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6 Healthy Relationship Do’s And Don’ts That Can Make Or Break Yours

As far as lists go, healthy relationship do’s and don’ts are one of the most important because healthy relationships, and the love that is a part of them, make the world go round.

For every “do” there is a “don’t” associated with it. Understanding the difference between the two is a key part of really knowing how to be in a healthy relationship, one that is full of love and romance and respect and, well, all of it!

#1 – Do: Express your feelings.

Expressing your feelings in a relationship is very important. Many of my clients say I don’t have to tell him that I love him. He knows. Yes, he might know but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell him.

Furthermore, if you are angry or sad or lonely because of something that your partner did, tell him. He needs to know how he made you feel so he can learn what you need from him and you need to express your feelings so they don’t get trapped in your body. Feelings that get trapped in your body are toxic.

Don’t: Be passive aggressive.

It is very important that you express your feelings but it is VERY important that you not be passive aggressive in how you express them.

Passive aggressiveness is a tendency to engage in indirect expression of hostility through acts such as subtle insults, sullen behavior, stubbornness, or a deliberate failure to accomplish required tasks.

If your partner did something to upset you it’s not okay to given him the silent treatment, to sulk, to do to him what he did to you, or act in any way that isn’t straightforward about how you are thinking.

If your husband is always home late for work tell him how upset you are. Don’t ignore him when he gets home and then tell him that you don’t want him home anyway and that he might as well just stay at work forever. This will only make matters worse and will never get you what you really want – that he come home at night for dinner.

#2 – Do: Be understanding.

People are human. And sometimes they make mistakes. And if they do it’s okay. They are human.

If your husband promised you that he would put up the curtain rods on a rainy Saturday afternoon and if, by the end of the day, that didn’t happen, it’s okay to be upset. But it’s essential that you talk to him about it and understand why it didn’t happen.

Yes, perhaps he just chose to watch football with your son instead or maybe he just forgot. Either way, he is only human. Express your disappointment that the job wasn’t done but forgive him and try again on Sunday.

Don’t: Take things personally.

If your husband promised you that he would put up the curtain rods on a rainy Saturday afternoon and if, by the end of the day, that didn’t happen, don’t take it personally.

Don’t think If he loved me he would have put up the curtain rods. That simply isn’t true. He didn’t put up the curtain rods for a variety of reasons but none of them was because he didn’t love you.

#3 – Do: Be honest.

An essential part of being in a healthy relationship is honesty. Truly, a healthy relationship cannot exist if partners aren’t honest with each other.

If something has happened or you are feeling some way, it is essential that you let your partner know so that you can process it together. Sharing everything is a big part of maintaining a healthy, intimate relationship.

Don’t: Keep secrets.

Keeping secrets will kill a relationship. Period.

Even those little pesky secrets, the ones that you keep because you want to ‘protect your loved one,’ are insidious and destructive and will only cause trouble.

Don’t keep secrets. They always get out and when they do the harm that they cause is often worse than the secret itself.

#4 – Do: Maintain a healthy sex life.

A healthy sex life is an essential part of every relationship. The only person in the world that you are having sex with is your partner and that should be treated as the very special thing that it is. Make sex a regular and enjoyable part of your relationship.

Don’t: Pretend that the sex is okay when it isn’t.

If the sex you are having with your partner isn’t okay then let your partner know. I can guarantee you that your partner would rather know the truth and be able to do what he can to make the sex more enjoyable than to find out that you have just been pretending all along.

Once again, be honest!

#5 – Do: Appreciate each other.

 You have a partner who you have chosen for a variety of reasons. He is handsome or smart or kind or practical or handy. For whatever reason you chose him to be yours.

Now that he is yours, appreciate everything that you have. If your man fixes your cabinets for you without asking, or helps your neighbor solve that tax problem or looks just so in his new green sweater, TELL HIM!

You know how good it feels when he tells you.

Don’t: Take each other for granted.

Unfortunately, often times once we settle down into a long-term relationship we start to take each other for granted. The things that we fell in love with them for are things that we just assume will always be there, not matter what we do.

I know that when I was married I just assumed my husband would always be there, no matter how I treated him, which wasn’t always very well. And guess what. He left me!

So don’t take your guy for granted. If you love him make him feel that way. Every day.

#6 – Do: Laugh with each other.

