5 habits of truly happy marriages, according to a marriage expert

Positive psychology is the science of strengths and looking at what makes individuals and couples thrive.

Marriage takes work. Everyone knows this. But what many don’t realize is that they might be working on the wrong things. Or even working on the right things in the wrong way.

“In our culture, there’s so much focus on getting together rather than on being together and staying happy together,” says Suzann Pileggi, who, along with her husband, James Pawelski, director of education at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, authored Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts. “Looking at positive psychology research and seeing what is it that can actually lead to a happier marriage.”

Positive psychology is the science of strengths and looking at what makes individuals and couples thrive. “The research shows that, if you’re focusing more on growing the nuggets of what’s good, you have a better chance of having a happy relationship.” In other words, know your strengths and spend time maintaining them. Here, then, are five tips that Suzann and James say will lead to better days for you and your spouse.

1. Cultivate a healthy passion

That idea of starry-eyed lovers who are forever on each other’s minds and obsess over each other daily? Total B.S. In fact, per Pileggi this thinking is detrimental, as it can give rise to the idea that obsessive passion is a healthy thing.

“In the beginning of a relationship, you can’t stop thinking about your partner, you might be distracted at work, you might cancel plans with friends to see your girlfriend or future spouse,” she explains. “But if that continues months or years into the relationship and you’re not seeing your friendsanymore, you’re not engaging in activities that you did before the relationship, and you can’t focus on anything else, that could be more of an obsessive passion.”

In order to create a healthy passion, Pileggi says to be sure to make room in your mind for your other interests and other people. Then, when you are with your partner, find ways to connect over things that you both enjoy. “It’s about forging a deeper bond, not trying to be competitive,” Pileggi says. “So don’t choose something that you really like and enjoy and your wife has no interest in. The idea is to connect, not to compete.”

2. Embrace the upside

At the beginning of a relationship, positive emotions are flowing with regularity. Excitement, joy, passion are all right at your fingertips. But, as the relationship progresses and you both get more comfortable with each other, some people expect that those positive emotions will just happen without any effort. Not so.

“The research shows that the happiest couples with the most sustainable marriages are the ones who actively cultivate them all the time and prioritize them as opposed to waiting around for them to happen,” she says. “Because, like with anything, the newness of something, those heightened positive emotions, the level and the frequency just naturally don’t occur as much as in the beginning of a relationship, the falling-in-love stage.”

So, couples in long-term relationships who are looking to cultivate positive emotions have to ask themselves what can they do each day, what activities or actions can they do in order to keep positive emotions flowing in a marriage.

“Imagine if you just bought a gym membership and went once and then said, ‘Okay, now I’m going to be fit,’” Pileggi says. “No, you work out regularly and throughout your lifetime.”

One activity that Pileggi and her husband discuss in Happy Together is a ‘Positive Relationship Portfolio,’ And yes, it is actually a portfolio: of pictures, mementos, and other such items that mean something in your relationship. If that’s your style or not, we get it. The point of the exercise is to devote time to thinking about the fond memories, which, per Pileggi, is extremely important. However you do it is up to you.

3. Savor experiences

Positive emotions and moments are fleeting. Pileggi says that it’s important to slow down and take time to enjoy them. “Research shows that if you spend at least 15 minutes savoring something you could increase your satisfaction,” she says. “One way to do that is sharing secrets with one another. Ask your spouse about a favorite childhood experience, or a secret they never told anyone or big idea or dream they always had for the future.” The point is this: The more you open up and talk about these sorts of things, the deeper a bond you’re able to create.

4. Locate and focus on character strengths

What are your partner’s strengths? Do you know? Positive Psychology researchers have identified 24 character traits that people possess in different measures. Things like creativity, curiosity, zest, love of learning, leadership. Pileggi recommends taking a Character Strengths test with your partner (one is available here). Then, once you’ve determined what your strengths are, you can have conversations with each other about them. From there, Pileggi says, you both can go on what she and her husband call a “strength date.”  Sounds weird right? But the idea is sound: each of you to pick a top strength and go on a date that plays to — and satisfies — both of them.

5. Emphasize gratitude

“If your partner feels taken advantage of and not acknowledged, they’re not going to be satisfied,” she says. And just saying “thanks” isn’t enough.

An example: If your spouse gives you a gift or does something kind for you, don’t just thank them, but also say something like, “You really know what I need and you’re such a good listener.” or “You’re so thoughtful, and I can see how thoughtful you are with our children and the way you are at work.”

It’s about being deliberate and specific in how you express appreciation for your partner. “Express your thanks and express it well,” says Pileggi. “Which means focusing on your partner and her actions and her strengths rather than solely on the gift and the benefit to you.” The end result: Per Pileggi, couples who did this decreased their chances of breaking up six months later by 50 percent.

For you mom

 

For you mom Giovanni Marradi

==========================
Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray
And love God’s holy book and day,
And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me,
My Mother?

Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward they care,
My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old and grey,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My Mother.

