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5 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Relationship With Your Husband and Keep the Romance Alive

The wedding is over, the rice has been thrown and now the question is How do you maintain a healthy relationship with your husband?

It’s a very good question and a very important one. One that many newlyweds don’t ask and should.

Marriage is wonderful but it lasts a long time and that time isn’t always, or even often, easy. So thinking ahead about how to maintain a healthy relationship with your husband is very important.

So how DO you maintain that relationship?

#1 – Create a good foundation.

A good foundation is important for every structure and a marriage especially.

The habits that you develop as newlyweds will carry you forth throughout your marriage. In fact, if there are things that you are hoping will change once you are married, forget it. We only become more of who we are the older we get.

What are important pieces of a good foundation?

On the most basic level, trust is essential for every marriage. If you can not trust your partner to be honest with you, to be there when you need them, to know that they will always look out for your best interests, then you may as well be alone. Because if you can’t trust your partner, who can you trust?

Another key piece of a good marriage foundation is mutual respect. It is impossible for two people to work well together if they don’t respect the other person. If they don’t respect their morals, their values and their work ethic. So make sure, early on, that you respect your partner and that he respects you back.

A third piece is knowing that you both recognize that you are a now a pair, that by getting married you have formed a new family.

Both of you come from individual families but now you are creating a new one. And that new one needs to be the priority. Sure, either mother-in-law might like things to be a certain way, but it’s important that you both realize that your new family is the priority and that it is clear to others.

So set a good foundation for your marriage. It will be important that you do so going forward.

#2 – Be aware that kids are going to change everything.

Getting married is often followed by having children and I often wonder, if people really knew what having children was like, would they reconsider?

There is nothing harder on marriage then the arrival of a child. Suddenly the woman’s priorities are totally redirected, away from the man who has been her life for years and towards this little helpless creature who she is biologically hard-wired to protect.

Right after my daughter was born my mother made us two sheet pans of lasagna. We froze them for when she went back to Virginia. I remember my husband coming home from work one day and, upon learning that we were having lasagna AGAIN, he stalked out of the room. I seriously thought I would never be able to cook and take care of a baby so I burst into tears.

And of course, as children grow, their demands on the family become greater and by their teen years their parents are exhausted and often estranged from each other. They live in the same house but that’s it. The couple is gone.

It is essential that parents take time to spend time with each other during the chaos of raising children. Do fun things together, talk about subjects outside of the family, laugh a lot. If you don’t you will completely lose who you are as a couple and be only Mom and Dad.

So don’t forget your husband in the fray of raising your amazing children. You will be glad you did.

#3 – Treat each other with respect.

Nothing is worse in a marriage than when respect is gone. When respect is gone it is replaced by contempt and no relationship can survive when there is contempt.

If you spend time with any couple who has been married awhile you will know what I mean. One person’s habits have become too much for the other person and it is very clear.

My ex-husband used to often come home late from work. At first I begged him to be home in time for dinner. He tried but most often failed. I got increasing frustrated and starting losing respect for him. I eventually stopped asking him and eventually started telling him that he was rendering himself irrelevant. That we didn’t need him home for dinner anyway.

How great did that make him feel? He is my ex-husband, you notice.

#4 – Make sure your sex life is working.

Sex is an essential piece of any healthy relationship. It is important that every couple maintain a certain amount of intimacy to keep connected.

What is very important about married people sex is that it works for both people in the relationship. If he wants to have sex 5 days a week and she doesn’t want to have sex more than once, then a compromise must be made so that you can both be satisfied.

If she has sex with him more than she might like he will be satisfied but she will not be because she will be resentful about what she feels forced to do. If they only have sex once he might get resentful that that is all he gets.

So have a discussion with your spouse. Make sure that both of you are happy with the amount and quality of the sex you share.

It could be the glue that holds you together.

#5 – Talk about money.

This is the holy grail of taboo subjects in a marriage and one of the top reasons that marriages fall apart. Many people can not talk about their finances without it descending into chaos.

Money is a difficult topic, whether there is too much or too little, and couples can rarely talk about it without fighting. How much a salary is, how much it costs to run a family and keep a house, spending money on self care, putting money away for savings. All are difficult topics and allocation for each of those areas is up for discussion at any given time.

The happiest couples I know are ones who have the tough talk regularly. Is the way the money being spent working for everyone? If not, what can be done to change that?

The key is working together, as a couple, to make the finances work for the whole family.

Try it. The conversation might be difficult but it could save your marriage.

