5 Top Secrets The Happiest Couples Already Know – Even If They Don’t Think They Do

You know those friends of yours who always look so happy together? The ones who you know not only look happy but who are happy? Together. Don’t you sometimes just hate them?

What do they know that you don’t know? That is always the question, whispered among those who wish they too could be so happy.

Here is the answer.

My latest – 5 Top Secrets The Happiest Couples Already Know – Even If They Don’t Think They Do.

#1 – Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex.

So let’s just start with the obvious one.

Every happily married couple has a sex life that suits them. There is no exact formula for how much sex a couple must have to be happy. Instead, each couple needs to decide what is best for them, to talk about it and play around and meet each other’s sexual needs in a way that makes everyone excited.

I have a client whose husband wants to have sex EVERY night and, while she really likes having sex with him, every night just doesn’t work for her. She used to just rebuff his advances, which made him feel badly, but on my advice she talked to him about it. She explained how she felt, they agreed that she would be the instigator and that she would instigate often. That worked for both of them and they were happy.

So tick this one off of your list. Talk to your partner about your sex life and make a plan to make it work well for both of you.

Sounds fun, right?

#2 – Equitable division of labor.

I have known many, many married couples. I have known many, many divorced couples. What is the differentiating factor that exists between the two? Equality in execution of chores.

My 15 year old daughter did a survey for school once. Who were the happiest parents among her friend group? She discovered that those who shared the household chores, particularly the meal planning, were the happiest.

Why? Because chores are a HUGE bone of contention for many couples. HUGE.

What usually happens is is that the person “in charge” delegates the chores to their spouse. The “in charge” person has expectations about the execution of the chore and if it’s not done within the expected time, or in the expected way, tensions flair. The delegator takes it personally and lashes out and the executor is left bewildered because they had no idea what the expectations were.

If both people are responsible for the delegation, and execution, of the chores then a huge issue just disappears. Things get done, or don’t, and both partners are responsible.

So, my daughter reported, my ex-husband’s and my decision to divide and conquer (he would work and I would run the house) was the deciding factor in the failure of our marriage. My sister in law and her husband, who equally shared home responsibilities, are living happily ever after.

I wish she had done this research earlier…

#3 – Inside jokes.

What really? How can that be? That is such a little thing.

Happy couples are like a little islands unto themselves. Sure, they have families and friends and jobs and responsibilities but they also have things that they only share with each other. Inside jokes.

Imagine this. You and your spouse are at a family BBQ. Tensions are flying over something. Politics, perhaps. And then your father in law says something, something that he ALWAYS says and that you and your spouse have whispered about in bed at night. You meet eyes as the statement is made and you just connect. You smile and nod and go on with the day with a warm feeling in your tummy.

Connection is what real love is about. And having a secret is super fun. So having an inside joke, a combination of the two, can’t be beat for keeping couples close.

#4 – Pie in the sky hopes and dreams.

Happy couples are couples who not only dream big but dream big together.

Remember when you were young and falling in love? Hours would be spent talking about the future – the jobs, the house, the kids, the happily ever after. And then life happens. Day to day living gets in the way of those dreams.

But not for happy couples. Happy couples still dream together. It might be little things, like dreaming of a movie date on Friday, but they dream together and work as a team to get it done.

So dream big. Or small. But dream together.

#5 – Putting each other first. Period.

Yes, yes, I know. There are so many important things in our lives these days. Making money is one of the first that comes to mind. Making sure our children grow into successful adults is another. And then there is exercise. And friends. And hobbies. And your phone.

And all of these are important. But one thing that you realize, when you no longer have a partner, is that none of these things really matter because you, well, you don’t have a partner.

So make your partner your priority. Every day.

Work is important but so is getting home for date night. That Saturday morning 15 mile run? Go for it but if you could instead spend the morning alone with your spouse, consider it. A movie night with the girls? Bring your husband instead. Movie negotiable. The phone? Put it down.

Consider all the good that could come from making your spouse a priority. Connection, laughter, physical affection, good will, sex, happiness. Arguably more life enhancing than the money and the muscles and the children with a perfect score on their SAT.

So there you go – my 5 Top Secrets The Happiest Couples Already Know.

Being part of happy couple isn’t something that just happens. It, like all of the best things in life, takes concerted effort.

That effort at work pays off with a raise. That effort at the gym pays off with muscles. Why not make that effort with your partner and be one of those truly happy couples?

