Please Visit Our Website!

Family 1st Books invites you to visit our upgraded website at www.family1stbooks.com! Check out our parenting blog titled, "Parenting, the Ultimate Relationship Challenge."


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas the Ultimate Celebration


Each year ends with the biggest celebration--Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year. Celebrating with close friends and family gives you a chance to evaluate those relationships. You can set yourself up for big disppointments if your expectations exceed what happens.

Soul mates learn to focus more on what they bring to the celebration rather than what they get or how it turns out. We had a wonderful Christmas partly because we have learned to enjoy everything we can and let go of expectations. A great way to enjoy relationships.
< >/

Monday, December 28, 2009

If You Have Never Cheated--Don't


Recently we saw a powerful 1936 movie titled "Dodsworth". It dramatically showed the pain and folly of infidelity, the subject we talked about a few weeks ago.

The simple soul mate tip is, if you have never cheated--don't! You would trade a few minutes of pleasure for a lifetime of pain. Even if your relationship survives, there will always be a scar and regret. Soul mates trust each other, a requirement for intimacy.
< >/

Friday, December 18, 2009

Relationship Basics


After being exposed to many ways of learning to do relationship at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, I believe they all end up at the same place. How do I connect with, understand, and accept another person and still be who I am? It is the difficult dance between autonomy and connection.

I must learn to listen without defense, talk with honesty and clarity, be vulnerable when appropriate, minimize weaknesses (my own as well as others) and focus on strengths, and much more. No wonder relationship is difficult. It is a learning process well worth the effort. Life becomes much more enjoyable as we learn to relate well to others.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference 2009


I have just returned from a week of intensive classes at the "Evolution of Psychotherapy" conference in Anaheim, California. The conference was created in 1985 as a celebration of the 100th birthday of psychotherapy. It brings together leading experts in the field of psychotherapy. The conference has been held every 5 years until this year. Seven thousand five hundred people from every state in the Union and 50 foreign countries attended, 400 from Canada, 200 from Australia, and 150 from China. There were 8 keynote speakers, 17 primary faculty, and 22 other faculty.

Classes were held in the Convention Center, and the Marriott and Hilton hotels. Disneyland is across the street, but we had no time to go there. I have lots of new relationship tips to share after listening to the top relationship gurus in the world.
< >/

Monday, December 7, 2009

How About Sarah Todd Palin?


How do Todd and Sarah Palin make their relationship work? They have often had long absences from each other. Sarah told Oprah they made that work.

They have more time together since Todd quit his job on the North Slope in September. Sarah told "People Magazine", we are doing a lot of housework and yard work together. Those are our date nights. Just these frugal, practical things we've always done."

Do you think housework and yard work count as date nights?
< >/

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Thanksgiving Get-Away to Sea Ranch


We love the California north coast, the most romantic place we have found. We have just returned from six glorious days of connection and renewal. Enroute to the coast we found a three year old gourmet French restaurant, called "French Garden", in the little town of Sebastopol. Eating outstanding food in warm sunshine became an unexpected senendipity experience. It set the tone for the joyous time we had during the next six days. How was your Thanksgiving?
< >/

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can You Explain What Intimacy Is?


In Carolyn Hax's column in this morning's paper, a reader asks her to explain what intimacy is. The reader thought it is "part trust, part openness, part honesty, part acceptance and part other stuff".

Carolyn told her she had named the pieces, so put them together. Her definition: "Intimacy is when two people are open and honest with each other, even about their less-attractive sides, each loves and accepts the whole truth about the other, not just the highlights; and each trusts the other not to use this truth as a weapon."

Can you explain intimacy? Check out my book "Becoming Soul Mates" for more about intimacy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

20-20 Focus on Infidelity


Recently 20-20 attempted to answer the question, "Why do people cheat on each other?" They said 60% of cheaters are men, 40% are women. Whatever the percentage, cheating destroys trust and without trust people cannot become soul mates.

Some people simply do not know how to love or let go of defenses sufficiently to create intimacy. Some women believe that being "in love" means a continuation of the high energy excitement and passion experienced when a relationship is new. Some men never mature beyond their adolescent fantasies of unknown women as sexual objects. It takes maturity to move beyond the adolescent fantasy to know, understand, and love a real woman.

When two people commit to learning to understand, love, and accept each other, they will experience a growing intimacy. Fear will become less and less. Trust and safety will overshadow fear.
< >/

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dr. Erich Fromm on Love


"Love," says Dr. Fromm, "is the only satisfactory answer to the problems of human existence." Yet many people do not learn to love with maturity , self-knowledge, and courage. Learning to love requires intentional openness, genuine insight and understanding. You must be willing to practice what you learn, to open yourself to another human being. That takes willingness to be vulnerable and tough.