So there are the 5 essential ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your husband.

I can not repeat enough how important it is to spend time early in your relationship setting a good foundation as a couple.

Learn how to talk about difficult things, like money and sex. Put yourselves first over your extended families. Make spending time together a priority. And never stop laughing.

Marriage can be wonderful. Do your best to keep it that way.

 

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 Steps to Letting Go of Love – Even When Your Heart is Breaking

If falling in love is the most wonderful feeling in the world, letting go of love is the most horrible feeling in the world. There is nothing worse than the physical pain of losing a love – the pit in your stomach, the broken heart, the feelings of despair and hopelessness.

Letting go of love is not easy but it is possible. Just follow these steps and before you know it you will be able to let go of a love that is holding you back and move on with your life.

Here is my latest – 5 Steps to Letting Go of Love – Even When Your Heart is Breaking.

#1 – Ask yourself how determined you are to do this.

Before you begin any life changing process you must ask yourself how determined you are to actually do it. On a scale of 1-10 how close to a 10 are you? Because without steadfast determination you will not be able to accomplish something as challenging as getting past a lost love.

So are you ready to do this? Is there any part of you that is holding on to the possibility that things could work out? Do you feel like you aren’t strong enough to do this yet?

If the answer to any of these questions is a yes then perhaps you should wait a bit longer before you begin this process. Time is a great healer and with some time you will get stronger and be ready to take on this challenging task.

#2 – Cut him off.

I know that we all think that we need “closure” at the end of a relationship, that final conversation where everyone gets to say what they want to say and you understand each other and walk away as friends.

I am here to tell you that closure is a myth. What closure really is is one last chance to spend time with and talk to that person you still love. Because really, if you could have a conversation and finally understand each other why couldn’t you make it work as a couple?

So when you have decided that the relationship is over cut him off. Block him on your phone, disconnect on social media, stay away from places where you know he will be.

Why? Because what you need to do is break the addiction you have to this person, to change your habits.

Think about Oreo cookies. You know how hard it is to eat just one? It’s the same with your man. Even one point of contact can draw you back into his circle, the circle that you have decided that you are determined to break yourself out of.

So go no contact right away. It will make the process way easier!

#3- Ask yourself what it is that you need to let go of.

This is very important. What is it that you need to let go of to move on?

I have a client who was ready to let go of a man who she loved very much but who she knew wasn’t the man for her and she was struggling with it because of the love she still felt.

I asked her to look at it like an onion, an onion where feelings are layers that must be removed to get to the core. What was the top layer?

For my client it was anger. She was angry at her man for the way he had treated and angry with herself for wasting so much time letting him do so. That was her first layer. She had to deal with the anger.

The second layer was the hopes and dreams. The hopes and dreams that she had had for their life together. It had all seemed so promising at the beginning and she was still struggling to believe that it couldn’t go back to what it was. But she knew it couldn’t and she knew that she would have to let go of those hopes and dreams in order to move on.

The third layer, the core actually, was the love that she still had for this man. And this love, we decided, wasn’t actually something that she wanted to let go of. She knew that they didn’t have a future together but their past, their experiences together, how she felt about him, was something that she wanted to hold on to. Not in a hopeful way but as something from her past that was special to her.

By examining each layer of the onion my client was able to peel back and discard one layer of emotion at a time which left her with the one piece that she wanted to hold on to, one that wouldn’t hold her back from moving on but that she would carry with her in her heart going forward.

Need some help letting going of love? I can help. Just let me know….

#4 – Ask yourself what is true and what you have made up in your head.

This is such an important piece of letting go.

We all have ideas in our head about truths in our relationships but, unfortunately, often these truths are not so much – they are just hopes and dreams that we have made up over the course of the relationship.

I have a client who had hopes and dreams of a life that she wanted with her boyfriend that had absolutely no basis in reality. She wanted to move to the woods, raise sheep, have kids and grow old together. She had this idea firmly stuck in her head that this was what she wanted and if her boyfriend loved her enough he would embrace her dream too.

What she didn’t realize was that although this dream of hers was wonderful there was NO WAY she was going to have it with her boyfriend. He loved the city, hated livestock and didn’t want kids for at least another decade.

I asked her to consider these things that she knew to be true, what he didn’t want, and stack them up next to what she did want, her hopes and dreams. When she did she finally saw that the truth of the situation was different from what she had been telling herself in her head.

Armed with that knowledge she was one step closer to letting him go.

#5 – Ask yourself what it is you really want in a relationship.

