Relationships

re·la·tion·ship

/rəˈlāSH(ə)nˌSHip/

The unique ability of women to create deep, personal bonds that enrich lives. With strength and grace, investing in others while maintaining boundaries in order to build healthy connections, and work to repair those that are not

If Your Man Didn’t Propose But Should Have Read This

If Your Man Didn’t Propose (But Should Have) Read This

To the girl who didn’t get the engagement you were expecting, this is what you need to do to finally get a commitment… You tried not to get your hopes up, but deep down you feel like it is time. He’s the man of your dreams and he says you are the woman of his. You’ve been together long enough for him to know if he wants to make that big commitment. And it doesn’t help that it seems like everyone’s boyfriend is popping the question these days! Maybe you were hoping it would happen over the holidays… Then, Valentine’s Day… Or, perhaps you were daydreaming about the perfectly planned summer proposal leading to a beautiful fall marriage. You even dropped some […]

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How to Know if Your Boyfriend is a Charity Case

How to Know if Your Boyfriend is a Charity Case

Defining a Fixer  What is a “fixer”? A fixer is someone who feels best when helping others. If they see someone who is less fortunate, their first inclination is to try to remedy the situation. They have a keen sense of the unfairness in the world and strive to correct it. They will volunteer to help and are generally charitable people. If you recognize that you are a fixer, that’s great! It’s a wonderful quality to have. Fixers are nurturing, giving, and empathic. They often do a great amount of good, meaningful work in this world—think Mother Teresa and Ghandi. But unfortunately, many fixers expand that need to fix into their romantic relationships, causing devastation for all. Ask Yourself These to Know if

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He Brings Me Flowers, Is that Enough?

My Boyfriend Brings Me Flowers, Is That Enough?

Your boyfriend brings you flowers, treats you to dinner, and maybe even buys you a gift. Sweet things that indicate he could be the “rest of my life” partner but is that all you want? Or perhaps that’s what he did when you first started dating, but less so now. And the other things you might be looking for haven’t yet appeared. Maybe you’ve compromised on some things you thought were important. Or accepted some that you didn’t think you would accept. This happens to nearly every woman who is seeking that ever-after relationship. The concessions don’t happen quickly; they occur slowly, often without even realizing you’re giving up what you thought you had found. Settling for the opposite of what you

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Is He Unhappy in Marriage or Mid-Life Crisis?

‘Johanna’ Asked: How do I work on my marriage when my husband tells me everything in his life is in the air right now , he’s unhappy in marriage OR tells you “I’m sorry I’ve been living your life. You wanted kids and to get married, not me!” We’ve been together for 17 years now. How can I move on from that? I’m hurting right now. Dr. Zoe Answered: Your husband is going through something right now that’s making him question all of his choices in life. Unfortunately, that includes you and the kids, too. Maybe it’s true that he felt pressured to get married and have children. Maybe it’s actually that he’s unhappy in marriage, with how his life is turning

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Ask Dr. Zoe – How to Approach a Disconnected Husband

‘Dealing With My Disconnected Husband’ Asked: How do you approach your husband when he seems completely disconnected and like he has checked out? I have tried bringing it up in casual conversation with him so it doesn’t seem as though I am accusing or nagging, but he literally just ignores talking about it and says he just doesn’t want to be around people or talk about it. I need help on how to address this without pushing him away further! Loving and Worried Midwest Wife Dr. Zoe Answered: Hi Dealing With My Disconnected Husband, When your spouse is disconnected from you, it can feel like you are lost in a desert with no hope of water. You said that he doesn’t want

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Why You Should Just Have That Hard Conversation (And How to Do It)

Just Have That Hard Conversation (And How to Do It)

Have you ever had that sick, anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach? The one that occurs when you know there’s a hard conversation you need to have with someone you don’t want to have it with? Or maybe they don’t want to have it with you. A misunderstanding has occurred—or even worse—they are heading down a road you know you can’t let them travel without at least having an honest discussion before they do. In reality, it’s the last thing you want to take on. A tooth extraction seems more pleasant. But one thing I do know is if there’s a conversation you’ve been avoiding, it’s usually the one you need to have. Nothing will change if you don’t deal with

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woman with hands clasped to her face in a therapist's office as an act of self-care when you've been cheated on

6 Essential Acts of Self-Care When You’ve Been Cheated On

Twenty-four hours after my husband brought me coffee in bed, slipped on his apron, and helped our young daughters execute the world’s best Mother’s Day omelet, he locked eyes with the woman who would become his affair partner. It was a regular Monday morning, and his steps were like clockwork. He’d leave home by 5:30 a.m. to drive into the city, park his truck, breeze through TSA, and enjoy coffee and a pastry in the lounge before walking toward his gate. His professional success had elevated his status to the highest tier on the airline, granting him automatic upgrades to business class, lie-down seats on his overseas flights, access to flagship lounges, and personal calls from airline personnel to let him know

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To the single woman searching for true love

To the Single Woman Searching for True Love

After tossing and turning for an hour last night, I finally got out of bed and began reading an old journal. There’s something about looking back on the things that used to occupy my mind—things that are now resolved and long forgotten—that settles me. There was one journal entry that caused me to reach for my phone at 4 a.m. and text my best friend, the one person I can text in the wee hours of the night and not think twice about it. I read something that my 23-year-old self scribbled off the cuff… words of gratitude for my best friend and a prayer over her life. What a gift to experience a bond that remained and deepened over 10 years,

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Being an Adult Child of Divorce—at the Holidays

Being an Adult Child of Divorce—at the Holidays

As an adult child of divorce, there are many tricky dynamics and raw emotions that are bound to arise. Now, throw in a heaping dose of family togetherness, eye-to-eye conversations around the dinner table, and memories from the past that tend to creep in this time of year and it can make for an interesting scene. It’s a club I never anticipated being a member of, but I am learning not just to survive this time of year, but to find new ways to cherish it and embrace it even more. Here are some of the things I have slowly learned when it comes to divorce. What you need to know as an adult child of divorce (especially at the holidays) 1.

