Happy New year. Tonight, it will only be the noise of my “torotot” and the 2007 video of this firecracker explosion from our neighbors. I remember how the explosion deafened me for a few minutes . It was the worst explosion I witnessed. I could only take a minute video. Listen to it.

Tonight, I will pray for the victims of Seniang. So many deaths and loss to property. While everyone was in a holiday mode, parts of Visayas and Mindanao experienced flashfloods, landslides that were unexpected. I know 2015 seems bleak while we experience this heartbreaking yearender. I continue to hope that the Philippines will recover from this. I hope that more Filipinos are discerning towards choosing their leaders.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” says Albert Einstein. Let’s also remember Mother Teresa when she said “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

I expect good things for myself and my loved ones despite the Seniang storm late this year.

1. When I wonder what is coming, I tell myself the best is coming, the very best in life and love have to offer, the best God will send and claim it as mine.

2. I see the best in my mind and envision what it will look like and feel like.

3. After I have envisioned the good things, I let it go and come back to the present moment. I will not obsess. I become excited.

word cloud for year 2015

Today, as the year ends, I am full of gratitude for all that I received this year. Good and bad.

I will wait and expect good things for 2015.

To all my readers, I hope that when you think about the year ahead, you will focus on the good that is coming.

New is the year, new are the hopes, new is the resolution, new are the spirits, and new are my warm wishes just for you. Have a promising and fulfilling New Year. Happy New Year!

Golden 2015 Happy New Year Greeting Card With Sparking Spot Ligh

Smile. God Loves You. I often scribbled those words in my diary way back in the early seventies when I was in High School. I also picked up Flower Power, a slogan likely coined by Alan Ginsberg in 1965. It referred the hippie notion of ““make love not war,” and the idea that love and nonviolence, such as the growing of flowers, was a better way to heal the world than continued focus on capitalism and wars. I often ended my diary entry with a smiley face and a flower on top of the hat.

The idea of using flowers to express a movement gets at the heart of hippie identity. As a teen, the flower power drawings were everywhere. Flowers are so pretty and no wonder I always adorn my home with flowers. The simplicity of the flower, its ties to the earth and natural origin, and its beauty were all things this counterculture movement wanted to remain close to. In the end, there’s a beauty and grace to the flower power movement, even though it ultimately did end badly for more than a few people. Like many movements which may have many good intentions, certain aspects, like an emphasis on drug use, contributed to its destruction. Like any flower, the flower power movement grew for a time in the mid to late 1960s, and then withered sadly by the early 1970s.

Flower Power will always ring true in my heart. And I want to shower you with Flower Power.

Make love, not war.
Most often demands of life may sometimes get in the way of most couples. Being intimate, whether it’s a quick hug, holding hands, a quick massage on the shoulder, a snuggle on the couch, or a night of passion, needs to be scheduled into every day. Without fail, I practice intimacy with my romantic husband (well, except when he is goes inside his bat cave) and children every day.

Give peace a chance.
Pick your battles carefully. Sure, that latest gossip can be so annoying. Some may think that by exposing others, they themselves appear more righteous. Remember. when YOU point a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you. Blowing out someone’s candle does not make yours shine brighter. But is that gossip worth an armed conflict? Only you can make that decision. Maybe conceding the battle will win the war in the long run.

Flower power!
Never underestimate the importance of a heart-felt apology, with or without flowers. If you acted like an idiot, admit it. The words ““I’m sorry” heal and bridge the gap. There are times we act in ways that are less than comfortable. But we don’t have to say ““I’m sorry” if we didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t have to apologize for taking care of myself, dealing with feelings, setting my boundaries , having fun or getting healthy.

