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Family Therapist Explains 10 Ways to Win Over Your In-Laws

Family Therapist Explains 10 Ways to Win Over Your In-Laws

Getting married is an exciting adventure filled with love and plenty of planning. One thing that the happy couple doesn’t prepare for is what it’s like to meet the in-laws. There have been movies made about the dreaded encounters when you meet your mother and father-in-law, and they learn that you will take the hand of their son or daughter. The good news is it makes for great movies and videos, but you can have a beautiful relationship with your family, and everyone can live in harmony. Now, it all comes down to the personality of each party and their views on things. Some people are easier to win over than others.

Not only can an awkward relationship with your love’s family cause you anxiety, but it also puts your partner in the middle of any disputes. Over the long-term, your partner will also suffer stress from this predicament.

10 Tips to Build an Excellent Relationship With Your In-Laws

If you want to have a good relationship with your in-laws and win them over from the start, here are some tips that can help you accomplish this task.

1. Respect Their Religious Beliefs

Whenever you join two families together, you are bringing different backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs. You must respect their family and their views, even if they don’t align with yours.
In some faiths, women wear caps over their heads as a covering. Here are some examples. In the Mormon faith, they don’t believe in drinking caffeine of any kind. In the Muslim faith, alcohol is a no-go.

It’s easy to see how just these three examples could bring about major conflict with some people. However, while you don’t have to live by their rules and regulations, you should follow them while you’re in their home. So if the family is against drinking, you shouldn’t bring a flask in for dinner.

These little gestures of kindness can have a significant impact on your relationship with your in-laws. Additionally, you want your husband or wife to feel that you have respect for their family, or it can cause a significant rift. Being positive about religious diversity will go a long way, according to studies.

2. Always Show Kindness

It would help if you treated your partner’s parents how you want your parents to be treated. Even if they step across the line or say inappropriate things, you want to make sure that you treat them with respect. It’s perfectly acceptable to say something like, “I respect and value your opinion, but we will have to agree to disagree.”

There’s no need to argue and fight when you can state your feelings and move on. This world would sure be a boring place if everyone had the same opinions.

3. Include The In-Laws When Appropriate

One of the things that cause rifts with the in-laws is they feel excluded. When a son or daughter starts spending time with a love interest, the family often feels left out. They may not be present at Sunday dinners anymore, or they may not be as readily available to help with household needs.

You will probably encounter a lot of ill feelings because you take him or her away from them. The vital thing to counteract these feelings is including them. If Sunday dinner is a big thing at their house, then make sure that you attend also.

Though it’s difficult, you need to make sure that you don’t cut off people that were so special just because you’re busy being in love. You will need those relatives one day, so it’s best to start on the right foot.

4. Be Up Front and Honest

Honesty will go a long way with your future relatives. It’s easy to want to embellish your accomplishments to put yourself in a brighter light. Frankly, who doesn’t want the family of their future husband or wife to think they are going places?

It would help if you remembered that the things you say could and will impact your relationship at some time. If you exaggerate your salary or social standing, eventually, they will know the truth. Dishonesty can cause you plenty of problems when it comes to your in-laws, so it’s best to stick to the facts and be truthful from the start.

5. Defend Them When They Feel Slighted

One way to get on your mother or father in-law’s right side is to come to their defense. According to research, family members care if others in the unit feel they receive justice. Even if it’s just in family arguments or disagreements with the cell phone company, you need to play their defender.

When you rush to their defense during times of adversity, it shows that you are rooting for them and on the same team. They will appreciate that you stand up for them, especially when it seems like they’re on the losing end.

6. Laugh at Their Jokes

Some new family members may try to win you over with levity. Even if they tell the dumbest jokes you’ve ever heard, and they are not remotely funny, you still need to laugh.

When you give them the pleasure of thinking they’re funny, it’s a form of bonding. They want someone who is not only going to treat their son or daughter properly but will also listen to what they have to say.

7. Keep Conversations Light

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your future relatives is to delve into in-depth topics too soon. Never discuss politics or religion unless you have no choice. These two subjects have caused war and many violent encounters across the country, and the last thing you want to do is talk about such matters with the family.

Try to keep things neutral and positive. Please talk about the weather, sports, and your partner when they were a child. If you want to make a good impression, then don’t get into anything controversial.

8. Offer a Helping Hand to the In-Laws

If you want to butter up the in-laws, then you can offer to lend a helping hand. A mother loves nothing more than their soon to be daughter in law to help peel potatoes or do other mundane tasks.

Perhaps, they need a new light hung in the Livingroom as the old one is on the fritz. If you have electrical skills and can hang that light for them, they will bond instantly with you. Helping them doesn’t mean making them feel like they can’t do something for themselves.

You want to tread lightly because some people may find it offensive if you try to take over their home, and this is especially true about a woman in her kitchen. Make sure it’s known that you want to help and not take charge.

9. Become Interested in Family History

Every family has a story. They may be relatives of a famous person, or they may have some well-to-do millionaires that they are close too. When you are going to marry someone, you must know about their family.

Additionally, family members will like the fact that you seem interested in their clan. Therapists advise that there are always destructive dynamics that you want to steer clear of in every family. So you should learn as much as you can about their history.

10. At Least Consider Taking Their Last Name

The older generation is a bit more old-fashioned. It was always commonplace for the women to take the man’s name in marriage. However, millennials have changed things dramatically. These days, you can hyphenate your name, keep it the same, or the husband can take the wife’s name.

If you want to impress them and let them know that you love their family, you can at least consider changing your name to match theirs. They will respect the fact that you at least considered the possibility.

Final Thoughts: What Not to Say or Do to The In-Laws?

Now that you’ve learned all the things you should do to get in your new family’s good graces, there are a few things that you should avoid. Here are the top things to avoid when dealing with your in-laws.

