Fixing a Marriage without Couple’s Counseling

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Fixing a Marriage without Couple’s Counseling

It can seem difficult to recalibrate a relationship that’s seems broken, particularly a marriage. Though counseling can be worthwhile, it isn’t appropriate for many couples. One or both members feel that counseling isn’t for them. They see it as a defeat or only something for crazy people. Or they feel uncomfortable revealing the deepest, darkest parts of their marriage to a complete stranger. Instead, they would rather invest the time, energy and forethought themselves to fix the marriage. The truth is a marriage can be fixed without couple’s counseling.

Here are some steps that can help you bring your marriage back from the brink. First, it’s important to set aside some serious time to talk. It could be one day, once per week, an entire weekend, whatever is need to hash out the problems, outline negative behaviors each of you are exhibiting and unraveling them, and come up with a series of rules, guidelines and behaviors you both vow to take part in instead of those that are affecting the marriage. Once this is done, reconnect. Take a vacation. Go on a weekend getaway. Take a road trip or just spend some fun time together, away from kids and responsibilities, only focusing on each other.

Take a look at how the two of you communicate. Does one always interrupt the other, or worse do you interrupt one another? If so, practice listening to your partner with your full attention, not interjecting what you want to say, or how it really is. After each statement validate what they have said. Then talk about what you want to say. Expect your partner to listen without interruption and validate your statement. A lot of problems occur when one partner or the other feels like they aren’t being listened to, or their statement isn’t taken as valid by the other. Validation could be as simple as, “What I hear you saying is…” It may take longer, but in the end both parties will feel listened to and respected by the other.

Also, lots of marital problems like other problems are often rooted in misunderstanding. The validation process can show you the difference between what you say and how your spouse takes it, and visa-versa. By clearing up misunderstandings, you will not only learn to communicate with your spouse better, you will understand them better too. For more advice read, One New Habit to Fix Your Marriage: 10 Simple Steps to Put the Joy and Intimacy Back in Your Marriage by Grace Stevens.

If He Has One of these Traits, Still Give Him a Chance

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If He Has One of these Traits, Still Give Him a Chance

Single women are the largest growing demographic in America. That said, some experts think that many women who could end up with a man they enjoy being with, deflect men who show interest in them for small, superficial, inconsequential reasons.  In a new book entitled, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough Lori Gottlieb explores this very notion. Women have to be more open minded when selecting their mates, and stop considering little things as deal breakers. But what kinds of things is she talking about? If he has one of these traits, you should probably give him a chance.

First, if he is younger or older than you don’t rule him out right away. The truth is that you can’t always select who you jive with. Not everyone has to fit some sort of cookie cutter mold. Instead, realize that people of different ages who have a fondness and compassion for one another, whose souls intermingle when their bodies are at a discrepancy, these are still vital relationships one should give a chance to, no matter what loud mouth ignoramus is spouting about dirty old men, cougars or what-have-you. If someone is older or younger than you are, of legal age of course, but makes you happy and you make them happy, what’s the difference?

Lots of women single a man out for what they perceive as certain physical shortcomings. For instance, if he is bald or balding, if he is a little overweight, a tad two short, wears glasses, has facial hair and so on. Often, women bemoan the shallowness of men and of our culture, which is true. But then they reject someone who doesn’t fit some sort of mental image or standard they themselves have set. Sometimes when we first meet someone we find it hard to look past physical things, that turn out to not be a big deal later on. But the guy who has a bald spot may have also written a book. He may have a great sense of humor. He may speak French and know how to dance the Calypso. If you knew all that upfront perhaps you would give him a chance. So don’t judge a book by its cover. Reserve judgment and get to know the person. That said, if there still isn’t any chemistry, remain friends. Don’t try and force something that isn’t there. If he lives far away but you two hit it off, consider a long distance relationship. Perhaps go and visit. Have him visit you. Consider moving or see if he can move.  Life is too short. And if you live your life to other people’s standards you’ll never be happy. But don’t set yours too high either. There are lots of people with amazing qualities out there that can’t wait to sweep you off your feet, if you’d let them.

Grand Gestures that will Blow him away

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Grand Gestures that will Blow him away

Are you dating or married to a guy you are totally in love with? Do you want to show him how much you care? For guys it’s easy to come up with ideas to sweep a girl off her feet. A romantic dinner, her favorite flowers, a day at the spa, and a weekend away are all romantic ways to show her how you feel. With guys it’s a little different. You can be romantic with some. With others they find it a blow to their ego. He has no problem doing these things for her. But romance is considered something for the lady. So accepting a romantic gesture can be uncomfortable for some men, even emasculating. His friends may even tease him about it depending on the type of guy he is and they are. So it’s important that when you want to do a grand gesture to blow him away, you do it to fit him, his style and make him melt without blowing his cover. You don’t want to do something nice and end up making him the butt of jokes from his friends. So how do you deal with that? How can you expertly maneuver this fine line and show him how much you care? Here are some ideas.

How about a surprise vacation? Who doesn’t like a get-away? Where does your man like to go? What does he like to do? If you have the means, there are no shortages of places to go from Hawaii to Greece that he won’t enjoy or brag about. A surprise weekend away is always good. If he has a special hobby you can take him for instance for a surprise weekend skiing at a place he’s never been or always wanted to try, or a golf course he’s never been to. If he’s really into Hollywood, a weekend in L.A. will do the trick. If he’s an outdoorsman take him camping, fishing or hiking in a state or national park he’s never been to. Even bringing him to a hidden gem in your town or country can show how much you care.  What about getting him a gift that keeps on giving? Find out what he’s into. Say he loves bacon, there’s the bacon of the month club. There are one’s for beer, hot sauce, cheese, and so much more.

