life coach

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

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Do you find yourself walking around angry all the time? Do you have an inner voice that always reminds you of all your partner’s wrongdoings and mistakes? Have you become the expert in your relationship in pointing out everything that your spouse is doing wrong in your relationship? If this sounds like you, it will greatly benefit you to take the advice about forgiveness you are about to read to heart.

When you choose not to forgive, it takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. It keeps you stuck in the deepest of relationship ruts. No matter how justified you are about being upset with something your partner has done, you are the one miserable by holding onto it. When you wake up each morning thinking about what s wrong, you will walk around with low-level depression. You cannot feel joy because you are too busy being angry or disappointed.

I have worked with many couples who say they want their relationship to heal. And yet, when they are given the tools to implement this healing, they just can’t move forward. Instead of finding effective ways to get beyond the blame game, these couples continue down the road of misery. They feel their partners “must pay” for their mistakes. How very sad. Even sadder are their children immersed in this tense household with parents who care more about being “right” than happy. What lessons are they learning about love?

If any of this sounds familiar, you need to realize that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Forgiveness isn’t a feeling; it’s a decision. Every day, you decide to view your partner with loving-kindness. To make peace. To make up. To make love. I can promise you that the benefits go far beyond anything you could ever imagine. Your decision to forgive will create a ripple effect of positive changes in your relationship and your life.

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Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Did you know that over one million marriages will end in divorce this year, and two-thirds of these divorces will be filed for by women? What makes women so incredibly unhappy in their marriages?

In the earlier years of marriage, women are the primary relationship caretakers. They are the ones monitoring the relationships to make sure there are date nights, closeness, and connection.

Men, initially, are more concerned with the couple’s financial situation and make it their number one concern to provide for the new union. When a man is not responsive to a woman’s initiative to keep the romance alive in the relationship, they become extremely unhappy. This unhappiness leads them to complain about everything under the sun…things that need to be done around the house, responsibilities about the kids, how their free time is spent, and other things. However, when women nag and complain, men tend to turtle up and retreat into their shells. This retreating and lack of communication deteriorates a marriage even more.

After years of unsuccessfully trying to improve things, a woman eventually surrenders and convinces herself that changing her husband is impossible. She believes nothing that she can do will work, that she has tried everything. Or at least she thinks she has. No one has taught this couple how to communicate effectively. That’s when she begins to carefully plan and map out her only option, getting a divorce.

While planning her exit from the marriage, she stops trying altogether. She resigns herself to living a life of silence and no communication until she announces her desire to divorce. On the other hand, her husband now thinks his wife’s silence means everything is fine. Her shell-shocked partner thinks, “I had no idea you were unhappy.”

Then, even when her husband is willing to pay attention and undergo real and lasting changes, it’s often too late. The relationship is now in the danger zone. If you’re a woman who fits this description, please don’t give up. I have worked with so many men and seen them make amazing changes once they truly learned how to communicate and listen. I have worked with so many couples helping them strengthen their relationships. Give your husband another chance to get it right. Keep your family intact, together.

If you’re a man reading this and have a complaining and nagging wife, be happy! If she didn’t still care, she wouldn’t still nag.Listen before she goes on shut down mode. Spend time with her. Talk to her. Show her that she is the most important person in your life!

If you can show her that you can change and have a big and open heart, she might just give the marriage another try.

Are relationships challenging for you as a man? Just hold on to your N.U.T.s

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Is being in a relationship challenging for you as a man? Just hold on to your N.U.T.s, and all will be going smoothly; here are tips. 

THE MANUAL

As a man, the ability to rise in society will entail coming up with solutions that fight personal challenges. After all, being a man is not easy; men have to be strong mentally. Society also expects them to be strong physically. The physical part is not as essential as long as the brains function accordingly. So N.U.T.s and relationships work hand in hand. It is not a matter of society alone; men have to hold on to their N.U.T.s when in a relationship. Reflecting on how a man does not like the feeling when referred to a boy. It takes all the perceptions of what men think about themselves in society to another level of self-belief. This is where silencing the little boy factors in. When a grown-up man is referred to as a boy, they are not emotionally independent. Either they still seek motherly and fatherly attention because they lacked it while young. For a man to run a healthy relationship, the little boy has to be silenced. 