For Paris – You Are Slender Song

For ParisOur hearts and thoughts are with the people of Paris. It’s shocking and horrible what’s happening in Paris. This song by title ” You are Slender”

Honor Guest on Duduk: Giro Vardanyan
Lyrics “ You Are Slender”
Producer: Edward Khoury & Elias Bandak
Music Arrangements: Edward Khoury
Record Labels: Paramount Studios

Mino Element Band Members

Aram Kasabian – Lead Guitar
Sevan Manoukian – Drummer
Hratch Panossian – Bass
Samer Khoury – Violin
Tony Amer – Saxophone
Haim Cohen – KeyBoard
Albert Panikian – Trumpet
Nicole Del Sol – Percussion
Dana Debos – Trombone

∞∞∞∞∞∞

Is it his nearest of the human voice
is it more expressive vocals
that invent

every breath of duduk
when an artist carries in him
from all eternity

Then means
from the depths of time,

never ceased to exist,

all the joys, all the pains,

victories and injuries,

fine, new beginnings,

all storms, all the upheavals

no people, more than we are heirs

will have had to cross

drawing from the depths of his despair

in the hell of a cruel fate

faith, hope

that still exists

at the dawn of morning miraculous

the golden thread woven for millennia

that binds us forever in space and time

∞∞∞∞∞∞

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use

© 2015 Paramount Studios& Element Band All Rights Reserved

 

Inspirational Messages from Celebrity Breast Cancer Survivors

By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA

Marketing/Media Writer, Strategist and Consultant

Many well-known celebrities have battled breast cancer, and now speak out to help others suffering from the disease. Take a look at these inspirational celebrity breast cancer survivors who fought and won their battle against breast cancer.

 

Edie Falco

“I had my biopsy at 8 in the morning,” she tells PARADE. “Within two hours, I knew I had cancer. Then, at 1 o’clock, I had to be on the set of The Sopranos. It was the scene in which Tony and Carmela were already divorced, and I’m telling him I’m going to take him for everything. It was a very angry scene for me, and that helped a bit, I’m sure. I had a miserably hard time holding on to my lines. It was a terribly frightening and surreal time, but I never missed a day of work, even on the worst chemo days. You have no idea at the time that there is a future. It’s a future that involves taking a trip to Sloan-Kettering hospital every six months to make sure I’m okay, but it’s just a part of who I am now. You learn to live with it and are amazed how you find ways to be grateful for it.”

 

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Sheryl Crow

“It’s a real showstopper when you get diagnosed with breast cancer. One of the big lessons for me was that, as much as we think we can control things by being fit and eating well and so on, there are just going to be things in life that you’re dealt for whatever reason. I think not having the power to control everything is where you will find the most opportunity. It demands that you let go. I think vulnerability offers you an opportunity for expansion,” Crow tells PARADE.

“By the time I was diagnosed, I felt like kind of a pawn in my own life. Everything I was doing was made out of taking care of everybody else. There’s a lot of fear in that—the fear of disappointing people if you say ‘no’ or of stepping on somebody’s feelings. I realized that the only person who could go through that treatment was me. Nobody could get on the radiation table except for me. It was very informative,” she said.

 

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Christina Applegate

“I was 36 years old when I had breast cancer,” she tells PARADE. “The things I pray for are a lot different than they used to be. I pray that I’ll find joy and happiness in whatever comes my way rather than being totally focused on getting the thing that will advance my career. It’s not that I’m less ambitious, it’s just that I used to feel that if my life wasn’t a certain way I wasn’t going to be happy. Then I shifted gears in my consciousness. I really accept the fact that my life is blessed and that it doesn’t matter if I’m successful in this business or something else.”

 

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Cynthia Nixon

“I probably felt a little more empowered because I’d gone through it with my mother but I didn’t want to talk about it while I was getting treatment,” she tells PARADE. “I just didn’t want to like shout from the rooftop, ‘I’m having radiation.’ But now that I’m OK, I don’t need to keep it a secret and I want to be able to help others. I’m a spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, which helps educate the 1.1 million women around the globe who face a diagnosis each year. “

 

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Hoda Kotb

“If you have a friend or family member with breast cancer, try not to look at her with ‘sad eyes.’ Treat her like you always did; just show a little extra love.”

 

 

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Maura Tierney

“There is one thing I’ve learned for sure. It’s a life-changing thing to be in a position of needing help and being so lucky as to get it. And to feel like that’s okay,” she tells PARADE. “You can’t just take care of everybody else all the time. That’s almost as perspective-changing as the illness. For someone like me, that was kind of tough.”

 

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Melissa Etheridge

“I’m feeling fine and clean,” she tells PARADE. “I’m actually healthier now because of better nutrition, yoga, a lot of hiking, and a spiritual awakening. October is breast-cancer month, and I spend more time then speaking and using my celebrity to help women become more aware. I think it’s working. The shame and the fear seem to be going away.”

 

Finally from myself as a cancer survivor – I say -“The worst thing you can do with any life-threatening disease is sit around all day waiting for the next test. If I die tomorrow I think I could look at myself in the mirror and say I tried everything I could to live as healthy a life as possible. I didn’t just sit around and hope that the next treatment might work.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain In Pain

Gain In Pain

By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA

Consultant, Strategist, and Writer

 

I fall a prey to great affliction,
Undergo sufferance with botheration.

Why should I undergo pain and fret?
Why should I twitching heartache get?

Why should I undergo this distress?
Why should I have this unhappiness?

I stumble to interpret and expound,
I am helpless to unravel and come around!

In God’s wonderful and glorious creation,
There is nothing whatever without reason!

‘Oh! God! Why have you thrown me over-board?
Oh! God! Why am I saddled with such a load? ‘

‘Oh! Ye man, when life is trying and troublesome,
Difficult, with misery, formidable and toilsome;

With worry, trials and tribulations,
You are made tough to get invigoration;

You gather spirit, strength and tenacity,
You become chaste, pure with sublimity;

Distress gives you the grit and determination,
To overcome the bitterness in the situation;

With sufferance you learn endurance,
You engender enthusiasm and tolerance;

With pain you restrain and gain wisdom,
You are seasoned, cohesive and solemn;

With affliction you beget verve and inspiration,
You become deeply profound with beatification! ‘