Blog

Being On Your Loved Ones Side

Posted by on Feb 18, 2018 in Depression, Marriage Advice, Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on Being On Your Loved Ones Side

  We all know the sinking feeling when someone does not support us, be it a friend, family member or partner. It is tough navigating a relationship when your partner is not on your side, it can leave us with hurt feelings, and ultimately, it can cause the relationship to end by making your partner shut down and loose trust.  Are you a supportive partner and take your partner’s side, or are you quick to blame and defend the source of pain for your partner? Granted, there are times when our partner’s choices may challenge us and our thinking, but having a healthy relationship means it is full of love, communication, and support. You don’t have to agree with your partner to be on their side. For example, someone you love is hurt by someone else that you love.  Do you defend the other person when your loved one shares their pain? Or do you validate their emotions and show empathy for their pain? Are you willing to show love by taking small actions to help them? It’s the difference between being on your partners side and having your loved ones back or making them feel unsupported, alone and defensive.. Another  example might be: your partner would like to purchase a new computer that is expensive and the repairs are more costly if it breaks. You suggest a computer that is a fraction of the price as you think it is smarter to put the extra money towards something else. The less expensive computer may not have all the bells and whistles, but it may not functions the way your partner needs it to. You partner goes ahead and purchases the expensive computer, and after using it for a month, the computer crashes and needs repairs. In this situation do you point the finger and say “I told you so” or do you offer a lending ear and listen to what your partner needs? Your response to this situation will tell your partner if you are supportive of them or willing to be on their side.. It is entirely understandable if you are upset  that your partner spent extra money on a computer.  At the same time being in a relationship means we need to sometimes put our opinions aside and listen and help people we love. If you tend to point fingers and say- “I told you so” this will automatically put your partner in a place of defensiveness. Over time your partner will learn not to come to you when they are experiencing challenges which can lead to a lack of trust and intimacy. Next time your partner comes to you with a challenge they are experiencing, listen to what they have to say and be conscious of your reaction- Do you show love to your partner by being on their side? If you and your partner are struggling to understand each other’s perspective, it may be time to go to couples counseling. In counseling, the therapist will help you and your partner to understand how better to support each other and, ultimately, be on your partner’s side.  ...

read more

Make Date Night Happen

Posted by on Feb 10, 2018 in Marriage Advice, Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on Make Date Night Happen

Wake up, eat breakfast, get the kids ready, drive to work, drive home from work, eat dinner, go to bed and repeat. Does this sound familiar? We all get wrapped in the day-to-day that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves and our relationship. Honestly, when was the last time you and your partner had a date night? Was it a month ago, a week ago, or a year ago? However long it was, it is vital to have a regular date night with your partner. Why? Studies show couples that have a regular date night are happier and more likely to stay together long-term. How great is that? We know it can be a struggle to get regular dates on the books, so we have a few tips for you! Schedule: We know this is a less than romantic approach for some, but sometimes we need to commit to a regular schedule when it comes to dates. Pick a date once a week, every other week or once a month that works for you and your partner. Set the date in stone by booking a babysitter, making reservations and putting it in your google calendar. Switch off: If scheduling is a little less than spontaneous for your liking, have you and your partner come up with a list of things you would like to do and put each event on its own piece of paper and place in a jar. When you and your partner want to go out on a date, easily choose one from the jar. This way you pre-plan dates, and it adds a bit of fun to planning dates! Be creative: Schedules don’t work for you, nor does switching on and off. We get it, you and your partner may be building businesses, in school and work 80+ hours a week, we understand there are times in life when work, raising kids, or going school may take more time. This one calls for a bit of creativity. Plan a special night in by making your favorite dinner together, put on a movie or play a game. Date nights don’t have to be extravagant or cost a lot of money. It is about spending quality time with your partner, just the two of you. Having a regular date nights will help you and your partner connect and continue to grow together as a couple.  It’s vitally important to your relationship.    ...

read more

Little Behaviors With Big Impact on Your Relationship

Posted by on Feb 4, 2018 in Marriage Advice, Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on Little Behaviors With Big Impact on Your Relationship

