Untying The Knot

Many marriages start with high hopes, passion and dreams of a fulfilling life together. But so many people are unprepared emotionally and financially for the struggles, frustrations and disappointments that inevitably follow when the honeymoon period ends. Continue reading

Marriage and Divorce Stats Around the World

Although the focus and intention of my life’s work is to remind people every day about the power of love, intention, communication, forgiveness, and all the good stuff that helps people to fall in love and creating lasting loving relationships.  But life often interferes and factors, often beyond our control, may cause our relationship to be fraught with tension, anger, hostility, even rage.  Some cultures more easily allow dissatisfied couples to split up.  This infographic shows Marriage and Divorce statistics, but it does not reveal the level of intimacy, loving interactions and joy of those who do remain married or of those who remain single and choose not to marry.  TheDivorceCompany.ca  Continue reading

The Top Ten Reasons Parents Get Divorced – Guest Post

Marriage can be the most wonderful life experience.  
Two people aligned with similar goals and dreams 
committed to spending a lifetime together. For some 
lucky couples, life together works better than either 
of their lives alone.  And then there are the majority 
of people who suffer in the state of marriage.  At 
least 50% choose to divorce and yet a large percentage 
of those who remain together are not creating marital 
bliss.  

When I received an email with a link to this 
article I thought this could be helpful and provide 
some insight for my readers who want to stay and 
build a beautiful, loving marriage.  Find out why 
people tend to divorce - and then do what it takes 
to prevent that from happening, if you can, and -
if staying married is more important to you than 
leaving.

The Top Ten Reasons Parents Get Divorced

Guest Post from Nanny.net


“Very few people get married with the intention of getting divorced. The U.S. Census Bureau and research think tanks such as the Barna Group have revealed some sobering statistics and findings on the subject, though. Overall, the divorce rate is almost at 50%. The news on the divorce front is not exactly good, but better news is that where children are involved the rate of divorce is 40% lower than those couples without children. Still the statistics can’t reflect the devastation that takes place for children of divorce.  parentsdivorce

There are several factors that affect the divorce rates. For example, the rates are considerably higher for young, low income families than they are older, college educated, middle class couples. Those who marry and have children right out of high school are at greater risk of divorce than couples who finish college, have decent wage jobs and wait until their mid to late twenties or older to wed. Professionals like Dr. William Doherty of the University of Minnesota have researched the issue of divorce, and have found interesting results. Time and again, papers citing reasons for divorce show similar causes. Parents give various explanations for ending their commitment to each other, and by default, their commitment to an intact family. Dr. Doherty maintains that, in most cases, the things that are pulling families apart can be dealt with and divorce may be prevented. Here are the most popular reasons for marriages ending in divorce.

  • Communication Issues – Many couples cite communication, or the lack of it, as a big factor in separation More women indicate this as a major influence than men. Parenting practices, money, religion and other important aspects of marriage are the concerns that need to be discussed, but often get ignored to the detriment of the relationship.
  • Incompatibility – This is often rooted in the non-communication issue. People will get married and only after time has passed realize that they don’t have as much in common as they originally believed. Over time, the issues that arise out of this lack of common ground cause the marriage to fail.
  • Financial Difficulty – The struggling economy has put a strain on most relationships, however some couples have additional stressors, such as one spouse being too free with money or keeping a very tight rein on the purse strings. When partners can’t agree on how the money should be handled, problems ensue.
  • Personal Problems – Everyone has personal issues of one sort or another that need to be dealt with for the good of the individual. Serious damage to the relationship can be caused when a spouse’s personal problems begin to spill over and affect the marriage negatively.
  • Lack of Attentiveness – A new baby, illness, work and other dynamics can play into the situation in which one or both partners feel that they’re being largely ignored. Unfortunately, too many couples fail to talk about the conflict or seek help. In each case, there are things that can be done and there is help available to mitigate the problem
  • Growing Apart – When people marry young and certain stressors hit the marriage, one spouse may grow in maturity at a faster rate than the other. Some people get married not realizing that their view of marriage is more akin to playing house than accepting the role of responsible adults. When one spouse comes to that reality before another, problems can often arise.
  • Intimacy Issues – Intimacy problems can have many root causes. A spouse with unresolved issues from the past could have intimacy issues. Illness may be a factor affecting intimacy, or intimacy may be lacking simply because a spouse has a fear of intimacy.
  • Addictions – Living with a spouse who is dealing with an addiction is very difficult, and the problems only escalate when treatment is not pursued. Drugs and alcohol can have devastating effects on family life. Other addictions such as gambling, shopping and pornography are just as capable of ripping a family apart at the seams.
  • Infidelity – Break-ups due to infidelity rank among the most difficult to deal with. When one partner chooses to go outside the marriage for intimacy, the impact strikes right to the core of the relationship. Trust is broken and the damage is often irreparable, with divorce sometimes feeling like the only feasible option.
  • Selfishness – This shows up in a variety of forms. It can take the form of never including the desires of the other person in decision making, or forcing every issue to be about one party while the other is ignored. Marriage is supposed to be a coming together of two people, but when one dominates the relationship to the near exclusion of the other’s thoughts and desires, cracks begin to form in the union.