So go home, look your spouse in the eye and kiss them hard, throw your dirty clothes in the hamper, laugh about the co-worker you love to hate, talk about a trip away together next month, make love and fall asleep happy.

It will all be totally worth it. I promise.

Looking for more ways to be the happiest couple around? Contact me NOW and I can help.

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Questions You MUST Ask Someone On A First Date – Even If You Don’t Really Want To

We all go into our first dates hoping for the best. Hoping that this will be the ONE who will end our lonely days forever. And with that hope comes a reluctance to ask questions.

Why? Because we often don’t want to know the answers.

It’s important to know a few basic facts about someone before you commit to spending more time developing a relationship. Without knowing the facts you could miss some serious red flags and waste a HUGE amount of time in your search for the ONE.

And we don’t want that.

Here is my latest: 5 Questions You MUST Ask Someone On A First Date – Even If You Don’t Really Want To.

#1 – Are you Married?

Seriously? You need to ask that question? The answer is a resounding YES!

You would be amazed at how many married people out there want to date other people. Some of them are in open marriages and some of them just want to fool around. Either way you want to know the answer.

If the answer is yes, you need to decide if you want to be involved with a married person. Being involved with a married person brings with it a multitude of issues, most notably making it very difficult for you to find the ONE.

And that is the goal right? Finding the ONE?

#2 – How long have you been single?

Once you know they are single it’s important to know how long they have been single.

As a general rule of thumb, we experts recommend that you not date someone who has been divorced within the last two years. Divorce wreaks havoc that regular break ups do not and the recovery period is longer. A newly divorced person just won’t be ready for you, in spite of what they might think.

If your potential partner has just gone through a non-marriage break up that could also be a red flag. Someone who is newly out of a relationship could be, consciously or unconsciously, looking for a rebound relationship.  You do NOT want to be the rebound person.

Ideally, your prospective mate would be someone who has been single for a period of time, not just because they have had time to recover from a break up but because it’s more likely that they are no longer attached to the person they broke up with.

Nobody wants to date someone who is still holding a torch for someone else, do they?

#3 – Are you employed?

One of the first questions we ask when we meet anyone is “What do you do?” It’s what Americans do. And it can be a tough question to answer, especially in this day and age when people do a variety of things at once.

A more important question is “Are you currently working?”

The reasons you want to know the answer to this question? Because you want to know if they are financially and emotionally secure.

Financial security is obvious.  No one wants to get involved with someone who can’t carry his or her weight financially. The emotional security is a tougher one.

People who are unemployed are often in a delicate position emotionally. They could be actively seeking work and unable to find any. They could be thinking that the work out there is below them and refuse to compromise. They could have had issues at an old job that continue on into new jobs. All of these situations could lead to insecurity and low self esteem.

Insecurity and low self esteem are not things that lend themselves well to a healthy relationship.  And DON’T think that you can fix them because you can’t.

So ask not only “What do you do” but “Where do you do it?”

Want to talk first dates? Me too! Let’s do it….

#4 – Do you get along with your family?

Really? Knowing how someone gets along with his or her family is important?

The family is the fundamental relationship of someone’s life and how they interact with that family is important to know.

If your date talks about the close relationship he has with his siblings and that his mother drives him nuts but that he talks to her every Sunday then you know that this person is capable of a healthy emotional connection.

If your date talks about the family that lives across the country who he hasn’t seen in years then it is possible the deep emotional connection might be more difficult for him. Why? Because the basic human connection that we make as children influences who we are as grown ups. And someone who has a rough relationship with his family could be tough to truly connect with.

So ask the question and listen carefully to the answer.

#5 – Do you have kids?

This one is SO important because kids change everything.

Kids can, more than any other single thing, affect a relationship because kids are, more often than not, THE priority. They will be made the priority above you every single time. Every single time.

And maybe that’s okay with you.  Maybe you have kids too and understand the priorities. Or maybe you are willing to make his kids your priority as well.

But maybe it’s not. Maybe you want to always be first or maybe you just aren’t ready to have kids. And that’s okay.

So ask the question. Because kids will always come first, no matter what you might tell yourself going in.

So there you go, my 5 Questions You MUST Ask Someone On A First Date.

Dating is time consuming and emotionally fraught and really you don’t want to waste even one minute on someone who raises any red flags at all. Red flags should be noted and acted on.

So ask the questions. Get your answers early. Get your answers so you can decide to fish or cut bait right away. Because there are other fish in the sea. Fish who might be better for you. And tastier.