The final part of letting go is getting to know what exactly it is that you want from someone in a relationship. Without knowing what you want you are going to have a hard time getting it.

So make a list. Make a list of what you want from a man in relationship with you. It doesn’t have to be long but make it comprehensive.

My list, in part: someone who makes me laugh, who knows who he is and what he wants, who loves my kids and who wants to make me a priority in his life.

So make your list and run through it with your current guy in mind. Chances are, if you are in the position you are now, that he won’t match up with many of the things on that list and you will finally understand because you will see it there clearly, in black and white.

And your emotions just can’t argue with black and white. He is not what you want. Time to move on.

So there you go – my 5 Steps to Letting Go of Love.

Letting go of something that once seemed so promising is very difficult and will take some steadfast determination on your part but you can do it.

Cut off contact, peel back the onion, question your assumptions and define what you want. Before you know it you will have clarity that you are making the right decision and will be able to let go.

And that means: Step #6 – Get yourself back out there.

I know that right now you feel like you might never love again but putting yourself back out there doesn’t mean you have to fall in love. Putting yourself back out there means that you get to dress up and flirt and date and have a lot of fun. And maybe, just maybe, you will find another love but in the meantime you can enjoy yourself and the freedom you have as a single girl. Embrace it!

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!

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 Thrive in the Face of Change – Even If You Just Want to Run Screaming

Change. You either love it or you hate it.

Many people hate it. The prospect of a new job, moving to a new house, leaving a relationship or buying a new car can make those who resist change want to run for the hills.

I love change.

I have spent much of my life changing things up. I have lived in San Francisco, Maine, Tokyo, Athens, Boulder, Vermont, Sydney and NYC. Since I graduated from college I have lived in 17 different homes and have worked in the hotel business, the food industry, retail management, real estate sales and now I am a life coach. I have been divorced and lived through my kids going off to college.

I am the person I am today because of opportunities for change that were presented to me throughout my life, ones I chose to pursue. And I love the person who I am today.

They say that people who choose change are happier for it. The process can be messy but once you get through it life just might be what you have always wanted it to be.

I am here today to help you get through that change, so that you can live the life of your dreams.

Here it is, my latest. 5 Ways to Thrive in the Face of Change – Even If You Just Want to Run Screaming.

#1 – Don’t forget to breathe.

When presented with the possibility of change many people freeze up. The prospect is so terrifying that their body actually reacts as it would if faced with the specter of death. And then they run, run for their lives, from that change.

This is when it’s important to remember to breathe. Without breath neither your brain nor your heart can function and making rational choices is impossible.

Think about when you drive by a tractor-trailer on the highway. It’s a scary prospect and you start thinking of all the things that can go wrong. And you hold your breath in anticipation of those things. Next time, try taking a deep breath right before you pass that truck. The breath will calm your body and clear your mind and you will pass it with ease.

It’s the same with change. Try it now. Inhale for 3 seconds, out for 5. Repeat as needed. Your heartbeat will slow and your mind will clear. Very helpful.

#2 – Remember change is GOOD.

Many people are so unaccustomed to change that the prospect seems unbearable. This new thing is going to come in and shake up their lives and they don’t think they can survive it.

But this just isn’t true. We can survive anything. And research shows that most people who make a big change are happier on the other side. Happier. Sounds pretty good, right?

Think about a time earlier in your life when you faced major change. Now think about how you went about it and what the end result was. Was your life ultimately a better place because of that change? Even if things were really messy along the way? Think carefully.

The process can be difficult, and we will address that, but picture yourself on the other side of that change. Life will be different, yes. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

#3 – Gather information.

One of the most important pieces of thriving in the face of change is the gathering of information. It is impossible to make a smart move without the right information.

It’s time to make a list – a list of all of the positive things and all of the challenging things about your potential change.

If you are moving will it mean a bigger house? Better weather? A longer drive to school or work? An acre lawn to mow?

If it’s a new job will it be better hours or pay? Will the dress code be challenging? Will your boss be someone much younger than you?

Once you have your list of your perceived pluses and minuses address each minus individually.

A smaller house might seem a minus but really a smaller house means less house to clean which would give you more time to do something fun instead.

A younger boss might seem a minus but really a younger boss could teach you some new skills for the ever-evolving workplace. And the fact that you are older could mean built in respect because of the years of working experience you bring to the table.

For every one thing that seems like negative there is a corresponding positive. You just need to identify what those things are. Once you do you will feel ready to face real, substantial change.

