Tag Archives: Couples

7 Ways To Avoid Relationships With Unsafe, Toxic People


Learn to see PAST the false charm.

I have seen too many bright, talented and kind people decimated by relationships with narcissistic partners. The trauma inflicted by the abusive is subtle but it can hang on for quite a while and really disempower the target. Even when the abusive relationship is mercifully short, the effects can linger.

It usually is not easy to see these people coming. They are controlling and extra charming when they want you to connect with them. They often have a chameleon-like ability to look like the love of your life when you first start to know them, and they don’t show their true colors until there is some level of committment.

Think it can’t happen to you? There are estimates that upwards of 50% of people have been in an abusive relationship. Contrary to the mythology, the targets of bullies and narcissists, are generally fully functioning, talented, socially savvy people who are better than average at their jobs and who care for other people. Targets of abuse do tend to be more empathic than others, so you might want to exercise more care if you are especially sensitive to others.

Think the targets of bullies are weak people who “let it happen” to them? They are not especially weak, but they usually get backed into a corner by the manipulative and dangerous, and then are vulnerable to their bad behavior. Of course you will let your partner call the shots if he or she is volatile, violent, vindictive and controls the assets. The trouble is that bullies encourage entanglement before they behave abusively.

Instead of having to disentangle from a toxic relationship when you have already been traumatized, learn to avoid these people in the first place.

How can you identify and avoid people who will take advantage of your good nature when first dating them?

Develop good boundaries. Set boundaries for what acceptable and unacceptable behavior in a relationship, and set them before dating. Date only those who respect your boundaries. Exercise due diligence. Have no compunction about background checking anyone you are starting to date seriously. You are not honor bound to ever tell anyone that you have done this. If you feel a need beyond the initial check to continue to spy or check up on someone you are dating, your intuition is telling you not to trust them. Watch for incongruent behavior; the person who smiles when she tells you how she got back at someone; the date who reports a lot of problems getting along with otheres, anyone who seems angry when you assert your opinion. Do not dismiss these signs. Be sensitive to socially odd behavior such as not responding to an obvious joke, blatant failure to make eye contact, not responding to conversational remarks, or huge imbalances in conversations so that you either get no airtime or must fill cavernous conversational gaps. Ask questions about the person’s relationships to friends or co workers and watch for answers which indicate contempt or cruelty, lack of empathy, or a need to dominate others. Pay attention to your feelings. If you feel confused, have a feeling of dread, or feel defensive or ashamed, do not dismiss these feelings. They are signs that something is amiss.

By Salihah

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13 MAJOR Signs You’re His Backup Plan (Womp, Womp)


Are you REALLY his number one?

In many ways, dating is a numbers game. The more people we reach out to, the more likely it is that we’ll find someone who will marry us. The more people we try to hedge our bets with, the more likely it is that we will be in a relationship sooner rather than later .

Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us have had a person who we considered a “second choice” when we were out dating people. In most cases, we’ve also been the backup plan as well.

We really can’t judge people for settling when they can’t be with the one they love . After all, chances are high that you’d do the same. The problem is that nobody wants to be someone’s second choice or backup plan when they’re trying to have a truly serious, long-lasting relationship .

Not sure where you stand with the guy you’re into? If you’re noticing these things, you’re his silver medal rather than his gold standard.

1. When you two first started dating, his attention was spotty at best.

Most of the time, a guy can figure out when he wants to be with someone after the first or second date. If the beginning of the relationship was marked with you making more effort than him , then him suddenly becoming very interested in you later, this is a bad sign.

This often indicates that he was more into another girl, who then turned him down. Having been rejected by choice #1, he went with you.

2. You haven’t met his friends or his family, and it’s been a while.

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This is never, ever a good sign. Typically, guys will only do this when they don’t want to commit to you in the long-term or when they’re using you as the side chick. Either way, this shows that you’re a placeholder until someone better comes along.

3. Every single commitment step you get him to make is your initiation, and it’s never easy.

Nobody wants to settle and if a guy sees you as his second choice, then he’s going to come up with any excuse possible to delay commitment. The reason why is because he’s hoping to hold out for someone else, and if he’s committed to you, it may “ruin” his chances.

