Wednesday, September 27, 2006


By Dov Heller

With the divorce rate over 50%, too many are apparently making a serious mistake in deciding whom to spend the rest of their life with. To avoid becoming a "statistic," try to internalize 10 insights.

1. You pick the wrong person because you expect him/her to change after you're married. The classic mistake! NEVER MARRY POTENTIAL!! The Golden Rule is, if you can't be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don't get married. As a colleague of mine so wisely put it, "You actually can expect people to change after their married...for the worst!" So when it comes to the other person's spirituality, character, personal hygiene, communication skills, and personal habits, make sure you can live with these as they are now. It's as good as it gets!

2. You pick the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry than their character. Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character keeps it burning. Beware of the "I'm in love" syndrome. "I'm in love" often means, "I'm in lust." Attraction is there, but have you carefully checked out this person's character? Here are four characteristics to definitely check for:

* Humility: Does this person believe that "doing the right thing" is more important than personal comfort?

* Kindness: Does this person enjoy giving pleasure to other people? How does s/he treat people s/he doesn't have to be nice to? Does s/he do volunteer work? Give to charity?

* Responsibility: Can I depend on this person to do what s/he says s/he's going to do?

* Happiness: Does this person like himself? Does s/he enjoy life? s/he emotionally stable? Ask yourself: Do I want to be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?

3. You choose the wrong person because you do not share a common life, goal and priorities. There are three basic ways we connect with another person:

(1) Chemistry and compatibility,

(2) Share common interests and

(3)Share a life goal.

Make sure you share a deeper level of connection that sharing life goals provide.

After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart.

To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you're living for while you are single-and then find someone who has come to the same conclusion as you. This is the true definition of a soul mate. A soul mate is a goal mate... two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life's purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals.

4. You pick the wrong person because you do not have deeper emotional connection. To evaluate whether you have a deeper emotional connection or not, ask: "Do I respect and admire this person?" This does not mean, "Am I impressed by this person?" We are impressed by a Mercedes. We do not respect someone because they own a Mercedes. Yes, you should be impressed by qualities of creativity, loyalty, determination, etc., but do you actually respect and admire this person who possesses these qualities? Also ask: "Do I trust this person?" This also means, "Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel I can rely on him/her?

5. You pick the wrong person because you choose someone with whom you don't feel emotionally safe. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed with this person? Can I fully be myself, and express myself with this person? Does this person make me feel good about myself ? Do you have a really close friend who makes you feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same way! (That's why best friends usually fall under this category perfectly! But that's another story...) Are you afraid of this person in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say because you are afraid of how the other person will view it. If you're afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there's a problem with the relationship. Another aspect of feeling safe is that you don't feel the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person. Be on the lookout out for someone who is always trying to change you. There is a big difference between "controlling" and "making suggestions." A suggestion is made for your benefit; a control statement is made for their benefit.

6. You pick the wrong person because you don't put everything on the table. Anything that bothers you about the relationship must be brought up for discussion. Bringing up the uncomfortable stuff is the only way to evaluate how well the two of you communicate, negotiate, and work together. Over the course of a lifetime, difficulties will inevitably arise. You need to know now, before making a commitment: Can you resolve your differences and find compromises that work for both of you? Never be afraid to let the person know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with this person. If you can't be vulnerable, you can't be intimate. The two go hand in hand.

7. You pick the wrong person because you use the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness. If you are unhappy and single, you'll probably be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything, marriage will exacerbate them. If you are not happy with yourself and your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single. You'll feel better and your future spouse will thank you.

8. You choose the wrong person because you get involved sexually too quickly. This can be a big problem because it often precludes a fully honest exploration of important issues. Sexual involvement tends to cloud one's mind. And a clouded mind is not inclined to make good decisions. It is not necessary to "test drive" in order to find out if a couple are sexually compatible. If you do your homework and make sure you are intellectually and emotionally compatible, you don't have to worry about sexual compatibility. Of all the studies on divorce, sexual incompatibility is never cited as a main reason why people divorce.

9. You pick the wrong person because the man doesn't understand what a woman needs most. Men and women have unique emotional needs (Men are from Mars...Women are from Venus!) and more often than not, it is the man who just doesn't get it. The unique need of a woman is to be loved, to feel that she is the most important person in her husband's life. The husband needs to give her consistent, quality attention. Sexual intimacy is always on the woman's terms. Men are goal oriented especially when it comes to this area. As a wise woman once pointed out, "Men have two speeds: on and off." Women are experience oriented. When a man is able to switch gears and become more experience-oriented, he will discover what makes his wife very happy. When the man forgets about his own needs and focuses on giving his wife pleasure, amazing things will happen.

10. You pick the wrong person because he/she is involved in a triangle. To be "triangulated" means a person is emotionally dependent on someone or something else while trying to develop a relationship. But of course, being "triangulated" with God is the best triangulation you could have with your partner! A person who hasn't separated from his or her parents is a classic example of triangulation. People can also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs, Internet, hobbies, sports or money. Be careful that you and your partner are free of triangles. The person caught in a triangle cannot be fully emotionally available to you. You'll not be their number one priority. And that's not basis for a marriage. Ability is what you're capable of doing.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Be Positive

I'm listening to this Anxiety and Depression self help tape. It's a great insight into what anxiety and depression can do to a person. I don't know how much this is actually helping me, but what I can see it doing is actually putting into words exactly what I feel from time to time. I suppose it's like group therapy, hearing other people talk about anxiety and describing what it is and how it affects a person makes me feel more normal in dealing with it.

You know, I blame myself sometimes. I feel like I brought this on myself, or perhaps it's just a co-incidence. Sometimes I think about my fiendish time, going to raves, to nightclubs and spending numerous nights indulging in mental escape through the use of drugs and alcohol. If I were to follow what I'm listening to right now, I would have to believe that it was just a phase in my life, the same phase many people go through, many people still participate in everyday and feel like it's a regular part of their life. Did my time warping my mind with chemicals create a weakened state? Do I have a proclivity for anxiety because I've abused my brain?

Not many people know this, but there was a time that I spent a whole night at a friend's apartment fighting off a very very negative high from "magic mushrooms". I was walking around the apartment trying to make the whole feeling go away and it seemed that the more I tried to fight it off, the worse it got. The whole thing took a very negative turn when a thought crossed my mind I cannot bring myself to even type tonight. I just know that I didn't enjoy that thought at all, that when I think of that thought, I feel a slight panic and fear that I will have thoughts like that in the future. It's not fun. I've always felt in control of myself and what I let happen in my head, and at that point, and it seems to be, ever since, my mind does what it wants and I've lost the ability to talk myself away from being afraid... of myself, my inabilities, my inadequacies and it holds me back.

According to the audio I'm hearing, it's common for people to have around 300 negative thoughts per day, it's what we do with those thoughts that matter. Negative self talk is the biggest road block, stopping us from being productive, both professionally and personally.

What i need to do is learn this positive thinking dealy. I won't be writing down my negative thoughts as this program asks for, since that seems a little too time consuming (is that me being negative again?), but i need to identify the negative so i can move forward and try to flip that around.
The best thing in my life today is my girlfriend. Although she's going through her own problems and sometimes i can tell she's struggling with those things, she's overall quite the positive person and i hope somehow i learn from her and she rubs off on me. I really hope that my negativity doesn't become a part of her days, life is hard enough, negativity shouldn't be in the way.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Feel Fat

Jebus... it's been a full 24 hours of nothing but pizza for me. I have a problem, i just can't help it, it's just so yummy.... hell.