Here are some real true-to-life expriences of blissful couples that are worth sharing because of the reason that they simply work. Take them from the horse's mouth so-to-speak and learn to live happily ever after.
Attack the issue
"On my wedding-invitation RSVP cards, I left space for guests to write their favorite wedding wisdom. The tidbit that rings truest after almost nine months of marriage is: 'Attack the issue, not each other.' How it works: If my husband and I disagree about something, we stay focused on the issue and skip the personal put-downs." -- Melissa Gitter Schilowitz, 31, Metuchen, NJ
"My grandmother insisted that I learn how to play golf. 'If your husband loves to play, you can go along and spend hours together,' she said. So I took lessons, and now my husband and I hit the links once a month. We both love the game and are thrilled to share a hobby, even when we spend half an hour looking for my out-of-bounds balls!" -- Aimee Borders, 27, Houston, TX
"My aunt told me that if I'm running late when it's my turn to make dinner, just set the table. That way my husband thinks he'll be eating any minute, so he doesn't start complaining, which buys me some time. It's a silly trick that sounds straight out of the 1950s, but I have to admit that I've tried it a few times in the three years I've been married -- and it works!" -- Dawn Clayton, 34, Holdrege, NE
Boob-Tube Brilliant turns
"Because my husband is such a remote-control freak, my mom suggested that we have 'my turn' TV nights. That means three nights a week I get to hold the remote and watch whatever I want, and on the other nights it's his turn to hold the remote and watch whatever he wants. Now when he starts flipping through the channels, it doesn't get on my nerves like it used to." -- Angela Clayton, 27, Odenton, MD
Pop the Question
"My sister-in-law passed this helpful hint on to me, and it has served me well for our five years of wedded bliss: 'Marriage is not mind reading, so ask your spouse what he/she wants and believe what he/she says.'" -- Clare Graca, 27, Dallas
Nix the Nit-Picking
"Before I said 'I do,' my mom (who's been married to my dad for 55 years) told me to take out a piece of paper and write down the top three things that bugged me about my husband-to-be. Then she told me to forget the things on that list and forgive him for not being flawless. Once you make a commitment this big, she explained, you can't let petty things get in the way. In our eight years of marriage, my husband and I have had two kids, tackled cross-country moves and started two businesses -- and so far, so great."-- Rebecca Hart Blaudow, 31, Jacksonville, FL
"Always have separate closets, my best friend told me. It may seem silly, but I listened to her and made sure to find a one-bedroom apartment with two closets (mine being the larger, of course). Now my husband and I each have our own private space, and we respect that: If he wants to keep his shoes in one huge heap or leave his dirty clothes in a pile on the floor, the mess doesn't bother me a bit!" -- Patricia Bontekoe, 26, Lake Hiawatha, NJ
Agree to Disagree
"Before we got married, my minister told my husband and me, 'You are two imperfect people making an imperfect union, and that's wonderful.' This advice made me ditch my belief that in a happy marriage, the couple always agrees. My husband and I have learned to appreciate our differences (yes, even differences of opinion!); in fact, we encourage them because we realize now that those differences are what makes each of us unique and special." -- Beth Swanson, 28, Chicago
"Before I headed down the aisle, my stepfather told me to always laugh and never take myself too seriously. After four years of marriage, I know that this trick works. My husband and I often play practical jokes on each other and always try to crack each other up, even in the middle of an argument. Hey, if one person laughs, a fight tends to fizzle, doesn't it?" -- Lisa Giassa, 31, Bogota, NJ
Monday, April 06, 2009
Posted by Pres. Mau at 7:13 AM
Saturday, February 28, 2009
This may sound quite strange but "staying married is better for the planet because divorce leads the newly single to live more wasteful lifestyles," an Australian lawmaker said Tuesday. It has to be made clear, though, that this does not apply to those who have been single all their lives, but only for singles coming from marriage divorce.
Senator Steve Fielding told a Senate hearing in the Australian capital Canberra that divorce only made climate change worse.
When couples separated, they needed more rooms, more electricity and more water. This increased their carbon footprint, Australian Associated Press quoted Fielding as telling the hearing on environmental issues.