Indeed there is beauty in grace in Flower Power. It’s healing.

christmas greeting card

Early this year, I cleared up all the junk that was piling at home.  Lying beneath all that clutter , I spotted this  special Christmas card, that my daughter gave me on December 24, 2004. Yes, exactly 10 years ago. I clearly remember myself 10 years ago. I was like a zombie, grief stricken from the loss of my beloved son and avoided  social contact with friends and relatives, except immediate family. It had been four years since my son died but still, I felt I was  holed up in the deepest pit, trying to  find the light that would bring me to a new normal.   I was borderline obese and ugly.   Not only that, I was a controlling mother and an indifferent wife.  So, when I read Lauren’s greeting card, I suddenly saw a tiny ray of light…and felt a knot in my throat. GUILT.


christmas greeting card 1

With my daughter’s permission, I am copying the contents of her beautiful letter.  So  wise beyond her 18 years, I want you to read it for yourself:


December 24, 2004

Dearest Mom,

I thought I’d write you a short Christmas letter as a token of my gratitude for everything that you’ve done for me.  I mean, you’ve done so much for me and…. and Dad and you put so much effort into making holidays like this memorable and magical for  all of us. You’ve done a wonderful job and I appreciate it very much.

I see you do so many things for us, and sometimes I wonder if you do anything for yourself. It’s okay for you to take care of us but I think you need to take more care of yourself. I guess I’m a bit worried about what you will do with your life after M and I leave the nest. I think it would be nice for you to go out once in a while, relax and just have fun and not attend to family duties. Take a break and be yourself.

I guess the reason why I’m telling you this is because even if I don’t show it very often, I do love you and I am concerned about you, I want you to be happy , and I want to know if you will be all right two or three years  from now when I go off and start my own life.

You and I are very different from one another and I hope you understand that even though I’d like to do everything you ask of me, I’m my own person too. And sometimes I do things not so I could piss you off, but because it’s something I want for myself.  And while I know you are constantly worried about me because it’s your job to, I thought I’d let you know that I’m going to be just fine.

Merry Christmas , Mom. I love you.

Love from

Your daughter, Lauren


When I showed Lauren this letter , I asked her how I turned out…10 years after. Did I pass the mark?

“I guess”, my wise daughter nods.

Here are a few things I did the following year:


– Finally gave my daughter the approval to continue the relationship with someone I did not approve

– Enrolled at Fitness First to lose excess weight

– gave my husband an ultimatum, to shape up or our marriage is over

– Co-founded the grief support group for bereaved parents, The Compassionate friends in December 2005


– started this blog

I believe I am taking care of myself more than I did 10 years ago. I lost all those excess pounds. I feel pretty oh so pretty. My social life and career as a mom blogger and citizen advocate make life so worth living. I also believe I am a better person than I was ten years ago. Yes, my home is now an empty nest and it gets lonely at times but I found something to be busy with– working for the future of this country.I want to make a difference in my children’s lives by making a difference in the world.  And I have four cats to keep me company aside from my husband. I hope my daughters are proud of me because I am proud of myself. I hope they will count the times I worked hard to attain this new normal than those times I fell in that pit.


Being a mother can be the greatest opportunity for growth. Our children show us possibilities , that there is a new world out there. The struggle to be our best “when the stakes are so high offers us a chance to be introspective and explore ideas we might not have ever considered.” I encourage parents to explore these possibilities and integrate everything our children are trying to teach us. We learn so much from them.

Thank you, my dear daughters for raising your mother well.

Imagine if a newborn could speak…what would she want for Christmas?

What could we give our children that will last forever?

what will children ask for christmas

I stumbled upon this song on spotify and played it as I was relaxing in my bedroom with my husband. This new song was beautifully sung in A cappella and caught my husband’s attention . The Christmas song is superb! Upon checking the title , “The World for Christmas” by the Real Group, I felt so inspired to share it here. The song is just so beautiful. Oh I forgot I said that already.  How come I never heard of this group? I got more curious. In Wikipedia, it says that ” The Real Group was formed in 1984, when its original members were students at the Swedish Royal College of Music. All had previously attended Adolf Fredrik’s Music School (Swedish: Adolf Fredriks Musikklasser), a school in Stockholm known for its song and choral curriculum…They are a  professional a cappella group from Sweden, consisting of five members: Emma Nilsdotter, Katarina Henryson, Anders Edenroth, Morten Vinther Sørensen, and Anders Jalkéus.”