4. He cancels plans all the time.

Much like with other signs on this list, this is often an indicator that you might also be a side chick. If a guy really likes you, he’ll prioritize you. Even big shots with super-busy schedules like Jay Z still make time for Beyoncé . You know what I mean?

If A-list celebs can make time so they don’t avoid canceling, there’s really no excuse for a typical dude.

5. He doesn’t spend money on you.

This rule may seem pretty petty and trashy, but it holds up. When a guy really wants to pursue a girl , he’ll lavish her with gifts and will do anything possible to show her he’d take care of her. If he’s too broke to buy you coffee or dinner once a week, you’re probably not his top choice.

6. You constantly worry he’ll disappear if you stand up to his bad behavior.

More often than not, we tend to know on a subconscious level where we stand with people. If you feel like you have to compete for his love or if you feel like he could up and leave without a second thought, you’re probably right.

7. Things he’s doing with you are done at his convenience, not yours.

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This is a sign that you’re his backup plan and it’s a painful one to admit to yourself. If your relationship is one that has him coming and going at his convenience, you’re his backup plan… or even lower than that on his totem pole.

8. Labels won’t happen with him.

A guy who’s using you as a backup girl won’t say anything about labels. If you ask him for commitment or a label, he’ll usually reply with, “I’m not ready,” or, “Hey, let’s just see how this goes.” Let’s be real here: if you were his top choice he’d be labeling you.

9. He won’t share responsibilities or property.

You want him to move in, but he refuses. You both love animals and you want to buy a dog with him, and he rejects that too. You want him to work with you on a hobby project, and he says no. If he’s drawing these clear boundaries, he’s giving you a subtle hint that you can’t count on the relationship progressing.

10. He’s all talk, no walk.

Sure, he says he loves you and is always texting you, but when you’re in person, he’s almost bored until clothes come off. If he’s acting this way, he’s just sweet talking his way into your pants.

11. He’s in a relationship, but not with you.

Are you stuck in that sorta-relationship limbo while he’s out with his girlfriend? We have news for you, hun. You aren’t only the side chick, here. You’re also the backburner girl. If you were his number one choice, he would have been in a relationship with you instead of her.

12. He suggested a marriage pact.

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A person who tells you they’ll marry you if you’re both still single at a certain age is a person who is using you as a backburner. It’s just that simple and it doesn’t get any more obvious than that.

13. T hough they won’t commit to you or even take you out on a legit date, they get unusually ticked if they find out you’re seeing anyone.

By Pascal

50 Words That Would Instantly Turn Women On If Men Would Actually Say Them To Her


Getting a girl horny isn’t complicated. Men just think that it is, because they don’t say the right things at the right time. They need to mix some sentimentality in with their sexuality.

