When I was in Graduate School, I became depressed. Mostly from working and going to school, which kept my life out of balance. I remember reading something that talked about keeping a gratitude journal. I started writing down 5 things that I was thankful for everyday. It opened my eyes to see the importance of Gratitude. Now it's truly just a way of thinking for me. So I love our unconventional gratitude lists this week!
11 years ago I lost my driving ability due to a medical condition. For 6 months I had to depend on family, friends and taxi's to get everywhere. I don't live in an area that has a large public transportation system. Up until that point, I had taken for granted the fact I could hop in my car any time I wished and go anywhere I needed to go.
When setting boundaries with people, it's important to not only tell them what you DON'T want, but also to tell them what they CAN do to be within the boundary you are setting. Offer alternatives! Sometimes setting boundaries can be an issues of how to talk to people. The people close to us in our lives don't know what we need or what works for us, unless we directly tell them so.
In case you didn’t know, most people are not mind-readers. So why do we assume that our loved ones should “just know” what we need from them? Communication is the key when setting boundaries! The earlier you start, the better the relationship can be. Let’s say that your girl/boyfriend wants to spend every single evening with you. Maybe you’re someone who enjoys your space and you need some alone time to “recharge”. The moment that you get that gut feeling that this isn’t what you need, speak up! It’s not worth stewing about.
Once you've discovered all the areas of your life where boundaries apply, the next step is to figure out what you personally need. Figuring out what boundaries you need will vary and change depending on the different relationships you have in your life. There will be different boundaries in your romantic relationships than there will be with friendships and with family relationships.
The Imagine Hope ladies have shared some great statistics and information on infidelity, and how to affair proof your marriage, but what can you do if an affair has already happened?
- Seek out a professional counselor that has knowledge and experience in healing from infidelity. This one is imperative, because if you can't heal from the affair, it will cause more damage to your marriage on down the road! It's important to understand how your relationship got to this place, and without professional help, it can be difficult to do so. We all have blind spots-- that's what makes us human. Most of the time, it's necessary to have someone who is a neutral party help us understand things from an outside perspective.
If you haven't read Teri's guest blog yesterday on the statistics of affairs, please read it. The stats are alarming, depressing, sad and scary. It's easy to spiral and think, "It's only a matter of time before this happens to me!" Remember, there ARE marriages that don't have infidelity.
How do you know which category your marriage will fall under? Below are some signs that show who is at risk for an affair. This is not scientifically sound; this is to be used as a tool to assess whether your marriage is at risk:
Infidelity is an issue we work with multiple times a day at Imagine Hope. Unfortunately it is an epidemic that is plaguing America's marriages and relationships. This week Imagine Hope is digging deeper into this issue to give you a glimpse of how to protect your relationships, how to heal if you have experienced this, and whether or not your relationship is at risk for one.