For a Healthy Relationship, Don’t Text in These Situations

TEXTING

For a Healthy Relationship, Don’t Text in These Situations

With the advent of smart phones, we have our partner at our fingertips any time of the day or night. Small matters of course like coordinating plans, schedules, a steamy sext or a quick message to warm the heart, are all great ways to use texting to enhance your relationship. The problem is, texting has become so ubiquitous for couples and everyone else that we start to think we can share anything in this medium. But the fact is you can’t, not if you want the outcome to be positive. In fact, there are certain things that should not be discussed via text, for the health of the relationship. The reason, it can be so easy to misinterpret what is being said. Used sparingly and in the right situations, texting can help. Utilized in an improper manner, it can exacerbate problems and strain the relationship. Here are some things you shouldn’t text about. If you and your partner have recently gotten into an argument and you thought of a great fact, some supporting evidence, or just something you should have said, do not text it to them. Texting your side of an argument to your partner can feel right at the time. They can’t interrupt you. They have to listen to you. But this is a poor decision for a whole host of reasons.

It could be viewed as cowardly, texting rather than telling them face-to-face. Chances are they aren’t going to let things go, either. Now, instead of snuffing out the argument, you are fanning the flames. The next time you see one another, a conflagration is likely to occur. In this situation, talking about a fight via text is forcing your partner to take your words. So they either have to respond or give you dead silence. Either way, no one is satisfied and the fight gets worse. So what is a better strategy? Even if you just want to let them have it, think about the long-term. What strategies can you employ to make both of you satisfied with the outcome? If there is none, time to negotiate. But in the interim, perhaps take this time to reflect more passively, more objectively on the situation. Once you are calm, mull over the facts. What is your partner’s view of things, as you understand them? Take a look carefully at their point of view. Are you aware of everything that is going on? What other factors may be influencing their perspective? If you do not understand this point of view, maybe now is the time to organize a few questions to ask them, in a way that will lead to information rather than defensiveness. How we conduct arguments is important, probably one of the most important things, as it separates those couples who will make it, from those who won’t. Learn to fight respectfully. Doing so in the presence of one another shows more respect. And down-time before face-time could be just the thing you need, to gain perspective and get your thoughts in order.

If you know there is an issue that is going to set your partner off, do not text them about it. Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news, particularly if it is something that rubs their lover the wrong way. You will feel stressed in how to address it, and trepidation on how they might respond. Texting takes that awkwardness out of it for you, but rubs salt in the wound for them. Texting in this case sends a message that you’re more concerned about getting the message across than the impact it has on your partner. In other words, you care more about getting it over with than about their feelings receiving this bad news. All difficult news should be delivered in person. Try to think about their position, the type of person they are, and how you would feel receiving such news. Some people just want you to be there for them. You will know how to respond in the moment. Trust your instincts. But do a little homework, too. Compose what you are going to say. You can even let a friend who knows them well hear how you are going to deliver the news, and see if they can offer some tips. Finally, don’t use texting as a means for trying to get closer to your partner. Nothing beats the sound of someone’s voice, or looking into their eyes the first time they say, “I love you.” A text message will never deliver the same impact. You can affirm feelings that are already established. But if those feelings aren’t there, and the emotional closeness you seek hasn’t been established, texting is not the way forward. A relationship can only be truly close when it is conducted, for the most part, face-to-face. For those who wish reading a relationship was as easy as reading a text, read Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin, Psy.D. MFT.

Reinvent your Marriage

happy-couple

Congratulate yourselves if you and your spouse have made it to middle age and are still happy in your relationship. Still, empty nesters and long-term relationships in general go through fluctuations. At this point you may find that things are too familiar and have lost their sparkle. You two might be wondering, what now? According to conflict resolution professional and attorney Pamela Zivari, you have a special story together by now that has played out over a significant amount of time. Of this she says, “You’ve become your own play, in effect, complete with character development, unexpected plot twists, devastating defeats and mythological wisdom. Because this growth can’t be quantified, or categorized, or updated, or downloaded, or synched, it’s hard to see and even harder to value than the new blush of excitement that comes from a new partnership. Therefore, before you can make significant improvements in your middle-aged marriage, you need first to respect it just as it is, the fact that it has lasted, and that it’s substantially more significant than you give it credit for.” Still, with this new metamorphosis comes its own challenges. But you and your spouse have suffered worse. This should just be a lot of fun in reimagining and recreating your relationship together, once again in this new place in life. Here’s how to reinvent your marriage.

