A Vision of Peace and Wonder

As we were driving to our destination today I witnessed an unexpected flock of birds take flight.  As I anticipated their next move I was fascinated by the fluidity with which they moved together as a group, changing direction together, They seemed indecisive as to where their destination was and I was curious if they were deciding in mid flight or if they had somehow communicated this decision prior to take off and this was just an attempt to get everyone headed in the right direction.  Did only one of them know which direction they needed to fly to get where they were going?  Did they get started and one of them decided to be the leader, head to the front and command to be followed?  Perhaps they are exercising or just spreading their wings. Maybe this is how they play.

I could most likely find answers to their aviary patterns, and why they do what they do, but I don’t have the desire to know.  I would rather be in awe, let it remain a mystery to me so that when I see them again, I can be free to ask these questions in my head, create my own scenarios.  It makes it more of a wonder, a gift.  If I knew, it may take away it’s splendor, my amazement of it all, the glory, the beauty.

Watching birds in flight is one of the many things that brings me peace.  The view may not last long but it is simple, free and amazing.

What is something that you enjoy that would be better left unexplained in order for you to continue enjoying it?

Increase Happiness and Have More Peace in Your Life

1384302_10151680609588456_86415627_nI wanted to do a brief recap of what I have been up to with this blog site.  I reached 50 posts yesterday and I wanted to run down a brief description of my top 10 favorites, (including a few that have two parts.)  I hope you’ll take a moment and find one that will resonate with you and spend a few minutes reading it.  I promise, it could make a big difference in your life by bringing a smile to your face, reducing your stress, making you feel inspired, giving you new strategies or provide you with a new perspective that could make all the difference in your life or in many others ways.  My goal with this site is to do a little bit of all of that for as many people as possible.  Please feel free to share this as often as you’d like so I can serve my purpose of helping many.

I’ve been told that I have it easy in life.  I’ve been told I have it all and I’m lucky to be so happy.  Luck.  That’s not the word I would use.  I am happy because I choose to be and I put a great deal of effort behind it. I have not been immune to tragedies, disappointments and negative circumstances, tt’s all a matter of what I have chosen to do with my life; how I choose to see it and what I choose to feel and think about it.  That is how I guess I make it look easy.  It’s because it can be.  All of it.  Nothing needs to be so difficult.  It takes work, all of it.  So, as I learn by living my life the best way I know how, including falling and getting up and dusting myself off, I discover new ways of how to help myself and in turn, I share them with you here.  After all, I feel we are on this earth to help each other get through it.  All that being said, take my hand.  I will lead you down a few of my paths of self discovery and what has come from them.  Hopefully, you will find my posts of help to you in your life.  If so, please “like” the ones you enjoyed and follow this page.

It was not easy to choose only 10 out of the 50 so please review the categories to see if there is something else that would be helpful to you.  Follow this blog for future inspirations, tips and hints on how to increase your peace and happiness.  (If you see a few that you are interested in reading, simply right click and open each one in a new tab so you can come back to the others.)

TOP 10 OF 50 – To Read, Click the Titles

  1. “The Affects of Stress and How to Begin Reducing It” and “Live By Your Own Rules – Stress Reduction Part 2,” is the first series I blogged about due to its importance to our health.  With some of the most major results of stress being deadly, I felt it was important to start with this subject by helping you to gain a better understanding of stress, what causes it and how to reduce it. With this information we can begin our journey to a happier life with greater peace. I hope you will read these, if nothing else.  It may honestly help you live longer.
  2. “United, Through the Sorrow, the Tears, the Humanity, the Trauma, the Healing – A September 11 Tribute,” takes you through a personal experience of September 11, 2001 and looks at how we, as a country are still dealing with our emotions from the tragedies of that day, more than 12 years ago.  I was actually awakened out of a dead sleep in tears, pulled to write this piece.  I am very proud of it.
  3. “22 Plus Years of Marriage – Our Secrets Revealed – Part 1,” and “22 Years of Marriage – Our Secrets Revealed – Part 2,” are actually in 2 parts due to the amount of important information.  I put a great deal of work into this.  I have been told that my husband and I are “lucky.”  The truth is, luck had nothing to do with us being together for this long.  It has taken a lot of work to make our relationship last and to get through the tough times.  These tips are part of what made it possible.  Every day we work at what we have so we can keep it.  Are you willing to do what it takes?  Read these two and find out.  Perhaps you will find a few tips that will help your relationship and some that I missed that you are willing to share.
  4. “How Well Do You Know Yourself,” is a very personal piece that takes a look inside who I am and how I was labeling myself inaccurately.  I let you in on the secrets of how I came to that realization.  It will make you think about yourself, where you are in your life and whether or not the labels you are placing on yourself are even true and how to move past them so you can improve your own life.
  5. Of all the poems I have written over my lifetime, “Heart Versus Mind,” is one of my many favorites.  It is the title of my poetry book that I have had published, “Heart Versus Mind: Words That Touch Your Heart by Missy Bell,” that is available at Amazon.com.  It is about a battle that ensues between our heart and our mind when we feel that we are in love and cannot be with that person.  If you love poetry, I highly recommend picking up a copy of my book.
  6. “Strategies to Stop Worrying.”  I love this piece.  If you find yourself consumed with worry, these strategies are amazing for helping you through it.  It talks about how worrying affects your body and mind and gives you practical solutions for situations within our control as well as how to reduce anxiety over the things you cannot control.  There are exercises included that help you evaluate what you are feeling and teach you how to change it.
  7. In, “A Simple Tip on How to Show Yourself Some Love,” I share with you a situation from my youth that helped change the way I look at things.  This was my first introduction to affirmations, although I didn’t know it then.  I composed a list of affirmations for you to print out to help you get started toward improving your self image.  This idea had a great response from readers through comments on the blog as well as on my Facebook.
  8. “Overcoming Fear – Tips and Strategies Part 1 – Heart Versus Mind” and Overcoming Fear – Part 2 – Tips and Strategies are a two part series that includes amazing ways to let go, overcome and conquer fear of just about any kind.  Fear can cripple us and stop us from doing things we would otherwise love.  I talk about the different types of fear, where they come from and how to move past them.  What is fear preventing you from accomplishing?
  9. “What Do You Mean, You Don’t Like Me.”  assures you that, not everyone will like us.  This post discusses why it is important to not let it bother you and gives you ways of looking at different situations so you are not as affected when you encounter a situation where you are butting heads with someone.  It also discusses the importance of responding (or not,) instead of just reacting.
  10. “20 Ideas That Give You More Time in Your Day,” gives you just what the title suggests.  Who couldn’t use more time in their day?  These tips are perfect for finding more time and getting more done or to have more time for relaxing or perusing your dreams.  What would you do with more time?

