Love & Learn

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    When it comes to your relationship, are you a lover or a fighter or a loving fighter or a fighting lover or ...?

    The reality is every couple has a "fight routine," and how you and your significant other disagree can ultimately determine your long-term compatibility.

    "When it comes to fighting, the bigger question is: Are you mismatched? Can you bridge the gap in your fighting styles?" says Laurie Puhn, author of Fight Less, Love More and creator of the online virtual couple's course based on the book.

    In other words, if you and your partner have divergent disagreement patterns in place, you might never reach a resolution when you fight unless you make an effort to understand each other's default squabble setting and learn to work together toward a solution.

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    It is so, so, SO hard to teach kids to tie their shoes. And between all the Velcro and slip-on styles out there today, many kids are mastering this milestone later than the usual 5 to 6 age range, says Keri Wilmot, a pediatric occupational therapist at ToyQueen.com. Yet while parents can put off teaching this skill, sooner or later, you've got to sit down with your kids and show them the ropes. Here's how.

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    In the early part of my relationship with my husband, I was DEFINITELY the jealous sort. If a girl got within five feet of my then-boyfriend, I was ready to throw down. More than one near physical fight was averted by my boyfriend dragging me into another room and talking me down.

    To be fair, he had given me reason to be jealous. My then-boyfriend was all about "casually" dating me and several other women at the same time. By the time we committed and he was only dating me, my trust was not exactly high.

    Even given those facts, my jealousy was out of control. Back then it would have been hard to imagine that I would someday say I liked when other women noticed my husband or that I enjoyed it when women asked if he has a brother or called him a "catch."

    But sure enough, more than a decade after those fits of rage, that's exactly what I feel. So go ahead and ogle my man. It makes me happy.

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    You've finally had enough. You've reached that point where you recognize you're being abused and you need to leave, SOON, before it's too late.

    Or maybe you're not so sure. You're feeling defensive, like Janay Rice, who was videotaped being brutally beaten by her husband, NFL player Ray Rice. You're still wondering if it's bad enough to leave. But you want to make some plans just in case.

    You definitely should make plans -- ASAP.

    But be cautious and get help. "The decision to leave an abusive relationship is always one to make carefully," says Dr. Christine Murray, domestic violence researcher and associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. "It may take time, or you may have to leave immediately in the aftermath of abuse."

    Here are 7 steps to take if you want to leave an abusive relationship.

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    Most women are thrilled to celebrate at a baby shower ... only odds are you know at least one woman who may find this party a painful experience. Maybe you know that she recently had a miscarriage or has been doing fertility treatments for years with no luck. Rather than have her endure the agony of oohing and ahhing over booties and blankies before she locks herself in the bathroom to cry, you get to wondering whether perhaps it would be kinder to keep her off the invitation list entirely.

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    "Married sex is boring." We've all heard that tired cliche, haven't we? It's not the same once kids get into the picture. The attraction fades and becomes tedious. Blah, blah. You know what's really drab? That attitude.

    Because if you think married sex is "boring," then you are doing it all wrong. Married sex is anything but stale. You know that old saying "you can't step in the same stream twice"? In no other part of life is that more true than in marriage.

    It's constantly evolving, ever fluid, and after 11 years of marriage and 14 years together, I can say quite honestly that we have never had the same encounter twice. Not once. Every time we find some new move, some new mood, some new angle, some new words, to change it up. It's not always hot and heavy -- sometimes it's quick and dirty, in fact -- but it's always, always different.

    And that is married sex in a nutshell. You are different people every time you come together. How "boring" is that?

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    If you are like most married people, you have told your spouse a little white lie (or four) about money -- "No, honey! That shirt was on sale" or "Yes, dear, I got that bonus this year." We all have different reasons for doing it, but the fact is most of us have been dishonest in some way, from the tiniest of fudges to the biggest of whoppers. When it comes to marriage, George Washington would be ever so disappointed.

    But why do we do it?

    "[People] feel guilty about their spending and debt and try to hide it from their spouse," says Sandy Arons, a certified divorce financial analyst. The problem, of course, is that it almost never works. "Typically the spouse finds out about it at some point and feels betrayed. The trust in the relationship is compromised."

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    Turn off the lights, the party's over! According to Us Weekly, Khloe Kardashian has dumped French Montana, so I guess we can go ahead and label her as single and ready to mingle.

    And I know what you're thinking. He cheated on her, or she's still in love with Lamar Odom, or their busy schedules kept them apart, blah, blah, blah.

    None of those reasons are actually the case. Just wait until you hear why Khloe decided to kick French to the curb, because it will probably surprise you.

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    There comes a time in every relationship when you argue about something. If you never do and have been married for more than 10 years, please spill all your secrets now. If you do face the dreaded argument, know that you're not alone and there are right ways and wrong ways to fight.

    Those wrong ways are what could end up filling you with resentment, anger, and issues that are difficult to work out. Nobody wants that. So in the interest of a lifetime of happy anniversaries, I consulted with Rebecca Wong LCSW, personal coach and counselor, who has helped many get through the rough patches in life.

    "What's important is not what we disagree about, but how we disagree," she said.

    Wong offered 7 tips for fighting the "right" way to help couples avoid the downward spiral during a dramatic argument into relationship damage -- or, worse, divorce.

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    There's a popular myth out there, perpetuated by many women -- including the latest by Jessica Simpson -- that husbands "love us at any size." It's true. They do.

    Simpson recently said about her husband Eric Johnson that "he has seen me at every size and he loves me no matter what." Sweet words, right?

    But love is something you give a puppy, a child, a close friend, even a brother or a sister. LOVE in marriage is all tied up with those emotions, PLUS a kick of lust to keep it interesting. So does he lust after you at any size?

    I don't know.

    Okay, okay, before you all pelt my head with tomatoes, I'll say this: LOVE is one thing. Yes, we love our spouses. Terribly, passionately, insanely. I would die without my husband and can scarcely sleep without him by my side. That would be true whether he were 200 pounds or 500 pounds.

    But would I lust after him at the much heavier weight?

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