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The Proper Construction and Framing of a Relationship - The House that Love Builds

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We all know when building a home, that the foundation and framework are the first two vital steps to long-lasting, quality construction. Most of us have witnessed what can happen when shoddy material or fly-by-night contractors throw up a house in record time only to have problems arise in short order. The frame is the skeleton, or bones, if you will, of the entire structure. When done right, it holds everything together. If short cuts are made, or inferior materials used, it will soon start to fail. Building strong dating/marriage relationships is very similar to constructing a house . We can follow basic house framing techniques to help build a partnership that will stand the test of time and trials. Let ’ s take a quick look at some of the similarities . The Foundation The most basic place to start is the foundation. Perfectly framed walls will have nowhere to stand without a foundation to attach to. The foundation for a home is usually made of concrete, stone o

Why This Memorial Day Should Be About More Than BBQ

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Don't get me wrong. I love a good BBQ. In fact, being from Eastern NC where we are famous for our vinegar sauce, and having a father who raised hogs, I've eaten my fair share. And who doesn't like a nice day on the lake? Plus, don't get me started on three day weekends! But this year, I'd like for us all to step back and take a moment to reflect on the true meaning behind Memorial Day, and how it impacts our lives today. Did you know the origins of Memorial Day came after the Civil War, which saw more lives lost than in any other time in our history? There were so many dead soldiers, it created the need for the first national cemeteries. There were several cities that picked days to honor their local fallen, but there was not a nationwide remembrance until General John A Logan, who was the commander-in-chief for a Union veteran's group, declared that May 30th would be a national date of commemoration. It was originally called Decoration Day, and Gener

4 Things I Didn't Understand Until I Lost My Mom

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(I understand that Mother’s Day is filled with accolades and outpourings of love for moms, but not everyone had the gift of a loving mother. This saddens me, and if this is you, I truly hope there was someone in your life that encouraged, uplifted and loved you. The title ‘mom’ doesn’t have to be written in blood to be meaningful.) I was born when my parents were older and my three other siblings were either grown or almost grown. My experiences, and memories, were slightly different from theirs based on these time frames. I am confident when I say we all shared extreme respect and love for our mother; Alma Suis.  She has been gone for 12 years now, and I am still discovering the tremendous impact she had on my life. I Took Her For Granted Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mom tremendously. I did not intentionally set out to take her for granted, but looking back; I can see where at times I did. I took for granted when I walked over every morning that she would be at the k

Don't You Trust Me? (How Doubt and Betrayal Affect Our Relationships)

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It goes without saying that trust is the foundation of a relationship. Like a foundation, it is built up over time, brick by brick, until it is a stable platform from which everything else rests on. There are specific ways to build trust, and there are also behaviors that erode it. Let’s take a look at both. Building Trust Do What You Say If you make a commitment; follow through. Be on time. Run that errand. Do the chore. Return that call/text. If you prove to be a man/woman of your word, then you begin to build trust. Your partner needs to know they can depend on you to do what you say you will do. Allow Yourself to Be Vulnerable This can sometimes be very difficult, especially if we have been badly hurt before. The problem is, as long as that wall is there, the trust just sits waiting on the outside. We have to be raw and available in order to allow the expectation of good to grow. Value Your Partner They can do and say all the right things, but if you don’

Medication for Mental Disorders – The Pros, The Cons, The Acceptance

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Week 6 – Family to Family Series - NAMI There are almost as many different types of medications for mental illness as there are diagnoses and the side effects can be wide-ranging. Many people with brain disorders struggle with starting and maintaining a solid medication regiment. The more information we have as a family, the better we can support our loved one in finding the right medicines and encourage them to stay consistent with the plan. Why Acceptance To Meds Is So Difficult If we get a sinus infection, hurt in an accident, or even a more serious medical condition we do not hesitate to take the prescribed drugs to help us feel better and heal. So why is it so difficult for those with a mental illness do the same with their symptoms? Admitting the Need Most of us know when we are physically sick. There is a large portion of those who are mentally ill that refuse to accept there is anything wrong. They try to convince themselves it is a phase (or maybe someone in thei

3 Steps to Problem Solving - When Mental Illness Issues Affect the Family Home

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NAMI Family to Family Series – Week 5 Having someone in the home with a mental illness can often cause conflict and chaos. Outbursts, not following the house rules, and refusing to communicate are all examples of how disruptive it can be to everyone involved. Your loved one who is suffering and unable to live independently relies on you for many things. Because of that, there are some simple rules they should be able and willing to follow to make the home as comfortable as possible. When problems do come up, it is a good idea to brainstorm solutions with the family before presenting them to your loved one. In the middle of a crisis, it isn’t fair or productive to include them in the discussion. They will most likely not be receptive and will pick up real quickly on anyone in the family who is wavering. Let’s walk through the steps to restore some peace and harmony to the home. Step 1 – Define the Problem 1 - Pick the most pressing issue You can only solve one problem at

I Am More Than A Label

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As a society, we put labels on everything. Some are necessary.    I need to know the expiration date on the cheese that has been in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator for two months (I mean weeks).     Some are frivolous. Yes, I know taking a bath with my space heater is not a good idea.  But sometimes I think we have gone overboard with the labels. Especially the ones attached to humans. Rarely are they correct and more importantly, even if they do fit SOME of the time, all of us have so many layers that go into making us who we are.    Here are a few of MY non-labels!   Labe l  me an  i ntrovert BUT I’m not anti - social Well, maybe I am a little, but only if I’m annoyed or very tired. I love talking to people. I especially love hearing their stories; the good ones and the sad ones. I am honored when someone trusts me enough to share their journey with me. I may not be the life of the party, but I’ve made peace with that.    Label m