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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!

6 SHOCKING Things Men Want From Their Women, As Told When I Asked

Recently I asked a number of male friends what it is that they most want from their women, other than tons of sex. Without exception, they precluded their responses with If the answer can’t be about sex then I want….

Their answers surprised me so I am sharing them with you.

Here is my latest: 6 SHOCKING Things Men Want From Their Women, As Told When I Asked.

#1 – No sex is okay.

Interestingly, while lots of sex was theme for all of the guys, the option of NO sex was important as well.

Men love to have sex but they also want to feel confident that they can tell their partner that they can’t or don’t want to have sex and that it will be okay.

While to us women that might seem like not a big deal, to many men it is because so much of their identity is tied up in their sexuality.

So accept that sometimes your man can just say NO. Perhaps he will rub your feet instead…

#2 – Cease the Mission Creep.

Mission Creep? This is a term that I had never heard of before but all of my guys knew exactly what it was when I asked them.

The definition of Mission Creep: a gradual shift in objectives during the course of a military campaign, often resulting in an unplanned long-term commitment.

As applied to relationships, mission creep points to the shift that happens over time where a man is obliged to do whatever his woman wants. Dinner with her parents instead of a night out with the guys. Hanging out with her friends instead of his because she thinks they are bozos. No more martinis because they make him act stupid.

Rules. Rules that didn’t exist at the start of the relationship but crept in slowly.

The solution, as suggested by a man: 1. Manage the mission creep so that you are both happy with how things are going. 2. Give your man one weekend a month where he can do anything he wants (mostly).

Be honest with yourself. Is there mission creep in your relationship? If so, make a plan to change!

#3 – Remind him that he is special.

Our lives are chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting. At the end of the day who wants to put out any more energy than is necessary?

But think about it. Think about how amazing it would feel for your partner to bring you flowers or plan a night out or tell you that you are beautiful. Pretty amazing, right?

So do the same for your partner. One guy’s idea: Plan a weekend away. Arrange and pay for the room. Schedule something that I would want to do with you. Make it special for him.

Another guy said: Ask if I would like a beer. Or if I would like to sit and watch a movie with them. Or make me something to eat. Something that shows they are tuned into the smaller things in life that make me happy.

You get the idea. Run with it!

Want to talk more about men and relationships? Let’s do it!

#4 – Let him be friends with girls.

This one is straightforward. Your guy had girl friends before you met him. They were his friends and he never slept with them or wanted a romantic relationship with them because they were his FRIENDS.

Why, if he is in a happy, committed relationship with you, would he want anything more from them now?

So trust him. Let him be friends with girls. You like being friends with girls because they are fun and willing to go deep and be thoughtful. Let him have girl friends who he can be himself with, where he has nothing to prove.

#5 – Think before you react.

One of my guys, one who I thought was not the kind of guy to do what he suggested, said the following:

Take a minute or two of contemplation to respond to a comment that might strike them as negative and discuss their feelings rather than jump to conclusions which get internalized.

This makes sense. And it’s incredibly difficult. To try to pause before you react, to understand where his statement is coming from so you can respond in a way that is productive and respectful.

Good advice. I was obviously wrong about this guy.

He finished the text with: then agree to get laid like the world is ending.

#6 – Walk around naked, dammit.

This guy’s response was so perfect that I am going to let him say it.

It’s that simple. Walk around naked. And if it feels better to walk around in your underpants or underwear, then okay, a little mystery is good too.

Need the garden edged?  Prune the apple trees? Just call me when you’re wearing little-to-nothing.

We like your dimples, your rumples and, no matter what you might think, we find all of you sexy. 

Okay…so that’s pretty simple.  Get naked.  Just as simple as taking off a few clothes when you do chores or hang out on the porch in your bikini. Yeah, that polka dot one….we LOVE it.    

And it’s really not about sex.  We just love you naked. You know that old joke: How to please a woman?  A very long list follows.  Flowers, dinner reservations, pay attention, listen, etc….How to please a man: show up naked, bring beer.

Enough said.

So there you go. 6 SHOCKING Things Men Want From Their Women, As Told When I Asked.

We all, men and women both, love being in a relationship. And we women usually know exactly what we want and our men do their best to provide those things for us.

But, so things don’t get lopsided, it’s important that we women do the same for our men.

So pay attention. Listen to what your guys wants and do it!  See what happens.

I am guessing 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!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy

Being unhappy is horrible. It can take over your life and suck all that is good and joyful out of it. None of us want to be unhappy but many of us are.

One thing many of us don’t ask ourselves is why we are unhappy. We have a vague understanding that our lives are not what we hoped they would be but we don’t know specifically why.

In an effort to help you identify what specifically is making you unhappy I have five questions for you. Answer them in terms of your own life and you will get the answers you are looking for.