For example, if your partner tries to tell you that your sarcasm is hurtful, you don't tell her she just isn't a good sport and that you were only joking. Instead, you thank her for telling you and you try to be direct instead of using sarcasm. Listen instead of always being right.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Common Communication Mistake


Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply. Proverbs 18:13 says, "He who answers before listening-that is his folly and his shame." The New English Bible puts it this way, "To answer a question before you have heard it out is both stupid and insulting." SOUL MATES LISTEN WITH THE INTENT TO UNDERSTAND.
< >/

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Frog to Prince Winner


Another winner of the Frog to Prince contest, Caroline from North Dakota, wrote: "I caught my man doing something right. Since being laid off work, my husband has picked up the task of house cleaning and caring for our three-year-old daughter. However, when he cleaned the kitchen he wouldn't wipe down the counters and stove nor sweep the floor. When I carefully brought it to his attention, he became upset. I let it go. A day or so later I came in from work and the dishwasher was loaded and the counters were wiped off.
The floor still had not been swept but I acted as though I didn't notice. I gave him a huge bear hug and kissed him deeply and thanked him for his hard work in the house that day. He stated that if washing a few dishes would get him that much attention what would cleaning the toilet get him. We laughed."

Notice what your children, spouse, or employee do right. Let them know you appreciate it, and you will get more, enjoy more, and feel better.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Toad to Prince" Contest Winner


Experiences of women who took the "Toad to Prince" challenge by Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of "Your Man is Wonderful" are good soul mate tips. Today, with permission, I am sharing what first place winner Kelli from Alabama wrote:

"My main focus was to praise and appreciate my mate, and notice all the good things he does. On the first day, I met him when he drove in from work. I said the most ridiculous thing, 'You sure are good at parking that truck. I don't think you've ever driven on our grass.' I expected him to laugh and give me that 'you-gotta-be-kidding,' look. Instead, he beamed with pride. Later, we were putting away laundry and I looked at the stack of towels, all lop-sided and mismatched, that he had just put away. I said to him, 'Thanks for folding those towels so nicely. That was a big help! It was unlike me to say that; it even felt awkward just speaking those words. Again, expecting a sarcastic remark in return, I got a kiss and 'you're welcome, honey.'...OMG! Sweet! This (contest) has been the most eye-opening experience. I started out believing I was going to change this man's behavior. Instead, I learned that it was my changing behavior making the difference.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi Became Soul Mates


Patrick was 19 and Lisa was 15 when they met as dance students. They married in 1975. When talking to People Magazine about the secret to their long-term marriage, Patrick said, "You gotta keep the friendship alive, gotta keep interested, gotta keep remembering it's not about you, but it';s about us."

In their book, "The Time of My Life," Lisa writes, "Writing this book gave us the opportunity to explore the journey of our lives. Finding our story both illuminating and unexpected, we ultimately find within it a strength, richness and deep love that will, and has, always endured."

And in the book from Patrick, "there's my relationship with Lisa. I can't even begin to express what she has meant to me over the years....I can no more imagine life without her than I can imagine living without my own heart."

PARICK AND LISA HAVE LIVED WHAT IT MEANS TO BECOME SOUL MATES.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who Is First in Your Life?


Who comes first in your mind and thoughts? Hopefully, your partner has the top spot. Do somethig nice for him/her every day. Stay interested in what he/she does or says. Worry more about whether you are being a good partner than whether your partner is being a good mate to you.

Be more patient and kind to the person who means the most to you. Stay open to listening. Try not to judge. Be open to learning more about why you each behave and believe the way you do. Accept your partner. Don't try to change him/her. Then enjoy each other every day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Relationship Is Like A New Bank Account


In a relationship you start out at zero. What you put into the relationship is what you probably will get out of it. If you put nothing in or get nothing in return it is like investing in a bank that has gone bankrupt. That kind of relationship is a loser.

The quality of the relationship is based on the same principle. The better you are to your partner, the happier he/she will be and that means he/she will more likely be warm and thoughtful to you. Usually you get what you give. If that doesn't happen there is something wrong with that relationship.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Brenda Novak Offers Tips on Love


The Sacramento Bee recently asked Brenda Novak, romance writer, for some ideas on how to make love last. She gave eleven suggestions. Number one: "Avoid negative thought patterns." Some men and women get attention and strokes by being victim. These men will joke in negative ways about their partners with their friends. They talk about their partner's "bitching" about everything. Women complain to friends about always having to plan things to do or that their partner doesn't do his share. She always has to do everything.