 

Looking for more questions to ask on a first date?

Contact me NOW and I can help!


 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

3 Sentences In An Apology That Will Work – Even If You Feel Like You Have Tried Everything

You have done something to hurt someone. Intentionally or unintentionally. Either way, that person is really hurt. And you want to fix it. But how?

You have been trying to apologize, to make them see things from your perspective, to get them to understand your intentions. All to no avail.

Hope is not lost. There is a way to apologize that will be both heard and accepted. Read on to learn how.

Here is my latest – 3 Sentences In An Apology That Will Work – Even If You Feel Like You Have Tried Everything.

Before we begin you have to understand WHAT you have to apologize for.

You did something that caused someone pain. And THAT is what you have to apologize for. Causing that person pain. Not for what you did to cause the pain.

I have a client whose husband showed up 30 minutes late on a night where he swore he would be home on time. They were supposed to go out for her birthday and she had made special dinner reservations. He had tried to get home but got caught up in a work crisis.

Should he need to apologize? I mean, he was late because of work. He had no control over that.

Of course he needs to apologize! Why? Not because he was kept late at work but because he HURT HER by not getting home when he said that he would.

Do you see the difference? The slight is that he caused her pain. Whatever he did to cause that pain is irrelevant.

That is what you are apologizing for: causing them pain.

Get it?

Sentence #1 – “I am sorry that I hurt you.”

This is the perfect first line of any apology. You are acknowledging that you have caused someone pain. They know that you know that you hurt them and by stating it clearly you can, and will, immediately deflate your loved one’s anger.

The most important part of this sentence is that it ends after the YOU and that it doesn’t continue on with a BUT. An explanation of why you were late, and why you weren’t at fault, will completely invalidate the first part of the sentence. Completely.

Again, what you are apologizing for is that you hurt someone.  How you did so is irrelevant in this first part of the apology.

So accept it and apologize for the hurt you have caused.

#2 – “How can I prevent it from happening again?”

This second sentence is very important because it allows the person you hurt to take some ownership for how to prevent it from happening again.

In the case of my client, after she calmed down when she realized that her husband knew how much he had hurt her, she thought about what could be done differently in the future to prevent him from causing her pain. She suggested that next time he knew he was going to be late he call her so that she could change their reservations. She would also know that he knew he was late and that he was sensitive to the situation which could help her from getting hurt.

Armed with this knowledge my client’s husband had the tools he needed to stop himself from hurting his wife in the future when he was going to be late. It was up to him know when to use those tools and to do so.

#3 – “What can I do to make it up to you?”

This one is a fun one. Amends.

So my client’s husband had acknowledged that he had hurt her and did not tried to justify his behavior. Now he wanted to know what he could do to make it up to her….

Once again, my client, the hurt party, was in a position of control. Not a dominating sort of control but in control of how the outcome of the situation could play out. By being in this kind of control my client was given the opportunity to express what she needed to move past this hurt. Her husband didn’t have to guess, which is good because husbands aren’t always good at guessing.

My client suggested a bottle of very nice champagne at home with some birthday cake. The kids were off at a friend’s house and having some alone time just the two of them is what she wanted most anyway.

He was, of course, happy to accommodate and the night ended very well indeed.

So there you are, 3 Sentences In An Apology That Will Work.

Again, the key to the perfect apology is recognizing that you are apologizing for the hurt that you caused and not the behavior that caused it. You hurt someone and that is what you need to apologize for, no matter how much you believe that it couldn’t have been avoided or that you weren’t at fault.

So go ahead. Apologize. Mean it. Move forward together in a meaningful way.

It just might change your life. Try it. You will see.


 

Looking for help with making a good apology?

Contact me now and I can help!

 


 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Get to Forgiveness – Even If It Seems Out of Reach

Did somebody do something to you that you simply can’t forgive?

Perhaps your sister embarrassed you AGAIN at a family gathering with something she said. Perhaps your husband chose your mother-in-law’s side in a discussion about where to spend Easter. Or a good friend forgot to invite you to her Cabi party.

And are you so angry, so hurt, that you just can’t get past it?

I am here to tell you that you can.

Holding a grudge is one of the worst things that you can do for your health. So don’t!

Here is my latest: 5 Ways to Get to Forgiveness – Even If It Seems Out of Reach

#1 – Recognize that everyone is human.

Everyone is doing the best that they can. Let me say that again. Everyone is doing the best that they can.