"We understand that there is a social problem , but now we're seeing there is also environmental impact as well on the footprint," AAP quoted him as saying.
Such a "resource-inefficient lifestyle" meant it would be better for the planet if couples stayed married, he said.
During the hearing, the senator read out quotes from a U.S. report that advocated his stance.
Fielding, who leads the independent Family First party, grew up in a family of 16 children and has been married for 22 years, his website says.
It is to be understood though that preserving marriage should not only be made for the sake of the environment but more so for respecting the sanctity of family life borne out of love and devotion.
Posted by Pres. Mau at 9:51 AM
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Just in time for Valentine's Day, a panel of scientists examined the mystery of what happens when hearts throb and lips lock. Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women.
Chemicals in the saliva may be a way to assess a mate, Wendy Hill, dean of the faculty and a professor of neuroscience at Lafayette College, told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday.
In an experiment, Hill explained, pairs of heterosexual college students who kissed for 15 minutes while listening to music experienced significant changes in their levels of the chemicals oxytocin, which affects pair bonding, and cortisol, which is associated with stress. Their blood and saliva levels of the chemicals were compared before and after the kiss.
Both men and women had a decline in cortisol after smooching, an indication their stress levels declined.
For men, oxytocin levels increased, indicating more interest in bonding, while oxytocin levels went down in women. "This was a surprise," Hill said.
In a test group that merely held hands, chemical changes were similar, but much less pronounced, she said.
The experiment was conducted in a student health center, Hill noted. She plans a repeat "in a more romantic setting."
Hill spoke at the session on the Science of Kissing, along with Helen Fisher of Rutgers University and Donald Lateiner of Ohio Wesleyan University.
Fisher noted that more than 90 percent of human societies practice kissing, which she believes has three components — the sex drive, romantic love and attachment.
The sex drive pushes individuals to assess a variety of partners, then romantic love causes them to focus on an individual, she said. Attachment then allows them to tolerate this person long enough to raise a child.
Men tend to think of kissing as a prelude to copulation, Fisher said. She noted that men prefer "sloppy" kisses, in which chemicals including testosterone can be passed on to the women in saliva. Testosterone increases the sex drive in both males and females.
"When you kiss an enormous part of your brain becomes active," she added. Romantic love can last a long time, "if you kiss the right person."
Lateiner, a classical scholar, observed that kissing appears infrequently in Greek and Roman art, but was widely practiced, despite the spread of skin disease at that time by facial kissing. And there was a potential for social faux pas by kissing the wrong person at the wrong time.
Overall, the science of kissing — philematology — is under-researcherd, Hill concluded
Posted by Pres. Mau at 6:08 PM
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder could see their symptoms reduced by playing a popular computer game.
According to experts from Oxford University, playing Tetris soon after a traumatic experience could help erase bad memories of the incident.
It is also claimed that playing the game could reduce the number of flashbacks people experience. Dr Emily Holmes, a psychologist who led the study, said: "This is only a first step in showing that this might be a viable approach to preventing post-traumatic stress disorder."
Experts hope that the findings could lead to new treatments for people hospitalised after an incident, as well as those who have experience of war zones.
Post-traumatic stress syndrome often affects those who have experienced wartime trauma, such as seeing others injured or killed.
Those who took part in the experiment were shown traumatic images of injury then 30 minutes later, half played ten minutes of Tetris while the others did nothing.
Tetris is one of the world's most popular computer games and was first made nearly a quarter of a century ago, reports Infopackets.
Posted by Pres. Mau at 2:02 PM
Friday, January 02, 2009
You're smart. You know life is no storybook. But admit it: Somewhere deep in your subconscious lurk romantic visions of Cinderella, or maybe Julia Roberts. The images may be sketchy and a little outdated, but you can still make out the silhouette of the bride and Prince Charming riding off into the sunset.
In real life, sometimes your Disney fairy tale ends up feeling more like a Wes Craven horror flick -- and you're the chick who keeps falling down and screaming for her life. I've been there. Let's face it, marriage is not for the faint of heart. You want to believe your pure love for each other will pull you through. And it does. But it ain't always pretty.