Here is my latest: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy.

#1 – Are you proud of the choices you are making?

All of us having internal guiding principles that are important to us, things like the importance of trust or honesty or loyalty. These guiding principles light our path to living our best life but unfortunately they can get lost as life happens.

Do you know what your guiding principles are and are your living them?

I have a client who was having an affair with a married man. He made her deliriously happy, or so she told herself. But still she didn’t feel good about her life and she didn’t know why.

I asked her what her guiding principles were – what was most important to her in a relationship?

After some thought and discussion she realized that the truth was of paramount importance to her. And that nothing about her relationship with the married man was based on truth.

“Are you able to live with that?” I asked. “And be happy?”

The answer was no and she soon moved on. On into a relationship that was based on truth and trust and she is happy.

#2 – Is your relationship making your heart sing?

Our romantic relationships are very important, more important than many of us recognize.

In this modern world we are told that we should be able to take care of ourselves and that to rely on another to bring us some happiness is a sign of weakness.

But this just simply is not true.

Happy committed relationships provide much that is essential to human survival: commitment, communication, touch, sharing, sex, support, laughter, joy, sex. When we have those things our lives are fuller, we are satisfied, we are loved. Other things can bring us down but the foundation of a good relationship helps us when we founder.

Being in a relationship isn’t necessary for happiness but being in a relationship that is toxic puts you on the surest path to being unhappy.

I have a client whose husband was always one of two things: absent or drunk. She wasn’t sure which was worse – his not being in the house or being drunk when he was. What she did know was that it was making her miserable. She was always hoping that things would change but they never did. She was alone in her marriage.

And the rest of her life? It foundered. Her parenting suffered, she stopped eating well and exercising and gained 20 pounds, her work was neglected and her crabbiness made her friends stay away.

What did she do? After much deliberation and overcoming lots of fear, she asked him to stay absent and she is fighting her way back to herself, on the path to living the life of her dreams.

#3 – Do you make a difference in the world?

I know you are going to say that you just don’t have time to volunteer. How could I possibly ask you to do that?

I am not going to ask you to do that. Although if it appeals you should try it. Volunteering makes the world go round.

What I mean by making a difference is asking you how you interact with others in the world. Did you smile at the checkout person at the grocery store? Do you hold doors for other people? Do you refrain from giving the man who cut you off in his BMW the finger? Do you pick up trash that you see in the street?

All of these things contribute to the world in a small way and doing them will make your life a better place as well. The act of smiling at someone will actually make you and the person you smiled at happier. Holding doors for people makes them feel noticed and you made it happen. Not giving someone the finger will allow you not to feel the pain of remorse in the middle of the night. And picking up that trash will literally make the world a more beautiful place.

So make a difference in the world every day. It will make you happier. I promise.

Want some help being happy? Let me help!

#4 – Do you feel healthy and strong?

You know when you go out on a long dock and it’s old and creaky and with each step you wonder if you are going to end up in the water? If you aren’t healthy and strong, like a good dock, you could find yourself drowning before you know it.

Taking care of yourself is the key to a foundation from which happiness can grow. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Exercise, but only so it makes you feel good. Do one thing that makes you happy every day, like a massage or lunch with a friend. Find a life coach, to get the support that you need.

If you feel healthy and strong you will be able to take on whatever life throws at you.

Wouldn’t that feel great?

#5 – Do you challenge yourself?

I know that I have my routines. I get up, walk my dog, do some yoga, work all day, walk my dog again, do errands, have dinner, take a bath and go to bed. Pretty much every day.

As a life coach I know that while routines are good for keeping us on track it is essential to challenge ourselves. Challenging yourself will keep your brain going strong, keep you physically confident and get that adrenaline rushing.

What do I mean by being challenged? It can be anything.

When I got divorced I promised myself that I would start doing all of the things that scared me. I learned how to ride a jet ski (which was awesome), I conquered my fear of driving in the snow (which was convenient), I took up crossword puzzles (which has made me way smarter) and I can now use power tools. Except for a drill.

It’s so hard to imagine now not being able to do those things. Doing them has given me so much more confidence in myself – not only that I can do them but that I challenged myself to overcome my fears and prevailed.

And did I mention that I was way smarter? That makes me happy.

So there you go. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Are Unhappy.

Unhappiness to so many of us is the status quo. We assume that this is the way life is and we must push through it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Happiness IS possible.

Are you making choices that are feeling good? Are you feeling loved and supported in your relationship? Did you make someone smile today? Is your foundation strong? Did you do something recently that got your adrenaline pumping?

If not, choose one and make it happen.

Happiness is yours for the taking. Today.

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

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

10 Things to Know if You Love Someone with ADD

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

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

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

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

#1 – They can’t JUST DO IT.

