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For those of you that are serious and determined about keeping your love boat afloat, here are some practical things you can start doing today. 5 Keys that will help to keep your marriage or relationship going strong for years to come.
I’m all about keeping it spicy and exciting in our marriage, but my hubby actually suggested this one. He said he read about a study that showed that couples that sleep nude together have a much stronger chance at a lasting marriage. At first, I thought “Mmm Hmm, a study huh?, he just wants more sex.” So I decided to do some research on the subject before we put it into practice. It turns out I was right! He does want more sex… but so do I. The problem is, I tend to think my way out of having a great night in bed, because my mind is normally flooded with everything that I had to do today or I begin thinking about all of the things I have to finish tomorrow. So chances are, that racing mind plus head to toe pajamas will likely equal no fun time for either of us.
So here’s what I discovered about sleeping in the buff. The theory behind sleeping naked is, couples that sleep in the nude together are more likely to have MORE sex, better sleep, less stress and a stronger bond. Our skin is our #1 sex organ. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, skin-to-skin contact releases the “love hormone”, Oxytocin. Oxytocin is the same hormone released during birth, breastfeeding and orgasm that triggers human bonding, love and caring behaviors.
Try it out tonight and see if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, one way or another.
Hearing the words “talk” and “communication” drilled into our heads over and over again by relationship experts and Dr. Phil, should make us start opening up to each other right? Wrong! What some fail to realize is that talking and communicating isn’t always so easy to do. Many of us have different ways of communicating and most of us have to force ourselves to even work at it.
For example, when I first began dating my hubby back in 98′, I used to write him a lot of letters. We did talk a lot, but it was easier for me to express my deeper feelings in writing verses telling him face-to-face sometimes. I know this may sound weird to some, but I’m a writer and songwriter, so communicating by writing has always been second nature to me. Now, this wasn’t the way that my man communicated with me, but he cared enough about me, that soon he began writing to me as well. Even though we would see each other regularly, at times I would write him 3 or 4 page letters expressing how I felt about him or what some of my life desires were.
When we did talk, most of the time we would joke and laugh, but we had plenty of conversations about serious things like our futures, life in general, family, education, music, marriage and so much more.
Over time, our communication changed drastically. I no longer need to write letters. I say what I want and am very adamant about telling him how I feel and he does the same. But all of this took some work over a long period of time. It wasn’t something that turned on like a light. It took hard work and years to master. Now there isn’t anything that we can’t talk about. There’s no subject that’s taboo.
If you want to know what your mate is feeling, ask. If you want to know what they think about a particular subject, ask. Talk about it. Make sure you know if your man wants to have children someday or not. Is your lady happy living in her current city or state? What are their goals? What is their faith? Do they even believe in God? Does he ever want to get married someday? Does she know how to cook?
No matter how you communicate, just make sure that it’s clear, understandable and received by the other person. Make sure the communication is a complete circle, meaning you get a response. If you don’t learn how to effectively talk to your mate, you’re really setting yourself up for a breakdown or failure down the road.
Whatever you do, make sure to laugh often. Humor is an important part of any relationship. Our apartment has semi-thin walls. There have been many late nights when I know my neighbors just want to throw shoes at us for laughing so loud & hard. I’m sure they’re asking themselves, “What the hell is so funny? Why are they always laughing?”
I can’t live without laughing. Laughter is such a huge stress reliever. It makes you forget about your problems or makes a tough situation more bearable. When going through periods of fear or grief in a relationship, having someone around to make you laugh becomes priceless. It makes you not think about the crappy job, the screaming kids or the bills rolling in.
Sometimes laughing about our sex life can even create a spark in the bedroom. My hubby’s M.O. is to start a conversation about something serious by cracking a joke. He figured out years ago that it works, so he uses it to his advantage. Smart Man! So just imagine the jokes that come whenever we hit a dry spell. Kevin Hart can’t even touch us when we’re on a roll.
Keep those funny movies and stories close by because you WILL need them.
Continuing to date each other is very important. Remember, you’re committed, not dead. Oh and I’m not talking about sex dates. If it ends with sex, that’s perfect! I’m talking about strictly spending quality time with each other though, doing something that is enjoyable and beneficial for both. Dinner and a movie, after a while, can tend to get a little boring and predictable , so introducing things into your dating life that sparks a deeper interest in your mate becomes crucial over time.
Here are a few ideas
I no longer feed into the myth that relationships are about give and take. I believe a strong relationship is always about give and give. I give AND you give. Neither of us take, we both receive. I put in 100% and you put in 100%. There’s no “I put in half, you put in half”, in my opinion. I’d much rather be in a 200% relationship than a 100% one. At least then, I know that I have gained something by being with you. I’ve gained 100%. Now that’s a better return on investment!
This was by no means an easy pill to swallow early on in our relationship though. I was always listening to single friends and family who had no man telling me, “Girl, don’t you give nobody your all, you’ll end up with nothing.” I was very much Miss Independent and had no intentions of doing anything that remotely resembled taking care of a man. In fact I didn’t even like my man to carry my groceries for me. I felt that I could do it myself, so I didn’t need his help. I didn’t object to him taking out my trash though, but pretty much everything else was off-limits. I soon learned that my attitude about help was very selfish. I wasn’t allowing him to do what I believe he was made for and I wasn’t allowing myself to do what I was made for. To be each other’s help.
Having a selfish attitude is something that you have to put off, if you want to succeed in a long-term relationship. It’s about pouring into someone else’s life, while they equally pour into yours. Your partner’s goals should be important to you. Whether or not they succeed should be important to you. Helping them to reach their potential (wherever possible) should also be your goal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about doing everything to make someone else’s life great while yours suffers. It is about caring about another person just as much as you care about yourself, if not more. Now if you have problems caring about yourself or others, then that’s a major issue that needs to be dealt with professionally. But assuming as a man or woman, you are mentally healthy, capable, strong, able-bodied and have a desire to have a lasting relationship, you have to start thinking more like a helper. We are help meets. In other words, both minds should be focused on the fact that “I am here to help you prosper in life.
If you feel that your partner isn’t supporting you as much as you need, then don’t hesitate to Talk about it. Tell them how you feel immediately. If they genuinely care about your feelings, they will make every effort to meet your need.
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