That may sound grim. But here's a secret: Sometimes it's the least romantic parts of marriage that have the most to teach you about yourself, your partner, and the nature of love. Read on for some simple truths that will unlock the surprising treasures and pleasures in your imperfect, unstorybook, real-life love.
1. You will look at the person lying next to you and wonder, Is this it? Forever?
When you get married, you think that as long as you pick the right guy -- your soul mate -- you'll be happy together until death do you part. Then you wake up one day and realize that no matter how great he is, he doesn't make you happy every moment of every day. In fact, some days you might wonder why you were in such a hurry to get married in the first place. You think to yourself, "This is so not what I signed up for."
Actually, it is. You just didn't realize it the day you and your guy were cramming wedding cake into each other's faces, clinking champagne glasses, and dancing the Electric Slide. Back then you had no idea that "for better and for worse" doesn't kick in only when life hands you a tragedy. Your relationship mettle is, in fact, most tested on a daily basis, when the utter sameness of day-in/day-out togetherness can sometimes make you want to run for the hills. That's when the disappointment sneaks in, and maybe even a palpable sense of loneliness and grief. It's not him. It's just you, letting go of that sugarcoated fantasy of marriage that danced in your eyes the day you and your beloved posed in all those soft-focus wedding photos. You're learning that marriage isn't a destination; it's a journey filled with equal parts excitement and tedium.
Waking up from a good dream to face the harsh morning daylight may not seem like a reason to celebrate. But trust me, it is. Because once you let go of all the hokey stories of eternal bliss, you find that the reality of marriage is far richer and more rewarding than you ever could have guessed. Hard, yes. Frustrating, yes. But full of its own powerful, quiet enchantments just the same, and that's better than any fairy tale.
2. You'll work harder than you ever imagined.
Early on, when people say, "Marriage takes work," you assume "work" means being patient when he forgets to put down the toilet seat. In your naivete, you think that you will struggle to accommodate some annoying habit, like persistent knuckle cracking or flatulence.
If only it were that easy. Human beings, you may have noticed, are not simple creatures. Your man has mysterious, unplumbed depths -- and from where he sits, you're pretty complicated, too. You have to learn each other the same way that you once learned earth science or world geography. And getting married doesn't mean you're done -- it just means you've advanced to graduate-level studies. That's because every time you think you've mastered the material, he'll change a bit. And so will you. As two people grow and evolve, the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate to and nurture each other in the process.
"It's like losing weight," says Andrea Harden, 45, of Buffalo, NY. "You want it to be a one-time deal. You lost it, now just live. But then you learn it's a lifestyle. That's marriage. The effort is a forever thing." So don't be too hard on yourself -- or him -- on those days when you feel like you're struggling through remedial math.
3. You will sometimes go to bed mad (and maybe even wake up madder).
Whoever decided to tell newlyweds "Never go to bed angry" doesn't know what it's like inside a bedroom where tears and accusations fly as one spouse talks the other into a woozy stupor until night meets the dawn. If this scenario sounds familiar, I've got three words for you: Sleep on it.
You need to calm down. You need to gain perspective. You need to just give it a rest. I've found that an argument of any quality, like a fine wine, needs to breathe. A break in the action will help you figure out whether you're angry, hurt, or both, and then pinpoint the exact source. Maybe the fight that seemed to erupt over the overflowing garbage can is really about feeling underappreciated. Could be you're both stressed out at work and just needed to unload on someone. Taking a break will help you see that, and let go. Or maybe you really do have a legitimate disagreement to work out. Without a time-out, sometimes a perfectly good argument can turn into an endless round of silly back-and-forth, rehashing old and irrelevant transgressions as you get more and more wound up.
Even when you do manage to stay focused and on topic, there are some fights that stubbornly refuse to die by bedtime. And if you stifle your real feelings just to meet some arbitrary deadline, your marriage will surely be the worse for it. "This was a huge lesson for me," says Andrea. "As women we've been trained to make nice. But the whole kiss-and-make-up thing just to keep the peace was eating me up inside. I'd let things build up inside me until I just exploded. Now I wait a while to get hold of myself -- let the emotions settle a bit -- and state my position. Even if that means reopening the fight the next day."
