Marriage and Boundaries

marriage boundaries

Is it okay to have friends of the opposite sex when you are married? Is it okay to keep secrets from your spouse? Is it okay view pornography when you’re married? Is it okay to be facebook friends with your ex?

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. Each relationship has its own rules. But here are some guidelines to keep you from crossing the line:

1. Your spouse should be your top priority. If s/he is uncomfortable with another relationship that you have, you should end it. That “friend” should not be as important to you as your spouse.

2. If you find you are telling your “friend” your spouse’s secrets, but keeping secrets about your “friend” from your spouse, you have crossed the line. Your loyalty is to your spouse, not your “friend.”

3. If you find yourself deleting messages, pictures, etc. from your phone or computer, password-protecting electronic information from your spouse, or otherwise keeping secrets from your spouse, you are crossing the line.

4. If you have feelings of guilt about your behavior, you have crossed the line.

5. If you are starting to develop romantic feelings toward your “friend,” you should end that relationship.

6. It is up to your spouse whether or not s/he is comfortable with you being friends on facebook with your ex. If your spouse is uncomfortable with it, this is definitely not the battle to pick. It’s just facebook.

To sum up, your spouse is your priority, your loyalty. If someone threatens to come between the openness in your marriage relationship, end your relationship with that person.

What Drains Your Energy?

I don’t know about you but during the course of the week I find myself drained by the middle of the week.  I started to think Hmm what bad habits am I doing that cause my energy to be sapped out of me like a vacuum.  Well I can confirm about 2-3 of the bad habits below that make me feel tired and zapp my energy. I’ve decided to make an effort to better my self and eliminate at least one of these bad habits a week and monitor my energy levels.  Check it out it’s interesting.

Lack of sleep isn’t the only thing sapping your energy.

Little things you do (and don’t do) can exhaust you both mentally and physically, which can make getting through your day a chore.

Here, experts reveal common bad habits that can make you feel tired, plus simple lifestyle tweaks that will put the pep back in your step.

You skip exercise when you’re tired

Skipping your workout to save energy actually works against you.

In a University of Georgia study, sedentary but otherwise healthy adults who began exercising lightly three days a week for as little as 20 minutes at a time reported feeling less fatigued and more energized after six weeks.

Regular exercise boosts strength and endurance, helps make your cardiovascular system run more efficiently, and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. So next time you’re tempted to crash on the couch, at least go for a brisk walk—you won’t regret it.

You don’t drink enough water

Being even slightly dehydrated—as little as 2% of normal fluid loss—takes a toll on energy levels, says Amy Goodson, RD, a dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine.

Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume, explains Goodson, which makes the blood thicker. This requires your heart to pump less efficiently, reducing the speed at which oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs.

To calculate your normal fluid needs, take your weight in pounds, divide in half and drink that number of ounces of fluid a day, Goodson recommends.

You’re not consuming enough iron

An iron deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, weak, and unable to focus.

“It makes you tired because less oxygen travels to the muscles and cells,” says Goodson.

Boost your iron intake to reduce your risk of anemia: load up on lean beef, kidney beans, tofu, eggs (including the yolk), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and peanut butter, and pair them with foods high in vitamin C (vitamin C improves iron absorption when eaten together), suggests Goodson.

Note: an iron deficiency may be due to an underlying health problem, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms of iron deficiency, you should visit your doc.

You’re a perfectionist

Striving to be perfect—which, let’s face it, is impossible—makes you work much harder and longer than necessary, says Irene S. Levine, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine.

“You set goals that are so unrealistic that they are difficult or impossible to achieve, and in the end, there is no sense of self-satisfaction.”

Levine recommends setting a time limit for yourself on your projects, and taking care to obey it. In time, you’ll realize that the extra time you were taking wasn’t actually improving your work.

You make mountains out of molehills

If you assume that you’re about to get fired when your boss calls you into an unexpected meeting, or you’re too afraid to ride your bike because you worry you’ll get into an accident, then you’re guilty of “catastrophizing,” or expecting that the worst-case scenario will always occur. This anxiety can paralyze you and make you mentally exhausted, says Levine.

