You Can Contribute, too!
Hi & Welcome! This is a personal collection of marriage minded materials started by an individual Baha'i in 2007. Please feel free to contribute... in these three ways: *1* COMMENT on submissions, including your email address if you'd like a personal response, *2* SUGGEST improvements or ASK questions via email *3* CONTRIBUTE an article, entry, quotation, etc, - just send an email to: email@example.com and the submission will be reviewed for submission shortly. Thank you very much for your contributions and collaboration!
Nov 5, 2013
it's for the person you marry, the family you create, and the children you raise, and the service you render to God.
Please enjoy this sent by my father today:
"I walk slowly, but I never walk backward." -Abraham Lincoln
"When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed."
at 12:38 PM
Sep 29, 2013
at 9:16 AM
THE source of all good is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment with His holy will and pleasure.
Just read a nice article about "3 Ways to Feel Loved When Your Relationship is Ending" - about how to see the space not as lost love, but of an opening for more love starting with yourself....and find love all around you - animals, children, uplifting music, fun things you like to do - make a "I love me" list of 108 reasons you love yourself....and Instant love ready to share! please enjoy.
"When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed."
at 9:15 AM
Sep 14, 2013
Jul 18, 2013
We can stop. We can stop it.
How? My sister and I talked about this today. I've talked about it with friends in Beijing, in the US. Older than me and younger. 4 year old Zayha showed me how she 'boxes back her lower nature' and let's her higher nature win, her higher nature is, "happiness".
My sister highly recommended this book about saying hello in your head - to help stop the inner critic, the inner neurotic roommate, from spoiling an otherwise lovely environment: our mind.
Today with Dad we talked about anger management, and why do people express anger: fear and threat I offered. Fear of what, we wondered together. Fear of losing something - control, love, attention, respect, etc. How do we overcome this fear? Feeling secure. Deep in our hearts, minds and memory, Deep in our inner voice.
And with Mom - as she scanned the book that my sister recommended (http://www.untetheredsoul.com) - she reflected on how she could change herself to be more peaceful, more loving and bring more joy by not yelling, not feeling threatened, not reacting in the old ways.
I'm sure my step Mom is thinking about these things do as she prepares to go to the World Games in Colombia next week, and take care of her 2 kitties and one little dog named Haley.
And Kati's husband also thinks about it - as he strives to be the best Dad he can be to 4 lovely children.
"Strive....that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers. Turn towards God and seek always to do that which is right and noble..." - Abdu'l-Baha
You're not alone if you find yourself snapping at the ones you love the most. But here's what happens when you stop.. Enjoy this lovely article: The important thing about yelling
Jul 13, 2013
95 Gems: Not only can you find Baha'i jewelry for marriage here, you can be touched with lovely stories
Plus bonus: How to give loving gifts.... http://www.amazon.com/A-Guide-to-Giving-ebook/dp/B00B46UV5I/
Please enjoy these talks - wonderful on your own, with friends and family! Funny, too!
Apr 22, 2013
We all need money to do things in this world. Click here to listen to some useful help for singles and couples regarding financial and spending plans with Ms. Tara Colquitt, The Credit Woman.Render thou thanks unto God, for He hath graciously enabled thee to observe the injunction set forth in His Most Holy Book, inasmuch as thou hast arisen to fulfil the obligation of Huqúq, and God hath accepted thy goodly deed. Know thou, moreover, that those who faithfully serve the All-Merciful will be enriched by Him out of His heavenly treasury.(Baha'u'llah, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 513)Thou hast written that they have pledged themselves to observe maximum austerity in their lives with a view to forwarding the remainder of their income to His exalted presence. This matter was mentioned at His holy court. He said: Let them act with moderation and not impose hardship upon themselves. We would like them both to enjoy a life that is well-pleasing.(Bahá'u'lláh, Compilations, Huqúqu'lláh 57)
We must be like the fountain or spring that is continually emptying itself of all that it has and is continually being refilled from an invisible source. To be continually giving out for the good of our fellows undeterred by the fear of poverty and reliant on the unfailing bounty of the Source of all wealth and all good—this is the secret of right living.(Shoghi Effendi, Bahá'í Funds: Contributions and Administration, p. 11)
Free Credit Score sites:
More helpful insight on Money & Marriage from Ms. Susan Gammage:
And upbeat materials from FUNdamentals!!