It is difficult to live with a negative partner. It is hard enough for anyone to practice focusing on what is going right, but when you live with someone focused on what is wrong it makes it even more difficult. So take Brenda's number one suggestion seriously.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sheraton Hotel at Kona


The Sheraton Hotel at the Keauhou Bay is within walking distance of our timeshare. It is a magnificent hotel right on the water with a huge open-air lounge where we can sit and feel the sea breeze, hear the breakers beat against the shore, and watch boats of all descriptions go by. Everett and I spend time here, reading, writing, talking and recording it all in our memories to take home with us.

On troublesome days or times of stress we will come back to this place in our minds. We will hear the waves, feel the sea breeze, and connect again in our love for each other. It is a treasure that can be accesed when the ocean is far away and life is not so carefree.
< >/

Monday, September 14, 2009

Perfect Brides from Japan


At the Bamboo Restaurant in Hawii at the north tip of the Big Island an old picture of sixteen Japanese women lined up in two rows graced the wall at the head of our table. Under the picture was a plaque explaining how the women at ages 16 and 17 volunteered to come to Hawaii to marry the pineapple and sugar cane workmen. It described them as very brave.

It made me wish I could talk to them now to find out how those marriages turned out. I wonder if any of the couples became soul mates. Only one of them had a happy smiling face.

What do you think? I would be interested in seeing your comment.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hawaii--A Place of Romantic Enchantment


If you want to "fall in love" bring your partner to Hawaii. We have just returned from the Kona Coast relaxed and more "in love" than ever. We atttended a group meeting where we were identified as the longest married couple. The speaker asked Everett to tell the newlyweds in the group how to have a long marriage. He said, "Accept criticism and don't be angry." I was horrified. I tell couples,
"criticism is never useful and feelings are important." Apparently, what I thought I was doing and how I was doing were far apart.

Later, Everett told me, "I hate being asked questions like that. It is too hard to think on my feet. What I meant to say was, don't be defensive and learn to manage anger." Either way I think every couple struggles with learning not to blame and not to be defensive. When you have learned those two things, you will be able to talk about anything with each other. It is a lot easier to do that in Hawaii!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Time for a Soul Mate Check-Up


On a scale of one to ten where do you fall today in soul mate behavior? How about hello's and good-by's? Time spent talking, hugging, kissing, cuddling? What is he/she wearing? Did you notice? Have you been bitchy or understanding? Negative or positive? Critical or encouraging? Have you found something to enjoy? How often have you laughed? Have you done something for yourself?

We all need a check-up once in awhile. Today is all you've got. Treasure each moment. If you are with the one you love, today is a good day. Thank God for it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jillian Harris And Ed Swiderski Reality Show Lovers


"It's such a contradiction to have something so normal come from something so manic", Harris is quoted as saying in People magazine. She is talking about her relationship with Ed Swiderski. I think this is no more "normal" than the $60,000 custom designed platinum and diamond Neil Lane ring Ed gave Jillian.

What do viewers of "Bachelorette" think about all of this? Do you believe the show proves that soul mates are out there waiting to be found? What are the odds that relationships created on television will lead to lifelong soul mates?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jon and Kate Gosselin


I am sure you knew that it was inevitable that I would comment on this couple. Another highly visible celebrity couple blow up their marriage. The couple are taking eight small children, Mady and Cara, 8, Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Leah, and Joel, through the pain of divorce. They join thousands of children from "broken families."

Studies show that divorce is hard on children. The younger the child the harder it is. That is because young children cannot think abstractly until they are about 7 years old. They believe that if they were more acceptable and good, their Mommy or Daddy would not leave.

You can prevent this from happening by beginning to learn how to do relationship before you have children. Having children brings big change. It is a challenge to learn how to keep intimacy intact after children arrive.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Soccer's David and Victoria Beckham


David believes that the secret to making any marriage work is to have fun together. "Your kids have to come first, but you have to also spend time together as a couple," he says in People Magazine. David and Victoria celebrated their 10th anniversary in Seychelles, France. They had romantic meals and sat out until 5 in the morning every night talking and enjoying each other.

IF YOU WANT TO BECOME SOUL MATES, YOU MUST MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER!

"Marie Avinov"--An Amazing Love Story


When we were at Sea Ranch I read a powerful book, "Marie Avinov" by Paul Chavchavdze. This amazing love story shows how a strong woman survived miraculously
one of the bloodiest and most chaotic periods in world history. It is a true story. It is the kind of story that will impact your life and thinking.

Friday, July 31, 2009

LeAnn Rimes and Dean Sheremet


Rimes and Sheremet married when Rimes was 19 and Sheremet was 21. Seven years later they have separated. People Magazine once quoted Rimes as saying that marriage "is finding the one you're friends with and love, flaws and everything."
There is truth in that, but marriage also includes commitment and a willingness to work through the hard times.