When you catch yourself having these thoughts, take a deep breath and ask yourself how likely it is that the worst really will happen. Getting outdoors, meditating, exercising, or sharing your concerns with a friend may help you better cope and become more realistic.

You skip breakfast

The food you eat fuels your body, and when you sleep, your body continues using what you consumed at dinner the night before to keep your blood pumping and oxygen flowing. So, when you wake up in the morning, you need to refuel with breakfast. Skip it, and you’ll feel sluggish.

“Eating breakfast is like starting a fire in your body by kickstarting your metabolism,” Goodson says.

Goodson recommends a breakfast that includes whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat. Good examples include oatmeal with protein powder and a dab of peanut butter; a smoothie made with fruit, protein powder, low-fat milk, and almond butter; or eggs with two slices of whole-wheat toast and low-fat Greek yogurt.

You live on junk food

Foods loaded with sugar and simple carbs (like the ones you’ll find in a box or at the drive-thru window) rank high on the glycemic index (GI), an indicator of how rapidly carbohydrates increase blood sugar. Constant blood sugar spikes followed by sharp drops cause fatigue over the course of the day, says Goodson.

Keep blood sugar steady by having a lean protein along with a whole grain at every meal, says Goodson. Good choices include chicken (baked, not fried) and brown rice, salmon and sweet potato, or salad with chicken and fruit.

You have trouble saying ‘no’

People-pleasing often comes at the expense of your own energy and happiness. To make matters worse, it can make you resentful and angry over time. So whether it’s your kid’s coach asking you to bake cookies for her soccer team or your boss seeing if you can work on a Saturday, you don’t have to say yes.

Train yourself to say ‘no’ out loud, suggests Susan Albers, a licensed clinical psychologist with Cleveland Clinic and author of Eat.Q.: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence.

“Try it alone in your car,” she says. “Hearing yourself say the word aloud makes it easier to say it when the next opportunity calls for it.”

You have a messy office

A cluttered desk mentally exhausts you by restricting your ability to focus and limits your brain’s ability to process information, according to a Princeton University study.

“At the end of each day, make sure your work and personal items are organized and put away,” suggests Lombardo. “It will help you have a positive start to your day the next morning.”

If your office needs major reorganizing, avoid becoming totally overwhelmed by taking it one step at a time: start by tidying what you can see, then move through your desk and cabinets drawer by drawer.

You work through vacation

Checking your email when you should be relaxing by the pool puts you at risk of burnout, says Lombardo. Unplugging and allowing yourself to truly unwind allows your mind and body to rejuvenate and return to the office stronger. “When you truly take breaks, you will be more creative, productive, and effective when you return,” says Lombardo.

You have a glass of wine (or two) before bed

A nightcap sounds like a good way to unwind before falling asleep, but it can easily backfire. Alcohol initially depresses the central nervous system, producing a sedative effect, says Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine, P.C., in New York City. “But it ultimately sabotages sleep maintenance.”

Alcohol creates a rebound effect as it’s metabolized, which creates an abrupt surge in the adrenaline system, he says. This is why you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night after you’ve been drinking. Dr. Towfigh recommends stopping all alcohol three to four hours before bedtime.

You check e-mails at bedtime

The glaring light of a tablet, smartphone, or your computer’s backlit screen can throw off your body’s natural circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles, says Dr. Towfigh. Sensitivity to the digital glow of tech toys can vary from person to person, but in general it’s a good idea to avoid all technology for one to two hours before bedtime, he says.

Can’t avoid checking your device before your head hits the pillow? Then hold it at least 14 inches away from your face to reduce the risk of sleep interference.

You rely on caffeine to get through the day

Starting your morning with a java jolt is no big deal—in fact, studies show that up to three daily cups of coffee is good for you—but using caffeine improperly can seriously disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, says Dr. Towfigh.

Caffeine blocks adenosine, the byproduct of active cells that drives you to sleep as it accumulates, he explains. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed that consuming caffeine even six hours prior to bedtime affects sleep, so cut yourself off by mid-afternoon and watch out for these surprising sources of caffeine.

