How To Communicate With Your Spouse The Smart Way!

Have you ever blurted out something stupid and insensitive in an argument with your spouse and you instantly wish you could push the rewind button? 

How To Communicate With Your Spouse The Smart Way!

Well, here's a little tip that might give you a  "Get out of jail free" card. 

Ask your spouse for his or her opinion. Say something like, “How do you see it?” or “What’s your take?” This opens up the possibility of dialogue and it leaves room for an honest discussion instead of a fight. 

So the next time you find yourself backed into a corner by your own thoughtlessness try asking your spouse for their opinion on the subject.

It could mean the difference between a night at the fights…

And a night to remember!

For more ideas about communicating with style check out my free resource:

Merry Marriage! Give Your Spouse the Best Holiday Gift!

Merry Marriage! Give Your Spouse the Best Holiday Gift!

Presents, presents, and more presents! That's what everyone's thinking about this time of year.  We're all searching for that perfect present for that special someone. 

What if that perfect present were absolutely free because you already have it to give? 

Well, look no further. That perfect present is- drum roll please... YOU. 

It's your presence.

(I couldn't resist a little holiday pun;)

 

Merry Marriage! Give Your Spouse the Best Holiday Gift!

Your presence is the greatest gift you can give your spouse this holiday season. The hustle and bustle of life pulls us in all kinds of directions all year long. 

It seems that couples have so little time to spend together and enjoy each other's company.

Why don't you decide that this year will be different?  

In my work with couples II talk a lot about the stages in a committed relationship and those of you who have worked with me know that my goal is to help couples evolve into the Conscious Love Stage. I call this the "Make it Happen" stage. So, instead of waiting and wishing that you had more time together - MAKE IT HAPPEN! When you make a decision to spend some quality time together it will happen. Need some ideas?

•    Hot Chocolate Rendezvous

Cuddle up by the fire with your favorite blanket and two steamy cups of hot chocolate. You can even roast some marshmallows or make some yummy S'mores together. Don't have a fireplace? No problem. Grab that favorite blanket, a thermos, and a picnic basket and take it to the park.

    •    Dinner for Two

Short on cash or time for a dinner date at that fancy restaurant? Then bring the restaurant to you. Light some candles, put on that romantic music, and dust off those fancy dinner plates you save for special occasions. If you love to cook you can whip up your favorite meal or just bring home some take-out and enjoy it with a romantic, elegant flare.
 

    •    Winter Wonderland Fun

If you want to have some fun burning those extra holiday calories try some fun winter sports together. Head for the slopes or the ice rink or maybe catch a hockey game together.

It just takes a little imagination and a splash of determination to spice up your relationship. So what are you waiting for?

Wishing you all a very blessed, safe and happy holiday season!

Hope you found this newsletter insightful for your marriage.

If you can think of one person who would benefit, please use the share link below to spread the word. 

Are you still struggling in your marriage? 

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.

Are you Letting Your Marriage Get Lost in the Shuffle?

Life can really get crazy.

Two jobs, the kids soccer practices, back to school night, PTA meetings – and on it goes…

It’s a whirlwind of “to-dos.”  But where does your marriage fit into all of that? How much time do you make for your relationship? Is it even on the calendar?

With all these other commitments competing for attention, your marriage can end up forgotten, like the summer vacation pictures at the back of the junk drawer – LOST.

It usually doesn’t get much attention until the signs of neglect become too hard to ignore. You begin to feel like those “two ships,” as if you’re roommates instead of the loving partners you once were.

It’s no wonder. Neither of you is getting what you need and your marriage is certainly not getting what it needs to thrive.

Let’s make sure your marriage doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. You can plan to do things differently. When you get those calendars out to schedule those basketball practices and business meetings, block some time in your schedule for your marriage. This could mean a Friday evening date night, a walk together around the neighborhood, or just some quiet time on the patio with no distractions.

Just like anything else that’s important in your life, the effort you expend morphs into meaningful rewards. Nothing beats that feeling of closeness and connection with your significant other. But this is built over time and nurtured with every loving encounter.

So get your marriage on the top of that list and start reaping the rewards of a healthy and vibrant relationship.

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.

 

Simple Ways That You Can Be The Positive Change In Your Marriage!

Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? The phrase refers to the idea that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may even alter the path of a tornado in another location. A very small adjustment in a physical system can make a significant difference at some later time and place. The idea is that small steps can eventually lead to big change. Sometimes our intimate relationships can feel like tornados and the obstacles can feel insurmountable. This can be frustrating and often we feel powerless to change. Maybe we can learn something from these tiny creatures.

It’s amazing that these delicate butterflies can make such a big impact on the world. Imagine what impact each of us can make if, instead of blaming our partner for causing the storm, we focus on making a small change in our own behavior that could prevent it.

Marriage is like a dance. It has a certain rhythm to it, and each of us contributes to that rhythm for good or for bad. It is so much more empowering to take responsibility for our steps in this dance. You’d be surprised to discover how much power you have when you own your own stuff. So, just for a week, I want you to take the focus off of what your partner is or isn’t doing, and be that loving presence you so desire. Make the tiny shift and see the positive impact you create.