1. I’m going to go down on you, and I won’t even let you think about returning the favor.

2. I cleaned the kitchen today, so I’d have room to fuck you on the table.

3. Your ass looks just as amazing in those sweatpants as it does in your little black dress.

4. I love playing with your hair… And your pussy.

5. Do you want a back massage, a foot massage, or both?

6. I’d put on music, but I don’t want to drown out the sounds of your sexy little moans.

7. Don’t stop me once you come, because I’m planning on giving you multiple orgasms today.

8. I bought you a new vibrator so I can thrust and play with your clit at the same time.

9. Do you care if my tongue is between your legs when you wake up in the morning?

10. Your mind is just as sexy as your tight little body.

11. I can’t decide if your tits or your pussy is more delicious. Give me another taste.

12. I bought some handcuffs and a blindfold. Should I put them on you or me?

13. I baked you some dessert, so you can eat it while I eat you.

14. Do you want to have sex in bed or in the bath I just made you?

15. I had a hard-on all day, because I couldn’t stop thinking of that beautiful face.

16. Your laugh turns me on even more than your tits do.

17. I stuck your clothes in the washer, and now I’m going to fuck you on top of it.

18. I’ve never gotten so horny just by kissing someone.

19. Do you want me to wake you up with breakfast in bed or oral?

20. I tidied up the bedroom, but I don’t mind if you mess up the sheets with me.

21. I had to shut off my porn, because none of the girls in it were as attractive as you.

22. I’ll do anything you want me to do, as long as you keep looking at me like that.

23. Do you want me to use my British or Irish accent tonight?

24. The feeling I get when you kiss me is even better than an orgasm.

25. I never thought I’d have a woman this stunning sharing the bed with me.

26. You deserve to relax, so I’m going to do all the work tonight.

27. Put me out of my misery and open up those long legs for me.

28. I’m dying to have sex with you, but you better cuddle me after.

29. Try not to ruin your manicure when you dig those nails into my back.

30. Want to bet on how many times I can make you orgasm in one night?

31. I can’t believe I get to call your beautiful body mine.

32. Let me show you how much I love you with my hips and lips.

33. I’m never going to stop telling you how hot you are, so you better get used to it.

34. We’re having sex in the car tonight, but you can pick where we park.

35. Do you want me to wear my suit or leather jacket?

36. Get on your back. I’ll take care of the rest.

37. Are you ready for a Magic Mike style strip tease?

38. I turned on Netflix for you, but you might have trouble concentrating while my tongue is circling your clit.

39. Tell me what I should do to you, because you’re in charge tonight.

40. I’ll put on any music you want, and then throw you into any position you want.

41. I made us dessert, but I want to eat it off of you.

42. Press those soft lips against every inch of my body.

43. I’m going to remember this moment when I’m jacking off later.

44. Your ass looks even sexier than the first time I saw it.

45. I bought you a bottle of wine, but that’s not the only surprise I have in store for you.

46. Get ready to be treated like the sexy, sultry woman you are.

47. Let me dominate you, so you don’t have to do any thinking tonight.

48. How can a woman be so adorable and sexy at the same time?

49. I want to see how long we can foreplay for before we can’t take it anymore.

50. I’m so lucky that the best sex I’ve ever had happens to be with the love of my life.

See it from the other side: “50 Phrases That Would Immediately Turn Men On If Women Would Actually Say Them”

By Raphael

15 Women Share The WORST Lies They’ve Told Their Husbands


“My husband does not need to know how much it costs to get my hair done.”

Men lie. Women lie. Put men and women together and they’re gonna lie to each other, whether on big important things, or in tiny, insignificant matters.

Most white lies come from our inherent need to keep the peace and make life easier for ourselves. If we can head off trouble at the pass by letting a little fib slip, most of us take advantage of the opportunity in the name of courtesy.

We asked women to tell us the white lies wives tell their husbands, and boy did they deliver. Here are our favorites.

1. Our kid put his Rolex in the toilet.

“I never told him our toddler dropped his super-expensive watch in the toilet, which is why it quit working a month later.”

2. I still use the occasional recreational drug.

“He doesn’t know I still do a few party drugs every now and then when I go on weekend getaways with my friends . Nothing crazy, but he’s very anti any illegal substance, so even hitting a joint is an offense that would get me a lecture about drug cartels if he knew.”

3. I sext with my exes.

“I still flirt with a couple of my high school boyfriends on Facebook, which is the saddest clichéd, basic bitch bullsh*t ever but it’s harmless and makes me feel good so f*ck it. I’ve never crossed a line. Well, I’ve sexted with one of them a couple times but that’s it.”

4. I was hungover, not “sick.”

“Well, my ex thought that I was ‘sick’ a lot when I was really just drunk or hungover, which, in retrospect, was an issue all on its own.”

5. I threw away one of his favorite pieces of clothing.

“‘Hon, I have no f*cking idea what happened to that shirt your ex gave you and if you bring it up again, I’m going to go apeshit on you.’ I know exactly where it is. It’s somewhere in the county landfill and has been since I threw it away about a year ago .”

