Improving Your Marriage in 15 Minutes a Day

Guest Contributor: Marriage in a Box
(Destiny Girard, LMFT,  Maria Sappe, LMFT, & Brad Whiteman)

The Marriage In A Box system was designed by a licensed marriage and family therapist to be used in conjunction with couple’s therapy or in the privacy of the couple’s home. It is a unique and practical approach for working through the most common issues encountered in relationships. Together, couples can examine issues, set goals, track progress, and reinforce their successes – resulting in an improved relationship. Partners can customize a plan suited for their individual needs, with a variety of supportive tools and practices to address a range of concerns.

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Whoever said that marriage is easy and does not require work, must have never been married or in a committed relationship! All relationships, no matter how wonderful and fulfilling they are, require work from both partners on a regular basis. Making a relationship work, however, does not require extensive amounts of time and will look different for all couples.

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Arrows of Appreciation

When there is tension or conflict in a relationship, we are encouraged to speak using “I” statements—“I get worried when I don’t know you’re working late,” or “I wish we could make more of an effort to spend quality time alone.” “I” statements attribute responsibility to the speaker for his/her own perceptions and feelings.

“You” statements, such as, “You never let me know when you’re going to be home late,” or “You spend too much time with your friends,” can put the listener on the defensive from the start. In a way, a “you” statement is like shooting an arrow right at your partner. If it precedes negative, accusatory, or blaming words, they are going to feel the sting and likely react in just as prickly a manner. arrow Read More

Fighting Fair

Conflict in relationships is inevitable. You can try to avoid it by tamping down negative emotions and brushing seemingly minor issues under the rug, boxing_gloves_fighting_fairbut at some point, they will come back to bite you. Many times this is in the form of a blowup that is completely disproportional to whatever seemed to trigger it. You end up fighting not only about the topic at hand but ten other previously unaddressed issues as well.

As uncomfortable as it can be, the best way to avoid this situation and grow as a couple is to deal with issues as they occur. Studies have shown that it is not whether a couple fights that predicts divorce, but how they fight. Read More

Win-Win Communication

What is your communication style? Generally, there are four common styles: tin_can_telephone

  1. Passive
    Passive communicators are often unwilling to share thoughts, feelings, or desires in an honest way. This tendency may stem from low self-esteem, but it is also used to avoid criticism or hurting others’ feelings. Being the recipient of passive communicators tend to leave their partner feeling angry, confused, and mistrustful.

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