Marriage Advice

Keep Stress From Impacting Your Sex Life

Posted on Oct 13, 2017

We all know stress impacts our sleep, work, eating habits and so on. Did you know stress can also impact your sex life? It does! Stress can lead to unhealthy habits including excessive drinking and negative body image which can also decrease our sex drive. Don’t let stress get in the way of your sex life! De-stressing Tips: Leave work at work: It’s important to purposefully switch gears mentally to leave work at work when you clock out. In the age of technology, it is so easy to answer work emails during dinner or hanging out with friends. When you walk through the door at home, don’t think about your project deadline or an upcoming meeting you are dreading, as that will only stress you out more and take time away from spending with your loved ones. Unwind from the day: When you get home, have a daily routine that will help you unwind from the workday. An unwind routine may include preparing dinner with your partner, eating dinner together and taking an after dinner walk, or it could be as simple as a 20-minute meditation session. Whatever works for you, stick to it so your body and mind will become accustom to de-stressing when arriving home. Establish boundaries: For those of us who say yes to everything- extra work projects, PTA, and socializing with friends, it is essential to understand your limitations as saying yes to everything will continue to stress you out and take away time from your relationship. It is okay to say no. Schedule sex dates: If you and your partner are struggling to connect and have sex, schedule it. It may seem less romantic than spontaneous sex, but it will ultimately help you connect. Navigating relationships in a demanding world full of work, social media and email can be difficult. At the end of the day, it is essential to prioritize your relationship and continue to connect and build your relationship with your partner. Managing stress so it doesn’t affect your sex life is an important part of self care and relational...

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Tips for supporting a partner with depression

Posted on Oct 8, 2017

Depression is a mental health condition characterized by an ongoing depressed mood in which an individual loses interest in activities that impact everyday life. Depression is a serious mental health condition. If your partner is experiencing depression, it important they seek medical and mental health services. Navigating a relationship with a partner that is depressed or going through a depressive episode is challenging, at the same time it is important to remember your partner is still the same person regardless of a diagnosis. Tips for supporting a partner with depression: Research and learn: If you have not experienced depression interpersonally, it may be hard for you to understand what your partner is going through. Take the time to research and read stories from others who have experienced depression; it will help you better understand what your partner is going through. The stories and research may also offer tips for supporting your loved one. Do something they enjoy: Schedule a date night that your partner would enjoy, go to the movies, out to dinner, or a museum. Taking them out of the day-to-day may help to lift their mood, even for just a few hours. Ask them how they want to be helped: Before a depressive episode sets in, it is important to talk about how you can help your partner. If you didn’t prepare in advance, talk to your partner about how you can help. Sometimes people want time alone with a book, or they may prefer spending time with other people, so they don’t feel alone. Take care of you: Caring for someone with depression can be challenging. To avoid burnout, make sure to schedule time for yourself. Going for a walk, calling a trusted friend, or visiting your favorite coffee shop can help you de-stress. Navigating challenges in a relationship is not easy. Just remember, you are not alone and if you need additional support for how to help your partner with depression, reach out and seek services from a mental health professional....

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What Are The 5 Love Languages?

Posted on Sep 30, 2017

We’ve all heard about the 5 love languages in magazines, on TV and from your neighbor down the street. Do you know what they are and how they relate to you and your relationship? We’re breaking down the 5 love languages and how you can integrate them into your relationship. Words of Affirmation: This love language is all about using words to affirm your partner. Sayings like- “You mean the world to me,” “You are doing a great job balancing everything” and “I appreciate you” are all affirmations that can be used if your partner’s love language is words of affirmation. Acts of Service: Actions speak louder than words for those whose love language is acts of service. Taking out the garbage, bringing the car for an oil change, or picking up the dry cleaning are all acts of service. Receiving Gifts: We’re not talking about a new car or expensive shoes, though those are nice. Gifting is more about meaningful gifts that are unique to your partner. Example, last week your wife was talking about this book her friends were raving about at brunch. Purchase the book for your wife with a sweet note about how you remembered her talking about it. Quality Time: It does not mean spending an evening together watching TV with both of you on your phone, it is all about undivided attention. If your significant other’s love language is quality time, schedule some time with them that will be uninterrupted, maybe a date night at home, or a nature walk. Physical Touch: This one is pretty straightforward, some people require more physical contact than others. Physical touch can be  simple like holding your partner’s hand at dinner or giving a back massage. With this love language, it is about appropriate touch when wanted- it does not mean making out in the middle of a mall, nor explicit touch that may make your partner comfortable. If you are unsure, ask your partner for consent before touching them. The 5 love languages are important to understand as we tend to show our love language to our partner, but sometimes fail to accommodate to their love language, which can lead to a disconnection in the relationship. To take your relationship to the next level, start practicing your partner’s love language, it will help to strengthen your bond together!...