You stay up late on weekends

Burning the midnight oil on Saturday night and then sleeping in Sunday morning leads to difficulty falling asleep Sunday night—and a sleep-deprived Monday morning, says Dr. Towfigh.

Since staying in can cramp your social life, try to wake up close to your normal time the following morning, and then take a power nap in the afternoon. “Napping for 20 minutes or so allows the body to recharge without entering the deeper stages of sleep, which can cause you to wake up more tired,” he says.

This article originally appeared on

Can Married Couples Have Opposite Sex Friends?

Some friends and I were having a casual discussion the other day and one proposed the question, “Can married individuals maintain opposite sex friendships?” Of course we had some difference of opinions in defining this so called friendship. I personally believe that married couples can be friends with individuals of the opposite sex without them being a both married individual’s friends. For example, let say you have a childhood friend of the opposite sex who is single and you are married but your spouse is aware and okay with the nature of this relationship, then I say yes, it is absolutely okay. However, if for some unforeseen reason your spouse begins to have difficulties accepting this relationship then you and your spouse should decide how to proceed. After this conversation I began surfing the web and I found the following article regarding married couples and opposite sex friendships. The article was written by Athena Staik PH.D. titled 12 Warning Signs That It’s Emotional Infidelity-And ‘Not Just Friendship’.

A new sort of infidelity has been on the rise for decades, and it’s one of the biggest threats to marriage: ‘emotional affairs.’ Today’s workplace has become the new danger zone of opportunities for ‘emotional affairs,’ surpassed only by the Internet.

A relationship without sex can be just as intense, or more so than a sexual one. Not surprisingly, in most cases, approximately 80% according to Dr. Shirley Glass, author of Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity, the dynamics of these platonic liaisons crosses over into sexual love sooner or later.

Why the crisis?                                                                                                                            

To understand the intensity of emotional infidelity, it helps to see the dynamics as an addiction, a form of addictive love. That’s because it’s easier to let go of a toxic pattern when you depersonalize the experience. It’s not about ‘how’ special the person is or makes you feel, it’s about the neurochemicals that get activated when you think and behave a certain way that keeps you stuck in the damaging pattern! It isn’t a coincidence, for example, that persons with alcohol and other addictions are more likely to get into toxic relationships. Seeing the problem as an addiction also gives you access to proven steps to identify and break free of the toxic patterns.

Why addictive?                                                                                                                                                 

An addiction to an activity, person or substance puts a person’s brain and body in an intoxicating trance that, on the one hand, does not allow them to think clearly and make informed choices, and on the other hand, ‘rewards’  them for the toxic behavior with the release of certain chemicals that provide quick-fixes of pleasure in the body. Albeit temporary, there is also pleasure from lowering or numbing pain, shame or guilt, as it provides distance from taking responsibility to resolve the real issues of life and marriage (which risk failure).

In the The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior Craig Nakken provides the following definition for addiction, as: “A pathological love and trust relationship with an object [person] or event … the out-of-control and aimless searching for wholeness, happiness, and peace through a relationship with an object or event.”

There are at least 12 warning signs to alert you to take action to protect yourself and your relationship from ‘emotional infidelity.’

1. Thinking and saying you’re ‘just friends’ with opposite-sex.

If you’ve been thinking or saying, “we’re just friends,” think again. If it’s a member of the opposite sex, you may be swimming in treacherous waters. The very words are dangerous to your marriage. This rationale allows you to make excuses, or more plainly, to tell lies (to yourself and others) about something you know in your gut is wrong. Regardless how strongly TV and entertainment promote the idea of opposite-sex friendships (and this is part of the problem!) as not only ‘okay,’ but also ‘right’ to demand unconditional trust, in most cases, an intimate friendship with a member of the opposite-sex that you find interesting and attractive poses risks.

2. Treating them as a confidant, sharing intimate issues.                                                  

Sharing thoughts and deepest concerns, hopes and fears, passions and problems is what deepens intimacy; it builds an emotional bond between two people, time better used in marriage relationship. Giving this away to another person, regardless of the justification, is infidelity, a betrayal of trust. This is especially true when you consider that emotional intimacy is the most powerful bond in human relationships, much stronger than a sexual one. 

