Truth in a relationship

We may find ourselves inhibiting and censoring our truest, deepest worries and fears with the people we love the most. And, our relationships will suffer for it – from the lack of depth, from lack of real connection, and from the shear superficiality of inauthenticity.

Here is a spiritual rule of thumb: the more someone matters to you, the more you owe them your Truth.

But, what is our truth?

Truth is how you actually feel. Not how you are supposed to feel. Not what society says you should feel, or how you think you should feel. It is what you do feel – in your heart. For in our hearts, we all know what those truths are.

When I am talking with a client and they tell me how they really feel, I will ask them if they have shared this with their partner, and invariably they will say, “Well, I can’t say that, can I?”

And I answer: Yes, of course you can.

And you need to.

If you want your relationship to deepen and grow, then you have to trust the love that the relationship is built on. You need to bet on love. Even, in the worse case scenario, if you discover that the relationship cannot handle deeper feelings, then that’s good information to know. It tells you something of the depth and durability of the love. So, you really have nothing to lose in finding this out. And, potentially, everything to gain.

But how do we speak these fragile vulnerabilities, these hurts and pains, when our fear is that if we do, it will just make things worse?

This brings us to another spiritual principle, which is: the truth will make you free. Truth is a precious commodity. Your innocent and uncensored truth, the truth of your heart, is valuable to your relationship. By telling the truth to your partner, you are opening up the possibility for more intimacy in your relationship.

So often, this can be difficult. We can be afraid to say the most important things in our heart for fear of being rejected or abandoned. We can be afraid that they will never understand.

How you share your truth is a delicate matter. People’s feelings can and do get hurt. It’s hard to hear that there may be a difference of opinion or a problem. But not sharing your truth doesn’t allow anything to change at all.

So, how do you share your feelings without hurting, scaring, or upsetting your partner?

The answer is by expressing your truth in vulnerability.

You need to be vulnerable so your partner can hear you. Otherwise, they likely will feel attacked, disparaged, unvalued, belittled, criticized, and mostly, unloved.

So, how we say it really MATTERS. I’m not saying you should be manipulative or strategic – I mean the opposite, in fact. I am saying to speak your vulnerable truth without righteousness or design, without tactic or need to win, but simply, to speak your unguarded, vulnerable, ever-loving truth.

Which means, speak your truth with love.

– Because truth by itself can be brutal and without mercy.

– And, love by itself can be too tolerant, ambiguous, and possibly codependent.

When you put these two principles together, truth plus love, you have power. Now your truth makes an arrow that pierces through, to the heart of the matter – safely – because it is founded on love. You then are gifting your partner with loving truth. It’s like lancing a wound. Now, it can heal.

This is not so easy to do. It takes courage – heart courage – partly because we have to first face our own demons and realize what we really feel, and how we really feel. We must take ourselves into our internal laboratory and be really, really honest with ourselves. By doing this, we are taking responsibility for what our own truth is, without blaming, without harming, and without rancor. It is simply how we feel.

By looking at ourselves first – with compassion – we can begin to heal our lives and everyone in our lives.

Because from a spiritual perspective, when one person gets it, everyone can get it.

We all benefit from your inner awareness. We are all healed by truth. And, the truth will make us all free.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of

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Build intimacy with communication

Communication is the key to harmony and intimacy of a relationship. For a relationship to really shine, the speaker should share the responsibility for ensuring that the conversation went well. So how can you express yourself and your needs in a way that both honors the relationship and gives you the best chance of meeting your needs? By using what I call “the three laws of speaking.” The word “law” may sound a bit strong, but if couples know what to expect when they communicate with their partner, they’re apt to feel safer, which is likely to foster closeness and intimacy.

Law of Speaking #1. You have a choice.

Probably one of the biggest myths perpetuated by pop psychology is the notion that it’s healthy to “let all your feelings out.” This idea came from Freud’s “hydraulic model” of emotions. He wrote that unexpressed feelings can build up if not released, any eventually exert so much pressure on the dam that it breaks, flooding the entire system. Modern research has shown the flaws in this model, especially in regard to certain negative feelings. For example, results from numerous studies show that the cathartic expression of anger only leads to increased feelings of anger. My clinical work also supports this. I’ve observed over and over again that couples meet with disaster when they mistakenly assume that it’s a good thing to share all their thoughts and feelings, whenever and however the mood strikes them.

