We’ve heard it before. Relationships can, and will (if we let them), fall in a rut. We know they take energy, we know they take effort, we’ve heard this all before. Amongst the extensive amount of stale relationship advice we’ve heard time and time again, this one stands out as most over-used.
Stomping like a child, I stormed back and forth between our garage and house. I was so angry! Brad and I were packing for a trip to spend time with my family. We were in a disagreement about where we were going to stay and how much time we were going to spend with my family while on the trip. I thought he should want more time with my family. Our interaction soured the whole trip. This is my first recollection of my marriage making me mad.
Almost fifteen years in, and a few mad episodes later, here are some reflections on ways to minimize marriage madness.
Have you ever heard of the “nocebo effect”? No? Me neither.
Have you heard of the “placebo effect”? It’s the phenomenon where if you believe you are being treated for something, you feel the effects of it. For example, if you are told the pill you are taking will cure your headache, you take it and assume your headache will go away. When it does go away, you think nothing of it, except when you are told the pill you took is a sugar pill. That’s the placebo effect.
Well, apparently the same goes for the opposite of the placebo effect – the nocebo effect. If you believe that something is not going to work, it doesn’t. If you are told the aspirin you are about to take is a dud and won’t work, it doesn’t – even if it’s the same kind of aspirin you always take for your headaches.
Can you imagine how the nocebo effect could affect your relationship? Read More
A brief synopsis on what happens every year on Valentine’s Day and what you can do this year to make it better than ever.
1. This year you will open up and communicate to your partner what you want for Valentine’s Day, figuratively and literally. It’s time to be assertive and vulnerable with your partner. You will both appreciate that you were able to open up and say what you are really thinking. Read More
National Marriage Week is quickly approaching!
At PREPARE/ENRICH, we recognize and understand the importance of building strong marriages—and not just during this designated week in February.
We understand the positive impact that marriage has on individuals, children, families, and communities—physically, socially, emotionally, and economically.
We understand the need for valid, effective, and accessible tools that help clergy, counselors, and communities provide the support needed to make marriages last a lifetime.
We understand that it can be hard to know whether you are using the right tools—
In a growing field of options, who can you trust?
New Year, new you, nice try. We all fall into the same trap of “new year’s resolutions.” This time, year after year, gym prices become “discounted,” self-help books flood our Instagram feeds, and green shakes capitalize the end caps of our local supermarket. We are overwhelmed with the idea that we can change ourselves if we try just hard enough, so let’s push ourselves to reach that yearly goal. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into this cyclical way of thinking every year. Are you focusing your energy on changing the right things? Read More
Healthy relationships are vital to life. When cared for, relationships bring us joy. They bring us strength. They bring us connection. And so many other great things. But relationships are work! And, I’m not just talking about relationships that come with a lifelong commitment like a marriage or parenting, but friendships too.
Friendships are relationships we choose to have. We start to take this autonomy of deciding our friends when we are young, even before we truly understand what it means to be a friend. When I was in elementary school, I remember sitting around the dinner table with my family and one of my parents always would ask, “Did you make any new friends today?” I don’t remember what my answer was on a given day, but I’m sure I answered yes.
Back then, a friend was someone who held the door for you while coming inside from recess. Or someone who would trade you their peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your egg salad. Or maybe even the girl who has the pretty bow in her hair … maybe we’ve never actually played together, but she seems cool, so I’ll say she’s my friend. Read More
Social media has exacerbated the romanticism of your partner being your “#everything.” We constantly see Instagram posts about our friend’s boyfriend with captions like, “He’s my everything.” Facebook photos of a picture of a couple’s silhouette in the sunset with cute calligraphy typed over top, “She is my everything.” Or tweets of a sleeping spouse with hashtags of, “#myeverything.”
What? Where does that even stem from? What lead us to the problematic belief that our partners are the one and only person we need in our life? Read More
I’m the early bird. I’m typically awake when the first glimmer of light peeks through the curtains. I lie there and doze, but by 6:00 a.m. I decide it’s a reasonable time to get out of bed, carefully without disturbing my husband. As I pass by the closet, I grab a basket of laundry. By the time the clothes are in the dryer, I’m planning the weekend activities while mentally visualizing what needs to be replaced in the pantry. I move on to watering the garden while enjoying my second cup of coffee. At 8:30 a.m., it’s time to roust the household to get this laundry put away.
What might seem like work is actually peaceful, quiet time for me to enjoy the early morning. It might sound lonely, but I quite like this time to myself. Once the rest of the household wakes up and starts the day, we move into doing our Saturday “together.” My husband and I walk to the local grocery store and pick up a short list of items for the coming week. Once we get home, we decide to check a few things off the “to-do” list, which includes giving the dogs a bath. We make a new recipe for dinner; actually my husband makes a new recipe, while I follow behind cleaning up the dirty dishes. We end the evening with a glass of wine and movie. Read More