By Davida Brown For many couples, marriage is a scary thing. These couples typically have a good, maybe even great relationship, and fear that “marriage” will ruin everything. They want to be together, forever, but are somehow convinced that those “I dos” will sound the death knell for their relationship. So what do these couples do? I’m currently providing premarital coaching to a couple grappling with this very issue. They love each other tremendously. They’ve been together 5+ years and have experienced tremendous highs and lows during the relationship. They’ve both been married before, and were both raised in a home with separated and ultimately divorced parents. Both want the relationship and marriage to last and thrive and are committed to doing just that. Both are ready to take the plunge and get married, but admit that, because of their previous marriages and observations of their parents’ marriages, they fear that marriage may ruin their “good thing.” For this couple, their past exposure to marriage has obviously had a significant impact on how they view it. During our sessions, we’ve spent a great deal of time talking about perception and mindset. Because they both believe that “marriage” is more likely than not to negatively impact their relationship, they’ve created and enabled a barrier that may prevent them from getting married or reaching their full potential once married. The good news here is that mindset and perception can change. We control our views on marriage. We control the success and yes…
By Abigale Hassell This post is dedicated to an awesome client of mine; I will call her Jill. Jill is funny, she is smart, she is beautiful, inside and out, but she struggles with something that is contributing to her relationship issues. Pride has become a big stumbling block for her. Listen, pride is not one of the 7 deadly sins for nothing! In Jill’s case, it causes her to put up the anger shield. When her boyfriend is not fighting fairly, she reacts in kind. She almost always feels regret afterwards, but, in the heat of the moment, she instinctively puts up the anger shield rather than allowing herself to be vulnerable. Jill and I have talked about being the change she would like to see in the relationship and leading by example, because she has learned that she cannot control anyone other than herself. Jill is not the only one who struggles with pride. We all have at one time or another. The problem is that things rarely get resolved when we allow our pride to inhibit us from behaving in a way we know is most appropriate. The only way we can work through issues is to learn how to fight fairly. You can refer to my earlier post for details on how to fight fairly: http://yesmarriagerocks.com/mrocks/blog/item/175-5-basic-rules-for-fighting-fairly I know it is not easy and we cannot possibly fight “correctly” every time, but let me point out what happens when pride gets in the way of good communication.…
By: Abigale Hassel A friend of mine recently asked me how she can help someone in whom she is interested learn to trust again. You see, he went through a very contentious divorce. She did not specify, but apparently, his ex-wife betrayed him in some way. She shared that she has watched him struggle with anger, resentment and deep hurt and all she has known to do is pray for him. She asked me how I counsel people to trust and open themselves up emotionally and how I counsel their partners who are in a relationship with them. Good questions. For the sake of this discussion, I am going to direct my comments to those of you who are the partners of people who are closed off emotionally, who are unemotional, and/or who are untrusting. If your partner is a good person, but just does not know how to express his or her feelings, then please continue reading. Let me share that I completely understand what this is like, because my husband used to have the same difficulty with opening up and sharing his emotions with me. He was able to express his love and he was sure able to express his anger, but it was the more vulnerable emotions in between that had him stumped. He was very walled off from the emotions that he believed made him appear “weak”. After several years of maturing and hard relationship work between the two of us, he has learned what I…
By Davida Brown The first year of a relationship is nothing short of exciting. You want to know absolutely everything about him or her, and every new thing you learn makes you want to know more. Because you're in learning mode, you haven't quite figured out each other's comfort zone. You haven't quite figured out what works for you as a couple. What's your role, what's his or hers. Each day, week or month is like a new adventure. Fast forward 8 years. You have a great relationship and you hopefully still experience excitement and adventure together. Even so, let's be honest, it's not at a 10 like it was that first year, but that's okay. There's something special about "knowing" your spouse that's beautiful and comforting. That said, even the most seasoned couples need to shake things up a bit. Periodically, each of us needs to step out of our role and comfort zone to light that fire in the relationship. Yesterday, I did. My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years. We've settled quite nicely into our roles in the home. I'm the primary caretaker for the kids and I handle most of the cooking and cleaning. My husband takes out the trash, fixes everything that's breaks around the house, takes care of the cars, walks the dog and shovels any snow. Yes, we'll pitch in and help the other from time to time with tasks, but we generally stick pretty firmly to our roles.…
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