BETTER BLENDS
RELATIONSHIP INSTITUTE

Blending lives, transforming communities

This blog allows members of BETTER BLENDS RELATIONSHIP INSTITUTE ® to post writings, articles and opinions on any areas surrounding relationships. This includes ANY issues on marriage, parenting, sex, sexuality, men's and women's isues, dating, pre-marital issues, commitment and this list is by no means exhaustive. If you want to voice your opinion or respond to someone's viewpoint, simply join up and blog away. Your posts are most welcomed.

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Register for Marriage Prep Course available from October 2011 October

Posted by betterblends on August 13, 2011 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Getting married in the near or even distant future? Already selected your partner? Making plans? "Better Blends Relationship Institute" presents "Getting Married 101" a comprehensive marriage-prep course which is innovative, highly interactive and far more detailed than any you've heard of before. Available in three versions: as a full six-month course, three-month intensive or as a six-weeks fast-track course.

For more information or to indicate your interest please go to "Contact Us" on this site or e mail us at: [email protected]


GETTING MARRIED 101 COURSE OVERVIEW

Six-Month Option

1.      Why Do I Want to Get Married? (8hrs)

2.      Talk to Me: Communication &Conflict Resolution (8 hrs)

3.      Celebrating Our Differences (8hrs)

4.      Financial Planning in Marriage (6hrs)

5.      Sexual Intimacy in Marriage 1 (8hrs)

6.      Sexual Intimacy in Marriage 2 (8hrs)

Bonus Session: FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) (2 hrs)

Total hrs: 48 hrs Duration: 6 months

*Six month detailed programme: highly recommended for couples with more planning time available


Three-Month Intensive

1.      Why Do I Want to Get Married?(4 hrs)

2.      Talk to Me: Communication &Conflict Resolution (4 hrs)

3.      Celebrating Our Differences (4hrs)

4.      Financial Planning in Marriage(4 hrs)

5.      Sexual Intimacy in Marriage 1(4 hrs)

6.      Sexual Intimacy in Marriage 2(4 hrs)

Total hrs: 24 hrsduration: 3 months with 2 shortened modules per month;                                  FAQ session (2 hrs) can replace 1 module if preferred.

 

Getting Married 101 Fast-Track: Six Week Option

12 hr course over 6 weeks:Couple has option of selecting 1 lesson per module

*Fast-track six weekprogramme where couple can choose from lessons per module, one area which theybelieve is most critical for them. The advantage of this programme is itscustomizable component

*Can also be customized to 2 lessons per module; this works out as 2 shortened modules per month of 2 lessons each, over three months

1.      Why Do I Want to Get Married? (2 hrs)

2.      Talk to Me: Communication & Conflict Resolution (2 hrs)

3.      Celebrating Our Differences (2hrs)

4.      Financial Planning in Marriage(2 hrs)

5.      Sexual Intimacy in Marriage 1 (2hrs)

6.      Sexual Intimacy in Marriage 2(2 hrs)

Total hrs: 12 hrs duration:6 weeks with 1 shortened module per week; no FAQ session

©Better Blends Relationship Institute 2011

 


 

Our Chapter Ends Here But The Book Does Not?

Posted by Christina Dottin on July 24, 2011 at 7:32 AM Comments comments (0)


A broken heart can turn out to be one of the toughtest things an individual will have to face in his/her life. Well actually, it is indeed one of the toughest things we as human beings have to face no matter who we are, how we look, where we are from or even how our bank accounts/ wallets stand. We all have to face this reality sometime. If you're that girl sitting on the couch watching chick flicks, eatting icecream and crying your eyes out, this one is dedicated to you or maybe you're that guy that's home sitting on the couch playing the slowest of love songs reminiscing on what "shoulda-coulda-been" ; this one is for you as well.

I remember being down in the gutter over a break up when a voice in my head was singing "The end of us is not the end of me" and this instantly connected with my heart and I turned it into a song before the day was out. The girl who was laying in the chair crying continously was now smiling bright and ready for the new fasinating adventures that were awaiting her in the near future. The title of this article "Our Chapter Ends Here But The Book Does Not?" is my way of saying break-ups happen but they aren't the end of you. I mean like for instance, MOVIES; we all watch them. Do you ever notice that the star of the movie never ever, ever, ever dies? No matter what battles or trials come his/her way, he/she always prevails. That's how your life should be when it comes to break-ups.The only difference is, that I don't think it's possible for us to be torn apart emotionally by someone we love and then get right back on our feet and make changes all within 2 hours and 1/2. Those things only happen in movies.

