After counseling many couples, one of the biggest complaints that I hear is that 'the romance has faded.' One of my favorite exercises in "Gottman" is the Love Map exercise. You can buy these cards at their website, www.gottman.com or you can buy the app and download it on your smart phone. Updating your Love Maps will help you reconnect with your partner. Love Maps entail how well you know one another. How well do you know your partner's worries, fears, goals, etc. If you aren't familiar with Love Maps, here is an example.
Instructions: Sit facing each other, one of you asks the other the first question below. The listener then answers the question as it relates to your partner's world. For example:
Speaker: "What is your partner's favorite thing to do in their free time?"
Listener: "I think you like to read in your free time." -or- "I'm not sure, what is your favorite thing to do in your free time?"
Keep alternating and taking turns. This will help you get to know one another. Remember to be gentle with one another and do not keep score. The following questions are just a place to begin.
These days finding balance between work and a relationship, may seem like the tip of the iceberg. Don't forget, there are also friends, family (kids if you have them), personal errand and responsibilities, etc. These days being over-busy is the norm in our society. Relationships are the ones that suffer. We, unfortunately, set them last as a priority. Not only do you need to schedule them first, but you need to schedule time for 'fun' in your relationship. Here are five tips to help you balance work and a relationship:
"Whenever your're wrong admit it; Whenever you're right shut up." Ogden Nash
We all dream of growing up and finding the partner of our dreams. We are told there is nothing better in this world than finding the one you love, and living happily ever after. But, we all know the honeymoon doesn't last forever. Here are the top five signs that it's time to seek couples counseling:
Couples are always relieved to hear that even the "happiest" couples have fights. Many counselors will say that good communication in a marriage is what will make it work, and the couple will be happy. We have found that to be a myth. This started with a Psychologist by the name of Carl Rogers. He believed that non-judgemental listening and acceptance of another's feelings creates rapport. When couples try this it creates distress in the relationship. When a couple does find a benefit from this, they will often relapse into their old conflicts within a year. Here are three myths about marriage:
The number one reason couples come to see me for counseling is, 'we just don't know how to communicate, anymore.' Our research in Gottman has shown that it's not how often a couple argues that will predict whether or not the couple stays together. It's how they argue that predicts whether or not they will stay together. I tell couples that they need to learn to have an ongoing dialogue about conflict. Here are four tips that will help you in your relationship the next time you have a conflict: