2 Easy Ways To Transform Your Relationship with Gratitude

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Of all the holidays throughout the year, Thanksgiving is my favorite. It provides us the rare opportunity to take time out from our busy schedules to reflect and give thanks for our many blessings.

There is something to be said about gratitude.


Author and researcher Dr. Robert Emmons has discovered that it is the secret to a more meaningful life.  

Studies have shown that gratitude can improve emotional and physical health, and strengthen relationships and communities.

In my work with couples, I often refer to the adage - "What you focus on expands."

If you focus on the flaws in your relationship, you will notice these flaws more often. If, however, you practice this wonderful virtue of gratitude, and focus on what you love and cherish about your partner, this is what will expand in your field of awareness.

Gratitude changes your perception thus changing your world. It works kind of like a prism, changing ordinary light into a rainbow of colors. The light doesn't actually change, but our perception of it changes depending upon how we look through the prism. 

Here are two practical ways you can bring gratitude into your life and your relationship.

  • Keep a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal about your relationship allows you to look past a multitude of annoying habits and helps you rediscover what makes your partner so special. 

  • The Appreciation Dialogue

One of the variations of my Couples Dialogue is the Appreciation Dialogue. When couples practice this dialogue regularly they cultivate the habit of noticing and sharing all the things they love about each other. Can you imagine how this could impact your relationship?

Let's make Thanksgiving a tradition that we practice every day of the year so that we can all reap the rewards of a truly blessed and grateful heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you would like to talk to me personally about how to have a more passionate and supportive marriage, just click here for more information about how to set up a Discovery Session with me.



It's Halloween, But Stop Wearing That Mask In Your Marriage

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Wow, just a few short days until Halloween. I can remember how excited my boys would get as they put on their costumes for trick or treating. Through the years, I've enjoyed seeing the neighborhood kids come to the door and it's amazing how different they looked in their costumes. Some were monsters, some were princesses, and some were movie stars, but I didn't recognize them at all with their masks on.

When I think about it, don't we wear some of those same masks in our relationships? It's easier to hide behind masks of anger than to risk being vulnerable. How often do you try to be that prince or princess while burying your own needs deep inside? Things can seem picture perfect on the outside, while quiet desperation brims just under the surface.

One of the first steps on the journey to a more authentic relationship is to create a climate of safety and security. The Couples Dialogue that I teach my couples is designed to do just that. It all starts with the way you communicate with each other.

This dialogue is a step-by-step process of building trust and intimacy as you begin to actively listen to each other with validation and empathy. Here are a few key components:

  • Adopt a curious, focused attention on your partner during the dialogue. Remember, you don't have to agree. Your goal is to understand a perspective that will most likely be very different than your own.
  • Take turns letting each other speak without interruption. When you allow each other to speak freely without judgment, a safe and healthy connection begins to emerge.
  • Use phrases like, "I can see how you might see it that way," or "I imagine that must have made you feel..."  These phrases can help to cultivate a sense of validation and empathy.

Being authentic and real in our relationships can be a frightening proposition, but it is one of the key ingredients to a healthy and satisfying relationship. So, as you let your true selves begin to shine, you can put aside those silly masks—except of course on Halloween.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone!

If you would like to talk to me personally about how to have a more passionate and supportive marriage, just click here for more information about how to set up a Discovery Session with me.



Want a Happier Marriage? Ask yourself this Question Every day.


I love the month of May. The old saying, “All things seem possible in May,” really rings true for me.

Our perspective changes in the spring. Life seems full of possibilities. 

Perspective is everything in life.   

What’s the first thing that you think about when you greet your spouse in the morning?

Is it all the things he or she needs to do to make you happy?


Do you remember all the things he or she already does that brings a smile to your face?

Every single day you are faced with this all important question about your marriage:

“Am I choosing to see my marriage and my partner in a way that brings me happiness or pain?”

Asking yourself this question every day will remind you that you are in the driver’s seat.

You get to decide.

How you choose to see your relationship will be how you experience it.

What you focus on expands. 

Choosing to focus on all the good things about your spouse will make every month feel like May. How cool is that?

If you would like to talk to me personally about how to have a more passionate and supportive marriage,

just click here for more information about how to set up a Discovery Session with me.

A Marriage Counselor's Personal Story

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to connect with you and share all that I've learned about having a great relationship.

I love helping couples create the marriage they really want to have.

I would imagine, though, that you would like to get to know more about who I am.

I promised you in my last video that I would share with you the secret that changed my marriage so dramatically.

That's why I've devoted this article to taking you behind the scenes and sharing a little bit about my own story, so you'll know why I'm so passionate about what I do.

Being a marriage counselor and being married can be tricky business.

Since I have access to really effective relationship tools, some people think I'm immune to marital conflict and should know better. 

But the stresses and strains of life affect all of us and can damage any relationship.

Many years ago my husband and I went through a pretty rough patch in our marriage. During this time our kids were younger, and we were each focusing on our careers while trying to raise a family.

There was so much going on - the kid's sports schedules, school projects, business meetings and on and on.

Like many couples we were in a whirlwind of "to-do's" and it began to overwhelm our relationship. We weren't making our marriage a priority and the signs of neglect became too hard to ignore.

We were beginning to feel more like roommates than the loving partners we once were.

Can you relate?

Then we discovered an Imago Relationship Workshop where we learned the skills we needed to completely transform our relationship. Our communication has improved because we learned how to listen to each other with so much more love and respect.After this amazing experience, I just had to learn all I could about Imago and I went on to become an Imago Relationship Therapist.

I can now share all those same wonderful skills with the couples I work with each day. 

My husband and I continue to have a solid and supportive connection, and I'm happy to say that we'll be celebrating our 30th anniversary very soon!

Sure we still disagree at times, but we spend less time arguing and more time really enjoying each other and having fun together.

I'm so grateful for what we created, and it's kind of scary to think how easily things could have gone the other way.

It's devastating to see a marriage crumble.

Like you, I have painfully watched close friends and family struggle in their marriages, and I've seen the devastation this has had on their children, their health, and their well-being.

Some have gone through very painful divorces because they didn't have the skills to communicate effectively with the love of their life.

And it's tragic because it doesn't have to be this way.

I've been teaching busy professionals how simple it can be to feel more passion in their marriage when they learn the skills they need to build a supportive relationship together.

In fact, I've dedicated my years of education, training, experience, and my entire heart and soul - to develop my own unique system that has helped couples improve their relationship in a powerful way.

Here's the best part...

Having a healthy, passionate marriage isn't as complicated as you think when you learn how to build a supportive relationship one loving step at a time.

I would love to help you too.

If you would like to talk to me personally about how to have a more passionate and supportive marriage, click here to set up a Discovery Session with me.