Laughing is an essential part of every healthy relationship. Remember when you first fell in love, the hours you spent together, sharing and laughing. And didn’t if feel good?

It is so important that the laughter continue. Make sure you spend time together doing what you both love, enjoying each other’s company and laughing.

Don’t: Laugh at each other.

One of the things that happen when couples are together for a long time is that they aren’t always kind to each other. Those things that bug us about our partner often are revealed in unkind ways.

Do you ever find yourself laughing at your partner because he is letting people take advantage of him again? Or sarcastically commenting on how well his shirt and tie match? Do you talk to your friends about the stupid things that he does?

If you do any of these things, stop. If you have issues with your husband or if he does something that bothers you, tell him, don’t laugh at him. Because that kind of laughter just isn’t funny.

Being in a healthy relationship can be really amazing but it can also be a lot of hard work. It is very important that you follow my healthy relationship do’s and don’ts to keep yours going strong.

It is important that you are always honest with your partner, in a kind way, that you don’t take things personally and that you don’t keep secrets. It is also key that you have a sex life that pleases you both, that you love and appreciate each and that laughter is a priority.

If you are reading this, I am guessing that you have a healthy relationship that you want to keep healthy. You CAN do it. Start today.

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!

How Healthy Is My Relationship? Take this quiz and find out.

How healthy is my relationship? It’s an important question and a good one to ask yourself regularly.

Long-term relationships start strong but without regular tending they can weaken over time. Much like managing your apps on your phone or keeping your status fresh on Facebook, it is important to always be checking your relationship for updates.

Healthy relationships are important to a healthy life so yourself regularly How healthy is my relationship?

So, what questions do you need to ask? Let me suggest the following:

#1 – Can you talk about anything?

Being able to talk about anything is the key to a healthy relationship.

Can you tell your partner when you don’t like something that he does? Or that seeing his mother EVERY Sunday is more than you would like? Or that you really don’t like extra sausage on your pizza? Or that that thing he likes to do in bed is just a little bit much for you?

Being able to be honest with your partner about everything in your life and relationship is a key to keeping it healthy.

#2 – Do you enjoy the sex?

Having a healthy sex life is an important part of every healthy relationship.

If your sex life is something that you just put up with, don’t really enjoy, or even dread, then it’s time to act.

Talk to your partner about how you feel and figure out together how to make things work for both of you.

#3 – Do you like each other’s friends and family?

Liking each other’s friends and family is another really important part of a healthy relationship.

Like it or not, when someone becomes part of a couple their partner’s previous relationships come along too. And if you don’t get along with his friends and family it can cause a huge rift. He will want to spend time with all of you and if he is forced to choose he will resent it.

So check in to see if you are both on board with liking each other’s friends. It’s important that you do.

#4 – Do you respect each other?

Of course it’s important to like and love the person with whom you are in a relationship. What is even more important is that you respect them.

If you are in a relationship with someone who you can’t respect, for whatever reason, who you regularly are critical of and treat with contempt then you are not in a healthy relationship.

Respecting the person you are with, respecting the choices that they make, the values they uphold, the way they are in the world, is an essential part of being happy together.

#5 – Do you laugh and have fun together?

Laughter is the number one aphrodisiac that I know of. People who can laugh together, often, will stay more attached, emotionally and physically, then those who don’t.

Do you and your partner laugh together and have fun together. Do you laugh often, even in times of stress? Do you like to do the same things? The things that make you happy? Do you have inside jokes that only you share?

Make sure that you and your partner enjoy life together. You will be glad you did!

#6 – Do you want to spend time together?

This is a big one. Do you and your partner actually make an effort to spend time together? Or do you make excuses to not have to do so?

A client of mine would come up with every excuse in the world to not spend time with her husband and volunteering at the kid’s school was a great way to do that.

Guess what! He found someone else, someone who wanted to spend time with him.

#7 – Do you feel good about yourself?

Feeling good about yourself is key to a healthy relationship.

If you don’t feel good about who you are in the world, if you don’t feel like you need someone to ‘complete you,’ if you know that you will be just fine alone, then you are in a place to have a healthy relationship.

People who are needy or clingy or fraught with insecurities do not make good partners. So take care of yourself and be all that you can be so that you can be a contributing half of a healthy relationship.

#8- Do you have plans for the future together?

People in healthy relationships share their plans for the future.

They think about tomorrow, next week, next month and even next year.