6. My haircuts cost way more than I say.

“My husband does not need to know how much it costs when I get my hair done. Like, I paid for these summer bundles myself, so it’s not like I’m robbing him, but he thinks they were a few hundred… they definitely weren’t. How’s that for white lies wives tell their husbands? “

7. I kiss people when I go out dancing.

“I’ve never done anything more than this, but I’ve made out with a few different people when I’ve gone out dancing before. I don’t count kissing as cheating … and, yes, I’d feel that way if he kissed someone else!”

8. I despise his best friend.

“I f*cking hate his idiot, dudebro best friend for just so, so many reasons — too many to list here. I know better than to complain, though. I always offer to give him a night out with the boys so he won’t bring that idiot to my house.”

9. I’ve slept with women.

“My husband knows I’m bisexual, but he doesn’t know that I slept with a few of my female friends before he and I got together. He can barely handle the bi thing, so there’s no way I’m telling him that the same women who come and stay with us for the weekend have also been my sexual partners.”

10. I go have fun during work hours.

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“I don’t tell him every time I go out with my friends for brunch, yoga, paddleboarding or movies in the middle of the day while he’s at work. I work from home, so I make my own hours and can pay for myself, but it still feels like I’d be rubbing it in his face that I’m out living it up in the sunshine while he’s stuck in a windowless office.”

11. I hate his mom’s cooking.

“He thinks I’m allergic to a bunch of stuff in his mom’s old recipes so I don’t have to eat it, cook it, or buy the ingredients so he makes it at home. The truth is that she’s a terrible cook with awful taste, which I can tolerate when we’re visiting her, but I’m not eating that sh*t at home.”

12. I don’t actually care for sports.

“I pretend to give a sh*t about sports so he doesn’t complain about me to his friends when they all get together. I’ll watch SportCenter or glance at his teams’ stats and a couple op-ed articles every week, so I can make casual comments here and there like I know what I’m talking about, and he and his friends think I’m amazing. It’s an illusion, but it gets me serious respect and a little more clout around here.”

13. I fake orgasms.

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“I fake a lot of orgasms when I’m tired just because I know he really wants to make me happy, but I’m exhausted and want to wrap it up. I’m afraid if I say, ‘Not tonight’ too much, he’ll stop offering.”

14. I tell him he’s a good cook.

“His cooking is fine. It’s just fine. It’s not even good. Just fine. But I’m never ungrateful that he did the work of making me a meal, so I always say it’s the best sh*t I ever put in my face. Desperation makes lunatics of us all.”

15. I didn’t get into school for a different reason.

By Erlar

7 Helpful Ways To Mend Your Broken Love Relationships


Are you ready to make your relationship? It’s time to mend your broken partnership.

Sometimes, we are not ready to make the changes we really want and need to until we hit a tipping point in our broken relationships.

The tipping point comes when, without a shadow of a doubt it becomes clear to you, that the pain of your relationship staying the same is too great and you are ready and willing to face your fears.

You are ready to do whatever it takes to get back on track.

These 7-Steps will help lead you and partner back on the path to your own great life with great sex !

1. Starting today let go of all behaviors that keep you from your partner.

In order for you both to know what’s possible, you have to be willing to leave behind all behaviors and patterns that keep you moving away. Yes, I know you learned to do these things because you don’t believe your partner can meet your needs.

I also know, these self-soothing and protective behaviors are a block to ever getting those needs met in your relationship. The time is now to stop the screaming matches, silent treatments and all other behaviors that keep you from experiencing the life you want and deserve.

2. Put the “hot” topics in your marriage on the back burner.

Focusing on the negative…what you don’t have, won’t get, or fear will happen, won’t serve you. You already know in your own experience that focusing on your issues, like a laser light beam, doesn’t make them go away or improve.

The reality is that focus becomes a high-voltage spotlight and becomes the only thing you see. Focus on the negative and I assure you more negative will come. This is the law of attraction and it applies to your relationship.

3. Make room to remember and notice what drew you to your partner.

Bring back the images, memories and stories. Allow yourself to connect with the effortless connection and flow of energy you felt with your partner in the beginning of your relationship.

There is no accident about the chemistry that drew you to one another. You already know in your own experience that it’s not everyday that you feel drawn to someone in the way you were to your partner. It’s why so many love songs say things like, I feel I’d always known you from the minute I met you.

