How to Fill Your Free Time (Without a Fight)

When the world slowed down for a few months, many of us got a taste of what it was like to have more free time, albeit free time stuck at home. We learned how to bake new treats (banana bread? sourdough?), organized every drawer and cabinet, and maybe even took on some home improvement projects. But by now, we’re all itching to do the things we postponed or longed for during our days at home. On top of that anticipation, it’s also summer, which usually brings long weekends, vacations, and lots of get-togethers. What were previously “normal” decisions might now be met with a new sense of unease or anxiousness about being with and around others. Combine these factors with the urge to make up for the adventures we would’ve had this spring, and you have a situation that could lead to some heated discussions with your partner about where and how you’ll spend your precious free time.

Suffice it to say, this summer brings some new challenges for your relationship.

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Help for Help Saboteurs

Are you a help saboteur? (Do you sabotage your partner’s help?) Some might understand what this means without further explanation. For those who don’t, you might be a help saboteur if:

  • You wish for your partner to take some things off your plate, but when they do, they don’t do it “right”.
  • You feel very strongly that the “right” way (aka your way), is the only way.
  • Your motto is “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” (Just kidding – sort of.)

If this sounds like you, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Millions of relationships are affected by this every day.

All joking aside, in the months leading up to the arrival of our first child, I knew I was going to have to get better at accepting help from my husband around the house; I simply would not be able to do it all.

I also knew that I would be annoyed.

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3 Ways Your Childhood Impacts Your Relationship

Let’s go back in time. Think about when you were a kid. Are there things your family did that you were later surprised to learn was not how everyone else did it?

Did you keep butter in the fridge or on the table? Were birthdays a week-long celebration or not that big of a deal? Did you sit down at the dinner table every night at 6:00pm on the dot? Are there things you do a certain way today simply because that’s how it was always done in your home growing up?

The fact is, what we experience in our family of origin (which is the people who raise us and who we spend most of our childhood with) often does show up in your couple relationship in one way or another. How so? The following scenarios demonstrate three ways family of origin experiences can manifest in your relationship:

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4 Wedding Challenges That Will Benefit Your Marriage

Wedding season is in full swing right now, or at least it would be during a normal year. The reality is, even if you don’t have to cancel or postpone your big day, there’s a chance that things might look different than you envisioned. Feeling disappointment and sense of grief is normal and valid. We understand all the planning and resources that go into these momentous events! But we also want to encourage you to keep your eye on the prize – a long, happy marriage.

Here are four challenges you might be facing for your 2020 wedding – and how they might actually be an opportunity to strengthen your marriage in the long run.

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Navigating the Pandemic as Newlyweds

I was talking to a friend last week, sharing stories about our weekend. She and her husband had celebrated their first anniversary as a married couple, in true quarantine style, with homemade pasta and a bottle of chilled wine that had been left on their front porch by a dear friend. She made a comment that struck me as interesting – “Our first year of marriage was certainly not what I imagined.”

In that first year, they both had major changes with their careers, bought a home together, and most unplanned of all: weathered 3 months (and counting) of a global pandemic. While many of those events were welcome and brought joy to their relationship, she delved deeper in her reflection that it was more the amount of change, challenge, and cooperation between the two of them that she didn’t anticipate. She, like many newlyweds, thought that the first year would be a breeze, a blissful journey together living life. I can relate. I myself just celebrated nine months married to my husband – also qualifying us as newlyweds navigating a different first chapter of marriage than we envisioned.

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