They do so because they are invested in being together and part of being together is making plans for the future.

If either one of you isn’t interested in talking about the future then you are not in a relationship that has one.

# 9 – Do you know each other’s love language?

Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages speaks to the belief that everyone has a way that they express and receive love and that everyone’s language is different. And, often, people express love in the ways that THEY want to be loved as opposed to in ways their partners want to be loved.

We might feel loved when we get a piece of jewelry but our partner might feel loved when we do a chore for them. So if we give them a piece of jewelry they won’t feel loved, even if we might, but if we take out the trash then all is good.

Does that make sense? Check out The 5 Love Languages here for more information. Everyone just wants to be loved.

So how did you do on my questionnaire?

Can you answer the question How healthy is my relationship? in an affirmative way?

If yes, YAY!

If no, make an effort to tweak the things that seem a bit off and see if you can bring your relationship around to a healthier place.

Make an effort to communicate. Make sure your sex life is good. Enjoy life and each other’s friends and families. Respect each other and plan together. And read more about the 5 Love Languages. They always help!

So get to work NOW! Make your relationship a healthy one…

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 Love Lessons Most Women Learn WAY Too Late – Even If They Have Everything Else Figured Out

Love is so complicated. When we are young we believe that someday our prince will come and sweep us off our feet and that we will live happily ever after. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.

People are only human. Our life experience leads us to act a certain way and often times in a that way doesn’t serve us. This is especially the case with women in relationships. We are so programmed to love and take care of others that we often blind ourselves to the truth. And often we don’t notice until a relationship is too far gone to salvage.

Here is my latest…5 Love Lessons Most Women Learn WAY Too Late  – Even if They Have Everything Else Figured Out.

#1 – Having sex with him won’t make him love you.

There isn’t a single woman I know who hasn’t, at some point in her life, had sex with a man because she wanted him to love her. And, almost without exception, it just doesn’t work.

Men want sex. As much sex as they can possibly get. But for many men sex does not equal love. It does not even equal like. Sex is sex.

For women, sex is different. Sex brings about an emotional connection, THE emotional connection that women crave. As a result women believe that if she has sex with a man not only will she be giving him what he wants but she will also establish an emotional connection with him and that he will love her.

Does it work that way? Usually no.

The best reason to have sex with a guy is because you want to. Beyond that there are no guarantees.

#2 – If he isn’t communicating with you he isn’t interested.

How many times have we sat by our phones and waited, watching the screen for that text alert. Or turned on our phone after a movie, desperately hoping that there will be a message from the guy we like.

And how many times have we been disappointed?

If a guy isn’t communicating with you he isn’t interested. Period. You can tell yourself that he is busy, or that he is out of range or that he is sleeping but if he regularly goes dark on you, to reappear with excuses, then he isn’t interested.

Guys are hunters. It’s in their nature. And if they want to communicate with you, or be with you, they will move heaven and earth to do so. And if they don’t, they won’t.

Also, those guys who disappear and then reappear, they are most likely reappearing because they are bored or horny. Sitting in front of a game or in a taxi and flipping through their phone. Don’t let them fool you or suck you back in.

Move on!

#3 – If you get clingy he will pull away. For good.

Really the worst thing that a woman can do is get clingy with her man.

We get clingy for a variety of reasons: jealousy, insecurity, fear of the unknown, possessiveness. All of these are feelings that exist for a reason but if they manifest themselves with clinginess you will drive your man away.

It is important to know who you are in a relationship. Be yourself. Be honest. Be secure in his feelings for you. If you can’t then you need to address it head on, in a measured, temperate way. Not by getting clingy.

If you get clingy your man will disappear. He may return if you can resolve your feelings and no longer be clingy but he will disappear again if it resumes. This time for good.

So do some work on yourself. Make sure you are going into a relationship confident with yourself and knowing that you will be okay if it doesn’t work out. Not easy, I know, but possible.

Want to talk more above love lessons? Me too! Let’s talk…

#4 – If YOU don’t love you, then HE won’t either.

So many of us go into relationships like hunks of clay. Waiting to be molded into whatever shape is necessary to make a relationship work. We don’t know who we are outside of a relationship and we feel that only by connecting with another person will we know who we are.

This is SO NOT TRUE.

