Tips on How Couples Stay Together

image of J. Wilder Bill with her spouse in Italy

Photo: Decades ago in Sorrento, Italy

Longevity in a marriage can seem daunting. The divorce rate is declining, yet the possibility of separating can linger in the air. An argument can set off a chain of emotions causing you to feel alone.

This alienation can cause you to want to escape the abandonment. A daily routine can leave you bored, which can shift into a combative way of communicating. Your spouse might seem uninspired by any loving attempts to recapture a friendly atmosphere. A defensive response might block the connection your spouse yearns to receive. 

Even when a couple shares a life of blessings, not every day is monumental. We compare ourselves with the sensationalized portrayals of daily living fed to us by the media, and convince ourselves our relationships are lacking. 

The difference between a couple that stays together and one that separates is — the couple who stays together chooses to stay together. 

The complicated part is that staying together means work. It requires self-reflection by both. The conflicts of divorced couples compared to the disputes within a marriage have core similarities. Although no spouse is encouraged to remain in jeopardy, sticking through the thin parts fulfills the romantic promise made when the relationship first blossomed. 

The term commitment has lost its glory and sends a jolt of fear up spines. It is associated with being denied the ability to leave a horrible situation. If you decide to suffer the unpleasantries, know that you are utilizing the power to create a change in your relationship. You have the option to reevaluate your position.

By changing your interpretation, you shift the tone in your voice. Altering the way you respond instills a change in the way your spouse perceives himself. Where he might have considered you to be the obstacle to his happiness, now he can view you as the one who can comfort him through his struggles. 

Couples who last do not necessarily resolve all of their issues. The point of arguing isn’t who is right, or how often one wins. They concede to disagree. This acceptance of differences can be silent.

Marriage is rarely fifty-fifty. There are times when no matter how right you are, you must put forth ninety-percent of the effort to let it go. 

I used to envy couples’ relationships who were considerate and respectful toward one another. They didn’t bicker over dinner or talk down to one another. They were content and cordial and calm. Years passed, and the relationships I idolized ended in divorce. 

Communication is not the matrimonial deal-breaker. Proper communication can place a strain on a relationship. Saying what is on your mind, even though it might encourage a round of disagreements, places a value to both opinions. A relationship where you are comfortable letting each other know where you stand is the result of having strong ties. The committed attitude by both sides makes each secure in saying what he thinks. 

How exactly does a person establish a bond strong enough to survive the differences in opinions? Neighbors will help another when it comes to noncommittal actions as large as rebuilding after a natural disaster all the way down to the small act of holding a door open. But, when faced with a loved one who takes his bad mood out on you, your primitive impulses might resist helping him get over whatever is on his mind. 

Once you get to know another by understanding his hardships and how they relate to the day he is having, you develop compassion for him. By embracing your spouse’s previous experiences, by visiting his hometown, and spending time with his family, you deepen your understanding of why he perceives life the way he does. You don’t have to agree with his viewpoints. By connecting the dots of where he’s coming from, you stop taking his moodiness personally. 

Opening ourselves to another is boosted through touch. The physical form of intimacy seals business deals with handshakes. A sick person is strengthened by a nurse resting her hand on his forearm. A friend going through difficulties feels empowered by a hug.

To intensify a relationship, it is best to touch, no matter how briefly, at least once a day. A pat on the arm while your spouse is driving might draw him out of worrying about a doomsday he fears will evolve. Through physical contact, our senses assure us we can trust someone who is willing to get close. 

Spending time together bonds a couple. It doesn’t have to be long hours every day. The intimacy can be short or periodic, but the time we invest in loved ones should include a relaxed mind. Some couples relax during a vacation. Others relax while watching television. There is no best way. The emphasis in the togetherness is for each to have an opportunity to share his thoughts and establish nonphysical touching. 

Nonphysical touching occurs when two share a laugh, when they share an adventure, and when they tell each other secrets. The point is to establish joint memories. Later, when you return to your busy lifestyle, you will recall the emotional sharing you experienced.

The memory doesn’t have to be a life-changing event. The fact you associate the other with something you enjoyed or survived or embraced solidifies your bond. Even listening to your spouse tell about an experience where he had success or happiness creates a modified memory where you are a part of those good times. 

You have the power to determine the outcome of your relationship. If you choose to stay, then you will stay. It is that simple. 

The complex element is the ability to stay, which for far longer periods of time than you might prefer, includes improving yourself. Self-sacrifice and longstanding efforts might seem unfair, but having longevity in a relationship fills you with gratification. No obstacle can eliminate the confidence you gain from knowing you succeeded. 

The Momentum to Manifest

image of waterfall in Maui, Hawaii

Photo: The Big Island, Hawaii by J. Wilder Bill

Significant experiences in our lives prompt us to reach outside ourselves for strength and comfort. Sometimes, despite our best efforts to maintain a positive outlook, to focus on what we would like to have come about instead of on the worst outcome. Our prayers might seem unanswered, unless empowered by momentum.

