Category Archives: marital satisfaction

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 could happen if you focused this time and energy on your relationship or marriage, too! Here are four New Year’s Resolutions that you can make with your partner to create a more connected and fulfilling relationship.

Be more intentional!

I get it! You’re busy. However, when you let structured time with your partner fall to the wayside you could be sending a message about where your priorities lie. The reality is that if you wait until you “have time”, it likely will not happen. Instead, try reserving a few hours each week to connect with your partner and stick to it! Are finances or childcare getting in your way? At home date nights can effective when you are in a pinch. Be sure that you are using this time to connect and not just to watch your favorite television program.

honeymoon couple laughingCommunicate about your Relationship

Many of the couples that I see tend to communicate about their relationship the most during conflict. However, having these conversations in a more calm and positive space can help normalize them and make them easier to navigate when things become escalated. Try checking in with your partner about your relationship at least once a week. Questions like “How can I best support you in the next week?”, “What discussion have come up for us in the past week that need resolution?”, and “How are you feeling about our physical intimacy?” can help you and your partner feel seen and cared for.

State Complaints in the Moment

Many of my clients avoid communicating complaints to their partner out of fear that they will cause unnecessary conflict. However, choosing not to communicate complaints can lead to resentment, bitterness, and eventually loss of connection. Instead, try to be mindful of how you are communicating with your partner. Are you coming across as critical? Are you unable to see your partner’s perspective in the situation? If so, it may be helpful to slow down and approach the situation with respect and curiosity. Doing so can prevent your partner from becoming defensive or shutting down. Still not convinced? Try noticing how you feel and act towards your partner when you make the conscious decision to communicate a complaint in the moment compared to when you choose not to. It is likely that you will feel more positively towards you partner when you choose to be honest and transparent and opposed to bottling things up.

Nurture Relationships with Friends and Family Members

One person cannot meet your needs all the time. Maintaining meaningful relationships with friends and family members outside of your romantic relationship can alleviate this pressure and help you feel energized and fulfilled. These relationships also allow you to maintain a healthy sense of independence, outside of your couple relationship which can lead to as greater sense of satisfaction long-term.

 

Westminster marriage counselor Michaela StandhartAbout the Author

Michaela Standhart is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. She specializes in couples therapy, betrayal trauma, and works with adolescent as young as 12 years old.

What Blocks Intimacy?

What Blocks Intimacy?

Intimacy is important in relationships, and I am not just talking about sex. I am talking about the sense of emotional vulnerability and connection to your partner. But when our relationships are struggling, it can be hard to find that connection. You might not even fight often, but you feel yourself drifting apart. And when… Continue Reading

The Importance of Validation in Your Relationship

The Importance of Validation in Your Relationship

When your partner comes to you about a frustration, do you find yourself trying to fix their problem?  Does this result in them becoming frustrated with you?  You were just trying to help, so why did you receive such a negative response?  If this pattern feels familiar, your partner is likely looking for validation rather… Continue Reading

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.… Continue Reading

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