How to Become Positive Marriage Role Models

We know we learn through observing others – this is natural human behavior. Previously on the blog, we’ve talked about what marriage lessons we learn from our families – either as a young kid or even into our adulthood when we’re so kindly given those one-liner pieces of advice from family members. Thinking about those lessons, we encouraged you to consider what things you carry forward and strive to live up to in your marriage and relationships, as what you’d rather leave behind. Your family has good intentions, but they’re likely not all marriage experts.

What happens when you flip the question, to ask not about what you learned, but what can you teach others?

Read More

25 Creative Date Ideas

Dates are harder to make happen than we’d like to admit. There’s the challenge of prioritizing it enough to get it on the calendar, and then actually figuring out all the details and logistics, like finding a sitter.

Another challenge is deciding what to actually do! If you’ve been with your partner for any length of time, you know that dates can easily feel redundant and routine. You make the time to connect, but what if that connection time just feels like a rinse-and-repeat from the week prior? How can you spice up those dates you work so hard incorporate in your marriage?

Do something different! That’s the easiest way to make dates feel like something special and exciting. But we get it – thinking of date ideas is like adding one more task to that list of things you have to do to make it happen. Good news! We’ve got 25 date ideas for you – conveniently categorized into five different types to try!

Read More

The Two-Way Street of Defensiveness

Is it just us or does the statement, “Don’t get so defensive!” seem to have the same effect as when someone tells you, “Just try to relax!”

In other words, it makes you feel the opposite of what’s intended – more defensive, less relaxed.

Unfortunately, defensiveness can be a catalyst for negative communication patterns. It can make it hard to talk through issues and be open, authentic, and vulnerable with each other.

Sometimes our defensiveness is our own doing, and sometimes it’s just a natural response to protect ourselves if we’re feeling attacked or exposed. And that’s why if we want to decrease defensiveness, it’s not just one person that needs to put in the effort – it’s a two-way street.

Read More

How to Support Instead of Solve

Are you a problem-solver? When your spouse comes to you with an issue, are you quick to offer a solution?

This can be a very positive trait in many areas of life. You’re action-oriented and aren’t one to wallow around in excuses or blame.

Have you ever been caught off guard by a negative reaction from your partner in response to your suggested solution? You probably thought (or said), “I was just trying to help!” and maybe felt a little hurt or annoyed yourself.

The thing is, sometimes a solution isn’t what your partner wants, or needs, or is ready for. So what do you do when they come to you in crisis or to share an issue or problem?

Read More

5 Ways to Make “Same Old” Feel New

 “New year, new you.” The saying has become pretty ubiquitous, but the idea of a new calendar year signaling a fresh start is hard to deny. The problem with the phrase is that it insinuates that you need to change completely, but hey, you might really like what you have going on! And the same goes for your relationship. You might not need a complete relationship overhaul, but perhaps there is room for a “refresh” in areas that have begun to feel mundane or routine. Similar to the burst of motivation and energy you get when you rearrange or reorganize your office, your relationship can be energized as well!

Here are five ways to inject some “new” into your “same old.”

Read More