In reality, it takes way longer than that if you want to truly move on. So picture it like this; you're the star in your life; so no matter what or who comes your way, if they stay or it they go, the show must go on. And trust me, this show only ends when your God says so. So you've got to keep on stepping honey! It may feel like the end of the world now but trust me, it isn't. You're soon to meet someone sweeter, nicer , better than your ex anyway; especially if he/she was a total Jack A squared; if you know what I mean.

It's understandable that you're hurting. You may feel empty. Probably at this point, you're feeling like a fish out of water..... just there..... doing nothing.... patiently waiting for someone to say "Oh look . . .  a fishie" and hopefully throw you back out into the blue. But come on hun, don't allow yourself to sink into depression. You need to let out those tears you're holding back but hey don't cry forever because time waits on no man or woman. How about "drum roll please" dumdumdumdumdum...... a few break up tips, just to help you out a little huh? Wouldn't that be nice? Just about 4-5 to start you off. Here we go:

1. Let Go : Get it all out, cry those tears you need to cry ladies and for the men beat the pillow or scream into the pillow or whatever you males find comforting to do.Hey forgive me I'm a lady *giggles*. You need to let it all out of your system so you can move on without any baggage.

2. Burn That Bridge: End all contact between you and your ex. You need to separate your life from his/hers so you can start on a new path, new chapter with new and exciting things. You can not be having he/she calling you and messing up your "Moving On" flow by hearing their voice. So, you need to burn that bridge, even if you have to change your cell number and email address oh and don't forget about deleting them from your social network pages. Come on you DON'T NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN ON WHAT THEY ARE DOING! so delete, delete, delete! Delete them from your facebook, myspace, twitter etc.

3. Cleaning Spree: Your ex is gone, there is no need for you to keep his/her things knocking around to remind you of the past this will only stump your ability to move on by reminding you continously about who you should be trying to forget at this point in time, AYE I see you over there hiding that teddy girl or that flower or that one special thing you can't let go of, LET IT GO You need to be moving forward not backward. Come on STAY WITH ME, STAY FOCUSED.

4. Free To Do YoU:  Get back into doing those things you enjoyed doing before you and your ex were involved or do those things you wanted to but couldn't because of how he/she may felt, thought, said, done. They're gone now, so DO IT. I DARE YOU. As long as it isn't anything that will bring harm to you and your emotions DO IT. If it'll make you happy DO IT. You know, that haircut, that dress, that sport, that new tv hit, that new club or that new book? DO IT , DO IT , DO IT . Only you and God can love you the way you deserve to be loved, so do all those little things to make yourself feel special. because you are. You deserve to feel special whether you are or are not on someone's arm.

People come into our lives for different reasons, different seasons and some come into our lives for a lifetime. Something we must understand, is that the show  must go on... Whenever you find yourself in a terrible break-up and it feels like you can't go on, keep reminding yourself "The end of us does not mean the end of me" Life goes on, so CHIN UP AND SHOW TIME!

When He cheats on You Who is to Blame?

Posted by Christina Dottin on July 22, 2011 at 6:39 AM Comments comments (1)

Ladies and Gents, we all know very well that women fighting over men isn't an unfamiliar topic to the world we live in. It happens every where in the world probably everyday, but the real question is; when your man cheats do you blame him or do you blame the woman he cheated with? I come to you to discuss this very interesting topic, while reading it bear in mind this article is fully based on my opinion on the issue, not facts.

As seen in movies, read in novels and witnessed in real life, when a man cheats, the woman cheated on always tends to go after the mistress; WHY? Why do we choose to deal with things this way ladies? She's not involved with you, why do you think she should even give a monkey's butt about your emotions or even your well being? You need to deal with the person you're involved with, you know, the person who's standing next to you in those pictures, that man who spends every Valentine's day with you "I hope"; that man who you gave all your love and dedicated time to, yes him. He's the person who should be giving a MONKEY'S butt about your emotions not her. She doesn't even know you and even if she does know you, the only way I would advise for you to go after her butt also. is if she's a friend of yours that SHOULD give a damn about your emotions. If that's the case, well, tie them both to a bridge and light it (Not literally) and move on. If she isn't, deal with your boyfriend/husband and forget about her. H thate's in the relationship with you and should know better.

