5 Ways To Show Someone You TRULY Love Them

So you are in love. Isn’t it wonderful? Every day you share with your person is a new and wonderful day. You hope that you feel like this forever.

Unfortunately you won’t. That early, heady love is amazing but it’s not sustainable. Doctors say that if people felt forever the way they do in the first six months of a relationship it would actually kill them. Too many endorphins can damage the heart. Ironic no?

Fortunately, the next phase of love, the settling in for the long game, can be a wonderful thing too. If you do it right.

Here is my latest – 5 Ways To Show Someone You TRULY Love Them.

# 1- Love them as they want to be loved.

I truly believe that one of the best tool in a successful relationship is Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. Go to Amazon right now and download it onto your Kindle.

The premise behind his book is that there are five love languages, five ways that people express and receive love.

The languages are: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service and Giving of Gifts.

For each person one of those things is the thing that makes them feel the most loved when they are done unto them. When a partner tries to love them using a different love language they don’t feel loved.

My love language is Quality Time – I feel loved when someone is truly present with me, listening to me, focusing on me. My ex-husbands’ love language was Physical Touch – he felt love when I was holding his hand, hugging him or, yep, that too.

Unfortunately, the language that we spoke best with each other was Acts of Service – we did things for each other, like changing the oil in the car or going to the grocery store. Stuff got done but neither of us felt loved.

Check out the 5 Love Language at www.5lovelanguages.com. There you will find a short quiz that you and your partner can both take and you can start loving each other in a way that will work.

#2 – Forgive them.

There is nothing more insidious in a relationship than not forgiving someone for a wrong. And for some reason couples who love each other are really, really good at not forgiving each other. If someone does something wrong nothing they can do will make up for that wrong. And that wrong will be played out verbally, over and over, forever.

People are only human. We do things that hurt people. Rarely do we do things to hurt someone on purpose. And yet, in relationships, we often take the thing that someone does to us so personally that we refuse to believe that they didn’t set out to hurt us. And that is unforgivable.

I have a client whose partner was so late getting home one night that he missed a date they had planned. He was delayed at work and then got stuck in traffic and it was a disaster. She took it personally. If you loved me, she said, you would have gotten home on time. And she truly believed what she said.

The reality is is that he DOES love her.  He just didn’t allow enough time. And he blew it, but he does love her. And it’s important for her to understand that. And it makes it easier to forgive. He was late. He didn’t plan well. He blew it. And he does love her.

Of course another piece of forgiveness is that the wrong-doer must apologize for the hurt caused. Because therein lies the issue that will carry forth forever – the hurt. Not so much the actions but the resulting feelings.

So don’t take things personally. And apologize for the hurt. Forgive and move on.

#3 – Support their goals.

I know it has happened to all of us that our partner comes up with some pie-in-the sky idea that is the new driving force in their lives. It’s exciting and new and all they want to talk about.

And I am sure it has happened to all of us that we think our partner’s new idea is crazy.

I remember in college my soccer-playing, skiing, manly-man of a boyfriend turned to me after a dance performance and announced that he wanted to be a dancer. I actually laughed in his face. This was 30 years ago and I still remember the hurt look in his eyes. He never became a dancer.

To this day I wish I had supported him. That’s what people who love each other do for each other. He might never had become a dancer but having the person who loved him believe in him would have been such a gift. Even better would have not being on the receiving end of my derision.

So support them. No matter what.

Want help with expressing your love? Let me help!

#4 –  Don’t be critical.

You know how you feel when you go to visit your in-laws and your mother-in-law makes some passive aggressive, disparaging comment about something you did. You know how shitty that makes you feel?  And you don’t even really like your mother-in-law.

So imagine what your partner, who loves you, must feel like when you are critical of them.

I have a client whose wife gives him the one over every time they are headed out the door. She tells him if his hair is out of place or if his shirt is right or if he is carrying the right bag for the task ahead. And while she is quick to say Your pants have a hole in them she never says You are perfect today, honey. Thank you.

