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101 Lessons in Love: A Couple's Guide to Choosing Passion

101 Lessons in Love: A Couple's Guide to Choosing Passion

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101 Lessons in Love: A Couple's Guide to Choosing Passion

Lunghezza:
319 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 14, 2012
ISBN:
9781477261798
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Discover new pathways to finding more love, more joy, and more acceptance with your partner, spouse, soul mate, or lover. Whether you are passionately in love looking for that new adventure or struggling to stay connected 101 Lessons In Love: A Couples Guide To Choosing Passion will help you learn how to sculpt each other with love, how to recognize the power of your attention, and how to keep your love evolving as one. Each chapter contains a question to spark communication between you and your partner about avenues into each others lives that have yet to be explored. The hope is that this exploration will lead you to a deeper understanding of both yourself and your partner that enhances your happiness and love. Then you and your partner are challenged to take the lesson and make it your own by taking specific actions to create a stronger, more intimate, and passionate relationship. It is never too late to capture the fun and excitement. The time is now. Begin your journey to passion and love.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 14, 2012
ISBN:
9781477261798
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Deborah M. Mueller holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Heidelberg University with a private practice in Anchorville, Michigan. As a professional counselor, and author of Sadistic Love, Deborah’s main area of practice is couples counseling, mood disorders, and grief counseling. Deborah is passionate about fishing with her husband, Andrew.

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101 Lessons in Love - Deborah M. Mueller

1-800-839-8640

© 2012 Deborah M. Mueller. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

Published by AuthorHouse 9/11/2012

ISBN: 978-1-4772-6180-4 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4772-6181-1 (hc)

ISBN: 978-1-4772-6179-8 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012915557

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Contents

Introduction

Lesson #1 ~   Simple, kind gestures can mean so much more.

Lesson #2 ~   Never underestimate the power of your uniqueness.

Lesson #3 ~   Trust your feelings about first impressions, for they are your first clues.

Lesson #4 ~   Be mindful of the behavior on both sides of the door.

Lesson #5 ~   Be open to trying new adventures.

Lesson #6 ~   Be brave enough to risk your heart once again.

Lesson #7 ~   Protect yourself until you feel safe.

Lesson #8 ~   Act on your instincts.

Lesson #9 ~   Look at the individual as a whole.

Lesson #10~   Give each other faith, hope, and love.

Lesson #11 ~   Recognize and celebrate your creative gifts.

Lesson #12 ~   Attention is a powerful force.

Lesson #13 ~   Graciously accepting a gift can be an act of love to the giver.

Lesson #14 ~   The consummation of love is so much more than the joining of two bodies.

Lesson #15 ~   Open your mind to explore new ideas.

Lesson #16 ~   Find yourself within the relationship.

Lesson #17 ~   It all depends on whom you kiss.

Lesson #18 ~   Meet your partner’s basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Lesson #19 ~   Feed the hungry wherever you may find them.

Lesson #20~   A romantic gesture is the energy that keeps love alive.

Lesson #21 ~   Stand strong.

Lesson #22 ~   There is safety in living with a survivor.

Lesson #23 ~   Seeing people is a gift you give yourself.

Lesson #24 ~   Create new ways to connect.

Lesson #25 ~   Lighten the mood.

Lesson #26 ~   Be generous with your support of each other’s goals.

Lesson #27 ~   Cultivate friendships outside of the relationship.

Lesson #28 ~   Smile your childhood smile.

Lesson #29 ~   Discover the great outdoors in your own backyard.

Lesson #30~   Be playful.

Lesson #31 ~   Dance.

Lesson #32 ~   It really is the thought that counts.

Lesson #33 ~   Choose your most valuable possessions carefully.

Lesson #34 ~   In your absence, leave a trail of love.

Lesson #35 ~   Playfulness is hereditary.

Lesson #36 ~   Surround yourself with representations of your love until you are surrounded by each other.

Lesson #37 ~   When in doubt, trust in love.

Lesson #38 ~   Believe in love’s existence.

Lesson #39 ~   There is no greater gift for a mother than to truly love her children.

Lesson #40~   Honor thy mother.

Lesson #41 ~   Choose rich lives over monetary wealth.

Lesson #42 ~   Be serious about being silly.

Lesson #43 ~   See the goodness within you and then share that goodness with others.

Lesson #44 ~   Throw in the anchor.

Lesson #45 ~   Go out of your way for children.

Lesson #46 ~   Appreciate heavenly-being qualities in your partner.

Lesson #47 ~   Celebrate life.

Lesson #48 ~   Convey your love to your children.

Lesson #49 ~   Selflessness for children’s sake is heroic.

