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Is romance real? Where’s the best place to find love?
What is the role of sibling rivalry in child development?
And, what is the true relationship between fear and control?

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Children are unique – one of a kind, even among twins. This fact of a person having no replica of themselves in a world of seven billion individuals makes each human being a “precious jewel.” And when such uniqueness is recognized and celebrated for what it is, the human race as a whole benefits, perpetually.
“Marriage is a two-way street” is a common metaphor that’s used to explain or illustrate marriage; but is it the best possible one?
Maybe, “Marriage is a one-way street with two lanes” serves as a better metaphor.
Conflict in the form of Sibling Rivalry is commonplace and when it occurs, parents should view it as teachable moments to assist children with understanding themselves and others. The outcome can serve as life lessons for the present and for the future.
You can’t make a person become someone they don’t want to be. You can’t make them become polite if they want to be impolite; nor can you make them become impolite if they choose to be polite. While it is true that “you can’t make a person change,” people are cable of change, but they change only when they want to. Understanding this is important – especially within the context of a romantic love relationship.
Almost everyone who enters a romantic love relationship does so with the mindset that says, “I’m looking for someone who is good for me.” There’s a better way to “finding” the person you’re looking for, and that is to, Be That Person!
Everyone needs someone to talk to; someone with whom they can express a thought, an idea, or an opinion; talk about their anger, their joy, or their pain; and discuss their challenges and their victories – someone with whom they feel comfortable; someone they believe they can trust. And that someone should first and foremost be a family member – especially for spouses and children.
All children need and want structure; some need more than they want and others want more than they need, but all need and want structure. The structure a child receives from his or her parents will vary from family to family depending on factors such as religion, culture, and the amount of structure the parents themselves received in childhood. Here are five fundamental principles to consider when thinking about structure for children.
Human beings are social creatures and as such, all need to belong – to have a sense of connection to another member of their species, where they find enjoyment and fulfillment. Belongingness should originate for all is the family unit – that fundamental building block of society. The question today is, do you feel a sense of belongingness to your family?
All families are both functional and dysfunctional, although not so in the same way, at the same time, to the same degree. All human beings want and need to belong, and we want to feel good about the families to which we belong. But having a functional family requires work.
Planning isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but is a discipline that can serve a person well. It’s an activity that requires critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and problem solving. It is sometimes referred to and treated as the flip side of spontaneity. Planning and spontaneity, however, are not rivals. In fact, they are often more hand-in- glove than most people believe.
Jack and Jill are the love in the relationships. Human beings are the love in our relationships – especially when love is viewed through the lens of virtues like kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. All humans have the capacity to be love; not just be loved, but to be love. Second, love is a choice. And third, given that all humans are capable of love and have the ability to choose, they can choose be love for someone they don’t know or have ever met.
Family is the context, perhaps more so than any others, where boundaries may be crossed rather easily, and consequently cause friction and conflict.  Boundaries offer great protective value.  So, what’s one to do when family cross a boundary?
First, remind them that boundaries have been established and they need to be honored.  And second, hold them to the established boundary.
Attachment is the essential ingredient for a successful life. When children have secure attachments, they do well in school and make lots of friends. Adults with secure attachments have great relationships when they marry. British psychiatrist John Bowlby’s pioneering work has led to the development of what is referred to as attachment styles, and social scientists have established a total of four styles…
Is there a soul mate for you? The one person in the world who is the best possible spouse for you? The one person who “fit’s you like a glove;” in a way that no other ever could! And, if you were to believe that there is one special person in the world with whom you could have that special spousal relationship, how long would it take you to find that person? Let’s do the math!
Let me introduce you to a word if you aren’t already familiar with it. The word is PRO-PIN-QUITY. You’re more familiar with its cousin proximity, which too means nearness but more so in time and order. The nearness with which pro-pin- quity is more often associated, is the forming of relationships, which has two dimensions: 1) the physical and 2) the psychological. Physical pro-pin-quity says that the more physical exposure you have to a person, the greater the likelihood of you getting to know them and, possibly coming to like them. Psychological pro-pin-quity says that the nearer you are to someone on characteristics and qualities such as worldview, religion, politics, and education, the greater the likelihood of you becoming friends with that person and forming a long-term relationship with them.
If two people have been in a relationship for an extended period and are unable to know what the thoughts and or behaviors of one or the other are in every circumstance or situation without it having to be “spelled out,” does that mean that they don’t know the person at all? Perhaps, that is one of the messages implied by the 1970’s hit song, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now…” It infers that if two people are in a love relationship over an extended period they should know each other quite well; but if they don’t know, given the lengthy time in the relationship, then perhaps they would never know each other. Is the song correct?
What would you say is one of the largest contributors to a successful relationship? If you say communication, I agree. When we use speech in ways that leave a person feeling good, either about themselves or others, it is one of the best tools for building great relationships. Enrich your relationships by speaking positively. Use language that builds rather than destroys.
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to say something to someone but didn’t know quite how to say it?  Maybe because you’re afraid of hurting their feelings, or because you just don’t know how to go about doing it?  Hint:  Say It Straight!  Being straight doesn’t mean that you have to sour, or that you have to be salty, or that you have to be sadistic.  You can be straight and sweet; here’s how!
Forgive! This 7-letter word in the English language speaks volumes, because at its very utterance it means so many things to so many people, and within the context of love relationships it means as many different things as there are many different relationships – because of experiences. The concept of forgive includes things like the expression of an apology; principles like regret, remorse and repentance; practices like resolution and reconciliation; behaviors like anticipation, avoidance, and prevention; and values like faith, trust, and trustworthiness.
Perhaps, although most people say love is the #1 reason to marry, it isn’t. And perhaps, it’s not marriage that’s becoming obsolete, or archaic, or unfashionable; it’s love. Marriage isn’t where you go looking for love. Begin to think anew about why you marry.


Is Romance real?  A young dating couple was stunned at what Dr. Martinez said about Romance when they presented for their first counseling session with him.  During the 12th Century, before the invention of radio, television, and computers and all of it related technologies, romance was the story-telling language used by entertainers to make a living; just as story-telling is used today in songs and poetry.  There are several important facts about romance, one of which is knowing what role it could play in 21st century relationships.
What thoughts or images come to mind when you hear the phrase “Tough Love?” Just as a rose by any other name is still a rose, and just as a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf, harshness dressed in the petals of love is still harshness. Abandon the concept of tough love.
Instead, embrace love in all of its attributes, and you’ll experience a positive transformation in your life and in all of the lives that you touch.
Fear and control are familiar bed-fellows that share an inverse relationship – when one is high, the other is low. All relationships – whether dating or married, are susceptible to this dynamic dance, because relationships are made up of individuals. And one of the best antidotes for fear is a plan – one with measurable goals that are time-sensitive with due dates.

One of the characteristics of a healthy relationship is intimacy, which is the degree of closeness, familiarity, connectedness, and affection one person has with another. Any relationship that allows intimacy to be realized and enjoyed is a rich one. But it must also be aware that lurking just beneath the surface is a threat – one greater than having a misconstrued and narrow that all intimacy is physical. That threat, “individualism.”

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