To put this in more practical terms, you must remember that you have a choice. Simply because you experience a feeling doesn’t mean you have to express it right then and there. Imagine, for example, that checking your credit card statement online, and you’re angry about something your partner bought – you think it’s an extravagant purchase, and wish you’d been consulted. Given that you’re angry, here’s a list of some of the choices you can make:

Whether or not you will express your feelings to your partner. Maybe you’ll decide it’s not really such a big deal after all.

When to express your feelings to your partner. Do you choose to say something at the very moment when your experience that feeling? Do you wait until you calm down? Do you find a time when your partner might be more receptive?

How you express your feelings to your partner. Do you yell, scream, whine, or pout? Do you calmly tell your partner how you feel? Are you direct? Or do you express your angry feelings passively, perhaps by doing something to retaliate or get even?

How you’ll care for yourself and your relationship. Do you take steps to soothe yourself and calm yourself down? You don’t have to tell your partner every feeling about every incident. You have other options: writing in a journal, exercising, reading something funny… Or do you go over in your mind all the past times your partner has done something that made you angry, adding fuel to the fire?

It might seem as if I’m asking you to be over-controlled in your expression of feelings, but I’m not. Certainly, being emotionally shutdown is not the way to create a healthy relationship. But the benefits of expressing your feelings must be balanced against the potential to do harm to the integrity of the relationship, and to your partner’s self-esteem. The key is when and how to express your feelings.

Law of Speaking #2: Assume responsibility for your thoughts and feelings.

In communicating with your partner, you must accept the fact that you alone are responsible for your feelings. No one can “make you mad” – you choose your reactions. Certainly, external factors can conspire to make it more likely that you’ll feel one way or another. For example, if your spouse approaches you in a loud, argumentative tone, accusing you of something you didn’t do, you’re likely to feel somewhat self-righteous and defensive. It’s up to you whether to act on these feelings or to change your thinking in such a way that other feelings can take their place. You might know that your spouse has been under a lot of pressure lately, and your empathy might allow you to react in a completely different, much more generous manner. Ultimately, we all create our own reality. Keeping this in mind, you can polish the rough edges of your statements by prefacing them with, “I think…” Or “I feel…”  This alerts your partner to the fact that you’re owning your thoughts and feelings: you’re making it perfectly clear that you realize that your perceptions are subjective.

Law of Speaking #3: Speak with kindness and clarity.

It’s helpful when you’re talking with your partner about some negative feeling or some complaint to also include positive feelings you have. For example, if you’re annoyed that your partner didn’t do the dishes as he promised, you could begin your conversation noting how much you appreciate the time he spends with the children in the evening. You might also say, “I know you’ve been working hard all day, but I really need your help with the dishes tonight.” Also, show your partner you’re aware of the impact your statements may have. You might start out by saying, “I know it’s hard for you when I say things that sound critical…” Remember, your partner is your friend, lover, and companion: your goal is not only to communicate your feelings fully, but also as graciously as possible. In addition, speak with as much clarity as you can muster. By clarity I mean: stay in the present (don’t dredge up old dirt) and stick with the salient points. No matter what the content, aim for self-expression to be an opportunity to strengthen the core feelings of love and affection that originally drew you together.

Summary of key points:

State your views as your own thoughts and feelings, acknowledging your subjectivity. Begin your statements with “I think…” Or “I feel…” rather than “you never…” Or “you always…”

When expressing negative emotions or criticisms, also include any positive feelings you have about your partner or the situation.

Make your statements as specific as possible.

While expressing yourself, demonstrate your respect for your partner by showing that you are aware of the impact that your statements may have. Show that you care about your partner’s feelings.

Stick to one subject at a time whenever possible.