Instead of concentrating on the things that drive you crazy about your spouse, think about the things you love them for. Look deeply into their eyes and tell them you love them. Acceptance is the road to bliss. Remember that it’s nearly impossible to change anyone. The only person you can really change is yourself. Allow your partner to lend you a hand. It doesn’t mean that you’re incapable. Instead, you are giving them the chance to feel needed, important, worthy and loved. Everyone needs to feel useful and needed sometimes. This is true of both sexes, but particularly for men. When your spouse comes in, give them a big smile, a kiss and a warm hello. This simple act will set the tone for the evening. Ask how their day was and really listen. Don’t take your partner for granted and they won’t take you for granted. Set the tone each day for appreciation and love, and it will come back to you. Do novel things together. Step outside of your comfort zone. Find adventures that are interesting to both of you. Plan it out and give yourself something to look forward to. Make a bucket list and cross off the things you get accomplished. Why not make a wishing board together and help fulfill each other’s dreams? Make your own routines. When you first come in the door, sit and have a drink and talk for a few minutes before the tasks of cooking dinner and whatnot are to be completed. If you accomplish these things, your relationship will be the most satisfying, precious thing in your life. Find ways to show how much you care, and your partner will do the same for you. For more advice on this topic, read I Still Do: Bring Back That Spark- Learn How You Can Rekindle The Flame Forever by Joshua Osenga.

Guys Are Drawn to the Damsel in Distress

damsel-in-distress

So many movies are the same. The lovely young maiden is trapped by the evil wretched villain. Her only hope, a knight in shining armor who swoops in to vanquish his opponent, free his lady love, sweep her up into his arms and ride off with her clutching him as the sun sets and the credits roll. But it isn’t just Hollywood that’s obsessed with the damsel in distress, guys fall for this female character, too. Many women, particularly in the West who are independent and can take care of themselves, hate this stereotypical heroine, and Hollywood and other media sources have heard and adjusted. This phenomenon still hangs on. So why are guys drawn to the damsel in distress? Mostly it’s because it makes him feel manly to be able to swoop in and save her. It makes him feel wanted, needed, important, a hero. It also makes her look feminine to him. Men throughout the ages have been traditionally the protectors and providers. Women, whether the modern feminist minded want to admit it or not, are also attracted to men who can make them feel safe and secure. Helping boosts a man’s ego. But saving a woman whom he also finds irresistible, that is a recipe for a man in love. Another thing, it’s easy to approach this woman. She needs help and he can provide it. It puts him at a superior standing.

This feeling of being a man, of doing manly things and becoming secured in one’s manliness helps to build the male ego. When he feels important, wanted, needed, and essential it feeds his ego, makes him feel manly and gives him a sense of pride that he is doing something good for a woman who deserves his services. The trick is to be a damsel in distress and at the same time not to be needy. This is easier said than done. Guys do want a woman to be independent. He wants her generally to have her own friends, career and passions in life. But he doesn’t want to feel as though she doesn’t need him at all. If you want to get closer to him but still maintain your independence, simply ask for his help in something. It could be a little matter. To fix something, ask for help in using a technical piece of equipment for instance if you are both working in the office together. The copier is always a source of consternation for any office worker. If there isn’t anything mechanical or technical around, ask for his advice or opinion on something. Thank him later on and let him know how much he helped. Once you’ve primed his ego in this manner he’s bound to warm to you. Remember not to use this all the time if you happen to be dating a guy or else you may come off as needy. But a little request for help now and then can pique his interest in you and let him know he’s needed and desired. For more tips on how to attract a man, read the advice of Ellen Dugan in her book, How To Enchant A Man: Spells to Bewitch, Bedazzle & Beguile.