1. Don’t talk about religion or politics.
2. Avoid Subjects about alcohol or your consumption.
3. Don’t criticize their parenting skills or offer suggestions.
4. Never put down their son/daughter’s ways to them.
5. Don’t call them mom or dad right away without being told it’s okay.
6. Never tell them they have a standing invitation to your home.
7. Avoid making them feel inferior to your family.
8. Don’t talk about your family’s finances or yours either.
9. Avoid discussion holiday schedules in advance.
10. Don’t let the relationship turn into a power struggle.
11. Keep your not-so-nice opinions to yourself.
12. Never discuss the not-so-savory circumstances you’ve faced.

Dealing with in-laws can be a nerve-wracking experience. You want to put your best foot forward and hope they like you. Remember, these are the people that you’re going to see on every holiday, birthday party, or other special occasions. You want to forge a good relationship with them even if you don’t like them.

No one says that you must be good friends with your relatives, but you must find ways to get along even if it’s just for your spouse’s sake. If you want to win these people over, then you must be cautious during your first few encounters.


Therapist Reveals 15 Ways Nagging Harms Relationships

Therapist Reveals 15 Ways Nagging Harms Relationships

In a relationship, nagging usually doesn’t accomplish anything except making both partners distance themselves from each other. Therapists agree that it is something that can tear a relationship apart.

Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT, a therapist with over 30 years of experience, says the following about this behavior:

“Nagging, or making the same request over and over again, usually does not get the desired result. Instead, it generally leads to a downward spiral with negative thoughts and feelings about each other and withdrawing, feeling discounted, misunderstood, controlled or unimportant.”

If you find yourself in a continuous cycle of pestering your partner about the same things, you can be doing more harm than good. You may not even realize the damage it’s doing until it’s too late.

15 Ways That Nagging Can Cause Hard Feelings in a Relationship

Here are 15 ways that, according to therapists, nagging can harm your relationship.

1. Your partner feels like you aren’t listening to them.

At some point and time, your partner may have revealed to you why they won’t do whatever it is you keep bugging them about. Maybe you didn’t agree, or perhaps you forgot. Either way, your partner will feel like you just aren’t listening to how they think about a particular situation. When a person feels like they aren’t being heard, they stop trying to talk to you. They may feel like the situation is hopeless.

2. There is a breakdown in communication.

This goes hand in hand with the first tip. Because your partner feels like you aren’t listening, they may stop trying to communicate with you altogether. There will be no more feedback on what you’re saying. They may begin to ignore you entirely, which will probably make your nagging worse. Eventually, you’ll start to feel just like your partner does – that they aren’t listening – and communication will break down between the two of you.

3. Arguments become more passive-aggressive.

After a breakdown in communication, the only thing that’s left is taking jabs at each other. Talking is getting you nowhere. Arguing is getting you nowhere. Now you’re left with resentment, which can manifest itself in the form of passive-aggressive behavior. This can further alienate your partner, as well as yourself. You’ll find yourself in a hostile relationship, which isn’t healthy for either one of you. It won’t last long with things being that way.

4. It can make your partner feel like you’re trying to his or her mother.

People love their mothers, and they may even seek out partners that have the same traits as their mother. This is especially true for men. However, that doesn’t mean they want to date their mother. You don’t want to be your partner’s mother any more than they want you to, but when you constantly nag your partner, it can remind them of how their mother used to get on them.

5. It just makes life dull and annoying.

No one wants to be around someone that gets on their nerves all the time. Just imagine if you must be around someone who is always pestering you, bothering you, telling you what you’re doing wrong, or getting on you about something. Yes, it’s frustrating being around or living with someone who won’t listen, but being a nag is never the answer. You need to find common ground on the situation.

6. It can make your partner tune you out.

The silent treatment. That would probably get on your nerves more than arguing would. Your partner may decide that they aren’t going to deal with your nagging. They are just going to ignore you and tune you out when your lips start moving. This can get irritating because they may begin tuning you out even during times that you aren’t a nag. They ignore you all the time now.

7. It can put your partner under a lot of stress.

Your partner may not know what to expect from you when you continuously nag them, and this can put them under a lot of stress. They don’t know how to act in front of you, what to say to you, or how to react to you. They may feel like you resent them or that they can’t please you. Not knowing what to do or say in front of someone you care about can create so much stress that you don’t want to be around that person. This is what can happen to your partner.

Here are five signs of poor communication in a marriage (and why this spells trouble!)

8. Your partner may begin to dread seeing you.

From the last tip, where your partner is stressed out, they’ll begin to dread seeing you because being around you isn’t a pleasant experience. They’ll start to expect drama from you, and no one likes to deal with drama. You can be sure that once you get to a point where your partner dreads seeing you, your relationship will be close to coming to an end.

9. Your partner may begin to confide in someone else.

You can probably think back to when you and your partner could talk about anything. That may not be the case anymore. You may begin to notice that you don’t speak as much or at all. This means your partner is probably confiding in someone else. It could be a friend or family member. You should hope that it’s not another romantic partner. Just keep in mind that your partner is human. If you make it difficult for them to talk to you, they’ll end up talking to someone else.

10. Your partner may begin to speak ill of you to others.

When your partner begins to confide in others, it might not be all pleasant talk. It’s going to hurt if you find out that your partner is saying bad things about you behind your back. Your partner probably needs an outlet to express how they’re feeling. Unfortunately, if you constantly nag them, they probably aren’t feeling good, so they’re probably not saying good things.

11. Your partner might lose their self-esteem.

When someone is continuously told that they’re doing something wrong, they may begin to feel like they can’t do anything right. It will start to weigh on their confidence and self-esteem. The last thing you want to do is to make your partner feel bad. You nag because they aren’t listening to you, and it can be frustrating. However, it would be best if you found a better way to communicate because you’re only making your partner feel bad about themselves.

12. It can make your partner react in a way they’ll regret later.

All that passive-aggressive behavior and the hit to their self-esteem can make your partner react in a way that they don’t intend to. Remember, your partner is human. People can only take so much before they snap. Don’t let things get to that point. Cut out the nagging before things escalate to the point of no return.