Listen to the music in this video:

Read the lyrics and be touched. Hear the unspoken wish from a tiny tiny tot

It’s the night before Christmas and all through the house
not a creature is stirring not even a mouse
the stockings are hung by the chimney with care
but hopes for saint Nicholas I wish I could share
I am new to this world I arrived here this morn
to this beautiful planet though beat up and torn
I don’t need a gift need no more than I’ve got
hear the unspoken wish from a tiny tiny tot
I only want the world for Christmas
the blue green for ever turning world for Christmas
nothing more nothing less I want it for keeps and I promise to share
so that everyone who wants can cuddle and care
I only want the world for Christmas
the blue green for ever turning world for christmas
to restore to repossess
please make it last my fate is in your hands
oh give me a present for the future
you could follow your heart but you follow a whim
and fill up your stockings way over the brim
ignoring the signs on a frail crystal ball
you wish away wish away wish away all
the moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gives a luster of mid day to objects below
why your eyes wont see
when they’ve given all this light
I wonder I wonder
this very special night
I only want the world for Christmas
the blue green for ever turning world for Christmas
to restore to repossess
please make it last my fate is in your hands
oh give me oh give me oh give me oh give me oh give me
a present for the future
do do do do do do do do do do do do

the world for christmas

The Real Group Christmas song “The World For Christmas” is a reminder to care better for our planet so that our children can inherit in all its beauty and splendor.

“Christmas is the most important celebration of the year for many Filipinos and its essence lies in precious moments shared with the family. In this project, we provide the opportunity for families to come together in one hub, regardless of their actual location, and share memories seamlessly, like they’re never apart.” – Ryan Morales, Google Philippines Country Marketing Manager

google hangout

Over 13 million Filipinos live abroad, away from their families including my daughter and three siblings. This will be my second Christmas without my daughter at our home in the Philippines. It is lonely without her. My family is not complete. I console myself by thinking that Home is where the heart is. Your home is whatever place you long to be. I use Viber to chat with my daughter, though . Sometimes, it is better to use email so it does not get lost in the clutter of the chat box. My daughter uses WhatsApp to communicate with her sister. There are countless ways to connect with our loved ones abroad. This Christmas, +Google Philippines pays tribute to them through a video.It is so touching. Initial feedback from friends in my facebook wall is positive and uplifting

The message of the video is one can share the everyday no matter the distance. Google does this by having a balikbayan website at g.co/balikbayan.. At the Balikbayan website, “users can learn how to use Google tools like Hangouts, Search, and Maps can help them adjust to their new lives and countries, while still keeping in touch with their loved ones still in the Philippines. OFWs can also visit the Google+ Community called OFW Circle to connect with other OFWs around the world.”

My sister found the video so touching “I can really feel for our overseas Filipinos (because I am one of them).” The pangs of loneliness are just more pronounced on Christmas because most associate it with family.

google PH miss nothing

Like I said, I console myself. Truly our home is where the heart is. My heart will always be with my two girls and my siblings. They will forever be my home. My brother is in Abu Dahbi which is another home, and my two other sisters are in California, another home to me. Europe is now one of my homes. My home is dear to me. My home is where my family is at this very moment wherever they may be, even if they are now are scattered all over the world.

holiday_bluesTis the season to be jolly…fa-la-la-la-la. Right, it may be a season to be jolly for some of us but there are a few out there who experience the holiday blues for so many reasons. I can see it in the emails I receive. I am not a therapist but for some reason, more and more visitors email me asking for advice for all sorts of reason. Of course, their questions are for my eyes only. They are sad, lonely and depressed. The suicide rate is even the highest during this holiday season. How I wish I could help but I am not a professional counselor though I can offer friendly advice. I’ve gathered a few tips for those feeling the holiday blues. As you might know, the holiday blues is defined as a feeling of sadness, loneliness, depression and even anxiety that often occur in and around the holiday season.” You or your loved one might be having a temporary spell of the blues without knowing it. There is nothing abnormal about having the “holiday blues,” which are more like a mood than any sort of lasting condition. Depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms are associated with the holidays because this season brings back memories of a happier time in our lives.