4. Getting your way is usually not as important as finding a way to work together.
I can be a bit of a know-it-all. There, I said it. It's really not my intention to be hurtful or brash with people I love. It's just that a lifetime of experience has taught me that in most areas, at most times, I am right about most things. What shocked me several years into my marriage, though, was the realization that the more "right" I was, the more discontented my husband and I were as a couple. See, oddly enough, throughout his life Genoveso has been under the misguided impression that he's right most of the time (go figure!). So we'd lock horns -- often. That is, until I learned a few things.
Namely, that when it comes to certain disagreements, there is no right or wrong -- there is simply your way of looking at things and your husband's. "I used to be very black-and-white earlier in our marriage," says Lindy Vincent, 38, who lives in Minneapolis. "Now I see that I'm not all right and my husband is not all wrong. There's more gray in life than I thought, and that's taught me patience and the value of compromise."
5. A great marriage doesn't mean no conflict; it simply means a couple keeps trying to get it right.
Maybe you think that because of my newfound wisdom, Genoveso and I never fight anymore. Ha! As important as it is to strike a balance, it's also important to have a big, fat fight every now and then. Because when you fight, you don't just raise your voices; you raise real -- sometimes buried -- issues that challenge you to come to a clearer understanding of you, your man, and your relationship. I wouldn't give up our fights for anything in the world, because I know in the end they won't break us; they'll only make us stronger.
6. You'll realize that you can only change yourself.
Ever seen the '80s sci-fi cult classic "Making Mr. Right?" When the stylish heroine, played by Ann Magnuson, is hired to teach a robot how to act like a human, she seizes the chance to create a perfect guy. A hotshot commercial whiz, she uses her marketing prowess to shape John Malkovich's android character into her personal version of the ideal man -- sensitive, eager to please, and willing to listen.
There is a bit of that makeover fantasy in all of us -- something that makes us believe we can change the person we love, make him just a little bit closer to perfect. We may use support and empathy or shouts and ultimatums, but with dogged conviction we take on this huge responsibility, convinced we're doing the right thing.
Whatever our motives, the effort is exhausting. Transforming a full-grown man -- stripping him of decades-old habits, beliefs, and idiosyncrasies -- is truly an impossible task. And you will come to realize, sooner than later if you're lucky, that it is far easier to change the way you respond to him.
7. As you face your fears and insecurities, you will find out what you're really made of.
There were clues when Genoveso and I were dating, especially with the trust thing. Early on, I was supersuspicious of him. He used to say things like, "I'll call you at 8." Then, just to try to trip me up, he'd call at 8. I knew he was up to something, I just couldn't figure out what. The same kinds of experiences followed after the wedding. Except occasionally he would actually mess up. And I had no sense of scale when it came to rating his offenses; everything was a major violation. Whether he teased me about a new haircut or came home late, I seethed for days and even let thoughts of divorce creep into my head. I figured, if he loved me -- really and truly -- this stuff wouldn't happen.
I'd like to be able to say that this irrational behavior lasted only a few months and I eventually worked it out. Kind of, sort of, is closer to the truth. After years of looking deeply into my soul and talking to good friends and the best sister a girl could ever have, I've come to recognize certain things about myself. Not to get all Dr. Phil about it, but I've had to examine my history with an emotionally distant dad and a strong-willed mom and face up to all the ways, both good and bad, that those relationships have affected how I approach my marriage.
That's the strange beauty of marriage: It's full of hard times and hard lessons that no one can ever prepare you for. But in the end, those are the things that give richness to your life together -- and make your love even deeper and stronger than when it began.
Posted by Pres. Mau at 3:48 PM
Monday, December 29, 2008
Some of these hot new careers you may have never heard of are "green-collar" jobs. These jobs are on the rise as the business world responds to dramatic increases in energy costs and environmental regulation. And while disposable income seems threatened by a roller-coaster economy, other new careers are springing up to suit those who have cash to spend.
Here are some of the hot career fields you may not have heard of:
Eco Tourism Director
Traditional hospitality careers are increasingly marching to the ecotourism drumbeat. According to the International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is growing at three times the rate of traditional vacationing, increasing annually up to 30 percent. If you're just preparing for the field, seek an associate's degree in hospitality, travel, or tourism. If you're already aboard, why not train to manage a hotel, bed and breakfast, spa, or resort with a graduate degree in business or hospitality? The majority of lodging managers are self-employed professionals. Top earners in 2007 averaged $83,240 for the year.
