Enhance Your Marriage With These Simple Steps:

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Let go of comparison and embrace your unique marriage.  Comparison is the killer of many marriages. I’ve seen far too many marriages go through rough patches after a lot of “I did the dishes, while you watched TV….   Well… I cleaned out the car while you were at the store.”   Don’t get into this cycle.

Even when marriage becomes a test, you can grow closer together. Always remember that you can learn and grow from every hard time you go through together. Try and come out on the other side stronger and closer then ever. No matter how bad things may get, you can learn from them and more importantly, you can grow from them.

You have got to rely on each other – be the shoulder for the other one to cry on.  You can ban together or move apart, so try to ban together in tough times. This is your person, who you picked because you enjoy being around them more than any other person in the world, so don’t forget this, even when you are upset.

Make time for your marriage each and every day.  Maybe it is 20 minutes talking every night, going on a morning jog together, or an evening walk, or maybe it’s as simple as eating breakfast together every morning, just the two of you.

Remembering why you said “I do” can strengthen and renew your marriage. If you forget the reasons, look back on your engagement times.  Remember your dating times.  Look at the person that you married and find the good in them.   Find their strengths and let go of the weaknesses.

Learning to simplify your commitments is key for a growing marriage. You have to find time to be together – and if that means letting go of the things that cause stress or take up too much time, so be it!

Make the time to date your spouse. Go out once a month or more, if you can.  Try and instate a regular date night into your routine that you can both look forward to! Take turns planning it every time and enjoy special time together.

Create space to talk with your spouse. Start a conversation or play a conversation game.  Even do a 5 question game where you can each ask 5 questions “If we could move anywhere, where would you want to be?”

Visit somewhere new together for a fresh adventure. This is great advice!   If you can experience new things together, it will be so much fun for both of you!

Take some time to learn your spouse’s personality type. I also suggest reading the 5 Love Languages – this book is a must-read for married couples.

Learning from others and sharing your struggles can be a great way to grow a deeper marriage. You have to trust each other and talk to one another. Bouncing feelings and ideas off of each other not only lifts the weight off of your shoulders, but also allows your partner to better see where you are coming from in order to help move forward.

Sometimes you will annoy each other, and that is okay. I heard one time that they key to being married is never falling out of love at the same time.   Yes, sometimes living with someone every day will get on your nerves.  They leave the towel on the floor or they leave their shoes out… remember that you can’t fester in that moment, but also know that it is normal.

Taking time to read about marriage can help you to constantly be growing. Finding marriage books or reading a book together is a great way to connect.

Speak life into each other. Your spouse needs to hear words of encouragement, too.  They need to know that you appreciate them.   Speaking kind words will build someone up quicker than anything I’ve ever seen.

Kiss more than you complain. Every day, kiss your spouse.   Kiss them ‘goodbye’ when they leave and ‘welcome home’ when they get back.

7 Ways To Become A Better Forgiver

1. Don’t Wait For An Apology

There will be times you’ll need to forgive in spite of a weak apology, and there will be other times that an apology isn’t even offered. Choose to forgive because it benefits you!

2. Practice Giving The Benefit Of The Doubt

Start with the belief that your spouse had good intentions or at least that they did not intend to hurt you.

3. Be Clear And Kind About Why You Hurt

When you are truly hurt, you deserve the chance to be heard, but avoid blaming and criticizing language when you explain yourself.

4. Remember You Are On The Same Team

Forgiveness can be a win-win situation. Stay out of the trap of being at odds with your spouse.

5. Accept An Apology When It Is Offered

You may need some time to internalize it, so don’t pressure yourself into acting like you are over it before you are. Forgive, but ask for some time to process your feelings if you need it.

6. Don’t Dig Up Buried Offenses

Nothing prevents healing like bringing up old wounds and reminding your spouse that you have not forgotten. A good forgiver leaves the past in the past.