Who experiences the Blues?

People who might be at risk for feeling blue at the holidays include:

  • Someone who has a death in the family
  • Someone who has experienced financial setbacks at the holidays
  • Someone who is separated from loved ones at the holidays with work, military obligations or other reasons
  • Someone who has experienced other losses – moving, recent difficult medical diagnosis
  • Someone who has experienced a change in lifestyle – getting married, getting divorced, new baby
  • Someone who tends to be depressed, stressed, anxious

holiday bluesHow will you recognize you have the blues?

  • Headaches
  • An inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite that cause either weight loss or gain
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Excessive or inappropriate feelings of guilt
  • Diminished ability to think clearly or concentrate
  • Decreased interest in activities that usually are enjoyable, such as: food, sex, work, friends, hobbies and entertainment.

blue christmasHow does one cope with the Holiday Blues?

For anyone feeling blue during the holidays can follow some very basic, common sense steps to help in coping with the blues.

  • Take things one day at a time and if need be one hour at a time.
  • Try and maintain a normal routine. Keep doing your normal daily activities.
  • Get enough sleep or at least enough rest.
  • Regular exercise, even walking, helps relieve stress, tension and improve moods.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Limit high calorie foods and junk food.
  • Avoid using alcohol, medications or other drugs to mask the pain.
  • Do those activities or things and be with the people that comfort, sustain, nourish and recharge you.
  • Remember the healthy coping strategies you have used in the past to survive challenges. Draw on these strengths again.


What does one do to feel less blue during the Holidays?

There are several things that can help in making it easier to manage the blues.

  • Determine your priorities and establish realistic goals for the holidays.
  • Delegate some responsibilities to others.
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Minimize financial stressors by setting a budget and sticking to it.
  • Enjoy free holiday activities.
  • Think about giving a free gift from your heart. Your time or your presence.
  • Be around supportive people.
  • Volunteer and help someone else.
  • Create a New Holiday Tradition.
  • Find a new place or a new way to celebrate.

Source: Holiday Blues – Feeling Sad, Lonely or Depressed During the Holidays?

For those facing Christmas alone for the first time due to death of a loved one, I encourage you to reach out to someone you trust and share your feelings with them. Devote a place and time before Christmas Day in which you can openly honor your loved one and acknowledge your feelings. On Christmas Day, intentionally set your focus on family and friends who not only share in your loss, but who bring precious gifts of love and support to aid in your healing journey.

Be aware that the hurts of a loss, a broken relationship, or simply of being alone are magnified during the holiday. Look for those around you who are hurting and care for them, spend time with them, love them.

For those that lost a child, here are two posts I wrote ,on Coping and Surviving Christmas and Handling the Holidays.

Just know that while the Holiday Blues can be emotional, intense and upsetting, these feelings tend to be temporary and last at the most for about 2 weeks. The Blues end and people generally feel better once the holiday season is over and get back into their normal daily routine.

For many years after my son died, Christmas was a dreaded holiday by my husband. In turn, I dreaded his sour mood. Today, I look forward to the holiday season more than ever. I smile and sigh that finally my husband is able to handle the holidays a little bit better. I gather in my blessings and count them all. I count the blessings of the most important people in my life and I find the peace that comes with counting a holiday of joy remembered and love shared. Love never dies, and the light always shines in our hearts and home.

Image via blog.carvana.com

sinag awards for financial literacy

Allow me to toot my horns for a bit and appreciate the recognition in receiving first runner up of the #SINAG Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards held December 11 at the Manila Polo Club. The #SINAG Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards is Sunlife’s way to enjoin online influencers to encourage Filipinos to become more financially prepared and break free from ignorance, worry, debt and financial dependency. When I was invited to submit this blog, I didn’t think I had enough posts in 2014 to be considered. I only wrote three posts for the year: Money management tips for the family, Affirmations of financial success and Making a choice for a brighter life.