13. Your partner might stop coming home.

If you live with your partner, you probably expect them to come home each night. You may begin to notice that your partner has to “work late” all the time. It may get to a point where your partner stops coming home altogether. That’s going to cause a lot of additional problems in your relationship.

14. It can lead to depression.

When you constantly nag your partner, everything starts to break down, as discussed in the previous tips. This can lead to both of you being extremely unhappy with each other. You may love each other, but you can’t stand to be around each other. Now you’re both depressed, and your relationship is in jeopardy.

15. It can lead to substance abuse.

When all other methods of coping fail, substance abuse could be next on the list. This can happen to you, as well as your partner. This is probably the worst thing that could come from constant nagging. Substance abuse will introduce a whole host of new problems to the relationship. Old issues won’t even stand a chance of being solved. You should stop being a nag before things get to this point.

Final Thoughts on How Nagging Can Cause Breakdown of Love and Trust in Your Relationship

Understandably, you nag your partner because they aren’t doing something right, no matter how many times you bring it up. You’re irritated and frustrated, and you probably don’t know how else to get through to your partner. However, nagging is never the answer. It only makes things worse.

You need to sit down and have an in-depth conversation with your partner. Get their feedback on what’s happening between the two of you and make sure you listen and consider their side of things. This should help to clear up the situation, but if it doesn’t, then you need to consider the fact that the issue may never be resolved. You need to decide if it’s a relationship dealbreaker or a quirky habit that you can live with.

Whatever you decide to do, stop nagging your partner all the time.


Therapist Reveals 7 Things To Consider Before Moving In With Your Partner

Therapist Reveals 7 Things To Consider Before Moving In With

Moving in with a partner is a huge and exciting step in any relationship. It can also be nerve-wracking and leave you wondering if you are truly ready to leap this milestone with your loved one.

Many couples indeed face some difficulties after moving in together. Luckily, you can circumvent a lot of these potential problems by making sure you’re on the same page and keeping certain things in mind beforehand. Here’s how a therapist reveals seven things to remember before moving in with a partner.

1.    Needs and Expectations

You might think you know your partner inside-out, and perhaps you do! Even so, it’s always a good idea to have one’s needs and expectations listed out and openly discussed. To ensure that moving in remains a positive and pleasant experience, both you and your partner need to see this is a challenge that you have to work together to overcome!

With that in mind, here are a few key topics you might want to tackle first:

·         Discuss Expectations

Research confirms that close interpersonal relationships work best when both parties are forthcoming with their wants, needs, and desires. Sit down with your partner beforehand and have an open discussion about simple things like routines (both on a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule), whether you’d rather set the table instead of preparing dinner, and what you’re looking to get out of this living situation.

·         Set Boundaries

Even when both you and your partner get very close, living in close quarters together can put a strain on even positive relationships. As a result, it’s best to listen to the experts and take the time to set down some boundaries. These can range from more obvious ones like time priorities and how much quality time you both want or need, to more straightforward questions about who’s in charge of paying for the groceries and the bills. This talk shouldn’t be a one-time discussion either – experts suggest catching up with each other on these discussions on a daily or weekly basis, so you both will stay on the same page as much as possible.

·         Figure Out Your Intention

While moving in with your partner may seem like a natural and exciting evolution in your relationship, it’s crucial to pause still and consider why you’re taking this big step. Positive thinking aside, it’s possible that you or your partner may be doing this for reasons that are rooted in fear, rather than growth. And that needs to be something you both need to look into, to avoid problems in the future.

·         Intimacy

It’s only natural to expect intimacy from your partner when you move in together – both sexual and romantic. That said, it’s crucial to discuss intimacy needs, sexual expectations, and any potential discrepancies between you and your partner’s libido in advance. This chat is so you can make sure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to intimacy needs and expectations before moving in together.

·         Determine Your End Goal

Moving in together is a significant upgrade in anyone’s relationship, but this relationship upgrade shouldn’t be an end goal in and of itself. There should be plenty of other long-term goals that you both might have or ought to discuss after achieving this exciting goal, says Widener University Human Sexuality Program assistant professor Dr. Sabitha Pillai-Friedman. For example, you would both need to decide if you would like to simply just wait and see how your relationship develops, or commit to each other permanently, or even get married!

2.    Financial Concerns

The most natural assumption would be that money is a frequent source of conflict between partners living together. A study, however, has proven that this isn’t the case. Don’t start celebrating just yet, though: the same study also showed that money problems also last longer and are often harder to resolve. This outcome is usually because both of you might disagree on just how much money should be put into those saving accounts – or if that goal is worth saving for at all.

Additionally, it bears keeping in mind that you will both have to decide who’s financially in charge of which bills as well – especially if you’re bringing along extra expenses in the form of pets and the like. As such, author, TV host, and relationship expert Andrea Syrtash recommends discussing financial issues before moving in together. Who’s paying for what? How much do you earn? Lay it all on the table!

3.    Quirks and Habits

Things that may seem adorable or cute to either of you may quickly turn into a nuisance once you find yourself dealing with it 24/7. It’s best first to discuss such things and to also reveal to each other if there’s anything else the other doesn’t know about you. After all, neither of you will be able to hide it from each other while living together!

Additionally, both of you ought to hammer out and discuss who should do which chores, and how frequently. This planning can prevent fights over household cleanliness levels, resentment towards one another, and awkward situations where some aspect of the household gets neglected – to everyone’s depriment.

4.    It Won’t Be Easy, But You’re In This Together

Frankly speaking, living together is not easy to do. So you should come to expect that things are going to go south sometimes. Even so, both you and your partner should consider each other a team trying to overcome challenges – not enemies. So with that in mind:

·         Prepare To Get On Each Other’s Nerves

When living together in the same space, it’s only inevitable that you will get irritated by your partner more often than usual. It’ll likely be in the form of little habits and quirks that annoys either of you and only when you both start living together – like leaving empty cups in the sink for days or your partner’s penchant for smelly foods. Be prepared for this to happen, and don’t let it bring you too much anxiety, says Relationship Expert Justin Lavelle.