Now – this is not about condoning bad behavior and allowing it to continue. It’s about examining the situation and asking, “What part of this do I have the power to change?” “What’s the loving response?”

So, in the spirit of taking small steps toward big change this week, I want you to do one thing each day that may bring some happiness into your partner’s life. It could be doing a chore you know they hate to do,or telling them how great they look today. It might be a little love note or even a loving glance – any gesture that may bring more loving energy into your relationship. And be creative!

You might even have some fun along the way…

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.

How To Fight Fair in Your Marriage

Being a Marriage and Family Therapist and being married can be a double-edged sword. You have access to cutting edge tools and techniques and you are expected to always use them faithfully.

Well, things don’t always run as smoothly as they should. Especially in situations like the one that happened last night…

 

My husband and I were having a “discussion” about a heated issue and I felt myself becoming really angry with him. Did I immediately use one of the techniques I teach my couples?

Uhh, no. All I could think of were the many reasons why I had the right to be angry. I felt totally justified. To top it off, when we were “discussing” the situation, I heard myself uttering those dreaded words I tell my couples never to use - “always” and“never.”

That fight or flight response was in full gear. I was stuck in my immediate reaction and struck by the realization that, in that very moment, I was doing none of the things I teach my clients to do – things I know really work.

This was a very humbling experience, of course, and it was yet another reminder of how very challenging it can be to have a great marriage. I suddenly felt an even more profound admiration and respect for my clients as they diligently work to make their marriages thrive.

My “Aha!” moment came when I realized I have a choice. I didn’t have to stumble down that rocky road of anger and unhappiness, AND I have a reservoir of tools I teach my clients that I can use right here and right now.

“The point of power is always in the present moment.” – that’s what I teach in my workshop. I know that the tools I give my clients to use really work. The challenging part is putting them to work when it matters the most, like when your emotions are running high and it’s so hard to think clearly.

I stepped back from the situation because I realized that what I was doing wasn’t getting me what I wanted. Then I gave myself that all-important time out. This respite gave me the opportunity to settle my mind and think more clearly about the situation, thus creating that crucial pause between the situation and my reaction to it.

This is the fertile ground from which choice emerges.

As my mind started to settle I began thinking about these tools and how they could help me in this situation. The first thing that came to mind was, “Take responsibility for your steps in the dance.”- one of my many mantras. So I began to examine the destructive behavior patterns that I might be bringing into the situation.

It was quite sobering to recognize my role in this pattern, yet also immensely empowering to realize that this pattern was precisely what I have the power to change.

My choices can change the whole direction in this interaction. When we get stuck in our fight or flight mode, we see only those two choices. As I reflected on this during my quiet time I realized there were so many other choices available to me – opportunities to be the loving spouse I know I can be.

This put me in the driver’s seat, actively participating in changing the direction of this encounter. After 27 years of marriage the road can get bumpy at times, but it continues to be an exciting and healing journey.

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.

The #1 Way To Say "I love you."

It's that time of year again, when the candy, flowers, and teddy bears come out of hiding.

It's the Hallmark holiday that reminds you to tell that special someone you love them.

 There are many ways to say “I love you” and one of the most important ways is by listening.

This focused attention helps your partner feel valued and loved. And it's easier than you think. You don’t have to fix or defend anything. You don’t even have to agree. You just have to listen. If this doesn’t feel natural to you, no worries! Studies show that this is a skill that can be learned. 

Listening is one of the key ingredients in a healthy relationship.  One of the skills I teach my couples is called mirroring.

Mirroring is accurately reflecting back the content of your partner’s message followed by checking in for clarity. Since communication always involves two perspectives, it’s important to try and understand your partner’s world with attention and care.

Mirroring might go something like this:  Your partner expresses something important. Rather than jumping in with how that makes YOU feel, try saying, “So what you’re saying is…” or “Let me see if I understand you…” Then you check in asking, “Did I get you?” or “Is there more you want to say about that?”

It’s a curious, focused attention, a willingness to suspend your own perception for just a moment and be fully part of your partner’s world.

 Mirroring does a couple of important things. It cultivates a safe connection between you and your partner. When we feel safe, we want to do the fun stuff like nurture, play and mate. Secondly, this skill virtually obliterates misunderstanding because you’re reflecting and checking in to make sure you heard the message.

It’s fool proof. So the next time you’re tempted to give your partner that brilliant piece of insight into their problem, try a little mirroring. You might be surprised at how well you connect!

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.

 

 

Welcome To My Love Your Marriage Blog

Welcome to my blog. My goal is to make this a place where people can glean creative and innovative ideas for their relationships; a forum to discuss what works. So often we focus on what Isn’t working in our intimate relationships. Unfortunately we usually get more of the same coming into our lives. My philosophy is: “What you focus on expands.” You want to focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. I also believe that the seed of the solution is within every one of us. I invite you to share your pearls of wisdom with others here so that we can all make a positive impact on the world together.