3. Discussing troubling aspects of your marriage and partner.    

Talking or venting to a person of the opposite sex about what your marriage lacks, what your partner lacks, or what you’re not getting to make you happy sends a loud message that you’re available for someone else to ‘love and care’ for your needs. It’s also a breach of trust. And, like gossip, it creates a false sense of shared connection, and an illusion that you, your happiness, your comfort and needs are totally valued by this person (when, in truth, this has not been put to the test!). 

4. Comparing them verbally and mentally to your partner.                                             

Another danger sign is a thinking pattern that increasingly finds what is ‘positive’ and ‘just right’ about the friend and ‘negative’ and ‘unfulfilling’ about the partner.  This builds a case ‘for’ the friend and ‘against’ the partner. Another mental breach of trust, this unfairly builds a physiologically felt case ‘for’ the friend and ‘against’ the partner, forming mental images in the brain that associate pleasurable and painful sensations accordingly. 

5. Obsessively thinking or daydreaming about the person.                                                        

 If you find yourself looking forward to seeing the person, cannot wait to share news, think about what you’re going to tell them when you’re apart, and imagine their excitement, you’re in trouble. This sense of expectation, excitement, anticipation releases dopamine in reward centers of your brain, reinforcing toxic patterns. Obsessively thinking about the person is an obvious signal that something is wrong. After all, you don’t do this with your friends, right?

6. Believing this person ‘gets’ you like no other.                                                                                   

It always appears this way in affairs and romantic encounters at the start. It’s an illusion, and in the case of emotional infidelity, one that is dangerous to a marriage because the sense of mutual ‘understanding’ forms a bond that strengthens and deepens emotional intimacy, with the release of pleasurable neurochemicals, such as the love and safety hormone oxytocin. This focus also puts you in a ‘getting’ frame of mind. It means you are approaching your marriage in terms of what you’re getting or not getting, rather than what you’re contributing.

7. Pulling out of regular activities with your partner, family, work.                                    

Being absorbed with desire to spend more and more time talking, sharing, being with the person, it’s only natural to begin to resent time you spend on responsibilities and activities at home (and work?). As a result, you begin to pull away, turn down, or make excuses for not joining regular activities with your partner and family. Family members notice you are withdrawn, irritable and unhappy.

8. Keeping what you do secret and covering up your trail.                                                     

Secrecy itself is a warning sign. It creates a distinct closeness between two people, and at the same time grows the distance between them and others. Secrets create a special bond, most often an unhealthy one. For example, there may be a false sense of emotional safety and trust with the person, and an unwarranted mistrust and suspicion of the partner, or those who try to interfere with the ‘friendship.’

9. Keeping a growing list of reasons that justify your behaviors.       

This involves an addictive pattern of thinking that focuses your attention on how unhappy you are, why you’re unhappy, and blames your partner and marriage for all aspects of your unhappiness. It builds a dangerous sense of entitlement and forms a pool of resentment from which you feel justified to mistreat your partner or do what you need to increase your happiness without considering the consequences.

10. Fantasizing about a love or sexual relationship with the person.                                      

 At some point, one or both persons begin to fantasize about having a love or sexual relationship with the other. They may begin to have discussions about this, which adds to the intensity, the intrigue and the intoxicating addictive releases of neurochemicals that make the pattern more entrenched.

11. Giving or receiving personal gifts from the person.                                                     

Another flag is when the obsession affects your buying behaviors, so that you begin to think about this person when you are shopping, wondering what they like or would show your appreciation. The gift choices are something intimate items that you would not give ‘just’ a friend. Gifts send clear messages that the two of you are a ‘close we’ set apart from others, and that the relationship is ‘special.’

12. Planning to spend time alone together or letting it happen.               

This is the warning sign that, when not heeded, most often pushes partners to cross the line from a platonic to a sexual relationship. Despite good intentions and promises to one another that they would not let ‘anything’ happen, it’s a set up, a matter of time, when opposite-sex friends flirt with the availability of time alone.

My beliefs, It is only a problem if it makes you or your spouse uncomfortable!!! After all shouldn’t making your significant other happy be a priority?

