Category Archives: marital satisfaction

Start Your Year With an Early Spring Cleaning in Your Marriage

Start Your Year With an Early Spring Cleaning in Your Marriage

New year, new life! isn’t the expectation? We make plans for what we want to change and what we want to keep for the new year. When spring time is about to start we get energized to clean up the clutter in our lives. Also because no one wants to do anything in the winter. I would like to propose a challenge. Start the spring cleaning your relationship right now! You don’t have to be in a crisis to benefit from a good de-clutter of harmful interactions. I will give you 4 tips on how to tidy up your relationship and make it more fulfilling. Your job is to take it seriously and enjoy the benefits of a lighter load on both you and your partner.

Tips to Spring Clean your marriage:

Toss away resentments: A great number of couples that seek therapy come with a baggage of resentments to argue. Usually the exchanges are unproductive since each partner wants to defend his or her side of the story. The best approach is to let it go. How you ask? By having an honest conversation about what has hurt you in the past. Listen to each other carefully and respectfully to understand each other’s perspective. Validate each other’s feelings as this exercise is not meant to stroke your ego, but to give your partner closure on the issue. Accept the other person’s sincere apology (it has to be sincere to work) then plan for how you want to move from there. A famous quote from Nelson Mandela says “resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies”. Holding on to old resentments will only do you harm, not anyone else.

Sort through your expectations: We all have spoken and unspoken expectations of our partners. That he will do the dishes more often, that she will “stop nagging” about your work. We feel bitter when those expectations are not met. However, how fair is to be mad at someone for not fulfilling your expectation? Some expectations are appropriate and healthy for a relationship, such as to expect honesty, faithfulness (in monogamous relationships) and respect. If you are constantly frustrated with your partner for not corresponding to your expectations is time to sort through what it appropriate or not. Work on the issues that can absolutely break your marriage. Let go of the petty fights and unrealistic expectations.

Recycle your vows: Remember those beautiful words you said to each other when you decided to unite your lives? They meant something. Your deepest feelings and desires for a life together were in those words. Take those promises made in a moment of infatuation and turn into a guideline for your relationship nowadays. if your promised to never go to bed angry make a commitment to resolve every significant conflict with the urgency that it deserves.

Donate your affection: Our society declares that “there is no such a thing as a free lunch”. it is not surprising that we get in the habit of expecting something in return for what we do. Nonetheless, in a relationship love has be to given freely with no strings attached. When have either of you last shown affection without expecting something in return? It is time to reconsider how much are you giving of yourself for the simple reason that you love your partner. Make the first move and see the love multiplying.

 

About the Author Patricia Cochran is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She is passionate about helping couples and families to feel connected again. In her spare time, she is busy with her toddler and enjoying friends and family time

Healthy Boundaries = Healthy Marriages; How to set Boundaries with Parents and In-Laws

Healthy Boundaries = Healthy Marriages; How to set Boundaries with Parents and In-Laws

Hollywood is great about making “crazy family” movies where family members interfere in each other’s lives. It is funny to watch – if you are not in their shoes. But if your first thought when you see these movies is “Oh, I feel your pain”, then this article is for you. From career choices to… Continue Reading

We Don’t Spend Time Together Anymore

We Don’t Spend Time Together Anymore

In my practice I often hear emotionally exhausted couples express how little time they have for date nights or even to practice healthy communication skills (aka talk). There is always a soccer practice, a dirty house or work commitments in the way of couples spending quality time together. What most people don’t realize is that… Continue Reading

Book Review: Happy Wives Club

In a day when divorce rates are near 50%, folks in marriages need all the help they can get. There are lots of web sites out there about the quirky idiosyncrasies of marriage. And there are plenty of ‘bitter bloggers’ out there who have an ax to grind about their divorce or their deteriorating marriage.… Continue Reading

How Do You Keep The Man Of Your Dreams?

Now That You’ve Found The Man Of Your Dreams, How Do You Keep Him? Recently everyone’s favorite ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalist preacher with a nationally syndicated television show, Pat Robertson, made headlines with a bit of advice he gave a caller on his show. The woman was upset that her husband was cheating  on her and… Continue Reading

Relationship Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Too many couples miss signs that their relationship is in trouble. They go on thinking that they’re just going through a phase in the relationship and that it will end soon enough. The worst part about this is that don’t realize how bad things really are until it’s too late – until there’s been irreparable… Continue Reading

How to Make a Budget Work for Your Marriage

How to Make a Budget Work for Your Marriage

A while ago I had the opportunity to give a webinar for a financial company that teaches everyday people real world investing and practical investing strategies. I was asked to guest present on decision making in uncertain times. It was a great presentation with a great audience. During the webinar I was asked several questions from… Continue Reading

Letter from Reader: Does it Hurt Marriage When Your Spouse Changes Religions?

Dear Aaron: I read your article about how religion can and can’t help marriages and it brought up a question I have for you. My Spouse Changed Religions, What Do I Do? My religion is very important to me. I grew up in a religious family and have lots of fond memories of instances specifically surrounding… Continue Reading

Does Marriage Counseling Really Work?

Does Marriage Counseling Really Work?

Every couple goes through rough patches in their relationship. And unfortunately too many couples try to struggle through these rough patches on their own without trying marriage counseling. And a lot of couples never try marriage counseling because they’re just not it will work any better than what they can do for themselves. So they… Continue Reading