My client at first tried to anticipate what his wife might want but as time went on he only felt resentment towards her criticism. He actually started not only making choices that he knew would antagonize her but he ignored whatever she mentioned at the door.

So be careful not to be critical. If you have something to say, say it with love. And if it doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it. Life will go on if his hair isn’t just right.

#5 – Never show contempt.

If there is one thing that kills love it’s contempt. Do anything that you can to keep it out of your relationship.

Contempt seems to rear its ugly head when wrongs fester, when people don’t forgive, when being critical is the norm and respect is lost.  Contempt manifests itself with derisive comments about your partner, comments about who they are as a person.

My ex-husband had a really hard time getting things done around the house. I told him, over and over, that if he was my employee I would fire him. And I wouldn’t say it in a loving way. I would say it dismissively, almost with a wave of my hand. I can only imagine how it must have felt to be on the receiving end of my contempt.

Therapists say that when they see contempt in a relationship they know that it’s close to over. So if you find yourself acting contemptuously STOP, assess and figure out what needs to be done.

Don’t let contempt kill love. Because it will.

So there you go – my 5 Ways To Show Someone You TRULY Love Them.

Of course there are the obvious ways to show someone that you love them.  You hug them and kiss them and have sex with them and tell them that they are wonderful and hang out with their friends and visit their mother. All of those things are an excellent way to show you someone you love them.

But they will have a hard time accepting your love if you aren’t willing to forgive them, if you can’t support them and are constantly critical of them. Back up your kisses with words and actions and they will know that you are the one for them.

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!

10 Things to Know if You Love Someone with ADD

A few months back I had to break up with someone who I loved very much because he was making me unhappy. I have spent a lot of time since then very angry and hurt because I felt like he didn’t even try.

And then this week I was doing some research on ADD for a client and it hit me – my man could very well have ADD! The behaviors that resulted from the condition made staying with him very difficult for me. And I am sure those same behaviors make living life very difficult for him. Maybe it wasn’t that he didn’t try but that he couldn’t try.

I have learned that many people are unaware of the devastating impact ADD can have on relationships. I want to share with you what I have learned.

Here is my latest – 10 Things to Know if You Love Someone with ADD.

#1 – They can’t JUST DO IT.

For those of us who don’t have ADD we can usually get something done when we buckle down, determined to do it. People with ADD just can’t do that. They can, and do, try but often a bright shiny object distracts them and the task at hand evaporates.

#2 – They might have an itch to scratch.

People with ADD can be constantly living on the edge, looking for that next thing that will make them feel something. This could mean doing drugs or having lots of sex or jumping out of airplanes. Whatever it takes for them to feel like they are alive and in control.

#3 – Their self-esteem could be at rock bottom.

Because of a lifetime spent struggling to do the most basic tasks, and the derision that often comes from other people when they feel let down, people with ADD struggle from a chronic lack of self-esteem. This lack of self-esteem can cause intense depression and actually lead to increased cognitive deficiencies.

Also, their lack of self-esteem will make it difficult for them to accept your love and support because they just won’t believe they deserve it.

Need help dealing with ADD? Let me help!

#4 – They might not be able to listen…

…or remember or keep promises and could always interrupt you.

The minds of people with ADD go a mile a minute. Much faster than many of us who don’t struggle with ADD. Because of this, they are easily distracted by the next thing, as opposed to what is in the now. As a result, they might not remember what is said to them. They want to but they can’t.

People with ADD also can forget to read texts, might not check their emails and could immediately forget when you ask them to pick up a loaf of bread on their way home.

People with ADD don’t mean to do this but they do.

#5 – The division of labor might be wildly uneven.

People with ADD struggle to complete even the most basic tasks. As a result the non-ADD person will be left doing a significant portion of things that need to be done. This can lead to frustration and resentment on the part of the non-ADD person and feelings of shame from the person struggling.

Furthermore, what can often develop is a parent/child dynamic in the relationship where the non ADD person becomes like a parent to the ADDer. This is not a good dynamic for two people in a romantic relationship, for many reasons.