“Yes, men are humans who have affection, and feelings flow just like anyone else in society. But the N.U.T.s are important here; a man has to hold on to his. In a situation where feelings are superior to control, it is okay to express them but not make a mistake of defending the feelings. A relationship with a man who expresses feelings but does not defend the feelings means that the woman will receive what she wants and strengthen the bond. When feelings are not expressed, then chances of anger issues rise, stress, and maybe depression, so men have to hold on to their N.U.T.s.”

There is only one way to make your woman feel special as she used to when the relationship began, maintain the dominance in romance and sex departments. As the relationship grows, men often forget to be superior in the departments. The relaxation part destroys the relationship as expectations arise from the woman, but the man does not fulfill them. We can assume that the man has loosened his N.U.T.s. It is a detrimental aspect of a relationship. Maintain the dominance since when it comes to holding on to your N.U.T.s, dominance in the two departments is part of the interactions.

MORE ISSUES THAT MEN SHOULD RESOLVE

Men’s other significant issues in a relationship are arguing, not listening to the significant other, not trusting, and forgetting to be the pillar. 

Listening entails caring for your woman since listening will allow you to get all the gaps and establish a closer understanding. Then arguments are a bad sign in a relationship when the man is the core operator. 

Yes, everyone wants to be right, but when it comes to the safety of the relationship, a man doesn’t have to be right. You can assume and abandon being right. It will limit arguments. 

Be the pillar by fixing your woman’s problems, be there for her when she needs you; you will become the rock. 

After observing all these, make sure you hold on to your N.U.T.s through trust. The trust is not in the relationship but with other men. Women cannot offer the whole world; part of it should come from friends. These people will fight you when you are wrong and advise you on the best approaches to solving issues and life challenges. In the end, men should never accept any factor or aspect that compromises their N.U.T.s. 

Staying connected to your teen

Staying connected to your teen

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More than ever, your teen is yearning for a deep connection, and with good reason. The uncertainty of this world has turned many teens’ lives completely upside down. The covid pandemic has caused anxiety in most if not all of this generation. At this time in their lives, the challenge is that they yearn for the security of their parents, yet they are ready and willing to start running their own lives. Most parents have a difficult time with this power shift. Parents generally want more control over their teens’ lives than teens are willing to relinquish.

This balance is quite a challenge. If you pull back too much, your teen will suffer enormously and may even lose their way, but at the same time, if your try to over-control your teen, they may never grow up and will still want to live with you well into their later years. I like to explain to the parents of my teen clients you are no longer their manager but rather acting more as a consultant.

You need to start to appreciate this new emergent adult. Your teen needs you to recognize this part of themselves and believe in them.

Experts agree that peers can influence behavior more than parents in adolescence. We, as parents, are constantly looking at our teens’ behaviors and the long-term patterns we see emerging. However, teens live in the present moment. This is why they give you a strange look when you try and discuss patterns in their lives. You may say. “I am seeing that you are late to school every day, and you’re missing your homework assignments, “trying to point out irresponsible behavior. Your teen will feel like you are talking gibberish to them, though.

Over the next few blog posts, my goal is to guide you through specific ways to stay connected to your teen.

To explain to you how to guide your teen without them actually feeling guided by you. Your teen wants you to read between the lines and be there for them no matter how hard they try and “push” you away.

Abbe Lang is a certified Life Coach and has successfully raised and launched 3 teenage boys.

Why We Hurt In Intimate Relationships

Why We Hurt In Intimate Relationships

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When our partners hurt us in our intimate relationships, it can cut deeper than any pain imaginable. Our partners know our buttons, our weaknesses, and our pain. When they wound us, it is often because they have touched on a childhood issue. We have conflicts in our relationship when our partners hurt us. Conflict or hurt is only growth trying to happen. When we feel hurt or angry, we must recommit to our own journey of self-love and healing. In doing so, we recommit to our partner by saying, “I will stick with this uncomfortable feeling and work it out with you.” We don’t want to shove that hurt feeling down inside and let resentment build. Our next step is sharing that hurt with our partners in a constructive way. I teach my clients to use Imago Dialogue to share their feelings of hurt and disappointment. Imago Dialogue enables each partner to have a turn in talking while the other person listens, repeats, validates, and acknowledges. This is a very powerful tool in getting to the root cause of your hurt or pain.