There truly are signals that we pick up on and draw us to those whom we have the most connection and the potential for the greatest growth (once you learn how to get on the other side of the hot or cold war that has hijacked your relationship).

Reconnect to the experience of your relationship at it’s best to know exactly what you are fighting for.

4. Notice, name and let go of all the past stories and fears that hold you back.

They don’t serve you now. Doing the same thing over and over, holding grudges, reacting the same way to disappointment and frustration has not and will not help you get what you most desire.

Take a break. Slow all emotion down to consciously and intentionally show up in your relationship with the best of yourself; the parts of you that drew your partner to you in the first place. Don’t allow your partner to bring you down or lower your own standards.

It’s incredibly common (in fact more the rule than the exception) that when all of a sudden you show up differently in your relationship, your partner can’t receive the best of you or believe you have changed.

This is where things fall apart for most couples . Don’t let this happen to you. Give the best of yourself without expectation. Give because it feels right, and you know the value of how it feels to show up with your loving, generous and openhearted self.

In time, and with consistency, your partner will be able to receive you. They too have the responsibility and commitment to being their best self.

5. Create new relationship habits, expressing appreciation, and showing caring behaviors, throwing in surprises.

Think of your relationship like a garden or great dinner and put in all of the ingredients that you know make it great. Allow yourself to receive the gifts of these new habits. It’s time you allow them in. This is also a good time to be reminded of the Platinum Rule. Do for your partner the things that would give them pleasure.

Get to know your partner’s love language (from Gary Chapman’s great book, the 5 are: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch). Be generous in the love language your partner can most easily feel and receive.

6. Make room to notice all of the positive things about your life, your partner, your family, and your friends.

Bring your attention consciously to the small things and moments that you cherish. John Gottman an internationally renowned marriage researcher recommends the 5 to 1 Rule.

For every negative thing you pay attention to, take time to consider and notice 5 other things that feel good and are also true in this moment.

7. Know this journey is hard.

Yes, I said it. GO big or go home! Life is not easy, especially when you want to experience something truly worthwhile. Truly ask yourself, what am I committed to? My personal pain/frustration or the marriage of your dreams? There are no fairy tales other than the ones we consciously create and show up for.

Make your life extraordinary…you get one life. Make yours GREAT!

If you are interested in learning more about our Re-Kindle Your Desire & Bring Sexy Back Program – we are running an amazing offer right now. Check it out at:

By Alex zakaria

3 Essential Qualities Every Woman Wants In Their Significant Other That Men Should Take Note Of


If I had a quarter for every time I heard this question, I would have buckets full of money! Is it good looks in a partner that we, as women, desire? Is it a man with money? Is it prestige in his job that we’re attracted to?

The answer is very simple: a heterosexual woman in search of a relationship is looking for a “MAN.” And no, she is not merely seeking a penis with a wallet. She wants a “real” man. So what does a real man look like? Are you a real man? How can you tell? What can you do to truly become one?

1. Be A Leader

Even the staunchest card-carrying, bra-burning feminist (if she isn’t lesbian) is looking for a man to help her take charge. In the real world, women carry a lot of extra baggage on their shoulders that most men don’t: children, body image, glass ceiling, etcetera, etcetera. The list goes on and on. (Example: How many men carry behemoth-sized totes full of clothes with them, just to accommodate their dating life?)

Let’s face it: after-hours our skirts get shorter and our heels get higher. And once kids enter the picture, forget it! How many men do we know who get up two hours earlier to do their hair and makeup, before taking their kids to school and showing up at the office focused, competent and presentable?

So the least you can do is take the burden off her shoulders where (and when) you can. That doesn’t mean waiting for her to give you a list of chores. It means noticing what needs doing, taking charge, and DOING IT.

But how will she know you’re a leader if you just met her? Act like one from the very beginning. Don’t ask her when and where she’d like to go on your first date. Tell her you’ve made reservations at the new, trendy restaurant on Saturday at 8pm. Hope, it’s OK with her. Because of course, it is! And while we’re on the topic of “asking,” don’t ASK her out on a date. Tell her that you’d like to take her out — and be specific.

