relationship advice

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.

If you like this article, check out this one!

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

Are relationships challenging for you as a man? Just hold on to your N.U.T.s 1080 1080 Abbe Lang

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. 

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.

10 Tips for a Happier Relationship

10 Tips for a Happier Relationship

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No matter how good your relationship is, there is always room for improvement. In fact, making the effort to keep things fresh is probably the best tip I have to create a happier relationship. But that can be broken down into more specific actions that will strengthen your relationship, whether you already think it’s perfect or if you feel like it needs a little help.

1. Focus on the positive.

Every day, think of one thing you really appreciate about your partner. But don’t just think about it. Tell him what it is you appreciate. “I really love how you make me a cup of coffee every morning.” “I really appreciate how you always pick up after yourself.” “It makes me happy that you always remember to say thank you when I do something, no matter how small it is.” When someone feels appreciated, they will do more things for you to appreciate!

2. Kiss and tell.

Make it a point, every time you leave or greet your partner, to kiss him and tell him you love him. And I’m not talking about a little peck on the cheek. I’m talking about a real kiss. Kissing triggers the production of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is known as “the love hormone” because it works to strengthen the bond between two people.

3. Keep learning.

You may think you know everything about the person you married, but I bet there’s still a lot you don’t know. Deepen your relationship by asking open-ended questions. Ask his opinion, not something that can just be answered with a yes or no. Who knows? He may even learn a thing or two about himself.

4. Don’t stop dreaming.

Everyone has dreams. Don’t forget them when you get caught up in the everyday routine of making ends meet. Spend some time relaxing and ask, “If you could do/have/make/experience anything, what would it be?” Spend some time day dreaming about things you both would like to do or accomplish and maybe even brain storm ways to make those things happen. Then offer your support because when you support each other’s dreams, you become closer and stronger as a couple.

5. Never stop dating.

Set aside one night a week to just dress up and have a good time. Do the things you used to do before you got married. Remember what made you fall in love and re-live those things. There is only one rule: You can’t talk about bills, kids, work or anything else that is part of your mundane day-to-day life. If you struggle with this, it’s a sign that you need to work on it more. Don’t give up! Your relationship is worth the effort.

6. Use the power of touch.

Touch connects us physically, but looking for opportunities to touch will create a stronger emotional bond as well. Hold his hand, rub his shoulders or let your thigh rest against his while you sit next to each other. Just like kissing, touch releases hormones in the brain that build your emotional bond.

7. Find a common ground.

We can’t always agree on everything, but at least make the effort to meet in the middle. In many relationships, one person is always the one to give in. But in strong relationships, partners care about each other enough to not always have to get their own way. Keep it fair for both of you.

8. Seek out the positive.

If you need to bring up something negative, make sure to wrap it in plenty of positives. “I love watching movies with you but I have a hard time with the volume being so loud. If you turn it down just a bit, I can still enjoy the funny comments you make during the movie.”

9. Live in the moment.

When you focus on now, you’re less likely to obsess about the past or stress over the future. Certainly it’s important to make future plans, but focusing on the now will bring more joy to your relationship.

10. Keep it real.

Don’t exaggerate faults or use terms like “You always…” and “You never…” when you have disagreements. Don’t bring up issues that don’t relate to the situation you are discussing. Focus on what’s really happening and discuss your feelings instead of blaming him for how you feel. After all, no one can make you feel something. Your feelings and how you respond to them are your choice, so own them.
These are just a few tips that will strengthen your relationship and make it more solid every day. When you keep these tips in mind, you’ll find yourself falling more and more in love. Your man will feel that growing love and his love for you will grow more, too. You’ll have a relationship that most people only dream about!
Want to learn more? My Relationship Bundle has a much more in-depth look on how to meet and land a real catch, how to keep him interested, as well as a unique perspective about how men perceive us.

Meet and Marry the Perfect Guy

Meet and Marry the Perfect Guy

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Ladies are you single and frustrated with the dating scene? Are you losing any hope on meeting and marrying the perfect guy? Well let me assure you there are plenty of great guys out there just waiting to meet their perfect woman! (PS- Is he married already? If so, RUN AWAY!) And when I say perfect I don’t mean a guy with simply a perfect face, a chiseled body, and zero personality! I’m talking about meeting a guy who is perfect for YOU. Men are looking to meet a woman who is comfortable with her self. A woman who is self assured, sexy and has confidence. Have you ever looked at a woman and wondered, “How did she land such a perfect guy?” I know I did! I married my husband 7 years ago and he is 14 years younger than me. He chased me for a solid year straight before I even said yes to a date. He knew I was divorced and had 3 children but none of that mattered because of the way I carried myself.