#4 – No negative self talk.

We are our own worst enemies. In the face of change our brains tell us that we just can’t do it. That we aren’t smart enough or strong enough or that the change will destroy us.

Again, this just isn’t true.

I have a client who has been given an amazing job opportunity. It has been literally placed at her feet and is hers for the taking. And she is struggling to accept it.

She thinks two things:

  1. That people will judge her for changing jobs AGAIN after just two years in her current position.
  2. That she will fail.

I asked her what she would think if she heard of someone switching jobs after 2 years. She said she would think “Wow. That person is really moving up in the world. She is being recognized for her successes. Good for her.”

I asked her to list for me all the reasons that she would fail. Try as she might she couldn’t name one reason. Her brain had been telling her that she would but she couldn’t prove to me that what her brain was saying was true.

Again, our brains can make us our own worst enemies. Recognize that and talk back to that brain. Don’t let it and it’s pesky untruths hold you back.

#5 – Get excited about the possibilities.

Take a good look at that list that you made. Of all of the possibilities that your future holds.

Change is a scary thing but really it is also so exciting. You get a chance to do things differently, to re-invent yourself, to maybe experience things that you haven’t before.

The first steps will most likely be difficult, and scary, but once you get started the sky is the limit. It’s like starting out on a hiking trail and looking up. You wonder how the hell will you get up to the top. And then, when you do, after a fair amount of huffing and puffing, it’s just amazing. The sky is blue and you can see forever. And looking down you can see how far you have come and feel pretty damn proud of yourself.

So there you go. 5 Ways to Thrive in the Face of Change.

I am not saying that the prospect of change isn’t scary and overwhelming. It is scary and will be overwhelming. What I am saying is to embrace it, to look at it as a positive thing even if your first reaction is “not so much.”

In my last blog I wrote about getting divorced. A friend of mine said he was jealous. How lucky was I that I was getting a chance for a reboot at 46 years old. And that’s what I got. The reboot itself was rather painful but I was given a new beginning and my life is now amazing. Truly.

I wish this kind of happiness on everyone I know and love. Take a risk. It will be worth it!

Are you struggling with change in your life? Contact me. I can help!

Have you survived and thrived in the face of change? I would love to hear your story!

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 that Divorce Can Make You Happier – Even If It’s Hard to Believe

I remember I would wake up in the morning, looking forward to my day, and then would roll over and see the still warm, empty space next to me in bed. My stomach would sink. My husband had gone to the gym and I was glad because that meant I wouldn’t have to see him.

As the day progressed we talked occasionally on the phone, mostly about bills and the kids’ schedules and whether he would make it home in time for dinner. Communications about the running of our family business. We were good at that.

I remember every night seeing his car drive in the driveway and thinking “Ok. This is it. Tonight I am going to give him a hug and be happy to see him.” And he would walk in the door and go right to the stack of mail and rifle through it, something he knew I hated. There would be a perfunctory kiss, he would get a drink, or two, and we would spend the rest of the night operating in parallel, dealing with homework and bedtime.

My husband and I never fought but we were desperately unhappy. 18 years of a thousand little cuts, of unresolved conflicts, of the contempt of the familiar, had wrought serious damage.

And even though we were barely existing in the same space I really believed that somehow we would find our way back to each other. We had shared dreams for the future after all and how could we let those go?

One day he told me he wanted a divorce. He didn’t want to work on our marriage. He was done.

I was devastated.

What followed was one long year of divorce proceedings. It was horrible. And then it was all over. 18 years of marriage. Done.

In spite of all of that, or perhaps because of it, here I am, 5 years later, living a life that is happier than I ever could have imagined. Yes, it is different from the one that I thought I would be living with my husband but it is most notably different because I am happy. Truly happy.

Here is my latest blog – 5 Reasons that Divorce Can Make You Happier.

#1 – Your kids will thrive

The first thing that my son said to me when he learned we were separating was “Good. Because I hate coming home. There is always so much tension.” And this was true. Now, when he comes home, either to me or to his dad’s, his home is cleared of the anger that used to cloud it.

My kids also now have a much better relationship with their dad. Before the divorce I came between them. They spent more time with me and saw how unhappy I was and they distanced themselves from him. Now they see their dad separately from me and it has made them all closer. Which is a gift.

Because I talk to them more openly than I did before, and I have a good understanding of what went wrong with my marriage, my kids have a much clearer picture of what it takes to make a relationship to work. That is a something that I wish I had had when entering into my marriage.

