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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!

Why Are Healthy Relationships Important To A Healthy Life?

Why are healthy relationships important to a healthy life? Why is it so important that we share our lives with people who make our lives better? The reasons are many and they are worth noting.

We all want to live a healthy life. Happy, strong, loved and nurtured. And while many of think we can do it alone we can’t.

Relationships can be of any sort – a romantic relationship, a familial relationship, a friendship. Having a healthy relationship of some sort is essential for a healthy life.

But I can do it alone you think. And yes you can. Being able to stand on your own is important but you do need people by your side to be truly healthy.

There are 5 elements of a healthy life and how your relationships align with those elements is very important.

#1 – Alignment of morals and values.

We all have a set of morals and values that we live by. Things that we believe are important in our everyday lives. It essential for a healthy life that anyone we have in our lives, whether a partner or a friend, shares some, if not all, of our values.

Because to live a healthy life, to live in integrity, is important. And if someone you are sharing your life with doesn’t have values that are aligned with your then you won’t be living a truly healthy life.

For me an important value is telling the truth. I have been in relationships where men would lie to me. As often as not they said they were trying to protect me but the truth is that lying made me feel insecure and uncomfortable. I would never lie to them…why can they lie to me.

All of those relationships are past now. I knew that to live a healthy life I needed to be in a healthy relationship, one with shared values.

#2 – Alignment of physical health.

Of course an essential part of living a happy life is maintaining physical health. While the goal is to eat well and exercise each of us do that to a varying degree of success. For a healthy life is important is that the people in your life have similar beliefs about physical health.

I have a client who is involved with a man who is in a different physical place than she is. She is vibrant and active and physically fit. Her man has back issues and would rather not exercise more than necessary and has less than ideal eating habits.

She loves him but she struggles with the relationship because they just can’t do all of the things that she wants to do together. He does try but he just can’t. She finds that she isn’t living a truly healthy life because he is holding her back from the physically active life she seeks.

#3 – Alignment of mental health.

Good mental health is an essential part of a healthy life. In this crazy, jam packed and exhausting world we live in many of us struggle with depression, or worse. And part of winning that struggle is being in a healthy relationship with someone who is in a state of mental health that complements ours.

I have a client whose partner suffers from depression and has for years. My client says that she understands the depression but I am not sure if she has really accepted it. She doesn’t understand why he can’t ‘suck it up’ and rally on the days when he is depressed. This causes friction in their relationship and some days she wonders if they will survive it.

For a healthy relationship to stay healthy it is important the partners understand and accept each other’s mental health, that they are willing to support them not matter what.

#4 – Alignment of community.

An essential part of a healthy life is a healthy community, a community outside of your immediate family that shares ideas and interests and values. For a healthy relationship it is important that this sense of community is shared by both parties.

A friend of mine sent her kids to a Waldorf School, an alternative school that has very strong beliefs about food, education and media consumption that are quite contrary to modern way of doing things. She believed strongly in these beliefs and jumped into the community with a full and open heart. Her involvement in this community was a huge part of the healthy life she was living.

Her husband, on the other hand, just didn’t get the whole thing. He thought the educational concepts were whacko and that the other parents were weird. He refused to attend community events and if he did go he was crabby. What she needed to be healthy and happy he just didn’t, and wouldn’t, accept. And without that acceptance the relationship crumbled.

#5 – Alignment of finances.

Ah yes. Money. It often comes down to that.

Healthy finances are an essential part of a healthy life and if two people in a partnership are not aligned on finances the relationship will not be a healthy one.

A client of mine married someone who was very wealthy. She didn’t come from a lot of money but he had a lifestyle that he wanted to maintain and she was happy to spend money to maintain that lifestyle. The issue was that her husband was very frugal and cautious about where the money went in the attainment of that lifestyle but she, because she didn’t have much experience managing money, spent frivolously. This spending was a significant source of friction in their marriage and they were forced to separate.

Why are healthy relationships important for a healthy life?

Because the most important parts of our lives, morals, physical and mental health, community and finances all require balance and alignment between partners in order for us to live the healthy lives that we want.

To achieve that balance it is essential that people in relationship communicate clearly what is important to them and do whatever it take sot come to a place of understanding, support and acceptance of the 5 important pieces of a healthy life.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This one is a fun one. Amends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

Looking for help with making a good apology?

Contact me now and I can help!

 


 

 

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

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

5 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 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 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 Reasons to Love Your Mother in Law, Even When It’s Really Hard

When you get married, more likely than not, you also get a mother-in-law, the woman who raised your partner. And quickly there can arise conflict between you and your mother-in-law. She raised your partner and is used to things being done a certain way and you married him or her and have your own opinions. This conflict can be really hard on a marriage. It can even destroy it.

Don’t fret! By understanding more about how your mother-in-law’s brain works you can not only improve your relationship with her but you can alleviate conflict and thereby strengthen your relationship with your partner.

5 reasons to love your mother-in-law

#1 – Remember that she has experience that you don’t have. Our mothers-in-law have been doing what you are just beginning to do for probably more than a few decades. That is a lot of experience, experience that you should appreciate and take advantage of. You are new at all of this and, whether you know it or not, can use all of the help that you can get.

#2 – Remember that she did raise your partner. I know it’s hard to imagine but she did influence your partner’s life for 18 years or more. And that shouldn’t be discounted. My mother-in-law always told me that her son could clean a toilet and vacuum like a madman. I told her that, after 20 years of marriage, I had retrained him: he cleaned nothing anymore. I see now that that was a slap in her face. She worked hard to raise the person that she did and she should to be recognized, and appreciated, for that. And remember, you did fall in love with the person she raised….

#3 – Remember that she loves your kids as much, if not more, than you do. I know that my grandmother was a huge positive influence in my life. She hadn’t been a great mother to my mother but for me she was amazing. And I have learned, from my own mother, that having grandchildren is the best thing that ever happened to her. So appreciate that this person loves your children as much as she does. After all, every person who loves your child is a gift.

#4 – Remember that she really does just want to help. Mothers in-law don’t set out to drive us crazy. They don’t mean to criticize our parenting or complain about the state of our kitchen. They are there, in the house, to be with their children and grandchildren. And, more often than not, their intentions are good. Perhaps the manner in which they speak up about our parenting or our housekeeping skills is abrasive and stinging but remember they are only human and are most likely just trying to help. Really.

#5 – Remember that you are lucky to have her and that she won’t always be there. So many mothers start out with no support. Their mother and mother-in-law is far away, or no longer alive, or absent for some reason. When we are new parents, or even more seasoned ones, we are lucky to have someone there who can support us when we need it. And remember, none of us is getting any younger so they might not always be there for us. Appreciate how lucky you are and make the best of it.

There you go. 5 reasons to love your mother-in-law. It might not always be easy but I promise you, in the long run, doing so will be worth it. After all, your partner loves her. She is his or her mother. You loving her too shows your partner just how much you love them which makes everybody happy.

Do you have conflict with your mother in law? What do you do to work through 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!