Today's Love Tip
It's taboo, it's deviant, it's outside the norm - we're talking anal sex. But it's also a type of sex that many couples do enjoy, regardless of their sexual orientation. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in... Read More
More Love Advice
How to Bypass the Road to Divorce

Are you and your partner worried about money in these uncertain times? During any economic crisis, couples have to face tough financial decisions. This can lead to an increase in stress and aggravate problems that already exist in your marriage.

As you look back to when you first met, what attracted you to your partner - fierce independence, strong character, a decisive nature? Now, these very same qualities may be getting in the way of getting along. If you want to come to terms with your negative feelings, notice what has changed in your marriage.

And try to see your own part in what's going on. If there's a glimmer of hope and you want to stay together, accept the challenge of turning it around. Some of these ideas can help you get started: {relatedarticles}

1. Identify your emotions. As a first step, write down the feelings that now regularly surface. And record what's happening between you and your partner when you are sad, scared, overwhelmed, embarrassed or frustrated.

Chances are you have emotions ranging from disappointment to anger, and these may be constantly changing. Don't worry - this is normal. Understanding what you feel, and why, can be the first step toward improving your situation.


2. Stop focusing on the past. Identify the hot button issues that are standing in your way and make efforts to resolve them. If you initiate changes, that can be an encouraging sign to your partner. And the sooner you let go of the past, the quicker you can move forward to improve the goodwill in your relationship. It may not be easy to forgive, but it is a gift you can give to your partner and yourself.

3. Limit your arguments. If the situation between the two of you is tense, small annoyances can seem worse than before. When you argue, allowing bad feelings to fester only makes it harder. Don't turn your quarrel into something more or attach your reactions to another issue.

Agree that you will together explore the problems. And spend time learning about conflict resolution, direct communication and active listening skills. There's information available through relationship workshops, the Internet and the self help section in bookstores.{relatedarticles}

4. Begin a process of serious talking. Can't do it alone? If you really want to work out your differences, consider consulting with a marital therapist or joining a couples' support group. When you understand more about the other's needs and capabilities, you'll be clearer about compromises you have to make.

Then it will be up to both of you to decide whether you're willing to do the hard work. That may include efforts to change your current expectations, redefine what marriage means to you and create new goals for the relationship.


5. Support each other. Instead of focusing on the negatives or going your separate ways, spend time discussing what you want from one other. Think about what would demonstrate true emotional commitment to you. Prove that you are on each other's side by deciding to change your attitude and behavior.

in your marriage's emotional bank account. Create excitement, pleasure and fun together - then take advantage of the dividends.{relatedarticles}

You and your partner are individuals who each have a mind of your own. What you want may have changed since you first tied the knot. And the present economic meltdown probably adds to the pressures in your relationship. But that doesn't mean you can't make shifts that will relieve some of the stress. And you don't have to accept the possibility of divorce. By taking the first steps, you can help strengthen your partner's trust in you - and the future of your marriage.

Her Mentor Center, 2011
About The Author

Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. is a family relationship expert. Whether you're coping with stress, acting out teens, aging parents, boomerang kids or difficult daughters-in-law, I have solutions. Visit our website, http://www.HerMentorCenter.com to discover practical tips for dealing with parents growing older & children growing up and to learn about our ebook, "Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm." Log on to our blog, http://www.NourishingRelationships.blogspot.com and sign up for our free newsletter, Stepping Stones, and complimentary ebook, "Courage and Lessons Learned."


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Helping Your Partner through a Setback

There are many types of setbacks that can occur in our lives and when an event makes a drastic impact in our partner's life we want to do everything we can to help them through this difficult time.

Setbacks in life can come in many forms:

  • financial setbacks;
  • career setbacks;
  • health setbacks; and
  • personal setbacks that can all cause emotional turmoil in our lives.

As a caring and concerned partner, you should be aware of the issues your loved one is going through and be prepared to help them however you can.

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Dealing with a Partner's Financial Setbacks

Whether you're in a relationship with shared assets or have your separate financial identities, a financial setback can impact both partners equally on paper and in person. Events like bankruptcy, business failure, and foreclosure are just a few types of financial setbacks that can distress your partner.