My kids are doing great. In more ways than one. And that to me is the most important thing.

#2 – No more “thousand little cuts”

You know what I am talking about. Every day there was some kind of slight, big or small. The mail that was rifled through, the 3rd drink, the coming home late again, the snapping. We were constantly at each other, not overtly, but in ways that caused pain. We had unresolved issues and tons of resentment.  We struggled to stay calm in each others presence. We lived in the same house but were always lonely.

Now my days are filled with a happiness and contentment that I haven’t known in a long time. I wake up in the morning without that sinking feeling in my stomach. I spend my days working and being with the kids and living my life without the constant dread of that next little thing coming that would cause me pain.

This has made me a better person and a better mother. And have I mentioned? Happier.

3 – New friendships    

One of the most wonderful parts of my single life is the number of new friendships that I have developed.

When we are married we tend to insulate ourselves from the rest of the world because of our relationships. We might have friends who are other couples but really our primary relationship is with our spouse.

Now I have many, many friends, of all different stripes, who make my life fuller every day. And they say that the number one cause of sustained happiness is good friendships. How lucky am I?

#4 – Being your own person

For years I identified myself as someone’s wife. Yes, I was a successful mom, realtor and life coach but every decision that I made about my life was made in consideration of my relationship with my spouse.

Now I live life the way I want to. Yes, I have my obligations to my kids and my job and the US Treasury Department but I get to live in a way that makes my heart sing.

I recently moved from Vermont to New York City, have a thriving life coaching business and volunteer extensively with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. All things that I love.

The life that I am leading makes me happy every day.

#5 – A life full of hope

When I was married I was so lonely and sad that I never had any hope for the future. When you are living a life mired in unhappiness any positive thoughts for the future are impossible.

Now I know that the sky is the limit. I can have all of the personal success that I want as long as I am willing to go for it. I have my own business, of which I am proud, my kids are turning into amazing adults and I have a man who I love deeply with whom I hope to spend the rest of my life.

I have been through a lot but all of it makes me who I am today. And I love who I am today…

So there you go, my 5 Reason that Divorce Can Make You Happier.

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt today. Her lawyer stated that she “did it for the health of her family.” A reporter declared “Love is Dead.”

I would say that love is not dead but very much alive.  Angelina, recognizing that her marriage could not be salvaged, made the difficult decision to get out of it, for her own health and the health of her family. So that they all could have the chance to be happy again. It is the end of something that wasn’t working and the beginning of something that will. A true act of love.

I am not saying you should just walk out on your marriage but I do encourage you to consider the bigger picture…your happiness and the happiness of those around you. As I have said before, if you are living a life that makes your heart sing those you love will be better for it.

I am living proof that it happens. The photo at the top of this blog is me!

Are you living with a difficult relationship? 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 Protect Your Kids During This Crazy Presidential Campaign – Even If It Seems There Is No Escaping It

The presidential race of 2016 is like none other. The people are demanding change and with change comes lots of messiness. In this case the messiness involves lots of lying, suspicion, bigotry and name calling.

Many of us adults are completely obsessed with the whole thing, constantly checking the news and reading and re-reading what the candidates are saying. This is okay because we are adults but having the kids too involved with the messiness can be damaging.

I am here to tell you that there are ways to limit the negative effects that a difficult campaign can have on kids.

So here are my 5 Ways to Protect Your Kids During This Crazy Presidential Campaign.

#1 – Protect your younger kids from the anger and the hatred.

One of the most distinctive things about this election is the amount of anger that is flying around all over the place. Americans are angry and the candidates are responding with anger of their own, some of it targeting other Americans.

With younger kids it is important that you limit their exposure to the vitriol. Young kids are sponges and will absorb any information they are exposed too, some of it good, a lot of it damaging.

So turn off the TV when the kids are in the room. Don’t play videos of the candidates speaking where the kids can overhear. Don’t leave magazines and newspapers with explosive headlines lying around.

It’s summertime. Leave the media behind and get your kids outside.

#2 – Talk about the campaign with your older kids.

Your older kids will be exposed to many, many different perspectives on this election because of social media. Not everything they read will be accurate. Not everything they read will be true. Not everything they read will be aligned with the values that you have tried to teach them over the years.

Talk about the election with your kids. Let them ask questions and make an effort to answer them thoughtfully, to clarify what they may or may not have heard. And share with them your perspective on what is being said, trying to be as non-partisan as possible.

#3 – Don’t expect your kids to toe the party line with you.