It’s important to remember that with help, including counseling or therapy, most of the issues that lead to divorce can be overcome and many couples who seek help to preserve the marriage often come through the hard times with a relationship that’s stronger and more fulfilling than ever.”

 

Havine a relationship problem?  Don’t wait.  Contact Me Now.

Here’s to living your life in love.

Warmly,

9f82

 

5 Tips for Having a Successful Interfaith Marriage – Guest Post

religions

My goal and life purpose is to help men and women create loving relationships and heal the relationships they have already created.  One of the major aspects is understanding yourself – your needs, wants and desires.  The second essential aspect is understanding the other person – his or her needs, wants and desires.  This comes to the forefront when two people meet and fall in love with someone who was brought up to believe in, follow and practice a different faith.  Sometimes, one person does not have a very strong sense of bonding and belonging to their own faith and can easily adjust to a partner’s strong beliefs.  Sometimes, two people are trying to convince the other person to abandon lifelong beliefs and convert to remain in the relationship.

This guest post submitted by AupairJobs.com addresses the issue of interfaith marriage and explains simple ways for a couple to cope with differences, keep the loving spirit and thrive together as they build a family.

 

5 Tips for Having a Successful Interfaith Marriage

 

“With the divorce rate in America affecting around half of all marriages, it’s clear that building a successful, long-lasting union isn’t easy. When partners come from two different faiths, the challenges can be even more daunting. With love, respect and a healthy dose of compromise, however, interfaith marriages can be both successful and happy. If you’re in an interfaith marriage or relationship, here are some things to keep in mind:

Let Love Open the Lines of Communication

Interfaith unions are most successful when both spouses remain committed to facing the unique challenges that dual-faith marriages present with honesty and integrity. Although open communication about differences in faith should begin before marriage, it’s never too late to start the conversation. In A Non-Judgmental Guide to Interfaith Marriage, Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben encourages communication by reminding couples that “You won’t stop loving each other if you talk about your religion.” It’s important to remember that love is one human quality that practitioners of every religion value. If you’re nervous about talking to your spouse about faith, that’s OK. Tell him you’re nervous and that you’d like to talk about some serious matters, but you don’t know how or where to start. The more open you are, the better it will go for the both of you.

Learn About Each Other’s Faith

In the book Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage, Jane Kaplan stresses the importance about learning about your spouse’s religion as a way to develop mutual respect. Asking each other questions is not only a learning experience, but a way to determine the depth of commitment that each partner has to the faith. Bringing the extended family into the conversation may also be helpful, as long as everyone promises beforehand to treat each other with courtesy and respect. As always, open and honest questions are the best way to go.

