The divorce rate of women divorcing men is increasing. The dynamic between genders in relationships has been a topic of conversation for decades, but a newer trend seems to be emerging, one that tilts the scales towards dissatisfaction and divorce. As roles within society and the household shift, women are increasingly questioning why they should stay in marriages that no longer serve them or align with their evolved status and responsibilities.
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Gender Imbalance and Its Influence on the Divorce Rate
In recent years, women have climbed the ranks to become CEOs, entrepreneurs, and primary breadwinners, but this rise in professional stature has not been matched by a corresponding shift in domestic responsibilities. Despite their career demands, they often come home to unchanged expectations—house chores, childcare, and an array of additional tasks—while their partners remain disengaged.
“The growing trend… women are making the lion’s share of the income… working as hard or harder outside the home… and yet they’re still carrying all the burden inside the house.” — Dennis
This pervasive imbalance is increasingly leading women to question the equity in their marriages and, ultimately, to seek divorce when the division of labor remains static and uncommunicative. The dissatisfaction accumulates over time, not only reducing the perceived value of their contributions but also undermining the fundamental respect and partnership expected in marriage.
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The Importance of Emotional Support and Companionship
Relationships are anchored by emotional exchange and mutual support, something that should resound clearly in the everyday interactions between spouses. Men are encouraged to become more aware and active participants in their partner’s emotional worlds, offering assistance and appreciation for the daily efforts that often go unnoticed. Men have the ability to affect the, divorce rate, by just asking how can I help.
“Being in tune with your partner to be able to judge these emotions… caring enough to then ask, ‘Can I help?'” — Dennis
When men take proactive steps to contribute meaningfully to the partnership, whether through household responsibilities or emotional support, they create a more balanced and satisfying relationship for both parties. Such actions affirm that the partnership is a priority and that both individuals are committed to its health and longevity.
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Another significant aspect of modern relationships and the, divorce rate, is the alignment of core values and beliefs. A strong relationship bears the capacity for evolution and growth; however, divergent fundamental views and a lack of self-reflective growth often lead to discord. Couples must consistently reacquaint themselves with each other, fostering an environment that acknowledges and supports each person’s journey and changes.
“Keep rediscovering your partner, keep rediscovering yourself… you’re not going to have the same relationship at 45 as you had at 25… but it can be just as fulfilling.” — Dennis
The crux lies in staying connected emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually, through intentional conversations and shared experiences. It underscores the idea that success within the marriage is less about static achievements and more about nurturing an ever-evolving bond that cherishes both individual growth and collective goals.
As the conversation recapped here reveals, the modern woman is reassessing her relationship expectations, which now extend beyond financial provision to include emotional support, equitable division of tasks, and shared growth opportunities. While economic tensions and philosophical differences have always been sources of marital strain, it is the lack of responsiveness to evolving gender roles that’s demanding women’s attention and action. If relationships are to thrive, it’s clear that husbands need to demonstrate a commitment not just to the marriage institution, but to the evolving partnership that modern marriage has become. This in turn will positively affect the, divorce rates.
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Men, take note: cultivating a mutually fulfilling relationship doesn’t only rest on grand romantic gestures or financial security. It’s built on the everyday attentiveness, gratitude, and willingness to grow alongside your partner—acting as the co-pilot rather than a passenger in the marital journey.
Sherry Fernandez is the author of the New York Times, bestselling book ‘Life Mastery: Personal Progression Toward an Infinite Potential’. The book has sold tens of thousands of copies globally and has been featured on several leading media outlets. She has been a student of personal development for 40+ years. What makes her program unique is that she practiced and refined the life mastery principles taught for decades, before deciding to share them with others.
Sherry helps people who are already living well and looking for ways to reach new heights in their personal growth, personal finances, or personal health, to see what’s possible. She helps her clients improve in their close relationships, careers, spiritual growth or starting new businesses.
Myrna: What are some habits that propel us to, life mastery?
Sherry: When I work with people, it goes beyond the big vision of what we want, for example, like who we want to marry. I knew what I wanted. I never wanted to ever get married and have children, but then I had one and then I decided to keep that child. My parents did not give me my drive. They had nine marriages between them. So, I wanted something different. So I thought if I am going to do this, I’m gonna do the very best marriage possible. I don’t think it’s gonna be very fun. I thought it was gonna be horrible, but I loved the guy.