Lesson #50~   Bring out the best in each other.

Lesson #51 ~   Want nothing more than your partner’s happiness.

Lesson #52 ~   Honor thy children.

Lesson #53 ~   Read with your heart.

Lesson #54 ~   Commit to forever love.

Lesson #55 ~   When life gives you a miracle, thank God.

Lesson #56 ~   Laugh together.

Lesson #57 ~   Kiss.

Lesson #58 ~   Diminish fear with pleasure.

Lesson #59 ~   Be a good catch.

Lesson #60~   Appreciate beauty.

Lesson #61 ~   Be in eternal love.

Lesson #62 ~   Speak words of love when you leave each other’s side.

Lesson #63 ~   Label with care.

Lesson #64 ~   Balance the power.

Lesson #65 ~   Make peace with life and death.

Lesson #66 ~   Be the gift of enlightenment.

Lesson #67 ~   We are connected in more ways than we know.

Lesson #68 ~   Offer what you have to give.

Lesson #69 ~   Play in bed.

Lesson #70~   Trust what your partner sees in you.

Lesson #71 ~   Be present during life crises.

Lesson #72 ~   Initial your love.

Lesson #73 ~   Nurture trust in lovemaking.

Lesson #74 ~   Have fun with your fortune.

Lesson #75 ~   Relationships take work and play.

Lesson #76 ~   Provide a protective coating with prayer.

Lesson #77 ~   Don’t ever give up.

Lesson #78 ~   Touch each other’s heart.

Lesson #79 ~   One hundred years are not enough.

Lesson #80~   Be lost in love.

Lesson #81 ~   Compromise.

Lesson #82 ~   Keep challenging yourself.

Lesson #83 ~   Enjoy nature.

Lesson #84 ~   Work with love.

Lesson #85 ~   Believe in your own heroic possibilities.

Lesson #86 ~   A little mystery can be exciting.

Lesson #87 ~   Make the holidays merry.

Lesson #88 ~   Back each other up.

Lesson #89 ~   I am as close as you want me to be.

Lesson #90~   Our lives may be fragile, but our bond is strong.

Lesson #91 ~   Strength lies in sensitivity.

Lesson #92 ~   Do not be afraid of the cocooning.

Lesson #93 ~   Release anger without hurting each other.

Lesson #94 ~   Listen with your heart.

Lesson #95 ~   Never give up because circumstances do change.

Lesson #96 ~   Acknowledge each other’s pain.

Lesson #97 ~   It doesn’t matter.

Lesson #98 ~   Lifelong goals can be reached when you are armed with love.

Lesson #99 ~   Sculpt each other with loving hands.

Lesson #100 ~   Be thankful.

Lesson #101 ~   Give one hundred and one percent.

References

Note of Thanks

This book is dedicated to

ANDREW ~ Your love is so rare and so perfect. Every time your eyes meet mine and you smile at me, we transcend time and space to a place of love. You speak and angels whisper in my heart, You are home.

CHRIS, JENNIE, JARROD, and MATTHEW ~ You are my heart.

Introduction

When life bestows upon you a gift of love, deeper than you have ever experienced, higher than you have ever soared, and happier than you have ever known to be possible, you must write about that love. This is that book.

I love you, too. Andy responded to my I love you. Let’s just see how we feel in say five to seven years from now, Andy continued. He knew from experience that it was easy to be in love in the beginning of a relationship. The true test for him was how we would feel about each other after the glow of the newness wore off. Would we still be in love? Would we still want to spend as much time as we possibly could lying in each other’s arms as we were in this moment?

Both of us had come away from shattered marriages when we met, and we were still very much in the healing process from all the pain of divorce. Andy had been married twice before. His first marriage lasted only a few years; his wife decided she wanted to pursue a single lifestyle instead of remaining in a committed marriage. She filed for divorce and walked away from both Andy and their six-year-old son, Chris. Andy’s second marriage ended after 15 years because of irreconcilable differences. His second wife decided she wanted to retire and venture far away from home, while Andy was committed to his homestead and the lifestyle that it provided. Her decision to leave and his decision to stay brought them to an impasse that only divorce could solve. This was a learning curve for Andy where there was no bridge to cross between them, only two sides of a canyon. Marriage taught Andy that two people can begin with the same passionate dream but grow apart with differing opinions of how their dream should evolve over time.

I came from a 22-year oppressive marriage. I spent years subjugating my own needs in an effort to fulfill my role as a good wife. The result of my efforts lead to severe depression and ended in divorce. I stayed, keeping our family together as long as I could. Our children, Jennie, Jarrod, and Matthew were 20, 18, and 16 respectively when I broke free from their father. Several years after my divorce, I published Sadistic Love (2009), a book I wrote to empower other women to recognize and release themselves from abusive relationships.