Offer Education and Choices for Children

Any discussion about having and raising children should include a conversation about religion, particularly as it pertains to education. Couples need to decide how important it is to them that their children be educated in two religions, one faith, or none. Because the decision can influence the schools and childcare facilities that parents choose for their children, couples need to make clear choices early on in the marriage. Whatever choices you make, it’s critical for the well-being of your children that you and your spouse present a united front. A show of mutual respect is a valuable life lesson that will serve your children well as they grow into adulthood. Answer your child’s questions, encourage him and help him learn how to make his own decisions.

Keep Holiday Traditions

When discussing how involved each spouse wants to be in his or her chosen faith, holiday observances should be included in the conversation. For some people, religious observances are so linked to holidays that celebrating without them is unimaginable. Even people who say that religion isn’t important to them, for example, may still find it difficult to enjoy the holiday season without a Christmas tree or a menorah. Couples may discover that it’s enjoyable to include traditions from both sides of the family. It’s likely that the in-laws will appreciate the inclusion of family traditions as well.

Celebrate Your Differences

Author Naomi Schaefer Riley conducted a national survey of couples in interfaith marriages for her book ‘Til Faith Do Us Part. While findings from the survey did indicate a higher rate of conflict among interfaith couples — which isn’t surprising given the natural struggles such couples face — Riley also found that “marrying someone of another faith tended to improve one’s view of that faith.” A partner in an interfaith marriage herself, Riley encourages couples to take the challenges of a dual-faith partnership seriously, but also to celebrate the fact that they live in a country where they can marry anyone they wish despite their differences in faith.

When it comes to learning to navigate the pitfalls of an interfaith marriage, there are no hard and fast rules. Couples may feel less pressure and enjoy their marriage more by giving themselves permission to try a different approach if the situation warrants it. There’s nothing wrong with changing course midstream if a better solution shows up on the horizon. When it comes to a happy marriage, compromise is much more about finding mutual success than it is about one side admitting defeat.”

Discover how to live your life filled with loving relationships.

Please share your thoughts and feelings in a comment below.

Schedule an appointment to talk.  I would love to hear from you.

Warmly,

9f82

 

 

 

 

 

Love in the Blizzard of LIfe – Day 24 – FORGIVENESS

Love in the Blizzard of Life - Creativity

FORGIVENESS is not a one-time event.  When we get involved in a relationship, any relationship which involves closeness, shared activities, and dual responsibility, our emotions will sometimes be aroused and not in the way we want and expect.  When the other person upsets us, treats us unfairly, fails to keep promises and commitments, or blindsides us in some reprehensible way, to maintain the relationship we will have to practice FORGIVENESS.

The New Testament of the bible states that we need to forgive “70X7.”  It does not tell us to forgive once and then walk away.  It does not tell us to forgive and expect the other person to instantly discontinue their wayward activities.  No, the bible reminds us to keep forgiving and even to “turn the other cheek.”  We are also told that “the meek shall inherit the earth.”

Does this mean that we owe it to other people to become a perpetual doormat?  No.  There is a deeper meaning to FORGIVENESS.  What I like to use as a metaphor is a person who is a Black Belt in Karate or a master at Tai Chi or some other martial art.  When a student reaches a high level of mastery in a fighting sport, that person knows how to instantly kill another person.  Knowing that bring a powerful responsibility.  A martial arts master will not seek a fight, will not provoke a fight, and will willingly turn the other cheek and forgive 70X7.  However, if the danger or provocation by the other becomes too great, the master may just point a finger with total clarity and intensity of focus, and the other person will either go flying or will be struck dead.

So here you are.  You have established your INCENTIVE, INTENTION,  PRESENT MOMENT awareness, DRIVE,  inner ARCHITECT,  PATIENCE, ability to SURRENDER,  COMMITMENT, TRUST, DISCERNMENT, PASSION, DESIRE,  CREATIVITY,  SENSUALITY, SEXUAL EXPRESSION, COMPASSION, and  COMMUNICATION. You PRACTICE relationships skills, you balance TOGETHERNESS and AUTONOMY,  your SENSITIVITY. UNDERSTANDING and RECEPTIVITY are strong.  But what happens when another person does you wrong, hurts you, disappoints you, abuses you or betrays your trust and love?