It is important to know who you are in this world, especially as you go into a relationship. If you know who you are, what your beliefs and values are, what is important to you in every aspect of your life, what you can and can’t live without, then you will be the kind of person that someone falls in love with. You will exude self-confidence and you will attract someone you deserve.

If, conversely, you wait until you find a guy to figure out who you are or, even worse, change yourself for a guy, then you will end up unhappy and alone. Being anything other than yourself is a lie and lies just aren’t sustainable. And a woman who is lying to herself will only attract guys who will lie to her.

So, know who you are in this world and find the guy you deserve.

#5 – If you are alone you will be JUST FINE.

This is something that many of us simply do not believe. We believe that under no circumstances will we be okay alone. The world is a place for couples and being single just isn’t acceptable.

I am here to tell you, as someone who has spent almost four years alone, that being alone is not only fine but awesome. Being alone means that you get to rise and sleep when you want, never watch any sports program that you don’t want to watch, never have to clean around the base of the toilet or pick up laundry off the floor. You can travel where you want and with whom. You can spend your money as you see fit. You are in charge of your own universe.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that being with someone else is a wonderful thing. But being with someone else because you don’t think you can be alone is not a wonderful thing. Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love, respect and cherish you is not better than being alone.

When you are with someone who doesn’t love, cherish and respect you then your life is full of angst, the moment to moment ups and downs of being at the mercy of someone else’s whims. This will cause you pain every day.

Wouldn’t it just be better to be alone, watching Orange is the New Black and having a glass of wine?

So there you go, my 5 Love Lessons Most Women Learn WAY Too Late.

We all make mistakes in the search for love. We want it so badly that we are willing to do anything, to compromise everything, to have it. And we tend to do the same things over and over and never learn.

It’s never too late to find true love. Be who you are, do things because you want to do them, don’t compromise your self-worth, don’t let yourself be lied to. Be the strong woman you know that you are and attract the love that you deserve.

You can do it. I know you 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 Ways I Helped Change a Client’s Life – Even Though She Was Skeptical That I Could Do So

I have a client who was gifted 3 life-coaching sessions by her sister. While she truly appreciated the gift, she was rather insulted that her sister thought that she needed a life coach.  She wasn’t really happy, she thought, but she was fine.

One month later, though, is she happy that she found me. She says that she was very skeptical coming into working with me because she had been seeing therapists for years, to no avail, and then, in 3 short weeks, her life was on a completely different track.

Here is my latest: 5 Ways I Helped Change a Client’s Life – Even Though She Was Skeptical That I Could Do So.

#1 – I provided insight.

During our first session my client told me about how miserable she was. She was unhappy in her job, her marriage was floundering, she wasn’t able to exercise because of an injury and she was drinking too much. She felt hopeless.

She also told me that she had just weaned herself off of her anti-depressant. That she had reduced her dose for 3 months and she was on her second week of no meds at all.

I put two and two together and asked when her overwhelming feelings of hopelessness had started. She said about 2 months earlier. “So just about when you started weaning off your meds?” I asked. She thought about it and agreed with me.

I suggested that she ask her doctor about going back on her meds, perhaps at a lower dosage, to see if it made any difference with her negative feelings. And guess what? She did and it did.

Without me there to listen and point things out objectively, with no agenda, like a relative might have, she might not have seen that her lack of meds was affecting her so. Nor, without the meds, would she have been able to start the other hard work that we began next.

#2 – I held her accountable. Big time.

During one of our sessions we started to talk about her drinking. She was on a cleanse and when she was done she was determined that she wouldn’t go back to her regular drinking habits. She recognized that she probably had a drinking problem but wanted to try to control it on her own.

We then talked about her calling her primary care doctor to get the name of an alcohol counselor. “Just get a name,” I told her.  It would be a first step towards stopping her drinking, something that I knew was important to her because she didn’t want it to affect her kids.

One week later I checked in. She responded that she was great and that she hadn’t contacted a counselor and could she put off our appointment for two weeks so she could get some things done?

I told her no. That I wanted to talk with her on Monday, even if just for a few minutes. And what did she do because she knew that she was going to talk with me? She not only made an appointment with a therapist but she went to it before we talked.

She was feeling so great when we talked. She had much hope after her therapy session. And she thanked me for pushing her into doing it.

#3 – I helped make her career clearer.

My client has a job that suits her needs. She likes what she does, works hard enough and has summers off. But she is approaching 30 and wants to make sure that she doesn’t let her career life pass her by without being all that she could be.