7. Consider Extending Your Own Olive Branch

Even if you’re still feeling the sting of their offense, doing something nice for your spouse can bridge the gap between you just enough to help them know they are forgiven.

Simple Marriage Improving Tricks Worth Trying Before Spending On Couples Therapy

After the honeymoon phase is over, it often seems like all the excitement is gone, but it doesn’t have to be! These tricks and tips are designed for you to keep the good feelings and fun times rolling—and to weather the inevitable storms without totally sinking.

1. Compromise

Pick and choose your battles. You have the rest of your life to spend together, it might not be worth it to waste an afternoon arguing about why your husband forgot to take the trash out. After you get married, being able to blend your way and their way often takes on a new meaning.

2. Stay True To Yourself

Once you become someone’s spouse in life, you’re still you! Committing yourself to someone else does not mean that you are signing away the things that make you, you. Yes, now your life involves a partner, but if you forget about your own identity, you will eventually resent it. Make it a point to spend time alone doing the things that you love.

3. Acknowledge That Fighting Is Going to Happen

You are not going to fight less after you get married. End of story. It’s important to accept that some marital issues will never be resolved, which is why it’s especially important to remember #1 from above – compromise. It is equally important to know that persistence, good will, and humor can go a long way toward buffering couples against resentment and hostility.

In other words: Don’t freak out when you fight (because it’s inevitable), but do try to fight fair—and always remember that this person you’re fighting with is the love of your life. They can’t be all that bad!

4. Make Your Sex Life Work for Your Marriage

Don’t expect the same butterflies as you have early in a new relationship, instead, make sex about enjoying each other, being close, and keeping each other happy. Part of the excitement in the initial stage of a relationship, brain chemically speaking, is the novelty—everything is new. It is important for couples to seek out new opportunities together.

5. Give Thanks

Keeping love alive and flowing in your relationship is essential to being happy with each other. Set aside some time in your schedule to let each other know when you feel loved. Show your gratitude verbally, with flowers and candy, with dinners out, with a hug or a kiss— anything is better than nothing!

6. Be Honest with Yourself

By starting a conversation by taking some of the blame and responsibility instead of pointing the finger, you are providing room for your spouse to feel open and un attacked. Some couples get into a game of marital ‘chicken,’ in which each waits for the other to change. In the interim, the marriage can wither away because neither partner is willing to be the first to change. Instead of focusing only on your partner’s flaws, you should own up to your own, as well—and think about what you can do to create more marital bliss in your relationship.

8. Be Willing to Work to Make Your Relationship Thrive

You’ve probably heard this before, but that’s because it’s true: Having a good marriage takes intentional effort. It doesn’t just happen on its own. People who have great marriages work at it all the time.

Even just having some kind of ritual that shows you care about your bond—for example, making sure you kiss your spouse goodnight, or before you leave in the morning. And, hey, it definitely beats shelling out thousands of dollars on marriage counseling.

To read more marital tips, click here.

 

Ways To Better Communicate With Your Significant Other

Accept your spouse for who they are. Men and women communicate differently, and accepting this is key. While it may not be easy to change how you think and feel, it is easy to change your perspective. Accept who they are and how they best communicate. That may require you to approach them differently to have a more effective conversation. As long as you are learning and progressing together, you are on the right track. The problems start when either partner is unwilling to change their approach. Relationships are compromise. Before speaking, think long and hard about how they would approach you with a similar conversation. Follow their lead and speak to them in ways they can relate to.

Feed each others love languages. If you haven’t read the 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman, now is the time to do so. This book breaks down the various ways people feel most loved. There are so many different ways, and most importantly, everyone is different. For many it is in gifts. For others it is all about physical touch and affection. Make sure you figure out each others love languages and then USE them. When you feel loved, it is much easier to increase quality communication.

Leave emotions at the door. This is easier said than done for both men and women, but sometimes you just need to get logical about things. Yes, emotions are at the key of most relationships, but there are many situations where you need to check your emotions at the door and listen to your spouse and their thoughts from a logical calm point of view.