Effective communication is crucial to a healthy relationship. Having good communication skills may not solve or resolve every problem or issue, but no problem or issue will be resolved with them!   Some days we may communicate better than other days, but we can never choose not to communicate or shut down in our intimate relationships.

We often aren’t even aware of how little we listen to our partners. They speak, and in our minds, we think, “I have heard this a million times before.”

Maybe you have heard it, but never have you really listened, repeated your partner’s feelings, validated those feeling, and then finally empathized with your partner for having these feelings in the first place. When you take the time to accurately understand what your partner says, what they mean, you will deepen your love connection and avoid unnecessary hurt and pain.

Let’s go over these steps of Conscious communication with your partner to resolve your hurt and angry feelings.

The first step is MIRRORING.

Mirroring is the process of completely listening to your partner and accurately reflecting the entire “content” of their message. Most times, repeating back the exact words that your partner is saying is most effective.

Some specific phrases for mirroring include

Let me see if I got you…

I heard you say…

Did I get that …

After repeating back your partner’s feelings, you always ask, “Is there anything else?” This enables your partner to continue to share on a deeper level. Often your partner will really get to the bottom of their hurt and angry feeling by digging deep here.

The second step is VALIDATION.

Validation is communicating to your partner that the information you are receiving and mirroring “makes sense.” It is very important that you always remember these feelings are not your own. They are your partner’s hurt and angry feelings, and you need to agree and validate them no matter how crazy they may seem.

This is crucial. Don’t let your ego get in the way here. It isn’t about winning an argument. It is about uncovering your partner’s childhood wounds.

Some typical statements of validation can include

“You make sense to me…”.

“I can understand that you feel this way given that….” 

“I can see how you would see it that way because sometimes I do….”

The final step is EMPATHY.

Empathy is recognizing the feelings that your partner is sharing.

It is the process of reflecting, imagining, and participating in how your partner is feeling. Empathy allows both partners to overcome their own individual feelings, even for just a moment, and experience a genuine meeting of the minds. This experience has tremendous healing power.

Some typical phrases for empathic communication include

“I can imagine that when that happens, you may feel…”

“I can see that you are feeling…”

at the deepest level, “I am experiencing your (feelings)….”

A relationship is like a spiral repeating the stages of love and the experience of repair and connection through conscious communication. You enter the relationship through a doorway of love, hit the hurts and power struggles, repair and work on your connection again. Your hurts and pain become lessened each time you can successfully complete the conscious communication process through the proper safe dialogue.

This is because you can truly understand what is going on for your partner and are willing to take that journey to help heal them.

Teens: Their Grades and Athletics

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I have always raised my three boys with the same saying, “you’re more than just a number, you’re more than just a grade. In a world where everything academically is based on your grades, you need to make your teen’s world about love for learning. If you are finding yourself constantly on your teen about their grades, you are setting yourself up for a battle that you will not win, and you will also ensure a total disconnect. “How did you do on your Math test?” It should be replaced with “Was it a good test?” Most teens will give you a strange look when you ask that question and respond by telling you the grade they received.

Explain to your teen that a good test forces you to learn more and put together what you were taught. It’s not just about your final grade. As parents, you need to focus much less on your child’s final grade and much more if they are acquiring a love of learning. Sharp parents look for teachers and schools to instill a love of learning in their children. They do not push their child into an honors class if that class causes undue stress on their child.

The same goes for your teen and athletics. Do you find yourself always asking your student-athlete questions like “Who won?, Did you play much? Did they play well?” Instead, look at the learning moments of their games. Opportunities like “I saw when your team was down 10 points you really dug in deep trying to pull yourselves out of the hole.” This line of questioning might not come naturally to your teen; however, they will open up in time.

After all, you’re asking questions about the most important person in your teenager’s eyes, themselves.

Visit the blog to read more posts to help with relationships and communication.

How To Boost Your Happiness Hormones to Live Longer

How To Boost Your Happiness Hormones to Live Longer

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The happiness hormones serotonin and oxytocin don’t only help fight depression. They also cut heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s risk by strengthening arteries, so nutrient-rich blood quickly reaches your organs.

Send some love.

Taking one minute to let someone know that you’re thinking about them can bring about an increase in your oxytocin production 

Take a scented soak.