My Story

I was convinced from the moment I divorced that I would meet and marry the perfect guy. I actually kept a piece of paper in my pocket every day that had the attributes that I expected to attract when looking for that perfect guy to meet and date.
I must admit, when I was going through my divorce I dated a lot of really great guys. Everyone used to ask how come I could meet so many nice men and they were having trouble doing so. I think one of the things I noticed that my other separated or divorce girlfriends were doing was that they were acting very cynical. It was almost like they hated all men. They wanted to meet this great guy but were putting out an attitude each and every time they were out and about or even on their dates.
When I met my husband Joe, he seemed like a nice guy and we became friends. I have to admit he wanted to date me from the start but I didn’t see a love connection since he was so much younger than me. However, I saw a really nice person and we connected and allowed our friendship to grow. After a whole year of Joe asking me out on dates (he asked me out every single Monday for a year!) I finally agreed and said yes. We met that week and had our first kiss, and we were pretty much inseparable after that! I’ll be honest, I probably didn’t actively follow every piece of advice I’ve outlined in my previous blog posts, but keep reading! Even if you only apply 25% of my advice, you are guaranteed to see results!

How YOU can Meet and Marry the Perfect Guy!

One of the first things you need to do before meeting the perfect guy is to work on yourself. Look your best! The better you feel and look, the more you will attract the perfect guy. You can find numerous tips on eating healthy in my eBooks. When you eat healthy and work out you will feel better.
You truly need to carry yourself like you are a prize. A prize that any man would want to pursue, date and marry. In order to do that you don’t need to be a beauty queen. It’s the way you carry yourself. You smile, you are self-assured, your hair and makeup are on point, you keep up with current events, you don’t settle and most of all you never chase a guy. Any guy you need to chase, is not worth having, trust me.
Once you are out on a date you never show that getting married and making babies are foremost on your mind. You need to show up on your date as your most charming self, not cynical or jaded. You need to know that the only thing that matters is that you are relaxed and self-assured. He will either love your or not. It’s never your fault if he doesn’t call. You shake it off. It’s his loss.
Men like a challenge. They like to be left with wanting some more. Keep your date short and sweet and end the date before he does no matter how good it is going.
If you begin to date the same great guy steadily remember to keep your cool. Allow him to text or call you first always. Be sure he is always trying harder than you are to make plans and get together. Learn his love languages, and teach him yours. If you remain a challenge to him until the very end he will know the only way to “have” you, to “have” all of you is to propose.
All of this, and much, much more is outlined in my eBook How to Meet & Marry a Great Man, which gives you a ton of practical, no-BS advice for less than the cost of two Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes!
Keeping your engagement and marriage spicy comes next!

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.

Never Date A Married Man

Never, ever date a married man

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What do you do when you meet some guy that you are really interested in and then find out he’s married? Short answer: RUN! (Reaffirm, Unlatch, Next) Let me break this down for you a bit.

Reaffirm your goals for a relationship. You want a prince of your very own and not have to share one with another who happens to be his wife. She has priority over you, no matter what he tries to tell you. If he has children, you go even further down the list. The promise to leave his wife for you is mute until his address has changed, but still you need to consider that he cheated on her. That probably is an indicator that he would also cheat on you. You may have heard all the awful things about her, but that is only one side of the story.

Your goals are for a happy and fulfilling relationship with someone that you can trust. You want them to love you for who you are, not as a means of escape from another relationship. You are worth having your goals met in a man.
Unlatch your claim to him for there was no real commitment from him. It is time to send him home where he belongs. Do not answer his phone calls or meet him at any time. The cord has been cut in your relationship and it is time for you to move on to better things.

Next, learn from your experience and keep an eye out for your Prince Charming. Take an active role in meeting new people and going to places that will not remind you of the married toad you just released. Soon, the pain of that transition will become a distant memory as you experience better things. Be confident in knowing that you made the right decision in letting him go. You deserve so much better, and you can have it!

Keeping Anger Out Of Intimate Relationships

Keeping Anger Out Of Intimate Relationships

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Anger is normal under any circumstance, even in relationships, so keeping anger out of intimate relationships is even more important than ever. People get upset over things or even with their partners. More often than not, the problem lies not on anger per se but on the way a couple manages this situation. Anger doesn’t kill a relationship but holding on to it does. Here are some tips to deal with anger for couples:

*Address anger right away. Never leave your significant other with his or her rage because doing so will only make matters worse. Acknowledge your partner’s feelings and understand what he or she is upset about. Listen well so that you can both work towards solving the problem at hand.

*Share your feelings too. Avoid passive aggression at all costs. Express your anger, nervousness, or frustration. Open communication is vital when it comes to dealing with anger in a relationship.

*Recognize the fact that sometimes, you are not really angry with your partner but rather on the situation. More often than not, it’s not the person that really causes the negative feelings but what he or she did or failed to do.

*Let anger go. There are things that are not really worth getting upset over and it is important to recognize that harmonious relationships only happen when both parties are willing to accept certain things.

Love you…Love you not

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If only all of our loving feelings could last forever. Remember the amazing passionate feeling of just falling in love. You feel so connected. Like you are one with each other. This intimate connection however actually pushes you towards learning your greatest life lessons that you need to know. Some of these lessons are unfinished business from your childhood. Your romantic relationships allow you to bond with each other. The difficult part sometimes is learning how to release. If your personal boundaries are not developed , you may have trouble giving your partner freedom in your relationship. You may cling to him or her, avoid telling the complete truth , run from each other. Many people are unwilling to do the work that stands behind the initial addictive feeling when we fall in love. Some people are just addicted to the chemistry of romance and want to avoid personal growth. In the long run however, there is no escaping the life lessons you will learn from being in a committed relationship.