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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Survey – Are you iLoveStrong Happy Couple

As a relationship coach and a follower of all things relationships, I come across all sorts of surveys: 10 tips to do this, 10 tips to do that. This morning I ran across this survey, 10 Things Happy Couples Do in Real Age, and I felt this is the type of environment I try to provide couples in my coaching practice. I would love to share these questions with you to see if you are truly an iLoveStrong Couple, and if you aren’t what could be done about it.

1. Do you feel the love in your marriage should be intense all the time or will grow over time?

Couples who start out thinking the fiery intensity of new romance will last forever lose 50% of their passion for each other after just 18 months, according to Harvard psychologist Robert Epstein, PhD. The couples who grow happier over time are the ones who understand that love evolves, becoming calmer, deeper, richer, and more powerful.

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2. During arguments, do you play nice or do you find a way to jab your spouse any chance you get?

The happiest couples do something other couples often don’t: They’re kind to each another. Happy partners simply don’t get mean or nasty with each other, even during arguments. “Happy couples treat each other like best friends,” says David Penner, PhD, assistant clinical director of the Gottman Relationship Institute. “They’re nice to each other across the board. That’s what builds loving feelings.”

3.During bedtime, is it all about sex, or talk?

Talking, not just fooling around is tops on the list of the most important things happy couples do in bed. Spending a few minutes chatting every night before sleep lets you catch up, make plans, and discuss problems in a quiet, tender setting, explains University of Minnesota family social science professor Paul Rosenblatt, PhD, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing.

4. When you go out on a date, is it always by yourselves?

Dinners for two are great, but dinners for four can be just as empowering for a relationship. Bonding with other couples actually strengthens your own relationship, according to a 2010 study at Wayne State University. Having open, intimate conversations with other twosomes reinforces your own sense of togetherness. Being close to them makes you feel closer to each other.

5. If two of you are different, are you ashamed of it, or do you embrace it?

Happy couples bring their differences out into the open rather than denying or dismissing them. “Put issues on the table, and look for ways you can work around them,” he says. “The process of examination and renewal makes the threats diminish.”
6. When you spend time talking is it always about the weather?
Couples who have deep conversations are far likelier to be happy than couples who always keep it light, according to a 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers report that the happiest couples have twice as many substantive discussions — and far fewer superficial ones — as the unhappiest couples.
7. Do you believe in teamwork makes the dream work?
If you’re both pretty lazy when it comes to working out your problems, you can be just as happy as partners who put in a lot of effort. What matters is that you both feel you devote the same amount of care and effort — a lot or a little — to keeping your relationship strong, according to a 2011 study in Psychological Science. Happiness doesn’t necessarily depend on how intense your level of commitment is, but on how mutual it is.
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8. Do you believe your conflicts should be confrontational or avoided?
It’s impossible to avoid arguments entirely. In fact, they happen frequently. But the happiest couples keep conflicts from becoming confrontations. They soften their approach when bringing up tough issues. And neither feels as if one of them always gets his or her way. Each occasionally yields to the other.
9. Do you have more negative statements for your spouse, than positive ones?
Happy couples make at least five times as many positive statements to and about each other as negative ones, even when they are arguing, says Dr. Penner. It’s not expected to always be nice, but it pays off by solidifying the bond between you.
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10. Do you think about bailing on the marriage whenever obstacle occur?
Up to 80% of those who are most committed to marriage contemplate divorce at some point, says Dr. Epstein. But slogging through bad times can make both of you happier than ever. “If you can do that and get to the other side, it makes the relationship stronger,” he adds. “It strengthens love.”
If you answered yes, to more than half of these questions, but you want to change consider Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services. I can help you acknowledge the things that are holding you back to having the happy marriage that you want and deserve. If you would to provide feedback or would like to talk about my services contact me here:

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5 tips for iLoveStrong Couples need to help battle the Cancer together.

This past season, I really enjoyed the TV show Parenthood, because it tackled the today’s topic,  5 tips for iLoveStrong Couples need to help battle Cancer together.

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http://www.hulu.com/watch/405090

In a recent article in the New York Times, Dr. Shapiro, the author of a new book, “And in Health: A Guide for Couples Facing Cancer Together.” gave advice that can help prevent the diagnosis from damaging one’s most important relationship.

He wrote, “Cancer, is like a tremor that rattles our walls and finds the fault lines that already existed. If we’re not careful, it reaches into our relationships and drags out these subtle differences and magnifies them.”

For most marriages, certain things go unsaid, like certain needs that aren’t being met by the other partner, or accommodating your partner out of fear or conflict. Couples don’t deal with these issues immediately because they feel that there will always be a day to talk about them.

When the Big “C” (cancer) comes or any serious illness for that matter can only exacerbate this issue. Dr. Shapiro, who had cancer himself, stated, “Withholding my feelings was a big mistake. “By not being honest with my wife,” he said, “you can create a wedge in the relationship at a time when you both need understanding and support.”

Cancer can cause people to lose their bearings and to push away those they love and most need to help them through the challenges of treatment. if this is you, here are 5 tips that can strengthen your marriage as you fight cancer together.