Relaxing in a warm bath scented with rose, vanilla, jasmine, or lavender can keep your blood levels of serotonin and oxytocin elevated by soothing your brain’s anxiety center. And when your brain is relaxed, it needs less serotonin and oxytocin to function, so more of those hormones are available to cells in the rest of your body.

Take 5-HTP.

Taking 100 mg. of 5-HTP increased serotonin levels, improving mood, energy, immunity-and even fat-burning. Want to sleep more deeply? Taking 5-HTP 30 minutes before bedtime can help. Cutting calories a priority? Take 5-HTP 30 minutes before your biggest meal each day.

Consume protein at breakfast.

After a night of not eating, blood levels of amino acids- the building blocks of serotonin and oxytocin- are low. The fix: Eat a meal containing 2 oz. of amino acid-rich protein, such as eggs, meat, or cheese. It’ll rev the enzymes that keep serotonin and oxytocin levels up, cutting your risk of the blues and blood sugar woes 33%.

Eat berries and kale.

Eating two cups each of berries and leafy greens (like kale) weekly could up your serotonin levels. Both foods are rich in anthocyanins, nutrients that encourage your brain to produce and release this “happy” hormone.

Watch TV.

Getting caught up in a fun, romantic, or emotionally gripping program-enough to make you root for one of the characters- will send your oxytocin levels soaring. Your brain processes movies as if they’re happening, and the empathy you feel for a character stimulates oxytocin release.

Source: Woman’s World Specials: Reverse Aging

Natural Ways to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Natural Strategies to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

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You can’t do anything about risk factors like your age, sex, race, or family history. But you can lower your risk in other ways, using these specific breast-cancer prevention strategies.
 

Make lentils.

Red, orange, yellow, or gold lentils have protease inhibitors, which are anti-cancer compounds that are so beneficial. Just eating two cups of these legumes each week can cut your breast cancer risk. Simmer them in unsalted water or broth for about 30 minutes until tender. They’re natural in soups, delicious sautéed with potatoes, onions, and spices, and also make a great cold salad.

 

Wear a sleep mask.

Try wearing a sleep mask if your room isn’t dark. Sleeping in pitch black doubles your brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that improves sleep quality and is also toxic to cancer cells.
 

Eat grapes.

Enjoying one heaping cup of red, purple, or black grapes (or 8 oz. of purple grape juice) each day will cut your lifetime risk of breast cancer. Darker grapes are rich in three nutrients (quercetin, kaempferol, and resveratrol) that strengthen your immune system’s ability to find and destroy suspicious breast cells before they can cause harm.
 

Add a little Evoo.

Extra-virgin olive oil contains a whopping 75% oleic acid, which is a healthy fat that destroys cancer cells on contact. Plus, it helps switch off the HER2 gene linked to a heightened risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. In fact, simply using 2 Tbs. of extra-virgin olive oil instead of other fats in your diet could cut your breast cancer risk.
 

Enjoy avocados.

Avocados have a beneficial plant-based fat that doubles the ability of your immune cells to find and destroy precancerous and cancerous breast cells. And you only need to eat 1/3 cup daily to benefit! Snacking on nuts also does the trick.
 

Open the windows.

Avoiding chemical air fresheners and scented candles cuts breast cancer risk. Chemically scented products release compounds into the air that mimic estrogen in your body, speeding abnormal cell growth.
 

Consume real vanilla.

Vanilla extract isn’t only a flavor enhancer for cakes and other desserts. It is also an herbal extract with potent cell-protecting powers. Vanilla’s active ingredient stops healthy breast cells from turning cancerous. Add a few drops to your coffee, tea, milk, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies.
 

Toss in garlic.

Garlic’s aroma comes from sulfur compounds, aromatic nutrients that hinder the growth of precancerous breast cells. Eating one small clove daily can cut your breast cancer risk. If you are worried about bad breath, eat a small apple after your meal.
Divorce Survival Tips

8 Divorce Survival Tips

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Women need to be careful when they are hit with a divorce, because they can easily let themselves be taken advantage of without even realizing it. These 8 divorce survival tips can help you make it easier on yourself.