You know what I am talking about. You see little kids attending rallies with their parents, wearing the candidates T-shirts. They stand with their parents and mimic everything their parents say, even if they have no idea what their words mean.

Keep your kids out of your politics until they are old enough to decide for themselves what they want and believe. Keep your children innocent for just a little bit longer because they will have plenty of time to suffer through this themselves when they are older.

#4 – Use this election as an opportunity to educate.

One of the greatest things about America is that it was born from a revolutionary spirit. America objected to how it was being treated by the British and it revolted and prevailed. As a result, a new nation was born, one based on liberty and equality.

America is going through such a revolution now. The people are protesting against the status quo, the way that our government is using it’s power to achieve stasis instead of growth. Our country is drowning in the mess of partisan politics and people have had enough.

Talk to your kids about all of this, how great America is and can be and how we need to recognize our failures and celebrate our victories and move forward together in a positive way.

#5 – Get yourself away from it all.

I know plenty of people who are so preoccupied with the election that it is taking over their lives. They are obsessed with what they read and see and spend countless hours arguing with anyone who wants to argue about what the candidates are bringing to the table.

This makes people very, very crabby. And this crabbiness can spill over into your relationships with your kids.

So get away from it regularly. Binge watch your favorite show, read a book, take your kids for ice cream. Give yourself a break from it all. Take a deep breath and smell the roses.

Set a good example.

So there you go: 5 Ways to Protect Your Kids During This Crazy Presidential Campaign.

We have 5 months left in this campaign. A lot of negative things are going to be said. A lot of name calling will be done. A lot of promises will be made that might not be kept.

Negativity, name calling and lying are all things that we have taught our kids not to do. It is essential that we, as the grown ups, limit their exposure and educate our children so that they can grow up to be the reasonable, thoughtful people we want them to be!

Has this blog made you pause and go hmmm? I have lots more to share, things that will help you live the life of your dreams. Contact me now and see how.

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 for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer – Even if the Next 2 Months Loom Dark and Scary

Summertime. The weather is warmer, the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming. It’s a time for everyone to get outside, to smell the fresh air, to enjoy life after the past 7 months of school and cold weather.

And yet, the prospect of summer fills many moms with a sense of dread. What exactly to do with your wonderful, but usually in school, kids all day every day.

I am here to tell you that not only can you survive the summer but you can truly enjoy it!

So here you go: 5 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer – Even if the Next 2 Months Loom Dark and Scary.

# 1 – Schedule SOME time for your kids to go to camp.

Summertime should include some summer camp. It can be any kind of summer camp – a science camp at the local elementary school, an art camp at the Y, a week away at a camp on a lake in Maine. Whatever is the right kind of camp for your kid.

Modern day children have so much scheduled time that the sudden onslaught of free time when school gets out can be overwhelming. So schedule them some camp.

The key word here is SOME camp. It is essential that kids have down time for proper development. They need to have time to entertain themselves, to be dreamy or adventurous or whatever makes their hearts sing.

So schedule them SOME camp but also schedule them some free time. One of my clients has her kids go to camp every other week in June and July and then leaves much of August free for downtime and family activity.

#2 – Let yourself off the hook.

You have a TON to do. A TON. Every day is packed with chores and errands and work and having the kids under foot all summer makes those things difficult to accomplish.

So let yourself off the hook. Choose some chores and errands that can be let go a bit this summer. Like keeping the house super clean or super involved family dinners. Tidy up when you have some down time and get the kids to help. For dinners use your grill! Grill some meat or fish, make a salad, pop some vegies in the steamer and you are done.

Of course there are some things that can’t be put off. Schedule some time every day, or every other day, to get these things done. Choose a time that you know will work for you: first thing in the morning when everyone is slow to rise, after lunch when people are lazing, after dinner when the kids are running around outside with the neighbors. Pick a time and put it on your calendar and get those things done!

And don’t forget that your kids can HELP with these things. Your child can do the dishes or the laundry or clean their rooms. And the kids can go on errands with you and learn a thing or two about how the world works. Don’t be afraid to get your kids working. It’s good for them.

#3 – Embrace playing.

Remember summertime when you were a kid? Our parents didn’t schedule us at all…we were sent outside in the morning and told to come back for lunch and not a moment earlier. And remember how much fun you had?

So it’s summer! Do some things with your kids that you love to do. Go to the beach, hike in the woods, take out the canoe, go to the park, climb a tree. Get dirty and sweaty. Play!