#6– They might not be able to make you a priority.

For people with ADD there are two kinds of time. NOW and NOT NOW. Because of this they live completely in the moment. The concept of moments down the road mean nothing to them.

As a result it’s very hard for them to prioritize ANYTHING, much less their partner.

#7 – They could struggle to be successful at work.

Because they have a hard time completing tasks and staying focused, people with ADD could always struggle at work. To be successful at work people with ADD need two things: a boss who understands them and an excellent support staff. Without these things, success will be very hard to attain. Not impossible but very difficult. This will lead to additional self-esteem issues.

#8 – Finances might be a challenge.

People with ADD are often financially challenged for a number of reasons.

The first is that having the focus to keep track of their expenditures will take a tremendous amount of discipline that they might not have.

Secondly, some people with ADD love to spend money. People with ADD are often in search of the next high, the next thing that will scratch their itch. And spending money is an excellent way to achieve that goal.

#9 – Intimacy can be an issue.

People with ADD, particularly men, can struggle with intimacy.

The reasons are varied.

Part of it is that they often just can’t stay focused while making love. They far more enjoy doing something structured and rewarding like working or being on their phones or playing golf.

Another is that the person with ADD has that itch they want to scratch and multiple sex partners is a way to do it. Once they have caught you they could move onto the next person.

Furthermore, people with ADD are time challenged. They don’t know how to fit sex, or other tasks, into their crazy busy, out of control schedules.

And, finally, the aforementioned parent/child dynamic. This, obviously, does not lend itself to a healthy sex life.

#10 – They might struggle with addiction.

People with ADD might struggle with addiction for a number of reasons.

The biggest one is that they spend every day of their lives struggling to keep their heads above water. This is exhausting and overwhelming. And using drugs or alcohol to escape from those feelings is very effective.

Furthermore, stimulants like cocaine, and sugar, are widely abused by people with ADD because they become way more focused when using them. Stimulants bring them to the place they always wanted to be – focused, full of bravado, successful at whatever they try and attractive to the opposite sex. Pretty compelling stuff.

Interestingly, people with ADD can also get addicted to things that are good for them – like exercise. They can over-do something that makes them feel more focused and helps build their self esteem.

So there you go. My 10 Things to Know if You Love Someone with ADD.

Loving someone with ADD can be very challenging. To do so successfully requires a tremendous amount of patience and understanding and the development of life skills by both parties. It’s hard work. It can be done but it’s not for the faint of heart.

And it’s okay if you don’t feel like you can do that hard work or that you might not be able to accept that your mate will never be able to do some of the things that are important to you, like being intimate or hearing you.

The most important thing for someone with ADD is to be in a relationship with someone who loves them and supports them in spite of their challenges. If you can be that person, great. If that’s not you, it’s okay to walk away and let them find someone who can.

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 Things I WISH My Parents Had Told Me – Even Though I Know They Did Their Best

One thing I know more than anything else is how hard it is to be a parent. We are thrown into the job with no training and it’s a total crap-shoot as to how successful we will be.

I know that back in 1965 when they had me, my parents had nothing but good intentions. I also know that they were young and inexperienced and didn’t necessarily have the best role models in their own parents.

All that being said, there are definitely some things I wish that they had told me, things that I would not have had to figure out on my own.

Here is my latest – 5 Things I WISH My Parents Had Told Me – Even Though I Know They did Their Best.

#1 – Marriage is complicated.

So here is the thing. I knew from observation that my parents’ marriage was challenged. I knew that my mom put my dad firmly behind the kids and the dogs on her priority list, that she snapped at him easily and that he retreated into his office soon after we had dinner.

What I didn’t know was WHY all of this happened. I went into my own marriage with the knowledge of how my parents treated each other but I had no idea how, in the context of marriage, to prevent it from happening.

Before I knew it my husband was firmly behind the kids and the dogs on my priority list, I treated him terribly and he retreated into his office nightly. And, like my parents, we ended up divorced.