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The Grass is Greener Where You Water It

Posted on Sep 23, 2017

You and your partner disagree on something, maybe it is a recurring disagreement, and you feel your partner is not getting it. You feel your partner does not hear you and you’re so frustrated that you are starting to think your life would be better if you were single or with someone else. Hit the brakes for a moment. In times of  frustration and uneasiness we often feel like throwing our hands up and giving up. At this moment, take a deep breath and pause before responding or saying something you will later regret. Reframe your reaction. Instead of giving in to knee-jerk reactions such as wanting to give up, think about the good instead of the negative. Think about the good times you and your partner share together. Think about the bonding memories you two have made together- your wedding, the birth of a child, college graduation, something that brings happy memories will help you recenter in the moment. Make change. If you are having a revolving disagreement or feel your partner is not understanding you, treat the situation as a way to learn and grow. Take time when both of you have cooled off and talk about how the disagreement made you feel, but remember never blame your partner as this will only add fuel to the fire. If you and your partner are struggling to see eye to eye after trying to discuss among yourselves, it may be time to bring in a relationship/marriage counselor. A relationship/marriage counselor is a neutral party that will help you see things differently and offer coping and resolution tips for when disagreements come up in the future. Relationships take communication, work, patience, love, and understanding. Take time to check in with your partner weekly to see how they are feeling.  Talk about what is working and not working in the relationship, and how you can be there to support one another. Without work, relationships dissolve. Remember, the grass is greener where you water it....

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How To Make Your Marriage a Priority In a Blended Family

Posted on Sep 20, 2017

When couples have children, they make children a priority and for good reason as the child depends on you for their every need, but we often forget about our significant other, and 5 years later we wonder why our marriage is on the rocks. Making your marriage a priority is important in any family, especially with blended families. Here are some tips that will help blending your family go more smoothly: Build a healthy relationship your ex. We’re not saying you have to go on vacation or spend a lot of time together, but having the lines of communication open with former partners about pick-up times, family emergencies and money responsibilities will help to make your life easier and prevent future stress within your relationship. Plus, who wants to argue with their ex all the time? Make date night a priority. Schedule date night on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis- whatever works best for your relationship. Book a babysitter and take turns planning a date for each other. This will help to keep things fresh and exciting within your relationship. Keeping a consistent date night schedule will also contribute to building trust which strengthens the relationship. Keep the date nights flowing! Spend time together as a family. Gather your blended family and go out for a pizza night, to the movies, or a weekend getaway. Establishing that you are a family unit regardless of parental status (stepparent, etc.) will help each member of the family feel like part of a unit. It will show your spouse you are committed to being a part of their child’s life, which helps to further bond your marriage. Bowling, anyone? Making your marriage a priority in a blended family is vital for the health of your relationship and family unit. Think of new and creative ways to spend time together with your spouse and family, because when each member of the family feels included, happy, and trusting it will help to strengthen the bond you have with your spouse. Always remember, love grows where you water it....

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4 Tips For Helping An Anxious Partner

Posted on Sep 18, 2017

Anxiety is a mental health condition classified by ongoing feelings of worry and feeling overwhelmed; it can keep those who are suffering from living life fully because they live in fear. Living with anxiety on a daily basis is crushing. Anxiety can also impact our loved ones, our family, friends, and partner. Navigating how to support an anxious partner is confusing, and can hinder the relationship if lines of communication are not open. Four tips for helping an anxious partner: Ask them how you can help: Often we help others the way we want to be helped. Some of us like to be helped with acts of service, while others want alone time. Ask your partner how you can help them, and listen. If you partner has a panic attack ask them if they would like a hug or to be left alone. Try to accommodate their needs. This also helps to open the lines of communication and build trust in the relationship. Get them help: If they are struggling and unable to function day to day, it is time to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. If your partner has a history of anxiety, they may know therapies or medications that worked for them in the past. Talk to them about seeing their doctor and getting in to see a therapist. Do something they love: Anxiety can become all-consuming, and managing day-to-day tasks can be daunting. Take your partner out of their daily routine and do something they love. If they enjoy movies, rent a few and watch them at home, or maybe they are a foodie- make reservations at a restaurant they’ve wanted to try. Take care of yourself: Caretakers can get burnt out quickly, make time to schedule self-care into your routine. A 10-minute walk around the neighborhood can help you de-stress. When you are taking care of yourself, you are better able to care for others. Anxiety is not something that goes away overnight, and for those who have a history of anxiety, it is a lifelong journey that may include different medications and therapies. Be patient with your partner and offer your support, kindness and love mean the world to those struggling with anxiety. Sometimes your presence alone is enough....

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