But what would that look like? Being all that she could be?

I had her make a list of everything that made her heart sing and then I had her read it back to me during our phone call. After she read that list we started talking about possible career options. Because she had just read a list of what made her heart sing her mind was clear and wide open. And we used some of those things on her list to identify a career move.

And guess what? We landed on one. A good one. Her homework was to take the first step towards making it happen.

As we were wrapping up she said “Can I tell you something? It’s almost embarrassing. I make these little kids bracelets and I would love to make them and sell them on Etsy.”

“What a great idea,” I replied and gave her some ideas for getting started down that path as well.

If she hadn’t felt comfortable enough to trust me with that little pearl of wisdom it might never have popped out of her mouth and come to fruition. And she was so happy it did.

#4 – I taught her how to talk with her husband.

My client has a very good relationship with her husband overall but communication had broken down, like it does in many long-term relationships.

They had some things to talk about and she had no idea how to broach them.

I taught her that the most important part of communication is to talk not about how the other person is acting but how their actions make you feel. Another person can not get angry with you because of how you feel but they can get defensive about what they perceive is an attack on their character.

I also taught her that timing was everything. That if she wanted to talk about their drinking I suggested that 9:00pm, after a few cocktails, was not the best time. 9:00am after coffee might be better.

Armed with these new tools she set out to have a constructive conversation with her hubby and have one they did.

#5 – I taught her how to believe in herself.

We are all our own worst enemies. We catalog all of our worst traits and transgressions and trot them out whenever we feel it necessary. As a result we tend to really not like or believe in ourselves.

I had my client keep a running list of daily successes. Big and small.

Getting out of bed. Not yelling at the kids before breakfast. A great meeting at work. Not having three slices of pizza for lunch but only two. Getting off the couch and going for a walk after dinner.

Successes, big and small.

I then had my client read her list of successes every night before bed. So she could sleep on them and remember them. That way those successes would be foremost in her mind, as opposed to her failures, and then she could trot them out when needed.

Believing in herself has allowed my client to move forward in her life, working on her relationship with her husband, growing her career and dealing with her drinking with more self-confidence.

And self-confidence is the key to success.

So there you go, my 5 Ways I Helped Change a Client’s Life.

We all have issues in our lives and we all find them difficult to deal with. We have the support of friends and family but more often than not they just want to support us, to tell us what we want to hear.

But not a life coach. A life coach will tell you what she sees, objectively and professionally, and hold you accountable for plans that you make. She is the guardian angel who sits on your shoulder and reminds you that you are wonderful. She is the wonderland elf who gives you tools to succeed. She is the fairy godmother who helps make all of your dreams come true.

Sounds pretty wonderful doesn’t it?


Let me help you make BIG CHANGES in your life.

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 Reasons to Speak Up – Even if it’s All You Can Do to Whisper

How many times have you wanted to say something and just haven’t? A great idea you had at work, a frustration with your mother in law, words of anger at someone who treated you badly? You open your mouth to speak and nothing comes out.

More than once I am guessing. Correct?

And how does it make you feel? Not so good, right?

There are 405,358 reasons to speak up. Here are 5 of them.

My latest: 5 Reasons to Speak Up – Even if it’s All You Can Do to Whisper.

 

#1 – Spoken words prompt action.

If your words are in your head, not spoken, they will stay there, out of the light, ignored and irrelevant. Wasted.

Letting your thoughts out into the world can and will prompt action.

I had a client who was talking to her boss about a Huffington Post blog that the company managed. My client remarked that she didn’t know about the blog and her boss said that it had been neglected and was not in use.

My client immediately thought “I want to do it.” And then she sat up and she said “I will do it.”

She now writes weekly for the Huffington Post.

Not too shabby for letting a few words out of her head, eh?

#2 – Words stuck in your head can fester.

For me, unspoken words don’t just sit quietly in my head. They take on a life of their own, playing themselves over and over, sometimes shifting in size and shape, forming and reforming into something that can be almost monstrous. And that monster causes me a lot of pain.

My ex-husband has an incredibly frustrating habit of not returning my emails. For 5 years I have been trying to get him to return my emails and he just can’t, or won’t, do it.

For a long while I didn’t speak up about it. I would patiently wait a few days, hoping for the best. And then I would start thinking about it, wondering what he was so busy doing that he couldn’t get back to me.