Ever hear of a certified ethical hacker? That's the professional IT certification for a computer scientist that works as a security specialist, forensic investigator, or network defense architect for corporations, the government, and law enforcement agencies to help prevent hacking or to track down perpetrators. To get into the field, you'll need more than the hacking skills you tweaked together in your garage. Begin by earning a bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology. You can get additional online college training in network security. The top 50 percent of computer scientists earned between $97,970 and $123,900 in 2007.
Don't be so shocked. Even Sparky sometimes needs help to keep from gnawing through the neighbor's bed of prized roses. Once the local vet has ruled out physical ailments that can contribute to rude pet behavior, people who love their animals may need to call in a trained, certified behaviorist or pet psychologist. As with human patients, pets can be analyzed and taught to act contrary to destructive impulses. There are even certified applied animal behaviorists. To get into the field, you'll need a master's or doctorate degree in psychology, preferably with additional work in zoology and animal behavior. Salaries vary greatly by locale, but can be upwards of $90,000 a year.
There are companies who are greatly concerned with increasing energy efficiency. And there are those with a conscience, striving to reduce their carbon footprint. When some states decided to go carbon-neutral by 2007, they hired a director of energy strategy and climate change. Combine your thirst for conservation with an engineering degree to prepare for this thriving field. The U.S. Labor Department predicts a hefty 25 percent increase in environmental engineers during the 2006-2016 decade. In 2007, the top 50 percent earned between $70,000 and $106,000.
Fashion Consultant/Personal Shopper
Among those who care about their appearance, many are born with amazing taste; some have to work for it. Fashion designers and consultants help those who can afford personal attention to transform their image. You can be the one to consult on hair, makeup, and fashion--and then be the one to take your clients shopping. Get career training through an associate's or bachelor's degree program in fashion design. Top earners in the fashion design trades in 2007 took home $121,640 on average.
Mobile Experience Architect
The cool streaming videos and eye-popping CD covers that get delivered to the screens of millions of cell phones and PDAs each hour are designed to make you spend money. Information architects create the structure and mind-manipulating patterns (site maps) of each mobile delivery. You'll need to learn about marketing, strategy, and user testing through a degree program in computer science, Web design, or business. There's even an IT certification for professional mobile architects. Salaries range into six figures.
As our world rapidly evolves, it's no surprise that the work landscape is evolving as well. You can prepare for and keep up with the changes by updating your training and credentials.
Posted by Pres. Mau at 9:49 AM
Friday, October 24, 2008
When your reminders affect your sense of fashion, it's time for some tips on improving memory. See more brain pictures.
The human brain is like a library that stocks memories instead of books. In some ways, that makes the hippocampus, the part of the brain most involved in memory, the brain's librarian. The hippocampus has the most responsibility in this cranial library, juggling the new releases of short-term memory while cataloging materials for the permanent collection of long-term memory. It's not the only part at work, however, in storing these chapters of our lives. Different kinds of memory are stored in different areas of the brain. With such a large system, the brain needs a system of encoding and retrieving memories, something a bit more complex than the local library's Dewey Decimal System.
The brain has to be able to pull information at the drop of a hat, whether it's a fact on hold (such as a telephone number) or a dusty memory that's been sitting in storage for years (the memory of your first kiss). No one likes a library that loses books or shelves them in the wrong place. Yet sometimes we find ourselves with a very poor librarian on our hands, one that doesn't allow us to retrieve memories when we need them. Sometimes it's trivial, like when we tear apart our homes looking for glasses perched innocuously atop our heads, and sometimes these lapses in memories are more embarrassing, such as when we call a colleague "sport" because we simply can't remember his name.
Whether you're a college student studying for an important test or an aging baby boomer concerned about forgetting a recent doctor's appointment, there are a few things everyone can do to optimize the storage and checkouts in our private libraries of memories. Alert the librarian and head to the next page for the first tip.