So what do you think?





Love, Live and Enjoy Life

Love, Live and Enjoy LifeIt is not hard to find someone who tells you they love you; it’s hard to find someone who actually means it.  But you will find them eventually, so don’t rush love, and don’t settle.  Find someone who isn’t afraid to admit they miss you.  Someone who knows you’re not perfect, but appreciates you as you are; one who gives their heart completely. Someone who says, “I love you” and then proves it day in and day out.  Find someone who wouldn’t mind waking up with you in the morning, seeing your wrinkles and grey hair, and then falls in love with you all over again. Remember, to the people who truly love you, you are magnificent already.  This is not because they are blind to your shortcomings, but because they so vividly see the beauty of your soul.  Your shortcomings then dim by comparison.  The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and magnificent, at the same time.

Do not put the only keys to your growth and happiness in someone else’s pocket. Relationships are not about authority and obedience; they’re agreements of love and respect.  You simply can’t live your entire life through someone else’s fantasies.  There must be compromise and the space to do what’s right for you, even if someone you care about disagrees. Give, but don’t allow yourself to be used.  Listen to loved ones, but don’t lose track of your inner voice in the process. Never apologize for what you feel and what you don’t feel; that’s a betrayal of your truth. No matter how much advice people give you, sometimes you have to feel things out for yourself, make decisions on your own, experience things firsthand, and build your own conclusions from the ground up the old fashion way. Never let anyone or anything get in the way of your joy.  Live a life that sizzles and pops and makes you laugh out loud every day, because you don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that your life is a collection of meetings and “someday’s” and errands and receipts and empty promises. So go ahead and sing out loud in the car with the windows down, and dance in your living room, and stay up all night laughing, and paint your walls any color you want, and enjoy some port wine and chocolate cake.  Yes, and go ahead and sleep in on clean white sheets, and throw parties, and paint, and write poetry, and read books so good they make you lose track of time and just keep living and laughing and making God glad that he gave life to someone who loves and cherishes the gift.



In the movie White Men Can’t Jump, the two main characters get into a philosophical discussion about one of the character’s inability to hear certain music even though he really enjoys listening to it.  The argument that is presented is that presented is that just because he is “listening” to the music does not mean he is “hearing” it properly.  The argument is lost on the receptor because in his mind he does not discern any distinguishable difference between hearing and listening because they define the receiving of an auditory message.

I bring that illustration up because I think in one sense the writers of that script were on to something.  However, when it comes to the the way we communicate with each other I believe the above scenario has it backwards.  I think we are really good at hearing things that are said to us, but perhaps listen to what was said and interpret it correctly is where we all fall short.  If we were to define communication I think we would all have a general sense of the process and be able to explain it well.  That is why when I share this upcoming definition of communication you might read it and think to yourself, “Duh… obviously!”

How would you define communication?  Dr. John Trent, president and founder of says it is a process that is best understood and analyzed in its 5 parts:

  1. a message from on person or group
  2. is sent in verbal or written form
  3. to another person or group
  4. who receives the message
  5. and understands its meaning in a certain way

Do you agree or disagree with his analysis?  Was it similar to your definition?  So, what do I want us to do then?  Good question… instead of just reading the definition and saying “Yes, I know that” think of a time where you have had a miscommunication (with your spouse, parents, siblings, friends, boss, co-worker, customer, etc.).  Think about that time and try to locate where in the spectrum of communication there was a breakdown.  If I had to guess, I would say that the miscommunication happened in step 5.  People say things to us all the time.  We hear/receive those messages all the time.  However, the mishaps in communication happen when we understand the sender’s message incorrectly.  I submit to you that this happens when we fail to fully engage and listen to what is being said to us.  I think all too often we, for numerous reasons, just assume that we know what the other person is trying to say, and therefore we do not bother to understand outside of what we want to understand.  And even though we know what happens when we assume… we save time… all the saved time in the world does not mend things that get broken by miscommunication.

We all know how important communication is.  We all know the value of keeping the lines of communication clear and open.  If we know how critical communication is, why then do we treat with such flippancy?  I challenge us all (myself especially) to spend more time listening to what is being said to us, and having the humility to ask for stuff to be clarified when we do not understand what is being communicated.

