  My husband usually has a hard time waking up on his own.  He forever sleeps through his alarm or hits snooze for the umpteenth time.  He is due to get up at least an hour before me.  Do I enjoy being woken up to several alarms and being half awake for an hour longer than I need to be?  Not really, but I make sure I don’t let it affect how I treat him.  I recognize this about him and I have found that if I simply say his name, my voice is enough to wake him up so he can hear the alarm and start his day.  He also knows that if I sleep through it, he has to face whatever consequences there are for him being late.  He just deals with the natural consequences and I never bring it up.  I know he doesn’t do it on purpose to make me angry.  These are the types of things you need to understand will happen and you just need to come to a compromise or help the other person to the best of your ability.
  • Laugh together.  I cannot stress the importance of this.  Laughter is crucial.  We must be able to laugh together, laugh at each other and laugh at ourselves.  Finding the comedy in everything around you relieves stress and when you do it together, you share the lighter side of life and it seems a lot less serious.
  • Don’t try to change the other person.  Again, you fell in love with who they are.  Love them for that.  If there is something they are doing that could damage their health, then I would say, yes, that’s a change that may need some instigating but always approach with love and from the heart.  Otherwise, this leads back to you pointing the finger and finding fault with them.  No one likes to feel attacked for who they are or the things they do.  They are unique.  Support their differences and stand up for them if necessary to anyone else who may want to put them down.
  • Ask for help.  Have this conversation with your partner early on as well.  There will come a time when things will be overwhelming for one of you.  If you have discussed that this will happen before it does, no matter the circumstances, asking for help will be a lot easier.  Give each other permission in advance to ask for that help and assure them that you will not see it as a sign of weakness, but as strength to admit they are human and cannot do everything on their own.  Then agree to help in any way you can when they do ask so you maintain their trust.
  • Have preset rules with the kids!  Whether the kids are yours, theirs or both of yours, discuss each of your views on certain situations involving your children.  Lay guidelines.  Post rules on the fridge for all to read and clearly state what the consequences are for each infraction.  It may be necessary to have separate lists for different age groups.  That way, there is no running to the other parent for salvation.  The rules are the rules.  I have to admit; this is something we learned that we wish we would have done.  We never actually incorporated it and regret it.  It would have saved many struggles between us and with the boys.
  • Take turns!  We had our first child a year and a half after we got married.  Who was going to change the diaper next always turned into a screaming match for us.  Don’t let this happen for you.  It’s not something to fight over.  Be courteous and take turns.  No one likes it.  If you work as a team on this and other things that are not pleasant, they will get done and the teamwork will provide a stronger bond and a greater respect between you both.

I feel like I have taken up enough of your time for now.  I have written most of the second half of this and look forward to sharing it with you.  YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS PART 2!!  Please watch for it by signing up to receive notifications.  They don’t do anything with your information except use it to send you my notifications.  It takes very little time and effort.  In the meantime, while you await part 2, please share this with everyone you know.  Let them know part 2 is on it’s way.  My husband and I would love to hear that because of these tips, others have made their relationships into what they dreamed it could be.

Please comment below and let us know which number is your favorite and why.  Remember, I have more to follow but you may also leave one of your suggestions that has helped you with your marriage.

(Please check to the right to see if the second part of this has been posted by checking the post listings or categories and also look for other tips and techniques that will reduce your stress and give you greater inner peace and happiness.  Thank you as always, for stopping by and THANK YOU FOR SHARING!)  ❤