Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘partner’

10 Easy Ways to Please Your Partner

Too often, communication between long term couples can be reduced to “shop talk”- the boring, logistical pieces of your lives. Did you take out the trash? What  time is the dinner on Sunday? Are examples of shop talk- and loving relationships need much more than that to keep up the connection.

Deeper communications may require an internal shift and some action around “small talk”, and what I consider the lifeblood of any healthy relationship. Here are some ways to get the conversation started.

Thank you for

Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated for what they do. Thank your partner for more than what you just asked them to do. Thank your partner for being a great parent, or always making time for you.

How do you feel about

Ask, and then really listen to what your partner is saying. Try to withhold judgement, and see what their response is.

I forgive you

Accepting your partner’s apology for their mistakes is a way to let go of resentment, and that frees you both.  In fact, admitting your own mistakes may make you feel vulnerable, but your honesty is likely to inspire your partner to do the same.

I agree with you because

On any given day, we have people in  our lives that seem to love to disagree with us. Validating your partner’s point of view  and perspective helps them feel heard, and strengthens the bond between the two of you.

What are you reading?…What do you think about?

Open up non “shop” talk communication on an intellectual level and you may feel the warmth of common views- or the sparks of difference- that drew you together in the past. Another version is Where do you want to be in five years? … Listen to what your partner’s vision is, and then share your own. The answers might inspire a new, shared plan or uncover hidden needs.

Find your own variations of the questions above, or use these. Either way, you’ll be sure to close some distance between yourself and your partner- and who knows where that will lead.

Kelly Chicas 2012

Book of The Month

The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy, and Love

by Susan Kuchinskas

When you make love, cuddle with a partner, or have coffee with close friends, a powerful brain chemical called oxytocin floods your body with feelings of contentment and trust. This natural love drug, produced by the hypothalamus, is responsible for human bonding in both platonic and intimate relationships, and is the key to many of the psychological differences between men and women.  In the Chemistry of Connection, you’ll learn easy ways to increase your natural supply of oxytocin to establish deeper connections with family, friends, and romantic partners.

The Bedroom is the Best Place to…

Sleep and have sex, right? But you can’t have one without the other. Sometimes, we don’t even realize what our bedroom is saying to us- we just know that it isn’t a place that makes us feel recharged, intimate or close. I recently worked with a couple that was having difficulties in the bedroom (you can guess with what!). After some probing questions and evaluation, it appeared that the bedroom furniture they were using was left over from a previous relationship. Needless to say, the couple was having problems with feeling close and intimate in the room, as the presence of the last lover was still there. A quick fix was to banish the furniture to the garage, clear out the bad memories that were lingering, and fill the room with new furniture that the couple went and picked out together.  Although it may seem obvious that trying to be intimate on a bed that holds bad memories would stifle your desire, sometimes we need to look at the whole picture to determine what the problem really is. The end result was a much more satisfying sex life for this couple.

Making sure that your bedroom is a great place for both intimacy and a sound sleep can be tough- trying to match both partners needs and wants around a good night’s sleep.  Here are some tips to help keep the bedroom both intimate and functional:

  1. Make your bedroom a retreat from the world by adding comfortable linens, pillows and bedding. Remember how cozy a hotel bed can feel? It’s all about the softness and comfort factor that is there- so add some to your own bed. Aromatherapy is great too, use some vanilla or lavender candles to improve the mood and set the tone for sleep and other intimate activities.
  2. Keep the room free of TV, video games or other electronics. These can be noisy, distracting and energy drainers- not what you want to have going on in the bedroom.
  3. Invest in some attractive, comfortable pajamas- cozy doesn’t necessarily mean old, worn or ugly. The right pajamas can look and feel good to both of you. Send the message that you still care about how you look!
  4. Compromise on the temperature and light in the room- if you prefer the air like the arctic and your partner is more of a tropical person, agree on a temperature that you can both live with and be accommodating to one another. Have extra blankets around or a heating pad handy so that you can both enjoy your sleep without arguments.

Keeping your bedroom a healthy, functioning environment will help you and your relationship function better too. Remember that changes can be quick and easy, but still make a huge impact on your love life.