I wish my parents had sat me down before I got married and really talked about their experiences in their marriage. What they would have done differently, what they have learned in the ensuing years. I have already talked to my 20 years olds about what happened in my failed marriage, not placing blame but talking about circumstances and being human.

#2- Fidelity is important.

Fidelity was not a theme that played out in my parents’ marriage. It was the 70s and women had just entered the work force and at-work relationships were becoming more and more the norm. And it wasn’t just my dad who strayed….my mom fell back in love with a man she knew before she was married.

So the model for me when I was in my teens, in those super important years where we learn, from the example our parents set, about how love and relationships work, was two parents who weren’t committed to each other. And two parents who were lying to each other and to us about this very important thing.

I have to admit that, perhaps because of this example, fidelity has not been something that I have always practiced in relationships. I know that it has played a great part in why I have had so many failed ones. I just haven’t been able to commit to anyone in a way that makes for fulfilling, long lasting love.  I am learning but it would have been a huge gift to know how to do so a long time ago.

#3 – Mental illness runs in the family.

I spent a substantial part of my life depressed. I lived with a constant sense of hopeless and despair. I hated every part of my life and didn’t understand why anyone would want to live. I didn’t know that I was different from everyone else…I thought that everyone hated living as much as I did.

My mother used to come up to my room and yell at me because I didn’t ever want to leave it. She accused me of being rude and lazy and selfish.  She would berate me for being shy at social functions and for sleeping so much. It was not fun to be me.

When I was 42 I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder. When I called my mother to tell her she said Oh, your grandfather and your great grandfather both had Bipolar disorder. Seriously?

What a gift it would have been all those 42 years if I had had a name for how I was suffering. Perhaps I could have been treated and my life might not have been the hell that it was for so many years. But mental illness was not something that was talked about back then. I so wish it had been.

Do you want to talk about things your parents didn’t say? I will listen!

#4 – Don’t have sex with someone just because they want to.

I don’t ever remember having the love/sex conversation with my mom. I am guessing we had it but perhaps not. What I do know is that she never told me that I needed to enter into the world of boys and sex with caution.

When boys discovered me I was young, naïve and starved for love. My dad had recently moved far away with his new wife. I was lost and confused and lonely. And then boys appeared.

There is nothing like a teenage boy to make a teenage girl’s head spin. One was so charming and attentive and full of compliments. I took his attention in like a starving refugee. And when he wanted something from me in return for his attention I was happy to oblige. He really, really liked me, after all, so why not let him do what he wanted.

My relationship with this boy was over soon after and I was left adrift, lonelier than before. A teacher took me under her wing and explained to me that what I had was precious and that I had to treat it that way. That I had to have respect for myself and not let anyone take anything away from me unless I wanted to give it. I was confused at first but her I soon understood and going forward I was careful to not let any boy get the best of me.

#5 – It’s all about forgiveness.

My mother was the queen of holding a grudge.  She loved people madly but if they crossed her she was done with them. The list of people who “aren’t invited to my funeral” was quite a long one. My dad was on it. And my ex-husband. She would never get over the wrongs that either one of them had done to her and to those she loved.

This example did not serve us kids well. We learned to judge people for their actions and to not look at them with compassion and understanding of their humanness. As a result we lost friends and lovers in our belief that we were always right and that those who had hurt us should be cast out.

It is really only now, in the aftermath of being left by my husband and the ensuing messiness, that I have learned to understand that we are all doing the best that we can and that to forgive is the best way to be able to move on in a healthy way.

My mother died of pancreatic cancer at 72. I truly believe that at least some of her tumor was the result of hanging onto so much anger and resentment for so long. Not letting go of bad feelings is unhealthy not only for our minds but for our bodies.  If we can release them they will not fester and cause damage.

So there you go – my 5 Things I WISH My Parents Had Told Me.

Our parents really do the best that they can with what they are given. No one gives us a manual about how to parent as we leave the hospital with our newborn. All we know is what we already know. And we do the best we can with that knowledge.

What I do know is my parents loved me and took care of me and made me, at least in part, into the person that I am today. And for that I am thankful.

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!