Category Archives: communicating

Try These Couples’ Goals for the New Year

Try These Couples’ Goals for the New Year

New Year’s Resolutions can be a good way to set your focus on something that you have been letting go to the side. Most of the time you hear people talk about it in the context of eating healthier, or working out more. But the same idea can go for your relationship. A new year can be a good opportunity to talk to your partner about ways you would like to grow closer together ways to try new things.

Spend Dedicated Time Together

I am a broken record on this point. But this topic comes up so often with couples that I believe it is very important. And Research backs this up! It is really important to focus your energy on having solid positive interactions with your partner. This can come through those bonding moments when you talk about your emotions. But it can also come from just having fun together. How we spend our time communicates our values. Focusing on time with your partner communicates that regardless of how busy life gets, your relationship is the priority.

Find a Hobby Together

Some couples have the luxury of shared hobbies from the beginning. As a matter of fact, that might even be how you met your partner. That is great if that is you! Sometimes you might have to re-focus on these things. Say that you love golfing together. Life gets busy and stressful and that might go by the wayside. Take time to focus on the things that you already know you enjoy together.

Some of us might not have those shared hobbies. That just means that you get to experiment together. There might be something that you have meaning to try for a while. Asking your partner to be start something new with you is a great to build your relationship together. This is good for couples whether it is a new relationship or you have been together for years.

Focus on Showing Appreciation

Showing appreciation is a great way to work on overcoming past barriers. Say you and your partner have been through a lot of conflict. It is important to verbalize the things that you see your partner working on that mean a lot to you. This does not have to be through grand gestures. A simple “Hey, thanks for doing that” can go a long way in increasing your positive interactions.

Acts of service can be another great way of showing appreciation. I will share a homework assignment I give most of my couples at some point. Do something nice for your partner, but try to not let them catch you doing it. This removes the transactional feeling that sometimes comes doing nice things for each other. Being sneaky about something nice can also just be fun. Think about the feeling you get when you surprise someone with the perfect gift.

Voice the Ways that You Would Like to Improve

Most of the stuff above is helpful whether your relationship is struggling or you are in a solid spot. But New Year’s is also a great time to try therapy if you have been putting it off. If you are looking to reconnect or reduce conflict give The Marriage and Family Clinic a call.

About the Author

Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado.

New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

It’s the time of year! A fresh start! A time for you to set new goals and refocus on how you can be the best version of yourself. When we think of New Year’s Resolutions, we often think about creating a gym routine, increasing our emergency fund, or improving our productivity at work. Imagine what… Continue Reading

How to Deal with Stonewalling in Your Marriage

How to Deal with Stonewalling in Your Marriage

Do you notice that you become easily overwhelmed during conflict? Is it common for you to withdraw emotionally or physically when conflict becomes escalated? Do you walk away, keep yourself busy, or even leave your home in order to avoid your partner when they are upset? If so, you may be with stonewalling. Stonewalling occurs… Continue Reading

How To Start A Difficult Conversation With Your Partner

How To Start A Difficult Conversation With Your Partner

At some point in every relationship, you and your partner will need to have a difficult conversation with each other. Difficult conversations could be with differences of opinions, future planning, finances, parenting, etc. Whichever topic it is that you and your partner need to discuss, it’s important that you approach the conversation prepared. So, how… Continue Reading

Communicating is Hard: 4  Tips to Make it Easier

Communicating is Hard: 4 Tips to Make it Easier

Communication. You do it everyday with countless people. So why is it when it comes to communicating with the person that is closest to you – something inevitably goes wrong? As a marriage and family therapist I have met with many couples and the number one complaint I hear from them is…poor communication. Poor communication… Continue Reading

Staying Strong for Your Spouse Through Life’s Curve Balls

Staying Strong for Your Spouse Through Life’s Curve Balls

When you said “for better or worse” you meant it. But who knew worse could be this hard or that you would need to be this strong to support your spouse through it. Things were going so well, too; you and your spouse were getting along, the kids were good, finances were on point, relatively speaking… Continue Reading

My Partner Just Doesn’t Get Me!

My Partner Just Doesn’t Get Me!

So your partner just doesn’t get you. Or maybe…you don’t get your partner. Maybe…just maybe you’re spending so much time trying to get your belief, point, hurt, etc. across you aren’t hearing a darn thing coming out of your partners mouth. Wow…those are some tough points! The points above are to provoke you from pointing… Continue Reading