A critical day in my life was when my mother decided it was time to remove the training wheels from my white Schwinn. She was surprisingly agile with the tools she carried out to the driveway. Despite my protests, she had me teetering on my bicycle at the top of our hill on top of a hill, with her arthritic hand holding the back of my seat covered in pink roses. She ran alongside me a few feet, and the momentum of my free falling down the hills held the power for me to keep my balance. 

On first attempt, my feeble mother let go and I glided into the cove independently. When my father got home from work, I showed him how well I could circle the manhole cover in the center of the cove. He suggested I go around the edge of the cove where it was easier to keep my momentum constant without having to cut the wheel. I gained speed until a stick got caught in the spokes. I hit the curb and the handlebar left a colorful bruise at my third eye.

They key in my achievement was the momentum. Despite my reluctance to reach the goal of riding without training wheels, the momentum ensured I would succeed. Only when the acceleration or forward movement was blocked did I crash. Once I learned to ride a bike, I was able to explore distant pastures and abandoned cottages. It broadened my awareness of what was around me. 

This building up of energy is how we elevate our skills and how we create change in our lives. You have the ability to change your situation by applying a greater amount of energy toward the outcome you prefer to have materialize. 

Attracting a desirable experience begins with your words. The words first appear inside your head. A repeated thought digs a rivulet in your subconscious, which paves how you respond. A critical aspect of taking control of your destiny is to discipline your thoughts. Notice what the narrative in your mind is sharing with you. When you allow the words inside your head to influence your perceptions. Until you notice where your inner dialogue originates, you have the potential of being manipulated as if your thoughts were someone else. 

The narrative in our minds doesn’t always say what we think, or even what is best for us to hear. Our minds tend to repeat what has been spoken nearby regardless of whether it is in our best interest. The thoughts could have originated from a violent movie, from an overheard conversation between strangers, or from others who don’t understand everything about our circumstances. When left unchecked, the lectures we give ourselves can merely repeat the ideas from those whose opinions we don’t trust.

A proven method for creating momentum is through prayer. Receiving an answer to a prayer relies heavily on the level of intensity. The more concentration and focus you put on any task, the more precise you are.

There are many tasks each of us performs on a regular basis. When you multitask, you are more likely to make mistakes. The outcome of your efforts is less likely to be the way you visualized. 

Each of our thoughts forms a barrier around our physical bodies. You program the space around you and those programs bring about your experiences. Despite the intensity of your wishes, it is possible for your prayers and efforts to bring about your preferred life circumstance seems to fall on deaf ears. 

A blessing of living in this time is in our ability to achieve what we want quickly. Prosperity exists in many forms and, where it doesn’t exist, we have the resources due to man’s creativity and intelligence to thrive with what we have. When we have a block in our thoughts or we hold back on applying our devoted attention to manifesting our desires, we tend to blame the higher sources, or perhaps kick ourselves for being unworthy. 

Never devalue yourself and your likelihood to achieve your best interests. As a descendant of the Supreme Being, you have a value. Each of us was born on Earth as a result of our placing a value on being here. There was a time where you managed to concentrate your efforts into bringing about your existence in this life. Know that this is a very special time for living, and the fact you are here, sharing with the rest of us, is your badge of recognition. With the infinite possibilities of what you can accomplish during your life, you get to choose enjoying the good, or romanticizing the bad. Keep in mind that many of us get a boost in spirit from a bout of bad luck. You might relish those moments you can indulge in pampering yourself until the veil of self pity lifts. 

Meanwhile, once you are ready to release the depth of your emotions, you have the natural talent to put deliberate concentration into manifesting the most desirable outcome you can visualize. The images take shape in the space around you and remain connected to your vision until developing enough momentum to draw into your path identical outcomes. This is where your thoughts attract certain situations and people into your life. When you are unaware of the power you have but you are perceptive enough to see similarities between conversations you have and experiences that follow, you might refer to the synchronicities as coincidences. 

The coincidence is in opening your heart to realize the link between what is on your mind, and what appears in your path. This awareness of how connected you are to the events that come about is a monumental step in developing the ability to take control of your life. 

Your job is to identify the source of where the thoughts behind the words you speak began. Notice how often you are repeating what someone else’s opinion, and evaluate whether it fits with your authentic feelings. Resist the habit of hearing unreliable voices in your head. Select the advice you give to yourself. Once you have a sense of safety, you should replay those thoughts. The power behind your words builds each time you apply concentration to the meanings, and it builds the momentum for you to create change.  