What often works best, especially when emotions are already running high, is physical space. Take a walk. Take deep breaths. Give yourself a few minutes to relax, because so often, during this time, things naturally fall into perspective and the simple minutes of silence between you two can often be enough to solve the problem.

Leave the past behind you. Make an agreement that each conversation will be about the here and now. Leave past grievances where they are – in the past. While you may wish to proceed with caution, avoid the urge to bring up past indiscretions or arguments. Instead, focus on the good things and the current situation as it stands alone.

Put down your phone. This is one of the biggest issues in communicating with your spouse. We forget that to do so, we need to focus on them. Our phones, computers, televisions and tablets have become attached to our hips. When it is time to get serious with your spouse, give them your full attention. Meaning: put away electronics and focus exclusively on them!

Desiring better communication with your spouse is something we should all strive for. No matter how many years you have been together, there is always room to change and grow. It is important that you focus on each other and continue to learn how to reach each other in the best way possible.

The Lower East Side’s Jewish Heritage Today

As the port of arrival for thousands of Jewish immigrants from around the world, New York City is one of the great centers of Jewish culture.  Upon arriving to New York, many Jewish immigrants originally settled in the Lower East Side, where a unique culture developed.  Kosher food shops were on every corner, synagogues filled up every Sabbath and a thriving Yiddish theater district attracted Jew and Gentile alike.  While the Lower East Side’s Jewish culture thrived in the first half of the 20th century, in the aftermath of World War 2 it started to fade rapidly, as Jewish families left the crowded tenements of lower Manhattan to the suburbs.  Many of the old businesses and landmarks of the Lower East Side’s Jewish heritage have since closed their doors, several of them are still around today.  Listed below are some of the more recognizable of these places, that have stood the test of time to become landmarks for New York City as a whole:

Russ and Daughters

Russ and Daughters: Founded by immigrant Joel Russ in 1914, this counter shop has served as a temple for smoked fish.  Their lox has been drawing devotees for generations, and to this day is considered to be one of New York City’s very best.  It earned its current name in 1933, when Joel Russ made his three daughters partners in the store.  The place is still in the Russ family, and as of last year, two of his daughters, 92 and 100 years old, were still alive, although since retired from the fish smoking business.

Sammy's Roumanian Dani Luv

Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse: Located in what seems to be a basement on Christie Street, walking into Sammy’s feels like you’re walking into a time portal, an old-school New York bar mitzvah from the 1940s.  The menus are covered in schmaltz stains, the portions are generous to say the least, the walls are covered with countless photos and entertainer “Dani Luv” spends the night pulling his schtick of live music and borscht-belt humor.  All in all, a dinner at Sammy’s is the start of a wildly fun night.

Katz's Delicatessen

Katz’s Deli: Arguably one of the most instantly-recognizable New York icons, Katz’s has been open since 1888 thanks to their tireless commitment to high-quality kosher-style eats.  While they have no shortage of great things to offer, arguably Katz’s crown jewel is its pastrami, and serves 10,000 pounds of it every week.

Bialystoker Synagogue interior

Bialystoker Synagogue: The Bialystoker Synagogue has its origins in a congregation founded in 1865 by recent immigrants from the city of Bialystok in present-day Poland.  It relocated to its current location in 1905 after the congregation purchased the building from a Methodist church.  Built in 1826, it is the oldest building used as a synagogue in New York City.

Kossar's Bialys

Kossar’s Bialys: While Kossar’s has what is considered one of New York’s best bagels, it’s their bialy, a variant of the bagel, that is their crown jewel.  The bialy is like a bagel, except with a fluffier texture and instead of a hole in the middle, there’s a depression, which is filled with dice onions and other ingredients.  Although Kossar’s has been in operation since 1936, its current owners, Evan Giniger and David Zablocki, are part of a modern movement to revive Jewish cuisine and culture in the Lower East Side.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum: Between 1863 and 1935, this building at 97 Orchard Street housed an estimated 7,000 people from over 20 nations.  Abandoned for over 50 years, when it caught the interest of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in 1988 it had become a time capsule, reflecting 19th and early 20th century living conditions.  You can now take various tours of the museum, which reflect on the lives of the Jewish, Irish and German immigrants who once called the building home.