Kelly Chicas 2012

Attraction Factor

There’s a spring in Katie’s step, and she simply radiates positive, upbeat, can-do energy. She’s “in the flow.” Good things continue to happen in her work and personal life with seeming effortlessness.

Contrast this with Courtney, who puts in twice as many hours at work-super-long, hard hours every day-yet rarely achieves what she’s striving so hard to create.

What’s the difference? Hint: It has to do with Katie’s ability to attract what she wants. However, this kind of attraction has nothing to do with looks.

Rather, it’s about Katie’s ability to attract abundance by living in a way that’s in tune with her purpose, her passions, her most vital and alive self.

The law of attraction. It’s not just some woo-woo theory, its scientific: like matter attracts like. It’s similar to a radio broadcast: when tuned into a particular station, you will only hear (attract) the frequency of radio waves that match that station’s signal. And when that happens, everything seems easy, not a struggle.

“Once you change the way you are inside, the outer world changes,” writes Joe Vitale, author of the The Attractor Factor. Vitale is one of dozens of authors who write persuasively on the subject, including Jack Canfield, Esther and Jerry Hicks and Michael Losier.

Here are some steps to get you on the right track with the law of attraction:

  • Get clear on what you want and why. It’s not enough to know what you don’t want. You can’t get what you want until you know what that is! Getting crystal clear is where the “magic” of attraction all begins.
  • Imagine it. See it as happening. “Conscious change is brought about by the two qualities inherent in consciousness: attention and intention,” writes Deepak Chopra. “Attention energizes, and intention transforms. Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life.”
  •  Keep yourself receptive. Exercise, eat healthy, play, relax. Stress, exhaustion, sluggishness, etc., can all interfere with attraction. In the radio station analogy, they become the “static” that interfere with the “frequencies” of that which you want to attract. Though taking a day off to relax rather than working frantically may seem as difficult as stepping off a precipice, it can be just what is needed.
  • Listen to your intuitive nudges. Attraction isn’t about sitting back and waiting for it all to come to you. Action is always required to meet goals and make dreams come true. Vitale writes: “Your job is to ask for what you want, and then to act on the inner nudges you get to do things, like make phone calls, write letters, visit a certain person, or whatever.” Don’t worry if your “nudges” don’t make immediate sense. The “why” will reveal itself later.
  • Surrender control. This means to let go and trust. Let go of the particular way in which things will happen. Let go of fear, doubt, worry and disappointment. Let go of the notion of struggle. Trust that the outcome will be just right.

So whether it’s a job promotion, landing that huge client or buying a new house, claim your dream. It’s yours if you want it. Now, go out and attract it!

Kelly Chicas 2012

V-Day- the Most Stressful Day of the Year

When you are in a committed relationship, Valentine’s Day is the most important day of the entire year. You should show your undying love for each other and celebrate the magnificent connection that you have through spending large amounts of money on flowers, candy and jewelry.  You should be planning the entire day’s event months in advance, and spending a huge amount of time on making sure that each and every detail is taken care of. Be forewarned; if you are not doing everything that you possibly can to make your partner feel incredibly special then you will probably crush their heart.

Are you feeling stressed yet? Does this seem just a bit over the top?

While the above is what the retailers and commercials would have us believe, we know deep down that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, not about love and relationships. In its current form, V day is about selling candy, flowers and diamond jewelry. Valentines is a day of stress for many couples, worrying about what gift will send exactly the right message about their love. So, what message do you really want to send to your partner? Here are some great ideas that are easy, inexpensive and truly come from the heart.

 

  1. Make a list of why you love your partner, or your favorite things about them. Think about the specific things that make you smile. The list can be hidden in a card, small gift or book of poems.
  2. Frame a favorite picture of the two of you as a couple and give as a gift. Pair it with a simple picnic of wine and cheese.
  3. Skip the restaurants, and create a romantic dinner at home. Make it easy by picking up prepared foods at Trader Joes or your favorite restaurant, and make it special by setting a nice table with candles, flowers and table cloth. Do a fondue with cheese and bread, or just a dessert fondue. Spending the quiet time at home is far more romantic than fighting the crowds.
  4. Make a CD mix-up of the songs that remind you of your partner. Deliver it and sing the songs to them- guaranteed to make a hit.
  5. Give simple, inexpensive but luxurious gifts of soaps, oils and bath salts. Many places sell beautiful products that are very affordable. Try doing a couples massage or bath.
  6. Create a video about the special times that you have shared, using photos from the past of the two of you. Upload the video on YouTube or Facebook so that your partner can see it (and so can their friends!)

