True Love Is All About How He Helps You Love Yourself



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  • It’s not just how you feel about him. It’s about how he makes you feel about yourself.

  • It’s not about losing yourself in him. It’s about becoming true to yourself with him.

  • It’s not about how great he is. It’s about how great you can become along side him.

  • It’s not about how much you love him. It’s about how much he helps you love yourself.

  • It’s not about his finding room in his heart for you. It’s about his finding room in his life for your energy, drive, ambition, passions and interests.

  • It’s not just about how good he is deep down. It’s about how you experience his goodness as you live your life together.

  • It’s not about how he makes you hungry to be with him. It’s about how much he makes you feel at home when you are with him.

  • It’s not about the love you share. It’s about your ability to fully, equally, deeply share your life together.

  • It’s about falling in like.

~Mira Kirschenbaum

Women & Love

Finding True Love While Being True To Yourself

Christmas 2016: A “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Do-over



Yup, times have changed. What used to be considered a cute duet between a couple sharing a winter evening together has a wee bit of an uncomfortable feel these days. I heard about this new version on NPR and thought it was worth a share in case you haven’t heard it yet. Merry Christmas!

Being Content to Be Okay: A Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving 2016



“He is a wise man

who does not grieve for the things which he has not,

but rejoices for those which he has.”

~Epictetus, Greek philosopher and a very wise guy

There are lots of reasons not to be crazy about this holiday. Putting up with kids that aren’t yours, in-laws who have an uncanny ability to push all your buttons, license to over-eat and over-drink, conversations that are either too intense or too boring and, my personal favorite, a lot of tongue-biting just to get through the day in one piece.

I can only imagine that for many of us this post-election 2016 Thanksgiving may rise to new heights of stressful. The confusion, grieving, fear and anger are still raw. For the sake of the children, and our own state of mind, let’s refocus. Thanksgiving is a time of healing, bringing together and above all love.

Give yourself permission to feel OK. Allowing yourself to be happy does not mean that you’ve accepted a situation you do not like, or that you are done trying to figure out your place in a changed world.

Processing the PTSD (Post-Trump Stress Disorder), figuring out what to do next will take time. For today please take the opportunity to be OK.

Here are some articles for you because there may be people who aren’t as wise as you are and won’t know when to shut up…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Couples Therapy



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This is a True Story.

A couple walked into a therapist’s office. (OK. It was my office…)

“If you would only stop doing what you’re doing we’d be fine!” yelled one.

“If you would only stop telling me what to do we’d be fine!” growled the other.

“Time out!” said the therapist (me), using the universal ‘T’ hand gesture.

The couple, united in intent at last, stared at me, shocked, as if a monkey had suddenly jumped on my head.

“Couples Therapy is not about having the same fight you have at home here in this office,” I said,  “Just because there’s a third party witnessing it won’t make the fight, or your relationship, any better. Let me explain what it takes to be in couples therapy. Then you can decide if you want to continue.”

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The Good Life Is Built With Good Relationships



15 Tips to Survive Valentine’s Day



Courtesy Romel via Flickr

It’s Valentine’s Day and once again I find myself torn about what to write.

Do I write about romance and falling in love? About mature relationships and how to keep the fires burning? The joys of the single life? Or chuck the whole thing and admit that Valentine’s Day is annoying to 90% of the population. Well, 80% anyway. OK, I just made that statistic completely up.

But I think I’m right.

If you’re in the first stages of love those fireworks are still going strong. You don’t need a special designated holiday to celebrate. For the rest of us, I thought an assortment of articles, books and websites might bring a little something to everyone. Enjoy the collected love wisdom, beginning with the words of the immortal Mr. Oscar Wilde:

“To love oneself is the beginning

of a lifelong romance.”

Or, as Miss Rupaul would say it:

“If you don’t love yourself,

how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

~***~

Valentine’s Day Love It Or Dread It?
That Loving Feeling Takes A Lot Of Work
The Happy Marriage Is the ‘Me’ Marriage
The Sustainable Marriage Quiz
To Fall In Love With Anyone Do This
The Power Of Two: Secrets to A Strong and Healthy Marriage
How To Be Happy Being Single On Valentine’s Day
5 Fun Things You Can Do If You’re Single on Valentine’s Day
Getting The Love You Want: A Guide For Couples
Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
Our Marriage Do-Over
How Can You Tell If You’re Really In Love
Five Ways To Find Grounds For Marriage
How To Turn Loneliness Into Sweet Solitude
Enjoy Your Valentine’s Day By Lowering Expectations

Stop Fighting Over Money & Enjoy Your Marriage!