Some celebrities learn to be soul mates, but it must be very difficult. It takes determination, a willingness to be faithful, and some kind of defense against the fame that follows them. Rimes and Sheremet had a lot going for them, but they may never experience the joy of being soul mates. That is a big loss.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sea Ranch--Where Romance Blooms


We have just returned from our favorite get-away place-Sea Ranch. Everyone of the 22 rooms at the lodge looks out at the ocean and acres of natural landscape. A ten mile trail follows the ocean north to the seaside town of Gualala. A solarium and dining room provide views up and down the coast. No television interferes with the peaceful solitude.

This morning we watched six or eight deer in the tall weeds and bushes outside our window. We read and write, walk and talk. We came home full of love and at peace with the world.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crunch! Crunch!


Soul mates don't feel like they are walking on eggs around each other. If either of you feel that way, it is time to make a relationship check and consider some help from a counselor. Soul mates feel relaxed and safe with each other.

If you are easily hurt and feel you must avoid conflict, you will make it impossible to understand and accept each other. The key to becoming soul mates is acceptance, understanding, and trust.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fear Creates Distance


One of the biggest hurdles to understanding your lover is to learn to listen without fear. To let go of defenses. In order to survive as children we learn defensive skills. When we grow up and want a close relationship, we still use those skills as if we are in danger from our lover. We are afraid that he/she might not speak to us or love us any more.


Early in our marriage Everett would walk out of the room when there was conflict. I would withdraw, shut-down, and be hurt when there was conflict. We had to learn how to let go of those defenses and listen to each other. Now that we can do that, we have found that love and intimacy have increased. We can be ourselves, say what we think and feel and still know that we are accepted and loved. We look forward to coming home to safety instead of dreading to come home because we don't know what to expect.
< >/

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Courage to Say What You Feel


Learning to be soul mates can only happen when individual differences are appreciated and mistakes are expected and communication is open. It cannot happen when people feel like they are walking on eggs around each other. It cannot happen if you avoid conflict by not talking about things that might upset the other person.

You may not say what you feel because of your partner's defensive reaction. Defensive reactions can be withdrawal and refusal to talk or it can be explosive accusations of blame for feeling that way. One man I know couldn't ask his wife about finances without his wife bursting into tears and accusing him of not trusting her. The results were disastrous and they ended up divorced and deeply in debt.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Understanding and Acceptance


I keep going back to understanding and acceptance, because that is the goal of being soul mates. You cannot be soul mates without it. It requires conscious and intentional openness to understanding. This, of course, presents a constant challenge.

A good example of that challenge is the way we accept the telling of shared stories. That was hard for me. Most of the time who is right and who is wrong has little to do with acceptance of the story. It doesn't matter whose story is closest to what actually happened. How our partner experienced and remembers a shared event gives us more information about who he/she is. Open up to that and enjoy who that person is.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Celebrating Our 54th Wedding Anniversary


When I first began writing these blogs, I did one titled "Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!" We have used every possible excuse to do that during our 54 years of marriage. We had very little money, because we both grew up in families with little money. We never needed it to celebrate.

In the beginning gas was cheap so we found country roads to explore, lakes and streams to fish, parks and beaches to go for picnics. Once we had each of our three children invite one of their friends and their family to our house for a family party. The children helped us plan and we had a great time.

This year we plan to celebrate our 54 years together with a short get-away. We love these great times together. How do you celebrate?

Monday, June 22, 2009

What If You Have Heard Their Stories Before


Telling each other your stories sets the stage for understanding. I love sharing my stories with Everett and I love having him share his stories with me. We now have many stories together. I don't always enjoy hearing him tell our stories, because we tell stories differently. Ev embellishes and doesn't consider details like numbers important. When we were younger, I felt a need to set him straight. I haven't done that for many years. When he tells our stories, it becomes his story. When I tell our stories, it is my story. Of course, they are different, because we experience things differently.

Some of Ev's stories I have heard many times. I don't mind. Stories he tells over and over tell me what is most important to him and what experiences have impacted his life. They help me understand why he thinks and feels what he does. Understanding and acceptance are the key to becoming soul mates.

Monday, June 15, 2009

John and Elizabeth Edwards


What about couples like John and Elizabeth Edwards? At one time they seemed to be soul mates. Soul mates do not cheat on each other. Cheating destroys trust. Without trust intimacy cannot exist.

Is it possible for soul mates to destroy the closeness they once experienced? Absolutely. A soul mate experience must be carefully cherished and never taken for granted. Infidelity shatters much of what feels good in soul mate relationships. In her book, "Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities", Elizabeth says when she learned of John's infidelity, she screamed, cried, and vomited. She was devastated. "All I wanted was my life back," she writes.