And a gift of a prayer -- for healthy careers, finances, hearts and service:
O God, my God! Give me to drink from the cup of Thy bestowal and illumine my face with the light of guidance. Make me firm in the path of faithfulness, assist me to be steadfast in Thy mighty Covenant, and suffer me to be numbered with Thy chosen servants. Unlock before my face the doors of abundance, grant me deliverance, and sustain me, through means I cannot reckon, from the treasuries of heaven. Suffer me to turn my face toward the countenance of Thy generosity and to be entirely devoted to Thee, O Thou Who art merciful and compassionate! To those that stand fast and firm in Thy Covenant Thou, verily, art gracious and generous. All praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds! –
('Abdu'l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. XIV, p. 167, authenticated copy)
"Keep praying and listening for God's response."
Liz D. from Los Angeles shares what she went through to find her calling, the examples she had in her life and how prayer helped her find her path.
Three years ago a friend shared with me that he'd decided to apply to law school. This surprised me because he's one of the most talented writers I know, and he had a great, albeit not well-paying job writing for an online music site. However, he was approaching the age of thirty, had begun thinking about marriage and kids, and was feeling pressure to be in a position where he could earn more money. LSAT prep classes were soon underway.
Even though I ultimately supported him in his decision, I couldn't help but tell him that I couldn't see him working in some corporate firm. Then again, maybe being an honest and ethical lawyer is where he'll truly shine, and, well, being a lawyer does require lots of writing.
Our conversation got me thinking about how one of the great difficulties of our modern age is discovering and following our true calling, particularly when materialistic motivations, as well as gender and cultural expectations, obscure what is ultimately a spiritual concept.
Like you, I've been asked from a young age, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" After four years of college, I didn't have a clear answer, even as I felt immense pressure to have a socially impressive response. I knew I didn't want to go the route many other graduates were taking: accept whatever job offer threw the most money and perks in my direction, or else go to law school because I didn't know what else I wanted to do with myself.
After graduating from college I went to China on a Year of Service. 99% of me was genuinely motivated by wanting to be of service. The other one percent, OK, maybe more than one percent, was hoping God would magically reveal what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. If work is worship and, as Bahá'u'lláh says, "The best of men are they that earn a livelihood by their calling," well, what in the world was mycalling? How was I supposed to be worshipping?
Oddly enough, I felt like being a woman gave me more freedom to follow my calling. If a young man rings his father up and says that instead of being an investment banker he believes his true calling is teaching, his father might approve. But, given the way materialism and gender inequality weave their sticky webs, his father is more likely to say that teaching is only a job for women and it doesn't earn enough to support a family.
My parents didn't mandate a career for me. I'm lucky in that regard. A couple of friends of mine are doctors, not because they had a love for healing the sick, but because every other person in their family is a doctor and they'd been told from a very young age, "You will be a doctor!", sometimes with threats of disownment or disinheritance attached to the command. Those friends obediently went to medical school instead of getting into advertising or museum curating.
I always look at my father as an example of someone who has seen following his calling and supporting his family as spiritually going hand in hand. He rejected law school in favor of becoming a jazz musician. On top of performing, he taught music in the public school system. Now he's moved on to directing a jazz studies program at a major university. He's always done what he loves, and it all revolves around jazz.
However, as much as I admire my dad, it wasn't till my brother suddenly died a few years ago that I began to really think about my calling. My brother's death made me realize that life really is too short to spend it doing something you don't love.
When I reflect on why finding my calling has been challenging, I know it's because I never asked God to make my path clear or protect me from making career decisions based on ego, status and money. I only ever prayed to God to help me find another job that paid more. And my prayers got answered, except then the new job usually required me to work long hours that were detrimental to both my health and my family life.
I've felt a compulsion to write ever since I was a child crafting stories for my parents. At every job I've ever had, I've always been the go-to-gal if someone needed a report, resume, cover letter or brochure written.
I began actively praying for guidance around whether or not writing is my calling. Two days after I decided to pray about it, I received an email that led to my first freelance writing job. Eventually I said goodbye to my 60-80 work weeks and hello to writing from home and spending more time with my family. .
