On Gratitude: Three Lessons This Realist Needs to Learn

By: Taylor A. Moss, M.S., LMFTA, NIC

rain_coupleI am a realist. Often people describe us as glass-half-empty-people, but I say I describe the glass as it is. In actuality.

In my life this looks like a lot of direct communication, analysis, planning. I plan for what I think will happen, not what I hope will happen or fear might occur. If I am wrong I adjust my understanding of the situation and plan accordingly for next time.

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Relationship Rx: Gratitude

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gratitude 

noun grat·i·tude \ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\: a feeling of appreciation or thanks

While Merriam-Webster’s definition of gratitude is pretty clear and encompassing, I think we all might feel gratitude in slightly different ways. To me, gratitude differs from appreciation in that I can appreciate a good book, a dry sense of humor, or a killer pair of shoes. However, I am grateful for the things (and people) that I feel I don’t entirely deserve.

Whatever your personal definition of the word, recent studies have found that gratitude may be a key factor in making your relationship last. What if we could replace annoyance, anger, or resentment with feelings of gratitude instead? Read More

Relationship Dynamics & Feedback Loops

By: Dr. Laura Bryan, Ph.D.

Dr. Bryan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in North Carolina and an Assistant Professor and Clinic Director at Pfieffer University.

Below Dr. Bryan shares her insight from a therapist’s perspective about the Relationship Dynamics section of the PREPARE/ENRICH Assessment—what it covers, how the dynamics interact, and how it can help other facilitators, therapists, and couples themselves gain a deeper understanding of their relationship.

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#RelationshipGoals

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Let’s talk about them.relationship_goals

The term “relationship goals” is casually tossed around on social media to convey admiration, or sometimes envy, of an action/gesture/moment that you want to see in your own relationship. Sometimes when you tag a post with #RelationshipGoals, you are completely serious, and sometimes, well, it might be with a hint of facetiousness. Regardless, the idea that we are admiring others’ relationships, based on as little as one photo, can be unhealthy or healthy depending on your mindset. Read More

What Comic Books and Your Relationship Have in Common

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Any comic book nerds out there? I can’t honestly say that I am one myself, but perhaps I am by proxy. My husband grew up with the worlds of Marvel and DC Comics, so whenever we watch one of the latest blockbusters based on these characters, I get a “supplemental” history of their storyline. (Sidenote: who knew there were so many X-Men?)

One thing I’ve come to learn is that most of these characters have what is known as an “origin story.” In comic book terms, an origin story is “an account or backstory revealing how a character or team gained their superpowers and/or the circumstances under which they became superheroes or supervillains.” (Wikipedia) It got me thinking that perhaps relationships have origin stories, too. Read More

Marriage & Media: 5 Things to Remember

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If Ben & Jennifer and Blake & Miranda can’t make marriage work, how can I?

Traditional media and social media are making it hard for couples to stay positive about marriage. (Like it isn’t hard enough already!) Negative press for marriage is everywhere. While waiting in line at the grocery store, you are bound to see magazine covers plastered with the news of yet another celebrity marriage coming to an end. Tune into the evening news or skim internet headlines and what do you find? A security breach of a dating website targeting married people looking to cheat! On the flip side, we often see edited representations of marriage while scrolling through our newsfeeds, giving the impression that picture-perfect marriages are the norm, and anything less than that is something to be ashamed of.

Sometimes after watching the news or scrolling through social media, you might find yourself thinking, “Marriage—what’s the point?!” or, “I wish my marriage was as perfect as theirs!”

Don’t let these distorted portrayals of marriage discourage you. Here are 5 things to remember: Read More

Complacency & Communication

When one goes up, the other goes down.

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If you Google “quotes about complacency”, you will see many different iterations of the same idea — complacency is the enemy. Companies get complacent, and they begin to lose customers to their competitors. Employees get complacent, and they are shocked when they are passed over for promotions or are let go altogether.

Complacency slowly corrodes the motivation, desire, and potential for progress, improvement, change, growth, and ultimately success. Apply that to relationships, and… yikes.

The scary thing about complacency in relationships is that, by nature, it silently takes root and eats away at intimacy. You don’t notice it lurking because hey, things are “fine.” You’re both just busy with work, and the kids, and your separate hobbies, and any number of other things. Why rock the boat? Then one day you find yourselves standing on opposite sides of a Grand Canyon-sized chasm, wondering, “How did we get here?” Read More