 I must admit that women choose to go after the outside woman for different reasons. They are tons of them but I'm only truly aware of a few because I have witnessed them before. Sometimes we ladies go after the outside women when we do not want to go head to head with our man because of fear of what he might do. Sometimes we fear facing the fact that our man is a PLAYA, or as stated in Denise J Charles' previous article, we fear that our man is a "Penis Man".

Some women can't face that reality so they dodge dealing with him and the issue and go for the outside chick. Then there are some women who are just overly dramatic; who just love a cat fight. They just enjoy trying to prove to the world that they are the "top dawg", the diva, the original "bad girl", when truly, they are just showing the world how ridiculous and class-less they are.

Let's face it, these fights can end only in three ways;  either the man leaves both women or he leaves with the outside woman or he goes home with his girlfriend/wife. Some of you may read the last outcome "going home with his girlfriend/wife" and say HOORAY! but you must realize that this behavior will likely start up again; eventually. The truth is that up until now, she (girlfriend/wife) still hasn't dealt with him. She took all her anger out on the girl down the road and  he got away scott free, so for him the question is "why stop something that I'm not being punished for?"

I have so many more thoughts revolving around this one issue but i'll leave those for a few other articles. If you find yourself in such a situation ladies and you want to just rip of her head for some odd reason, remember to ask yourself one question; is it she I'm really dealing with or he?


Breaking Bedroom Boredom

Posted by betterblends on June 8, 2011 at 2:28 AM Comments comments (0)

I honestly don’t think that there are any words more over-used on the planet than “sex” and “sexy”. In contemporary advertising and everyday conversations, “sexy” is used to describe just about everything: your car, my lipstick, a woman’s legs, breasts, a guy’s rear end, a magazine, a pair of shoes and the list is by no means exhaustive. We have grown so accustomed to singing about sex in Pop and R & B music, having it talked about on talk-shows, discussed on blogs (present company included), in bars, over coffee at work and even alluded to surreptitiously in board rooms that we have pretty much heard it all. Regretfully, in our overtly sex-saturated society, something that should really allow us to go whoopee has become virtually run-of-the-mill. We are basically suffering from sexual over-exposure and the sad thing is that our relationships are being adversely affected.

How are these effects being felt you might ask. They have likely contributed to much of the boredom often experienced by many of us in the bedroom. Where sex is concerned, have you ever thought “been there, done that” (big yawn)? I mean what else is really new in the sexual stratosphere (barring the unmentionable kinky variety not mildly appealing to us normal people). Really, think about it. How do regular, well-adjusted couples not interested in the least in flaying each others skin or in some other de-humanizing behaviour, continue to get a kick out of sex, particularly if they have been married for a good, five, ten, fifteen or maybe twenty years.

I admit having been married for a quite a few years myself, that cultivating and maintaining bedroom excitement is no easy feat. Our common-sense tells us that relationships will drift though a number of stages. After the hot and sexy early years where we can hardly think straight or keep our hands off each other, we find ourselves settling into the routine of coupledom. There are the bills to be paid, the babies, the changing careers, continuing education, the parents and life which just keeps on happening.

These shifts in the dynamics of our relationships are very often reflected in the bedroom. It is usually the first place to experience the emotional strains which can plague a marriage because of changing life-circumstances. Because sex is an ultra-vulnerable act which forces us to let our guard down, it easily becomes the place which is most susceptible to the normal stresses and strains of a relationship.

So what am I saying? Bedrooms can become besieged with boredom because of a number of reasons. Sex has become as common as the common cold, and the changing scenes of life and relationships don’t exactly make it easy for couples to feel all hot and bothered under the collar.

So what happens in the bedroom during these junctures of our lives? Well, where sex is concerned there is always the element of choice. There are a number of ways individuals and couples can and do choose to deal with the issue of bedroom boredom.

The Auto-Pilot Response

This occurs where couples mostly have sex when either half-asleep or half-awake (just a matter of perspective). Sex occurs as a matter of course, pretty much like the necessary bodily function of going to the bathroom. There is absolutely no effort at creativity or ingenuity extended into the love-life. Sex is brief, functional, perfunctory and release-oriented; pretty much along the lines of that well worn expression “wham-bam-thank-you-mam!” The missionary position becomes etched in stone and sometimes the wife can even do the grocery list during the act, if she can get her eyes opened wide enough.

