May 2012 Newsletter – How To Keep a Relationship Alive

How To Keep a Relationship AliveHow To Keep a Relationship Alive

Some couples seem to have a secret magic trick when it comes to keeping the spark alive in their relationship.

You know those couples – the ones who snuggle up to each other constantly, even though they have been married for fifteen years.

How can they be like that after all those years? What’s their secret?

The answer is actually quite easy.

They value their relationship.

Okay, so I know that’s not really a secret, but think about it…..

We put effort into things we value, right? So where do you put most of your effort? Take a good, long look at your life and it will be obvious to you.

Find where your effort goes and you will also find where your desire goes as well. It could be work, friends, a certain hobby, etc.

Maybe you have been neglecting your relationship, but then maybe you didn’t even realize it. Most people don’t.

Today is a great day to do something about it. I am providing a checklist of a few things you can do to get started. I also suggest you immediately start 30 Days of Gratitude. It costs absolutely nothing, but the results cannot be bought with any amount of money.

So here’s the list to get you started:

1. Make an effort to use an extra nice tone of voice with your partner.

2. Use extra manners with your partner. They should be getting the best of you. Always say “please” and “thank you” to them.

3. Tell your partner you love them at least once each day. This can be a text, a note, or any other way. But be sure to say it to them out loud at least once each week.

4. Be sure to have more physical contact with your partner. Hugging, holding hands, and kissing increase our attachment to each other and release the hormones in our brains that make us feel happy and safe. (That’s good for our overall health.)

5. Schedule regular dates with your partner. Once a week is optimal, but if you have children you may need to do once a month or once every two weeks.

You may be thinking, “We go out all the time.” But my question is this: Is is REALLY a date?

You take extra time to get ready for a date. Your guy might bring you flowers. He always holds the door for you. All your time and attention is focused on your partner when you are on a date. You go somewhere romantic on a real date. See where I am going with this?

How to keep a relationship alive is not rocket science. Time and effort will get you 99.9% of the way.

Okay, so start planning yourself a hot date right now!


Pregnancy Miracle

Stress and Infertility

Pregnancy Miracle

Even if this does not apply to you, you probably know someone it does apply to.

Nothing can drive a wedge between two monogamous people quicker than infertility.

When intimacy turns into a chore, it’s very difficult to keep the warm, fuzzy feelings alive.

We were fortunate enough to conceive the first month with both of our children, but even my husband was feeling the pressure.

It is difficult for me to image couples who continue on that regimen for months and even years.

I know that being unable to conceive (or worse, conceiving but being unable to carry to term) can stress out anyone.

I know many couples that have faced both of those situations.

However, the best medicine for fertility seems to be relaxation.

I know at least two couples that finally conceived a child and carried it to term after they had already adopted a child and given up on having their own natural child.

With that being said, I am currently looking into a program called Pregnancy Miracle that is designed to help couples conceive a child.

Pregnancy Miracle

If you are currently encountering difficulties trying to have a child, it might be worth checking out.

How To Keep a Relationship Alive

When was the last time you did something really nice for your mate for absolutely no reason at all?

Why don’t you give your partner a back massage tonight? Or fix dinner when it’s not your turn? Or clean his/her car inside and out?

Go do that one little thing for him or her that you know they will love. You know what it is.

Maybe my husband will bring me a red velvet cupcake from my favorite bakery today. That’s my little thing.

I don’t know how many calories are in those things and I hope no one ever tells me!

Always love like there’s no tomorrow!

Until me meet again…..

March 2012 Newsletter (Marriage Contracts & Cheating – But NOT Together)

Roles In Marriage & Relationships

What kind of contract do you have with your partner?

“We don’t have a contract,” you say.

Well, I have to disagree with that. All marriages and/or relationships have an unwritten, often unspoken contract that you mutually agree to on a certain level.

Don’t believe me?

Let me give you an example. In the book When Smart People Fail
by Carole Hyatt and Linda Gottlieb, the authors explore the “contracts” people make when they are in love.


According to them each contract has two components: economic and emotional.

This is their sample of a traditional contract:

Man:” I will earn a good living for us [economic contract] and be strong at all times for you [emotional contract].”

Woman: “I will not work outside the home [economic contract], and I will be the mother to your children and supportive of your needs [emotional contract].”

That one doesn’t work for you? How about this one?

Man: “I am an artist and cannot be looked to for money [economic contract]; I agree to be volatile and exciting [emotional contract].”