I am confident that you will find something in this lineup to help you increase your peace and happiness and reduce your stress.  With now more than 50 posts to choose from, there is sure to be many that you will resonate with.  I truly appreciate you stopping by, now, in the past and in the future.  I hope you will like and share this site as there will be a lot more to come.  You can also like me at my Facebook page, “Words That Touch Your Heart.”  My other blog is called, “Where the Ghosts Live.”  The Facebook for that site is “Where the Ghosts Live – The Haunted United States.”

Missy Bell

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

What is Your Passion – 10 Ways to Discover a New Passion

What is your passion?

What do you do that makes you feel the most alive?

How often do you spend doing it?

Have you found that one thing in your life that makes you smile from ear to ear?  I’m not talking about about a person, not your children or your significant other.  I’m referring to that something that comes from within you.  That something you, and you alone can do to contribute to the happiness and the quality of the way you live your life?  This could be your talent or your heart’s deepest desire.

Perhaps you haven’t found it yet.  When you do, I’m sure you will know.  If you haven’t found it yet, get out there, try new things.  There are so many things that you could find passion in that the list would be endless.  The road to discovery will teach you a great deal about yourself.  Once you find the passion, don’t let go.  Learn more, make it bigger, but never give up on it.  Create new goals around it, feed it.  You can include those you love in the process.  Perhaps along the way they will find their passion.

Here are some top ideas of things you may like to try.  See if any of them resonate with you.  You may give it a shot and find that it leads you to where you are meant to be.  Follow your heart.  Think about what you liked to do or were interested in when you were a child or teenager.

  1. Get out in nature and explore
  2. Listen more closely to music, the beats, the lyrics
  3. Pick a destination that is safe that has always interested you and walk from point A to point B within it or to it
  4. Research something you think is interesting
  5. Visit a museum
  6. Take an online class or a non-credit course
  7. Make a video or photo album
  8. Try a new sport
  9. Pick up a good book or write one
  10. Work with your hands to create art of any kind

These are just a few examples.  I’ve learned that I am not as happy when I put off doing what I love for things I dislike.  Take charge and make time to do what you love.  You will shine brighter than you ever thought you could.  Life will actually seem easier because you have something positive to focus on.  There will be that escape to something wonderful when you are down that will lift you out of a bad mood.

I know where I would be without writing and without pursuing my passions.  I’ve been there and it’s not much fun. Everyday life can seem mundane and boring; the slightest things that go wrong can seem like something so major.  But when I can escape into one of my many passions, I’m alive again and I even find that I learn more about myself.

Take the time to find your passion if you haven’t already.  You deserve time for yourself and you deserve to feel fulfilled.

If you know your passion, please share it below.  Give others some ideas of things that might interest them.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you will visit a few of my other posts on this site.  They are all geared toward reducing stress and increasing happiness.  Let me know when you find something that resonates with you.  You can also check out my latest blog site, “Where the Ghosts Live,” at http://www.WhereTheGhostsLive.Wordpress.com.

Missy Bell

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 Years Of Marriage – Our Secrets Revealed – Part 2

Here is what you’ve been waiting for… Part 2 of Our Secrets Revealed.  Are you interested in knowing what has kept my husband and I together for 22 plus years?  The first part was published on Friday and can be found on the right by going to the category section.  I hope you find part 2 equally as helpful.  Please keep in mind that I will not be listing everything here.  I will be including more at a later time.

