How Much Time do you Devote to Your Marriage?

122277543How much of your time goes toward working on your marriage? It can be a hard question to answer. And more importantly, how much time is enough? Taking a look at your time management skills can be very helpful to your marriage, as well as other aspects of your life.

Managing the demands of day to day life can interfere with keeping your marriage as a priority. Work, money, extended family, children, and household responsibilities can make life a difficult juggling act. Recognizing where your time goes can be a helpful first step in managing your time. Read the rest of this article »

When the Kids Don’t Like Your New Spouse

118551198Getting remarried when you have children can make for a tricky balance. Children sometimes pull away from accepting a new step-parent and it can make things really complicated. Blending two families in real life usually doesn’t go as smoothly as it did on the Brady Bunch.

Grief Process for Kids

Just like adults, kids need time to grieve the losses in their lives. And kids can grieve differently and on a different timeline from one another. If you enter into a new relationship too soon, you risk interrupting their grief. Read the rest of this article »

10 Common Myths about Long-Term Relationships

120681311There are a lot of misconceptions about what a long-term relationship “should be” like. When people enter into a relationship believing things should be one particular way, they often feel disappointed when their expectations are not met. It’s important to examine truth versus fiction when it comes to the reality of long-term relationships.

Myth #1- Having Things in Common Will Keep the Relationship Going Strong

It takes more than just having some things in common to keep the relationship going strong. Perhaps you and your partner are avid outdoors people, but you don’t communicate well. Your love of the outdoors won’t solve everything. You’ll need lots of other skills to maintain a healthy relationship in addition to having common interests. Read the rest of this article »

History, Mystery, and Plenty of Romance on a Trip to Peru

HDR tonemappedCombining history, intrigue, beautiful natural landscapes, and plenty of man-made fun as well, Peru is a lively and interesting destination for couples who are looking for a unique place to go for a second honeymoon or simply a romantic trip that will allow plenty of time together exploring one of the world’s most interesting destinations.

Not for everyone, Peru is one of South America’s top tourist countries, attracting the unique traveling who’s in search of a little bit of everything, from cosmopolitan cities to amazing ancient sites that’ll leave you breathless. Then there’s a little of everything else in between, including great restaurants, fun nightlife, adventure activities, water sports, beaches…you name it, Peru’s got it.

Americans often overlook South America as a prime vacation destination, opting instead for trips to Europe. But Peru has so much to offer the traveler that even a two-week vacation is barely enough time to drink in the fabulousness of this fascinating country that was once home to a thriving Inca population that was quite obviously way ahead of its time, evident by the presence of such awesome sites as Machu Picchu, a must-see for anyone heading to Peru Read the rest of this article »

Surprising Ways Your Habits Rub Off on One Another

159405551Often, people think that their habits have little influence on their spouse. However, it looks like your habits may be influencing your spouse more than you think. It also looks like your spouse’s habits may be rubbing off on you more than you know. One example of this can be seen with how spouse’s alcohol intake influences one another after marriage.

What Research Says About Alcohol Habits After Marriage

Research shows that your alcohol intake may be influenced by your spouse’s drinking habits. Men tend to drink less once they get married but women tend to drink more after tying the knot. The theory is that their habits converge and they meet somewhere in the middle. Read the rest of this article »

Can Pre-Marital Counseling Really Help?

138018303When many people think of pre-marital counseling, they envision meeting with their priest, pastor or clergy member prior to getting married. These meetings usually involve discussing the spiritual component of the marriage and may only include on or two meetings. Although there is definitely value to this sort of counseling, pre-marital counseling with a therapist can offer something different. Meeting with a licensed therapist can assist you in preparing for your marriage by providing you with skills to deal with marital issues.

Many people spend a lot of time, energy and money preparing for their wedding. Sadly, most people don’t put nearly as much energy into preparing for their marriage. Marriage preparation requires careful attention to detail and a therapist can help you through this process. A therapist can also teach you skills that can prevent marital problems and help you address issues as they arise. Read the rest of this article »

What Makes a Marriage Good?

78466447If someone asked you what makes a marriage good, what would you say? There are a lot of ideas about what makes for a successful relationship. Some people think it has more to do with how you feel while others think it has more to do with how you treat one another.

Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee interviewed happy couples to find out what they felt made their relationship a success. Couples from all walks of life were interviewed. Clearly, marital satisfaction was not dependent upon a couple’s financial status or career status. Instead, they found that these characteristics were central to marriages across different religions and economic backgrounds. Read the rest of this article »

Remembering the Good Times Can Improve Your Marriage

77276632Research studies show that people who report the happiest marriages are most easily able to recall how they fell in love with their partner. It appears that spending time recalling the reasons you fell in love can help you stay in love. Take some simple steps to help jog your memory about why you married your spouse.

Remember How You Fell in Love

In most romantic relationships, there is a moment that makes people recognize they have fallen in love. This moment may be when they realize their desire to get married and want to be together forever. Remembering when this time was, can help reinforce those loving feelings after you are married.

Spend some time thinking about the moment you remember falling in love with your partner. Was it a special occasion? Or just a time when you partner said or did something that made you feel that way? Or maybe it was just a look your partner gave you. Think back to that moment (or moments) and try to recall it with as much detail as you can. Read the rest of this article »

Honey We Need to Talk…How to Effectively Talk About Serious Issues

158562873When you need to have a serious talk with your spouse, it can be difficult to find the right time, the right place, and the right way to say it. Blurting out “I don’t want your mother to stay with us for a month after the baby is born,” right before you head off to work isn’t likely to be helpful. Instead, it’s important to carefully think about what you want to say, how you want to say it, and when you’ll bring up the subject.

Whether you want to tell your spouse you want to quit your job, that you aren’t happy with a certain aspect of the marriage, or that you’ve changed your mind about wanting another child, it’s important that you effectively communicate your message. When discussing hot topics and serious issues there are strategies you can use that will invite your spouse to actively participate in the discussion rather than become defensive or quickly end the discussion. Read the rest of this article »

Taking a Time Out Can Help Couples Resolve Conflict

134054881Couples are sometimes resistant to the idea of taking a time out when they experience a heated conflict. However, research shows that time outs can be an effective strategy. Learning how to structure a time out can help couples make it an effective tool.

Concerns about ‘Walking Away’

Sometimes couples don’t want to walk away during an argument. This can be because at least one person feels they need to resolve the problem “right now.” However, staying to discuss an issue when emotions are elevated is not likely to be helpful. When people feel angry, they are less likely to be able to constructively problem-solve.

Other times, one person won’t allow their spouse to walk away. They may follow their partner if an attempt is made. They may continue to try and talk things out. Sometimes people feel their partner is abandoning them when they feel most distressed. Read the rest of this article »

Traditional Marriage Counseling Versus Discernment Counseling

78465602There are certainly other options besides marriage counseling when couples are having problems. And one of these options that has gotten a lot of press lately is discernment counseling. Although some people find discernment counseling to be controversial, many people find it to be a welcomed change from traditional marriage counseling options.

What is Discernment Counseling

Discernment counseling varies from traditional marriage counseling in several ways. Where traditional marriage counseling helps couples stay together, discernment counseling helps couples decide if they want to stay together or not. Discernment counseling can help couples weigh the pros and cons of staying together versus divorcing.  Read the rest of this article »

The Four Main Components of a Healthy Marriage

147730221There are many aspects to any relationship.  A healthy marriage should contain four main components that establish the foundation of the marriage.  A firm foundation is essential for the stability and growth of the relationship over time.

Business Component

There’s a business component to a marriage that can often make or break a relationship. The business aspect includes money management, delegating household responsibilities, child rearing responsibilities, and the day to day management of the household. Read the rest of this article »

To Hold a Grudge or Not?

155259337Most experts and articles always recommended forgiveness. They advise not to hold onto a grudge but instead, to forgive and forget. They say, “Don’t hold a grudge, it’s not good for you.” However, believe it or not, there’s actually some research out there that suggests holding a grudge isn’t so bad after all.

 

Arguments that You Should Let Go of Grudges

Many mental and physical health experts say that holding onto a grudge can be bad for you. The argument is that grudges keep a feud going and can cause anger to linger. As a result, people who hold grudges spend (and waste) a lot of time dwelling on something that happened in the past. And for some, this can take a toll on their physical health. Read the rest of this article »

Disney World WITHOUT the Kids: The Perfect Romantic Destination

145243419Okay, so you’ve done it enough. You’ve been to Walt Disney World more times than you can count and you swore that now that the kids are grown, you’d never go back again. You’ve had enough of Mickey’s annoying voice, parents who drag their screaming, unwilling 3-year-olds on the Haunted Mansion ride, that nauseating Small World song that just plays over and over again, and – of course – that overpriced theme park food that just doesn’t excite your palate.