When finances become a burden in your relationship, it's important to understand your own connection to the problem. If your partner is worried about a joint financial issue such as an empty bank account you may need to sit down and talk with them about your mutual spending habits.


For cases where a financial setback is purely on the shoulders of your partner, you can always be there for them.

While you may not be a financial advisor, sometimes all your loved one needs is a sympathetic partner to listen to their concerns. You may also be able to direct them to other resources for professional help with their money problems.

Dealing with a Partner's Career Setbacks

Losing a job can be devastating on a person, especially if it puts them in immediate risk for a financial crisis as well. Job loss can lead to depression, anger, and sometimes even drastic cases of substance abuse and suicide. If unemployment becomes an issue for your partner you'll need to be supportive and sympathetic to avoid a worse case scenario.

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Get involved with your partner's job search. Help them locate job resources and prepare for interviews as they seek new work. Offer to discuss the details of their termination and see if they want to talk about why they think they lost their job. You may be able to help them identify work mistakes they can learn to fix or avoid in future careers.


Dealing with a Partner's Health Setbacks

Personal health can be a very emotional matter when a serious diagnosis is made in your loved one's condition. Serious afflictions such as cancer, terminal illnesses, and permanent disabilities can all impact your partner's physical and mental health.

If your partner is facing a troubling health condition you need to be as supportive as possible. Help them learn about their diagnosis and be involved with their medical team when treatments are discussed. In many cases, just being there with them at the doctor's office can provide great comfort.

You may need to make sacrifices yourself when helping a partner through a health setback, but it's important to keep a positive attitude toward your situation. When an ill patient is surrounded by positivity it's more difficult for them to give in to depression, anger and frustration.

Dealing with a Partner's Personal Setbacks

We undergo many endeavors to better our lives, but there are often setbacks in any kind of self-improvement goal. Some of the most common personal setbacks your partner may face come when they attempt to make a major lifestyle change such as quitting smoking or drinking or losing weight.

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If your partner is giving up drinking or smoking you should do as much as possible to help them avoid temptation. Consider stopping these habits yourself if you also partake in cigarettes or alcohol - this can help your special someone avoid relapsing. If he or she does resume the habit, be careful not to chastise, but rather remind that person of his or her goal and encourage a return to abstinence.


When your partner is focused on improving his health through a weight loss plan, you should support him all the way. This may mean taking up a diet or exercise plan yourself to show that you're willing to go through the process with him.

In the event of a setback in their weight loss plan, help them get right back on track and remind them of how much better they have been looking since they began the weight loss. Positive reinforcement is a great motivator!

General Tips for Helping Your Partner Deal with Any Setback

Setbacks in life are typically accompanied by feelings of depression, hopelessness, anger and frustration. As a loving companion, you want your partner to return to feeling happy and content as soon as possible, which means you need to be attentive to their emotional needs.

One of the key points in helping your partner through any type of setback is to listen. Let them express themselves to you about their fears, worries, and feelings. You may not have the answers, but you have the ability to just be there to listen and let them vent.

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Feelings of worthlessness can be helped by reminding your partner of how special they are to you. Even little things like a loving note on the bathroom mirror or a small gift waiting for them when they return home from work can be a reminder that you love and care for them no matter what.


While you have great power in helping your loved one cope with most setbacks, in some cases it may be necessary for you to bring in additional support.

Gathering friends and family can help remind your partner of all the good you have in your lives and also provide more people for them to turn to for their emotional needs. You should also be prepared to seek professional help for more serious matters when your partner's health or safety is at risk after a life setback.

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No matter what the situation, you are often the best person to help your partner through any sort of life setback. Don't shy away from this responsibility - with enough effort and patience you can work together to find a solution to nearly any problem.


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6 Ways to Make Your Bedroom Hotter

Been feeling the doldrums in the ol' boudoir? Has the hotness of your bedroom cooled over the years? Take a good look at your bedroom. How does it make you feel? Sometimes we need just a little inspiration to get the juices flowing. Here are six ways to transform your tired sleeping quarters into a den of iniquity.