By following these guidelines, you’ll learn to express yourself in a manner that not only shows respect for your partner, but also help you present your own needs and wishes in a way that makes your partner more willing to help and brings you closer together.

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Three Harsh Truths About Love

The problem with idealizing love is that it causes us to develop unrealistic expectations about what love actually is and what it can do for us. These unrealistic expectations then sabotage the very relationships we hold dear in the first place. Allow me to illustrate:

  1. Love does not equal compatibility. Just because you fall in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good partner for you to be with over the long term. Love is an emotional process; compatibility is a logical process. And the two don’t bleed into one another very well.

It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who doesn’t treat us well, who makes us feel worse about ourselves, who doesn’t hold the same respect for us as we do for them, or who has such a dysfunctional life themselves that they threaten to bring us down with them.

It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who has different ambitions or life goals that are contradictory to our own, who holds different philosophical beliefs or worldviews that clash with our own sense of reality.

It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who sucks for us and our happiness.

That may sound paradoxical, but it’s true.

When I think of all of the disastrous relationships I’ve seen or people have emailed me about, many (or most) of them were entered into on the basis of emotion — they felt that “spark” and so they just dove in head first. Forget that he was a born-again Christian alcoholic and she was an acid-dropping bisexual necrophiliac. It just felt right.

And then six months later, when she’s throwing his shit out onto the lawn and he’s praying to Jesus twelve times a day for her salvation, they look around and wonder, “Gee, where did it go wrong?”

The truth is, it went wrong before it even began.

When dating and looking for a partner, you must use not only your heart, but your mind. Yes, you want to find someone who makes your heart flutter and your farts smell like cherry popsicles. But you also need to evaluate a person’s values, how they treat themselves, how they treat those close to them, their ambitions and their worldviews in general. Because if you fall in love with someone who is incompatible with you…well, as the ski instructor from South Park once said, you’re going to have a bad time.

  1. Love does not solve your relationship problems. My first girlfriend and I were madly in love with each other. We also lived in different cities, had no money to see each other, had families who hated each other, and went through weekly bouts of meaningless drama and fighting.

And every time we fought, we’d come back to each other the next day and make up and remind each other how crazy we were about one another and that none of those little things matter because we’re omg so in love and we’ll find a way to work it out and everything will be great, just you wait and see. Our love made us feel like we were overcoming our issues, when on a practical level, absolutely nothing had changed.

As you can imagine, none of our problems got resolved. The fights repeated themselves. The arguments got worse. Our inability to ever see each other hung around our necks like an albatross. We were both self-absorbed to the point where we couldn’t even communicate that effectively. Hours and hours talking on the phone with nothing actually said. Looking back, there was no hope that it was going to last. Yet we kept it up for three fucking years!

After all, love conquers all, right?

Unsurprisingly, that relationship burst into flames and crashed like the Hindenburg being doused in jet fuel. The break up was ugly. And the big lesson I took away from it was this: while love may make you feel better about your relationship problems, it doesn’t actually solve any of your relationship problems.

The roller coaster of emotions can be intoxicating, each high feeling even more important and more valid than the one before, but unless there’s a stable and practical foundation beneath your feet, that rising tide of emotion will eventually come and wash it all away.

  1. Love is not always worth sacrificing yourself. One of the defining characteristics of loving someone is that you are able to think outside of yourself and your own needs to help care for another person and their needs as well.

But the question that doesn’t get asked often enough is exactly what are you sacrificing, and is it worth it?

In  loving relationships, it’s normal for both people to occasionally sacrifice their own desires, their own needs, and their own time for one another. I would argue that this is normal and healthy and a big part of what makes a relationship so great.

But when it comes to sacrificing one’s self-respect, one’s dignity, one’s physical body, one’s ambitions and life purpose, just to be with someone, then that same love becomes problematic. A loving relationship is supposed to supplement our individual identity, not damage it or replace it. If we find ourselves in situations where we’re tolerating disrespectful or abusive behavior, then that’s essentially what we’re doing: we’re allowing our love to consume us and negate us, and if we’re not careful, it will leave us as a shell of the person we once were.