We know that the way we respond to our partner can impact our partner’s feelings and emotions, but did you know it can impact the longevity and overall satisfaction of the relationship? John Gottman is a researcher who has studied relationships for the past 40 years and developed four scenarios that could make or break the relationship when situations arise, or when we are interacting during daily living. The four scenarios are; we can turn toward our partner, turn happily toward our partner, turn away from our partner, or turn against our partner. So what do these four scenarios have to do with your relationship? We are going to break it down by providing a common relationship scenario. Scenario: You’re on your way home from work  after a day full of meetings, including a disagreement with your boss on the trajectory of a project, and your commute is taking longer than usual; all you want to do is go home and relax for the evening. You get home to an empty house, take your dog out for a short walk, and when you come home, your partner is in the kitchen talking to their friend about getting together and going out for dinner tonight. Going out to dinner and socializing is the last thing on your mind, and you would prefer to stay in and make dinner. How do you respond? Do you suck it up and go out to dinner? Do you opt to stay home while your partner goes out with friends? More importantly, how do you communicate your feelings about going out or staying in with your partner? When your partner makes a comment or asks a question, this is called a bid for attention. When you turn toward your partner it means you have positive response to them.  Even if you don’t want to go out to dinner, you acknowledge the request in a positive way. If you turn happily toward your partner you would have had a better day and would happily respond to going out to dinner. Turning away would mean you walk away or ignore the interaction.  Turning against would mean that you quickly become irritated with your partner for even asking about going out. According to Gottman, our response to situations like the above scenario can make us or break us. To break it down, you could have ignored your feelings, gone to dinner and not enjoyed yourself and may take that frustration out on your partner after dinner (turning against). Or you could have told your partner you are not feeling up to going out and would prefer to stay home. Or you could have asked to take a raincheck on dinner out. There are a number of scenarios that could have played out in response to going out to dinner (turning toward), but in this case and future situations, even the really small ones, it is imperative to communicate with your partner how you are feeling. Every time we turn to our partner, we are developing a connection- even when it is something small like going or not going out to dinner. Each interaction with our partner gives us the chance to turn towards or away from our partner, to be heard or not. Focus on how you and...

read more

3 Tips to Stop Criticizing and Complaining

Posted by on Jan 28, 2018 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on 3 Tips to Stop Criticizing and Complaining

There is no escaping from complaining in relationships. Our partner is our go-to person when things are good or bad, so it is only natural  that we go to them to complain about what bothers us about them. While it is normal to complain there is a healthy way of voicing your concerns that won’t strain but improve our relationships. Scenario: Amy came home from work to see her husband, John sitting on the couch. She had asked him earlier in the day to get dinner ready so the family could eat together before their son’s basketball game. Instead of talking to John, she criticized him by saying “You never do anything to help out with dinners around here, now we only have time for microwave dinners before the basketball game.” It is essential to learn how to voice your concerns and not criticize, criticizing instantly puts your significant other on  the defense, and it can cause emotional harm. When voicing your concerns, keep the following three points in mind. Express how you feel: Talk about your feelings without criticizing- stay away from “you never or you do” these  “you” statements instantly put your partner on defense. Instead, talk about your complaint by saying how it made you feel “I feel this way” or “That made me feel.” By taking ownership of your feelings, it allows your partner to hear you and respond to emotions, not criticism. Talk about the specific complaint: After talking through how the particular situation made you feel, break down the complaint without criticizing. The reality is, we are always going to live with quirks our partner does that annoy us. Remember, keep on topic when discussing one complaint, don’t bring up past complaints or criticize the way your partner is responding as that can cause them to shut down. Stay positive: Trying to keep a positive mindset may sound nearly impossible to do when you are complaining, but asking your partner to take a positive step regarding the complaint is beneficial towards moving forward. For instance, in the case of John and Amy, after her noting her dissatisfaction with John for not preparing dinner, asking him to make the microwave dinners is a positive step during this complaint scenario. It is not what Amy ultimately wanted, but it is a way for John to help while Amy gets their son ready for basketball. Asking your partner for a specific behavior is more productive than criticizing what they didn’t do. A lot of people are raised to complain with criticism as it is a go-to-defense mechanism; it’s often the only thing we are taught. Learning to voice your concerns without complaining and criticizing takes time to unpack and unlearn. If you are struggling with adjusting, seek help from a couples counselor. They will be able to guide you and your partner towards a healthier discussion when complaints are brought up.  ...

