Scheduling Sex Can Stave off Divorce

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Scheduling Sex Can Stave off Divorce

A new British study finds that more and more of the island residents are scheduling sex. Due to busy lives the British are finding a weekend day to pencil in a little nookie. They say that the demands of their job, children and home life often push sex to the back of the line, or take it off the agenda altogether. The report states, “Britons in relationships have sex, on average, six times a month, and many think they are stuck in a rut when it comes to sex, with 17 percent of all respondents admitting to scheduling sex, with routine times and days of the week appointed to ‘keep the spark alive.’” A third of the island’s inhabitants say they aren’t satisfied with their sex lives.  53% said they were satisfied, 32% weren’t and 15% were unsure. Although it sounds at least initially unromantic, experts say that scheduling sex can help increase physical and emotional intimacy and stave off divorce.  Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco Janice Epp, Ph.D. thinks that scheduling sex is the best way for busy couples to maintain intimacy, a human need.

In an interview with The Huffington Post’s 50 blog Epp said, “I frequently see a lot of very young couples who are working 14- and 15-hour days and they’re wondering why they’re not having sex. And the couples in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are not used to looking at sex as valuable. They’ve had all these years of putting sex behind everything else. You have to be willing to make it a priority.” A surprising 22% of women ages 50 to 59 last year didn’t have sex at all according to a Kinsey Institute report. 20.6% of men reported being in a sexless marriage. But a sexless marriage doesn’t often last. To save your marriage and your sex life, pencil it in says Epp. Instead of looking at it as a romance killer, think of it as something to look forward to, like reservations for a play or an exciting event. Epp says, “Some people say, ‘Sex should be spontaneous!’ to which I say ‘B*ll…You plan other things in your life and you don’t complain about it. You can do the same with sex.” The date should land on a day when you are both relaxed, when you both have a lot of energy. Whether it’s in the morning on Saturday when the kids are at extracurricular activities or Sunday night after a long, relaxing weekend together keep that appointment, but find ways to make it exciting and interesting. Lavish in the idea and think about what new territory or position you’d like to explore.

Sex dates aren’t the only thing couples can do to keep the spark alive, “connecting dates” are also important according to Epp. She went on to explain, “Whether it involves sex or not, it involves connecting on some intimate level. What I want [couples] to do is to have some alone time together without any interruptions. They’re not to talk about work, or children or how the stock market is doing. It can be cuddling, it can be touching, it could be massaging. It could just be holding each other.” This allows couples to relax, reconnect and deepen their relationship. Soon the stresses of the day and domesticity melt away and you and your lover are reveling in time spent loving one another. Once you start reconnecting again on a deeper level, you can expand these out to further develop the marriage. “[Now that the couple has] motivation to carve out that time, I send them on weekend dates. Get away for a weekend once a month if you can.” Having sex dates can really be fun. What’s more it can give you a time to be husband and wife without all the other things that crowd it out. Remember that even if it’s scheduled, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t apply pressure. Instead, relax and have fun. Remember as Epp says, “Sex is perfectly natural but it’s not always naturally perfect.” For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch.

The Things You Learn from a Breakup

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The Things You Learn from a Breakup

Breaking up is so painful, and being dumped, that’s the worst. But once you are over those negative emotions you will come to see that it all happened for a reason. Remember that things happen to even the best laid plans, and things usually happen this way because they are meant to. Now you know what it is you want and how to make a relationship work, which you can take into making your next relationship so much better. The most important elements are those you can take away with you and make your life healthier. Here are some things you learn from a breakup. You learn that it takes two people to have a relationship. If one person is engaged and the other person has checked out it simply will not work. Lots of times you’ll look back and wonder why you tried so hard to please the other person without realizing that the other person wasn’t giving back what you were putting into things. Next you learn that it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. You have to be independent and self-sufficient. You never know what’s going to happen. But you can always count on yourself. So keep your finances separate and always know what you would do the next time you are in a relationship if it suddenly ends. That doesn’t mean to be paranoid, just realistic.