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Daily habits to master your marriage
So, I read every book I could find on, marriages. I had a vision of what I wanted my marriage to look like and so I started working on it. I did the things that was the books said I should do and I even exceeded my vision of what a marriage should be. And we’ve been married for 45 years and still having the best sex. And so, all these things exceeded my vision. I put the principles to work early on and went to work on, life mastery. It was a slow growth right but I just kept at it and kept at it until I developed the habits for, life mastery. I was able to exceed my dreams. And I think that’s how it works. You have this big dream or big goal and then you work on it, turns out even better than you thought it was going to be.
When we’re moving forward, we’re happy and you can prove that in a day. Do something move to move forward a little bit, some little thing and see how it makes you feel. I’ve had people come to me and say I didn’t have time to work out. And I would say. Commit to me to do something tomorrow. And then Tell me how it went and all they’ll do what they always do. They do this yeah, I feel happier. It’s one step. It’s amazing day just one step forward and People are happier. You don’t have to get there because you never get there anyway. It’s just taking the steps forward that make you happy. And then they compound.
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Steps to building life mastery
Myrna: What are some of the steps that can get us to, life mastery?
Sherry: What you do every day is what’s gonna make you successful your, daily habits. So, when I have a client come in, I don’t ask them what they want to work on. We work on their goals but not the very first week.
First off, they need something physical,
We need to work on something spiritual. If they’re religious people, they know that there’s something there in their religion they need to be doing or maybe they need to pick up something spiritual. Practice meditation is something spiritual.
You need something for your brain. You need to be educating yourself and learning and growing all the time. Preferably something in your field and some things that are outside your field every day.
So those 3 habits will get a lot of people started on, life mastery. There’s gonna be some habits that must be forever disrupted the same way. But education must be an ongoing forever habit. Physical Fitness has to be an ongoing, every day, forever habit. spiritual practices must be every day and you can’t miss. You can’t say I will pray tomorrow; today’s prayer is for today. Tomorrow’s prayer is for tomorrow.
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Daily habits build life mastery
You must work out every day. You cannot say, I will work out 5 mins today and 60 mins tomorrow to make up for today. I learned this the hard way. I had 6 kids, that means all the ballgames and all the dance lessons and all the laundry and all that stuff. And sometimes I think I’m too busy to do my personal self-care like physical fitness. But I had to do it no exception. If I didn’t spend any time on self-care, I felt less happy at the end of the day.
We’re happy when we take care of our health, take care of ourselves and do personal development, then go out in the world and make a difference. If I didn’t get the laundry done. I could live with that. I can do that tomorrow. But If I didn’t do my personal development practices, I couldn’t live with that. And you don’t save time by skipping it.
Myrna: Yeah, so you know your, life mastery habits, are foundational. So, let’s touch on, personal finances. You saying that if you want to make lots of money, it’s a good driver for, Life Mastery. And I think, what you basically saying is that, goals, are a driver of, personal finances. If you have a goal of doing something then you will achieve it. So how do you teach your clients to want lots of money and then go ahead and make it happen?
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Seven steps to making lots of money
Sherry: There’s are seven areas they need to work on to make lots of money:
And so, money it’s only one piece of a piece pie, but it is important. So, they set their own goals. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs. So, we do a lot of entrepreneurial kinds of goals, for example doing more good in the world.
Jim Rohn said make a million dollars for what it can do for others.
Make a lot of money, you are gonna touch a ton of lives, you’re gonna get to spread that money around. You can do so much good both with the money and with the resources. Elon Musk went to the moon with his money. He wants to build a transportation system into space. That is doing good with your money.
Learn, apply, live, learn how to support yourself, then learn how to been able to support some other people like your family. And then when your finances good, and you’ve learned a whole bunch of stuff. Then you can go find another way. You can choose how you serve. I can choose how I serve because I have the financial resources to serve any how I want.
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Life mastery habit: track your daily habits
Myrna: Tell us about your, life mastery, classes and how we can get in touch with you.