·         Prepare For The Ugly

The most intimate method to get to know someone, warts, and all truly, is to live with them. This experience is how you’ll find out if they are neat freaks that drive you crazy, or if they’re the type to live in a pigsty without a care in the world! Both of you should hammer out as much of this as possible in advance, but you’re still going to have to mentally prepare that things can get bad or ugly as well – and you’ll have to continue living with them anyway.

·         Communicate More Than Ever

Once you start living together full time, excellent communication becomes crucial. Research proves that specific communication skills – like the ability to express emotions openly and maturely – are incredibly important if you want to be able to live together happily. This habit is especially so since there is now no room for either of you to escape to, should tempers flare and people get hurt.

5.    Chores and Responsibilities

There will continuously be things that have to be done. Either the floors must be swept, or the bathrooms scrubbed, or the garbage is taken out. Whatever it is, both you and your partner will have to figure out how to divvy up the chore list.

Ideally, you’ll want to:

  • Discuss the frequency of certain chores and responsibilities, and if there are certain chores either of you prefers or hates
  • Ask each other what household tasks needed and what rooms you’ll want to manage.
  • Create a schedule with individual responsibilities for both of you

Bear in mind that all this needn’t be set in stone if either changes your mind. Both of you need to figure out how to get the chores sorted and completed without either one of you feeling like the division of labor is uneven.

6.    There Will Be Changes

It’s naive to assume that the relationship both of you share will remain static and unchanging after such a huge, life-changing event – or even over time.

While neither of you will suddenly become different people overnight, it’s important to remember that with time comes a change in goals and aspirations. It may affect one’s disposition and behavior, and that is something that might cause clashes between both of you.

Additionally, once you move in together, both of you are going to have to contend with lifestyle adjustments, says relationship specialist J. Hope Suis. This adjustment phase is normal and expected whenever you move in with anyone. Thus, it’s a good idea to discuss things with them first.

7.    Break-Up Plans

Nobody wants to think about this, especially if you haven’t moved in yet. But it’s essential to think about how you and your partner are going to be able to pull out if living together doesn’t work.

For example, some things you’ll have to keep in mind are:

·         Finances

Melding finances together is much easier than trying to separate it later. If you share a joint account, how do you both split the money? What happens to the bills and fees?

·         Assets

Once you and your partner stop living together, you naturally will no longer be sharing belongings and assets. It’s essential to keep in mind that you will both have to figure out and decide who gets possession of what item(s) – which will only get exponentially more difficult after living together for long periods.

·         Logistics

If living together is no longer a viable solution, both of you will still need someplace to live in. Additionally, both of you will have to figure out how to move your respective belongings out later too.

It’s natural to cling on to positive thinking and hope that this is a situation that both you and your partner won’t have ever to worry about or think about. But it’s always a good idea to plan for this possibility, to make things smoother and easier should the unthinkable happen. According to relationship expert and podcast host Damona Hoffman, this can make for a more amicable split.

Final Thoughts On Some Things To Remember Before Moving In With Partner

It’s equally thrilling and frightening to move in with a partner. Making sure, first, you are on the same page and remembering certain things before the big step forward can help make the transition smoother.


Therapist Reveals 7 Steps to a Sincere Apology

Therapist Reveals 7 Steps to a Sincere Apology

Two of the most difficult words to say are “I’m sorry.” Why is it so hard for some people to admit when they’re wrong? Giving an apology is good for the soul. It’s a way for you to get the forgiveness you need and move forward in your relationship. It takes something negative and brings it into a positive light.

You’re human, and when a situation becomes intense, it’s reasonable to say and do things that you don’t really mean. You say something in the heat of the moment that you wouldn’t usually say. Sadly, you hurt others either by accident or intentionally. Thankfully, you come to your senses and realize that you must say you’re sorry for the pain that you have caused someone.

You Must Be Regretful for Your Actions

How often have you heard a mother of father tell a child to apologize when they’ve done something wrong? The child grumbles out a halfhearted, “I’m sorry,” even though they didn’t mean a word of it. These kinds of apologies won’t work for an adult.

People want to see that you regret your actions and that you can move past this moment and onto greener pastures. The goal is to restore trust and not make this person an enemy. You need to offer an apology that is not only restorative but sincere. How can you accomplish this and not come off as that child who is being forced into this situation?

Some People Aren’t Ready to Forgive

When someone is hurt, their anger takes over, and their thoughts become irrational. Think of it the same way that your anger clouded your judgment, and you said and did things that got you into this predicament in the first place. The individual you hurt might not be so eager to forgive or even hear your apology.

You learned from a child that you need to apologize, but just because you know that you’re doing the right thing doesn’t make it easier. The person you offended could be angry and may harbor resentment against you, so they may not be ready to hear what you have to say.

Since you’ve overstepped your bounds, they may wonder if what you’re saying is even the truth. They may doubt your apology and your sincerity. The key element to genuinely extending or accepting an apology is purpose.

Some may find it hard to forgive you based on what was done, and even if they do exonerate you, they won’t forget the action. You may not deserve forgiveness, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do the right thing.

Apologizing Releases the Burden from You

Apologizing to someone releases the pain and burden from you and puts the ball in their court. If they refuse forgiveness, then it will hurt them in the long run? You did your part to release the burden of guilt from your shoulders.

If they don’t forgive you, then they allow a black cloud to hang over them. Unforgiveness is like looking through dark glasses filled with anger and bitterness. If you’re the one who needs to apologize, don’t let your pride stand in your way.

Seven Tips to Saying “I’m Sorry”

You need to right the wrong that was done as it speaks highly of your character. Did you know that there are seven tips that can help you apologize and with sincerity? Here are e, according to relationship experts.