Today’s question is:  How strong is your willingness to allow FORGIVENESS to rule in all situations in your life – maybe not in the exact moment of emotional devastation – but as you develop greater understanding and wisdom?

  • Are you able to readily forgive another person for wrongdoing without holding on to blame and criticism, judgement and ruthless distancing?
  • Can you absolve yourself or someone else from guilt and blame, showing mercy and tolerance, even if  the remorse and regret is not as strong as expected?
  • Do you understand, pardon, feel compassion and even pity for the other person, knowing that if someone feels loved they do not need to hurt others?

Ask yourself NOW: How easily and readily am I able to practice FORGIVENESS of myself first and then all others with whom I am in even a momentary relationship?

FORGIVENESS  is powerful.  It frees up our energy, allowing our mind to focus on what we choose in the present moment.  Without FORGIVENESS, our mind loops back over and over ruminating about someone or something that has not pleased us.  And then our emotions kick in and we feel upset, disgruntled, frustrated, angry and whatever else gets stirred up in our consciousness.  As we allow FORGIVENESS to enter our consciousness, we are instantly soothing our body, relaxing our thinking process and bringing our mind, mind and spirit into balanced equilibrium.

Relationships are built upon the complexity and interactions among all the different possible qualities, both positive and negative, that we can bring.  Every quality is important, to some degree.  It is really the balance among all the different possibilities that can lead to joy and happiness or sadness and emotional devastation.

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Love in the Blizzard of Life. A Romantic Love Story stepping into the blizzard of life.  Available at Amazon.com

Warmly,

Dr. Erica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sexually Speaking – A Personal View

It starts with her beauty in my eyes, it moves...

It starts with her beauty in my eyes, it moves to her scent in my nose, then how her soft skin feels against my fingers and lips. Very intoxicating. Thanks again to all who have commented or made this a favorite! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is sexual self-expression and sexual disclosure often hiding in the closet?  We live in a free society that seems to allow open discussions about even the most controversial topics.  Most of us are bombarded with sexual images, from movies, TV shows, commercials, videos, billboard displays, you name it.  We are sold the false image that sexual desire, sexual expression and sexual satisfaction are natural, fun, exciting and easily accessible. Sex sells and savvy marketers know that.  Sex sells but it doesn’t teach us about the reality of enjoying sexual pleasure within the confines of your own personal and most intimate relationships.

The media shows us slender, strong, physically fit, limber and attractive young men and women flirting, teasing and enjoying exciting sexual encounters.  Pornography, readily available on the web, shows us a type of sexuality that would be difficult if not impossible to maintain on a daily basis in a normal living situation.  We are being led down a path toward inevitable dissatisfaction.  We may be disappointed in our current partner’s level of desire, interest or capacity to please us.  We may feel inadequate about our own capacity for stimulating and pleasing our partner.  Or we may feel impotent in our own ability to sustain arousal or to achieve orgasmic fulfillment.

These misleading sexual scenarios are creating avoidable problems in many relationships.  Men and women tend to expect so much from a partner that it would truly take a superman or superwoman to fulfill these expectations.  And – there is often someone new waiting in the wings to offer the promise of the desired fulfillment.  A new person, someone whose sexuality has not yet been revealed, can appear to be the sexual answer to a current lull in excitement and pleasure.

Mantak Chia, leading Chi Gong master, said it best in one of his books.  To paraphrase, he said: “It takes 21 years for a man to know a woman.  7 years to know her body, 7 years to know her mind and 7 years to know her spirit.”  How many men are willing to take 7 years to know a woman’s body?  That alone could solve so many sexual problems.  And how many men would then be willing to spend another 7 years to know her mind, how she thinks, how he can say things in a way that helps her to feel feminine, sexy, beautiful, sensual and powerful?  And how many men would then be willing to go deeper into the psyche and discover the deeper knowing of her spirit?  How many women could spend 7 years discovering the nuances of how to pleasure their man physically, and then 7 years to truly understand how he thinks and feels, and another 7 years to assist him to open to his inner spiritual knowing?