As long as we enjoy your company and trust your strength, we’re more than happy to let you lead us.

2. Be A Lover

Yes, sex is (EXTREMELY) important, but in a relationship, the woman needs to feel desired in order to feel sexual. Most women need to feel loved, first and foremost. Therefore, “Hey baby, I’m in the mood; let’s go.” — is NOT foreplay!

Women don’t require much when it comes to you professing your love; just some sincere signs of caring every now and then. Sometimes a simple text like “I can’t wait to see you tonight,” gets us ready and able, right then and there. Signs of love can vary from small token gifts to lavish all-expenses-paid-vacations to mere touches of the hand. Just about any gesture will do, as long as it is heartfelt.

At the same time women need to feel safe and secure in love. Wondering why your “staff meeting” did not let up ’till 2 am and you came home smelling like Chanel No. 5, not only makes a woman feel insecure, it brings out feelings in her that she, herself, does not appreciate: jealousy and distrust. And believe me: when a woman doesn’t feel happy and secure in herself, she cannot bring joy to you.

Word of caution! There is a fine line between showing a woman she’s genuinely loved (and desired) and showing her that you’ll jump off the nearest cliff if she’s not in your life. “Neediness” is not a virtue (and it’s not attractive). No woman wants or needs to carry you as an extra burden in her life.

3. Be A Provider

A woman doesn’t need you to sport the title of head of a Neurosurgery Division or top Executive at Microsoft to know you’re a provider. Hell, you don’t even have to show her your bank account. You just need to make a woman trust that no matter what, you’ll be able to provide not just for the two of you, but for your future children as well. Remember that glass ceiling I mentioned above? It exists. Women still want equal pay for equal work, while also shouldering the bulk of childcare and housework responsibilities, while men work. So whether she’s building her career or decides to spend formative years with her babies, she needs to know that if and when she needs it, her man will provide where she can’t.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s become taboo to talk about a man as a provider. The mere word “provider” will trigger a number of knee-jerk comebacks: “gold-digger,” “sugar-daddy,” “materialist,” just to name a few. As a result, most women today won’t even broach the subject for fear of being branded with those labels. Nevertheless, just because they won’t bring it up, doesn’t make them any less concerned. Yes, there is such thing as unconditional love. But there are also such things as rent and college tuition.

So how does one assure their lady that they will make a good provider for her and her children? Well, as mentioned before little gestures go a long way. Don’t ask her to split a dinner check: after all, if you can’t afford dinner, can you afford school tuition? (It’s perfectly appropriate, however, to accept her dinner invitation if she specifies that she is taking you to dinner.) Don’t request gas money, if you pay for parking on the date. You get the picture.

Stepping up and being the man every woman desires really isn’t difficult. It’s a state of mind, not the state of your physique or bank account. How you present it, on the other hand, is all up to you.

This post originally appeared at YourTango.

By Cadoc

5 Ways To Get To A Place Of Forgiveness — Even If It Seems Out of Reach


When we are hurt and angry forgiveness seems impossible. But forgiveness is important.

Did somebody do something to you that you simply can’t forgive?

Perhaps your sister embarrassed you AGAIN at a family gathering with something she said. Perhaps your husband chose your mother-in-law’s side in a discussion about where to spend Easter. Or a good friend forgot to invite you to her Cabi party.

And are you so angry, so hurt, that you just can’t get past it?

I am here to tell you that you can learn how to forgive . Holding a grudge is one of the worst things that you can do for your health . So don’t!

Here are the 5 ways to forgive even if it seems out of reach:

1. Recognize that everyone is human.

Everyone is doing the best that they can. Let me say that again. Everyone is doing the best that they can.

The person who you are today, right now, is the result of a lifetime of experiences, experiences that include how your mother loved you when you were a child and the way that taxi driver splashed you with a muddy puddle this morning.

It is a combination of those things that determine how you react to something the way you do. The same rules apply to other people .