  1. Teamwork Is Essential – When a spouse is faced with the challenge of a potentially fatal diagnosis like cancer, he/she will often have difficulty remembering everything doctors tell them and correctly interpreting the information. Couples should see doctors as a team, with one assigned to take notes and both able to ask questions, misunderstandings about diagnoses and treatment options are less likely.If doctors fail to adequately address the patient’s concerns, the couple should decide which partner will speak up. And when both members of a couple are educated about side effects, they are less likely to panic when a symptom develops.
  2. Talk and Touch – A mastectomy affects a woman’s sexuality. A woman may feel less attractive or  desirable after the operation. She may be unwilling or extremely anxious and  self-conscious about her partner seeing her naked. This affects her libido. The  sex drive in mastectomy patients decreases immediately after the operation as  does the amount of sex she has. As the husband, it’s important that whenever and however you can, express and show your love and concern in words, actions and touch. When faced with cancer, Dr. Shapiro’s wife needed him to say, repeatedly, that he loved her. “And she wanted me to take the trash down to the street on time without being reminded,” he added.  “A soft nonsexual touch on the arm or shoulder can be a soothing balm when we feel vulnerable,” Dr. Shapiro wrote.
  3. Mistakes are learning opportunities Couples must rely more than ever on patience and tolerance. “Cancer requires a whole new set of skills at a time when most of us are depleted, distracted and scared,” he wrote. Each person should go easy on the partner when “rookie mistakes” occur, like forgetting appointments, losing things or locking the keys in the car.When people are anxious, they may deflect their feelings to their partner. For example, when couples are waiting for the results of treatment, rather than take out their anxiety on spouses, themselves or anyone else, Dr. Shapiro suggests, “Do exercise, go for walks, see a movie, talk to friends and distract yourself.”
  4. Mind reading is not an option Patients often expect their partners to know how they are feeling and what they may want, then resent it when unexpressed needs are not met.A patient’s ability and energy to perform tasks may change from one day to the next. Patients may feel unsupported if their partners expect them to function normally when they feel awful, or they may resent having jobs taken from them when they feel well. It’s better to ask than to assume. Both should “talk about what needs to be done today and who’s going to do it,” Dr. Shapiro advised. He encourages spouses to repeatedly check in with each other about various tasks.
  5. Prepare for the Unknown No one can ever predict if cancer will go into remission, or will take a turn for the worse.In Dr. Shapiro’s book, he urges couples to have a conversation about end-of-life care, making clear their wishes in case a spouse later faces decisions about life support.“Advanced directives are a lasting gift” for those you love, Dr. Shapiro said. One woman he interviewed lost her chance to spend the last months with her husband in the way she wanted because the doctors pursued treatment even as he was dying.

In the end these 5 tips will strengthen your marriage during your battle with cancer? If you are a person that has battled a serious illness what are some things you suggest that can help you are your spouse become closer?

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Relationship Question of the Day – Motivation

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Do something consistently and well takes motivation. So the relationship question of the day deals with motivation in your marriage.

How do you stay motivated in your marriage in order to do it consistently and well?

 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in iLoveStrong QoTD

 

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Relationship Question of the Day..Do you prefer Planes, Trains, or Automobiles?

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I’m a person that likes to look around when I’m driving. I always wonder when I see couples not talking to each other and staring into space, they must not be happy?
According to a recent survey conducted by YourTango.com in collaboration with Ford –  refutes my assumption. The survey reveals that couples that  spend a long time in the car have a positive impact on relationships.
Virtually 90 percent of surveyed couples who have taken a road trip together say it strengthens their relationship. And being in the right kind of car is key to forging that bond.
The survey also reveals that more than 77 percent of couples look forward to taking more trips with their significant other.
The best reason to take a road trip together is not where they’re going, say 44 percent, but the fun and adventure of the trip itself. More than 40 percent say the quality time afforded them is the best reason for a road trip
In fact, for most couples life is about the journey – it’s not where they end up, but the trip itself that gives meaning to their relationship. Happy couples everywhere will admit the magic happens in the car.
When asked to list the top three activities they spend their time on the road doing, almost 80 percent of respondents report they talk and catch up on each other’s lives, 70 percent enjoy blasting their favorite music, and nearly 55 percent take in the sights and have some quiet time.
Nearly all respondents agree their best conversations happen on the road. Of the kinds of conversations they have, more than 65 percent say their discussions are serious, meaningful talks.
But talk isn’t all they do – romance plays a big part for couples on the road, too. According to the survey, 74 percent hold hands and smooch at red lights.
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So the question of the day, do you prefer to take a road trip with your spouse, or would prefer another mode of transportation? What was your favorite road trip?
Coach Keith
 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in iLoveStrong QoTD, Uncategorized

 

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What’s Love got to Do with It? Everything,

I came across this article that I found in the HUFFINGTON POST, that I figured that I would share with you. Dr. Cynthia Thaik, cardiologist and author of Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength & Spirit from the Body’s Core, feels Love as everything to do with the state of your health.

To have optimal cardiovascular health, your emotional and spiritual heart is just as important as your physical heart, and care must be given to all aspects of this vital organ.

