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Keeping Love Healthy

Terri-Cole-head-shot-120711Many people look at my husband of fifteen years, Victor Juhasz, and say, “Oh, you’re so lucky!”

Trust me, I feel blessed to have met and married my true love, but our healthy marriage isn’t an accident and definitely can’t be chalked up to “luck.”

We work at it by consciously making our connection a priority. What the other thinks, feels, and wants matters to both of us. We treat each other with respect and are actively grateful.

You, too, have a choice. Do you want to be right, or do you want to be loving? Most of the time, you can’t be both. You can focus on what’s wrong with your partner or what’s right. Of course, Victor and I annoy each other at times like any couple who has been together for many years, but that is not where we choose to put our attention. We immediately and effectively communicate our frustration to avoid a toxic build up of resentment. This is a daily choice, and you and your partner have the same choice.

What are you focusing on? Do you still love what you loved about your partner when you first met him/her? Do you appreciate your partner and treat them with loving kindness and respect?

Love doesn’t just stay good. You have to intend that it stays interesting, hot, and fun.

I am interested to hear if you have any great tips on keeping love healthy or maybe you need a little advice on effective communication. Drop a comment and share. I make sure to respond to everyone, so ask away!

I hope you have an amazing week and, as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love

Terri

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Terri Cole, founder and CEO of Live Fearless and Free, is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. For almost two decades, Terri has empowered companies, celebrities, professional athletes and individuals to Live Fearless and Free. Follow Terri on Twitter @terri_cole.

  • Chris farrell

    Wonderful message.

    • terri

      Thanks Chris! I am so glad this post resonated with you <3

  • Chris farrell

    This is great.

  • Le Stolen Chat Noir

    How do you deal with in laws? My husband or 8 years is wonderful, and i love him more every day, but his mom is rude and intrusive and puts strain on us.

    • http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/ Sarah Noel

      Hi! I’d love to hear what Terri, or anyone else, would say in response to your question. But in the meantime, here’s what I think: Your husband needs to say something to his mom. From all the self-help type of books I’ve read and shows I’ve seen, I’ve learned that. That when dealing with in-laws, the person who’s actually related to them by blood HAS to get involved and do the talking. Coming from you, will only build up resentment and further problems, I believe — between your mother-in-law and yourself, and possibly also interfering with your husband as well.

      You say your husband is wonderful — does he know how you feel about his mother? Have you shared your feelings in an objective way — not when you’re upset, and not “blaming” her for her actions? But when she’s done something rude or intrusive, have you calmly, openly, and lovingly said to your husband how you feel about what your mother-in-law just did? Not in her presence, but after you and your husband are alone. If so, I’m curious what HIS response is. If he knows and he’s doing nothing, that’s a problem between you and him, on top of the mother-in-law issues. But if he doesn’t REALLY GET how you feel about his mom’s actions, he needs to. It’s obviously causing strain on you, and on your relationship. If, on the other hand, your husband DOES know, and he feels the same as you (or even if he doesn’t), and he HAS said something to his mom, and she STILL persists in being rude and intrusive… then he needs to step it up. Be more firm with her. More direct. I get that it’s hard. It’s probably hardest on him b/c he’s “in the middle.” He doesn’t want to hurt his mom’s feelings I’m sure, but he also cares about you.

      But bottom line, whatever has or hasn’t happened up until this point, it’s not enough. If your mother-in-law is really intruding, you need to be clear with your husband how this is making you feel, and be clear that HE needs to do something about it.

      On the flip side, in the meantime, you can also do more self-work. When other people trigger us, it’s because of something inside OURSELVES that needs addressing. Other people are mirrors of ourselves. Even (often especially) the people we don’t like. That’s what we often overlook… b/c we don’t want to believe we have any of those traits that annoy us so much in others. But I encourage you to look at yourself in all this as well. How can you improve as a person? How can you let go of your emotional triggers and be more open? If you haven’t read “The Untethered Soul” yet by Michael Singer, I highly encourage it. It has transformed me and my relationships. It’s a short book but very powerful. It taught me how to be open and LET GO of my triggers and find peace truly for the first time in my life. And peace that comes from within…. NOT from trying to control outside factors, people, and situations like I did before.

      I wish you the best!!! Family can be difficult and especially in-laws. It’s a sticky situation. But it doesn’t have to be “bad” forever. Hopefully you’ll find something that helps! :)

      In peace and Love,
      Sarahhttp://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/2013/07/you-have-to-keep-choosing-freedom-from.html

      • Hara

        Hi Terri.
        They say that you have to accept someone exactly as he is. I have something that really tortures my head and i need an advice please.
        My boyfriend doesn’t share his emotions with me. He never says “I love you” or anything similar to make me feel important in his life. asked him once. “Do you love me? ” He said yes, the fact i don’t share it doesn’t mean i don’t feel it” Despite the fact i explained to him how important to me is to share his feelings, he never changed or did any effort. We are two years together. Do i accept him as he is? Can ever a relationship grow if people don’t share what they feel? I really don’t know what to decide. ….
        Thanks for the opportunity to text you.