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

#2 – They might have an itch to scratch.

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

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

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

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

Need help dealing with ADD? Let me help!

#4 – They might not be able to listen…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#8 – Finances might be a challenge.

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

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

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

#9 – Intimacy can be an issue.

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

The reasons are varied.

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

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

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

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

#10 – They might struggle with addiction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does it work that way? Usually no.

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

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

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

And how many times have we been disappointed?

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

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

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

Move on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is SO NOT TRUE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can do it. I know you can.

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the answer.

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

#1 – Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex.

So let’s just start with the obvious one.

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

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

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

Sounds fun, right?

#2 – Equitable division of labor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish she had done this research earlier…

#3 – Inside jokes.

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

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

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

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

#4 – Pie in the sky hopes and dreams.

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

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

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

So dream big. Or small. But dream together.

#5 – Putting each other first. Period.

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

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

So make your partner your priority. Every day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It will all be totally worth it. I promise.

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

 

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

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

5 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Solid – Even if You Have A Lot Going On

Relationships and love. Everyone says, and, I think, truly believes, that without love the world just doesn’t go round. Love is a powerful thing that makes everything a little shinier. We all want it.

And yet, ironically, it is relationships that are usually the first thing to be set aside as we live these chaotic, jam packed and exhausting lives. Work, kids, exercise, all come first, leaving love sitting on the sidelines, lonely and neglected.

Doing the work that I have done for years with clients, and living my life, has given me a tremendous amount of insight into the damage we do, more often than not unwittingly. I want to share that insight with you today.

Here is my latest, 5 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Solid – Even if You Have A Lot Going On.

#1 – Keep your promises.

Promises. They are usually made with such good intentions but when they are broken there can be disastrous consequences.

Promises have to do with trust. If you make a promise and don’t keep it then trust is lost. It’s better to not make a promise that you can’t keep then continue to break ones that you do.

I have a client whose boyfriend kept promising her that she could meet his kids. And yet every time a meeting was set up there was always an excuse about why it couldn’t happen.  Eventually she stopped wanting to meet his kids, and, ultimately, she stopped wanting to be with him.

Her trust in him had been lost. And without trust what is there?

Make your promises carefully. Remember how important they are for maintaining trust. And love.

#2 – Make your limited time quality time.

Yes, we are all busy, with lots on our mind and all sorts of pressures. But it is important to take a few minutes to really connect with your partner. Not a quick phone call between meetings, talking about yourself and your worries, but real connection.

Next time you are together, take a moment and look at your partner and ask them how they are doing. Listen to them without interrupting. Don’t try to fix anything, just listen.

Listening without judgment is very powerful. Letting your partner know they are cared about, and being heard, is a powerful way to express love. And knowing how your partner is doing will only make you feel closer.

#3 – Use your words.

How many times has a client said to me “I don’t have to tell him I love him. He knows.”

Thousands, I am afraid.

Think back to the last time that your partner told you that you were beautiful, or sexy, or that they loved your laugh. Even if you have heard it from them a million times didn’t it make you feel great?

Words are very powerful. Use them for good. And for love.

#4 – Touch, touch, touch, touch.

One cannot underestimate the importance of the power of touch. I am not talking about sexual touch (although it’s power should not be discounted) but simple affectionate touch.

A hug, holding hands, a kiss, a light pat on the butt. These are all examples of physical affection that can keep you bonded to your partner every day.

Did you know that a hug produces oxytocin, a chemical known to enhance mood? That a pat on the butt can make someone feel sexy and wanted? That holding hands as you walk down the street makes you feel like you can take on the world? Don’t even get me started on kissing…

So reach out and touch your partner today. Don’t make them ask for it. It’s quick, easy and fun, with huge payoffs.

#5 – Don’t take anyone for granted.

Let me state that one again. Don’t take anyone for granted.

When we first fall in love our attention is completely focused on that one person. But as time goes by we get distracted by life and we can start to neglect the one we love. We know they are there, and we assume that they will always be there, so we stop tending the relationship. And the consequences can again be disastrous.

This I can tell you from personal experience. My husband, no matter how awful I was to him, always promised me that he would never leave me. I didn’t mean to but because of this I took him for granted and while I planned to make changes to my behavior I never quite made it happen.

And, guess what. He left me.

So pay attention to that person in bed next to you. One day they just might be gone and where would you be then?

There you go, my 5 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Solid.

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved,” said George Sands 100 years ago. And nothing today has changed. We can have success in our careers, be as fit as a 20 year old and have the perfect golf game but without love what does it all matter?

I know that if I had followed my own advice (if I had known it then) my marriage might have had a chance. I certainly regret not working harder at changing those behaviors.