Add Simplicity and Peace to your Marriage

Life-is-simple

One of the problems in life is that it’s become too complicated. There are too many choices. And we own too many things that must be maintained, fixed, kept clean and paid for. Things, duties, tasks and problems can crowd in so that it feels like there’s nothing left. These stresses and burdensome responsibilities can leach into your marriage, causing havoc as you both displace your stress and take it out on one another. Instead, strip down your life. Clear out the clutter and add simplicity and peace to your marriage and your life. First, decide what’s important in your life together. What do you want it to be about? What really makes the two of you happy? Make a list of the core essential things you both need in your life together that fulfills you as individuals, a couple, and a family. Write them down. Take a look at the commitments you both have. One of the problems in life is that we overcommit ourselves and stretch ourselves too thin. That means less time for what’s important. For instance, if your goal is to spend more time with the family, you may want to skip the Chamber of Commerce breakfast in lieu of having breakfast at home. You might want to quit the Rotary Club in order to have a family fun night on the same evening when the club usually meets. Strip it down to the bare essentials and you’ll find that you now have loads of free time to commit to the core essentials.

Look at your email and online activity. How much time are you spending goofing off that you could be spending on one of your essentials such as work, family time, couple time, passions or hobbies, whatever you are into? Unsubscribe to all the extras in your email inbox. You are probably spending loads of time going through emails that you don’t even need. Stick to the ones that support your essentials and get rid of the rest. Do you spend a lot of time on social media? Give yourself a limit and your spouse as well if it’s their case, too. Or get off altogether. Why not just limit yourself to one or two sites, or use www.hootsuite.com to send out the same message to all of your social media at once? Limit the things in your life. Do you really need two cars or could you get away with owning one? Do you really need to own a house? Owning a house does not just add a lot of expense but also a lot of chores that could be time used in serving your core essentials. Consider renting instead of buying. Or get a townhouse where the outside is already maintained for you by the groundskeeper. All you have to do is maintain the inside. Slow down and enjoy each task for your core essentials and do them to the best of your ability. Relax and enjoy family time, couple’s time, and even eating a family meal together. Limit what you spend. You don’t need the latest gadget to be happy. Invest in time together, time with friends, time with family and others you love and care about. Take time to appreciate one another and the beautiful life you have together. A simple, peaceful life is beautiful, and fulfilling. Try it for yourself and you’ll see. For more guidance on how to simplify your life, read the advice of Francine Jay in her book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life.

Things you should Never Text About

MAN-TEXTING

Texting has become the communication medium of choice among couples. But while casual flirting, date arrangements, little love notes and anecdotes from the day are commonly texted, there are some things you should never text about. For instance, if you are suspicious that he or she may be getting a little too close to his work wife or husband, and why on earth do they have one to begin with, this is an issue that should not be discussed via text. This is a face-to-face conversation. How can you learn the nuances of the situation in such a limited medium? Texting about suspicions makes them sound even worse. And you aren’t really allowing the person to explain themselves. You could also miss out on important body language, gestures and facial expressions which could clue you in to what’s really going on. Do not say the first “I love you” over text. It’s too impersonal. You are missing a great bonding moment. To look into someone’s eyes when you say it and really mean it, could be a spectacular bonding experience. It could also fall flat, which is why people text it in the first place, fear of rejection. But does it really hurt any less when it’s via text versus face-to-face?

If you two are intimate you should never text someone if you think you are pregnant. There are too many questions to have answered and it’s too big of an issue. A phone call is appropriate but face-to-face conversation is the best method in determining where you are and where things stand. If you are questioning the relationship, or feel it has fallen flat lately, don’t send a string of texts and blow up the other person’s phone. Simmer down, compose yourself, call them and schedule a time to meet and talk about the issue. Tell them how you’ve been feeling. Let them respond and hear them out, without interruption. Come to an agreement on what the issues are and how to solve them. But don’t do it via text. Do not text your current flame and tell them you are meeting your ex somewhere for a coffee, a drink or whatever, just to catch up. You are going to prick up their ears, if not their ire. They’ll be wondering if they hear a twinge of guilt in your voice. Tell them in person. It’s a sign of respect. And you two can have a talk and discuss where things are at. If you felt things have been lacking in the bedroom and you want to encourage some different techniques, do not text it to them. You will embarrass them in a way where he or she has no response. Do this when together. Be gentle and make it a game, or a role play. Remember what to and what not to text and your relationship will be much better for it. For more insight on this topic, read the advice of Michael and Ruthie Dean in their book, Real Men Don’t Text: A New Approach to Dating.