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.

10 Reasons To Go On A Birthright Trip To Israel

Taglit- Birthright Israel provides a gift of first time, peer group; educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26 from around the world.

It gives individuals the opportunity to make new friends and experience Israel in the most beautiful of ways. It’s also for people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.

According to their website “The vision of Birthright Israel is to strengthen Jewish identity, Jewish communities and solidarity with Israel by providing a 10-day trip to Israel for young Jewish people.”

If you are Jewish and between the ages of 18 and 26, and you HAVEN’T taken advantage of this amazing and FREE opportunity, then this list is for you.

Here are the top 10 reasons why YOU should take advantage of this wonderful opportunity:

1. It’s the gift of a free trip! It’s your birthright.

2. You are young and you should travel while you can, and as much as you can. No excuses necessary. It is an educational and life changing trip that you cannot regret. Whether you are taking personal or vacation days off from work, or you are asking your college professors for permission to miss class, there is NO reason not to take advantage of a FREE TRIP!

3. The Soldiers. About half way through the trip, usually on day 5, you are joined by Israeli soldiers who are the same age range as you are. You get to meet these Israeli soldiers and travel along their side, learning all about them. You’ll find out they’re the kindest, smartest and most passionate people you will ever meet, and most likely become life long friends.

4. Happy People. Everyone just wants to be friends with everyone and have a great time together in Israel! You will make lifelong friends and memories and it is truly amazing. Birthright even offers to PAY FOR YOUR WEDDING if you meet the man or woman of your dreams while on one of their trips. Pretty cool, right?

5. The Food! Hummus. More hummus. Falafel. Fresh Israeli food. It is all so fresh and delicious.

6. The breathtaking beauty at the top of Mt. Masada. This is a hike that you will start in the middle of the night, in order to be at the top for the sunrise, and it is the most beautiful sunrise you may ever see.

7. Connections! The Jewish community is a small world in itself where we all know someone who knows someone else. And someone on your birthright trip is bound to be your college friend’s best friend from home, or your brothers girlfriends sister, or your moms old neighbor… Either way, you’ll know more people than you thought you would, and will leave with more friends than you thought was possible.

8. Shabbat in Israel. It makes you feel so close to everyone and gives you such an appreciation for your religion that you even daydream of following the tradition of Shabbat on a regular basis.

9. The Dead Sea. From the exciting experience of floating in a body of water, to the indescribable smoothness your skin exudes after covering yourself it its’ rich mineral filled mud, the Dead Sea is one of the coolest parts of the whole trip!

10. Your tour guide. He or she really does love you. And even more, they really LOVE Israel. They overflow with love and passion and knowledge for their country. They are there with you to show you around, and to make sure that you will have a fabulous trip. They are also some of the best people in the world.

So what are you waiting for?! Sign up for the next Birthright Trip here!

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!

Why you Need Life Insurance When you are Young

life-insuranceIn today’s modern age, the idea of exploring and traveling has become incredibly prevalent within many young professions in their early twenties to their mid-to-late thirties. As exciting as traveling can be, we must also understand the dangers one could get from those trips. Even if it is a quick weekend trip in the woods, you never know what could happen.

If you are single, it would be to your best interest to start thinking about life insurance. Now I know what many of you are thinking. You don’t have the financial responsibilities of another person or life. You want to use that money for something more gratifying. You do not plan on dying any time soon. While all of these are true, life insurance is used more than just a tool to keep your family financial stable during the loss of a love one; in fact, it provides you with many advantages especially at a young age.

debtjpg-8025cd82f36e31a6Pay off your debts:

As a young professional, many of you are beginning to assimilate into adulthood by purchasing your first car, home, or even credit card. Unless you have been paying in full, many of you have begun accruing debt in the most reasonable way possible. However, if something were to happen to you, your life insurance would be able to financially fund your various debt leaving you’re parents or guardians free from the financial burden.

Locking in a good life insurance rate:

At a young age, you can get an affordable life insurance plan at a very reasonable cost. Locking that rate in a long-term policy can be advantageous especially in the future if you are going to get married or going to have children. Imagine buying a 30-year term life insurance policy. For those thirty years, you will be paying the same amount as the price you purchased it. This will provide you incredible coverage and a financial safety net to alleviate you of any extreme situations.

papercutoutsHelping the family

Life insurance delivers additional features that provide legacy planning for your immediate family members. Imagine how many people can benefit from your policy. It is of course hard to conceptualize, but that is what it is when you are planning for the future. You need to begin thinking about the unknowns and the worst-case scenarios to better protect you and your love ones even if you do not have a family of your own. Your policy could do a variety of things. They can send someone in your family to college, they can pay off your parent’s expenses, or they can even contribute to a cause or charity that you are passionate about. Regardless of how it is used, it will create a lasting legacy for your name.

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.