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Keys to A Loving and Lasting Relationship : Lessons from a Marriage and Family Therapist

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How can you maintain a loving and lasting relationship? My work with couples for over thirty five years has taught me vital lessons. Over the years I developed recommendations for new couple clients based on these lessons combined with study and research. When I see a new couple for therapy I share guidelines that will help them toward compassionate communication.

The guidelines that I recommend to help build a bridge to a loving lasting relationship are as follows:

* All that exists is now. Focus on the present moment and current patterns. Be your best you in the present moment.

* Use "we" statements to discuss what is in the best interest of both partners.

* Avoid "my way or the highway" verbiage.

* The brain loves the familiar, so look carefully at patterns you bring from your family of origin and how they become self-fulfilling prophesies.

* Do not do anything for your partner that he should do for himself so you do not help him/her stay stuck in immaturity.

* Alcohol can flambé a relationship. Avoid arguments when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

* Make your relationship a safe place to be deeply honest with one another. Postpone discussion of differences if either of you becomes destructive. Take time-outs.

* Develop a toolbox of ways to calm down (e.g., prayer, meditation, exercise, music, etc.).

* Develop a toolbox of constructive communication techniques and avoid criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling.

* Remember, you are not a cupcake and need to be open to feedback about distasteful habits.

These guidelines are meant to help couples stop blaming and start living. Each partner needs to take responsibility for their own behavior and commit to change. The couples who make the most progress are those with a strong commitment to one another, flexibility and connection.

Author, Dr. Linda Miles, is deeply committed to helping individuals and couples achieve rewarding relationships. She is an expert with a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology, and has worked in the mental health field for over thirty years. She has been interviewed extensively on radio, TV, and in newspapers and magazines. Find more relationship ideas and relaxation techniques on her web site and in the award-winning book she co-authored, The New Marriage: Transcending the Happily-Ever-After Myth, and numerous CD's, that Train Your Brain. Dr. Linda Miles

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Books by this Author

All Aboard the Brain Train
All Aboard the Brain Train
Teach Your Child to Travel a Purpose-Filled Path Think of your child’s brain as a series of train tracks with thousands of stations. The Brain can be trained to travel to magnificent destinations. "All Aboard the Brain Train" will help you train your child’s brain to lay tracks in the most positive directions.

Friendship on Fire: 52 Weeks to Passionate and Intimate Connections for Life
Friendship on Fire: 52 Weeks to Passionate and Intimate Connections for Life
Do you feel like the sparkle in your relationship is dying? If you want to start – or keep – the glow of love in your relationships, then begin building a solid Friendship on Fire.

The New Marriage: Transcending The Happily Ever After Myth
The New Marriage: Transcending The Happily Ever After Myth
Make your marriage succeed, even though seven out of ten couples who marry today will eventually divorce. Learn how to identify and overcome the emotional problems that arise from marital troubles, and gain the knowledge to achieve a long-lasting union. Strengthen yourself and your partner instead of helplessly watching your marriage dissolve.

Train Your Brain: 8 Keys to Successful Relationships (CD)
Train Your Brain: 8 Keys to Successful Relationships (CD)
This CD is taken from Dr. Miles’ successful radio appearances around the country. Through humor and real life examples from her practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Dr. Miles focuses on how to stop blaming and start living.

Train Your Brain: For a Peaceful Pregnancy (CD)
Train Your Brain: For a Peaceful Pregnancy (CD)
Stress for the mother equates to stress for the baby! Parent's reactions to stress, train the child's brain. Parent's relaxation can train them better.

Train Your Brain: For Successful Relationships
Train Your Brain: For Successful Relationships
Love is a Practice. You CAN change your brain patterns and chemistry. A respected Neuroscientist, Dr. Wayne Drevets explains, "In the brain, practice makes permanent." With regular use, this CD is designed to create more inner peace.. Using techniques that have been researched at major universities, Dr. Linda Miles, psychotherapist and author for thirty years, leads you through mental exercises for mind and body control that research has shown to effectively lower blood pressure, improve sleep, improve the immune system and reduce stress reactions.

Train Your Brain: To Be Heart Smart
Train Your Brain: To Be Heart Smart
Deep Relaxation Techniques. Specifically designed for people at risk for heart problems (high blood pressure, family history, elevated cholesterol, type A personality) or those with cardiovascular symptoms or problems or those recovering from heart surgery.