Parallel Light Resolves Conflicts

image of Japanese light trees

Photo: Japanese Light Trees by J. Wilder Bill

The most meaningful time of the day for me is at sunrise. As the first rays radiate out from below the horizon each morning, my dogs ask to go outside. Sometimes, we sit together and watch as the sun seems to move in fast speed, lifting out from the seamless ocean and warming the clouds. 

My husband prefers sunsets. He plans his entire day around the opportunity to sit with his feet propped up on the boardwalk rail. His face takes in the intense sunlight as he studies the shifting hues, watching closely for a green spark at the instant the sun dips out of sight. 

We all have a parallel connection with light. We thrive when the sun puts on a dramatic performance for us to remember. On a subconscious level, we are aware of our being an extension of the Light. Each of us shines in a unique expression of light. Each core soul exists as a techni-colored show broadcasting the sacred source. 

While each of us shares the ability to recognize who we are inside, it is easy to slip into forgetfulness when we interact with others. We might overlook another’s glorious light. 

What if, when you walk down a busy street, instead of viewing those nameless people as bodies, you see them as colorful lights? If you find it difficult to imagine, you can begin by intentionally assigning colors based on your feelings and experiences. The man who always makes a point to hold the door open for you can be a vibrant blue light. The woman who takes her time talking to the cashier at the newsstand, making you late for your appointment, can shine in red. The guy with the headphones who never looks up as you pass by each week lives the life of a strong green.

Although existing as light sounds like a new age concept, the idea has been around since the beginning of man’s quest to understand why we are here and how we are supposed to relate to others. Not to sound preachy, but I want to remind you of what how early on we were told we are light bodies. It is right for us to relate to one another as extensions of the Light.

According to the biblical scriptures, you are the light of the world. To summarize Matthew 5: 14 & 16, you have the ability to let your light so shine. Your light spreads to others and creates a bridge for someone who feels disconnected to realign his relationship with God and connect his own light to Heaven. In the Old Testament, Isaiah 60:1, asks you to “Arise, shine; for your light has come.” 

Buddhist teachings refer to the presence of one who is in touch with the source as emitting light rays. The knowledge gained from enlightenment intensifies your light, making it purer and clearer. According to Buddhist scriptures, “The light of Buddha touches all with its glow. His knowledge is said to shine, emanating inconceivable nets of lights, everywhere purifying all conscious beings.” 

By recognizing others as light forms, you can more easily identify with their soul nature. There are so many of us here on Earth at this time, each with an individual motive and agenda. Our lives overlap. Not everyone wants the same outcome at the same time. It might seem one person is working against your goals. He could be perceived as the selfish enemy who you must defeat. But in reality, his spirit is a light and it is connected to the same light you embody. You can overcome any tendency to think of another as competition or as an outsider with a personal agenda in conflict of yours. 

See everyone as light. You and every other person on the planet have the same makeup. All of us are in essence lights. In John 8:12, Jesus acknowledged himself as being the Light of the world, and since we are in His same form, you are too. That is, unless you choose to hide your light.

Light burns away the darkness. In this way, you have the power to remove the masks smothering the brilliance of those around you. If ever you feel alone or misunderstood, switching your perception of others, allows their light to shine in your life and lift you out of your vapors. People who you never were able to connect with might intend to share their light, but unless you accept their offer, you won’t see it. Seeing the light in another allows you to bask in the glow, and the more light rays you have shining on you, the brighter your light becomes.

Relationships are formed through the process of give and take. This isn’t to say one person is always on the downside of an interaction. It means that the energy that forms a relationship moves in a circular motion. It is comparable to a magnet. Without the polar opposites, the spark of a union cannot be strong enough to shield away an outside force capable of breaking the bond.

You enjoy the gift of deciding whether you want to live with your light accessible to others. Your light can radiate and spread the original source, pursuant to Ephesians 5:7-14. The good in any combative neighbors is visible once their light is revealed. Whatever qualities they express originates from the source. To ignore another’s light is to withhold from yourself an ample supply of love and harmony. The more you see the light in others, the greater the amount of light you have shining on you.

Awaken your inner light to brighten the lives of those around you, and the original source of God will reflect back onto you. As you move about in the world, imagine each individual around you as a form of light.

Archangel for Each Friday

image of an angel in white robes

 

With every Friday I find the grace of God in the form of true love.

Archangel Anael ignites romance with the serenity of a white dove.  

His affection inspires virtue with harmony for an abundant life,

As the angel most often invoked he gives inner peace to deter strife. 

Archangel Anael overcomes shyness, granting confidence to those redeemed,

Within a fiery chariot he carries me and all others highly esteemed.  

My long-term career acquires status as through him I’m recognized, 

For my creativity improving the world beyond what I ever realized.   

The prophet Enoch reached heaven upon Archangel Anael’s upward heave,

And if I practice patience, the glorious gift of passion I also will receive.

When he visits, artists and musicians find solace for their inspiration,

Because the beauty from the grace of God spreads everywhere in creation.