        • http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/ Sarah Noel

          Hara,
          I just wanted to respond to you because you sound very conflicted. In my opinion, and in my relationship experience, if you’re with the right person, he/she will have no problem TELLING you they love you, especially if they know it’s something you need. After all, it’s not like you’re asking a lot. It’s not like you’re asking them to change who they are. Just to TELL you “I love you.” I know for me personally, I was with a few boyfriends through my life, in my 20s. I FELT I loved them, but I, too, had a hard time telling them. I felt afraid, insecure, unsure. I also NEVER heard it from them. Those relationships didn’t work out, for various reasons. But with my boyfriend now (who I 100% know is the right person for me and we plan to get married), he TELLS me he loves me on a very frequent basis, and I tell him. It feels natural. It feels right and good. I don’t feel afraid to tell him these things. That’s how I know he’s the one for me. Also, he was even married before he met me, and he told me that he never even said to his ex-wife, “I love you.” But with me he tells me all the time.
          Bottom line, I think if you’re with the right person (for a long-term relationship anyway), you will feel totally comfortable and trusting with them. You won’t feel afraid or ashamed to tell them how you feel, and they won’t do or not do things that they know will hurt you. They’ll want to make you feel good and happy however they can. And you’ll feel the same towards them.
          So in your situation, I honestly don’t feel good about it. It reminds me of my earlier relationships, where my boyfriend didn’t tell me he loved me, and I felt very insecure in the relationship. In my opinion, this guy isn’t the right one for you. But that’s just my opinion based on what you told me. It’s your call. How do you feel when you’re with him? How do you feel when you think about him? How do you feel when you imagine yourself spending your life with this person, assuming they don’t change? The answer to all those questions SHOULD be, “I feel amazing!” If it’s not, if you’re unsure about yourself, your feelings, him, or his feelings… something needs to be done. It could be that YOU need to learn and grow some more. Or that he does. Or that you’re not right for each other for the long-term. Only you can decide that, and only time will tell.
          I’d like to recommend you read the book, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. I read that book a few months ago when my current boyfriend and I were broken up for a couple of months. I had a LOT of growing to do, and that book changed my life. I was very insecure before reading it, and it showed me how to be more secure and live in LOVE and not fear. I think it would help you as well.
          All my best to you!!!
          In peace and Love,
          Sarah

          • Hara

            Ohhh,

            Thank you so so much!

            Very warm-honest-helpful and valuable advice.

            Be always loved and happy!

            Love,
            Hara

    • terri

      Sarah made some good points below. I believe that tension between mother and daughters in law stems from unresolved issues between mother and son. You can choose to be unoffendable and draw appropriate boundaries for yourself but when it comes to family decisions about how much time you will spend or how involved his mother gets in your business, you can put that back on him to handle with her. If she tries to triangulate by talking to you about him-don’t engage. The less triggered you are by her behavior the less she will do it and the more your husband will have to handle his relationship with her. Take the high road as much as you possible can but still draw your boundaries, firmly but with as little fan fare as possible. It is your right and your obligation to take care of you, my dear.

  • jan

    Hi. My ex bf broke up with me for the very reason that disrepected and didn’t appreciate him. Ive since started seeing a life coach and working on my ways. However my ex hates me right now. Won’t give me the time of day. I’d do anything for a chance to fix things with him as I only understand now what he has been trying to twll me along. He treated me really well. Any advice on how to get through to him

    • terri

      Jen-
      The gift he gave you was your wake up call. I think you can write him a heartfelt apology with no expectation of getting anything in return and no explanation of why you behaved the way you did. Just an honest, I’m sorry and let it be. If you continue on your journey of illumination, your energy will be different, what happens in your life will be different and the people you attract will be different. Maybe he will be inspired to step towards you and maybe not but your transformation is for you and will happen whether he witnesses it or not. Be patient and stay on your path and have faith that as long as you take right actions – you will create right results. Good work!

  • David Ip Yam

    Great post, Terri! I like the powerful question that you pose: “Do you still love what you loved about your partner when you first met him/her?” In the case of Lindsey and I, we agree that what we appreciate about each other has grown through intentional “how are you?” conversations, over the past 2.5 years. The conversations begin with the simple question, but then they expand into mutual sharing and exploration. We explain a bit more in this post: http://relationshipzen.blogspot.ca/2012/09/the-secret-special-edition.html. Would love to know your thoughts!

    • terri

      Thanks for sharing David! Nothing sexier or better for the health of a relationship than active listening and having a vested interest in the internal and external world of your beloved <3

  • jan

    Thanks Terri. I wrote him a letter but he said he doesn’t want it.

  • Hara

    Hi Terri.They say that you have to accept someone exactly as he is. I have something that really tortures my head and i need an advice please. My boyfriend doesn’t share his emotions with me. He never says “I love you” or anything similar to make me feel important in his life. asked him once. “Do you love me? ” He said yes, the fact i don’t share it doesn’t mean i don’t feel it” Despite the fact i explained to him how important to me is to share his feelings, he never changed or did any effort. We are two years together. Do i accept him as he is? Can ever a relationship grow if people don’t share what they feel? I really don’t know what to decide. ….Thanks for the opportunity to text you.