And then I would start obsessing about it, wondering why he had so little respect for me that he wouldn’t take a few minutes to return my emails. The thoughts in my head were spinning in a truly ugly, self-destructive way.

I would email him again, angry and accusing. And guess what. He still wouldn’t return my emails.

So now, when I email him, I ask him to respond in a certain window of time. More often than not he obliges and on we go.

Asking for what I needed from him helped keep those festering words from destroying my mental wellness and, ultimately, our relationship.

#3 – Words can keep disagreements from spinning out of control.

One of saddest side effects of not speaking up is the pain that can happen because of disagreements. Disagreements that can happen just because of words that are not spoken.

Think about the last time you and your partner fought. You were standing in the kitchen, having a conversation about something inconsequential, and then something came up that upset one or both of you. Before you knew it you were yelling at each other and someone stormed out of the room.

That night your partner slept on the sofa and you didn’t sleep at all. Breakfast the next day was a nightmare and you couldn’t concentrate all day at work. Not good.

Imagine another scenario. You and your partner, in the kitchen, something comes up and you start yelling. Imagine if, instead of storming out of the room, you stand your ground and continue to talk.

Imagine if, because you actually had the conversation that needed to be had and you worked through your differences, the argument was settled and finished for good, and you were able to then headed upstairs for a little “House of Cards” before bed.

Both of you slept like babies because the words have been said and the issue settled.

Which one sounds better to you?

#4 – Speaking out helps build your self-esteem.

There is nothing better than speaking up about something that you think is important to speak up about. Not only does it create action, keep things from festering and stop disagreements in their tracks but it also makes you see the power that you have with your words.

A client of mine was in a situation where there were 4 tickets to her daughter’s graduation. Three would be used for her son and her ex-husband and herself. The fourth was up for grabs.

Historically, my client would have wanted to keep the peace and given the ticket to her husband’s new wife. But, really, she just didn’t want to do that so she decided to speak up. She told her daughter that she didn’t want the ticket to just go right to her dad’s husband but that they talk about to whom it might go. Her daughter said “I tell you what, I will just bring my friend Nina” and the matter settled.

My client not only felt great about speaking up and advocating for herself but she also could relax into the knowledge that she would be able to fully enjoy her daughter’s big day without the self recrimination created because of words that she hadn’t spoken.

#5 – How else can you change the world?

Really, if people didn’t speak up how would we be able to change the world?

All it takes is one idea. Big or little. And the effects can be far reaching. Of course you can tell yourself that your one little idea won’t make a difference but it can!

A client had a college-aged son who was drinking too much. She didn’t know what to do. She talked to him and talked to him, to no avail. And then she had an idea. “Give him the dog.” She knew her son loved that dog and she knew that the responsibility of keeping it alive would be an important thing for him.

But she wasn’t sure about asking him. Would he think it too much responsibility? Would her ex-husband cut the idea to shreds? Would everyone hate her for being so nosy?

She decided to take the risk and spoke up. She told him that it was time, that he was ready to have the responsibility of the dog. He loved the idea. The look on his face when he heard that she thought him responsible enough was totally worth the risk.

The dog now spends long weekends with her son and he is drinking far less.

She had an idea and she shared it. And it could very well change the life of her whole family and that of future families. What a gift.

So there you go. My 5 Reasons to Speak Up.
Speaking up is not an easy thing. We don’t speak up because of fear, or lack of confidence or a lifetime of not knowing how to do anything differently. If we learn to speak up it will get us straight onto the pathway to living the life of our dreams.

So start small. Today. Tell someone something that you might not ordinarily tell them.

Tell your partner you love them. Your child that you are proud of them. Your boss that you have a great idea for that meeting next week. Your mother-in-law that you love having dinner with them but that this week just won’t work because you have tickets to the Nutcracker for your family.

Speak your truth, big or small. Raise your voice above a whisper.

Change the world.

Looking for more ways to speak up? Contact me 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 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me on My Wedding Day – Even If I Might Not Have Wanted to Hear Them

Marriage doesn’t come with a manual. I wish it did. Because after the vows have been said, the doves have been released and the dress has been put in dry storage, comes marriage.

And as much as we would like to believe it’s all happily ever after, it often isn’t.

But it CAN be. All you need is some awareness and a willingness to act.