1. Get an Approval Before You Apologize

It may sound silly to ask someone’s permission to seek forgiveness, but it’s the right thing to do. The person you wronged may not want to hear you saying I’m sorry, and they may not be at the place to move on. Some people need time and space to cool off.

You really must factor in what was done and the person who you wronged. Some people are eager to accept forgiveness and move past the deed, but others can hold grudges for years. Essentially, timing is everything. The goal is to make sure that the person you apologize to is at the place to receive it.

2. Show Sincerity That You Hurt Them

Part of asking for forgiveness is recognizing what you did was wrong and being regretful for your actions. You want to convey that you wish you could take back what you said or did to hurt them.

Try not to say use the word “if” in the apology. When you sound unsure whether you hurt them or not, then you leave things open to interpretation. You don’t want to shift any blame to the other person, but you should take responsibility for your actions in full.

3. Make Affirmative Actions for Change

Once you’ve crossed a line, it’s not always easy to go backward. For instance, if you had an affair, there’s really is no way to go back and change what you did. The only way you can move is forward.

You can explain your actions, but even if you do everything that you can to make it right, it may not be enough. Speak your peace and let the other party choose the outcome.

Let’s assume that you forgot to report tips at work, and your boss caught you. You can ask for forgiveness for your wrongdoing, but he still must fire you for theft. It doesn’t mean that you still don’t owe him an apology.

If they don’t forgive you, then it’s on them. You may be remorseful for your actions, but sometimes the deed is so severe that there is no way to recover from it. Still, it’s always a good character to make a sincere apology.

4. Make Sure They Know You Won’t Do This Again

In the scenario where you’re in trouble at work, part of reconciling with your boss is to let him know that you will never fail to report your tips again. The boss may show you mercy because you were sincere, or they may stick to company policy.

Your attitude can help predict the outcome. The person you apologize to can feel your sincerely, and your demeanor may choose whether they forgive you or not. Keep in mind that forgiveness doesn’t always mean there are no consequences for your actions.

If you apologize to a judge for going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit, he will probably still punish you. However, he may go lighter on you in the hopes that you learned your lesson and won’t do it again.

5. Give a Formal Invitation to Ask for Forgiveness

When asking for forgiveness, you must say the words “My friend, I am so sorry for what I have done. Will you please forgive me?” You may say a lot of other things as you apologize.

The most important thing is asking for their forgiveness. Don’t just assume they will extend the olive branch to you, ask, and make sure that you settle this matter.

6. Do a Follow Up Act

While your words are fitly spoken when you’ve hurt someone, you need to follow up your meeting with a consolation gift. You should send something that shows this person that you meant what you said. Things you could send include a card, flowers, email, or a special “just because” gift.

While you don’t have to spend any money or do another thing, it once again shows your sincerity and devotion to making a change. The gesture serves as a promissory note that you won’t make the same mistake twice.

7. Move on From the Past

If you have apologized for your actions and this individual has forgiven you, then it’s time to move on. Don’t dwell in the past as it can dictate your future. For instance, if you lied to your spouse and got caught, they can’t continually throw this up in your face.

When you have asked forgiveness, if they accept, then they must genuinely forgive. While forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, it does mean moving on from this event. It’s never fun to be with someone who is continuously bringing up all your wrongdoings in an argument. They may have said that they forgave you, but their actions speak so much louder than their words.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Ruin Your Apology by Making Excuses

Don’t expect things to get right back to normal. In many instances, it takes time to heal the issues even though they did accept your act of contrition. If done correctly, this event can allow your relationship to grow.

When you weather a few storms, you will have to apologize for anything you’ve done wrong. These life lessons cause you to have a deeper level of respect for people. You can truly show how much you care for someone by your willingness to make things right.

Just remember that you must stick to the facts and never make excuses for your actions. The goal of apologizing is to get forgiveness and not prove your case.

You will make many apologies in life, but with each one counts as a lesson learned about how you should act and treat people. Saying I’m sorry should come naturally if you live with integrity.


Therapist Reveals 10 Signs Your Crush Wants to Be Just Friends »

Therapist Reveals 10 Signs Your Crush Wants to Be Just

Unrequited love is one of the worst things to experience. Most relationships start as a friendship, but overtime there develops something special that grows and blossoms. However, how do you know if your crush is really into you, or are they forever going to look at you as a friend?

Attraction can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. While you may fall in love with someone, it doesn’t mean that they feel the same way about you in return. You give the relationship time, and you wait, and nothing happens. How do you know if you should hang on hoping for more or if you should give up?

Signs You’re Stuck in the “Friend Zone”

One of the hardest things for people to do is to remove their ego from the situation. It’s hard to accept that there’s nothing more than friendship between you and the one you’re crushing on.

Sometimes, people flirt around and tease you, but it’s not meant to be a sign that they want more. Some people are flirtatious by nature. If you’re not sure how he or she feels about you, then here are some signs that show they don’t want to be anything more than friends.

1. They Only Hang Out with You in Groups

When two people are crushing on each other, then they want to spend time alone. However, if one person is stuck in the friend zone, then they will want to hang with the group. If you suggest that the two of you hang out, do they automatically say they will call your other friends?

If they know that you have feelings for them, they may use the group as a shelter to keep from leading you on. It’s also possible that they don’t want to be alone because they are afraid you will misread the situation, and they want to be just friends.

2. There’s No Flirting

When there is sexual tension between two people, flirting comes naturally. When a couple is developing feelings, they flirt. If there are no comments or gestures that let you know that they are into you, then it’s a sign that they want to be just friends.

Keep in mind that some people flirt because they are looking for a one-night stand rather than a meaningful relationship. You want to make sure you don’t fall into these traps because you will not get what you want from the situation.

3. They Don’t Text or Call You

Are you continually sitting by the phone and waiting for a text or call to come through? Are you stalking them on social media to see if they’re on? If someone is into you, then they will find every reason possible to call or text you. It’s all about making that contact.

It’s much easier for most people to text than it is to make a call. There’s no awkward dead space, and you can say how you truly feel. If the only conversations you have with this person are face-to-face, then it’s a sign that they are not interested in more.