Andy and I were both now free from our prior marriages, but we brought with us the memories, feelings, and emotions of having lived those past years. But we also brought with us a dream of what a true loving relationship could be. How could we be sure that this time our relationship would be different than our prior marriages? How could we ensure that our dream would survive the test of time, forever providing the love and happiness we were both seeking?

These 101 chapters tell the story of our love—where we learned how to keep our dream evolving as one. Each chapter has a lesson in love that I learned from my extraordinary experience of being intertwined in Andy’s way of being in the world. Each lesson also contains an open-ended question for couples to contemplate. Our hope is that the questions will spark communication between couples about avenues in their lives that have yet to be explored. We hope this exploration will lead the couples to a deeper understanding of both themselves and their partner that enhances their happiness and love. Finally, each lesson also contains a challenge to take the lesson and make it their own. Our goal is to have couples laugh with us, learn with us, and, most importantly, take from us the resources to create their own happy ending.

Seven years later from those I love you’s, Andy and I can say we truly know exactly how we feel about each other. We have a seven-year history of love well-lived.

Lesson #1 ~ 

Simple, kind gestures can mean so much more.

One day as Andy and I stood in the shower together, I realized I had to write a book about being in Andy’s presence. I wanted to make sure all the ways that he loved me would live beyond our lives. In that moment, I wanted to leave a recorded history of what my life was like living with this wonderful man and share all the ways that he was beyond kind and thoughtful.

What had Andy done in that moment to possess me to write a book about him? He had turned the water warmer before stepping aside during our weekend ritual of showering together so I could step under the spray of the water and rinse the shampoo out of my hair. This weekend ritual, what I affectionately called the Mueller Spa, was more than a mutual drive for cleanliness, but rather, tender loving care mixed with erotic pleasure as we playfully washed each other’s bodies. Andy knew I liked the spray of the shower water to be warmer than he did, so he reached down and turned the handle to ensure the water temperature was perfect for me. It was at that moment that I realized this man, my husband of two years now, went out of his way to make sure my path in life was as pleasant for me as was within his power to give. It was obvious to me now that both small and significant ways of loving me were equally important to him, whether it was in a small way such as turning the shower temperature to my liking, or in something as significant as wrapping his life around me with love.

I was touched by his thoughtful gesture and told him so. I want to write a book about you, about us, I exclaimed. We spent the rest of our shower time together brainstorming titles and ideas for the book. Andrew’s Love, Andrew’s Light, just Andrew, or Andrew & Deborah: 101 Ways to Get Marriage Right were some of our inspirations. It was fun to talk about chapter ideas, about the ways that I had recognized his love for me, and sharing thoughts about special actions he had taken that he didn’t even realize had impacted my life.

The fact that I am not a writer in the true sense of the word did not matter in those moments. What mattered was telling the love story about a marriage that went right. More importantly, I would focus on which actions spoke louder than words and which words were spoken with love. I wanted to share what connections were made that would enable us to see our way through the times of dense fog that would inevitably appear as it does in any committed relationship.

All of this began because Andy reached down to turn the handle and change the water temperature to make my experience with him as perfect for me as he possibly could. I, in turn, accepted and appreciated his gesture for what it was and loved him that much more.

Question #1 ~ What is one simple, kind gesture that you could do for your partner that would be meaningful to them, and what is one simple kind gesture that your partner could do for you?

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Challenge #1 ~

Once a week, schedule a few minutes to sit down next to your partner. Face each other, look into each other’s eyes, and take turns asking for a specific act of kindness that you could perform for each other over the next week that would be meaningful. This act could be something as simple as giving your partner a five minute backrub, going for a walk together, or allowing them one hour of uninterrupted time alone to read a book or take a bubble bath. The idea with this lesson is to find out specific acts of kindness that you want to receive from your partner and to discover specific acts of kindness that would be meaningful to your partner in return. What often happens is that we give our partners what we are looking to receive. That is not necessarily what our partners need or want. Take the time to find out what you would both appreciate receiving, and then enjoy giving that gift to each other.

Lesson #2 ~ 

Never underestimate the power of your uniqueness.

Name five things you could not live without. Those were the instructions given for the next step in the process of matching me with someone whom I would be compatible with on eHarmony.com. Hmmm, five things. First would have to be something that represented my children. I could not live without the framed picture of Jennie, Jarrod, and Matthew when they were four, three, and one year old. After all, when I left my 22-year marriage, I did not take much more than that picture of them, so I was aware of its significance in my life.