Western vs. Alternative Medicine

Back in 2004 I noticed a lump on the right side of my neck that I’d never seen before.  I was worried and didn’t want my mind to wonder at what it could possibly be so I made an appointment with my primary care physician.  After meeting with my PCP completing blood work and getting the results back I learned that I had a low under active thyroid termed Hypothyroidism.  Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.  Some of the symptoms I was experiencing was fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry coarse hair, dry skin, decreased concentration and cold intolerance. Hypothyroidism affects approximately 10 million Americans and  10% of them are women.  My PCP referred me to a specialist called an endocrinologist and after meeting with him I was told that I would have to take a prescribed medication called Levothyroxine for the rest of my life.  I laughed and said “yeah right” a pill for the rest of my life at the tender age of 30 I don’t think so.   So after blood testing and biopsy I was prescribed my medication and sent on my merry way.  All along I knew I wasn’t the medication taking type but I wanted to see if the meds would really work.  I took the medication religiously for about 2 years and the lump “goiter”, low metabolism, low energy, thin brittle nails, hair shedding etc was still there with one more added symptom occasional tachycardia and anxiety attacks.  That’s when I said Oh No! I immediately started minimizing my medication consumption and started doing my own research on alternative medicine.  I started eating healthier, exercising, taking vitamins and getting in touch with my spiritual realm, God.  I also started Chiropractic Care with a company called Maximized Living.  Alternative medicine treats the mind, body and spirit as a whole rather than so many separate parts.  With occasional chiropractic care, eating healthy, exercise, and God I have been medication free for about 5 years now with limited to no side effects and symptoms from my hypothyroidism diagnosis.  I’m not saying that I’m cured from hypothyroidism but I feel energized, happier and lighter and that is enough for me.  Alternative medicines are not for everyone and in no way am I suggesting everyone try it but with so many misdiagnosis with prescribed medications alternative medicine is looking better and better.  I read this article a few years ago, check it out it helped me.


Western vs. Alternative medicine

Thursday, October 11, 2012 by: John McKiernan

(NaturalNews) Today, most people who visit a doctor’s office don’t give any thought to the type of doctor that they’re going to see. The traditionally trained doctor in the U.S. is trained one way whereas holistic doctors, also known as natural medicine practitioners, are trained in a completely different way. Many of us trust our doctors implicitly, so when we are prescribed a pharmaceutical, we simply fill the prescription and take it as we are told. In truth is you can’t assume that your doctor always gets it right. It is very common for doctors to misdiagnose patients and prescribe them medications that they don’t need

Western medicine

It is an unfortunate but true fact, traditional doctors are not required to have any training in nutrition.This makes little sense since the large majority of the illnesses these doctors will attempt to treat are caused by a lack of nutrition. And unsurprisingly, the cure for them is proper nutrition. These doctors are not trained in nutrition nor are they trained in natural medicine. They are taught to see the body as a collection of organs that are independent of one another and thus, must be treated as such. This is why most of the pharmaceuticals used in Western medicine cause so many nasty side effects. They only focus on healing one particular part of the body, while neglecting the body as a whole and even causing damage to other parts of the body.

Alternative medicine

In complete contrast to Western medicine, alternative medicine treats the body, mind and spirit as a whole rather than so many separate parts. Alternative medicine is all about finding balance and harmony. This can be done through many techniques including natural cures, massage therapy, meditation and acupuncture. Unlike Western medicine, alternative medicine rarely creates unwanted side effects. Pharmaceutical companies have convinced people that side effects are just a normal part of medicine, when the fact is they should not be. True medicine works with the entire body.

Making the switch

It is unfortunate that the vast majority of us are unaware of just how effective natural medicine is. We have been convinced by our money driven society that pharmaceuticals are the only “real” medicine and that any natural remedies are just a bunch of “Hocus Pocus” used by hippies. The next time you need a doctor, you may want to look up your local natural medicine practitioner and try something new. You will most likely be very pleasantly surprised and never go back to the world of Western medicine.

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