read more

Little Things That Can Make or Break Your Relationship

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 in Marriage Advice, Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on Little Things That Can Make or Break Your Relationship

We know the way we respond to our partner can impact our partner’s feelings and emotions, but did you know it can impact the longevity and overall satisfaction of the relationship? John Gottman is a researcher who has studied relationships for the past 40 years and developed four scenarios that could make or break the relationship when situations arise, or when we are interacting during daily living. The four scenarios are; we can turn toward our partner, turn happily toward our partner, turn away from our partner, or turn against our partner. “Turning toward” happens when your partner makes a bid for attention by simply interacting with you.  If you turn happily toward, you respond in a positive way.  Turning toward is a neutral response.  Turning away is ignoring or not acknowledging. And turning against is a negative response So what do these four scenarios have to do with your relationship? We are going to break it down by providing a common relationship scenario. Scenario: You’re on your way home from work and after a day full of meetings, a disagreement with your boss on the trajectory of a project, and your commute is taking longer than usual; all you want to do is go home and relax for the evening. You get home to an empty house, take your dog out for a short walk, and when you come home, your partner is in the kitchen talking to their friend about getting together and going out for dinner tonight. Going out to dinner and socializing is the last thing on your mind, and you would prefer to stay in and make dinner. How do you respond? Do you suck it up and go out to dinner? Do you opt to stay home while your partner goes out with friends? More importantly, how do you communicate your feelings about going out or staying in with your partner. According to Gottman, our response to situations like the above scenario can make us or break us. To break it down, you could have ignored your feelings, gone to dinner and not enjoyed yourself and may take that frustration out on your partner after dinner. Or you could have told your partner you are not feeling up to going out and would prefer to stay home. Or you could have asked to take a raincheck on dinner out. There are a number of scenarios that could have played out in response to going out to dinner, but in this case and future situations, even the really small ones, it is imperative to communicate with your partner how you are feeling. Every time we turn to our partner, we are developing a connection- even when it is something small like going or not going out to dinner. Each interaction with our partner gives us the chance to turn towards or away from our partner, to be heard or not. Focus on how you and your partner respond the same situation, are there similarities? Are you being heard? Are you hearing your partner? Always remember, the little things add up to make a relationship successful or not.              ...

read more

Tips For Recovering from an Argument

Posted by on Dec 9, 2017 in Marriage Advice, Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on Tips For Recovering from an Argument

        It can be hard to reconnect after a disagreement or fight with your partner, even if you have worked together to resolve the issue. Keep in mind; it takes time to reconnect with your partner after an argument. There is no right amount of time, just trust your emotions and continue to communicate with your partner. Here are a few tips for reconnecting with your partner after a disagreement. Give them space: If your partner tells you they need space after an argument, even if the issue has been resolved, respect their time and give them space. Some people are more shaken than others during an argument, and they need time to regroup their emotions and focus. It may take a few hours or a few days for someone to come around, just know they are taking the time for their mental well being and will reconnect with you when the time is right. Communicate: Shutting your partner off or giving them the silent treatment is called stonewalling and can damage the relationship. Be mindful of how you are communicating with your partner after an argument, show them you care by not shutting them out and continue to talk about your day-to-day life. You don’t have to discuss the issue until both of you are ready but in the mean time be cordial, kind and respectful. Show compassion: Be kind and courteous and respectful towards your partner. After an argument, you and your partner may feel disconnected, and it may not feel right to be particularly loving.  Doing something nice for your partner that is a random act of kindness, like buying them their favorite ice cream, flowers, or making a special dinner will show you care and help with reconnecting you to your partner. Hit the reset button:  Try to leave the issue in the past and put your focus on the present and the future. Seek help from a professional: Sometimes in relationships, we struggle with conflict resolution, and we may hold grudges after an argument towards our partners which can impact the relationship and future conflict resolution. If you are struggling with reconnecting with your partner, or with ongoing issues in your relationship reach out for help. A couples therapist will be able to work with you and your partner on conflict resolutions and improve coping skills that will work to improve the overall health of the relationship. Reconnecting after a disagreement takes time. Focus on the good in your relationship and continue to respect each other’s boundaries, communicate, and speak your partner’s love language- all acts that will help to build trust in the relationship and reconnect you to your partner.  ...