Here is how to spot a serial cheater before you fall in love.

4. There’s Always Physical Distance Between You

When you’re hanging out with your friends, do they stand close to you or far away? If you like someone, then you want to be by their side. There’s something magical about brushing up against them or making eye contact in a crowded room. These first glances and moves are the things that ignite passion.

Notice their body language when you’re in a group. Do they seem to be into your conversation or treat you like the others? It’s all foretelling about how they feel about you and if they want to be just friends or something more.

5. They Don’t Make Any Moves Towards You

Does he stare just a little too long? Does she stand a little too close to you? Are people starting to talk about you as a couple? Maybe these people see something that you don’t understand, or you are stuck in a rut of wishful thinking.

You need to make sure that their advances are pure, and they’re not just trying to hook up and move on. The last thing you need is for someone to play with your affections and want nothing more than to be friends.

6. They Introduce You as Their Friend to Others

When they introduce you to others, how to they classify you? Are you just friends, or do they add other adjectives like my “special” pal? How they categorize you means everything.

His or her friends may automatically think that you’re a couple if you stand too close. So they may feel the need to clarify the situation to others. If they introduce you as a friend to their parents or other relatives, then it’s a sign that there’s nothing more than friendship between you.

7. They Don’t React to Your Hints

If they aren’t moving fast enough for you, then try dropping a few hints. How do they react to your advances? Do they put up a wall and ignore what you’ve said or done, or do they flirt back?

When you put yourself and your feelings out there for this person to see, and they don’t do anything with them, then you know you’re stuck in the friend zone. Don’t waste your time or energy on someone who doesn’t want to be with you or isn’t emotionally available.

Here are twenty signs that it’s time to call it quits on your relationship.

8. They Talk About Other Love Interests

It’s very hurtful when you have strong feelings for someone, and they talk to you about people they’re interested in dating. Now, keep in mind, they may be trying to see what your reaction is when they mention someone so that they can see if you have feelings for them.

The whole thing can be a test to see how you feel about them dating other people. On the other hand, most of the time, when someone is freely talking about other love interests with you, it’s because they don’t want to date you. They want to be just friends, and they are not trying to hurt you. They just want your opinion on their love life.

While it hurts as bad as getting your heart ripped out, you should give them an honest answer. It may not be in the cards for you two to be anything more than friends right now.

9. Your Gut Tells You It’s Not Going to Work Out

People were born with intuition, and women seem to have a distinct intuitive nature. You will often feel in your gut that it isn’t going to work out, yet you still pursue things. They say that the heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes you must get your heart and mind in alignment.

If this situation has been dragging on for a while and there’s still no advancements, then it’s probably best if you move on. In some rare instances, a person may be shy or have issues from trauma or abuse, but most of the time, it means that they have no romantic feelings.

10. They Tell You They Only Want to Be Friends

Some people can’t take a hint even if that person comes out and tells them that they want to be just friends. You may try to rationalize the conversation in your mind thinking they were just fishing to see how you felt. Don’t spill your heart to someone who isn’t interested in picking up the pieces once you’re done.

There are too many people out there that will love and appreciate all the great gifts that you have to offer them. You should know up front that they’re not interested in you so that you can move on promptly. Don’t waste too much of your precious time on someone who doesn’t want to be with you in the way that you want to be with them.

Final Thoughts on Knowing That You Will Always be Just Friends

Too many times, people get in a big hurry to find someone right now. What you should be focused on is finding the right one. When things come into perfect alignment, you won’t have to worry about whether they like you or not, as they will be open and honest.

You’re wasting your time on someone who may have given their heart to someone else and doesn’t have it to give to you. Sadly, they may be emotionally skewed from watching their parents and other relatives go through a divorce or other horrific breakups. They may be afraid to get into a committed relationship for fear of what could happen.

Then, there are those people who don’t want commitments. They like to have fun and hook up, but they don’t want any ties. Always trust your gut instincts. When it’s right, you won’t have all these questions about being just friends because you will know.


Therapist Explains How to Grieve the Loss of Your Love Relationship »

Therapist Explains How to Grieve the Loss of Your Love

Breaking up with your partner is like a death. It’s almost impossible to move on as if nothing happened. You both have been uprooted out of the ground into a new chapter in life. It’s okay to feel a range of emotions as you go through the process. We have a few ways to grieve the loss of your love relationship.

You’ll Face Five Stages as You Grieve Your Lost Relationship

The Kübler-Ross model of grief, also known as “The Five Stages of Grief,” explains what happens to our minds during the five stages after we lose something or someone special.

These stages are anger, bargaining, denial, sadness, and acceptance. You don’t necessarily grieve in any specific order. Sometimes you experience a stage multiple times.

During the grieving process, you may deny the person is gone from your life. You might get angry wondering what you could have done differently. Or, you might bargain with a higher power to help them come back to you.

Once you realize this is not going to work, you might feel depressed. You start listening to sad songs and watching old home videos.  Finally, you usually just accept this person is gone from your life. Sometimes we get stuck in denial thinking no one will ever love us again.

These stages have no time limit. It’s up to you when you decide to accept the loss and move on with your life. The truth is that you probably will fall in love again. You just have to give yourself time.


11 Ways to Take Care of Yourself as You Grieve for the Love You Lost

1 – Don’t Overthink

You may find yourself returning to the relationship a million times in your mind. You might start wondering where you went wrong. When we do this, we start to think we should go back. There’s a reason you broke up. No matter how many good times you had, there’s a reason underneath it all that the relationship is done. Don’t think about it all of the time. It’s time to hang out with yourself and move down the road. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel anything. You will still feel the stages of loss and you will grieve, but it means you don’t start playing the reel of your relationship in your head.