Tip #1 - Your Bed, the Main Attraction

It's the centerpiece of the bedroom; thus, the main attraction. Your bed should be a welcoming space to sleep as well as seduce. The bed should be placed in the center of the room, with easy access on both sides. Sheets with a thread count ranging from 200 to 600 are soft and breathable.

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While standard cotton sheets are affordably priced, if you can splurge a little, try the smooth and supple fibers of Egyptian or Sea Island cotton. For an added touch of luxury, silk and satin sheets are warm and light on the skin. Beware of too many decorative pillows, which tend to interrupt the fluidity of bedroom action.

Whether your preference lies with bold or muted tones, selecting a color scheme largely depends on your emotions. From dark and daring reds, dreamy and pensive blues, to softer hues of cream and tan, the palette should appeal to the sexier side of you.


Tip #2 - Drapery, the Private Sanctuary

Nothing is going to kill the romantic mood faster than a pair of ogling neighbors (unless you're into that). A sense of privacy is crucial to cultivating a sexy space, so investing in a good set of window treatments will certainly pay off.

Curtains lined with blackout fabric will block out the light completely and reduce street noise, and as an added bonus, they're energy efficient. Alternatively, layered treatments like venetian blinds covered with sheers and topped with floor-to-ceiling curtains will allow you to let in some daylight without sacrificing seclusion. Maintain the overall vision of your bedroom as a whole by matching the drapes to the bedding and decor.

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Tip #3 - Lighting, the Mood Setter

While candlelight is perhaps the most popular mode of creating romantic ambiance, relying on it entirely for your lighting needs may kill the spontaneity of the moment. Never depend solely on overhead lighting; it is not flattering and will give your bedroom an institutionalized feel.

Using indirect light from at least three different sources - like floor lamps, wall sconces, and bedside table lamps - will provide some options on the amount of luminance emitted as well as the placement of light sources in the room. Equipping each light with a dimmer gives added control over the softness of the light. When purchasing light bulbs, keep the wattage at 60 or lower and the color temperature around 3000K for a warmer hue.


Tip #4 - A Naughty Drawer, the Inspirer

A bedside drawer filled with all the accoutrements for sexy time is both practical and fun. Keeping these accessories within arm's reach certainly will not disturb the momentum. Visit your local sex shop for all sorts of erotic inspirations, like sensual lotions, arousal gels, massage oils, flavored lubricants and aphrodisiacs.

Erotic games like edible candy g-strings, handcuffs, French ticklers and body paint kits may just give the stimulation you were hoping for. Don't forget about sexy clothing and lingerie!

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Tip #5 - Cleanliness, the Enticement

Clean your room! Really, there's nothing sexy about dirty sheets, stinky socks or dust bunnies in the corner. A clean bedroom is an enticing room, so make sure you have done a thorough cleansing of all surfaces for dust, removed the laundry hamper from sight, and rid the space of distracting and useless clutter. If you have pets or children, keep them out.


Clear away anything that reminds you of your duties and obligations (work papers, electricity bills, textbooks, etc.) and only keep things that add to the beauty of the room. Also consider placing family photos outside the bedroom. Expelling the television from the room is a good idea. At the very least, hide it from view and firmly keep it in the "off" position. The same goes for cell phones and computers.

Clear away anything overtly girly - like teddy bears, an abundance of pink things, and so on - and try to create a balance between masculine and feminine sensibilities.

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Tip #6 - Extras, Making it Personal

Above all else, your bedroom should reflect who you are. By adding your own personal touches, you can create a space that you love to be in, feel sexy in and is sultry enough to share with another:

  • place your favorite flowers in a vase;
  • bring in some sensual foods like strawberries, chocolate pudding, almonds or whipped cream;
  • light some candles scented with lavender or vanilla;
  • put up some erotic artwork or make your own;
  • a well-placed mirror or two can really heighten the experience;
  • serve up some wine to lower inhibitions;
  • playing some seductive music will certainly set the mood, and it will provide a bit of a sound buffer, so create a large playlist ahead of time. Use Pandora or iTunes' Genius for song suggestions based on your tastes;
  • install a lock on the door if there is any chance of being interrupted by unwanted guests;
  • purchasing an extra sofa or chair can add to the possibilities; and
  • keep cozy blankets nearby for the colder months and a fan for warmer days.

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