10. Drink in Moderation
Before you settle in to read this article, you may want to get yourself a glass of wine. Surprised that such debauchery begins our list of memory improvers? Well, hear us out. Memory and alcohol have an interesting relationship.
Cheers to your health!First off, you'll notice we didn't advocate bringing the entire bottle back with you. Too much drinking handicaps the memory, as anyone who's ever woken after a binge with a fuzzy recollection of the night before can attest. And one component of a DUI test shows how overconsumption of alcohol can immediately affect the brain: Even simple mental tasks like counting backward and reciting the alphabet can become tricky under the influence. Alcohol abuse will have a negative effect on the cells of the brain related to memory.
But as long as you're not pregnant and able to maintain control of how much you drink, there's evidence that light to moderate alcohol consumption can improve memory and cognition. Though more research needs to be done, some studies have found that moderate drinkers do better on certain tests of memory and cognition than nondrinkers and heavy drinkers [sources: Victoroff, Minerd]. There may be some long-term effects as well. A French study that followed almost 4,000 people over the age of 65 found that light drinkers, who consumed up to two glasses of wine a day, were 45 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than nondrinkers [source: Victoroff].
But as we said, don't start tipping back beverages if you have certain risk factors, such as a family history of alcoholism. No one is recommending that teetotalers start drinking, either. Resveratrol, one of the flavonoids in red wine that's believed to have special benefits for blood vessels, is also in red grape juice.
If you tend to drink when you're sad, head to the next page for some information on how your blues affect your brain.
9. Seek Treatment for Depression
Anything that causes major stress in life, including anxiety or anger, will eventually eat away at the parts of the brain that are responsible for memory. Chief among these stressors is major depression. Depression is often misidentified as a memory problem since one of the main symptoms of the condition is an inability to concentrate. If you can't concentrate on schoolwork or the information needed to complete a task on the job, then you may feel as if you're constantly forgetting things. As it is, you're not even able to concentrate long enough to learn them in the first place.
altrendo images/Altrendo/Getty Images
Can't concentrate at work? It may be depression.
Depression causes an increase of cortisol levels in the bloodstream, which in turns elevates the amount of cortisol in the brain. With the help of brain imaging devices, doctors have been able to see how that increased cortisol diminishes certain brain areas, chief among them the hippocampus [source: Tan]. One study showed that people who had been depressed, even if it was years ago, had suffered a 12 to 15 percent loss in the hippocampus [source: Victoroff]. Since the hippocampus is the clearing center for short-term memory, prolonged depression demolishes the brain's ability to remember anything new.
Additionally, depression affects the types of things a person is able to remember. While everyone's brain is selective about which memories make it into long-term storage, people with depression seem only able to retain negative memories [source: Crook]. That means there's a neurological reason why a person with depression remains obsessed with the one time a loved one forgot a birthday or anniversary, even if it was remembered every other year.
But happy memories needn't be lost forever to someone battling depression. Medications for depression, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been shown to jump-start the process of cell regeneration in the hippocampus [source: Tan].
The next item on our list can help fight depression while it improves memory as well.
8. Get Moving
Ariel Skelley/Photographer's Choice RR/Getty Images
A brisk walk can be the best exercise for your brain.If you've ever taken a break from work or studying to take a quick walk around the block, you may understand the rationale for this next tip. Exercise not only exercises the body, it exercises the brain as well.
Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases and conditions that eventually wreak havoc on the brain, including stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Without regular exercise, plaque builds up in the arteries and blood vessels lose the ability to pump blood effectively. While you may know how plaque buildup leads to heart attacks, you may not think about the way your brain is gasping for breath as well.
The brain depends on energy received through a constant intake of oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream, and when those nutrients don't arrive, the brain's ability to work is compromised. So to keep the blood moving to the brain, you're going to need to get up from your chair (after you finish reading this article, of course) and get the blood pumping. It doesn't matter what you do -- a brisk walk, a swim and even a dance move or two can all provide a good mental workout. Studies show that the more physically active a person is, the greater his or her cognitive performance [source: Victoroff].
Keep a lookout on your brisk walk for interesting images -- you'll need them for the memory tip on the next page.
(Till next issue..)
(By Molly Edmons; Oct. 18, 2008)
Posted by Pres. Mau at 10:49 AM