Relationship Challenges

Valentine’s Day Special Edition

By Lianne Avila | February 14, 2013

Six Reasons to Be Happy You Are Single on Valentine’s Day                “Valentine’s Day = Single Awareness Day” Anonymous I know, here we go again another Valentine’s Day and you’re still single. Everybody tells you it’s no big deal, you still have great friends and family. Here are six reasons to count your blessings on Valentine’s Day. There’s no Valentine’s Day awkwardness or pressure. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you should buy him a gift or make him dinner, what color roses you should bring her, or what your partners expectations...

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Valentine’s Day – 10 Ways to Enjoy it More

By Lianne Avila | February 11, 2013

Every February 14, across the United States and throughout the world, chocolate, roses and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. The history of St. Valentine has a few different meanings. The Catholic church recognizes St. Valentine as three different Saints. Valentine’s Day has grown to be the second most popular card sending holiday after Christmas. I know, some of you are thinking it’s been commercialized to make money for all the card selling companies. Actually, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days. It reminds us about the special people in our live’s...

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Life is Complicated Love is Simple: Nurture the Frienship

By Lianne Avila | January 28, 2013

“Falling in love with your best friend is having the best of both worlds . . .” Anonymous As many of you know I am a Marriage and Family Therapist. I have completed both the Level I & Level II training for couples by The Gottman Institute (GTI). In our research we have found trust begins and ends with emotional communication. Whether we like it or not, this is true for all. We have all been hurt by a relationship at some point in our life, but for those of us that believe in protecting trust there is hope. Dr....

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3 Tips to Help Accept What You Can’t Change in Your Partner

By Lianne Avila | January 21, 2013

“Choosing a partner is choosing a set of problems.”  Anonymous I would like to share a humorous story I just read. Imagine Paul married Alice; Alice gets loud at parties and Paul, who is shy, hates that. But if Paul had married Susan, he and Susan would of gotten into a fight before they even got to the party. That’s because Paul is always late and Susan hates to be kept waiting. She would feel taken for granted, which she is very sensitive about. If Paul had married Gail, they wouldn’t have even gone to the party because they would...

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7 Days to Make a Change in Your Relationship

By Lianne Avila | January 14, 2013

Daily strategies to move from knowing to being Day 1 Begin with gratitudeAs you awake in the morning, take the first few minutes to think about what you love about your partner. Stay with that thought and reminiscence about the good times in your relationship. It could be the first time you met, the first time you saw your partner smile or a favorite song that the two of you have. Now, set your intention to go into your day with that loving feeling. It may not last all day but the fact that you did it first thing in...

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The 4 Habits That Keep Relationships Strong

By Lianne Avila | January 7, 2013

“The one who is meant for you encourages you to be your best, but still loves and accepts you at your worst.” Marc Chernoff Loving your partner for the person they are Maybe you wish your partner would chat it up with your friends without being prompted or put the cap on the toothpaste. But, their inability to notice crumbs on the counter may stem from the laid-back personality that drew you to them in the first place. One of the things I’ve noticed with happy couples is they have stopped trying to change one another and have learned to...

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The Importance of Keeping the Dream Alive

By Lianne Avila | December 23, 2012

Is it time to check-in? What happened to my dreams? What happened to our dreams? Is it too late? When is the last time you spent talking to your partner about their life dreams? Do you know your partner’s life dreams? If the answer is no, then it’s time for a talk. And, yes, dreams can change. We live in a fast-paced world and can get caught up in the busyness. Not only can we forget what our partner’s dreams are, we can forget what our own dreams are. Take a sincere interest in your partner’s dreams. Know every detail of their dreams...

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Couples Math

By Lianne Avila | November 27, 2012

Find your inner flirt. I often hear couples complain that their relationship is boring and they feel stuck. They miss the passion. I usually ask how the beginning of the relationship was. Are they still dating and having fun together? This is very important. Remember to spend magical time with one another. Break this into “The Magic Five and One-half Hours a Week.” Don’t part in the morning without knowing one important fact about your partner’s day. Kiss for a minimum of six seconds before departing for the day from one another. Two minutes a day x five working days...

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I really didn’t mean it Like That

By Lianne Avila | October 30, 2012

“Understanding Must Precede Advice” Dr.’s John & Julie Gottman Yes, what you say does matter. Sometimes, your words can hurt those closest to you. Instead of looking for what is wrong with you partner, start asking yourself what is right with you partner. Pick three things you truly appreciate about your partner and tell them daily what you appreciate. For example: ‘I really like how resourceful you are, you are exciting, you are creative, you are strong and you are sexy.’ We live in a very fast-paced world these days and often do not spend as much time with our...

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Listening without Fixing

By Lianne Avila | October 17, 2012

Why are you always trying to change me?  Why can’t you just listen to me?  Does this sound familiar?  I see a lot of couples and I hear this a lot.  Believe it or not listening is an art.  Next time your partner wants to tell you about their day, try listening without trying to solve their problem.  You will be surprised at the long-term results. It’s important when you are in a relationship to build rituals of emotional connection into your daily life.  When you discuss your day with your partner tell them three things you appreciate about your...

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