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Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement, sometimes called a ‘living together agreement’ is a plan that maps out the financial aspects of your relationship, and can protect you both if the relationship breaks down.

This doesn’t mean you don’t trust each other or that you’re planning to separate. But it might just clear up some of the question marks about how you would sort things out if things don’t work out.

If you and your partner aren’t married, there are very few laws protecting you in the event of a breakup. Contrary to what many people think, there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’ status, no matter how long you live together. So, if marriage isn’t for you, you might want to take some measures towards protecting your rights.

A cohabitation agreement is a contract you can draw up together, with the help of a Family Solicitor. It can protect you in the event of a breakup, even if things end up having to go to court.

Why you might want a cohabitation agreement

A cohabitation protects your and your partner’s financial rights, which can include your home – whether you own it or rent it – all your property, and the money you spend on bills.

If you separate without a formal agreement, you’d have to divide up your property and deal with the finances yourselves, which could be particularly difficult during a breakup. Getting all of this down on paper while you’re still happy and on good terms could save you this trouble in the future, should anything go wrong.

How do you bring it up?

When you’re in a happy relationship, planning for a breakup might seem like the worst idea in the world. However, if you feel like you want to be ready just in case, it’s important to find the right way to broach the subject with your partner.

Let your partner know your reasons for wanting to set up an agreement. Make sure they understand that you want it to be a joint decision to protect both of you.

It might help to think of it like buying insurance. A cohabitation agreement can protect you if one of you dies, or if you break up. You’re not planning any of that to happen, you’re just giving yourself one less thing to worry about if it does.

Essentially, it’s a way of solidifying your financial rights without getting married, and it might just give you a little peace of mind as you embark on the adventure of living together.

You can talk to any Family Solicitor about this. In the first instance, you might want to give our partners at Co-op Legal Services a call for a free initial consultation.

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The solution of broken relationships

Who does not want to control the destiny of their romantic relationships? But the problem of commitment also extends to other important areas of life – our work, friends, hobbies, volunteer work, and projects. We also wonder about the commitment of others to us: “Does he really love me?” “Would I fight for my boss if there are cuts in the workplace” “? How can I get this group to work with more dedication”

Commitment “is a psychological experience that is attached to something and intend to stay with it.” What makes you committed enough to stick with a person or purpose? What makes you dedicated to your workout routine? Or for your work? And what made you start doubting specific commitments? Reeder empties all of the variables that contribute to the commitment, or lack thereof, to be useful, the 4-factor equation which I will reveal below.

Can all the factors which contribute to a commitment really be distilled into a simple formula? Unbelievably, yes, pretty much so. Based on over 50 studies, 2/3 of all commitments can be explained by these 4 factors:

  • Treasures–the rewards you get from pursuing the relationship or goal
  • Troubles–the difficulties you experience
  • Contributions–the time, energy, and tangible resources you’ve devoted to your relationship
  • Choices–the options you do or don’t have

The resulting equation looks like this:

Level of Commitment = (Treasures – Troubles) + Contributions – Choices

Let’s take a closer look at this equation.


Treasures and Troubles.

The first part of the equation—“Treasures Minus Troubles”—is in parentheses because the two interact to create your level of satisfaction within a relationship. These two variables seem obvious.  In any decision, weighing the positives and the negatives of a commitment seems like a no-brainer. But Reeder points out subtleties that aren’t at all evident at first. For example, troubles stand out like a sore thumb, whereas treasures are often taken for granted. Our brain’s built-in “negativity bias” means that we will be more conscious of troubles than treasures. Therefore, treasures need to outweigh troubles, usually by a ratio of about 5 to 1, for the relationship to be satisfying.

Contributions.  For better or for worse, contributions increase commitment.  To quote Reeder, “Where resources go, commitment will grow.”  “Contributions” is a critical factor in changing your level of commitment because it’s the factor in the equation that’s most under your control. Do you want to be more committed to someone or something? Increase your contributions to the relationship. Are you interested in 50 ways to leave your lover? One of them is to decrease your contributions. (“Just start giving less, Tess.”)