My husband and I have had our problems, learned from them and have been married for 22 years.  He asked that I go ahead and finish part 2 and after he reads it he has promised too make a comment with what he thinks I missed.  (He has one thing specific in mind and he thinks I won’t include it.  Let’s see if he’s wrong.)

These next 2 paragraphs should be repeated because they are very important…

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, as with anything worthwhile and it requires effort.  So, without further delay, on to those tips I promised:

  • Give the other person space and TRUST!  The guys need a guys night or time alone playing video games and girls need time with their friends and by themselves.  Respect that and trust them.  Don’t put ideas in your head about what could happen when they are out with friends, just trust.  Treat it as a great time to explore your hobby or spend time with the kids or your family or even do nothing at all.  Being together all the time is not good for a relationship either.
  • Do not take things personally.  This part took a long time for me to learn.  I had to unlearn a lifetime of personal self talk where I took things personally.  I learned that sometimes, who am I kidding, a lot of times we take things out on the people closest to us in our lives and this is our family.  It doesn’t make it right but we are conditioned in our professional life to hold our tongue and keep things in so when we get home, if we’ve had a bad day, we express it.  When we tell the stories we can tend to give them a lot of emotion and that could come across as yelling or being angry at our partner.  Be careful that if you are guilty of this that you try to curb how you say it and what emotions you give to.  That’s also important for you own health if you are a continual offender.   If you are the recipient. don’t take it personally.  They had a bad day and sometimes just having someone listen is all that is needed to get rid of the stress.  Try to respect that.
  • Never have one person in charge of disciplining the kids.  Again, yours, mine ours, it doesn’t matter, you need to both be the bad guys.  Remember you are the adult, not their friend, although there will be time for friendship.  You goal should be to raise those kids so they can be functional members of society.  That means that they should learn young that their actions have consequences, good and bad.  You must stick with the punishments you dish out and neither of you can be the “softie.”  As I mentioned above, write out that list of punishments to fit the crime and post it on the fridge.  Make sure it is reasonable so you can stick with it.  And never favor one child over the other, even with an age difference.  the punishment should fit the crime.  Being on the same page together will show unity between you and it will also ensure that your children will trust that what you say, you mean.  When you show unity, they will be more apt to gravitate toward having that in their own  relationships when they are old enough.  They learn from us.
  • Stay best friends.  Do not talk behind each others back.  If you have a problem with your spouse, don’t run and tell a friend before you talk it over with your partner.  It will get blown out of proportion and your friend will always side with you.  The friend will often times add fuel to the fire and bring up past times when your partner acted the same way or their own partner did.  Everyone has a story to add as well as an opinion.  It’s not advice you need, its a solution that has to come from the two who are in the relationship.  In the same respect, stay out of other people’s arguments.  Once you hear someone else’s complaints about what is going on with them you are sure to start noticing it in your own relationship.
  • Love and respect each other.  This should go without saying.  Respect their opinions, choices, decisions and ways of doing things.  Every one of us is different and we should not expect others to be just like us.  When you show love and respect, you will get the same in return.
  • Compromise.  Focus on the solution, not the problem.  As mentioned several times in part 1 and 2, you come from different backgrounds, of course you will do things differently and have different solutions.  Listen to each other.  Hear all the other has to say then come to a compromise.  You can either meet in the middle or realize the other person has a better idea.  Other times you will see that when you put both ideas together a third one will develop that was greater that the originals.
  • Know and discuss your coping mechanisms.  I’m the type that can only discuss something for so long in the heat of the moment before I have to leave, gain my composure then come back to talk rationally.  I am aware that if I stay I will make the situation worse and my walking away for a bit is not me giving up or running away, it is gathering my thoughts and composure so I can handle the situation more calmly.  My husband knows that and understands that when I leave, it is not a personal attack on him and I will be back soon.
  • Be intimate.  This is obvious in the first few years of your relationship but as time goes on, we stop spending as much time together.  The kids are always around and take up much of our time and energy or we get caught up in life or work.  Hold hands, flirt, joke, snuggle, and the rest is obvious.  But sometimes just getting back to hugging everyday with a sincere kiss can bring the spark back.
  • Talk about your future, your goals, where you see yourself as a couple in 3 years, 5 years, etc.  This is of course, after the relationship has gone past the dating stages.  This will give you common ground, goals to reach together.  When you invest in that, you focus on seeing the two of you together and that’s where the focus should remain.  Even if it’s a trip together or growing old sitting on a porchsipping lemonade; whatever that dream is, keep dreaming it together.
  • Don’t give up on each other – ever.  Depressions can set in and it can seem sometimes that the other person is being neglectful.  That may not actually be the case.  They may be holding something in that they need to find an outlet for.  Pay attention.  If you notice the other person becoming distant, schedule an event or outing that you both like to do, alone and talk.  Connect.  But never think it’s because they no longer care.  In doing that, you set the relationship up for failure.  Never give up on them.

So, as I mentioned, there are many more.  I wil write more on this. For now, I hope I have helped some of you or that you will pass part 1 or 2 on to others.

Please comment below and let us know which one 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 read the first part of this 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!)  ❤

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!)  ❤