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So we’ve all made our New Year’s resolutions already, right? Well before you dive head first into making sure you stick to them, you might want to check out this article from Cosmopolitan Magazine and make sure you have a GOOD resolution:

Here at Cosmo, we feel the same way about New Year’s resolutions as we do about rules — some are just meant to be broken. Here, 10 things that shouldn’t show up on any Cosmo girl’s list of do’s and don’ts for 2012.

BY ZOE RUDERMAN

1. Quit your job and wait for a dream career opportunity to present itself. Recession shmecession.
Reality check: 
Suck it up and hang on to your gig for now. Appease yourself by taking a class or picking up a hobby that will make your résumé stand out, like learning a foreign language or starting a blog.

2. Lose five pounds.
Reality check: 
Hot chicks like Beyoncé, Adele, Nicki Minaj and ScarJo are proof that toned and curvy is the new skinny.

3. Finally win back your ex-boyfriend.
Reality check: 
Move on. We give you permission to engage in some rebound relationship therapy.

4. Buy into all the latest trends.
Reality check: 
It’s okay to be a slave to fashion…just be a slave to cheap fashion, rather than dropping serious bank on each and every look. Kick yourself later for wearing it, but don’t kick yourself for blowing your paycheck on it.

5. Change your man.
Reality check:
 While some relationship tweaking is to be expected (hey, few guys are natural-born good kissers), if the words “fixer-upper” and “project” could describe your boyfriend, it’s time to get real.

6. Triple the number of friends you have on Facebook.
Reality check:
 Less time stalking your friends’ friends’ friends. More time catching up with buddies you actually care about.

7. Don’t eat any junk food.
Reality check:
 Cutting out all unhealthy food from your diet will most likely lead to binge eating, followed by intense guilt, by mid-January.

8. Watch less trashy TV.
Reality check: 
Zoning out and de-stressing for a bit every night with the help of good bad television is harmless.

9. Save more money.
Reality check:
Let’s be honest. In this economy, we’re just happy to be able to pay our rent, gas, and credit card bill.

10. Keep your number down.
Reality check:
 Nothin’ wrong with notches on your bedpost, as long as you’re being safe.

Source:  Resolutions Not to Make This Year – Cosmopolitan

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May your coming year be filled with magic & dreams & good madness. I hope you read some fine books & kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art (write or draw or build or sing or live as only YOU can) and I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
– Neil Gaiman

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I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

– Neil Gaiman

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As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

source: http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/11/30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself/

 

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Can’t think of a New Year’s resolution?
Go here: http://www.moninaverlarde.com/newyears

Pretty awesome idea, and I love the one I got. “Look for the silver lining”

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I’m not going to lie. I’m one lazy chick. But bikini season is upon us and I will not be stuck feeling blahh about my un-toned bod. So while I’m watching my favorite TV shows, Woman’s Day Magazine has some easy to do couch exercises that I can get working on. Now, I’ve just tried all of these, and I did break a sweat, but it was not too much for me. So c’mon ladies, let’s give it a go and try to do each of these exercises at least once a day! Beach time here we come!

 

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Find out how to get back into your wellness routine—and stick with it
By Amanda Greene Posted February 23, 2011 from WomansDay.com

 

You’ve probably heard of "January joiners"—those eager gym-goers who sign up to get in shape at the beginning of the year, only to fall off the wagon by February. There’s a reason it’s such a common phenomenon: Sticking to health resolutions is difficult, especially when your ambitions are too high or not measurable. So we spoke to the experts to find out about common goal-setting mistakes and how to recommit to more obtainable aims. Read on to learn eight ways to revisit your wellness resolutions––and make them stick this time around.

