communicating couplesMind games can be complicated, and they can ruin good communication patterns. If your spouse seems to be implying two contradictory things at once, you may need some outside help to get your relationship back on track.

First, give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. If the issue at hand isn’t urgent, then let it go. Maybe your spouse is going through a rough spot in life, and his communication became unusually mixed-up. Allow some time to pass before confronting your spouse on the issue again. Chances are, given time, the mind games will disappear and you can move forward normally.

But if they don’t, don’t despair. You are not going crazy, and this is not your fault. Believe in your own sanity and seek outside help. Do you have a friend you can trust to be fair? Ask her opinion. Can someone else talk to your spouse about the issue? Try that. Gentle, non-combative ways of confronting your spouse are possible. Let him know that you don’t understand, and you don’t appreciate the mixed messages.

Mind games can seriously frustrate a good relationship, but relationships are worth working on. Take it slow, and wisely move forward to untangle the knots.

Discussing personal financesAttempting to broach any serious conversation with a loved one can lead to major anxiety depending on the topic at hand. Over the years, it has become more accepted to have frank discussions regarding a litany of subjects that were, at one time, considered too sensitive to approach.

The money discussion seems to have remained the steadfast untouchable topic among some. However, open and honest discussion about money issues with friends and family doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable chore.   Here are some easy-to-follow tips on opening up the lines of communication about money with those nearest and dearest to you.

  1. Start Slow – You may want to ease into the money conversation, especially with regards to older family members who may not be as open to frank money discussions. Maybe bring up a recent news item that is topical and could lead to a deeper discussion about money matters.
  2. Remember You Are Not Alone – Money stress and worries are very common. It may surprise you to find that issues you are grappling with are issues for those you love as well. Finding common ground can help the discussion stay friendly and useful for all involved.
  3. Stay on Point – When discussing something as personal as finances, it can be easy to veer off topic or begin to accuse or object. You may find that breaking the talk up into smaller talks held over a longer period of time is more effective.
  4. Comparison is the Thief of Joy – Try to avoid comparing your financial situation with that of your loved one. We all have our own stories and we may be only receiving one side. Focus on your own situation in the midst of money discussions. If your discussion is one of concern or an attempt to help your loved one, try to remain focused on their current financial fitness and your role as listener.

The goal in any potentially awkward discussion is to remain focused, calm, and reasonable. This is important even in the face of a discussion partner who may not always approach things the same way. If a discussion begins to go “south” it is probably best to take a step back and attempt to address the issue at a later date.   Money discussions do not have to leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. If you concentrate on the purpose behind the discussion and the connections you have (and want to maintain) with those involved in the conversation, the result can be win-win for everyone.

Keeping Your Self-Esteem: How to Move on After a Break Up

self-esteem after breakupLet’s face it, heartbreak is not fun and can do some real damage to a person’s self-image. But rather than dwelling in your own pity, lowering your self-esteem, and allowing your mental health to suffer, why not rise to the occasion? Take opportunity of this new personal time to reflect on your individual needs and how you can continue to improve your love life!

Know what you want!

Regardless of how the relationship ended, there is always a lesson to be learned about self-awareness. Life experiences and relationships in the past are the perfect resource for knowing exactly what you want in a future partner. Maybe your past partner had some great qualities and some not-so-great qualities, from that you will know what you do and do not want in your next partner. It is so empowering knowing that your next partner will be better for you in every way than your last. Never allow someone else to control your thoughts about yourself and always focus on opportunity for growth in any situation.

Why would you want someone who doesn’t want you anyway?

You deserve to be appreciated! Everyone deserves happiness and love in this life and being in a relationship that is toxic, in any sense, is not worth it. No, being broken up with doesn’t feel good, and yes, I know you still love him or her, but there is someone out there who will love you more than you ever thought someone could. It should be a huge turn off for anyone if the person you are pursuing doesn’t even want you! Get out of that horrible, self-destroying mindset and realize that you are wanted by so many other people! That ex-boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t know your true value. Someone is out there waiting to be your perfect partner.

Independence is key!

It is not uncommon for people to fall extremely dependent on their partner during a relationship. Learning to be independent and self-sustaining is going to help you feel productive and motivated and push you to continue reaching goals and living life. Feeling strong and independent will definitely help increase one’s self-esteem after a break-up. Make sure that you are enjoying your favorite hobbies, find a job that you love and are making a good living at, build stronger relationships with friends and family, and never let anyone bring you down. This is much easier said than done, but you can do it and you will thrive!