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by Mira and Charles on January 29th, 2015
How nice it is that the world is so full of so many nice women. Isn’t that nice? If only more people were nice, what a nice world it would be. Can’t we all just be nice?
But at the risk of being not nice I need to ask, what is this thing we call being nice?
This is important because—I’m here to tell you—a lot women, and men, and relationships too are dying inside from being nice.
If this were Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on January 23rd, 2015
If you’ve been thinking about giving up on the idea of marriage, or if you’ve been wondering about what kind of person you should marry, you could either consult your Aunt Agnes or turn to real solid research. Now I’ve got nothing against your Aunt Agnes, but if I have a choice I always go with the research. Better the experience of thousands of people, intelligently analyzed, than the experience of one woman who frankly…well, let’s just leave Aunt Agnes alone.
This research answers a couple of questions.
First, does being married actually make us happy or is it just that happy people are the ones who get married?
Answer: even when you Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on January 12th, 2015
We are all drowning in a sea of advice. Not just bad advice—which is bad enough—but advice of all kinds, and it’s causing lots of problems. This advice assault can, and WILL, wash over you no matter what you’re struggling with: from being stuck in traffic to having a dog with cancer, from losing your job to losing your hair, from breaking up with your lover to breaking out in pimples, from getting sick to getting old.
Here’s an example of how this plague of advice works. A woman I know is going through a very painful time. Her marriage has just blown up. Horrible! Family, friends, everyone at work, mere acquaintances know all about it, and seem determined to make things worse. The advice never stops. This woman has to walk a gauntlet of mostly well intentioned people saying a lot of things that are almost always more hurtful than helpful.
It begins with Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 30th, 2014
Making sure you keep your resolutions this year
I know what you’re thinking. Here comes another new year, and there are those things you don’t like about yourself or your life. And as sure as winter brings cold and snow to me up here in Boston, you probably feel a determination bubble up within you to change things. “This will be the year…” And like lots of us you feel on the verge yet again to make a New Year’s resolution.
I’ll bet your past resolutions haven’t always brought you the major changes you were hoping for. In fact, New Year’s Resolutions are too often a set-up for failure and discouragement. Sorry, but it’s true, and you know it.
And do you know why New Year’s resolutions so often fail? It’s because we’re hoping determination and commitment will carry us through. And that’s rarely the case.
But how would you like good, quick help right here, right now? The real secret of people who are successful with their New Year’s Resolutions is Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 24th, 2014
For many families, the holidays bring the same battle every year: no one can agree on where to spend Christmas. You like my mother, but my father always gets drunk and obnoxious. I like your dad, but your mom can’t cook. My sister lives so far away it’s an awful drive. Your brother lives in a dump. I’d like to have people over our house, but the last time we did it it was so much trouble it ruined Christmas for us.
And so what should be one of the happiest, most loving times of the year turns into a conflict-filled, stressed-out disaster.
There’s got to be a better way. And there is. Here are the basic principles. If you Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 17th, 2014
…and just in the nick of time! If there ever was a season when people were running low on emotional energy, Christmas is it. So much to do. So little time to do it. Lots of us find that Christmas is a week away and we haven’t even started with all the stuff we have to do.
Now new research shows that emotional energy is even more important than many of us have thought. Check this out: it turns out that Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 9th, 2014
Let’s thank the New York Times for a report on the state of our unions today: a report on what’s happening with divorce in America today.
What would you guess is happening? Is our national divorce rate rising? You keep hearing commentators say so, but is it true?
Well, if you take the divorce rate as an indicator of the health of the modern American marriage, we’re doing Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 2nd, 2014
Before we mindlessly glide into Christmas, let’s see if we can learn anything from this past Thanksgiving.
Now I know a woman—and I know there are a million women like this—who had family over for Thanksgiving. When everyone had shoveled as much food into their faces as fast as they could and raced away from the table to grab some tube, this woman had had it. She walked out, drove away, and was just GONE for hours.
She just couldn’t take it any more.
Like millions of other women, she’d spent the better part of three days getting ready to present Thanksgiving dinner to her family and a half dozen relatives. And the whole time she was seething. Her children weren’t Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on November 21st, 2014
I was reading a really good article online and I came across these words, which stopped me in my tracks.
A cry for attention is positioned as the ultimate crime, clutching or trivial — as if ‘attention’ were inherently a selfish thing to want. But isn’t wanting attention one of the most fundamental traits of being human — and isn’t granting it one of the most important gifts we can ever give?
And there you have one of the central needs and central conflicts in relationships today. We want our partner’s attention. His undivided attention, ungrudgingly given. And yet we too often feel we need to justify or pay for this attention.
So let’s put things back in perspective. Attention is a fundamental right in relationships. And that’s because it’s a basic human need. We may not wither and die without attention, but we certainly wither, shrink, starve, dry up, and go dead inside without attention, like a lonely leaf still left on a tree at the beginning of a New England winter.
The homeless, the aged, and the poor all will tell you that one of the worst parts of their status is feeling invisible. Being ignored. It’s terrible to be treated badly, but in some ways it’s worse to not be dealt with at all.
It’s all about Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on November 13th, 2014
The secrets for creating a wonderful turkey day
Well, Thanksgiving is in two weeks. Here, in plenty of time, are some thoughts for how to make this one of the best days of your year. After all, it’s a day for thanks. It’s a day for giving. At least it should be.
But too often Thanksgiving is a day marred—destroyed sometimes—by the stress of going overboard, the tension that goes with travel, and by family members acting badly. So sad. Especially when it’s so easy to have a happy Thanksgiving.
The rules for having a happy family Thanksgiving are few and simple:
- Stop trying to Read the rest of this entry. »