Category Archives: Relationships

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Intent of the Day: Sharing the Warmth

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What exactly makes you feel at home? And what does home feel like? As tough as it can be going out your door, there’s something special about having a place or being a person that radiates kindness and warmth. Sharing that warmth means interacting with people who don’t have to be afraid or ashamed and we are committed to creating that environment. Our intent today is to share a little warmth.

Need help warming it up? We’ve got 3 things to help: Continue reading

Dream Weaving: Three Ways To Prepare Your Marriage To Change the World

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I stare with awe at the Brooklyn Bridge every time I visit New York because I know that it wouldn’t be there if it Emily and Washington Roebling hadn’t faced down every conceivable challenge during its fourteen-year construction.

Whenever I visit Boston, I wonder at the life of John and Abigail Adams, who of necessity, lived apart more than together during the tumultuous birthing of America.

And when I enter the hospital room of a loved one, I thank God for Pierre and Marie Curie, who worked side by side nearly every waking minute of their entire marriage to produce the miracle of radium.

The fact is, if we dug into the back-story of most of the world’s grand accomplishments, we would undoubtedly be impressed with how many of those accomplishments are the product of grand marriages. Continue reading

The 5 Best Ways to Prevent Money Arguments With Your Spouse

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According to CNBC, finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship. 35% of people surveyed said that money was the primary cause of friction in their relationship. Managing your finances as a couple can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 tips to help you prevent money arguments with your spouse. Continue reading

Marriages That Last: Small Gestures Yielding Big Benefits

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It has been sixty-five years since my parents’ wedding, a ceremony celebrating their commitment to love each other forever. Many years of dedication and shared experiences after they wed, Alzheimer’s disease stole the memories of this promise. After their diagnoses, I watched in amazement as my parents newly discovered each admirable trait which brought them together decades before.

Now refined through trials and seasoned with life’s experiences, their attraction was magnetic. My parents’ shared disease made me wonder: what keeps marriages strong despite the challenges of life we all face? I believe it is more than sheer grit and determination. Experiencing my parents’ love on autopilot led me to believe the key to lasting love is in developing basic traits which become the essence of who we are. Continue reading

The Three Most Important Qualities to Look for in a Partner

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Have you ever looked back on a relationship and asked yourself why you had even been with that person in the first place? Although there are many things that can attract us to someone, if you’re looking for a partner in life, there are a few very important qualities to look for.

Obviously, you want to look for someone who has the core qualities that you desire such as honesty and integrity, but there are a few key qualities that most people don’t ever think about. In this article I will outline the three most important qualities that I find people overlook when entering into relationships. Continue reading

7 Signs You Are a Victim of Gas Lighting

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If you are (or were) married to a narcissist, then you may be familiar with the term, “gas lighting.” It is the narcissist’s masterful manipulation technique to gain control over you. As your relationship begins to weaken, he carefully causes you slight anxiety or confusion. But as the relationship worsens, he punitively devalues you, and you thereby question your mental sanity. Extreme or long term gas lighting can ultimately lead you to having a distorted sense of reality: not knowing who is right or wrong, feeling guilty for being the person you are, and losing any remaining self-confidence.

Gas lighting is an extremely dangerous form of emotional abuse, as it causes the narcissist’s victim to question her judgment, on even the smallest issues, thereby making her dependent of him. If, for example, she is repeatedly told that she is bad with money, she will begin to believe it, and think that without her narcissist by her side, she will be financially ruined.

The term “gas lighting” comes from the 1944 film, ‘Gaslight,’ where a young woman named Paula falls madly in love with her suitor, Gregory. After an intense romance that led to marriage, Gregory begins to display pathological narcissistic behavior, leading to Paula’s insanity. In one scene, Gregory tampers with the gas light in the attic, causing the house lights to dim. When Paula mentions hearing footsteps in the attic and the lights dimming, Gregory tells her it’s completely her imagination, making Paula question her judgment. Gas lighting is now the widely used term for when a narcissist truly messes with your head.

Depending on the stage of your narcissistic relationship, gas lighting at first appears to be subtle, but then gradually worsens. Below are the signs you are a victim of gas lighting, in order in which they may occur. This list illustrates that as the relationship declines, so does your mental clarity and grasp of reality and truth. Continue reading

Dating Yourself

date-yourself    Over the past three years, I’ve done a lot of soul-searching in my recovery from codependence.  I did not have my own identity, and I didn’t even know what things I really liked to do, watch, or listen to.  I’d like you to ask yourself when was the last time that you did something completely for yourself.  What did you do?  What do you remember the best about it?  I know for me, it had been almost my entire life that I did things for others and not for myself.

Doing things for ourselves and having our own identities is so important to our health and well-being.  When I started recovery and learned about these things, I didn’t know how to go about finding out who I was or the things that I liked.  A recovery friend told me about the idea of dating myself, and I knew that it was something I could do to find out a little more about myself, and I hope you can too. Continue reading

Dealing With Financial Income Inequality in Marriage

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The love of money may be the root of all evil, but arguing about money is the third leading reason (at 22 percent) given for divorce. Going into a marriage, two partners think they’ll “make it work.” It turns out that blending what often are two disparate views about finances isn’t quite so easy, and the issues become even more intransigent if one or both partners refuse to talk about it. Here are some ways you might be able to avoid the dreaded “D” word, and we don’t mean Dallas. Continue reading

What It Takes To Have A Mutually Amazing Relationship

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In the movies and on TV, relationships happen very easily and quickly. Tension builds as the program progresses. Characters show obvious signs of liking each other. Usually, the tensions build to such an extreme that in one dramatic moment they can’t take it anymore, stare into each other’s eyes and kiss passionately. They don’t talk, they don’t even discuss whether or not they like each other. They are inexplicably drawn together by the desire to kiss (and possibly participate in other intimate activities) all within the short span of about 15 seconds.

Just like real life, right? Ugh, No.

In TV, this is the “perfect” relationship. One where two people like each other so much that they just get together and live happily ever after. They look beautiful, sound beautiful and everything is perfect every time. What percentage of people have relationships start like this and live forever together without ever dealing with misunderstandings, assumptions, and annoyances?

When you look at deeply at any relationships, you recognize there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Continue reading

Codependency

codep     When I first realized I was a codependent, one of the things that I began to understand was that I lived my life playing the victim.  Everything was always happening TO me, people were always doing harm to me, and I was completely innocent, and the list could go on forever.  I victimized myself, and I wallowed in every bad emotion I had.  Doing this made me lose sight of the good things in life.

Today, I’d like everyone to grab a pen and paper so that we can make gratitude lists.  This is one of the tools that helps me feel good about myself and my life, and it helped reframe the misery I was putting myself in. Continue reading

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