Can John and Elizabeth become soul mates again? Trust, once destroyed, cannot easily be rebuilt. It takes time, lots of time. They may not have long enough. My guess is that is why Elizabeth's book is titled, "Resilience."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Obamas' Date Night in Paris


The Obamas have a regular weekly date night, one of the reasons they have become soul mates. Did you read about their date night this week in Paris, the City of Love?They ate at a bistro,La Fontaine de Mars. The bistro dates back to the early nineteen hundreds and features rustic dishes from the southwest region of France.

Everett and I had a date night Friday. We ate at the Taste of Fair Oaks, a celebration of our community sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Not the same, but fun. What did you do on your date night this week?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Is Learning to Be Soul Mates Possible for Everyone?


"Falling in love" or experiencing false intimacy is nothing new. During courtship people often believe thay can talk about anything and they may have sex before they even know each other. That makes them believe they are more intimate than they really are.

Opening up to learning and understanding your partner over a period of time creates intimacy. That requires an ongoing level of maintenance that can be difficult. You may love your partner very much and still feel alone or misunderstood at times. This is particularly true when you experience conflict over something that is very important to you. It all goes back to the question, "How can I be connected to you and still be who I am?"

As difficult as relationship is, the reward is fantastic. Ask anybody who has been married many years and has successfuloly learned to become a soul mate.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Live Every Day for Each Other


None of us know how long we will have each other. Today I attended the memorial service of our 54 year old neighbor. Just a couple of years ago, he was a good-looking strong guy who lived life to the full. Then he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He fought hard to conquer his cancer but it got him in the end. He leaves a grieving family.

Jai Pausch, wife of best-selling author and lecturer, Randy Pausch,is coping with the loss of this amazing man who died of pancreatic cancer. She tells "People Magazine", "I think of what we could have had and wish it would have been." Randy, at 47, left behind three small children.

Look at your partner today and know that you have this minute, this day, to love each other. Don't let less important things keep you from showing that love.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back from Vacation


Vacations can test the quality of relationships. One couple I counseled got along well and had fun on vacations. At home they had conflict and misunderstanding about almost everything. For others vacations end up in disappointment and the couple may not be speaking to each other by the time they get home. How about you? What are your vacations like?

If you have regular get-aways during which you learn more and more about each other, vacations become longer get-aways. You have learned to laugh at the unexpected inconveniences--Your hotel made your reservations for last week and has no vacancies. You go down the wrong road and temporarily don't know where you are. You have to buy a new set of tires because you decided to take an unknown rocky mountain road. These are a few of the "disasters" we have experienced. These experiences make your vacations memorable--a lasting connection to each other.

We are back from a relaxing week at our Lake Tahoe timeshare. Like any week, it had its ups and downs, but it was another great time of memory making together.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Virginia Satir's Five Freedoms


Virginia Satir, a wise therapist and author in the 1900's, talked about the five freedoms for personal power. Soul mates understand the value of these freedoms.

  • "The freedom to see and hear what is here instead of what should be, was, or will be.

  • The freedom to say what one feels and thinks, instead of what one should.

  • The freedom to feel what one feels, instead of what one ought.

  • The freedom to ask for what one wants, instead of always waiting for permission.

  • The freedom to take risks in one's own behalf, instead of choosing to be only "secure" and not "rocking the boat."


This is just another way to describe allowing each other to be who you are--the greatest gift you can give.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obamas First Date Since Living in White House


If the Obamas can find time for dates, anyone can. Last Saturday night the President and his wife ate dinner at a D.C. French restaurant. Afterwards they took a walk on the South Lawn while holding hands.

Soul mates look for any opportunity to date. It need not cost money. Walk in the park, neighborhood, or along the river. Have a picnic. Sit in a mall and watch shoppers walk by. Everett and I used to make up stories about the people who walked past us. When was your last date?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Soul Mates and World Hunger


What is the connection between soul mates and world hunger? Soul mates care about others. They have intentionally increased awareness of their own blessings and the needs of others. They express their gratitude by sharing with others.

When buying groceries loving couples buy extras to give to the nearest food closet. Some put money in collection jars at grocery stores. Some grow food in vegetable gardens to give to groups who see that it is given to the hungry.

The most priceless gift I got last Christmas was this message from my 10 year old granddaughter:
Grandma
I think you are sweet like honey.
Your advice is always great that is why you are a councilor.
You buy food for the food closet.
You barely ever miss one of my soccer games.
You keep your promises.
You give the best kisses.