Amy-Jo-Lauber-150x150Editor’s Note: My dear friend, Amy Jo Lauber, CFP, author of Life Inspired Financially Empowered, is holding a weekend retreat for couples! Of the big three reasons couples fight, sex, money and family, I have to say money was the usual suspect in our house. A retreat like the one Amy Jo has planned would have saved my husband and me a lot of tension and strife! Here is a reprint of an article written by Amy Jo describing the highlights of the retreat and why couples will benefit for the good of your bank account and your relationship!

~***~

It is booked! The “Couple’s Retreat for Financial Harmony” that I’m cheekily calling HARMONEY!

Since most couples argue (or at least disagree) about some aspects of their finances at least some of the time, I feel offering this retreat is a way of helping them stay married (if indeed they’d like to). Being a good steward of your resources is one way of showing love for your spouse.

Financial decisions and actions are reflections of our innermost values and priorities, so they tend to pull our triggers in ways we may not always understand. Once triggered, it’s difficult to listen to our spouse and step into a place of rational, wise decision making because we go into tantrum mode.

This is not healthy if you desire a long-term marriage and will only make you grumble at the “for richer or for poorer” vow you took. And what money-struggleabout “for worse?!” Who marries “for worse?!”

So, let’s make it “for better” and we’ll work on the “for richer” part, too.

This retreat is designed to be a sacred time and place for you and your beloved to:

  • Discover each other’s values, goals, fears and priorities
  • Foster a sense of understanding for each another
  • Learn how you complement each other financially
  • Increase your communication skills
  • Learn how to tackle your finances as a team
  • Create and commit to mutual goals & courses of action

Salsa SarahSarah Haykel (“Salsa Sarah”) will start us off Friday evening with a bit of fun, then Saturday I’ll help you discover what’s truly important to you – individually and as a couple – and how money can be your servant (and not the other way around).

Then Dr. Elvira Aletta of Explore What’s Next will give you the tools you need to communicate your needs and priorities to each other so that you can like each other and feel that you truly have each other’s back.

The retreat runs from Friday October 24th 6:30pm through Saturday October 25thth 4pm at the gorgeous Beaver Hollow Conference Center 1083 Pit Road, Java Center, NY 14082 (note this is a non-smoking facility).

$525 per couple: All meals and guest rooms included!
Make checks payable to Lauber Financial Planning, 3976 Seneca Street, West Seneca, NY 14224

12 Ways To Break Through Loneliness & Make Friends



“There are no strangers here. Only friends you haven’t yet met.” ~William Butler Yeats

Friendships are a big factor in health and happiness. People with active friend circles apparently live longer and report higher levels of life satisfaction. Sure, that makes sense.

But as we get older the usual routes to making friends peter out. How hard is it to make friends when your kids no longer need you to help out with school field trips or to accompany them on play dates where you could bond with the other moms?

Really, really hard!

How does a person no longer in college make friends?

Last year this was a big thing on my radar. With my youngest in her first year of college I was officially an empty nester. Without my daughter’s presence available as an easy distraction, the absence of a solid girlfriend circle was obvious. I wanted to actively do something about it. This is what I came up with:

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Our Marriage Do-Over



UnknownYears ago I heard Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want, speak at a psychotherapy conference in L.A. He was there to demonstrate Imago Therapy, a couples therapy model that teaches deeper communication to enhance mutual understanding and compassion. Basically, if a couple really uses the Imago techniques, they will still need to work out their differences but they don’t have to butt heads over it so much.

That’s all cool, but what really caught my attention was Hendrix’s theory of why we marry the people we do in the first place. Why do we make that particular choice?

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Four Elements of a Good Marriage



When it comes to marriage, a mentor of mine said, there are no rules. As long as there are Two Consenting Adults, the possible types of marriage are infinite. You can have bi-cultural marriages, bi-racial, bi-coastal, marriages blending different religions, arranged marriages, open marriages, May-December couples, straight, gay and transgender. Traditional or not, all that matters is that the two adults involved agree on what defines their particular coupling.

Two. Consenting. Adults.

After that what are the elements of a good marriage? Everyone wants to know that, right? What my mentor said was a bit surprising. He said that after doing a meta-analysis of studies on happily married couples, researchers boiled down the corner stones of a good marriage to four:

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