 

1. Shrink your goals.

One of the most common reasons people fail at keeping their resolutions is because they bite off more than they can chew. "I find that my clients make New Year’s resolutions that aren’t really realistic," says Cristina Rivera, RD, president of Nutrition in Motion, PC. "They’re great for about a week, but people can’t keep them up forever." For example, one of her clients made a goal to give up soda, her favorite beverage. She went cold turkey and lasted about two weeks, then caved when the cravings hit. Rivera coached her to minimize her portions—a mini-can of Coke or a no-calorie Diet Coke––instead of cutting out the drink entirely. Photo: Thinkstock

2. Make your resolutions concrete.

Not only will setting a goal that’s too big derail you, so will making a resolution that’s too vague. "Saying ‘I will eat more healthfully’ isn’t a concrete goal," says Junelle Lupiani, RD, nutritionist at Miraval, a wellness spa outside Tucson, Arizona. "Instead, say something like, ‘I will replace my afternoon coffee and cookie snack with a piece of fruit, some nuts and green tea.’ Being sure that your resolutions are measurable can help you assess on a daily basis if you’re on track or not." Other specific—and doable––health promises that Lupiani recommends are vowing to eat a large salad every day or committing to starting each day with a whole grain and some fresh fruit. Photo: Shutterstock

3. Don’t wait to get motivated.

Many people assume they can’t tackle their goals without motivation. So they wait and wait for that push to get them to the gym, but it never comes. "We have the belief that motivation has to come before action—’I felt motivated so I went,’" says Simon Rego, PsyD, director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, "when in fact motivation often follows action." Take the gym, for example. Most people can attest to feeling extremely motivated after a sweaty workout, instead of before. To get yourself to exercise, Dr. Rego recommends giving yourself permission to leave the gym after five minutes if you want. Chances are, once you get moving on the treadmill, your motivation will have kicked in and you won’t want to stop. Photo: Thinkstock

4. Get some sleep!

That’s right—the experts actually recommend hitting the hay in order to accomplish your goals. Why? Because a good night’s sleep can help you achieve virtually any goal on your New Year’s resolution list, says Pete Bils, vice president of Sleep Innovation and Clinical Research for Select Comfort. "Losing weight, exercising or learning a new skill are not human instincts; we have to work at them. You could call a sleepy brain a lazy brain—the human ability of resolve or willpower has been proven to be diminished without adequate sleep," he says. But it’s not just about willpower; the amount of sleep you get affects bodily functions, too. As Bils explains, without enough sleep, ghrelin (the hormone responsible for regulating appetite) is elevated, while leptin (the hormone connected with satiety) is diminished. So, even if you consume enough calories, when you haven’t gotten enough zzz’s, your body will still send signals that it’s hungry, which will likely lead you to overeat. Photo: Thinkstock

5. Set yourself up for success.

Sure, it’s easy enough to resolve to eat more healthfully, but if you don’t implement the necessary lifestyle changes you won’t be able to succeed. "If you’re going to have oatmeal for breakfast instead of your usual doughnut, you have to give yourself five extra minutes to boil those oats on the stovetop each morning, plus more time to eat at home since it’s not a portable food," says Cherylanne Skolnicki, wellness coach and owner of Nourish wellness consultants. "Resolutions are really about finding out how you’re going to integrate new behaviors into your life." So don’t join a gym that you have to drive out of your way to get to—choose one that’s on your route to and from the office. Or if you’re trying to drink more water, invest in a reusable bottle so that you always have it on hand. Photo: Thinkstock

6. Be patient.

"When you’re integrating a new exercise routine, your fitness levels will always change more quickly than your body composition. Fixate on how you feel and how you perform before you freak out about your weight and waistline," says Andrew Wolf, exercise physiologist at Miraval. As Rivera notes, healthy weight loss is only between one and two pounds per week, so give yourself reasonable time to make progress instead of giving up. Finally, Wolf advises implementing ways to monitor your progress that don’t involve a scale or your skinny jeans. Keep track of how many crunches you can do or measure your heart rate while you’re on the elliptical machine to prove to yourself that you’re getting stronger and more fit. Photo: Thinkstock