Having choices decreases commitment. If you believe that there are lots of potential partners out there in the singles world, for example, your commitment to your current partner could be weakened or devalued. Even the perception of choice decreases commitment. In this blog, Reeder explains how even looking at porn can weaken relationship commitment because of the perception of all the available sex partners out there—even if they are imaginary!

Reeder summarizes the role of choice like this: “If you want to increase commitment in your life, the message from social science research is clear: stay focused on what’s important and devalue your other options, concrete or imaginary…. Contribute to what matters most and avoid the rest.”

It is one of the strengths of the book is that Reeder never over-idealizes the virtues of commitment. There are some goals and relationships that are simply not worth pursuing.  Reeder offers great advice about when and how to prune away harmful or time-wasting commitments, namely: Put less emphasis on treasures, reduce contributions, and become more aware of troubles and choices.

I was so fascinated by Commit to Win that I read it like a novel. In fact (disclosure ahead), I loved the book so much that I wrote a blurb for it. The book contained more “treasures” than I can include in a short review. Among many other gems, there’s a terrific discussion of the 7 myths of commitment. I particularly liked her point that commitment is not like an on/off switch—it’s more like a dimmer switch that we are constantly adjusting. Reeder also provides useful answers to questions such as:  Why do so many people remain stuck in unhappy relationships?  Does marriage increase commitment?  What can people do to weaken commitment in an unsatisfying or abusive relationship?  You will also learn how your commitments are affected by such psychological processes as “The IKEA Effect,” “The Accumulation Effect,” and “The Entrapment Effect.”

The “troubles” in this book are few. Because of my own interests, I would have liked a longer discussion about the interaction between “motivation,” “values,” and “commitment.” I’m also curious about the 1/3 of commitments that are not explainable by the Commitment Equation. Still, Reeder makes her points well. Thanks to her lucid style and deep knowledge of the research, I found that the main ideas in Commit to Win were firmly etched into my brain by the end of the book.

Although you have many other reading “choices,” I think you’ll find that “contributions” of your time and energy to Commit to Win will be well worth it.  Reeder’s work will give you a new way of thinking about commitment. As she states, “The real benefit of determining what deserves your commitment is a life of greater purpose and meaning.” You may find, as I do, that you’ll ponder the Commitment Equation almost every day to evaluate the worth of your various relationship investments.

© Meg Selig

I am the author of Changepower! 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success (Routledge, 2009).  For info on mental habits, health habits, willpower and related topics, follow me on Twitter at @megselig1 or on Facebook.


Reeder, H. (2014) Commit to Win: How to Harness the Four Elements of Commitment to Reach Your Goals. (NY: Hudson Street Press).  (Note: The book will be on sale May 15 but may be pre-ordered now.)


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Conversation is about skill and not an art

“Conversation … is the art of never appearing a bore, of knowing how to say everything interestingly, to entertain with no matter what, to be charming with nothing at all.”

The ability to converse well with others is not some elusive thing, obtainable only by a chosen few. With a little elbow grease, even shy women can learn to feel comfortable speaking with anyone, about anything. Here’s my tried and true formula:

  • Take a personal inventory. Make a list of your personal strengths and accomplishments. Keep this with you at all times, and add to it. Review it regularly, but especially before entering social situations that usually cause you discomfort. This will remind you that you do have much to offer.
  • Ask a friend. Request honest input from a trusted friend. How does she think you come across in social situations? What does she think you do well? How could you converse more effectively with others? Better yet, ask a couple of confidantes for their assessment of you.