Two people who are willing to take the time, focus their attention and study these three aspects of the inner workings of their partner, would be able to create and sustain the most loving and intimate bond imaginable.  With that kind of sustained caring, interest and understanding, why would either person feel a need to seek another partner?  We all crave love and we need to feel seen and understood.  That only comes with sustained sharing, communication, interest and companionship.

So what happens if our partner is a sexual abuse survivor and is not easily aroused or orgasmic?  What happens if our beloved partner has a sexual dysfunction, a sexual fetish or a sexual arousal pattern that is not what we would prefer?  Should we give up on this partner, say goodbye, and seek another person without these dysfunctions, disturbances or problems?  Or, is there a way to love our partner into healing?  I believe there is.

I believe that love is the answer and that with enough love anything and everything is possible.  Love can heal our wounds, unravel habit patterns in the brain, and actually create new synapses and new ways of thinking and feeling.  Think about someone you have loved who helped you to view something in your world differently.  Love is the most powerful healing salve there is.  But learning HOW to love can take a lifetime.

Ready to heal through love Schedule a session with Dr. Erica.

Read a healing book about love, touch, or sexual and spiritual reawakening.

Warmly,

Dr. Erica

 

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Discover the Gift of Giving

 

The Gift of Love
 

Are you looking for love, appreciation, acceptance, acknowledgement, health, wealth and success in all the wrong places? Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, a book that has changed the lives of countless men and women through several generations, teaches a very simple method for attaining whatever it is you want and desire in your life.

In a small notebook, on the first page write a clear description of your biggest, loftiest, most bodacious life goal. Many teachers and mentors have taught the power of clearly stating your goals, writing them and visualizing them. However, Napoleon Hill adds another piece which is actually the cornerstone, the holy grail, the true “Secret” to success.  On the second page, he asks you to list what you are willing to give in order to get what it is you desire.

Napoleon Hill, a man who discovered the universally creative power of control over your own mind, talked about the boomerang effect of freely giving without expectation. That is a winning combination for attaining anything and everything you desire in your life.

Many of us have become really good at stating what we want. We remind our self. We tell everybody else. And we keep seeking what we want. The problem is, we forget the power of giving. When you give the exact thing that you want, even if you think you don’t have enough of it yet to give, the very act of giving sends a signal to your own subconscious mind and out to the universe that you already have what it is that you want.

Zig Ziglar, the well known author of See You at the Top and a highly persuasive speaker, explains this concept so clearly. “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”

Are you looking for love, wishing for love, longing for love or just sad about not having enough love in the way you want it? My question is, “How much love are you giving, sharing, expressing and being?”

Are you trying to succeed in a business or career, working hard, struggling, and wondering why you don’t seem to be getting the results you think you deserve? My question is, “Are you actively giving away your best information, your special knowledge, your interest and concern for others? Are you giving to others that which you are desiring to attain for yourself?”

Are you feeling tired, depleted, disconnected, or unhealthy physically, emotionally or even spiritually? My question is: “Are you giving to yourself the time, sleep, rest, nourishment, nurturing, acceptance, and love that you might give to others?”

 

Heal through love. That is the only way to heal everything in your life.

 

Talk to me. Schedule appointment to create love now.

 

Warmly,

 

Dr. Erica

What Does Love Mean to YOU?

Love is truly a DELICATE DANCE OF LOVE

 

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  • Some us us view love as synonymous with our sexual passion.  When we have the “hots” for someone, we view it as love.  If and when that passion wanes, we feel that we no longer love and we seek someone else to stir that passion within us again.
  • Some of us view love as a commitment, a decision to support, value, share with and be with another person indefinitely, regardless of how happy or unhappy we may feel at times.
  • Some of us view love as a source of happiness, a place to feel as if we are on vacation.  If and when it no longer feels good, we are out of there, on to the next, seeking a new place to feel happy.

