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Newsletter Dated: 6/5/2007 3:43:30 PM
Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: Stop Reacting and Start Relating
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Happiness Tip: Stop Reacting and Start Relating
Iím a couple of days late with this newsletter, because I went to the Book Expo America in New York City to sign the advance copies of my newest book: "Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage". Richard and I were married 25 years last month, and we celebrated with a big party before we left. While we were on the east coast, we took a couple of days to drive up to my hometown of Roscoe, a beautiful place in the Catskill mountains. My first 18 years were spent growing up in that bucolic, small town paradise. Richard and I had a great time both in the City and in Roscoe, and I got to show him my childhood home. Two friends from kindergarten through high school, Alice Wojdat and Lillian Karpinsky, met us for dinner, and we had fun catching up. We travel well together, and thereís no better delight than sharing your memories and old friends with your life partner, provided you get along as well as we do. My new book is all about relating instead of fighting, so, I thought Iíd share an excerpt with you, even though it isn't in bookstores yet.
Responding, not Reacting
Any willing couple can learn to build a happy relationship if they stop reacting and learn to respond thoughtfully. As an individual you have ideas and beliefs about how certain things in life should be handled, and so does your partner; and we all tend to assume everyone, especially a person who loves us, will see it our way. During dating, you two may have felt that you agreed with each other on everything. But, after you married things changed. You were probably shocked when you realized the object of your affections, your dream come true, the Prince or Princess Charming you fell in love with had different ideas about how life, love, home, finances and children should be.
In thirty years of counseling, Iíve spent many hours teaching couples the techniques and information that will allow them to communicate and solve problems, rather than fight endlessly about the same things. In twenty five years of marriage, Iíve also learned from my own experience that thereís a big difference between the skills and attitudes one needs to date and fall in love, and what is needed to make married life, home and family work smoothly. Thereís a difference between being lovers and being partners, and on top of all that, keeping enough romance and fun alive to make it all feel worthwhile. Those of us who succeed are the blessed ones, the happy ones, and you can be, too.
In this book, youíll learn a view your relationship as a partnership, rather than a challenge or a competition, and youíll discover new ways to think about sharing and working together to make all your decisions about money, sex and kids mutual ones. With a little information and practice, you can stop fighting become a successful, happy couple. The point of this book is to show you how to create a partnership which will cause you to feel blessed and happy.
Solving instead of Struggling
According to researcher John Gottman and several other studies, couples who can solve problems successfully together tend to have relationships that last. If you've been through a tough time together, then youíre probably frustrated, hurt and anxious. This erodes your patience and reasonableness with each other, and makes it difficult to think clearly.
Successful couples donít have any special magic. By trial and error, through counseling, books, and talking to other couples, they figure out how to create a relationship that works. To create a working partnership, you need to teach each other how understand one another, so you can get along. When youíre working together or spending time with each other, instead of complaining, criticizing or resenting each other, try asking each other what youíre thinking about the situation. "I think it would work better to do this--what do you think?Ē If you listen to each other, and focus on sharing what you know, youíll grow in understanding and teamwork. Most partners would rather have each otherís company than do it all alone, especially if what youíre doing is new, and if it's companionable company. The best way to end the Ďwho is supposed to do whatí argument is to do it (or at least work it out) together and make it fun. A smart partner will make this as easy as possible -- make it fun, affectionate, and focus on becoming a team. Rather than figure out whoís right, couples need to focus on what works, and find ways to motivate each other to work together.
Celebration + Appreciation = Motivation
Motivation comes from celebration and appreciation. When partners get frustrated, they have a tendency to complain to and criticize each other rather than appreciate each other. If you give in to your urge to criticize, you'll mortally wound your marriage. If you want to motivate each other, you need to share as much appreciation and celebration as possible. Work with each other, thank each other, and make doing the work as much fun as possible.
You Can Stop Fighting
If you've had a difficult time with each other, Iím sorry, and I know youíre frustrated, but if you will renew your patience, start working together to fix the problems, and give the information and exercises in this book a couple of months, you will see results. Most of the couples I counsel succeed in fixing their problems, and you can, too. If youíre reading this book, that means youíre looking for a solution, and thatís a big step toward success. In subsequent chapters of this book, you'll learn how to change focus from fighting over money, sex and kids to developing the ability to talk about what is going on and focus on solving the problem, which leaves a lot more time for having fun and getting things done. Any willing couple can learn to build a happy relationship -- and so can you.
adapted from: "Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage" (Adams Media) ISBN# 978-1-59869-325-6
© Tina B.Tessina, 2007
If you want more, here are some related articles you can download from my website at http://tinatessina.com/monthly_column.html
Aspects of Love
Attitude: From Negative to Gratitude
Dating Guidelines for Single Parents
Family Violence Q&A
Getting Along With Each Other
Guidelines for Being Understood by Your Partner
Handling The Green-Eyed Monster
How to be Irresistible to Your Mate
How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship
Itís a Dirty Job
The Power of Politeness
State of the Union Meeting
I have a brand new blog! http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
Upcoming radio shows, TV, and lectures are all posted on my website at www.tinatessina.com
You can find me on the Internet, as the "Dating Doctor" on www.couplescompany.com, "Dr. Romance" on Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date (Look for my predictions for romance for 2006!), a designated Expert for Redbook Love Network and I'll also answer your questions at http://www.tinatessina.com.
I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
Re: Your bestest friend:
Wow! It's so flattering to be used as an example in your newsletter
love, your bestest friend! Maggie
Youíve been a great example to me for 30 years, Mags.
My dear friend Tina,
your e mail came at a very good time for me. I am sure it will help me come to grips with the emotions my logical mind won't let go of. Thank you! and a very Happy Anniversary to you and Richard. Time has flown hasn't it.
Thank you, Marvellee. Youíre one of my great teachers.
Absolutely right on, Tina. Great writing. I love myself first and would rather be with me than anyone else. By loving myself, I have so much more to offer others. You are the bestest!
Thanks for sharing,Cynthia Brian
Thank you, Cynthia.
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