Now you are ready to make a Self-Development list. Chances are good that one or more of the following steps will address your weak areas:

  • Speak less and listen more. People love to speak about themselves. In social situations, be sure to ask others about their interests, work, opinions, etc. This will take the focus off of you. A side benefit of this approach is that you will invariably be viewed as a great conversationalist, even though you’ve said little or nothing!
  • Develop your sense of humor. Begin taking note of the things that make you laugh. Pay attention to what others find humorous. You don’t have to be particularly quick-witted or a great storyteller in order to make others laugh. In fact, some of the funniest (and safest) material is that which is self-deprecating. As a side benefit this approach lets your listener know that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Brush up on current events. Even with limited time, you can have a cursory knowledge of what’s happening in the world. Subscribe to a weekly news magazine or at least skim the headlines of a daily paper. You can even catch the news online these days! You don’t have to be an expert in order to casually refer to something that is newsworthy.
  • Keep track of new and interesting experiences. What have you recently enjoyed? A trip to a space museum? Thai food? Your first opera? Fly-fishing? New (and attention-getting) experiences will always provide fodder for stimulating conversation.
  • Be a bearer of good tidings. Keep your comments upbeat and enthusiastic. People are instinctively drawn to positive conversation. And notice how quickly they will excuse themselves if you begin discussing your current health problems!
  • Keep your own comments short and to the point. No one is interested in hearing you drone on about your own opinions or achievements. Brevity and humility go a long way in social situations.

In sum, you need be neither a rocket scientist nor a brain surgeon in order to participate in lively conversation. Being a good listener is half the battle. Having fresh information to share, and delivering it with a sense of humor, is the other half. Maybe that next cocktail party won’t be so bad, after all!

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Relationship – The way to Reviving Your Marriage

Maintaining personal health requires work — exercise, good nutrition, rest and regular checkups. No one teaches us that the same kind of maintenance is also necessary in order to keep a marriage alive. Love between a parent and child is unconditional. Love between a husband and wife is not. As divorce statistics would indicate, an untended marriage falls apart too easily. The good news is that there are ways to make a marriage survive, and better yet, thrive.

Is your marriage alive and well, or is it time to dial 911? Chances are the health of your relationship falls somewhere in the middle — slightly out of shape and tired. Unfortunately most of us tend to take the health of a marriage for granted. And we don’t realize how important a happy, healthy relationship is until it’s time for marital CPR.

Your Marital Diagnosis

There are warning signs or “symptoms” when your marriage is “under the weather.” Here are some key symptoms:

feelings of chronic resentment toward your spouse
lack of laughter between the two of you
desire to spend free time with someone other than your mate
too much time spent playing the “blame game”
conversations between you are laced with bitterness and sarcasm

Relationship Revival Program

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? If so, it’s time to revive your marriage by following this program.

Make the marriage your priority, not an afterthought. Set aside regular time to be alone with your partner. If kids are in the picture, hunt for a “network” of trusted babysitters. If money is a concern, compare the cost of a night out with that of marital therapy or a divorce attorney! Get the drift? Start doing some of the things that used to bring you joy, and helped you to feel more connected. There are plenty of activities that you can do for free — a long walk, star gazing or window-shopping are all simple pleasures that can bring you closer together.

Resuscitate your romance. Remember how the sparks flew when you first met? It’s probably not too late to rekindle the embers. Surprise your spouse with a homemade Valentine (any day of the year!) and a bottle of champagne. Light up the bedroom with candles, or put a love note in his briefcase. Last but not least, initiate lovemaking. Passion is the glue in a marriage — it helps you feel close to your mate, and makes getting through rough times a lot easier.
Accept what you can’t change. Much marital strife is caused by the belief that you cannot be happy in your marriage as long as you must live with your partner’s bad habits or imperfections. Have you noticed that no matter how much you gripe and moan, these things don’t change? Rather than trying to control what you can’t, work around his quirks and focus on the positive. We all respond much better to praise than to criticism. And here’s the paradox: Sometimes when we stop fighting the way things are, they actually do change. No guarantees, but it’s worth a try.
Be attractive, inside and out. “Married” doesn’t have to mean complacent. Continue to learn and experience new things, and share these with your partner. Eat right, exercise, rest and make the most of your appearance. Doing these things is taking good care of yourself, but it’s also a way of showing your mate that you want to be your best and share yourself with him.
Improve communication and negotiation skills. Being a good listener is key to healthy communication. Even if you don’t agree with what he’s had to say, empathize with his position. This will open the door to more effective conflict resolution. If you must be critical, convert criticism into a request for behavioral change by stating it positively. Most important, apologize when you are wrong.

