Preparing for Marriage Success

Preparing for Marriage Success

My little brother just got married this weekend.  Being part of such a happy and special event is wonderful. And it got me thinking about what goes into a successful marriage.

Getting married is no longer the fore-gone conclusion it usually was in the past. But a majority of us still do get married. Whether marriage is a good thing or a not-so-good thing is another matter entirely. And how you feel about it depends a great deal on your life experience.

Ask a thirty-something single person, and you may well hear moans and groans about the lack of any suitable marriage partners anywhere on the horizon. Parents and others may be asking, “When are you going to settle down and get married?” The desire for love, companionship, commitment, physical intimacy, and perhaps children is real. If in doubt, just look at the many match-making websites and services available.

But then ask the person who has experienced domestic violence, a heart-breaking divorce, or a chronically unhappy marriage full of conflict. They will tell you you’re much better off alone.

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When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Sad Couple Holding HandsLosing a loved one in death is one of life’s most difficult experiences. It’s something each one of us either already has or someday will go through. Knowing it will happen does not make it any less painful.

Certain deaths make the news, such as those who died in the Boston bomb blasts or the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion just recently. Or country singer George Jones who died last Friday in a hospital in Nashville, TN.

But most deaths never make network news. It’s your mother or father, your husband or wife, your brother or sister, your child, your best friend who leaves this life. And you are left with the very personal loss of someone you cared about, someone who can never be replaced.

The journey of grief is just that – a journey.

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5 Things to be Angry About

5 Things to be Angry About

It’s good to be angry! There are some things to be angry about. If you are not angry at intolerable evil, you will never have the motivation to do something about it.

This past week many of us have been angry over the terrorist bombings in Boston. And rightfully so! Anger provides the emotional energy to push back against things that are wrong. Sometimes we push that anger away too quickly. Anger is our warning light that something needs to change. When the problem is outside of our ability to control we cannot always accomplish all the change we would like to. But we can do something! Paying attention to the anger is important.

Here are some things I hope each of us is angry about:

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The Supplements I Recommend, and Why

Supplement PillsAmericans love supplements! Roughly half of us use them. We spent $11.5 billion on supplements last year, and that number is consistently climbing.

In one sense that’s a good thing: it indicates we are interested in being healthy, and are trying to do something positive.

But on the other hand, are we getting our money’s worth? Are all those supplements doing any good? Or are they perhaps doing harm? How can we know? Are we using supplements as an excuse to continue living an unhealthy lifestyle?

I’m not a fan of the US Food and Drug Administration, but I do believe we need to use science rather than hype to make decisions on what we put into our bodies. Anecdotes don’t convince me. Scientific research has its limitations, but it’s still the best we have in answering the question, “Is Product X safe and effective?” The FDA is, right now, the best we have – and they don’t control the supplement industry except when they make specific statements claiming to treat or cure disease.

Consumer Labs is a private company that does offer some independent evaluation for the plethora of nutritional products available.

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No More Conversation!

ConversationTalking is good. Communication is even better. Having a good conversation warms the hearts of friends and improves understanding when people disagree.

But talk is cheap! I think I’ve heard it until I’m sick of the phrase: “Let’s start a conversation about this.”

Haven’t you heard this too? People are frustrated, upset, or unhappy about some state of affairs, and someone proposes to start a conversation.

Conversations abound about these areas:

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