Merry Christmas

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring in California


In California in the spring getaways almost anywhere take you through lush green hills and valleys sprinkled with colorful wild flowers. Leaves and buds burst with new life in vineyards and orchards. No wonder driving from Fair Oaks to Gualala on the north coast fills us with the joy of life and romance no matter how many times we go.

This week for the first time we saw a muskrat swim the river to where it meets the ocean and then turn around and go back. We watched an osprey catch a fish and carry it in its talons to its nest. Often when we come, hundreds of pelicans stop at our stretch of beach. This time flocks of pelicans flew low but they didn't stop except to take a short swim in the river. We were disappointed. They are fun to watch.

We talk about our lives and love well into the night not bothering to turn the lights on. Beautiful reds, golds, and blacks across the sky entertain us as the sun sets. After more than 50 years together, it doesn't get better than this.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Are You Listening?


During the past few weeks I have listened to three women who complained to their husbands that they hated to be grabbed by their breasts or their bottoms in a sexual way especially when they were doing something non-sexual like getting something out of the cupboard. In all three cases the guy didn't get it. One said his wife had no sense of humor. Another said, "She just doesn't understand. It's a guy thing." The other one said, "I can't do anything right. She complains that I don't give her attention. Then when I do, she gets mad at how I do it."

Gender differences are huge, but if you listen to your partner you will gradually learn what it is like to be a woman if you are a man or to be a man if you are a woman. That is how you learn to be a lover. Open up to understanding by listening. That is the key.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Unplanned Spring Get-Aways


A week ago at the farmers' market I picked up a brochure advertising nearby foothill wine country. It was one of those rare Saturdays we didn't have anything scheduled. I said to Everett, "Wouldn't it be fun to drive up into the foothills today?" We hadn't been to that area for years. He agreed.

What a delightful day! Lush green grass spread across the hills and valleys inhabited by horses, cows, sheep and even wooly llamas. Ducks and birds found the ponds and streams. Yellow daffodils and poppies and other wildflowers blended with flowering trees to add splashes of color. We bought a pastrami sandwich at a little winery deli and ate our lunch at a picnic table beside a pond.

STOP TO SMELL THE ROSES IS GOOD ADVICE FOR ANY COUPLE ON THEIR WAY TO BECOMING SOUL MATES.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bachelor's Couple Jason and Molly Want to Learn


One out of 17 Bachelor couples have made it as a couple so far. What are the chances of such a couple learning to become soul mates? Probably very slim. Will Jason and Molly be the exception? At this point, I think they would like to be.

It will depend on how open they both are to learning and to understanding each other. Molly tends to be more disciplined and organized. "She has a hard time trying new things," according to Jason. She did agree to go on the show, which sounds like a pretty far out new thing to me.

Jason and Molly are just beginning to know each other. We will have to wait and see how accepting they can be.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Carolyn Hax on What Brings Couples Close


"Entrusting your hearts to each other and regarding that trust as both a lofty honor and a mundane set of daily responsibilities," writes Carolyn Hax, "that's what brings couples close." Carolyn writes for the Washington Post and other newspapers.

We will be talking more about the importance of opening up to understanding. You cannot understand each other if you don't have mutual openness. That means no secrets. Talk about everything. In order to have peace many couples avoid emotionally charged subjects. Those subjects are probably important for coming to true understanding and acceptance of each other. REMEMBER! You will never become soul mates if you cannot trust your lover with your heart.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What Is the Secret to Long-term Relationship?


I asked this question to a group of couples who had been married 40 years or longer. Many of them attributed their long-term marriages to faith. Also, high on the list were similar values, commitment, sense of humor, showing affection and saying "I love you" often.

Here were some of the other responses:
--talk about disagreements. Don't lose your temper.
--compassion
--give 150% each
--do your share
--cherish each other
--trust
--fight fair

One man said, "I used as my guide--I don't want to have to say some day, I wish that-----" What do you think is the secret to long-term relationship?

Monday, March 16, 2009

If Your Partner Doesn't Talk to You


Are you one of those many people who complain that your partner doesn't talk to you? A client of mine asked her husband, "If you had it to do over again, would you do the same thing?" She expected him to say, "Yes, of course. I could never live without you." Instead he said thoughtfully, "I don't know."

His answer hurt her. "I wouldn't change a thing," she said. "I feel like he doesn't love me." He was surprised. "I was thinking it would have been better if I had waited until I was more financially secure," he said.

How sensitive are you? Are you so fragile that your partner is afraid to share feelings with you? If you want a truly soul mate experience, you must be willing to be tough enough to hear feelings without fear.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Anne Hathaway Ends a Relationship


Anne Hathaway ended a 4 year relationship with Raffaello Follieri in June of 2008 when she learned his charitable foundation was under investigation. Later he was sentenced to prison for 4 and a half years.