There are no marriages made in heaven. But by devoting time and energy to reviving your marriage, you’ll once again feel your relationship pulse beating strong and steady.

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Dating across different cultures

Historically, falling for someone from another culture might have been big trouble, but a lot has changed over the last few decades and people are generally much more accepting of young people’s choices of partner these days.

Keeping lines of communication open can help strengthen your relationship, particularly if you and your partner come from different cultural backgrounds.

Research shows that dating across different cultures – which includes different races, ethnicities, or different faiths – has become much more common among young people and carries less stigma than it used to. Some studies have shown that couples from different cultures might be more likely to experience conflict in their relationships.

Talking about these difficulties, however, not only alleviates the conflict but can actually help your relationship to develop and grow stronger. In other words, having differences can be a really positive thing, as long as you celebrate them. Making an effort to understand and appreciate each other’s backgrounds can be an enriching experience that also helps you maintain your relationship quality.

If you have a partner whose religious beliefs are different to your own, you may find your differences are particularly pronounced, which could lead to more disagreements that are harder to resolve. This may be because we often develop our religious beliefs from a young age, but also because we feel them strongly and can struggle to articulate them.

On the other hand, you may also find it’s possible to ignore your religious differences for the most part. They may not affect your romantic relationships at all until you reach major life events like marriage – when you’re younger and still exploring relationships, religion doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge issue.

Generally speaking, it’s really helpful to be open and communicative about any cultural or religious differences you have with your partner, as this can help you both feel more satisfied with your relationship.

If you’re in a relationship with someone from a different culture or religion and you haven’t talked about it yet, have a think about how you might express an interest in your partner’s background and beliefs, and see where it takes you. Let us know how you get on in the comments below.


[1] Reiter, M. J., & Gee, C. B. (2008). Open communication and partner support in intercultural and interfaith romantic relationships: A relational maintenance approach. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships25(4), 539-559.

[2] Perel, E. (2000). A tourist’s view of marriage: Cross-cultural couples – challenges, choices, and implications for therapy. In P. Papp (Ed.), Couples on the fault line: New directions for therapists (pp. 178–204). New York: Guilford Press.

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One thing that makes women hate men

Trivial mistake, move never forgiven can be ignored by them. Uncertainty women makes it more difficult to analyze the most common reason for them to throw people. Every woman approached the relationship with subjective means so much, so what makes a serious enough reason for a woman to throw her husband may appear to be known by others.

Trust related reasons

  • Secondary affairs or multiple affairs of men constitute a reasonable cause for many women dumping their men. Cheating or breaking trust is unforgivable for many of them and when found that the man is dating with someone else too, they may avoid the man.
  • Another trust related reason is telling lies to them or pretending to be good. Many men try to continue I relationship by telling lies one after another to maintain trust between the two and also to cover up his relationships with other people or mistakes.
  • When men do not adhere to the promises or commitments, it is also considered as an act of distrust. Women do not generally tolerate a person who cannot be trusted.

Too much controlling

  • When woman feels that the man is too much controlling or a control freak, they may possibly get away from the relationship. Some men are very much authoritarian and demand submissiveness from women. Such character is always hated as today; even women prefer self dignity and self sufficiency.
  • Certain people do not let the woman to keep control of the money she earned. Financial understanding and sharing is good, but if the man asks her to hand over the earnings to him and get from him as and when needed, is a possible reason for women dumping men.
  • Dominating over her personal life and sexuality is another reason for avoiding men by many women. Relationship for women is not slavery or being conquered by men by all means. When she feels that she is being used by the man for self satisfaction, she may dump him off.


  • Irresponsible men are more likely to be dumped by women. Many men in relationships just leave all the responsibilities to the woman and roam around without caring of the household responsibilities or financial requirements. Such men are always dumped of by women.
  • Responsibility just doesn’t mean providing all the material supplies to home and supporting the partner financially. Being responsible on the health, emotions etc… are essential. When women feel they are not concerned or taken care of properly, they may get away from the relationship seeking a better partner.