But wait! Have you ever considered a visit to the “other” Disney World? The one that’s pleasing to adults? The one that scintillates your taste buds? The one that provides time for relaxation and for plenty of grown-up fun?

If you’ve never thought about Disney World as the perfect getaway destination just for you and that special someone, think again. The Disney complex in Orlando is more than just 4 usually-crowded theme parks. Along with the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom comes a world in which adults can delight in all sorts of things, including award-winning restaurants, great nightlife locations, spas, and even special tours that provide an in-depth look at America’s number one vacation spot. Read the rest of this article »

Working Together to Set Boundaries with Adult Children

78631172If you have adult children who frequently ask for favors or depend on you for help, it can take a toll on your marriage. It’s important to work together with your spouse on setting healthy boundaries for your marriage. There are some steps you can take safeguard your relationship, maintain your sanity and protect your bank account while helping an adult child.

Sometimes adult kids need a little helping hand. Perhaps your son wants to move in briefly after college until he lands his big job. Or maybe your thirty-five-year-old is going through a divorce and needs to borrow some cash to move into a new apartment. Read the rest of this article »

5 Ways to Manage the Stress of Being a Two Job Family

139699640Many families can’t afford to have a stay-at-home parent anymore. And some that can afford it, choose not to. Certainly, the idea of being a stay-home-parent doesn’t appeal to everyone.

However, when both partners work full-time jobs it can become a challenge. A full schedule can mean less time together, more spare time devoted to household responsibilities, and more stress. All of these can take a toll on a marriage if they are not attended to. Read the rest of this article »

Curbing Your Criticism

149800183Being critical of your spouse can actually lead you onto a short path to divorce. The Gottman Relationship Institute has done years of research on ways to make relationships healthier and they report that criticism is one of the biggest problems in relationships. It appears that husbands who feel criticized by their wives are especially impacted by criticism and it can greatly decrease their marital satisfaction.

There’s lots of reasons people try to use to justify their criticism. However, there’s really no excuse. Your spouse doesn’t make you respond with criticism. Instead, you’re in charge of your own behaviors. If you’re guilty of being critical of your spouse, it’s important to learn some new habits before you damage your relationship beyond repair. Read the rest of this article »

Think Marriage Counseling is Only for Couples with Big Problems? Think Again

138090359There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about who can benefit from marriage counseling and how it can be helpful. Marriage counseling doesn’t have to be only for couples with serious problems. Instead, most couples can benefit from counseling at various points throughout their marriage to help ensure their relationship is staying strong.

Breaking Down the Stigma

When you hear of a couple who is going to marriage counseling, what do you think? Do you tend to think, “That’s great. Good for them! Their marriage is really doing well.” More than likely, if you are like most people, you are probably thinking something more like, “Oh, no they must have some serious marital problems.” Read the rest of this article »

Myths about Money and Marriage

137306532There’s a lot of misconception about money and marriage. It can certainly be a source of contention for many couples. Getting a handle on your finances and working together as a team can make a big difference in the health of your marriage. Here are some of the biggest myths about money that should be addressed within a marriage.

1. We shouldn’t talk about money because it will cause us to fight

If you can’t talk about money without fighting, it’s all the more reason why you should be talking about it. If you fight a lot about money, it means you haven’t resolved your differences about spending and saving. It’s essential that couples develop a budget and agree on financial goals. Read the rest of this article »

Changing Bad Habits Can Improve Your Marriage

121352778It’s possible to get into the habit of having bad habits! As strange as that sounds, it can be easy to sink into a rut. Bad habits tend to come in bunches and it can be hard to get out of them. However, changing your bad habits can help you change your marriage.

How Bad Habits Impact Your Marriage

A handful of bad habits can negatively impact your marriage. An example of this can be seen in Jim’s story. Jim was a 46 year old man who had been married to Katherine for 15 years. Over the years, Jim had developed some bad habits.

Jim worked hard at the office and when he came home, he spent some time with their two children before they went to bed. He then spent the rest of the evening sitting on the couch in front of the television. Over time, weight had crept up on him and he didn’t exercise or eat healthy. He had poor sleeping habits as well. He often fell asleep in front of the television in the evenings and then had difficulty sleeping at night. Read the rest of this article »