The person who you are today, right now, is the result of a lifetime of experiences, experiences that include how your mother loved you when you were a child and the way that taxi driver splashed you with a muddy puddle this morning.

It is a combination of those things that determine how you react to something the way you do. The same rules apply to other people.

You know that co-worker who is rude to you every morning when you come into the office? Who doesn’t greet you with a smile and small-talk. Do you resent that person, think perhaps she is a bitch? Do you spend way too much time thinking about it during meetings?

That co-worker is just a person, doing the best that she can, and you have no idea what she is dealing with. Perhaps she has an autistic child who needs to be dropped off at daycare in the morning and the process is devastating every time. Might that person not be able to greet you with a happy smile in the morning? Might that person be more in need of some compassion from you?

Don’t assume anything about anyone. We are all just doing the best that we can. We are human, after all.

#2 – Don’t take everything personally.

It is not all about you. Again, it is not all about you.

“What’s this?” you think. “Of course it’s all about me.”

When someone hurts you I can guarantee that they almost never set out to hurt you. What they do might be insensitive but more often than not hurting you is not the reason why someone does something.

When your husband sides with your mother-in-law about Easter Sunday he is not doing it to purposely hurt you. He is doing it because he wants to please his mother or even perhaps because he genuinely believes her plan is the better one.

He does not do it because he has no respect for your opinions, because he does and he demonstrated this last week when he applauded your actions around a problem at work.

He did it for his own reasons, ones that have nothing to do with you.

Not taking everything as a personal affront is an excellent way to take steps towards forgiveness. Know that people do things for a variety of reasons and hurting you is rarely one of them.

#3 – Look to the future, not the past.

Do you want your present and your future to be based on the past? Or do you want your future to be bright and full of possibilities?

If yes, stop looking to the past and look forward with an open heart.

I have a client whose husband left her a LONG time ago and she still can’t get past it. Everything that is wrong in her life she blames on his leaving her. Everything.

In an effort to help her forgive her husband and move on, we have been working on her building a life for herself. She has found a great job and is under contract in a wonderful apartment. She is dating again and spending lots of time with her grandchildren. For the first time in years she is happy.

The more that she focuses on her present and her future the less time she spends obsessing about the past and all of her perceived losses. Because that’s what her losses are, perceived. She has no idea how her life might have been if her husband had stayed with her. What she does know is how amazing her life is now.

And that is what counts.

#4 – Take responsibility.

This is a hard one – to take responsibility for our role in a perceived hurt. But it’s a very important one.

We all play a role in every interaction we have. And, like it or not, our role is as relevant to outcome as the other person’s.

In the case of my client who was irate for not being invited to her friend’s Cabi party, I asked her to take a good look at why she thought she might not have been invited.

At first she said that she had no idea, that her friend was just a loser. But then, after some reflection, she realized that she hadn’t really enjoyed the last Cabi party and that she might have expressed those feelings to a few of their friends.

Perhaps her friend hadn’t invited her for just that reason? Not because she was a loser and wanted to hurt her friend but maybe because she knew her friend didn’t enjoy the parties and wanted her not to feel compelled to attend?

Hm, that changes things a bit doesn’t it?

#5 – Be honest and let it go.

You know when you stay up all night, playing and replaying something that your sister said to you on the phone? How it was just like something that she has said to you your entire lives? How it drives you crazy every time?

Have you ever told her that it drives you crazy every time? Perhaps now is the time.

Being honest with someone about something they are doing that hurts you is important. And it’s important to do so in an honest, non passive-aggressive way.

It’s entirely possible that your sister doesn’t know how she repeatedly upsets you. If you tell her you are giving her an opportunity to change, or explain, her behavior. And if you understand the reasons behind her behaviors you can accept them and let them go.

Because who wants to stay up all night perseverating about their sister’s words and actions? Sleep is a precious thing that shouldn’t be squandered needlessly.

So let it go. Get some sleep. Be happy.

So there you go, my 5 Ways to Get to Forgiveness.

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” So said Alexander Pope in the early 1700s. He knew even back then the virtue found in forgiveness. He knew that we were all doing the best that we can and to forgive is to find God.

So practice forgiveness. Cut those who upset you some slack, accept responsibility for your share of the blame, let go of the past and make yourself a bright future.

Because that’s what we want. No matter how dark our past we want our future to be bright. And with forgiveness it can be.


 

Looking for other ways to get to forgiveness?

Contact me now and I can help!

 


 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!