Many women leave men when greater levels of independency are found in men. When they do not adhere to the promises and commitments it is considered independency. Women expect the partner to be worth depending in all the needs of life. When the partner feels that she cannot depend on the man for essential support when she needs it at various instances of life, she may dump the man and get into other relationships.

Unwanted rules and regulations

Many men establish unwanted set of rules and unnecessary regulations at home. This will make the women feeling as if in a prison, instead of in a relationship. When the freedom for expression and movement is questioned or regulated by the man, she may get frustrated with the relationship and think about leaving the person and get into another life. Any rules implemented at home must be taken by common preferences and also only after mutual discussion.

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A happy relationship, not just rely on communication

In an Internet-based study involving 2,201 participants referred by couples counselors, scientists decided to test, head to head, seven “relationship competencies” that previous researchers and marital therapists found to be important in promoting happiness in romantic relationships. The idea was to rank the skills in order of importance to start building data on which aspects of relationships are most important to keeping them healthy. In addition to communication and conflict resolution, the researchers tested for sex or romance, stress management, life skills, knowledge of partners and self-management to see which ones were the best predictors of relationship satisfaction. Couples were asked questions that tested their competency in all of these areas and then queried about how satisfied they were with their relationships. The researchers correlated each partner’s strengths and weaknesses in each area with the person’ relationship satisfaction.

Not surprisingly, those who reported communicating more effectively showed the highest satisfaction with their relationships. But the next two factors — which were also the only other ones with strong links to couple happiness — were knowledge of partner (which included everything from knowing their pizza-topping preferences to their hopes and dreams) and life skills (being able to hold a job, manage money, etc.).

Couples counselors, however, rarely address these two areas, as the focus on strengthening relationships has been on improving communication to reduce destructive behavior and to build support and comfort for each other. “For the last 25 years,” says Tom Bradbury, a veteran couples researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, “the prevailing attitude has been that relationships need to meet our emotional needs.” To be successful, however, he’s also found that relationships need to function in more practical, and perhaps mundane ways as well.

And learning more about your partner, says the study’s lead author Robert Epstein, a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific, in Fiji, could be relatively easy if people (men especially, since they scored worse in this area) took the trouble to find out, remember and put to use such relatively simple information as the names of their partner’s relatives and the dates of birthdays and anniversaries. Even more important, Epstein says, is knowing such critical things as whether your partner wants children. While his study did not separate trivial from such profound knowledge, he says that the two are strongly linked.

While other marriage researchers agree that forgetting things like birthdays or food preferences can be annoying and detrimental to a relationship, they believe the importance of life skills that was revealed in the study is telling.

“It’s an old idea, really,” says Bradbury. “In 1900 a woman or man would think, ‘My partner must be able to provide for me.’ ‘She must be able to help me plant and dig up the crops.’” If the couple had this foundation, they’d consider themselves lucky if they also got their emotional needs met. In Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, historian Stephanie Coontz traces the gradual erosion of this old idea of marriage back about 200 years in Western society as cultural expectations about marriage changed from one rooted in kinship, property and utility to one in which people were expected to get nearly all of their emotional needs met by one person.


For today’s couples interested in improving their relationships, say the study’s authors, therapists might consider going back to the basics and incorporating more practical social skills into their discussions. And that may include referring those who lack these skills to money managers or career coaches. “Communication skills are necessary,” says Lisa Neff, couples researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, “but they’re not sufficient when couples are under stress.”

It’s important for couples to know how the outside world — whether they can get a job, whether their kids can play outside safely or go to a good school — will affect their relationship even if they have good life skills and good communication skills. Strong relationships, says Bradbury, recognizes how pressures outside of home and the relationship can influence, and even break down good communication skills.

“Outside,” Bradbury says, “there is a real world that impinges on us.” To deal with it takes not only communication, but also an understanding that even the strongest communication networks among partners can falter and when they’re under these intense external pressure. The strategy he suggests for couples he counsels is to join forces rather than turn away from each other. “It’s not you against each other; it’s you against the world,” he says.

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