Ever think of getting him a massage from a proper masseuse? Ask casually first what he thinks of massages before you get him one. Or you can do one for him yourself. Make it a real treat, a full body massage. If you know anyone you can borrow a massage table from, do so. If he’s been particularly stressed out lately, do his chores for him. Give him a little extra time to relax and unwind. It will also show him that you’ve got his back. Set up that thing he’s always wanted to do. From sky diving, bungee jumping, riding in a World War II vintage plane over Manhattan or driving a race car down the track, find out what it is and make secret plans to fulfill it for him. Make him a special dinner once in a while, or buy a nice piece of lingerie if you have a physical relationship and text him photos of yourself. There are lots of things you can do for a man to let him know you love him, and make him feel not only like a man, but like a king. For more advice read, Romantic Gift Ideas for Men & Women-Anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Special Occasions by Suzie Summers.

Writer interviews Couples all over the Country

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Writer interviews Couples all over the Country

Are you tired of all relationships being portrayed either like a Disney film, a scandal or a bitter divorce or split? So was Nate Bagley. What did he do about it? This intrepid writer took his life savings along with what he made on a Kickstarter and set about interviewing couples all over the country to find out what the actual state of romance in America was really like.

Bagley talked about his subjects on Reddit just before Valentine’s Day last year stating, “I’ve interviewed gay couples, straight couples, rich couples, poor couples, religious couples, atheist couples, couples who have been together for a short time, and couples who have been together for over 70 years.” In the Ask Me Anything section he said, “I’ve even interviewed couples in arranged marriages and polygamous couples.” His interviews were released in a documentary entitled, The Loveumentary. Here is the advice he shared on Reddit.

One of the biggest factors Bagley found in the happiest couples, self-love. Each person on their own had self-love and when they brought this to the relationship it made it strong, sturdy and secure. They tried to treat their partner then the same way that they treated themselves. This meant that they were emotionally healthy and brought that emotional health to the relationship. What’s more, they forgave transgressions more easily. They were also more likely to take responsibility for what they did wrong and apologize. The next quality he noticed was that the most successful couples also had the highest level of commitment. When things were going bad they knew that they could count on their partner, rather than fearing that their partner would abandon them in their hour of need.

The best couples had an extremely high level of trust between one another. And the trust that they had was from each person’s past behavior showing commitment, kindness and care. Lastly, they all were intentionally into one another. They didn’t give each other a peck at the door; they fell into each other’s arms. They did beautiful, loving, romantic and fun things together. They enjoyed each other’s company and couldn’t wait to spend time with one another. Seeking to understand one another and not fighting to win but to seek an agreement were also important. For more advice on creating a satisfying relationship, read 25 Habits of Super Happy Couples: How to Increase Intimacy, Keep Love Alive and Build a Successful Long Term Relationship by K.F. Dennis.

Guaranteed Relationship Boosters

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Guaranteed Relationship Boosters

Has your relationship been less than stellar lately? Or you just want to know what to do to make it last? Here are some guaranteed relationship boosters that will propel you to a higher level and keep you there. First, make sure you go on dates. But don’t just do it to do it. Plan it out together. Make it something you are both interested in. Studies have shown that when couples pursue common interests they build and deepen their connection and feel a sense of excitement in their relationship.

Step out of your comfort zone and do something daring. That feeling that gets your heart racing together will also put the spark back into your relationship. It also shows how much you care when you tailor a date specifically to your partner’s wants, likes and desires. That too can deepen your bond. As with everything, it’s the thought put into it that your lover will appreciate most. Keep the lines of communication open and constantly flowing. Check in with your lover just to see how things are going in their life, if there is anything you can do for them and how they feel about your relationship. Ask them open ended questions and really get to know your partner. Consider things from their point of view and validate their feelings, opinions and concerns when you agree.

Understand that no one is perfect. Just because your relationship feels perfect at the moment, enjoy it and cherish it but don’t expect it to last forever. Everyone has their baggage. Everyone has flaws. But honestly communicate, confront, and actively pursue overcoming your flaws, or at least mitigating them. Help your partner to do the same. Don’t chastise or belittle their efforts. Praise them, encourage them and use positive reinforcement. Do things cooperatively. If you set up a competitive or adversarial relationship it will erode trust. At a certain point it will get ugly and it won’t be fun anymore. You should have each other’s back, not compete side by side.

It’s the little compliments and gestures that count, no matter what your partner’s gender. If there is something particularly attractive about them today, tell them so. Let them know you like them because of who they are, and the details about them tell that. Whether it’s the shade of their eyes, their dimples when they smile, or the freckles across their nose that drive you gaga, perhaps it’s the way they look dreamily out a window or the flash of their smile…whatever it is, let them know that you love it, and they’ll tell you what they love about you. Do little things for one another. Show your appreciation even if it’s something they are supposed to do. Cherish one another and your relationship will soar. For more relationship advice read, Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work by Matthew McKay, Ph.D., Patrick Fanning, and Kim Paleg, Ph.D.