Remember that love is a verb. It’s a constant unfolding. You can’t force someone to unfold with you, nor can someone force you. It has to be a natural process that both parties take part in. Don’t think someone is going to change and suddenly wake up and step to. It’s not going to happen. The only person you can truly change in this world is yourself. You can either love someone with the faults they have, or you can’t. Don’t try to mold the perfect person, or even find the perfect person. Just find someone who is perfect for you. Remember to embrace yourself, even in a relationship. Explore your own interests and hobbies, and hang out with your own friends. Validation and happiness are internal, not external. Of course we all seek validation. It’s only natural. But it should come from deep within yourself. Loving the idea of being in a relationship and loving the person you are in a relationship with are two different things. Learn to know and recognize the difference. The heart heals. That’s the best thing about humans, we are resilient. Remember that you will find someone else, perhaps someone who fits you better. Remember that being single is in the end so much better, easier, more peaceful and fulfilling than being with the wrong person. Your well-being is more important than anything else. Focus on yourself, heal, and find yourself again. For more advice, read He Broke Up With You For A Reason: How to Learn from Your Mistakes, Grow Stronger and Move On to a Hotter, Smarter Guy by Amy Banks.  

5 Steps to Stopping Divorce

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Oftentimes spouses ignore the problems in their marriage. Though one partner may complain it often doesn’t sound like what they are complaining about is really divorce worthy. But when one person finally confronts the other saying they want a divorce, they are moving out, or the spouse gets divorce papers, it suddenly feels as though the world is being torn apart. The problems were there all along but they just got used to ignoring it. Meanwhile, these issues were built up in the other spouse until they could take it no longer. Lots of times the spouse who is shocked will think that they had no idea the other was even unhappy. Sure spouses complain, but isn’t that normal? On the other side, the one who is asking for divorce usually feels like they’ve tried to tell the other spouse every which way how unhappy they were, but the other failed to do anything about it or even take notice. Whether each person’s perception is true or not is actually irrelevant at this time. What is relevant is the fact that there is a marital crisis now on your hands. What will it be, divorce or reconciliation? Certainly there are those marriages that are too far gone to be reconciled either from emotional or physical abuse, multiple infidelities or perhaps the emotional bond that once existed simply cannot be repaired. But there are lots of divorces that take place which could have been avoided. There are marriages that can and often are turned around. So if you are in the same kind or a similar situation, take heed. Here are 5 steps to stopping your divorce from taking place.

First, don’t mope, get moving. Make an action plan to address all the issues your spouse has with the marriage and how you are going to overcome those obstacles. Second, don’t play the victim. A lot of people tend to want to mope around and say, “Why me?”. Think about all the good qualities that you bring to your marriage and find out how to remind them of that. Are you going to tell them or show them? Will some grand gesture help to assuage their pain and neglect, show them that you have been listening and that you care? Let your actions speak for you. Show them your love, affection and gratitude. Show them how much they mean to you and how willing you are to work things out and make things better. The fourth step is getting out a pen and paper and write down all the negative things your spouse has been saying. What have they been complaining about? Make a list and think about it. Do these same patterns show up in your previous romantic relationships? What about your parents? Do you see any family background in how you act in relationships and how your parents acted toward one another? Our first caregivers are often the model for later relationships. If they had certain issues in their relationship it’s likely you may be exhibiting the same behavior.  Talk it over with them. Don’t have any blaming or shaming involved. Just talk about the issues. See if you can get on the same side and find ways to listen and communicate better, and how best to solve these issues together. If you can alleviate the problems that are driving your spouse away, chances are they’ll be happy and want to remain in the marriage.

Now it’s time to clean out all the old pain, misplaced anger, resentment, guilt and more. Have a heart to heart talk with your spouse. Talk about the emotional issues in your relationship that one or both of you have been carrying toward one another. This is a time for opening up and understanding, not for blame or pointing fingers, nor should anyone get defensive. You want to open up and feel comfortable talking about it with one another. This vulnerability will build up your bond and deepen your relationship, thereby reaffirming your connection. Oftentimes, fights and resentment build up over misunderstandings. See how your spouse interpreted something that you did or vice versa. Lastly, it’s time for the two of you to start developing the skills that every marriage needs in order to make it happy and well-adjusted. Cooperation, open and honest communication, positivity, gratitude, understanding and more. Read self-help books together, go to couple’s counseling or follow different websites offering relationship and marriage advice. For more, be sure to read Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart by William J. Doherty, Ph.D.