read more

3 Tips for Healthier Arguing

Posted by on Nov 19, 2017 in Marriage Advice, Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on 3 Tips for Healthier Arguing

  Relationships are not perfect, and sometimes we have disagreements with our partners. We’re only human, and no two people have the same lived experiences, nor the same opinions on things, so it is only natural disagreements are going to come up in relationships. There is a right way to have a disagreement and a wrong way. Demeaning, abusive, and hurtful things said to our partners are detrimental to the relationship and should never be said.  They cause deep wounding, resentment and disconnection that are extremely difficult to overcome. During a discussion with your partner about a disagreement, it is important to be mindful and be conscious of the following three points. Do not bring up the past: The past is the past, discussing it will not change or fix it.  Bringing up the past signals you have not dealt with past issues, and those problems should be dealt with at a different time.  When you’re having a disagreement, try to stay on the one topic your trying to resolve. Bringing up issues derails your focus from the current issue. Do not judge or criticize: During a discussion or disagreement with our partner, the last thing we want to be is judged or criticized for what we are saying. If we criticize, our partner is less likely to open up to us in the future, and it can break trust in the relationship. Try to understand and learn where your partner is coming from instead of critiquing what they have to say or how they feel- those are their feelings and words and even if you don’t agree, judging and criticizing will only be met with defensiveness. Be a good listener: It can be challenging to stay in the moment and not interrupt your partner when they are discussing the conflict, but it is essential not to interrupt or interject with different points as it undermines what your partner is saying. It’s important to understand your partners point of view. When you do, you can offer solutions that work for both of you.   If you are struggling to resolve conflict in your relationship, seek professional help from a couples counselor, they will be able to help you develop conflict resolution skills and better communication skills.  ...

read more

3 Benefits of Being YourPartners Best Friend

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on 3 Benefits of Being YourPartners Best Friend

All great relationships start as friendships Do you agree?  Should you be best friends with your partner?  While some relationships benefit from not being each other’s best friends, other relationships flourish from being each other’s best friend. There is no one right way to have a relationship, but having friendship qualities in your partner doesn’t hurt. 3 benefits of being your partner’s best friend: Shared interests: Having shared interests and things to bond over outside your relationship, will help to keep your relationship fun and exciting. Also, you and your partner can introduce each other to new activities which help each of you get to know each other better. You can be honest: You and your best friend keep it real, you tell each other your secrets, dreams, and opinions. This trait in a friendship can transfer to relationships. There’s nothing better than sharing your fears, wishes, and goals with the person you love most, and having them in your corner when you need them most or celebrate a win can help to deepen your bond. You see your partner for who they are: We all know those couples where one partner acts different in social situations, they have to hide a part of who they are because their partner is around. That is not a healthy way to live, nor a healthy relationship. Being friends with your partner, you are in different social situations and learn to embrace each other’s silly side with friends and more serious side during family gatherings- no hiding! These elements of being best friends can enhance your most significant relationship.  It’s great to have them, but If you don’t, the two of you can work on building them into your...