So don’t let love live on the sidelines. Bring it out to center field, into the sunshine, where it can be all that it can be. You can do it.

Look for more help tending your 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 be Happier Quickly – Even if Your Default is Usually Crabbiness

We all just want to be happy. That is the life goal. It has been proven that when people are happy their health improves, their skin brightens, their attention span strengthens and they have more success at work and at home.

All of that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

But how, in this chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting world, do we find happiness? It seems like such a long-term goal, something we have to really work towards, not something that is accessible right now.

I am here to tell you that you can be happier NOW, just by tweaking a few things in your life.

Here is my latest: 5 Ways to be Happier Quickly – Even if Your Default is Usually Crabbiness.

#1 – Forget positivity. Focus on the negative.

Everyone tells us these days that in order to be happy we must practice mindfulness, live in the moment, focus on the positive. While those ideas have their place, I think that the best way to be happier is by focusing on our negative thoughts.

You know those thoughts. The ones that tell you that you are worthless or ugly or un-loveable? Yes those ones. They aren’t comfortable in our body and yet how easily they settle in for a long visit.

Try this. Next time you tell yourself that you are un-loveable pull out a piece of paper and write a list of everyone who loves you. When you tell yourself you are ugly go look at your profile picture on Facebook, you know that one in which you look AWESOME. When you tell yourself you are worthless call your mother. She will remind you how worthless you are not.

I suggest that if we push back against, argue with, those negative thoughts it will bring about quicker change than focusing on the positive.

Because, really, it’s very hard to access those positive thoughts when we are unhappy. The negative ones, however, are right there for the plucking.

#2 – Smile.

Smiling seems like such a small thing but it’s not. Did you know that when we use the muscles in our face to form a smile instead of a frown we actually change our chemistry, releasing dopamine into our system which allows for an immediately improved mood.

I know that when my kids were little and I was drowning in the chaos that was my life, smiling at them made my day just a little brighter, if only for a few minutes. And then I smiled at them again because I just couldn’t resist and there I was, happy again. So I did it all day long. Or tried to.

#3 – Lots of lovin’.

Yes, I know. Sex is great. Really great. But what I am talking about here is physical affection.

Did you know that hugging is one of the best things you can do in your life, for a variety of reasons. A brief hug produces oxytocin which helps reduce anxiety. A prolonged hug produces serotonin which leads to increased happiness. Hugging relaxes the muscles and reduces tension. Skin to skin contact calms down the nervous system.

So hug your friends, your kids, your family members, someone who looks sad. Hug away. It’s quick and painless.

That being said, a good orgasm releases enough dopamine to guarantee you 5-7 hours of happiness. Really.

#4 – Watch a scary movie or an action flick. Or go skydiving.

So this is an interesting thing. Whenever I am feeling blue I love to watch The Walking Dead. I know. And yes, I am a grown woman. I never understood why until recently.

When we watch a scary movie or an action flick our body actually produces adrenaline and that rush of adrenaline makes us happier. When I watch The Walking Dead I get a full hour dose of adrenaline which can last me well into the night.

Skydiving, helicopter skiing and swimming with sharks have the same results but they aren’t quite as accessible on a Wednesday night after work. But definitely try them as well if presented with the opportunity.

#5 – Give back. In big ways and small.

Really it doesn’t take much to give back to the world.

We all have excuses about why we can’t volunteer – that we are “just too busy” is usually the first one that comes out of our mouths.

But, really, you can give back to the world, every day, in small ways.

Last week I ran into a woman on the streets of NYC. It was early morning and we were walking our dogs. I complimented her on her clogs, footwear that is rarely seen here in the city. We chatted about clogs for a bit and I bid her good morning. She said that me reaching out to her “made her day.” That I made her feel good made me feel good.

So reach out to someone everyday. That crabby person running the register, smile at them. Open the door for someone, just because. Make (or buy) cookies and bring them to work.

Just thinking about doing good can make all the difference. Doesn’t it just make you feel good thinking about bringing cookies to work? For many reasons….

So there you go, my 5 Ways to be Happier Quickly.

We all just want to be happy. And I would encourage you to reach out to me, the ultimate life coach, to help you work towards that goal. But there are things that you can do in the meantime, right now, to elevate your mood.

Whoever designed human beings installed mechanisms for maintaining mood and keeping us healthy and alive. We modern humans have a tough time accessing those mechanisms because we have forgotten they are there.

I have just reminded you. Go forth and use them. Be happy.

Looking for ways to be happier? Contact me and I can help!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#1 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2 – Have lots of sex.

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

But it very well could be.

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

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

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

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

#3 – Remember to respect each other.

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

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

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

Have I mentioned yet the importance of communication?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have I mentioned yet the importance of communication?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking for more ideas about how to keep your marriage strong? Contact me and I can help.

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

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