Here is my latest – 5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me on My Wedding Day – Even If I Might Not Have Wanted to Hear Them.

#1 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

One of the most disturbing aspects about many marriages is that after a while communication just stops.

Sure, there is lots of logistical stuff to discuss – when we are coming home for dinner, where the kids’ soccer games are, what time we are meeting the in-laws on Sunday.

But real communication, expressing of feelings, frustrations, hopes, dreams and longings, ceases.

Marriage is a 24/7 commitment. During those days, and years, lots of issues can arise, issues that can be hurtful and cause resentment. Instead of being addressed immediately, feelings are often left unsaid.  It can just seem too scary to go there, to share how we feel and not know what the response will be. So we don’t.

And then, before we know it, it’s easier to just not say anything, to do the dishes or spend longer at the office, doing anything to avoid difficult conversations. We do this assuming that the issues will be dealt with eventually. Like after Christmas, after Memorial Day or when the kids go off to college.

If you only take one thing away from this article it’s this: keep communicating. Your marriage, and your life, will be better if you do.

#2 – Have lots of sex.

I know newlyweds will laugh now at the prospect of no longer having sex with their partner. “That won’t be us,” they say.

But it very well could be.

We know that anger and resentment can build in a marriage because of unexpressed feelings. For a woman, there is no better libido killer than anger and resentment. And there is no better way to create anger and resentment in a man than the absence of sex.

Intimacy is key to maintaining closeness in a marriage. Touching, kissing, feeling loved and having orgasms are all a big part of this. Marriage without sex is simply a business arrangement.

So push past the anger and resentment and make love with your partner. Or, better yet, kill the anger and resentment with communication and happily make love every night.

You will be happy you did, both in the moment and long term.

#3 – Remember to respect each other.

There is a concept called the “contempt of the familiar.” This concept occurs when people get to know each other very well. Too well perhaps. We know how the other person looks when flossing their teeth, how they leave their pants hanging on the door, how they slurp their coffee or that they fart in bed.

Perhaps at one time you thought these things cute but now, as time has gone by, they drive you nuts. They might even repel you.

Mutual respect is a key to any successful marriage.  Your partner’s mannerisms or ways of doing things might not jibe with your own and this can lead to developing a dislike of who they are. And if you don’t like someone it’s hard to respect them.

Have I mentioned yet the importance of communication?

Tell your partner that something they are doing is making it difficult for you to be with them. Don’t just write them off as a lost cause, thinking “if they loved me they would do this differently.” We are all human beings trying to do the best that we can and if you are honest with yourself you know that they aren’t doing any of those things to spite you. They just do them. And can change if asked. Nicely.

Give your partner a chance to keep your respect and allow them to keep respecting you in return.

And sex is way better when you respect your partner. In case you didn’t know.

#4 – Don’t let your extended family get in the way of your new one.

No matter how old we are when we get married, we have many years of experience and tradition with our extended families. Holidays spent just so, toilet paper rolls that roll out on top instead of under, sarcasm that is part of every family get together.

The extended family is wonderful and part of who we are but the priority now is the new family. The one we are creating with our partner.

Of course it’s important to respect our family traditions but if doing so is at the expense of the new relationship it needs to be addressed. If the birthday tradition on one side is the whole family gathered and lots of gifts exchanged and the birthday tradition on the other side involves quietly celebrating with friends then a conversation needs to be had.

Have I mentioned yet the importance of communication?

Both sides of the family need to be told, respectfully, that while all family traditions are important what is important now is how the new family wants to make their own traditions. Compromises might need to be made but it is important that both partners feel like their new life as a couple is their own.

#5 – Know that a baby is going to change everything.

I know! Having a baby is so exciting. From “starting to try,” to nine months of watching it grow, to baby showers and then childbirth (!!) it’s all so wonderful and new and partners are bound closer than ever.

And then the baby is born and all bets are off.

Like when we get married, no one hands us a manual when we become parents. This means that from day one we are flying by the seat of our pants. Women most often immediately change their focus from their husband to their child. Men are left wondering what happened to their life. Yes, the child is delightful, but dinners together, time with friends, free time for athletics, are all suddenly gone. Not to mention the sex.

It’s important to be aware that the baby is going to change everything and prepare and allow for it. Know that everyone is going to be exhausted, that things are going to be messy, that the next 18 years are going to be an evolution, and a revolution, like you have never been through before.