7. Think outside the box.

Don’t throw in the towel on getting in shape just because you hate the gym. Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to join a fitness club. There are plenty of ways to exercise outdoors—find a hiking trail or take your bike out for a ride, for example. Rivera is a fan of alternative forms of exercise, like Zumba classes. "If you have an active job, wear a pedometer and see how many steps per day you can log; if you hit 10,000 steps in a day, that’s like walking four miles," she says. "Knowing how much you’re walking could motivate you to push yourself even harder the next day." Photo: Thinkstock

8. Find a buddy.

The easiest way to make yourself accountable? Enlist a friend to help keep you on track with your goals. "I’d rather see you walk every day with a partner than run every six days by yourself," says Skolnicki. "If you can, find someone to meet you, whether it’s at the gym or outside your front door. People’s success rates go up dramatically [with a workout buddy]." Plus, she adds, working out in tandem is a great way for busy women to multitask: Not only will you get in a sweat session, but you’ll also have the time to catch up with a friend. Photo: Thinkstock

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Want to look as pretty as possible in 2011? Then vow to follow some (or all!) of these great ideas.

By Christie Griffin

1. Repeat your greatest hits.
You’ve got 608 pictures of yourself tagged on Facebook. It’s time to do some serious clicking and hunt for the photos in which you look the best. If you love the pics where your hair is tousled, make an effort to rock that look more often.

2. Clean your cell phone.
Ever notice that the right side of your jaw has a few more bumps than you’d expect? That could be from all the bacteria on your cell phone. If you have an iPhone or a touch screen, it’s best to pick up a cleaning kit from a store like Best Buy. For other phones, you can get away with using a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol on a tissue and gently wiping down your phone.

3. Don’t buy moisturizer without SPF.
Even in the winter. And while we’re on this topic: If you skip the protection because you want to look like you hail from Brazil, you’ll look like you’re 15 years older later. P.S.: Schedule that skin cancer screening, too. (Can you tell Cosmo is all about about practicing safe sun?!)

4. Try a "beauty dare" once a month.
It’s liberating and can help you revive your look, surprise your man, and unleash your inner beauty diva. Once every few weeks, be bold with some red lips or an elaborate hair piece or nail decals or…you get the point.

5. Upgrade your regimen.
Maybe you’ve been using the same moisturizer since you were 17. That’s cute and all, but now that you’re 27, you probably need a new formula. Not to mention some eye cream. Set aside some time to figure out what you should be doing at your age, and then put your plan into motion.

6. Pay for your hair sins.
We’d never tell you to part with your beloved hair straightener or stop the highlights, but you gotta pay penance for the damage you do to your tresses. Get regular trims, do weekly deep-conditioning treatments, and give your hair a break from the blow dryer whenever possible.

7. Go green.
Trying to be eco-friendly with every product you use can be overwhelming. So just make it a point to switch one thing in early 2011. Then, whenever it’s time to make a new purchase, browse the eco-friendly beauty loot instead of automatically buying your regular products.

8. Put a cap on your bad habits.
We all have our vices. But that doesn’t make them okay, especially if you want to look your best. Smoking leads to wrinkles, heavy drinking can dehydrate your skin…don’t make us lecture you.

9. Stop picking.
Your cuticles. The mascara off your eyelashes. Your zits. Whatever it is you feel the itch to pick, keep your hands off it!

10. Get your beauty sleep.
Like you need to hear this? But still, it’s worth repeating since restless nights can wreak havoc on your health and appearance. Try an eye mask if you have trouble shutting the world out.

There are tons more great beauty resolutions you can make, from washing your face every night to laying off the thick eyeliner. Tell us your beauty must-do’s for 2011!

source: www.cosmopolitan.com

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If you’ve recently fantasized about slapping a too-slow cashier or stabbing a rude party guest, you’d better read these nerve-soothing tips, pronto.