Sherry: I’m a big believer in simple systems. So, I believe the simple steps that I teach, the first one is you got to track your, daily habits. You got to just track your daily habits, daily.
Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed”
Your, daily tracker, will track your daily habits and that’s how you develop, life mastery habits. So, on my website there is a daily tracking chart you can download for free. It just lists the, daily habits, you want to do down the left hand column. It’s like a calendar the days of the month across the top and you just you write down your activity like, meditation, workout, eat clean, floss my teeth, 20 minutes of devotion etc. These are the, daily habits, you want to track.
You have got to set the parameters. You must say what is the workout? Thinking very clear, what constitutes a workout? Is it 5 mins or 45 mins? Because if you don’t and you work out for 5 mins when you should be working out for 45 mins, workout doesn’t get crossed off the list on your, daily tracker. If your daily step count is 14,000 steps and you do 13,900, it doesn’t count. Then you didn’t get it done.
Affirmations build life mastery
The, daily tracker, also works for, affirmations. One of my affirmations is that I have I laugh easily and often. So, what that means is so about eight to 10 of those every day on things that don’t really matter so they can be they can reinforce another habit. Another affirmation could be, I get up early. You put it on the tracking sheet. I have an affirmation about being aware of my thoughts and working on mindfulness.
I have about five to about 13 affirmations. But I would suggest people you can go ahead and do about 10 affirmations for, life mastery.
Sherry: My website is www.LifeMasteryinfo.com. Life Mastery was taken. You can email me any time about anything and I will respond. My email is sherry@lifeMastereryinfo.com. My mission now because I made enough money so I can get what I want is to make a difference.
The number one thing that ruins a, marital relationship, or any committed relationship is, criticism. Try not to do it to anyone, your kids, your spouse, your friends, or your customers. Noone wants to be criticized, because they think that they are doing what is right. Instead state how something makes you feel. Voice your complaint by stating how it affects you and do not assassinate the character of the other person.
We have all heard that men want respect and women are emotional creatures, needing love and affection. So, that means if a man wants to improve his, marital relationship, he needs to show his wife love and affection and if a woman wants to improve her marriage, she must show respect, right? So why does, criticism, kill marriages?
You are probably saying to yourself, that is some messed up advice. By wait here is the reason.
Studies show that no one ever does anything they feel is wrong, so it does you no good to point it out.
The verb in the sentence is the important word. Feel.
Put another way, whatever we perceive is our reality.
99.9 percent of men and women can justify to themselves or anyone who would listen, any action or none action, they have taken.
Two-Gun Crowley a kind killer
On May 7 1931 New York City witnessed the most sensational manhunt the city had ever known to this point. After weeks on the loose “Two-Gun” Crowley, the killer, was trapped in an apartment on West End Avenue.
One hundred and fifty police officers and detectives laid siege to his top floor hideaway. For hours the residential sections reverberated with the rat-tat-tat of gun fire from the police and Two-Gun Crowley.
While Crowley lay bleeding from his gunshot wounds, he penned a note that read “To whom it may concern. Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one, one that would do nobody no harm”
If you had never heard this story before, you may be thinking that the police had the wrong man; but no. Crowley was the same man who was necking with his girl on a country road on Long Island when a police officer walked up to the parked car and asked him to show his license.
Without saying a word, Crowley drew his gun and cut the police officer down with a shower of bullets. As the officer lay dying on the ground, he jumped out of the car grabbed the officer’s gun and fired another round of bullets into the prostrate body. That was the killer who wrote “under my coat is a weary, but kind heart. One that would do nobody any harm.”
We all see ourselves differently from others.
This is an extreme story, but I have experienced many people like Crowley in my own experience; from kids who steal, to spouses who cheat, to murderers who kill, nobody feels they have done anything wrong. So don’t bother pointing it out to them expecting them to feel guilt. This goes a long way to, improve your marital relationships.
Even if they admit to wrongdoing, someone made them do it, they find some way to justify their actions. This phenomenon is glaringly evident on death row. Most of the prisoners on death row feel they have been victimized regardless of how heinous the crime. They are all innocent.
The #1 thing women can do to improve their relationships, is Don’t criticize!