It's been three years since I embraced earning my livelihood through writing. I feel less like a drone from Metropolis and more professionally motivated and spiritually alive than ever. Lesson learned: Keep praying and listening for God's response.
|"Be assured in thyself that if you dost conduct thyself in accordance with "The Hidden Words" revealed in Persian and in Arabic, thou shalt become a torch of the fire of the love of God, an embodiment of humility, of lowliness, of evanescence and of selflessness." ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Pearls of Wisdom, p. 27)|
Apr 21, 2013
Q: "Gary, I struggle with loving other people as they always disappoint. How can I work on this?"
A: The only way to avoid being hurt is to stay away from relationships. The reality is that there is going to be pain, hurt, and disappointment in all human relationships. This is because we are imperfect. None of us are loving all the time. We are by nature self-centered and often selfish. Consequently, we hurt each other—most of the time unintentionally. The fact is that if you're going to have relationships, you're going to have times that you will be hurt. You have to accept that. Then, when you do feel hurt or wronged, you lovingly confront and try to work through that difficulty so the relationship can continue on down the road.
|Dear Friends, Customers, and Colleagues:|
There is a recurring question in my world—where are the men who can be good husbands and fathers? I am not sure that is the question to ask. After reading a book entitled "The Truth About Men, Be the Man You Want to Be" by Howard J. Fox (www.howardjfox.com), the question on my mind is: "What do men and women need to do to help men be powerful husbands and fathers?"
After much experience with men's groups, Fox has become a staunch advocate for the importance of creating communities of men. Men together in groups can benefit one another and help each other understand (and forgive) the influence their fathers had on them. He says, "Today, men live such separate lives that there is little opportunity for the natural growth of masculinity. …[T]he only measure of manhood in practice today is consumption: the more money spent and the more toys possessed, the bigger the man. There is no contemporary measure of the masculinity, character and spirit that truly defines a man. …This has a detrimental effect on boys. Boys used to learn to become men from the men around them…. Mothers have a great influence over boys as the nurturer and primary parent in the house, but fathers today rarely take an equal role.
"Often as men grow up, they often lose contact with their friends and don't form close bonds as adult males. Fox says, "As men, we don't learn the skills that are necessary to keep our friendships alive, yet without other men, without their spirit and support, we have trouble renewing our own masculine spirits. Then we have our 'mid-life crises' and we harm our marriages, put our children through hell, and later wonder what happened." He encourages male involvement in recreational activity but also says that men need more than just hanging out together to maintain a healthy adulthood. They also need to be bravely honest about fears, build trust, and seek advice about living as men.
In a world without clear standards and guidelines, it can be hard for individuals to form their own commitments for how to behave. Men together can help call each other to honesty, faithfulness, spirituality, responsibility, and more.
And women? It's up to the females to encourage and support reasonable "man time" and not be jealous of a little time away. Fox also encourages women to be understanding about their men needing a space and time to occasionally be alone to regroup. Constructive and supportive time with other men or man-time alone can help a partner or spouse be more present and committed to his role when returning to his family.
I've just touched on the richness of this book, which I wish for all the men I know to read. It's yet one more way to support and promote healthy marriages and families.
Susanne M. Alexander, Relationship & Marriage Coach
[Direct quotations are from the introduction of the book.
Susanne Alexander <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mar 31, 2013
Hello and happy Springtime! Hope it's warming up where you are or is not too warm (for those in the south).
I'm posting this today because I expressed anger much of the time I was dating - especially when I didn't
- feel a connection, or
- felt understood, or
- feel respected,
- couldn't move forward the way that I liked.
But otherwise we're darn nice people. Really!
But this 'anger issue' has definitely been a big problem...hurting others and our relationships, slowing our progress, sometimes stopping it, and keeping us off course, from learning and serving in harmony together - with smiles.
So, I think about and read about anger management and I noticed something in my internet reading this morning... and found this simple site from a well known and respected health source: The Mayo Clinic. The tips seem useful and I'm passing this on in case it's helpful to anyone out there. Please post other suggestions on how to manage feeling so fearful and out of control with anger. Please see this quiz - it's on understanding the dynamics and unequal thinking that lends to 'domestic violence' better. Anger management is a part of this.
Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper
Keeping your temper in check can be challenging. Use simple anger management tips — from taking a timeout to using "I" statements — to stay in control.By Mayo Clinic staff Do you find yourself fuming when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure go through the roof when your child refuses to cooperate? Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion — but it's important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships.