The Sexless Response

Couples go sexless when the cares of life become so overwhelming that sex is no longer worth the time, work and effort. This couple begins to function almost along the lines of a brother and sister. There may or may not be a certain sense of warmth between them but life has become so centred on the activities of family (children and in-laws) that this couple has actually lost all sense of being a couple. In this response pattern, the practice of not having any sex (or as little as twice a year), is not necessarily a well-thought out or deliberate response. It usually occurs because one individual looses his/her desire and the other capitulates because he/she gives into a feeling of powerlessness in the situation.

The Nocturnal Headache Response

This response occurs when there is a simple lack of common sex, I mean common sense. One partner (usually the woman) gets locked into complaining of a nightly headache, while failing to realise that she’s having that headache precisely because she has not had some good sex in a while and perhaps needs that great orgasmic release. No seriously, the headache response reveals an escape-route mentality. Of course I am not denying that there may be times when illness may prevent partners from experiencing a good roll in the hay but that’s not the point here. Barring genuine illness, partners can become locked into various excuses as to why sex does not happen. “The kids will hear us”, “the dogs are barking”, “my mother lives next-door”, “there is a hole in the ceiling” all become viable reasons as to why sex should be circumnavigated. While this sex-avoidance behaviour may only be perpetuated by one individual, it becomes a significant road-block to sexual intimacy since it definitely takes two to tango.

The Roving Reporter Response

Perhaps this is the most lethal of responses to bedroom boredom. It occurs when one or both partners begin to look outside the relationship for the sexual excitement which they know is lacking. The partner or couple who gets locked into this response may not be necessarily interested in leaving the relationship. There may be a sense of security in knowing that they have built a life together. They perhaps share a mortgage, a car loan, kids, pets and the list goes on. What they don’t share however is an exciting sex life. When sexual boredom has set in and there is a lack of dialogue on the matter, the result could very well be a tendency to inspect the grass on the other side. This is a response that is grounded in laziness and a self-serving agenda. The energy, spontaneity and ingenuity that is often required to make an affair work, had it been applied to the marriage, would most likely have resulted in a re-kindling of the sexual fires. The self-serving partner is however looking for a quick fix and working on a relationship can be time-consuming.

The “I Want to Have Great Sex With You” Response

There are couples who love to have great sex, and I mean with a capital L. There is however one condition. They only want to have that great sex with the person to whom they are committed. Sex for such individuals is not an end in itself. It’s not a case of “any sex will do”. They are not into trading vaginas and penises for their own personal aggrandizement. Do such couples experience boredom in the bedroom? Of course! Their boredom could be as palpable as the next guys. What distinguishes their response however is their level of commitment to the relationship and their intuitive understanding of the value of a good sex-life to the health of the relationship. Because they understand the basics of relational health, they are therefore willing to put in the extra work to alleviate the bedroom blues. They also understand that love is really about putting the needs of another individual before their own. This means that if each partner focuses on what to do to please the other sexually, then the result is likely to be one sexually fulfilled couple.

Regardless of the response mode you and your spouse may have found yourselves in when it comes to the bedroom blues, the following tips represent a starting point for your continued sexual renewal as a couple:

  • Schedule lovemaking sessions; especially when there are kids around. This ensures that sexual intimacy becomes as regular a part of your couple’s repertoire as taking a shower is to the individual.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of the quickie. Yes the long, drawn out, steamy, lovemaking sessions a la Hollywood and the romance novel may be well known to some of us, but a short, sweet sexual encounter may be better than none at all.
  • Get deliberately creative. Using the powers of imagination from time to time can always add flavour to the love-life. This may involve using sexy lingerie, silk boxers and other little tricks like scented candles, fragrant oils, music, feathers, flavoured condoms, satin sheets, carefully positioned mirrors and you get my drift I’m sure.
  • Cultivate a ‘touchy-feely” relationship. Couples who understand how to be physically demonstrative to each other outside of the bedroom get to preserve a certain level of sexual tension which just goes kaboom when they come together.
  • Have a regular date-night. Spending time together regularly in other social settings helps an individual to see his/her partner in a different light. Taking the effort to dress up and go out together sends a powerful message that the individual is not being taken for granted.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Couples who fail to share what they really feel about their love-life run the risk of harbouring anger and resentment which can contribute to further rifts in the relationship. It is important for couples to practice emotional intimacy if they expect to have great sexual intimacy. This comes only through honesty, openness and a shared vulnerability.
  • Have lots of sex. Scientific studies have proven that the more sex we have the more sex we want. So there is perhaps no greater way to jump-start a flagging sex life that with some attempt at a sexual marathon (of course not forever but just so you could get those hormones racing again). Couples could perhaps set themselves an attainable sexual goal as an experiment or a challenge; for example, sex everyday for five or seven straight days. According to researchers, this is guaranteed to straighten out those hormones and have them and other parts of of your anatomy in tip-top working condition.