 

I have a view of love that seems to be quite different from many of the people I meet and work with.  Many people choose passion and happiness over long term commitment.

 

I chose love and commitment – no matter what – and I have certainly been tested more than most.  My marriage has been, for me, a testing ground for my own ability to love, to create healing through love, to be and become love.  Not an easy choice and I have often forsaken momentary happiness for the ongoing struggle to overcome adversity and bring forth the love.  At this point the love is prominent and we have overcome some really difficult problems that many, many people would not stick around to deal with.

 

Right before writing this post I checked out my Pinterest site and repinned the wonderful quote below  from one of my favorite actors who is no longer with us, Paul Newman.  He and his life partner, Joanne Woodward, shared a solid marriage for many years.  I had the privilege of meeting his wife in a Pilates class when I lived in Westport, Connecticut about a decade ago.  She has a sweet, unassuming and friendly disposition  But she is no pushover.  In a talk show interview during his prime, I remember him describing his wife as follows, “Why would I want a hamburger if I have a steak?”  And she managed to remain a “steak” for him for the rest of his life.

 

Here is Paul Newman’s letter to his wife on their wedding day:

 

“ Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.”

 

Check out my Kindle book, The Delicate Dance of LoveFind out how YOU can create lasting and fulfilling love by discovering what really matters most to you.

Schedule an appointment, even just one session, to create love now.

 

Warmly,

 

Dr. Erica

Everybody Wants Love

Everybody wants love although some may pretend otherwise.

Down with Love

Image via Wikipedia

Most of us dream of finding the “perfect” partner and walking out into the sunset for a life filled with love, appreciation, fun, sensual and sexual ecstasy, and continual joy.  If you find anyone who has found this ideal partnership, I would love to meet that person or that couple.

The reality is that no matter how “perfect” another person appears to be at the beginning of a relationship, you can rest assured that you will not feel that way consistently, day in and day out, for the rest of your life.  As human beings we have continual stimuli, stresses, issues, problems, challenges, interactions with others, and changing circumstances, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.  We are influenced by everyone and everything around us.  Our brains are like sponges, taking in so much information and filtering it differently at various times.

To find the “right” or “most suitable” partner is a skill by itself.  And then to bond with that person and create a long term joyful commitment is a totally different skill.  It requires time, knowledge about the way relationships work, communication that is felt and heard by both people, and an ongoing effort to resolve differences and create love – by both partners.

There are some basic principles of success that apply to all relationships, regardless of the level of intimacy or commitment.  These principles will apply to building a business, creating a productive and happy family, or building an intimate bond that lasts for life.

Wonder if you have what it takes? Take this simple quiz to find out.

  1. I realize that creating loving relationships is not about making a great first impression, but rather about sharing, communicating, building trust and appreciation over time.
  2. I am willing to put in the time, effort and energy to learn from qualified experts (authors, therapists, coaches) to discover what it takes to create loving relationships.
  3. I am willing to face my fear of not knowing something (e.g., how to speak with compassion and empathy, how to confront issues without attacking the other person, how to please my partner sexually, how to understand what my partner wants and needs)
  4. I am willing to invest my time to study and practice the skills required to create loving relationships.
  5. I know others will benefit from my knowledge and I am willing to learn how to share my unique wisdom in such a way that others want to hear what I have to say.
  6. I know it takes an investment of time, money and effort to achieve success in any area and I know it is worthwhile and even essential for me to do this consistently.

If you have truly answered Yes to all 6 statements then you are on your way to creating lifelong successful relationships in business, in love and in family life.  If you have answered “No” to any of these items, ask yourself what is stopping you, why you think it is not necessary for you to do this, and how that might be affecting all of your relationships.

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Do you want to reawaken love in your relationship?
Warmly,
Dr. Erica