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Come out of the sidelines and into the arena (Quotes to live by)

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

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Human freedom (Quotes to live by)

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor E. Frankl

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Do you really want to ruin your relationship?

Over the past few weeks we have been sharing ways you can unknowingly ruin your relationship. Some of the posts were difficult to read and I really appreciate you hanging in there and continuing despite the discomfort you may have felt. The fact that you are still reading is a sign of your commitment not to ruin your relationship.

As you read the various posts, what did you notice?

I really hope that you sometimes caught yourself in the act of doing things that would ruin your relationship. (And we all do some of these things some of the time, by the way) I hope that you became more aware of your attitudes and behaviours that could damage your marriage if left unchecked. I pray that you paused for a moment at times, and asked yourself: Do I really want to ruin a perfectly good relationship?

If, on the other hand, while reading the emails you only reconfirmed how your spouse is ruining the relationship – you get absolutely no points for that! You actually did not need these...

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And the number one way to ruin your relationship is . . . (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

Over these past few weeks you have learnt many ways to destroy a relationship if you wanted to. We also talked about how to save and protect your marriage if that is what you wish for.

Today, let us talk about the single most effective way to destroy a perfectly good relationship . . .

Have an affair

Of course, you are not going to wake up one morning and say to yourself "I'm going to destroy my relationship by having an affair". No - the path to this destruction needs to be paved slowly and in small steps.

Here is how to begin:

First stage:

  • Have an unexplained discontent with your spouse – but do not discuss it with them or give them a chance to fix things. Keep all your resentments inside, allowing them to fester
  • Feel that you are trapped in your marriage
  • Have an overwhelming sense that your needs are not being met – that you are giving more than you are getting, that your spouse doesn't understand or appreciate you (and make them wrong for not being able to read...
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Keep secrets and tell lies (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

If safety is the foundation of a healthy relationship, trust is the bedrock of that foundation. Marriage relationships can survive many storms and weather some neglect. Long term lack of trust though, weakens its very foundation, destroys the institution and leaves a mere shell of a relationship.

A VERY effective way to begin the slow weakening of your marriage is to keep secrets from your spouse and lie to them about small as well as important things. The longer you continue to abuse the trust that your spouse has likely placed in you, the more difficult it will be to repair the damage that you have done when you are found out – and you will be found out for sure eventually.

Here are five ways that secrets and lies lead you down the slippery slope of marriage destruction:

1) When you continue to lie and keep secrets, you will ensure that your spouse will develop a nagging feeling that something is not quite right. They will have a lingering feeling that you do not truly love...

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Refuse professional help when you need it (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

If you could have solved certain issues in your relationship, you would have done it by now. If your spouse is requesting (begging) for you or the two of you to seek professional help, it is likely because the both of you are stuck in an unhealthy relationship pattern which you have been unable to move beyond. Or you have gone through something that is tearing your relationship apart.

In order to destroy your relationship, Pat Love suggests that you say a version of the following to your spouse when they request you to accompany them to therapy:

"I know more about me than any therapist"
"Those guys are crazier than their patients"
"I don't need some jerk poking around in my private life"
"It's pouring money down the drain"
"You're the one who needs a shrink"
"I just don't believe in it"

Saying things like the above will ensure that your spouse feels not only frustrated and helpless but also loses hope in the future of your relationship together.

If you want to turn your relationship...

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Be abusive (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

We have been talking about "How (not) to ruin a perfectly good relationship" this past month. We have covered lots of ground about what builds and destroys relationships.

It is now time to talk about some more serious things that destroy a relationship. These are "the biggies" - the behaviours that you really should stay away from if you want to keep your relationship healthy. They are also those that are harder to recover from without intervention and support.

Please note that the posts this week are of a sensitive nature. Some may be difficult to read, especially if you or someone you know is going through this stuff. And yet, these are very things that we really do need to talk about if we want to strengthen our relationships and transform relationships within our community. I encourage you to read them even if you think that they do not apply to you. Please feel free to share (discretely) with anyone who might benefit.

So today's edition of How to ruin a perfectly good...

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Make the bed a battle ground (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

Physical intimacy is what differentiates the marriage bond from other close relationships. So a very effective way to destroy your relationship is to use this special and sacred bond as a weapon of war with your spouse.

There are SO many ways to do this. Here are the top 6:

· Don't prioritize it – use kids, work, your to-do list, stress or any number of other excuses not to enjoy intimacy with your spouse.
· Withhold it as a punishment for other issues in your relationship. Hold onto unresolved grievance from the past as the reason. Insist that 'other issues need to be sorted out before we can be intimate'.
· If you are the partner with the lower desire, insist on controlling the frequency of your interaction. Give your spouse the cold shoulder when they make advances. Pretend to fall asleep or to have a headache. Fall for the modern myth about 'not doing it unless you really want to'. Make your spouse wrong for their desire. Say things like: "that's all you...

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Phub your partner (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

Here is a modern way to destroy your relationship: keep "phubbing" your partner: snub your partner by showing them that your smart phone is wayyy more important to you than they are. Be distracted by your cellphone while in the company of your spouse and refuse to change your behaviour when they protest.

According to two recent studies, phubbing is a really effective way to create conflict in the relationship, to lower relationship satisfaction, to lower life satisfaction and to create depression in your spouse.

Here are some ways to perfect the art of phubbing:

· Check your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night – before and after you greet your spouse.
· Always bring your phone to the dinner table and during meals with your spouse, make sure to pull out and check your cell phone.
· Places your cell phone where you can see it when you are together. Keep glancing at it expectantly as if you save you from an intimate moment with your...

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Be a psycho-pest (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

In this day and age, we get relationship advice from many places: friends, family, Google, books, lectures, workshops and therapists. Many of us become familiar with psychological concepts and are very adept at using psychological jargon.

If we are using this information for our own growth and development, with the intention of improving our relationships, it can be a very good thing.

Very often, however, once we read a book or learn a concept, we become REALLY good at identifying how are significant others are falling short and could do with a psychological tune up. We even begin diagnosing our loved with various psychological issues based on our newly acquired expertise.

We gently and not-so-gently remind them how they are not great at communication or are not practicing effective relationship skills. If we are in therapy, we might remind our spouse that they are not following the therapist's recommendations.

This is a fun and easy way to ruin a perfectly good relationship as our...

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