Is Fantasizing Good For Your Sexual Relationship

Posted by betterblends on April 23, 2011 at 2:41 PM Comments comments (0)

In most couples' forums today, there are several arguments advanced as towhy sexual fantasy is a good practice among couples. There is the belief thatit adds some needed excitement and dynamism to the bedroom. Through fantasy, individuals can become somebody else and can take on attributes and characteristics not necessarily their own on a regular day. But before we go any further into our discussion, it is perhaps necessary that we define fantasy.


I believe that we can fantasize at various levels and perhaps all sexual fantasy should not be lumped together in the same way. Loosely speaking, sexual fantasy can be described as any thought or imagining which is of a sexual nature. It can involve the individual behaving sexually with herself, her partner, afriend/friends, acquaintances, virtual strangers or purely fictitious or made-up characters. I believe that our natural ability to imagine is God-given.How or why we use this natural gift is however another matter altogether.


Perhaps the sexual fantasies we engage in provide a hint on how we feel about sex. If we perceive sex to be something to be hidden, that is dirty or bad, then this may influence us to become someone else who can enjoy this "badness" without guilt. We may also use fantasizing to become someone else who is allowed sexual pleasure because as we are, we don't see ourselves as being very sexy or sexually desirable. In this light, fantasy can be used to shed pounds, increase breast size and in the case of the male, lengthen and strengthen a certain important attribute.


Very often the tendency to fantasize may also be linked to how we learnt about sex. If our sexual repertoire was built through romance novels, pornographic images or through the reading of graphic erotica, then our brains become trained to accessing our sexual arousal and enjoyment through these avenues. In other words, we become hooked on the habit and can't seem to enjoy sex without it.


I am aware that several of us engage in sexual behaviour without giving it much thought. It is highly possible that people will continue to blissfully do what works for them, especially when it yields an orgasm. For those of us interested in improving the quality of our sexual relationships, however, it may be good to give the "sexual-fantasy" habit some deep thought. Why is there a need to fantasize? Does it signify some dissatisfaction with our partner? Are we unhappy with his love-making skills? Do we long for more excitement and passion? Have we trained our bodies only to orgasm through certain sexual thoughts and therefore we need to rely on such thoughts if we are to experiencea sexual climax? Are we doing it because Oprah said it was good or because we think that every body else is doing it?


I have no scientific evidence, but I honestly believe that most people fantasize because it is behaviour which they have learned to rely on for sexual arousal and or climax. It is most likely linked to past experience and exposure. If our philosophy goes somewhat like "the ends justify the means" then we may not give our habit of sexual fantasizing a whole lot of thought. I think, however, that private fantasizing is also a sure-fire way for couples to become disengaged and disconnected during sex. It also does not encourage dialogue between couples about the things with which they are unhappy. Some couples may claim to share sexual fantasies but if after this so called "sharing" they revert right back to focusing on someone else, then their's is no real exclusive couple-intimacy and the sharing is counter-productive.


If we need to expend so much energy thinking about somebody else, or about ourselves in some other sexual scenario, then surely we are robbing our spouse of some of the fire and passion that should be reserved for him alone. What right-thinking woman (unless she's kinky to the bone) wants her husband to be thinking about another woman when he's making love to her?


The reality is that sex is as much a mind-activity as it is one which involves the genitals. It is unlikely that we can enjoy sex with an "empty mind". The mind was not designed to be empty. Deliberately using the mind during sex is perhaps good and necessary. It is great for focusing in on our own pleasure and on that of our spouse. But if our focus is"relationship" and not "self-love", then perhaps we can utilize this brain energy by thinking only of ourselves and our partners. Maybe we can  imagine ourselves doing something hot and delicious that we have not yet had a chance to try.


While the possibilities may be endless, the mind should never be allowed to become an enemy of the relationship, where we prefer to live there, than in the reality of our real union.

 


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