Photo via Sunlife

Photo via Sunlife

My family is no stranger to financial challenges. If there is one thing I often remind my children, it is “no matter the state of our financial situation, we need to implement some sort of money management or else all that money will be gone in an instant.” I’d like to think my children have managed their finances well. At least they are financially independent and living on their own. I am so proud of them. It is my belief that a parent should prepare their children to live on their own. I lost my mother when I was a teenager so I wanted my daughters to have a mindset of supporting themselves without me. Of course, giving gifts and a little shopping for them are just perks and me, being a mommy. I miss being a mom of little kids. I know I should have taught them more such as being entrepreneurial and starting a business of their own.

Photo via Sunlife

Photo via Sunlife

This recognition reminds me to write more about money management tips or financial literacy. I actually wrote a lot in the past years but it is now buried deep in the archives.

sinag award.

I am thankful for Sun Life for this recognition. Incidentally , I invested in Sun Life Financial in 2011 because one of the editors in the Philippine Online Chronicles was Kendrick Chua who was very persuasive with his pitch, to place some of my savings with them.

If there is anything I can share, it is that preparing for a financially secure future requires taking action today:

1.Increase your cash flow;

2. Reduce or eliminate debt;

3. Take baby steps in savings and investing;

4. Review your finances periodically;

5. Communicate with your family.

By Lakwatserang Paruparo, as originally posted on Blog Watch, Philippine Online Chronicles

Back in grade school and high school, our teachers would often ask us to write down our new year’s resolutions after the Christmas break. After that time, I stopped writing mine. After all, I wasn’t really keen in following them so to this day, I never write down my new year’s resolutions.

blue butterfly

Instead of New Year’s resolutions, why don’t we draw up our own life resolutions as the year is drawing to a close? Let me share with you some principles I’ve lived by, consciously or unconsciously, for the past 51 years. Once in a while, I check myself with these and see how I’ve measured up to my own standards.


The closest thing I can do to live a simple life is to unclutter my house and life. We don’t have much closet space at home so twice a year I go through clothes, bags, shoes, other personal and household items and sort what needs to be given away, thrown or recycled.

Sometimes, the same holds true for people in our lives. There are certain friendships or relationships we can probably do without so those people don’t have to clutter our lives. We’ll find out later that we do not miss them anyway.


Life is an endless learning process so whether we are 7 or 77, we can learn something everyday from the young and the old alike. With an open mind and humble heart, there is always room to learn a new skill, a new language and/or a new task.


When it comes to stuff, most people would want the “real thing” if they can afford it. That is also true in life. A bright smile, a warm hug and a sincere compliment: priceless!


I realized early on when I put my heart and mind to do something I can do it. With me, I either put my soul into it, or I quit. Determination is the key.


A lot of us, family and friends, are separated by oceans and islands and yet, when the hour of need arises, like when someone is sick or a family member dies, we can be there for each other, either by physical presence or virtual presence. What is important is we remember each other, we empathize with one another and we are there for each other in whatever way we can. It means so much to show love and affection for loved ones while we still can. That is one reason why I make it a point to remember birthdays, say a little prayer for people close to me and greet them if I can, sometimes with handmade greeting cards or handwritten notes.


When I was in Kindergarten, my mother told me to keep my work neat always. My students would remember me for this little reminder whenever we had a quiz or an exam. In real life, we make mistakes and it is difficult to undo them sometimes. I remind my own children they should be sure of themselves the first time they do something so they would not keep on erasing or crossing out costly mistakes otherwise they would come up with a messy paper, a messy work and a messy life.


