Category Archives: Patricia Cochran

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

When enough is enough

When enough is enough

You have known for a while that your relationship is suffering. Things are not as they used to be and the conflict is unbearable. You have been trying everything from your mother’s advice, magazine pro-tips and counselor’s suggestions with no real results. We all know that relationships change as we mature and we’re supposed to… Continue Reading

Nothing I Do is Good Enough For my Partner

Nothing I Do is Good Enough For my Partner

Relationships often start with plenty of demonstrations of affection and appreciation for one another. There is a sense of “this person gets me and accepts me for who I am”. The infatuation makes you want to attend to even the silliest requests from your partner. Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, your partners… Continue Reading

We Have Sex… but No Intimacy

We Have Sex… but No Intimacy

  When I ask people about sex and intimacy the answer often reflects a belief that they are one and the same. We believe both to mean the act of sexual intercourse. It’s true that they go hand in hand within a healthy relationship, but they don’t need each other to exist. If you are in a relationship that has no intimacy it feels… Continue Reading

How to be supportive when your partner makes a mistake

How to be supportive when your partner makes a mistake

There is no denying that relationships are hard work on a daily basis. Add to the basic endeavor a crisis initiated by your partner and you got a headache of gigantic proportions. It’s easy to get mad and blame your partner for the mistakes made, but does it solve the problem? I’ll answer that question:… Continue Reading

How to Prepare to Become Parents- While Staying Lovers

How to Prepare to Become Parents- While Staying Lovers

Having a child is an important decision in a couple’s life. You worry about financial stability, your age and how long you have been in the relationship. Those concerns are valid and have a great impact on how prepared you feel about having a baby…but how about the changes to your relationship? Becoming a parent… 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