Commit to making it through those years together. Communicate like you did when you were first married, perhaps even more so, have as much sex as you can squeeze into your week and continue to love and respect each other even as life gets challenging.

It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

So there you go. My 5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me on My Wedding Day.

I was married for 20 years and have been divorced for 5. I have spent a lot of time reflecting about what went wrong in my marriage. What I do know is that we, as a couple, got lost in our family. We gave up who WE were to please everyone else: our kids, our in-laws, our friends. We stopped looking at each other with love, talking about our feelings, hugging each other, respecting each other.

We were business partners. Our family was a successful business but our marriage fell apart.

I am madly in love with a new man now, one I very much hope to marry. And believe me, I won’t make the same mistakes twice.

Marriage is truly a wondrous thing and can be a big part of living the life of your dreams.

So do what I suggest. And don’t ever stop.

Looking for more ideas about how to keep your marriage strong? Contact me 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 Make your Partner Feel Loved, Even if it Can Be Hard to Connect

Being a mom and a partner can be tough. From the moment that your child is born all your genetic material calls to you to make this child your priority. To make sure it survives in this perilous world. Unfortunately, it is this exact thing that can create a huge divide between you and your partner. Until your child is born you put your relationship with your partner first. Suddenly that is no longer the case and this can cause severe strain between the two of you, strain that can stretch a marriage to breaking without a little care and keeping.

5 Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Loved:

#1 – Do for your partner the things that make him or her feel loved, NOT the things that you would like done to you. This is easier said than done because we don’t always know what makes our partner feel loved. In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman lists 5 ways that someone wants to be loved – physical touch, words of affection, quality time, acts of service and receiving gifts. Both of you should go to his website www.5lovelanguages.com and take the love languages test so that you can learn what your partner needs to feel loved.

#2 – Tell your partner that you love them. I hear it all the time. I ask a client if they tell their partner that they love them and my client says “He/She knows that I love them.” Maybe this is true and maybe it is not. Regardless, you should look your partner in the eye and tell him/her every day that you love them. It means a lot for people to be told that they are loved or that they are beautiful or that you miss them. They might “know it” already but words are very meaningful. Kristen never heard from her spouse when he was away and it was very painful. They argued about it almost every time he left. I suggested that she tell him that she loved him very much and missed him when he was gone. She says that he has called her every night he is away since she told him how she felt.

#3 – Touch your partner. Touch is one of the most primeval ways to communicate with another person. Long before there were words, scientists say, humans beings communicated with gestures and touch. Animals still do. We know the importance of touch with our babies, that touch encourages bonding and trust. Take that same perspective with your partner. Hug them when they walk in the door, take their hand in the hardware store, wrap yourself around them when you go to sleep at night. Touching your partner will speak volumes about the love that you have for them.

#4 – Be Kind. I know this seems basic but it is something that gets lost in the chaos of family life. I know, from personal experience, that as our family grew, as my life became more stressful, I took it out on my husband. I nit picked and nagged and snapped and even yelled, all for things that were as often as not not his fault. And I saw the hurt in his eyes every time I did it. I would take it all back if I could. My not being kind to him created a chasm between us that was hard to repair. My client, Jessie, came to me about problems with her husband. They had a 2 year old and she felt the distance growing between them every day but she didn’t know why. When I asked if she was kind to him she looked at me with surprise, paused and said, with a sense of wonder, “no.” She set the intention to be kind that very day and it has brought them back together in a very meaningful way.

#5 – Give them freedom. You know the saying “If you love someone set them free.” Often, amidst the chaos of every day life, we cling to our partners as a life raft, needing them with us always to keep us from drowning in the messiness. This clinginess can actually drive someone away, however, because your partner will become resentful of your need to constantly have them by your side. Both of you should have some time away from the chaos, regularly, sometimes together and sometimes apart. We were all individuals once, before we became a couple and then a family, and it’s important to nurture that individual in ourselves, so that we can be a better partner and a better parent.

So there you go, the 5 Ways to Make your Partner Feel Loved. These suggestions aren’t always easy and might require some effort on your part but stop for a minute and try to imagine what it would feel like to love and feel loved by your partner, every day, as you navigate through this crazy world. Pretty good, don’t you think?

How about you? Do you feel loved? Do you make your partner feel loved? Do you have any ideas that I have missed?

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!