Criticism, does no good. It does nothing.
Criticism, is futile, because it puts a man on the defensive, wounds his pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses his resentment, so don’t bother.
Instead make yourself perfect. The only person you can change is you anyway.
Jesus taught us this when he said “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? No one is perfect.
That is not to say that your brother has no speck or has done no wrong, but we are only responsible for what we do. We have no power to control others. And, criticism, does nothing to, improve, marital relationships.
What exactly is criticism?
Couples often have a difficult time distinguishing between, criticism, and voicing a complaint. Criticism, can have devastating effects because it makes the victim feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt. Couples fear that if they agree to stop, criticism, they won’t be able to have a conversation about failed agreements or promises.
For example, let’s say your partner throws his/her clothes and towels on the floor instead of putting them in the hamper. If you attack your partner by saying, “why are you so nasty? You have this place in a mess. You never clean-up after yourself,” that is, criticism. If instead you say, I would really appreciate it if you would put your clothes in the hamper, that is voicing a complaint.
Criticism, is an attack on your partner’s character. Calling your partner nasty or pointing out negative personality flaws is, criticism, because you are criticizing your partner as a whole person. In contrast, if you voice a complaint, and focus on specific action or behavior, and ask for a different action or behavior, that is different from, criticism.
Let’s look at another example. Women are always complaining about quality time and no affection from their man. If you say “You are not marriage material, you don’t know how to love a woman” That is criticism, if you say instead “I love your hands around me, I could use a hug,” that is saying the same thing in a different way. So, when I say don’t criticize, I don’t mean become deaf and mute. It is always better to communicate how you feel.
Criticism affects intimacy
One might think that the last person we’d want to say hurtful things to would be your marriage partner, the one you love. When we criticize it affects, Intimacy, because the wounded partner wants nothing to do with you. We are hard wired to focus on negative aspects instead of the positive aspects of our partners. We would focus on the clothes all over the floor and a filthy bathroom sink and not on the fact that our husband worked a full week, paid all the bills and rubbed our feet.
This is called a “negative bias”. Our brain is built to automatically place more weight on unpleasant news or nastiness. That is why the news is so negative, it sells more papers or gets more ratings. Negative bias, kicks in automatically at the earliest stages of processing information. As a result, our attitudes are more heavily influenced by downbeat news than good news. That is why the constant, criticism, by a spouse tips the balance of a relationship from mundane to miserable?
The bible says “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” It clearly states that it is better to live on the roof than with a nagging wife and most husbands experiencing this situation would agree.
How to protect yourself from criticism
“How does a person survive constant, criticism, in a, marriage relationship?
People adapt to a partner’s constant, criticism, by employing various survival tactics, such as:
If the woman is critical, then the man goes into his man cave. It could be a physical room, or he withdraws and stops communication. If the man is the critical one the woman also withdraws, and her self-esteem is deflated. Some develop an intensely defensive personality to shield themselves from the harsh lash of the critical partner. Others hide their “authentic selves” as a protective mechanism, letting out only the part stamped “partner approved”. They become a pleaser. They may feel the need to shrink their personality to avoid criticism which can result in loss of self.
To fend off, criticism, in a, marriage relationship, a partner surrounds him/herself with a safe buffer zone from which he/she responds politely as if from afar. Friends, work, children, exercise, social media, television, books, and newspapers can serve as buffers. We all know the spouse who is never home, always finds things to do outside the home. That is distancing.
A criticized partner withdraws and becomes emotionally unavailable. He/she preserves the “self” by building a wall to keep the critical partner away. He/she refuses to engage or react when criticized. Instead, he/she takes it and most likely adds another brick in the wall of resentment each time they are attacked, belittled, or berated.
Another common reaction to, criticism, in a, marital relationship, is, substance abuse. To survive emotionally, the criticized partner numbs the pain of engaging with his/her partner. Substance abuse, as a, coping mechanism, usually leads to further deterioration of the, marital relationship, as well as a host of other serious problems.
How to stop yourself from criticizing your partner
If you feel the impulse to criticize here are a few tips to stop yourself
Count to 10. Breathe, bite your tongue, wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it each time you feel the impulse to, criticize.