In an interview with Barbara Walters following the Academy Awards, Anne said, "Loving is not just giving. It is also receiving."

Are you able to receive as well as give? Anne shared an important truth. A good relationship requires give and take and cannot be one sided and still thrive.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some Celebrities Who Are Soul Mates


George and Laura Bush
Barrack and Michelle Obama
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness

In the February 22nd Parade Magazine Tom Hanks says, "The woman I share my life with has taught me every day just what love is." He went on to call the Oscars a great date. When he looked at Rita for confirmation she said, "Any time I'm spending a night with you, it's fantastic, honey." A bit of bantering, but I bet she meant it.

Hugh Jackman told Barbara Walters Following the Academy Awards that his wife Deborra-Lee Furness is "supportive of everything I do. I am madly in love with her more and more each day."

This is a short list based on what I have seen and read. Look around. Make a list of your own and see how difficult it is to find true soul mates. Many people, like Mariah Carey, claim to be soul mates. I hope they are right and that their closeness endures.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some Celebrity Break-ups--2008


Shania Twain and Robert Lange------------married 14 years
Kate and Alex Walsh----------------------married 15 months
Al and Star Ryenolds---------------------married 3 years
Liv Tyler and Royston Langdon------------married 5 years
Marsha and Robin Williams----------------married 19 years
Carey and Pink Hart----------------------married 2 years
Tea Leoni and David Duchovny-------------married 11 years
Madonna and Guy Richie-------------------married 7 years

Relationship is difficult for everyone. No exceptions. It must be even more difficult for celebrities. Few people manage fame well. If you want to become soulmates, you have to learn how to be one. That takes commitment and desire. That is what this blog is all about.

Some Celebrity Weddings--2008


Katherine McPhee and Nick Cokas------Feb. 2 California
Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkazy------Feb. 2 France
Beyonce' Knowles and Jay-Z-----------April 4 New York
Eli Manning and Abby McGrew----------April 19 Mexico
Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict----------April 20 California
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon---------April 30 Bahamas
Jenna Bush and Henry Hager-----------May 10 Texas
Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz--------May 17 California
Loni Anderson and Bob Flick----------May 17 California
Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller-----May 30 California
Tim Baland and Monique Idlett--------June 10 Virginia
Sara Evans and Jay Barker------------June 14 Tennessee
Ethan Hawke and Ryan Shawhughes------June New York
Chris Evert and Greg Norman----------June 28 Bahamas
Olivia Newton-John and John Easterling June 28 Florida
Jewel and Ty Murray------------------August 7 Bahamas
Deborah Livi and James Gandolfini----August 30 Hawaii
Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds-September 27 Vancouver Island
Beverly Mitchell and Michael Cameron October 1 Italy
Picabo Street and John Reeser--------October 25 Alabama
John Rich and Joan Bush--------------December 6 Nashville
Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo-------December 12 Connecticut

It will be interesting to see how many of these celebrity newlyweds go on to become soul mates. Mariah Carey told People Magazine, "We really do feel we are soulmates." It is too early to know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Finding A Blog


I thought it would be fun to go to Anne Hathaway's site and see if I could find my blog about Anne and Kate Hudson. I finally found it on page 31 under "search blogs". I had no idea one person could have so much written about them in so little time. I wonder what page my blog is on at Kate Hudson's site. Maybe some day I will look. Not today! I will let you know. I am afraid they are listed in the order of someone's opinion about their importance. Ouch!

George W. Bush's Biggest Success


According to People Magazine, publicly Laura Bush denies that she and George are bothered by plunging public opinion. And his critics? "Those people don't know George," she says.

"George and I have both worked hard to make our relationship strong," says the former First Lady. "We allowed each other to grow in ways that neither of us would have guessed." (Ladies' Home Journal--Feb. 2002) George called his decision to marry Laura "The best decision I ever made."

"George and Laura have unwavering love for one another that's grounded in a deep and abiding faith," says a close friend. Clearly, they have become soul mates in spite of very different personalities and backgrounds. Their relationship is George W. Bush's biggest most important success.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Celebrate Valentine's Day


Harrah for Valentine's Day, the perfect time to celebrate each other. It doesn't have to cost much money. Make your valentines and write your own special message of love on them. If you have less time than money, find a valentine that says what you want to say.

One idea is to read these blogs together and talk about the ones the two of you can relate to or the ones you disagree with. This won't cost anything and could provide a way to connect with each other. Don't let the day pass without doing something to celebrate your special person.