2 – Take Time To Detox

Many people deal with the loss of a love relationship by jumping into the next relationship. This doesn’t help you deal with any of the feelings left behind. The best thing you can do is have a period of detox. This means you take time to reflect and recharge your “love batteries.” You don’t need to date or pursue others at this time. You don’t need to go home with people from the bar. You need to focus on yourself. Before you get into a new relationship, you need to be 100% ready. You need to have a clear head on your shoulders. It’s only fair to you and the next person. If not, you will bring your drama into the next relationship.

3 – It Is Okay to Be Selfish While You Grieve

Love is often selfless. We put the other person above us. It’s time to be selfish once that relationship is over. Get out of bed when you feel like it. Go to the store without telling anyone. Stay out as late as you want. You get control of the remote watching whatever show you feel. You don’t have to answer to anyone. This is one of the only times in life when you get a pass to be selfish.

4 – Lean On Others

It’s okay to feel sadness with your support system. Lean on those you love to get out your feelings and emotions. When you want to cry and grieve, call up your best friend. Get those emotions out. You might need to yell at someone about the anger you’re feeling.

When someone you love passes away, people flock to you in support. They know this is the same during this love loss. They know sometimes it’s important to just be there sitting by you as you vent.

A hug is sometimes the best therapy available.

5 – Do Things You Enjoy

After a loss, it’s always best to find your smile again. Do things you love. Your self-esteem and heart might be bashed. When you do things that you love, you will feel happiness again. You might even forget for a few minutes that you’re going through a tough time.

You’ll actually learn to fall in love with yourself when you do things you love. You get to feel happy and enjoy a smile again. Whether it’s reading a book, going to the movies, playing a game of tennis or singing along with your guitar, do something you love.

6 – Let Go Of Emotional Baggage

Breakups leave big, ugly scars. If you don’t tend to these scars, they just look even scarier. It’s important to not dwell on the negative emotional baggage. You must learn to feel the pain then move on with a positive outlook. You’re able to decrease your amount of suffering by finding the lining in the clouds.

When you can tell yourself that “maybe it didn’t work out for a reason,” you’ll be able to move forward. If you get stuck in the negative emotional baggage of the relationship, it’ll be tough to move forward. You might face depression. You’re going to feel sadness and grieve some days. You’ll get triggered by a couple holding hands.

The important thing is to think of the positives in your break up. Remember why you broke up. By doing so, you’ll help your mind prepare for the next step in life.

7 – Forgive Yourself

Grieving means having to forgive yourself. It’s hard to let go. You blame yourself for every little thing. You might think everything was all your fault when it takes two to tango. Look back and think about both of your actions.

Think of the reasons why it didn’t work out. Even if you did things wrong, you have to let go of the blame. You cannot move on until you forgive yourself and grow from the experience as a whole.

thinking about the past

8 – Don’t Shut The Door On Love

Many times people that get out of a relationship will say they’ll “never” date again. They swear off all relationships. You should never speak in absolutes.

It didn’t work out with your ex for a reason. This doesn’t mean love isn’t going to work in the future. You’re burned right now. You have to get through this tough time and leave love open in the future. If you lose faith, you could be missing out.

There is a right time for your love.

One day you might find them when you least expect it. Until then, you focus on yourself. Don’t turn your head to anyone that tries to set you up. One day you’ll realize you’re ready again. In the beginning, it’s natural to think of speaking in absolutes.

9 – Don’t Seek Revenge

When you’re grieving, you often feel anger. You just want to hurt the other person because you’re hurting. Don’t seek revenge. Being angry and seeking revenge will not solve anything. It will make you seem petty and immature. Don’t trash talk them to your friends and family. Just accept they are gone, and accept that you don’t need to do anything about it. There’s a reason they aren’t with you anymore. You don’t need to go out and hurt them to dig the dagger even deeper into both of your hearts.

10 – Comfort Yourself

Remember there is no time limit to grieving. In the beginning, you might find it hard to even get out of bed. Take it a second at a time. Eat that pint of ice cream if you feel. Watch that sappy movie. Let your friends come over while you cry into their lap. You don’t have to be okay.

One day you’re going to be able to get out of bed. And, of course, someday you’re going to smile again. Your life was thrown into a blender. It’s okay to feel that pain. Always remember it’s okay to grieve.

11 – See The Differences

One of the best things that happen once you get through the grieving, you’ll realize there is a difference between a breakup and a death. When someone dies, it’s final. When you break up with someone, you get both get through it alive. You get to rise above it. One day you might see them walking along the street, and you won’t cry.

You’ll realize one day that you’re able to move forward. This breakup was the demise of that particular love relationship, but it’s not the final stage of love for you. One day soon, you’ll embrace living life to its fullest once again.

Final Thoughts on Taking Time to Grieve a Lost Love Relationship

It’s important to take time to grieve after any loss. A breakup is a loss that turns your world upside down. Once you face the truth of this loss and think through it, you’ll be able to move on. It might feel like you’re dying inside, but you’re about to live in the next chapter. Take time for yourself, then turn the page to the next chapter in life.


Therapist Explains How to Restore Emotional Intimacy After a Fight With Your Partner

Therapist Explains How to Restore Emotional Intimacy After a Fight

Conflicts, arguments, and disagreements are bound to happen in the course of any relationship. Sometimes, it gets so bad that the discord escalates from a moderately annoying dispute to a full-blown heartbreak. You or your partner are bound to say harsh and hurtful things to the other that create obvious issues in your love paradise. And afterward, it can be challenging to return to your previous emotional intimacy.

While both physical and emotional bonds are instrumental in making any relationship healthy, after a fight, it can be quite challenging to want to share your body and emotions. Recovering from a bad conflict or any form of betrayal from your partner is a long healing process. It’s possible to get back to where your relationship was before the conflict or even make it better, but it requires patience and wisdom.

Which begs the question in this piece’s segment: How do you restore emotional intimacy in your relationship after a bad conflict? The experts in relationship matters will guide you through a few steps that can help you salvage your relationship and bring your partner closer.

Step to restoring emotional intimacy after you fight with your partner

Keep these things in mind as you move forward after an argument.