By Zoe Ruderman

This time of year can try even the sweetest chick’s patience — what with crowded stores, too many parties (and hangovers), and annoying family demands — and experts are saying this month will be a "perfect storm" of stress because of financial worries on top of everything else.

"Stressful situations increase cortisol levels and cause a dip in feel-good hormones," explains Claire Wheeler, MD, PhD, author of 10 Simple Solutions to Stress. "And since women are conditioned not to express their anger in an aggressive and direct way, they deal with those hormonal changes in what seems like a more subtle manner: by getting in a bad mood." Meaning, we get bitchy. In the interest of not totally losing your shit, we suggest you read our 10 strategies for keeping cool.

1. Schedule tasks that are making you anxious — like buying a dress for a party or finishing a tough work assignment — for early in the day. If you leave them for later, you’ll spend more time worrying and end up snapping at people.

2. Take a coffee break with friends or coworkers rather than going solo. A study found that getting a caffeine fix in a group lowered stress levels. But sipping coffee alone left people feeling more stressed.

3. Bookmark these sites: CollegeHumor.com and FunnyorDie.com. According to one study, anticipating watching a funny video can reduce stress hormones by up to 70 percent.

4. Practice saying the word no. Women, being social creatures, tend to feel obligated to show up for everything they’re invited to. But saying yes to something when you don’t really want to go leaves you bitter and annoyed. Tell people you’re prepping for a presentation, then enjoy the free time.

5. Make a budget for gifts, going out, and travel. It’s a drag to do and you may not stick to it, but feeling in control of your finances helps squash anxiety.

6. Lock lips with your guy. Psychologists found that even just a little bit of physical contact is enough to lower your blood pressure and make you feel calmer.

7. Do short, high-intensity workouts. Research found they have a greater effect on stress than slower-paced exercise does. So instead of an hour of yoga, hit the treadmill on high for 20 minutes.

8. Or if you’re feeling too beat to work out, skip the treadmill and relax in the sauna at your gym (or take a steamy shower). A study found that pampering yourself — even for a few minutes — calms you down.

9. If you feel ready to snap — at the rude cashier or airline clerk — talk slower. When you’re tense, you speak more rapidly, which changes your body’s chemistry and turns you into an F-bomb-dropping machine. Talking at a calmer pace will chill you out, and you’ll be more likely to get what you want.

10. Skip the New Year’s resolutions. While you might think that giving yourself goals is a positive thing, they’ll make you feel inadequate and pressured rather than hopeful and happy. Instead, make some great plans for January.

Sources: Journal of Behavioral Medicine; Oklahoma State University; Research Quarterly For Exercise and Sport; Edwin Riley, Phd, Author of Stress Rx; University of Bristol; University of California at Irvine; Claire Wheeler, Phd, Md.

source: www.cosmopolitan.com

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Improve your relationship by learning to resolve conflicts for good

By Denise Schipani Posted July 30, 2010 from WomansDay.com

Quick question: When you’re in the middle of a fight with your spouse about—fill in the blank: the kids, money, your families, housework—do you feel like you’re following a script? He says this, you say that, it breaks into shouting, until the curtain falls and you realize you’ve just had the same fight you had last month or last year? Well, surprise: The reason couples press Rewind on the same old arguments is because usually they are never totally resolved, says Scott Wetzler, PhD, executive director of the Supporting Healthy Marriage program at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, New York. Yet you can break the pattern of your most repetitive fights by learning what’s behind them, and working toward compromise. Here’s how to short-circuit fighting about…

Chores

Wait just a second if you’re thinking that those tiresome marital spats over housework—who always mops the floors, who always shovels the snow—can be “fixed” by instituting a fair and equitable division of labor, because there is no one correct answer, says Susan Dutton Freund, executive director of ThinkMarriage.org. As with other sources of spousal conflict, the division of labor at home is, at root, about the perception of unfairness.