Yonah Schimmel Alex Wolfman

Yonah Schimmel: While many hot dog stands in New York City sell square fried knishes, Yonah Schimmel’s specializes in the more “traditional” knish, round, baked and doughy and filled with a variety of fillings (potato, sweet potato, kasha, vegetable and broccoli to name a few).  Starting out as a pushcart in the early 1890s, the bakery has been in the same location since 1910, family-owned and stubbornly using the exact same recipes that the bakery’s namesake did.  If you’re not in New York City, you can use their website to order knishes, that will ship overnight to anywhere in the US.

Finding Religion, 10 Commandments of Judaism

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Faith and religion play an extremely important role in the lives of so many people all around the world. During a very critical time in my life, I found Judaism, which helped me gain a greater understanding of the world and get more meaning out of life.

Jewish people believe in the Torah, which is the whole of the laws given to the Israelites at Sinai. They believe they must follow God’s laws which govern daily life. There are a three basic groups of Jewish people who each have a different understanding of the interpretation of the Torah. I have been practicing Orthodox Judaism, which adheres to the interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah. Orthodox Jews believe that both the Torah and Oral Torah are authoritative and fixed regarding Jewish doctrine and observance. Conservative and Reform Jews have differing interpretations of the religion within a modern context.

There are Ten Commandments, written in the Torah, which help provide a look into many of the guiding principles of the religion. The commandments include:

First Commandment (Exodus 20:2): I am the Lord Your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Second Commandment (Exodus 20:3-6): You shall have no other gods beside Me. You shall not make for yourself any graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them, nor serve them, for I, the Lord Your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Third Commandment (Exodus 20:7): You shall not take the name of the Lord Your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11): Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath unto the Lord Your God, in it you shall not do any manner of work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your man-servant, nor your maid-servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day. Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.

Fifth Commandment (Exodus 20:12): Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord God gives you.

Sixth Commandment (Exodus 20:13): You shall not murder.

Seventh Commandment (Exodus 20:13): You shall not commit adultery.

Eighth Commandment (Exodus 20:13): You shall not steal.

Ninth Commandment (Exodus 20:13): You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Tenth Commandment (Exodus 20:14): You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, nor his wife, his man-servant, his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

 

Baby Boomers’ “Financial Exceptionalism”

Plenty has been written about the challenges that baby boomers face while heading into baby boomersretirement.  And now, researchers by JP Morgan Asset Management have shown that boomers have quadrupled their aggregate net worth since the late 1980s through an extended period of economic growth and stability during their peak earning years.  According to research released last week, the average boomer household own $253,000 of assets, 75% of them nonfinancial.

The study looks at how baby boomers’ balance sheets got to where they are today, which assets account for the growth in their wealth and what younger generations need to do if they hope to be as wealthy when they retire.  The massive accumulation of assets by baby boomers, and its impact on the lives of younger generations, is referred to as baby boomers’ “financial exceptionalism”.  Boomers are entering retirement much better off than their parents, and most likely the next generation as well.  Consider that the median household net worth for the young-to-middle aged members of Generation X has declined significantly when compared with that of similar households 20 years ago.  According to the paper, those between 35 and 44 years old today have an average net worth of $47,000, compared with $102,000 for those of a similar age 25 years ago.

The paper said that lower current income growth and expected asset returns have implied that the necessary savings rate for younger households to match the breadth of boomer balance sheets was enormous.  This would force younger generations to modify saving and investment behaviors and adjust their wealth expectations.  Nonetheless, baby boomers are still not off the hook.  They can’t rely on just financial assets, which make up just a third of the growth of their total assets, to support their current levels of consumption in retirement.