Woman: “I will earn the income in this family [economic contract], and I will be emotionally steady so that you can be volatile [emotional contract].”

There are as many types of relationship contracts as their are people, but some are based on an equal partnerships while others emphasis one partner as being dominant in either economic or emotional parts (or sometimes both).

However, this does not imply that both parties are necessarily happy with the arrangement. In fact, people often “agree” to situations that later feel quite unhappy for them.

According to the book, relationships can usually survive if one part of the contract is broken. However, if both parts are broken, then severe troubles usually erupt. In many cases this leads to divorce.

So let’s say that a couple has the traditional relationship contract. The man is the rock. He is the financial and emotional provider for his wife. Then suddenly he loses his job, and worse, can’t find a new one.

His wife will most likely support him and help him through this struggle. But let’s say the man goes a very long time without finding new employment and then his emotional state starts to crumble.

His wife is left looking at this shell of a man wondering, “Where is the rock I married? Where has my security gone?”

Once these feelings start to seep into a relationship, it can really undermine the way both people feel about their roles in the relationship.

His sense of failure in compounded when he feels like he is failing his wife and family. She, in turn, feels like lots of responsibilities are piling up on her that she didn’t sign up for.

The loss of a job is not the only thing that can send a relationship reeling. Anything stressful life event can bring on a situation that threatens your comfortable roles.

So it is important to sit down with your partner and discuss your implied contract BEFORE hardships come your way (and they ALWAYS come, sooner or later).

Dig deep and really be honest about what is going on between the two of you. There is no wrong kind of contract. Whatever you both agree to is perfectly fine. The point is to know what to expect from each other and to make sure that both individuals are happy with their role.

The more prepared you are, the better you can weather any storm.


On a Side Note…..

Did you know that two healthy individuals ALWAYS create a healthier relationship? One of the best things you can do for your marriage or relationship is to make yourself a better and happier person. It’s good for you and the one you love!


I Cheated On My Partner. Should I Tell Them?

That is a huge question and it doesn’t have a clear cut answer.

Lots of factors come into play when making this type of decision. Religion, morals, and views of family and friends are just a few.

What it all comes down to is this: It’s your opinion.

I am all about honesty. And I don’t believe you should keep information from your partner (or cheat on them for that matter).

However, I believe there’s a huge difference between telling the truth because it’s the right thing to do and telling the truth to make yourself feel better.

If you are clearing the air just to make yourself feel better, then you are trading your misery for theirs. Do you really want to do that to the one you love?

Also, there’s a difference between individuals who make a one time mistake and those who are serial cheaters.

If you made a one time mistake, especially if it was in the distance past (and your relationship is good now) it might be a selfish move on your part if you spill your secrets now. This is even more true if there are children involved.

For example, I know a couple who were married for many years when she confessed an affair with his brother early into their marriage.

I always wondered what her motives were at that point. It was so many years in the past and it affected the whole family.

I know some people will not agree with my perspective on this, and that’s okay.

The point I am getting at here is this: Always examine your motives and do what’s best for everyone involved.

And don’t forget the love angle. It’s all about the love.

If this article has helped you in any way, please help a girl out and click the “LIKE” button below or share it with a friend!

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Thanks a bunch!

by Angela Christian Pope @

January 2012 Newsletter (What Attracts You To a Mate & Unsexy Thoughts)

What Do Men and Women Find Attractive In a Mate?

Some people are attracted to rock hard abs, others to a stable home life, and still others to a hefty bank account. But strictly physically speaking, what attracts most people to a prospective mate?

According to “The Look of Love” in the October 2011 edition of Psychology Today, p. 27, men and women generally have a totally different take on attractiveness. Researchers at the University of British Columbia looked at three socially relevant facial expressions: pride, shame, and happiness. These were chosen because they appear to be closely related to how we feel about ourselves.

When male subjects rated photos of women, they generally found pictures depicting happiness to have the highest scores. Since men are more often the pursuers in relationships, a bright smile seemed to say, “I”m available and I like you.” This strongly reduces the level of potential rejection for the male, as well as stop possible fights with rivals over a females who may not even be interested.

On the other hand, females who rated pictures of male faces usually picked pride to be the most alluring look. The stance of pride usually included chins that were lifted up and chests that were protruding. Pride generally indicates a high level of success and social status, both traits that are valuable to a female who wants to raise children with a mate (and needs protection for that growing family and herself).

Overall, it seems our primitive thought processes are still alive and kicking, even in this modern world.