Helping your Spouse Repair Their Credit

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A poor credit score can certainly hold you back in life. But of course you love your spouse and you want to help them repair their credit. Hopefully the underlying issue that got them there, whether it was overspending or using the credit cards to get over a bout of unemployment has been ameliorated. It’s true that your spouse’s credit can affect your ability to buy a house together, get a mortgage, or a car or business loan. But that isn’t or shouldn’t be the only reason you want to help them. Make the reason be the deep love and altruism you feel toward them. They’ll recognize that warmth and compassion and be more likely to overcome reticence and work with you to form and stick to a plan that repairs their credit and makes both of your financials much easier to work with. The first thing to do is to create a budget. Managing money wisely is the best way to make sure that the budget is stuck to and that one’s credit score improves and stays in a good place. Learn to live below your means and start saving. Buy a used car over a new car. Cook instead of eating out. Shop at discount stores. Save up for what you want to buy. Make serious, smart purchasing decisions and see your savings and your credit score soar.

Find ways to reduce what you are paying for things. With some of your savings make an emergency fund. This way when something goes wrong you don’t have to fall back on the credit cards. Teach your spouse all about their credit score, how it works and how to achieve and maintain good credit. Come up with an exact plan on how you will pay off your debt and save for your future. Write down the list of debts, the income you both have, any assets that can or should be liquidated and places where expenses can be cut. Sometimes cuts can sound painful and really put a damper on your lifestyle. But in the end feeling free of bad credit and being able to have access to a better quality of life, without the stress of financial troubles makes you freer and much happier. Be understanding. Usually money habits are learned from our parents or primary caregivers. Understand that you need to help them change their behavior and get them to understand it as well. Once they do outline all the plans, make the necessary cuts and move things around so you have a healthy financial plan moving forward. This may take more than one meeting. Lots of follow up will have to take place. If you need help seek out a financial planner or nonprofits in your area which help people get their credit score healthy again. To find out more, pick up a copy of Hidden Credit Repair Secrets by Mark Clayborne.

Forming a Retirement Plan as a Couple

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You certainly can’t depend on social security as a means for sustaining you throughout your golden years. One of the most important things you can do in your life is saving for retirement. Financial experts state that the best time to start is as early as possible, generally when people start working full time in their twenties. Even if you are farther along, saving for retirement should start right away. One of the biggest issues couples fight about is money, that’s no surprise. So it’s important for you to sit down with your spouse and decide how you will plan for retirement. If you and your spouse have different visions of what retirement is going to look like, how to save for it and how much to put away per paycheck you could have a problem. Having a sit down meeting or more than one with your partner about saving for retirement and forming a plan as a couple is probably one of the most important things you can do to secure your future. What are your plans? Do you want to live a simple life? Take part in some of your hobbies? Travel or indulge is some dream you’ve always wanted to accomplish but never had time for? Write it down and then share it with your partner. Ask what they envision. Do your visions fit? If not, how can they both be accommodated?

Then there are some more practical questions such as when is it best to retire, how much will you need to live comfortably and what compromises will you both need to make to make your retirement dreams come true? Once you have a figure in mind it’s time to get busy figuring out how you are going to reach that goal. What is your income status? Are both of you working? How much will you put away from the paycheck or paychecks each week, two weeks or month depending upon how often you are paid? If one of you isn’t working or you have children certainly those things need to be taken into consideration. Next look at the retirement options available to you such as an IRA, you or your partner’s company’s 401K plan and others and see which one best fits your needs. Commit to a certain amount that is put away and don’t veer off. Have a system put in place that you both like that will help you retire. Keep in mind any financial situations such as if you are planning to have a baby, start a business, put a second mortgage on the house and so on and take that into consideration when doing your calculations. Revisit the issue every five years and see if your plan is on track or if you need to adjust or even revisit it. Saving for retirement, having a plan and putting it into place will ensure that the golden years are the happiest of your life. For more advice on this topic, read The Big Payoff by Sharon Epperson.