It starts with you

The need for change has to start from somewhere. You might want to begin the healing process from within yourself. Take some time to reflect on the happy times, the sad times, the mistakes, and begin to forgive yourself first.

Healing a broken relationship requires multiple gentle and open moves while thinking about your partner. Release all the anger and start working on committing to the relationship rather than trigger another argument. Avoid getting defensive, justifying your mistakes, and ignoring the real problem.

Change your mindset from blaming to forgiving and moving on. It will help you stay calmer.

Someone has to make the first move

As earlier discussed, healing a broken relationship requires gentleness and patience. It also needs someone to save that relationship, drop the ego, and take the responsibility of protecting it. It’s common for both parties to feel like the other party needs to admit to their mistake.

You will need some wisdom to overcome this challenging phase where you get to make the first move. If you are the voice of reason in your relationship, then it’s your responsibility to approach your partner and remind them of your attachments and connections. Consider making the first move when things are calm, and when your partner seems to be in the right mood.

Communication is paramount

Therapists insist for the longest time now, that communication and comprehension work hand in hand in a relationship. Looking at things, you could spend the entire day communicating with your partner about your feelings and thoughts, but if they don’t understand you, it’s all void. Choose a time when your partner is in the mood to communicate and reach an understanding with you.

You could begin this talking phase by hinting at it and let them prepare to discuss and let out their emotions when the time comes. When the time is right, communicate openly about the disagreement. Try to be calm and honest about what you feel. In most cases, conflicts don’t come up because of one event but a culmination of build-up emotions.

The only way you and your partner get to move on from the full-blown heartbreak is through communicating. Get to understand what your partner has been going through. Let them see your troubles and heartbreak through your eyes too.

Apologize and let it go

It takes two to tango; both you and your partner need to acknowledge your mistakes and feel sorry for the wrongdoings. Apologize to your partners after accepting your mistakes and give them the chance to do the same thing. You can only move to the next step if both of you forgive each other and accept to let it go.

What is next?

Now that you are past the worst, you might want to solve the problems that caused the conflict to avoid a repeat of the fight. How did the conflict come about? Was it a lack of quality time? Perhaps a lack of communication? Maybe your intoxication and abuse of alcohol led you to blow things that hurt your partner.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter now after you have already forgiven each other and promised to work on the shortcomings. Focus on coming up with a solution to solve the problem at hand. You might decide to see a relationship therapist or perhaps support your partner and enroll them for rehab.

What if the conflicts keep recurring?

Fighting fair is also another effective strategy that helps you improve your communication and prevents another harsh fight. The approach focuses on attacking the mutual problem eating into your relationship, rather than each other. Just because you’ve moved on, doesn’t mean other conflicts won’t erupt.

Nonetheless, it takes wisdom to know how to approach the conflict and when to unleash the tactics. Downplaying the disputes won’t solve the problem. Consider contacting an expert for great fighting fair tactics that will help you stick to the mission.

Time to restore that bond

With all the burden lifted, this should be the right time to work on your lost or weakened bond. Without a doubt, the healing process is a painful process that requires effort, patience, time, love, and lots of forgiveness. Try not to bring up things from the past; it only makes the process harder.

Numerous ways can help you restore the bond in your relationship. For instance, you could go back into memory lane and do the things you both loved to do in the past. Practice regular date nights together, go to movies, or even cook a meal together. Instead of focusing on the conflict moments in your relationship, you could drive your energy into having fun together and recreating those wonderful memories.

Move onto emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy revolves around so much more than sex. Someone had to say it. Work on reconnecting with one another intimately through using non-sexual methods.

We promise, it’s not going to get boring, and it only gets better. Emotional intimacy entails having deep conversations with one another and enjoying the quality time just between you two. Find unique ways to express your love and appreciation through cuddling, hugging, kissing, touching, and admiring one another.

Through these tips, you will make a great way to reconnect with your partner physically and sexually. It all starts with the emotions first.

Give yourself time

Like we said a little earlier, healing takes time and patience. You can’t just dive into where you left and proceed smoothly. Reconnecting intimately after the bond with your partner was broken will take time.

The last thing you want after coming this far is struggling to create a sexual connection with them because you haven’t built intense emotional intimacy. You might want to start working on trusting your partner again and avoid forcing the process. There isn’t one timeline that defines when you are ready for the next level.

Every relationship, situation, and individual is different. Consider communicating your own healing process with your partner and let them know how you feel every step of the way. When the time is right, you will know.

Seek to find a balance between your relationship and yourself

The strongest relationships are made of two interdependent partners striving to be together against all the odds. As you continue to heal, don’t lose yourself to the relationship. Before you two met, you had your hobbies, a social life, and a professional life; don’t tamper with that.

Ensure that you take care of yourself as much as you strive to take care of your partner and his or her feelings. Allow your spouse to do the same and then come together as a strong, trusting, and secure couple. Again, remember to employ fighting fair whenever an issue comes up, and when an unhealthy argument is about to blow up.

Emotional intimacy doesn’t happen immediately

Nothing good is built overnight. Therapists can’t necessitate this enough. We understand that words hurt, actions replay in your mind, being in love is a risk, and nothing is certain, including restoring emotional intimacy to its previous settings.

It’s important to understand that repairing and redeeming your emotional intimacy with your partner will take time. Before it gets better, there will be tears, spoiled days, and rough nights. However, don’t get discouraged; you will get there with the right amount of effort, energy, hope, and positivity.

Continue finding your way around your partner and work on restoring your romantic side. Intimacy soon follows after everything else is in place. Remember, forgiving, forgetting, and moving on is your relationship’s strongest motto.

Final thoughts on restoring emotional intimacy after a fight

The basis of any strong relationship is an emotional connection. By being gentle, loving, mindful, and caring, you will eventually make yourself a better partner. It starts with you.

Once you’ve made a safe haven for your partner to open up and be a better partner, you will be on the right track to saving your relationship. It’s the little things that count.