On a Side Note…..              

Multiple studies (and practical trial and error) have proved that gratitude is the biggest key to happiness. People who practice being as grateful as possible for as many things as possible are almost always the happiest people in life.It makes sense when you think about it because you are always making your glass half full, instead of half empty. The best thing about it, is that gratitude has a cumulative effect. The more you practice it, the more is grows (exponentially).So how does this apply to your relationship?Well, think about it. If you are grateful for your mate, then your feelings of happiness toward them will increase. This will lead you thinking about them more, do more things for them, acting more loving toward them, etc.

And it is human nature for most people to notice this change and reciprocate. So when you think about it, being grateful for your mate leads to more love and attention for you!

It’s a win/win situation for both of you.

To get started with this gratitude thing, start by printing this Gratitude Sheet and posting it somewhere prominent in your home. (The fridge is always a good spot.) Instructions are included on the sheet.

It’s free. It’s simple. And it will change your relationship (and your life).


A Penney For Your Thoughts?            

While we are talking about the differences between the sexes, let’s talk about the bedroom.

Now, stop that blushing. We aren’t’t going THERE!

Thought processes – that’s what we are going to talk about.

According to the article “Sexual Distraction” by Casey Gueren, also in the October 2011 edition of Psychology Today, p. 39, the thoughts of men and women in the bedroom are not as different as you might think.

Chris Watson, who co-authored a study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that both men and women have minds that wander during intimate contact in the bedroom. In fact, the same types of thoughts flip through their minds randomly. Some are emotional, some are just about everyday things.

Role Reversal or Leveling the Playing Field?

For years it has been commonly thought that women have many more body concerns, which can hinder the experience for them. However, this now seems that men are closing the gap. Although women are still more prone to engage in these thoughts, in today’s modern society, men commonly have the same concerns. This can be partly attributed to the increased emphasis on grooming for men.

And  while men are becoming more aware of  their physique in bed, they are still the kings of something called “spectatoring” , which means “stepping outside your body to judge your own performance”.

With new societal expectations that women have more performance skills in the bedroom as well, it seems the gender gap is dissolving in the bedroom as in other areas of our lives.

Good or bad? It depends. In some ways good, some ways bad, in my opinion. It was good that the door swung in our favor years ago, but I don’t really want it to swing TOO far.

I enjoy being a girl and my husband being a guy. I don’t want us to be just alike.

How boring would that be?

If this article has helped you in any way, please help a girl out and click the “LIKE” button below or share it with a friend!

You can also click “LIKE” on the sidebar and get new posts from this site on Facebook.

Thanks a bunch!

by Angela Christian Pope @

Sex Makes You Smarter!

Sex Makes You Smarter!

I knew it! I just knew it!

For years we have known that sex makes you happier due to the release of endorphins in the body. We have also been aware that sex makes you healthier due to various reactions in the body (being happier adds to that as well).

But according to a recent issue of Scientific American Mind, sex makes you smarter too! (Kelly Lambert. “A Tale of Two Rodents.” Scientific American Mind September/October 2011: 36-43.)

In recent years sex has undergone a major shift in our society. Something that was once taboo is now mainstream in a way that makes many people uncomfortable. In my opinion this change has both pros and cons. (But that’s a topic for another time.)

Back to the science. This enticing article shed some light on the sexual behaviors of rats (what other animal would you expect) and some interesting characteristics such as the fact that male rats sing during the act. Even more interesting is that they change the song during different stages of the encounter.

(Guys take note. Girls LOVE a guy who will sing to them. Ever seen a guy in ANY band who was lonely for female companionship?)

More importantly, a recent study conducted at Princeton University found that when rats were exposed to sexual encounters they “showed a higher rate of neurogenesis in the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning, memory, and emotional processing” and they had “enhanced growth of connecting structures, or dendrites”.

(Neurogenesis is the creation of brand new neurons in the brain.)

For many years scientists have been aware of the connection between high levels of stress and stress hormones, such as cortisol, and a lower level of neurogenesis. Now, they have discovered that sex can actually make you happier, thereby increasing neurogenesis. It sort of works in a cycle.

(This is true only in the absence of acute stress, and unhealthy sexual situations can actually result in lessening the growth of neurons.)

According to Lambert, “This study suggests that sex builds more complex brains.”

more sex = less stress/more happiness = more complex brain

There have never been more reasons to be stress free, positive, and happily snuggled up with the one you love.

So let’s all go get smarter!

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.  ~John E. Southard