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How to Survive a Party as an Introvert

How to Survive a Party as an Introvert

If you’re an introvert like me, you may not love parties. So, here are five simple tips to surviving the get-togethers that are sure to await us this season: 5 Steps to Survive a Party as an Introvert. 1. Bring a friend. If you’re an introvert, you’re probably familiar with this faithful crutch. 2. Make a friend. If you can’t bring a friend, make a friend! Just because we’re introverts, doesn’t mean we are unable to socialize. Most of us simply prefer small groups, or better yet, one-on-one conversations. So find a fellow wallflower and figure out what they’re passionate about. Once you discover a shared interest to discuss—you’re golden! 3. Take a break! Do you ever feel drained from smiling, nodding, and

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Want to Be in Style? Spreading Kindness Is Always Beautiful

Want to Be in Style? Spreading Kindness Is Always Beautiful

“I always say that kindness is the greatest beauty that you can have.” –Actress, Andie MacDowell I will be the first to tell anyone that I am not an expert when it comes to beauty and style. I’ve never really been up to date on the latest fashion or beauty trends. For instance, I have this old, comfy sweatshirt. I got it for Christmas in eighth grade (1993). It is fuzzy and cream-colored with a plaid pig right in the middle. It says “Ham Wear” in faded letters across the front. And I still wear it…in public. My husband teases me every time it’s cold enough to pull that sweatshirt out of the closet. He can’t believe that: 1. It still fits

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grandma hugging her son in front of a Christmas tree

It Really Is the Thought That Counts—My Grandma’s Gifts Proved It

Sometimes something isn’t special while it’s happening. It isn’t a memory or has no significance until much later in your life. My grandma’s gifts are a prime example of that. As the holidays approach and things in our families change over the years, I have been reflecting a lot on holidays past and what I want to share with my children and what I hope they will share with theirs. In recent years, our family has changed the way it looks. My brother and I have lost our parents, while my husband and I have had our twins. Boy, have they made the holidays magical, and nothing says magic like children at Christmas. Another change in our family was that our grandma

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family members of different ages gathered around a table for Thanksgiving and the grandfather carving the turkey, exemplifying the power of intergenerational relationships

The Joy Series: The Overlooked Power of Intergenerational Relationships

As we sit down to dinner and I look around at the faces looking back at me, several things resonate with me. There’s a span of 73 years between the oldest to the youngest at the table. The youngest just turned fifteen and started driving, while the oldest is barely driving anymore as he approaches his 89th birthday. The conversations range from what was on the news that day to stories from years ago. This isn’t a holiday or special celebration—it’s just our normal dinner. Four generations gather around the table to fellowship and break bread. I consider each one’s preferences when planning meals, and my parents share in the responsibilities of meal preparation even though we don’t live under the same

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mother-in-law and daughter sitting next to eachother on the couch drinking coffee and smiling and trying to build peaceful relationships

The Joy Series: 6 Traits of a Mother-in-Law Who Wants to Build Peaceful Relationships

Yes, the joy! I’m not trying to sweeten up the truth. Being a mother-in-law is not for sissies. And if you feel drawn to whine about how it’s going for you, Google can point you to more than two billion sites telling you how to improve your approach. Or, if you want that pity party (and some days we need one), look up mother-in-law jokes. My search came up with 61,800,000 sites touting mother-in-law jokes, with only about half that amount about fathers-in-law! 1. Lawyer to his client: “Your mother-in-law passed away in her sleep. Shall we order a burial, embalming, or cremation?” The son-in-law replied, “Let’s not take chances. Order all three.” 2. How many Mothers-in-law does it take to change

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older couple walking outside hand in hand

The Joy Series: Marrying Later in Life Brought Unexpected Beauty and Delight

Dan and I both marvel at how easy it was to transition from widowhood to being married again—almost as if we’d known each other all our lives. And oh, the joy of remarrying later in life. Because when you lose a good thing, and when goodness eventually replaces the loss, it seems so much sweeter. It’s not that I meant to take anything for granted in my first marriage. But as the years passed, I got used to the stability and the faithfulness and the companionship. And then I found myself doing road trips alone. And snowshoeing the trails in the Cascade Mountains alone. And holding Friday date night alone (I know… weird, but it was part of my brave-making campaign as

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Is Compromise in Marriage the Only Way? Try This Instead

I remember sitting in pre-marital counseling 20 years ago listening to the pastor go through all sorts of items before I got married the first time. I don’t remember too much, to be honest, but I do remember when he told us not to compromise in marriage. He specifically said, “There is going to come a time where you cannot agree on what to do. Perhaps it is where to spend Christmas—you both want to spend it with your families, and can’t seem to come to a decision without erupting into argument. You know that if you pick one side over the other, one of you is not going to be happy. Maybe another time you both want to vacation in two

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This Is My Story of Domestic Abuse

This Is My Story of Domestic Abuse

There was a time when I never wanted to talk about it, at least not publicly. I never thought I would. In fact, several years into my journey, the majority of people around me saw nothing but smiles. Truth was, my world was unraveling into devastating chaos. It was never due to shame and not even due to denial. But in today’s world, it seems that everyone is desperate to have a cause. Everyone wants a platform. No matter the scenario, there is always someone looking to somehow identify themselves with the pain of a situation or a cause to gain sympathy. And quite frankly, it cheapens and leaves those that have actually walked the dark paths of pain silent. Women and

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