Getting past it: The key here is to try to understand that both of you bring assumptions (usually from your family of origin) about who should do what, which get complicated by modern life (two working parents, never enough time, etc.). Don’t let resentments simmer by avoiding the topic, or come in with attacking language—both types of communication can, over time, erode a marriage. Instead, use the “approach” mode, says Freund, which involves being open to your partner. Really talk about what’s feeling unfair to you, so you can reach a compromise. It may not be 50-50, but a little understanding goes a long way.

Time

You’re always working late. You spend too much time with your girlfriends. When you’re home, you’re never interested in hanging out with me… Arguments about time spent (or not spent) together boil down to an elemental worry plaguing many relationships: “Do you really care about me? Do you still love me?” says Dr. Wetzler. “When you’re upset at your spouse for working long hours, what you’re really saying is, ‘I’m not sure you care anymore.’”

Getting past it: Realize that there are plenty of healthy marriages in which one spouse or the other works long hours, or where the couple is not joined at the hip. If you think about what happens when you are together—one of you works late, but then you sit and have a late dinner together, or save up DVR’d episodes of Mad Men to share—you’ll begin, hopefully, to see that it’s quality, not quantity, that matters. But if you’re feeling your needs aren’t being met, then you have to talk about that, without being accusatory.

Money

Opposites may have attracted to create this marriage, so chances are pretty good you two have divergent money styles, which can trigger repeated fights, says Freund. “If you have an ingrained money-style difference—one’s a saver, one’s a spender—you may never change the other person or fully resolve the issue.”

Getting past it: Try to see your partner’s point of view, which you can only do by talking about it. Why is he a diligent saver, reluctant to put that new couch on credit? “Once you can both articulate your positions, and understand each other’s position, the fights are less likely to devolve into insults and disrespect,” says Dr. Wetzler. That’s the point at which you can start working toward compromise; sit down and create rules you can both live with, such as a pledge to only make big purchases when you can pay all or most of the bill in a specified amount of time.

The Kids

Many times, says Freund, conflicts over raising children boil down to one parent (stereotypically the mother, but not always) being more of a softie, and the other being more strict. Serious problems arise when fights about the kids (whether or not to compel them to eat their vegetables or let them drive the car at night) lead to attacks on the other parent’s character, says Dr. Wetzler.

Getting past it: Steer clear of global statements; instead, stick to specifics. Also, try to remember that neither of you are right or wrong—your children need both nurturing and discipline. The key is to present a united front on the major stuff, so your child doesn’t learn to play the two of you off each other. Next time you want to battle it out over the children, remember what Freund says: “You’re better off putting your energy into your marriage than into your children, because kids from harmonious marriages fare better overall.”

Sex

Conflict about sex in marriage usually comes down to a mismatch in level of desire (you want more, he’s fine with less, or vice versa). Bad feelings arise because, says Freund, “the one with the higher sex drive feels he or she is being neglected, while the one with the lower drive feels pressured.”

Getting past it: Meet in the middle. Talk about what you each really need; “simply having that conversation can help the partner who’s feeling pressured to have more sex see that it’s not just about sex, but about closeness.” Figure out ways to feel closer so that you both get a little more of what you need.

Your Families

There’s natural conflict of interest here, and often no consensus. You each have loyalties, and arguing about it isn’t going to make your husband enjoy your family’s weird tradition of, for example, eating pumpkin pie for breakfast on the day after Thanksgiving; nor will it make you love the fact that his family thinks weekly get-togethers are perfectly normal.

Getting past it: First, be sure you’re not guilty of putting your family of origin ahead of your married-life family; “for the long-term health of your marriage, that has to be your priority.” And work on mutual respect. You have to go to his family’s for Thanksgiving and endure the dry turkey and store-bought pies? Suck it up; it’s what you do for the one you love.

Photos by, from top to bottom: Shutterstock (couple cleaning house) and iStockphoto (all other images).

source: www.womansday.com

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