A mother needs tons of patience in order to bring up children. When my kids were very young, I had such a knack for order and neatness in the house so a little dust or disarray would get into my nerves. Later, I wondered what memories my children could possibly have of home when they grow up. When I saw how comfortable they were in their grandparents’ place where there were not much rules, I lowered my guard and let them just enjoy being at home. Until now, we do not even have a carpet in our living room so they can be free to move. Whenever a dish or glass breaks in the kitchen, I just clean up and not say a word. It is more important to have a whole child than a whole corning ware.


Kindness is one virtue that is slowly being eroded. Somehow it is easier for people to be rude. I believe we should be kind most especially to people who may be economically less fortunate than we are, like helpers, guards, vendors, janitors and waiters, because such kindness could go a long way. Being compassionate means being able to feel what others feel when you are in their shoes.


If I can help it, I do not make promises I cannot keep especially to a child because I do not want to create a string of broken promises. But when I do, I make sure to keep them at all cost.


We may never pass any way again, not in the same manner we passed through it the first time. As much as possible, we should weave memories that will be worth looking back to especially on days when we lack inspiration, feel down and simply miss the good old days. Of course, it would be great to see them in photos, too. I still go for taking photos for memories and not for posting in network sites which is, sadly, what it is for a lot of people these days,.


Almost every religion in the world carries the principle of the golden rule. Come to think of it, it all boils down to what we really want for ourselves. Give love, get love in return. Smile and you get a smile back. Harm others, harm will be done to you as well. It is as simple as “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.


Life would seem miserable for those who go through it with not an iota of enjoyment. Some people just work their butts off all day and night and end up feeling unhappy. Once in a while, we should get a break from it all and savor the little pleasures that life can give, like spending a day at the salon, shopping with a friend, taking a walk in the park with a loved one or eating chocolate cake without busting a diet. It is one way of bouncing back and regaining energy to face the rigors of work life again.


When I reached my early 40’s a thought hit me: I am growing old! Menopause is just a few years away! I admit being scared at first but I tried very hard to change my mindset and told myself I will grow old with grace and poise. I vowed to keep my mind young and sharp by reading and writing and keeping a positive attitude. The looks will eventually follow, I suppose.


Although this article does not speak well of brevity, keeping it short and simple but meaty in other ways, like in a speech, goes a long way.


My family is not perfect; we have our flaws, too. But since we were kids, my parents taught us good manners and right conduct, basic human behaviors worth doing. One doesn’t need a Master’s Degree to master these; even a toddler can do these. It’s like what Robert Fulghum wrote, “All I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten” like saying “thank you,” “excuse me” and “I’m sorry.”


The principle of giving is universal. The time, talent and treasure you give come back to you a hundredfold if given out of a sincere and cheerful heart.


We never really know what the next moment or the next hour will bring us, much more the next day.
LIVE in the NOW. Not later. NOW. This does not mean we should not plan ahead. This does not mean a fatalistic view of things. This does not mean we should just stand still just because we do not know what tomorrow brings. No, this simply means we should make every moment count with every word, every action, and every step we make so there’s no room for regret later.


In life, no matter how many people we meet along the way, everything boils down to who matters most in the end. They are the ones you value most: your loved ones – spouses, children, parents, siblings, family – and true friends who have seen you through the best and worst times of your life and yet have never left you no matter what. I say, in these relationships, the motto is often “walang iwanan!”


There’s nothing more apt than what the bible says that we love because God first loved us. We all make mistakes in life, human as we are. I like what one counselor said that every person has something precious in him/her and that is the breath of God and therefore, he/she has the unfailing love of God as well. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. True love never fails.”  Need I say more?


Faith is what keeps most people up and about despite the storms they go through in their lives. I may not really be a religious person but deep inside I have this faith that has seen me through so many rough times in my life. I do believe the Christian faith or whatever faith other people may have should not be merely preached but is best lived and lived well not just for one’s self but more for the good of others and for the glory of God.

It is by God’s goodness, grace and great love that I live.

How about you? Have you thought of your own life’s resolutions?

