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The New Year offers endless possibilities to set new goals and break bad habits. How about starting new couple habits that will strengthen your relationship?, says Dr. Noelle Nelson, relationship expert and author of Your Man is Wonderful (Free Press, 2009).
 
“Now is the time to take a look at some of ‘him-and-her’ patterns developed over the years. Keep those that work and change those that don’t,” says Nelson. “You know the ones, like the roll-your-eyes-snide-comment thing you do every time your husband laughs at what you consider to be some inane sitcom gag. Or your severe sigh and heavily judgmental, ‘I don’t want to talk about it’ way of ending arguments.”
 
These all worked to get your point across at some point in the relationship. “We don’t establish patterns because they will fail. Him-and-her patterns emerge because they work,” explains Nelson. “When you were first together, letting him know your opinion of a sitcom with a roll-eyes-snide-comment was cute. It certainly was more acceptable than saying something downright demeaning. But over time, it’s not cute, and in fact, can be downright irritating.”
 
In this example, Nelson points out that for the husband, watching sitcoms may relax him; take him away from a world of worry and responsibility. “Instead of rolling your eyes when he turns on his favorite show, accept the good that watching does for him,” says Nelson. “Don’t react negatively. Better yet, smile, knowing the show is of value to him.”
 
An “I don’t want to talk about it” pattern may have kept you from flying into a temper during an argument in the past, but now all it does is prevent you from discussing issues that need to be discussed if your relationship is to deepen and thrive. “Change that pattern to ‘I need some time to cool down. Let’s come back to it later. Is that okay?,” says Nelson. “That way, you can handle your heated emotions without dropping an issue that will only continue to fester if left unaddressed.
 
“We have patterns of behavior for all types of situations, continues Noelle. “We couldn’t function in our highly complex world if we didn’t have reliable patterns to go by. But left unexamined, our patterns can become a prison, keeping us locked in behaviors that no longer contribute to a happy, joyful life.”
 
Nelson suggestions that this New Year, take a fresh look at your him-and-her patterns. “Keep the ones that work,” she says, “and let go of the ones that don’t. With new patterns, you’ll see a surge of love and a stronger bond between the two of you.”
 
For more marriage tips, go to Nelson’s blog, http://anotefromdrnoelle.blogspot.com/ or follow her on Twitter, http://twitter.com/drnoellenelson.

I’m usually a big fan of Nordstrom, but my recent transaction with the company has made me NEVER want to shop there again!  Why you ask?  Because it took six weeks, ten phone calls to customer service, three calls to UPS and a letter to Nordstrom’s corporate headquarters to get the coat I purchased!!

I don’t know about you, but I find that sort of service unacceptable.  I ordered my coat on Sept. 20 and didn’t receive it until Oct. 30 , when I was told it would arrive in 5-8 business days! 

So what went wrong?  Apparently the coat left the Nordstrom’s warehouse via UPS.  From there, UPS “tried” to deliver the package to my second-story apartment but couldn’t find my unit (out of an eight-unit building).  Shocking, I know. 

Seeing that the UPS carrier was too lazy to walk up a flight of stairs – that’s a story for another day – there was no package notice left to alert me that the coat was sent back to Nordstrom. 

So, Nordstrom sent out ANOTHER coat and the cycle with UPS started all over again.  But here’s the kicker…Nordstrom failed to inform me (the customer) of the status of my order.  So in the meantime, I’m calling the company’s customer service and getting the runaround.  On three occasions customer service promised me the package would arrive the next day and it never did.  On two occasions they promised me a return phone call and never called back – infuriating!

Finally, four weeks after my purchase I got a UPS slip on my apartment door saying the package couldn’t be delivered.  I called UPS and they said the package had been sent back to Nordstrom.  So I called Nordstrom and they finally explained the troubles they were having with shipping and asked me for an alternative address to ship the coat (which they should have done weeks prior).  I gave them my work address and the package still didn’t show up for another 10 days!

The most disturbing part of this whole story is that I probably would never have received my coat had I not been such a squeaky wheel.  Also, I had asked for a refund for all the time I spent tracking down this coat (40 days) and Nordstrom wouldn’t give me one.  If I were you, I’d think twice when ordering from this company.  Unless you have the time to order you swimsuit in February so it’s there by June.

And let’s not let UPS off that easy.  The icing on the cake is that I got a UPS delivery a week later to my second-story apartment.  What’s that all about?!  Do their carriers pick and choose the packages they want to deliver?  If Nordstrom was smart it would switch to Fed-Ex.

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bad engagement photoYou may have thought awkward family photos were funny, but there’s something even funnier:  Awesomely Bad Engagement Photos

If you recently got engaged then you have to check out this website.  It might just make you rethink that upcoming photo shoot.

To visit the website, click here.


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