Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Divorce

With the divorce rate in the United States over 50% we can’t help but wonder whether those who choose to call it quits have thought through the decision carefully enough – and if they may have been able to salvage their sacred union.

In marriages involving unrepentant adultery, chronic abuse, addiction and abandonment, the option to stay together may not be tenable. However, a large number of divorcing couples just claim to have “drifted apart” or “fallen out of love.”   

A sincere examination of the questions below may help you make the best decision for your future. Ask yourself these ten questions: 

  1. Does your spouse have a sincere desire to work on your marriage? 

If your partner is willing to take responsibility for their part in your marriage problems and has expressed a desire to work on restoration, it is worth making the effort before deciding to divorce.  

  1. Are you emotionally attached to someone other than...
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Does Your Credit Score Reveal Impatience?

Did you know you can tell a lot about a person from just their credit score? You can certainly tell whether or not they will qualify for a mortgage, but researchers contend that they can also tell if someone is likely to be more patient or impatient simply based on their credit history.

Economists from the Federal Reserve’s Center for Behavioral and Economics and Decision-making surveyed 437 people asking them whether they would prefer a small reward now or wait for a larger reward later. Those who were willing to wait for a larger reward later had credit scores that were 30 points higher, on average, than those who said they’d prefer a smaller immediate payment. The findings also revealed that the most impatient subjects had average FICO scores below 620 – a commonly used cutoff for prime and subprime lending.

Patience – or lack of it – can make the difference between being able to buy a home or a car, qualifying for a good interest rate...

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Thriving in the "New Normal"

Most of us alive today have never been through anything like the Coronavirus Pandemic. We know that there have been other devastating illnesses in the past, but now it’s not just a page in a history book – now it’s personal! We are adjusting to unfamiliar, and often unwelcome, schedules and methods of doing what we used to take for granted in our everyday lives. “Normal” used to sound boring. Now it is our greatest desire.

Assuming that what we used to consider “normal” may be farther down the road, we come to a point in our lives when we realize we need to make the best of things as they are. This is particularly important if you are one of the many who are spending much more time at home, and especially if you live alone.

So, what can you do to infuse some “life” into existence during this time of increased isolation? Here are a few thoughts to get you started:

Put Your Imagination to Work

Albert Einstein said, ...

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How to Stay Focused During Covid-19

Have you found yourself saying, “I just can’t think straight lately!” One of the primary complaints associated with the Covid-19 pandemic is the inability to stay focused. Whether it’s work, school, or just having a conversation with a spouse or friend, it can constantly feel like a battle to pay attention, concentrate, and stay focused. 

Since February of this year there has been a 300% increase in people searching “how to get your brain to focus”. For most people, even if they try, it isn’t getting any easier and in many cases it’s getting more difficult. Here’s why:

The part of your brain that controls rational thinking, concentration, impulse control, and the ability to focus occur in the prefrontal cortex, which is located right behind your forehead. Both acute and chronic stress weakens the functioning of the prefrontal cortex and strengthens the primitive brain known as the limbic system, or what some refer to as the...

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You Are Right!

There was a cute meme circulating on social media at the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdowns, while most of us were spending a lot more time at home. It said, “I always thought the reason I didn’t clean the house was because I didn’t have time. Now, I know that’s not the reason.”

Believe it or not, there is a lot to ponder in that simple meme! Long before social media existed, Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Your brain believes whatever your mind tells it to. You see, our brains are hard wired to find evidence among all the stored memories and experiences we’ve had in the past to evaluate and support anything that we think today. So, if you think, “I can’t do it,” your brain will find evidence of any time that you have struggled, failed or given up. So, if you tell yourself that you don’t have time, resources, or ability to succeed you will most likely...

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Are You Dog Tired?

A legend about Alfred the Great, King of the Saxons from 871-899 AD, purports that he used to send his sons out hunting with many dogs who would come back panting and worn from the hard work. Hence, the phrase we still use today: “Dog-tired.” It’s that particular kind of tired that happens when you have exerted and used up your energy.

You may be saying, “Yes, that’s my life every single day!” You work all day on the job and come home and work some more as you raise children, prepare meals, keep up with household chores and attend to volunteer commitments. Or, during these days when many are working from home, you’re swamped with all of it happening at the same time…all day…24/7!

Some days you go through the motions of your daily routine, wondering why you bother going to the same old job doing the same old things. Or you can’t remember why it’s important to prepare meals and wash dishes and laundry day after day....

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Do You Know the Enemies of Your Marriage?

If you woke up in the middle of the night and found someone trying to break into your home, would you ignore it and go back to sleep? Of course not! However, every day, couples allow enemies into their home that rival the destructive nature of an intruder.

Tackling the normal challenges of marriage is difficult enough without having to also contend with the enemies we allow to undermine our relationships every day. As we live day to day during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, many problems seem to be magnified, so addressing them is even more important than ever. If you want to have a vital and satisfying marriage it is critically important that you and your spouse take the time to identify and name the specific activities, behaviors, attitudes and people that can compromise your intimacy and trust. 

In my practice I find couples who are very frustrated and unhappy in their relationships, yet they passively sit back and allow habits, activities, attitudes and even people to...

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4 Keys to a Strong Marriage

I am always encouraged when a couple seeks counseling to work on a problem in their marriage. It seems so easy today to throw in the towel as soon as one or both people feel unhappy, misunderstood or disrespected. But in most cases there are a few simple (not necessarily easy) things that can produce life-changing results. 

In my work with couples, I have discovered four key elements that must be consistently present in order to have a strong and fulfilling marriage.

Put each other first.

As simple as this sounds, it may be the hardest thing you will ever do. Our inner instinct is naturally “Me first.” “What do I want?” “What makes ME feel good – or bad?” “How is my spouse failing to meet MY needs?” Putting someone else above ME is an act of the will and takes practice. But all couples can experience intimacy and satisfaction when both partners are willing to cultivate an attitude of humility and giving. It may seem awkward...

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10 Resolutions for Building a Strong Family

Building and maintaining a strong and loving family in today's culture takes a determined will and a conscious and sustained effort on the part of every family member. With so many things competing for our time and attention it is easy to lose sight of the value and significance of the close, loving relationships our families can provide. 

It's often been said that when a person comes to the end of their life they realize that the only things that really matter are the loving relationships that were established and cultivated throughout the years - especially those with family. 

If you want to build a firm foundation of love and support for your family that will stand the test of time and weather the storms of difficult life circumstances, we encourage you to embrace these ten resolutions for building a strong family. 

As a family, we commit to...

  1. Live our lives according to what we value and believe - 
    even when it isn't popular!
  2. Respond to each other with...
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How to Respond to a Complainer

Ask some folks how they’re doing, and they’ll tell you they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. This can be a completely reasonable answer because we all have times when we feel the same way. However, some have a pattern of going on and on about their problems every time you see them.

We’ve all met people who complain constantly about physical problems or other things going wrong in their lives. They seem to believe they’re magnets for misfortune and nothing is ever positive. How should you handle it when someone has a habit of complaining to you?

First, practice compassion. As annoyed or impatient as you may feel, try to remember that the grumbling is an expression of pain. Even if the complaint seems unimportant to you, or even if it’s the complainer’s own fault, the pain is real to them. To set an appropriate boundary, kindly tell the person how much time you can spend with them and then do your best to compassionately...

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