#4 – Do something that you like to do.

As I have said in earlier blogs it is essential for your mental health that you do something for you as often as you can. Putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own is exhausting and life sucking. Yes, hopefully you will let things go this summer and play with your kids but still you will be very tired at the end of every day.

So schedule something that you love to do. Take a yoga class, volunteer at the local hospital, go on a date with your partner. Whatever it is that takes you out of your life as a mother and reminds you about the woman that you are.

#5 – Eat a lot of ice cream.

Come on! It’s summer. And if there was ever a time to eat ice cream this is it.

Keep a box of popsicles in the freezer, all different flavors. Make a regular trip to the local ice cream spot and try a different flavor each time. Maybe even have a sundae.

There is a television ad about a room full of children who are bouncing off the walls, having a great time. In the next scene there is silence…because everyone is eating ice cream. Ice cream is one of those foods that makes everyone happy. So indulge.

So there you go. 5 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer.

These tips work for both stay at home and working mothers. Working mothers have the extra challenge of keeping the kids occupied during their work day but by applying some of the principles above you too can enjoy your summer and not let it go by without stopping to smell the roses.

And how that you have read my blog, GO OUTSIDE and start enjoying your summer.

Need more ideas about living the life of your dreams? Contact me now and we can get started!

 

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 for Women to Remember that They are Worthy – Even if the Person in the Mirror Tells Them Otherwise

Worthiness. We are all born with an innate sense of worth. As babies we cry for food, demand attention and insist on doing things OUR WAY. It is this sense of worth that actually keeps us alive.

As women and mothers we tend to lose that sense of self-worth. So much of our time is spent tending to the needs of others, calming crying babies, assuaging angry partners, talking down disappointed clients, that we stop taking care of ourselves. And when we stop attending to our own needs we start losing our sense of self worth.

This is not ok. Not knowing how worthy we are can lead to patterns of behavior that only reinforce our belief that we are not worthy of being loved, cared for or living the life of our dreams. We let our children run all over us, our partners take us for granted and our bosses demean us. We stop eating well and taking care of ourselves and we stop reaching for what we want.

So here are my 5 Ways for Women to Remember that They are Worthy – Even if the Person in the Mirror Tells Them Otherwise.

#1 – Love yourself like you love your kids.

Take a moment and feel in your body how much you love your kids. That’s an easy feeling to get in touch with, isn’t it? You love your kids unconditionally and would lay down your life for them.

Now, imagine how it would feel to love yourself that way. To know that you always have someone with you who could remind you how awesome you are or to point out that you are totally capable of walking into your boss’ office and asking for what you need.

It would feel pretty good right?

So get in touch with your inner mom and keep her with you always.

#2 – Call your mother.

Look back on #1. Think about how you love your kids. Your mother loves you that much too. So call her.

I have a client who has a twice a weekly phone call with her mother. They don’t talk about anything in particular, just what is happening in each other’s lives.

This client’s mother is her daughter’s most faithful fan and cheerleader. She always reminds her daughter of what a great job she is doing as a parent and a wife, the toughest jobs in the world, and what a wonderful daughter she is for keeping in touch so often.

My client says that having one person in her life who regularly reminds her of her awesomeness has changed her life. It gives her the confidence in herself that feeds her desire to be all that she can be.

#3 – Think back to your wedding day

Your wedding day was a big day. It was a day that you and your partner promised to love and care for each other for a very long time. It was a day when your friends and family stood up for the two of you, supporting you as you started off on your life together.

Take a moment, pull out a photo if you have to, and remember how you felt on that day. The love you and your partner shared and the love that your friends and family gave you unconditionally. And look at how happy you were cutting that cake…

Remembering your wedding day will remind you that you love and are loved by a lot of people. And what better way to touch base with that inner self-worth than through a little bit of love?

#4 – Remember earlier successes

We have all had many, many successes in our lives but for some reason it is the failures that stick with us. You know those failures that keep you up at night, obsessing? Yep, those ones.

Instead of obsessing, try taking stock of the successes you have had. The “A” you got on your thesis in college, the interview that landed you that first job out of college, that dress you were rocking the day your partner first saw you, the 10lb child you gave birth to in 3 hours, without drugs. Those are all pretty huge successes. Ones you should celebrate.

Try keeping a list in your head, or even better on paper, of the successes that you have had in your life, the successes that deep down you are really proud of, and look back on them as needed. As reminders of just how amazing you are.