read more

5 Tips For Leaving Work At Work

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Leaving Work At Work

Now more than ever, our work and relationships  intersect.  Thanks  to technology, we can answer work emails on a Saturday at our child’s baseball game and could potentially keep working 24/7.  This makes maintaining a work-life balance extremely difficult.  It can be frustrating to be in a relationship with someone who is always working, and technology can have a negative impact on our relationships. It is important for our mental health and relationship to establish clear work boundaries and leave work at work so we have energy for our most important relationships.   5 ways to leave work at work:   Find a Transitional Activity: If you are struggling with leaving work at work, try to have an activity in between leaving work and arriving at home.  A few ideas include going to the gym, grabbing an herbal tea at a coffee shop and reading for 30 minutes, or picking up dinner. It will help you de-stress before arriving home, and better able to connect with your loved ones. Evening routine: After arriving home from work, make dinner with your partner or go for a walk with your kids or dog. Having an evening routine that transitions you from work to home mode will help you center in being at home and not in work mode. Limit work talk: We all have those days when a boss aggravates us or a last minute project was assigned to us. It is fine to destress and talk to your partner about things that are bothering you, but put a limit on it. 10 minutes to talk about it and do a little problem solving, then move on. Continually talking about work stress will only stress you out more and keep you from enjoying time with your partner and family. Turn off all devices: Work phone, smartphone, laptop and anything else you can access work on, turn it off and disconnect. All day we are connected to emails, chats, calls, and texts your brain is operating at full-speed. It is necessary for your mental well being to disconnect and connect in-person with the people around you. Clock out boundary: This may be hard for some depending on your position, but when you clock out or are set to leave work for the day, try to clock out mentally of work at that time. Focus on going home and spending time with your partner, or going to catch a movie with friends. Keeping this boundary is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.       work life balance, spouse, work, stress, mental...

read more

Debunking 6 Relationship Myths

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Debunking 6 Relationship Myths

When entering a relationship, we have ideas about how it should look and how we should act. It is important to remember, no two people are the same, and a lot of relationship myths are false. This is a breakdown of 6 common relationship myths. Conflict in a relationship is bad: We’ve heard this one a hundred times. In fact, conflict in a relationship is good. No two people are the same, they don’t think the same, react the same so we are going to have conflicts in our relationships. Conflict helps our relationships by building our problem-solving skills and working on more open communication styles within the relationship. Conflict is growth trying to happen. It can be destructive or productive. Marriage is just a piece of paper: Marriage is a lifelong commitment, it is not only a piece of paper but a vow to spend the rest of your life with your spouse. Marriage bonds us emotionally and physically to our spouse building trust and love over years and decades together. If the relationship needs couples therapy, it is too late: This one is so far from the truth. Couples who seek out therapy to work on their relationship are aware they need help, and there is nothing wrong with getting help. In therapy, couples will learn how to communicate, problem solve, and work on existing issues within the relationship. Therapy is a tool and can be an excellent investment for the health and longevity of your relationship. If you have to work at communication, you are not meant to be together: We come to relationships with different communications styles, some of us are open communicators while others are more passive. Communication is something that is always in the works in relationships. Keeping the lines of communication open and being open with your significant other will help strengthen your relationship. True love is unconditional: Let’s be real, most of us have quirks or things about our partners that bother us, and that is perfectly okay, we are human after all. Unconditional love denotes that I love you always no matter how you wound me. Unconditional love can be elusive as our emotions and mental health go through ebbs and flows with daily life. and it’s difficult to feel romantic love when your in pain. Remember, unconditional love is this idea that is portrayed in the movies, but it  is not realistic for a long term, healthy relationship. If the passion has dissipated, a breakup is near: New relationships are magical, you are learning about this new person in your life- what they like or don’t like, how they like to be pleased, their love language and so on. We become a bit infatuated in new relationships as we are bonding and growing towards love. After the honeymoon stage is over, life sets in- we have work, stress, and other obligations and sometimes passion dwindles in a relationship, which is completely normal and is expected. It does not mean the relationship is over; it signifies you are in a committed, growing relationship and learning to grow with your partner. Strive for deeper love, romantic love is not long lasting Tags: relationship myths, marriage, love language, couples...

read more