You know that co-worker who is rude to you every morning when you come into the office? Who doesn’t greet you with a smile and small talk? Do you resent that person, think perhaps she is a bitch? Do you spend way too much time thinking about it during meetings?

That co-worker is just a person, doing the best that she can, and you have no idea what she is dealing with. Perhaps she has an autistic child who needs to be dropped off at the daycare in the morning and the process is devastating every time. Might that person not be able to greet you with a happy smile in the morning? Might that person be more in need of some compassion from you?

Don’t assume anything about anyone. We are all just doing the best that we can . We are human, after all.

2. Don’t take everything personally.

It is not all about you. Again, it is not all about you.

“What’s this?” you think. “Of course it’s all about me.”

When someone hurts you, I can guarantee that they almost never set out to hurt you. What they do might be insensitive but more often than not, hurting you is not the reason why someone does something.

When your husband sides with your mother-in-law about Easter Sunday, he is not doing it on purpose hurt you . He is doing it because he wants to please his mother or even perhaps because he genuinely believes her plan is the better one.

He does not do it because he has no respect for your opinions because he does. And he demonstrated this last week when he applauded your actions around a problem at work.

He did it for his own reasons, ones that have nothing to do with you .

Not taking everything as a personal affront is an excellent way to take steps towards forgiveness. Know that people do things for a variety of reasons and hurting you is rarely one of them.

3. Look to the future, not the past.

Do you want your present and your future to be based on the past ? Or do you want your future to be bright and full of possibilities?

If yes, stop looking to the past and look forward with an open heart.

I have a client whose husband left her a LONG time ago and she still can’t get past it. Everything that is wrong in her life, she blames on his leaving her . Everything.

In an effort to help her forgive her husband and move on, we’ve been working on her building a life for herself. She has found a great job and is under contract in a wonderful apartment. She is dating again and spending lots of time with her grandchildren. For the first time in years, she is happy.

The more she focuses on her present and her future, the less time she spends obsessing about the past and all of her perceived losses. Because that’s what her losses are — perceived. She has no idea how her life might have been if her husband had stayed with her. What she does know is how amazing her life is now.

And that is what counts.

4. Take responsibility.

This is a hard one — to take responsibility for our role in a perceived hurt . But it’s a very important one.

We all play a role in every interaction we have. And, like it or not, our role is as relevant to the outcome as much as the other person’s.

In the case of my client who was irate for not being invited to her friend’s Cabi party, I asked her to take a good look at why she thought she might not have been invited.

At first, she said that she had no idea, that her friend was just a loser. But then, after some reflection, she realized that she hadn’t really enjoyed the last Cabi party and that she might have expressed those feelings to a few of their friends.

Perhaps her friend hadn’t invited her for just that reason? Not because she was a loser and wanted to hurt her friend but maybe because she knew her friend didn’t enjoy the parties and wanted her not to feel compelled to attend?

Hm, that changes things a bit, doesn’t it?

5. Be honest and let it go.

You know when you stay up all night, playing and replaying something that your sister said to you on the phone? How it was just like something that she has said to you your entire lives? How it drives you crazy every time?

Have you ever told her that it drives you crazy every time? Perhaps now is the time.

Being honest with someone about something they are doing that hurts you is important. And it’s important to do so in an honest, nonpassive-aggressive way.

It’s entirely possible that your sister doesn’t know how she repeatedly upsets you. If you tell her you are giving her an opportunity to change or explain her behavior. And if you understand the reasons behind her behaviors you can accept them and let them go.

Because who wants to stay up all night ruminating about their sister’s words and actions? Sleep is a precious thing that shouldn’t be squandered needlessly.

So let it go. Get some sleep. Be happy.

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” So said Alexander Pope in the early 1700s. He knew even back then the virtue found in forgiveness. He knew that we were all doing the best that we can and to forgive is to find God.

So practice forgiveness. Cut those who upset you some slack, accept responsibility for your share of the blame, let go of the past and make yourself a bright future.

Because that’s what we want. No matter how dark our past, we want our future to be bright. And with forgiveness, it can be.

By Nellie