Make Copies

Be sure to have copies of everything, because if you don’t, they will probably be gone when you realize you need them. Put these things in a safe deposit box that only you can access.
Things you need copies of include:

  • Tax returns (last 3 years)
  • Account statements from banks and investment firms
  • Pay stubs
  • Insurance information
  • 401K information
  • Stocks
  • Receipts
  • Mortgage statements
  • Loan agreements
  • Credit applications (which typically lists assets that you may need to know as the divorce progresses)

Check Your Credit Report

Make sure you know what your credit report looks like and have any errors fixed. Then make a list of any debts that are joint accounts, because no matter what the divorce decree says, if both names are on the debt, both of you are responsible for it. If he decides not to pay it, it will affect your credit.

Open Accounts in Your Own Name

You will need to build credit independent of your husband (and his income). At the very least, you will want to open bank accounts in your name only. If you don’t have much of a credit history because thins are in his name, open a credit card or two in your name.

Know Your Social Security Benefits

Did you know that if you’ve been married for at least 10 years, you may be entitled to half of your spouse’s social security benefits? This can be the case even if he remarries. There are some conditions that need to be met, andyou can more by visiting the Social Security website.

Get a P.O. Box

If you are still living in the same home, or if there is any possibility that he can access your mail box, you will want to ensure your correspondence is safe. You will likely be getting mail from your attorney as well as other private things relating to your divorce. This is information he should not have access to, so get yourself a post office box, just to be safe.

Change Your Passwords

Even though experts warn against it, most of us use the same password over and over, or choose passwords based on things in our lives. Since you have been sharing your lives up to this point, your passwords may be very easy to figure out, allowing him access to your email, social media, shopping sites and anything else accessible via computer.

Secure Irreplaceable Items

Photos, jewelry and other special items that can’t be replaced should be moved to a secure place where they can’t disappear. Keep in mind, your memories are often memories shared by him. If possible, consider making copies so you both have the mementos that are important to you.

Join a Support Group

You might think this isn’t needed, but when your emotions get the best of you, you will need someone to talk to. Mutual friends may not always be the best choice, and it’s never a good idea to badmouth your spouse in front of your kids when you’re upset. A support group, or even a therapist, will allow you a safe place to express your feelings without causing problems for anyone else.
A group can also help keep you level-headed when you have important decisions to make that will affect your future. In addition to these 8 divorce survival tips, you may also be able to learn other strategies to help you during this difficult time in your life.

Marriage Worth Fighting For

Is your marriage worth fighting for?

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Only you can really answer that, but I want you to consider some important facts. Most divorced couples do not anticipate the great pain suffered from a divorce that many times affects the rest of their life. Many think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but the truth is that your grass is just as green, but may have some dandelions and mole holes. These are fixable just as many of the problems in a marriage can be fixed. It just takes some work and commitment.

What if only one of you want to work on the marriage? Then that’s what you have to do. If one is working on the marriage, it can still be much better than it’s ever been. You don’t want the same marriage back. It wasn’t working. You want a brand new marriage with the same man that will be better than ever because of the work going into it in developing yourself and being confident with who you are. Imagine what you want your marriage to be like. Then set goals for yourself to get to what you imagined. Do not allow yourself to backslide, but keep moving forward.

Another thing you really need to consider for your marriage is the children. They are affected greatly by both of your choices of staying together and working on the marriage or divorcing. Kids really want their parents to stay together, except if there a huge amount of fighting or abuse involved. If you both decide to divorce, it takes away the security of being part of a family. Also, letting the kids witness how you work on your relationship will teach them to do likewise when they get older. It’s a legacy that you can leave them to live successful lives in meaningful relationships.

There are so many benefits to staying together. As you journey through the relationship rehab, you may find as you rediscover yourself that you are a pretty awesome lady, and shouldn’t be treated like “the old wife.” You are an individual that has a lot to offer. You are a special person and anyone who tells you different is not worth your time. Do not allow others to control who you are by defining you. You will grow into the person you are meant to be. Your story is not done yet … there are plenty of chapters still being written.

Make the choice of what you will and will not tolerate in a relationship, and stand by your choice. The pride you have in yourself will speak volumes to everyone. Instead of being needy for emotional approval from your husband, give it to yourself. Don’t allow anyone to limit you. In rediscovering yourself, you will be attractive to your husband, as he also sees for himself that you are a person of great value and worthy of his respect and attention.