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Love is a strong emotion, representing human kindness, compassion, and deep affection. Love is unselfish and benevolent. Love is pure. Love is self-directed and directed toward others. Most importantly, love is a vital component for the health of your heart, body, mind and soul.

Ways That Love Benefits Your Health:

  • Love improves self-esteem, which leads to better self-care. Self-love is key because when you love yourself, you are much more likely to engage in activities that contribute to better nutrition and physical fitness, and less likely to make unhealthy lifestyle choices.
  • Love is a great antidote to stress. Love counteracts the fight-or-flight response that we so often find ourselves in. Even low levels of stress cause the body to release cortisol, which is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Love downregulates the production of cortisol. Love encourages your body to produce oxytocin, the “feel-good” or “love” hormone. Oxytocin can reduce cardiovascular stress and improve the immune system, which in turn decreases cell death and inflammation. Love also causes the production in your brain of norepinephrine and dopamine (both hormones associated with adrenaline), which leads to increased feelings of joy and pleasure. Love really is your best medicine.
  •  Love decreases anxiety and staves off depression, which subsequently reduces the signs and symptoms of heart disease. In his book Love and Survival: Eight Pathways to Intimacy and Health, Dean Ornish, M.D describes one study were married men who suffered from angina (chest pains) experienced far less angina if they felt loved by their wives, even despite high risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Sleeping next to someone you love makes you feel more relaxed, which helps you to sleep better. Numerous studies have linked the benefits to the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Adequate rest is vital to heart health and overall well-being, as much of the reparative work of the body is done during sleep.

Not just at Mother’s Day, but all year around, it is important to remind yourself that there is so much more to love than just romantic love. There is love of life, love of nature, love of animals, love of others, and love of self, and all of these acts of love provide amazing health benefits.

Ways to Incorporate Love Into Your Life

  1. Be more loving and giving. Bring happiness and joy into other people’s lives. Be generous with your time and money; be a person of increase. You can do this through volunteerism and altruism. I challenge everyone to do one random act of kindness today, even if it is as simple as smiling at someone.
  2. Hug often and hold hands. Physical contact in a loving and nurturing way has the ability to instantly improve your mood, lower stress levels and put you at ease. Try to hug at least one person you love every day.
  3. Be more playful in your loving relationship and make love often. Remind your partner about how much you care for them, and make time for them, no matter how busy you are.
  4. Love life — bring more joy into your life each day. Flirt with life… laugh, dance, sing. One way to manifest this is to allow yourself to really laugh without holding anything back and simply enjoy this pure laughter.
  5. Love yourself and be kind to yourself today. Treat yourself like you would another person who you are truly in love with. The more you love yourself, the better equipped you will be to love others. And the more love you give, the more you will receive.
  6. Love decreases inflammation, improves your immune system, and can be a potent pain reliever. A recent study from the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University College of Medicine showed that people who are lonely develop more reactivation of latent viruses than those that are well-connected. Possible mechanisms for these actions include increased release of cytokines, better relaxation and the release of endorphins

If you would like to improve your overall health, which simple action steps are you willing to incorporate into your daily routine ?

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fun Friday – The reason to take the 5 for $5 Admiration Challenge

On this Fun Friday, here is the major reason why husbands will have to take the 5 for $5 Admiration Challenge this Mother’s Day. You can’t compete with Lil Joey!

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To all my iLoveStrong Mother’s, have a great Mother’s Day!

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Fun Friday

 

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Calling all Men! Take the 5 for $5 Admiration challenge.

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Over the next few days, you are going to hear commercials on the types of gifts you can buy your wife for Mother’s Day; From Shari’s Berries to Every gift begins with Kay you will be inundated with those last-minute gift ideas.

Whatever item, you buy your spouse, it will be next impossible to compete with the hand-made, stick-figured cards or the wonderful Mother’s Day celebration at your kid’s school.

Your wife may not always be looking for just a gift from you. According to Willard Harley’s book His Needs, Her Needs, admiration is considered one of the essential needs for a strong marriage. In fact your spouse may have fallen in love with you partly because of your compliments to her. Your wife may just love to be told that they are appreciated.

Many of us have a deep desire to be respected, valued and appreciated by our spouse. We need to be affirmed clearly and often. It doesn’t take a lot of money to let your wife know how important she is to you.

So for Mother’s Day I have created an opportunity to do just that and have fun with it.It’s called the 5 for $5 Admiration Challenge. It’s an opportunity to show your wife how special she is to you without spending lots of money. The object of the challenge is to find 5 symbols that represent characteristics that you admire about your spouse, but you can only spend $5 for the entire exercise, i.e. I used a lightbulb to represent the fact that I admired my wife for her intelligence.

I recently performed this exercise for the Jack-n-Jill’s Father Appreciation dinner. The husbands loved it, one because it was a surprise and two because their wives’ words came from the heart. In fact, the wive’s of the Jack and Jill Chapter of Long Island loved it more.

I hope I am got your creative juices flowing because this Mother’s Day will be memorable the more thought you put into it.

If your are a mother, or a wife, share this with your husbands. I would love to hear what they come up with. Over the course of the week I will share the 5 things I admire about my wife.

 

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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