Ready to get your anger under control? Start by considering these 10 anger management tips.
No. 1: Take a timeout
Counting to 10 isn't just for kids. Before reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10. Slowing down can help defuse your temper. If necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your frustration subsides a bit.
No. 2: Once you're calm, express your anger
As soon as you're thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
No. 3: Get some exercise
Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you're about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.
No. 4: Think before you speak
In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you'll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
No. 5: Identify possible solutions
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child's messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won't fix anything, and might only make it worse.
No. 6: Stick with 'I' statements
To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use "I" statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, "I'm upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes," instead of, "You never do any housework.
No. 7: Don't hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
No. 8: Use humor to release tension
Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don't use sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
No. 9: Practice relaxation skills
When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, "Take it easy." You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
No. 10: Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you. You might explore local anger management classes or anger management counseling. With professional help, you can:
- Learn what anger is
- Identify what triggers your anger
- Recognize signs that you're becoming angry
- Learn to respond to frustration and anger in a controlled, healthy way
Anger management classes and counseling can be done individually, with your partner or other family members, or in a group. Request a referral from your doctor to a counselor specializing in anger management, or ask family members, friends or other contacts for recommendations. Your health insurer, employee assistance program (EAP), clergy, or state or local agencies also might offer recommendations.
- Explore underlying feelings, such as sadness or depression
Yes, I look at some of the news on Yahoo! This one I found helpful to us on this blog:
10 things to NOT DO... This is giving me a [painful] chance to reflect... but also a chance to try again, better. "Getting better every day" says my Pop. "Try, try, again" said one of the movies that struck me a lot back in 1977 (The Rescuers). We can try to do the opposite. Please add more to help us all improve loving, trusting, harmonious relationships.
- 1) fight fair: we can practice the skills and arts of consultation
- 2) equality of women and men, husbands and wives: respect each other as being equally important to the relationship...
- 3) no backbiting! don't turn a speck into a mountain!
- 4) focus on the good
- 5) kindness and fairness and 'do unto others as you would unto you" or "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. .... "do not treat people in a way you would not wish to be treated yourself" - see the Golden Rule.
- 6) "Detachment is as the sun...."(Ruhi Book, ) Listen to Katherine Key sing about it!
- 7) Trust and something important - financial literacy
- 8) Be strong Mom and Dads working together -
- 9) Understanding and Feeling Secure - Avoid Jealousy like a lion - see an older post here.
- 10) sincerity, forgiveness, learning from mistakes, learning in action. "Be ye sincerely kind, not in appearance only. Let each one of God's loved ones centre his attention on this: to be the Lord's mercy to man; to be the Lord's grace. Let him do some good to every person whose path he crosseth, and be of some benefit to him."
By Kerry Miller
Despite the picture-perfect impressions we get from upbeat Facebook posts or boastful holiday letters, even the healthiest marriages aren't 100% free of conflict. At some point, virtually everyone feels wronged by a romantic partner. Bob Navarra, PsyD, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), says that those feelings aren't what throw a marriage off course-it's how couples handle them. "While it may be frustrating that the toothpaste cap was left off, happy couples talk about these small things," he says. But when those emotions are swept under the rug, a more toxic variety of negativity begins to fester: resentment. Here, marriage experts share some of the most common reasons husbands resent their wives and how to protect your relationship.
1. Not fighting fair. Happy couples don't necessarily fight less, Dr. Navarra says; they just fight better, by "describing their own feelings and needs rather than labeling their partner as faulty." And the ball is probably in your court for that. Research shows that wives are more likely to bring up problems for discussion, while husbands are more likely to withdraw at the first sign of an argument. When this keeps happening, women tend to start conversations on a negative note, which only makes things worse. Instead of resorting to personal attacks-"You're such a slob!" "We're going to be late because of you!"-which lead to defensiveness, Dr. Navarra recommends sticking to "I-statements," such as "When (this happens), I feel (frustrated, angry). What I needed was..."