Okay, four more things to go. Ahh, my piano. My piano was handed down to me by my mother. It certainly represented the best of my childhood. I spent many hours absorbed into the music produced by my mother as her fingers glided over the keys while my father stood behind her singing songs such as One Alone, which told the story of their love affair. Yes, definitely my piano.

It occurred to me that while I did not have an abundance of material possessions, I discovered there really was not much I could not live without. What would I want to reveal about myself to a future suitor in order to complete this exercise? Oh wait, I know. I could not live without a Christmas tree during the holidays. Putting up a Christmas tree was a very special occasion, because I had the opportunity to reminisce about past events that each ornament I unwrapped represented. Ornaments from my childhood as well as those that I had received as gifts from my children, family members, and friends brought my loved ones into the room with me. It was a tradition I looked forward to every year. Placing ‘Christmas tree during the holidays’ on my list of things I could not live without made me happy.

I completed the assignment by adding my guitar and Diet Pepsi. I received my guitar from my mother and father as a gift when I graduated from eighth grade. I never learned to play it well, but I loved the hours I spent trying. Anyone who knows me knows that there is always a bottle of Diet Pepsi within my reach. It was my energy drink of choice without the burden of calories as I made my way through my full-time day job and then classes at night toward my undergraduate degree in psychology.

When my profile was matched to Andy’s profile, he had the opportunity to study my list of five things I could not live without. He spent a considerable amount of time comparing my list with other women’s lists that he had also been matched with. He reviewed his list of five things he could not live without to compare and contrast with his matches. His list consisted of fishing, golfing, tools, grandkids, and his close friends.

It just so happened that the Christmas tree on my list caught Andy’s attention and resonated with him. It stood out from all the other typical responses from women such as children, bicycles, gardening, bowling, etc. It made him think the two of us may have something in common: our love of Christmas trees and decorating for the holidays in particular. As it turned out, Andy had a Christmas tree ornament collection that he cherished. He put up two Christmas trees every holiday season, one with a religious theme that held his sacred ornaments, and then one life activity-themed tree that represented his adventures with his family and friends.

My not being able to live without a Christmas tree during the holidays was one aspect that peaked Andy’s interest and pointed him in my direction. Oh, Christmas Tree!

Question #2 ~ What unique characteristic peaks your interest in your partner?

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Challenge #2 ~

Gaining an understanding about your unique characteristics and your partner’s unique characteristics helps to shed light on what you both bring to the relationship. Make sure that your differing characteristics mix well. Try creating a list of the characteristics you bring to the relationship. Share your lists with each other and then go one step further by adding characteristics that you see in each other. Talk about how you envision those characteristics interacting over time.

Lesson #3 ~ 

Trust your feelings about first impressions, for they are your first clues.

I knew him well. We had never met, but I knew his heart from all the words that we had shared over the past five weeks, and I was already deeply in love with him. This was our first date, October 1, 2004. Earlier in the day, I had left a few items at the hotel for his arrival; a jar of Hershey’s kisses and hugs, a Tiffin-Columbian High School football t-shirt, a set of Heidelberg University golf balls, and a box of potato chips made in Tiffin at Ballreich’s Potato Chip factory. When he entered his hotel room, he was surprised and delighted by the gifts that awaited him. He immediately picked up the phone and called to leave a message on my voicemail at home. This was the first time I heard the sound of his voice. He thanked me, said he owed me a hug for all the brightly wrapped presents, and then ended the phone message by stating, You’ve already made it a perfect weekend.

I pulled into the hotel parking lot, anxious to see his face for the first time in person. Great anticipation of who this person really was and what would occur between us now that we would be face to face for the first time engulfed these next several hours. Andy drove down from Anchorville, Michigan to attend my son, Matthew’s, senior year Columbian High School homecoming football game in Tiffin, Ohio. He had suggested that I pick him up at the hotel so that the location of my apartment would not be revealed to him until I felt it was completely safe to do so. I parked the car and opened the door to step out when I spotted Andy. He was walking toward me through a field next to the hotel. Our eyes locked and he was already smiling. That smile was a spark that lit a fire inside me that radiated throughout my entire body.

He stepped toward me, and I toward him. I smiled back. Finally, I had the opportunity to be in the presence of this gentle man who had warmed my heart over the past month with his words, words that we exchanged in an effort to get to know each other through eHarmony.com.

I was not disappointed by what I saw. Andy’s eyes were a light blue that sparkled with energy. His smile melted my heart and I felt safe with him, even in those first moments. We said our hellos

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