4 things you need to know to navigate marriage and retirement

Divorce rates for couples over 50 are rising. The culprit? Marriage and retirement. Retirement represents one of the biggest life changes since graduating college or having children. This complete rearrangement of your daily routine, social status, and perceived purpose in life has the potential to put untold stress on your marriage. Here are some tips for navigating the waters of marriage and retirement in a way that preserves your strength as a couple and steers you clear from the turbulence of divorce.

1. Marriage and Retirement Planning

One of the biggest problems starts with pre-retirement planning. As we prepare for retirement, we often make lots of mental plans about what and how to do it. When these develop in our minds and don’t share them with our spouses, we are setting our marriage and retirement up for miscommunication, disappointment and conflict. Continue reading 4 things you need to know to navigate marriage and retirement

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20 hilarious marriage quotes-funny and true!

Marriage quotes-funny, true and sweet. Many funny marriage quotes can be mean-spirited and perpetuate negative marriage stereotypes. Surround yourself with kind humor to give you encouragement in your relationships. After all, marriage can be tough, and one of the best predictors of success is to be able to have a sense of humor about it all.

Enjoy!

“Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.” -Stephen Gaines

“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale.  It’s a choice.” -Fawn Weaver Continue reading 20 hilarious marriage quotes-funny and true!

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5 signs of emotional abuse

A tragically high number of people will suffer abuse at the hands of an intimate partner – conservative estimates claim that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. The real numbers are impossible to calculate since most instances of abuse are never reported.

Often education on abusive behavior focuses primarily on physical abuse. In fact, there are several different kinds of abuse that don’t leave physical scars, but are just as serious and dangerous as domestic violence. Often psychological and emotional abuse are the precursors to physical violence.

Familiarize yourself with these signs of emotional abuse so you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Continue reading 5 signs of emotional abuse

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Nagging

Nagging: little words that cause big problems. Nagging is a pattern of negative communication in a relationship. Most of the time it goes something like this: one person asks for or recommends something, or comments on his spouse. He receives either a vague response or silence. Later, he asks again, which causes his spouse to feel even more resistant. This pattern escalates until it provokes anger and arguments.

Why does nagging happen? Part of the puzzle has to do with the different ways in which men and women communicate. According to some research, women are more emotionally perceptive and sensitive to signs that there is something troubling their spouse. Since women tend to be more verbally communicative and explicative, they expect full and detailed answers about what is wrong. Therefor, getting a terse or evasive response from their spouse feels troubling and unsatisfying and they will continue to ask about the matter. Continue reading Nagging

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5 positive communication strategies for couples

Nobody is born knowing how to communicate well in a relationship, and, unfortunately, we tend to pick up a lot of bad communication strategies from our parents, friends, lovers, and the media. It’s easy to say, “Just don’t get so mad and yell at your partner!”, when really, it’s quite hard to change emotional habits–and few marriage help books tell you how to do so. Here are five concrete communication strategies you can practice that will noticeably improve the atmosphere in your home. And you don’t have to try to master them all at once! Pick one at a time to focus on for a week or two. You will see results in the way your spouse responds to you and the greater ease in which you resolve conflicts. Continue reading 5 positive communication strategies for couples

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The 40 most romantic quotes about marriage

Many wise and beautiful things have been said about marriage over the years. Enjoy these romantic quotes about marriage that are truly marriage-positive. Quotes about marriage are great for anniversaries, wedding toasts, or ever-day surprises. Try copying one on a nice piece of paper and leaving it in your spouse’s car!

“Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. Til’ death do us part is the length.” -Fawn Weaver

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” -Mignon McLaughlin

“To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.” -Robert Brault

“A great spouse loves you exactly as you are. An extraordinary spouse helps you grow; inspires you to be, do and give your very best.” -Fawn Weaver Continue reading The 40 most romantic quotes about marriage

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The increasing danger of reconnecting with ex lovers online

Social media is wonderful for keeping in touch with friends and family. At the same time, there is one category of person that you should not be reconnecting with-ex flames. Facebook has made it incredibly easy to indulge in nostalgia and look up people from the past. The Australian magazine The Age recently delved into the near-epidemic of social media-inspired affairs with the article “First love, the second time around.”

Nostalgia drives social media searches

Most people do not reach out to past romantic partners consciously looking for an affair–yet this is what often happens. Old flames hold strong sway over our hearts, triggering powerful and deep-set emotions related to desire, regret and attachment. Relationships that occurred during teenage years seem to be especially powerful. Continue reading The increasing danger of reconnecting with ex lovers online

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Want a good marriage? Don’t call your spouse a “Ball and Chain”

Thanks to Stu and Lisa Gray of the Stupendous Marriage Show for turning me on to this topic! Check out their podcast for some smart commentary.

Negative stereotypes about marriage are so pervasive in our society that it is almost impossible to escape them. Name almost any TV show with married couples and you’ll find at least one example of the “ball and chain” metaphor. Marriage is the end of fun. It is the end of sex. It means constant bickering and being tied to someone who you can’t stand for the rest of your life.

Media and popular culture certainly perpetuate these damaging stereotypes, and, at the same time, we are all just as guilty ourselves. Every time we complain about or badmouth our spouses to others, we perpetuate marriage stereotypes and hurt our own marriages. Continue reading Want a good marriage? Don’t call your spouse a “Ball and Chain”

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Tips for dealing with difficult people

Dealing with difficult people is something we all have to face. Luckily, many of the skills we us to make our marriages run smoothly and diffuse tension can also be used for dealing with difficult people. Here are the top 5 Power of Two golden rules for conflict and communication in marriage that will help you in any situation, whether at work, with friends, or family members.

  1. Remember: it’s not about you. Only we control our emotions–no one can “make” someone else angry, upset, or irritated. So while you may have made a mistake that was regrettable and caused problems (and if so, recognize and acknowledge it), if someone becomes angry, guilts you, or treats you poorly, that is their problem. If they are angry, that is their problem.  Continue reading Tips for dealing with difficult people
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The 10 best love poems ever written

Sometimes nothing quite expresses your feelings as well as a good love poem. Sure, there are some sappy love poems out there. But there are also beautiful, poignant and profound love poems–after all, it’s been written about since people could write! These are some of the most well-known and my personal favorite love poems. There is a mix of modern, romantic and classical poems.

Love poems are great to share with your spouse on special occasions, such as anniversary or birthday. Almost even better is a surprise, as any-day romantic gesture! Try hand-copying one of these on a pretty piece of paper and leaving it on your spouse’s pillow or in her lunch bag in the morning. Small, sweet acts like this helps keep each other on you minds and put the spark back in your relationship! Continue reading The 10 best love poems ever written

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