2. Treating him like a child. "A big issue I see in couples is a man resenting his partner because he feels she talks down to him," says Mary Kelleher, LMFT. This can leave him feeling "less-than," and nothing triggers resentment faster than inadequacy. So avoid threatening his independence-the way pressuring him to go for a promotion so he'll bring home more money may be perceived-suggests couples therapist Vagdevi Meunier, PsyD. "No one wants to feel 'managed' by a spouse," Dr. Meunier says
3. Involving other people in your marriage. What you might think of as harmless complaining to friends and family can actually break your husband's trust. It threatens the safety of the "couple bubble" you've created together. "Men find this humiliating and hurtful," says Norene Gonsiewski, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a couples' therapist at the Portland Relationship Center in Oregon. If you really need to vent, consider talking to a doctor or therapist to keep things confidential.
4. Not showing appreciation for thing he does right. "Men will never ask for it," Gonsiewski says, but regular doses of praise are important. "They need to hear that their wives are proud of them." Scott Haltzman, MD, author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women, notes that men tend to be more action-oriented than women, which means they show affection in different ways. "He may empty the dishwasher as a way of saying he cares about you." Haltzman's suggestion: "Pay attention to what he does, and let him know you notice."
5. Withholding sex as punishment.
While women generally need emotional intimacy to make love, men express emotional intimacy through sex, says Marla Taviano, author of Is that All He Thinks About? When a wife turns down sex, in her husband's mind, "she's turning him down as a person," explains Taviano. Using sex as a bargaining chip to get your needs meet isn't negotiating-it's emotional blackmail, which can alienate him. "Withholding sex may make your partner feel less love from you and give you less love in return," says Dr. Haltzman.
6. Trying to change him. "Every person can change, but it's better to focus on our own changes, rather than our spouse's behaviors," says Anne Ziff, LMFT, author of Marrying Well. And yet, some women see marriage as a starting point for a "husband makeover." This isn't all bad-studies show that married men tend to eat healthier and have fewer problems with drugs and alcohol than single guys-but avoid creating a relationship in which your husband can't be himself. "When a man feels his home is not his castle, and he can't just be a guy-whether it's walking around in his boxers or letting out a burp-he'll feel like he's been put in a box where he has to act prim and proper all the time," Dr. Meunier says. Sometimes, it's smarter to let the little things slide.
7. Making important decisions without his input. Research shows that money is a top source of disagreements among married couples, even those with bigger budgets. In a lot of ways, money equals power, and balancing power is important to harmonious relationships, Meunier says. Whether you're considering booking a vacation or buying a dishwasher, your partner deserves a say. The same goes for decisions that affect how you and your husband spend your time, such as inviting company over for dinner or signing up your kids for soccer. Although it may seem simpler to beg for forgiveness instead of getting him on board, unilateral decision making can drive you two apart.
8. Not giving him the chance to be the kind of dad he wants to be. Mothers often parent differently than fathers, but not necessarily better. For instance, some studies show that parenting styles more common with dads, such as rough-and-tumble play, offer children unique developmental benefits. "Men's resentment grows as their children develop with gaps in their competency and independence, two attributes men rate highly," Gonsiewski says. "When a woman doesn't trust her husband to parent she sends a message that he's wrong and only she's right." Instead, "reinforce your husband for the positive contributions he makes to your children's lives," Dr. Haltzman recommends.
9. Acting jealous when he looks at other women. Men are visual creatures, Dr. Meunier says, so it's not surprising that a typical heterosexual man would notice a good-looking woman. "Women who understand this and don't take it personally minimize unproductive fights about jealousy." When a wife overreacts to a situation, her husband will likely feel defensive, and eventually, resentful. Dr. Meunier's advice? "Chill out." Responding to a visual cue isn't cause for worry, she says-curious comments or behaviors, like dropping your hand to head across the room to talk to another woman, could signify a lack of commitment to you.
10. Expecting immediate forgiveness after you apologize. Studies show that seeking and granting forgiveness greatly contributes to marital satisfaction and longevity. But beware of empty words. While apologizing manages conflict, Dr. Navarra says a simple "I'm sorry" often isn't enough. To truly earn her husband's forgiveness, a wife needs to show that she understands why her husband is upset. Dr. Haltzman recommends being specific about what you're apologizing for, accepting responsibility for what you did, acknowledging that you what you did was harmful and lastly, asking what you can do to make it up to him. "If you've gotten to the first three steps cleanly, most men will say 'forget about it' to the last question," Dr. Haltzman says.