There is a lot of buzz on this Ashley Madison, “married dating company” that is now active in the Philippines. Imagine there are now 2,500 users. The Philippines is even seeking to block this “Ashley Madison adultery website”. The site “invites married folks to commit adultery without getting caught. The 12-year-old site which was founded in Canada is reportedly going strong in Catholic countries abroad. With the success of such teleseryes like “The Legal Wife” and “Two Wives,” the people behind Ashley Madison expect the Philippines to become one of their top five markets.”

ashley madison

Thanks to media for making affairs look so exciting.

Christoph Kraemer, the company’s European communications director and spokesperson told ABS-CBN that some of their users, ” say their relationship with their spouses improved after having an affair. It’s like the spark and passion were reignited. And it’s very telling that in its 12 years of existence and 30 million members, not once have [we] been been cited in a court case as a reason to get a divorce. We don’t endanger a marriage, we actually help save a marriage”.

CEO Noel Biderman told the New York Observer: “Infidelity is happening [in Muslim countries] anyway….In the Muslim world, I can provide women the opportunity to have discreet affairs and not risk their marriages, or something more severe.”

Ashley Madison FAQ says that the site does not, in fact, encourage infidelity. “In fact, if you are having difficulty with your relationship, you should seek counseling.”

I can’t relate to why people cheat. Charles Orlando wrote an article “Why Women Cheat: A Married Man Goes Undercover On Ashley Madison “. Here are some of his reflections:

Some were looking to have sex, period. Others were looking to subsidize their current relationship with a human connection… and if it led to sex, even better. But all were clear that they were not leaving their current relationship. These weren’t monkeys getting a grip on the next branch before letting go of the first. They just wanted to feel what they used to feel from the man in their life.

The most common complaint was a lack of passion and effort by the man in their current relationship. It makes sense. When a man begins dating a woman, he puts in tons of effort; he woos her. Once she’s “his,” he stops putting in that effort, but she still longs for it. She wants to be desired, seduced, and connected with on a regular basis.

See , it was all about the lack of passion. Something was needed to spice it up. But does it have to be a married dating website?

I don’t know enough to understand how this dating website works. If that is your kind of thing, it is not mine. I will speak for myself. Call me old-fashioned and traditional but if I want to rekindle the passion in my marriage, I will not have an affair. Yes, using this dating website is having an affair because there is psychological cheating. Doing so devalues my human dignity. I love myself too much to resort to cheating. Yes, I did have marital problems. Instead of blaming my husband, I worked on myself. Our married life has never been better. There are the occasional irritants but I choose my battles.

Like I said, infidelity occurs once you date someone , even from a distance. I have found ways to spice my life , with or without my husband. In the end, it strengthened my marriage . Here is what I did:

1. I recall what made me fall in love with my husband and worked on that memory. It helped that I had a diary that chronicled the conversations of sweet nothings.

2. Good friends especially my girl-friends spice up my life. Oh how we talk honestly about our sex life during coffee. Even if I may encounter challenges, my deep love and commitment motivates me to work things out. Male friends are good too but I prefer that they are with my girl-friends in the same conversation.

3. Most of all, loving myself unconditionally I am a strong believer that if you love yourself first, love overflows. I worked on how I looked. I went to the gym and lost those excess fats. I reinvented my fashion style and stopped wearing frumpy clothes that hid my fats. Taking in a new career in blogging also helped because it exposed me to new friendships and experiences.

I believe , “You cannot give what you do not have.” I find that I am a better wife, a better mother, a more compassionate friend, after I spent time nurturing myself.

4. Believe in giving second chances. It takes two to a marriage. I knew I had to take care of myself , first and foremost. I had to give myself a second chance. A second chance to be a more loving wife and mother. A second chance to be more financially independent and a second chance to be a better person.

It takes two to make a relationship work. It is easy to blame the other partner if something fails in a relationship. I used to blame my husband for every little thing without even checking if I too had my faults. When I took away the focus from my husband and turned to myself, wonderful things happened to me, my family and my life, in general.

Life is short. Enjoy. Make the most out of it. Start with having a love affair with yourself.