Staying Curious

Let’s call it what it is, life is tough right now.  We’re still trying to learn our new normal, adjust to working from home, figure out virtual visits, and experiencing a lot of change to our daily routine.  On top of all of that, we are trying to keep our relationships steady and maybe spending more time in our pajamas together.

I have to say, I am personally spending a large amount of time with my partner during the pandemic.  It’s hard to get together with friends or see family, outside of virtual visits.  Since nothing is open, we have been enjoying more movie nights or making dinner together.

With that being said, we are spending so much time together that I cannot lie, he is getting under my skin!

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Break Your Communication Barriers

“If there’s an issue, make sure you always communicate,” they said.
“It’s the key to everything,” they said.

If only it were that simple. We’ll be the first to admit we’re big on emphasizing the importance of quality communication in your relationship. And it is important. It’s the foundation for staying connected, working through conflict, and the key to so many other aspects of your relationship. But as straightforward as that sounds, that very basic thing can actually be very difficult. You might feel like, “Oh geez, if we can’t even do the basics, where does that leave us?” That can be very discouraging.

Sometimes when we’re trying to work through a conflict or a contentious issue, things quickly devolve into an unproductive argument. Once again, nothing gets resolved. Why does this keep happening? There may be barriers preventing us from letting down our defenses and being vulnerable so that we can truly hear each other.

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Your Relationship Winterization Checklist

Here in Minnesota, we have to do something called “winterizing.” If you live in a region that gets cold in the winter, you probably know what this is, but if you live somewhere that’s warm year-round, you might be saying, “Huh?”

Winterizing is basically adapting or preparing something for use in the winter. For example, you might winterize your car by replacing the wiper blades, switching to snow tires, testing the battery, and making sure you have a winter emergency kit in tow. You winterize your house by checking your furnace, sealing up drafty window and doors, and putting away the patio furniture.

The idea is that you know a new season is coming, and you’re taking proactive measures to avoid ending up in a less-than-ideal situation, such as coming out to a dead car battery in a snowstorm or paying a sky-high gas bill because the heat is literally going right out the window.

Does your relationship need winterizing? Perhaps your “winter” is a new addition to the family, or a new career, or your kids entering a busier, more demanding stage of life. How can you take stock of your relationship and prepare it for what’s to come?

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The Key to Combating Relationship Complacency

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?”

But that doesn’t have to be your fate. You can combat relationship complacency. How, you ask?

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How to Create “Feel Good” Habits in Your Marriage

Everyone knows we should all be striving to create healthy habits in our daily lives, and we also know the struggle that can sometimes be. It’s hard! Habits are little behaviors, routines, or rituals we do on a regular basis – sometimes they just kind of happen over time, and other times we’ve worked to make it happen. In addition to the healthy habits we have, we also likely have some unhealthy ones that we try to break. That is also hard!

We most often think of habits when it comes to things like lifestyle: nutrition and exercise, or maybe even more relevant these days, work life, specifically productivity as so many of us have transitioned to working from home. However, there’s another part of life that can benefit from healthy habits – your relationships! And specifically, your marriage.

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