Do whatever it takes to do to stop finding fault, belittling, reproaching, nit-picking, cutting down, or chastising your partner.
Decide the kind of person you want to be and how you want to show up in your relationship.
Work at accepting your partner, even his/her annoying traits, harmless bad habits, quirks, and idiosyncrasies.
Resign yourself to the fact that you will not change your partner. I repeat: Criticism, will not change your partner.
The Effects of Criticism on Relationships
Here is some research on the, effects of criticism on relationships.
Here is a marriage story
Dr Julie said she had the good pleasure of counseling a woman who simply had to be the world’s greatest criticizer. I have to admit that I was in awe at her absolute hard-core ability to criticize. I can remember sitting back and thinking, “Wow, this lady could win some kind of award – she is amazing!” Her husband was a pot smoker and there was nothing good she could say about him – from the way he chewed his food, to his driving, or the way he snored at night. I counselled her to change her criticism to requests. In time she became one of the world’s greatest requesters.
One Mother’s Day (instead of criticizing) she composed a Wish List for her husband. It started with something like this – “Dear Husband, if you would like to have an immensely happy wife this Mother’s Day you can do so by getting me one of the following…” She listed about eight items each with a box to check next to the items she desired. Much to her surprise she received several things off the list (not just one!). She promptly rewarded her husband by telling him how happy she was and gave him a huge, heartfelt hug. Her husband began to learn that he could actually make his wife happy. This took a long time because he had come to believe that there was nothing that he could say or do that would ever please her.
So, what happened with this, marriage? In spite of the fact that she became an excellent requester, her husband would not give up his pot and she really struggled with staying married to him. She was lonely and the kids had an absent father. After much debate and prayer, she decided to stay. She would love this man with his addiction. Years later her husband’s heart was won over to Christ and he stopped, smoking pot. The world’s greatest criticizer became the world’s most grateful wife. That is why you must give it to God. Only God can change man.
Drs. John & Julie Gottman are therapists who have done the most research on the, effects of criticism on relationships. The two are famous for their “love lab,” in which hundreds of couples were screened, interviewed and observed over the course of two decades. As a result of their research the Gottman’s could predict in less than five minutes, with 90 percent accuracy, if a couple was going to stay together or divorce.
They came up with a metaphor to describe four communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship. They termed them “The Four Horsemen” — a phrase coined after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the New Testament, depicting the end of time.
Criticism leads to contempt
The main problem with, criticism, is that it can pave the way for the worst of the horsemen — contempt.
Contempt, is about holding your partner in a negative light without giving them the benefit of the doubt. The contemptuous partner is usually attacking from a place of superiority. This can send their partner the message that they are not liked, appreciated, understood or respected. This does little to create a safe, secure and trusting bond in the relationship.
Treating your partner with, contempt, is the single greatest predictor of divorce, according to Dr. Gottman’s work. It is by far the most destructive of the, four communication styles.
Contempt, and relentless, criticism, put a couple at war with each other. This is the opposite of the couple bubble. Smart partners who want to create a strong and happy relationship need to do all that they can to preserve and foster a strong couple bubble.
In this model, criticism, is seen as part of what’s called “the negative cycle.” The negative cycle is an interaction cycle between two people that, when left unchecked, can create an enormous amount of distance and disconnection in a relationship.
All relationships have some conflict and disappointments. This is actually healthy. Conflicts and disappointments don’t have to destroy a relationship. It is how the couple handles them that matters.
You should never marry or move in with someone until you have had your first fight. It is important to know how someone fights. Do they call you nasty names when you fight? Do you hit below the belt by throwing in your face things they know that hurt you? Do they refuse to engage and walk away? Or do you sit down and talk it out everyone voicing their opinion and having a fair hearing?
So, let’s circle back to our topic. The number one thing that ruins a marital relationship or any committed relationship is, criticism. Try not to do it to anyone, your kids, your spouse, your friends, your customers. Noone wants to be criticized, because they think that they are doing what is right. Instead state how something makes you feel. Voice your complaint by stating how it affects you and do not assassinate the character of the other person.
Thanks to tuning into this week’s episode of Transformation Friday, I appreciate your time and hope I deliver value. Until next time Namaste