If you’d like to learn more, click here!

The Best Way to Talk about Life Insurance

 

Option5Talking about life insurance can often times be a tricky and uncomfortable subject with people. In fact, a majority of the public are uninsured simply because they do not want to have a discussion about the idea of death. But why does this talk have to be so difficult? Shouldn’t everyone want to be advised about how to further better prepare for the future? While this is true, one thing you need to understand is the emotional mindset people associate with life insurance. Once you are able to get into this perspective, then you will be able to provide the most educational information for your clients.

When selling life insurance, you want to enter in the mindset of an educator and teacher. Treat every client as a blank slate. Most case scenarios, clients are either unaware or uninterested in life insurance. Your first job is to grab their attention. Like any sales representative, you need a way to have them listen. Forcing a group of people in a room to listen to you speak for fifteen minutes is not the most effective way to pull clientele. The best was is to hook them with a strong introduction. Start off with a variety of questions or even tell a story. The more relatable the introduction is to the person, the more interested people will get.

Once you have established a strong introduction, it is time for you to talk about life insurance. During this process, it is important that you are both informative and relatable. To be relatable, you want to keep in mind that some of the information may be too complex for people to understand. Simplifying this information in more relatable concepts can really hold the attention of the entire group. Do not mistake this for not providing any information. Life insurance is a very complex topic that needs to be broken down before someone can make a commitment. Providing this information, in the most simplistic understandable way, will keep the attention and interest of your customers.

As you present your information, make sure you are also personable and honest. The topic about death can be a very taboo discussion. Relating your own experiences and the value that life insurance brought to your life can ease people’s tension. Even if you have not had a personal experience with life insurance, talk about the securities it can have for the people you care about. Create hypothetical examples of why life insurance is necessary and why they should get it for themselves.

Last but not least, answer all questions. Many people still have a variety of questions about how the overall process works and what they should do if they want to start, continue, or transfer from one life insurance to the next. To do this, it would be in your best interest to stay an additional ten to twenty minutes just in case there are a few people who want to talk to you. Also, do not be afraid in approach people individually if they have any questions. Sometimes, people will reframe from asking their question because they are timid in speaking in front of a large group of people. This will give you an opportunity to continue educating those who want to learn more and also potentially gain a client.

6 Quick Facts About Life Insurance

family-593188_640Life Insurance can be a tricky topic and often times people are not really sure what they should be buying when it come to a life insurance plan. This misunderstanding has led to a significant portion of the population being left uncovered or inadequately covered by their life insurance plans. I found this great article which outlines some myths of life insurance that I thought would be important to share. Hopefully these facts below will help you understand the true reality of life insurance and how you can best protect you and your family.

1) Group life insurance coverage through work is not always enough. Although rates can be lower through group coverage, people insuraged only through group life insurance have the lowest average amount of coverage and often need supplemental coverage.

2) If you lose your job then you lose the life insurance coverage provided through your employer. While some states require providers to offer the option of rolling over term coverage into an individual policy, not all states do. Make sure that if you lose your job that you ensure you are properly covered going forward.

3) Most people think that when the have their first kid is when they need to purchase life insurance. However, 72% of married workers actually have life insurance and just 75% of married couples with young children have life insurance.

4) Many people think that you have to pay taxes on the death benefit from a life insurance policy, however, in almost all situations, benefits paid upon death are not taxed.

5) A common belief is that if you don’t have children then you don’t need life insurance. Life insurance is important for anyone who provides for others, regardless of if you have children or not. If you have large private student loans, you are supporting your partner or other family members, or you share a mortgage with a partner, then life insurance is a good idea. For those with children, however, a life insurance policy should be a necessity.

6) Most people are offered life insurance plans through their employer. In fact, 56% of all workers had group life insurance coverage through their employers in 2010.