#5 – Relish your everyday victories

This is an important one. Many of us feel like we are failures all day, every day. We don’t pack an organic lunch for our kids and then we yell at them when they dawdle and miss the school bus. We are short with our partners when they let us down in some small way. We don’t get enough work done because we are trying to order shoes for the kids from Amazon. All of these we perceive as failures.

But really, we have successes in there too.

First and foremost, we get out of bed every day. Everyone should see that as a success. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

We might not pack organic but our kids do get lunch everyday. We might not have finished that spreadsheet but our kids will have shoes, which is important, and that spreadsheet will ultimately get finished.

And we get to crawl into bed with our partner at the end of the day and share the closeness that surviving another crazy day brings about.

So when those successes happen, recognize and relish them. Because you do have them. Every day.

So there you go. 5 Ways for Women to Remember that They are Worthy.

 In order to live the life of your dreams you need to get back in touch with that child who knew her worth, who demanded that she get what she needed to survive and thrive.

So try my tips and see what happens. And I have more tips to share so get in touch with me NOW and we can get you on the way to living the life of your dreams.

 

 

 

 

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 Pathways to Saying NO – And Not Even Feel Guilty Doing So

So your life is chaotic, jam packed and crazy. You wake up each morning wondering how you are going to get through the day because you have so much to do.

When you drop the kids at school another parent approaches you about organizing a bake sale/ wrapping paper drive/capital campaign (pick one). What do you say? “Yes. Sure. Of course.”

What have you done? You have added one more thing to your already jam packed life.

Saying NO is a very important part of living the life of your dreams. We all want to be involved in the things that we want to be involved in but many of us are involved in things we don’t want to be involved in.

Why? Guilt, usually, but also the inclination to be helpful, to carry our share of the load and to set a good example for our kids.

These are all great things. But really, if you want to be the best person that you can be, to set a great example for your kids, you have to learn to say NO.

Here are 5 Pathways to Saying NO – and Not Even Feel Guilty Doing So.

#1 – Believe in yourself and your reasoning for saying NO. When you are asked to do something take a moment, or an hour or a day, to really consider why you would add this thing to your pile.

Would it satisfy you? Do you have the time? Do you have the interest? Is it the best use of your already limited time?

Giving careful consideration to something before committing to it will allow you to say NO with conviction. You have solid reasoning as to why you shouldn’t do it. If you believe in your reasoning then it will be way easier to stand up and say NO.

#2 – Keep your NO explanation, respectful, short and sweet. When preparing to say NO always begin delivering the message in a respectful way. Say that you are happy to have been asked and thank them for their confidence in you. This will soften them up for the next sentence…in which you say NO.

When saying NO it is important that you don’t go on and on as to why you can’t do something. You have your reasons and you want to stick to them and rattling on about why you are saying NO will only open up opportunities for the asker to convince you to say yes.

#3 – Don’t take a no to your NO. Many askers are professionals. They know how to make another person do what they need them to do. When you have decided not to do something stick to it. You will feel much better about yourself if you do. This can be a learning experience for both you and your kids: how to make a choice and stick to it, even in the face of push back.

#4 – Use email. I know this seems like a bit of a cop-out but really it’s the reason that email was invented…to deliver difficult news.

State your reasons for say NO clearly and decisively and offer no personal justifications or emotional commentary about this decision or anything else.

Your message will land and the asker will not be able to argue and will move on to ask someone else. And there is ALWAYS someone else to ask…

#5 – Reward yourself. Positive reinforcement is a really good thing. Of course, by saying NO you will have the positive reinforcement that you haven’t added one more thing to your plate but I think that it’s important that when you have done something good for yourself, you reward yourself.

So reward yourself for a job well done, saying NO. It can be little, like a wonderful piece of dark chocolate, or big, like a massage. Whatever it is that will make your heart sing.

You have done something very difficult and you should give yourself credit for a job well done.

So there you go…5 Pathways to Saying NO – And Not Even Feel Guilty Doing So.

Saying NO is not something that comes naturally to any of us but once you learn the value of doing so you will be well on your way to reaching the life of your dreams. Saying NO will help you not only not get overwhelmed but it will keep your time open for more important things.

And remember, if your kids see you saying NO in a clear, positive and respectful way they are more likely to do so themselves. This will set them up for success in the future, because they can set boundaries, something every mom wants for her child.

So really, it’s a two for one win. More time for you and a lesson learned for your kids. Well done, Mom!

Get in touch with me NOW for more ways to help your dreams come true!  You will be happy you did.

 

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!