Hopefully, these ideas will generate some creativity of your own, or you can just use these to make your V Day truly memorable. Don’t stress about how you should show your love to your partner- just do it! Remember, Valentine’s Day should be about loving each other, not the commercials.

A SMART Start

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves”. – Bill Vaughan

It is the time of year when many of us make New Year’s resolutions. The most popular include things like losing weight or getting fit, getting the finances in order, organizing our life, an effort to quit smoking and reduce or stop drinking and even try to have more fun. I even read that fifty-percent of Americans say their New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with family and friends.

But what about a New Year’s resolutions specifically for your marriage?

Half of marriages end in divorce. Research has found that only half of those who stay married actually carry the moniker of “happily married.”  So, this year, make a resolution to prioritize your marriage. Couples that invest in their marriages have more satisfying, pleasurable interactions with each other because great marriages do not just happen. It’s time we all make some New Year’s resolutions together and focus on our relationships.

When you think about resolutions, you can’t get any better than strengthening your marriage.

Step one is to sit down with your spouse, grab a pen and paper, a glass of wine or cup of tea-this exercise is supposed to be relaxed and enjoyable-and brainstorm together some New Year’s resolutions for your marriage.

1. Start with the positives. What do you both like and appreciate about your relationship? How can you enhance and highlight the positives?

Spending time alone together is essential for your relationship health. Commit to a monthly or weekly date night. If you have children, brainstorm about childcare. Besides hiring babysitters, you may be able to trade play dates or sleepovers with family or friends. Do not be complacent. Make a commitment or resolutions to have date nights in 2012. No more excuses!

If your romantic and passionate life used to be positive, but now has been neglected, pay more attention. Research by Barry McCarthy has found that if you are both happy enough with your sex life, it only accounts for 15 percent of marital satisfaction. However, if either of you is unhappy with your sex life, it can account for 85 percent of marital satisfaction. Commit to prioritizing your sex life. Set aside time for sex dates, read some fun sex self-help books together and commit to being more affectionate and passionate in 2012.

When you were first together as a dating couple, you likely had new, fun and interesting experiences together. Commit to trying some new activities, hobbies or outings together in the New Year.

2. Remove the barriers. What gets in the way of marital satisfaction?
How do you handle conflict? Remember that conflict is inevitable in a marriage. Do not avoid conflict, but find productive ways to deal with differences. Are either of you guilty of using criticism, contempt, stonewalling or defensiveness? If so, how about a New Year’s resolution to eliminate these hostile interactions that are predictive of divorce?

Is work or technology interfering with prioritizing time together?  If either of you has a hard time with the work/life balance or relies too heavily on technology, social media, TV or video games, you might take a look at this issue together. How about setting some mutual agreements? Amazingly, 70 percent of families are now reporting using phones, computers or watching TV during meal times together. How about a resolution to have technology-free meals and technology-free evenings during your weeknights?

Do either of you feel taken for granted or unappreciated? Do you know how your spouse prefers to be loved? Make a New Year’s resolution to show your spouse love in the way they want to be loved, rather than role model what you want!

3. Check in weekly or monthly with each other to see how you are doing with your relationship goals. What kind of marriage do you want to have? Are you being the people you want to be and having the relationship that you really want?

Make your marriage a priority. I believe the most important gift that you can give yourself and your children is the feeling of a healthy, loving marriage.

Book of The Month

A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others are Celebrating

by Harold Ivan Smith

Suffering the loss of a loved one at any time of the year is difficult, yet during the holidays or special occasions, those grieving experience a more intense sense of loss. The world is moving forward and celebrating life and all its blessings, yet for grievers, a darkness pervades the holiday. This book is an invitation to Christmas and its companion holidays of the season which compose a grueling triathlon which begins on Thanksgiving and continues unabated for forty-five days until the last of the bowl games on New Year’s Day. Through quotes, prayers, Scriptures and the words of the author, A Decembered Grief is designed to guide the reader on the journey to healing.

 

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