We have created a tradition over the years. On Valentine's Day Everett steams clams and we have champaigne. We bought one champaigne glass each year on our anniversaries until we had eight of them. They are beautiful and remind us of our love.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Do You Hope to Hit a Marriage Jackpot?


What do you expect in relationship? Do you believe that a few lucky people have great relationships--fun, love, companionship, passion, fidelity, trust, and respect? Just like the lottery, the odds of hitting the jackkpot are very slim?

There may be some truth in the belief that many marriages never achieve the ultimate closeness of soul mates. It is also true that if you work on yourself and learn from every relationship you have, you can become the optimal partner. Because you are reading this blog, I know you are a learner and that your chance of creating a soul mate relationship is better than average. Take your time. Be smart. Respect yourself. Go for it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson on Relationship


Anne and Kate answer questions about relationship in the January 19th issue of "People Magazine". "I don't believe in 'the one', says Anne, "but I believe these are people you're meant to spend your life with."

"It comes down to how comfortable people are with intimacy," according to Hudson. "People who are accepting of that usually have the longest lasting relationships."

What do you think? Can people have good relationships without being comfortable with intimacy? Intimacy sounds simple, but it is not. The word "intimacy" brings up every fantasy of love we have ever had. Learning how to balance autonomy, which means being in charge of your own life, and connection has everything to do with how well we do relationships.

No wonder so many people feel baffled in their quest for intimacy. We have a primal longing for connection, but at the same time we fear it. For more about this, check out "Becoming Soul Mates--How to Create the Lifelong Relationship You Always Dreamed Of."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What You Can Learn from Divorce


Perhaps your attempts at marriage have ended in pain, disappointment and even despair. Is there hope for you to ever have a soul mate relationship? Of course, if you can learn from your experience.

Grieve the loss of the relationship. Be willing to experience the pain and learn more about yourself and what you need to know before getting into another relationship. What do you want in relationship? Avoid getting into relationship with someone who is married. If they are willing to cheat on their spouse, trust will always be an issue.

Take your time. Accept and respect yourself. Don't dwell on hurts from the past. Focus on and value what you have learned from past relationships. You can always take some positive things from any relationship you have had with someone you have loved.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Create the Relationship You Want


Probably the most difficult challenge people face is learning how to create good relationships. That is why books like Colene Sawyer's "Fishing in the Moonlight" and my book "Becoming Soul Mates" are helpful. Colene's book includes exercises you can do to help you learn to be a good partner. It also helps you learn how to move on when you have had a relationship fail.

"Becoming Soul Mates" gives help for making differences work for you rather than against you. It emphasizes the importance of starting with knowing and respecting yourself. It takes you through some of the complexities of listening and talking. Finally, it leaves you with 20 important bits of advice essential for intimacy. If you want to learn more, check out these books.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We Hit the Jackpot on This Get-Away


Full moon--balmy sunny weather--great food--uneventful three and a half hour trip to our old room at Sea Ranch Lodge. It all added up to a feeling of hitting the jackpot!

Through the years this corner room with its window seats next to big windows facing the ocean north and west has been the place Everett and I have connected and learned about each other. We have celebrated many anniversaries there. The room is rustic and poorly lighted with no television. We lie on the window seats with the ocean breeze coming in the open windows and watch the sun disappear into the ocean. We talk as the room grows darker.

When the Silicon Valley was thriving, prices at Sea Ranch skyrocketed and we had to find cheaper lodging at nearby Gualala. We could afford this year's winter rates, so we decided to celebrate my birthday at this special place. We took a walk and saw deer, seals, pelicans, and wonder of wonders two whales traveling south. We have a favorite log about two miles from the lodge. That is were we sit and reminisce.

To top off this perfect get-away, Monday night the lodge had an appreciation party for their employees and they invited the lodge guests. The chef is excellent and he had an array of great food set out in a large buffet. The food, wine, and people were outstanding and it was all complementary. I couldn't believe how blessed we were. We will remember this trip until we die or lose our memories, whatever comes first.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are Hugh Jackman and Delorra-Lee Furness Soul Mates?


"The Sexiest Man Alive," Hugh Jackman, and his wife, Deborra, appear to be on their way to becoming soul mates. Married 12 years they have made each other and family their highest priority. When Jackman was asked, "What makes you Happiest?' by a People Magazine reporter, he answered, "Being with my family, definitely, without a doubt."

"If someone asks me what it's like to be married to the Sexiest Man Alive," says Deborra, "I'll say' Damned interesting and a lot of fun!' Hugh is sexy to me every day because he is always truly himself."

Fame puts tremendous pressure on relationships. Fame comes and goes. Soul mate reationships last forever. I hope Hugh and Deborra will always realize that and keep their relationship growing. I wish them well.

There was an error in this gadget