Why it’s important to CARE

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In our last post we talked about the “expectation filter” and how unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations have a tendency to change our perception of, and possibly even be detrimental to, our relationship.

However, wouldn’t it be somewhat of an unrealistic expectation in itself to think that we would never set expectations for our relationship or our partner?

The fact is, having expectations can be a good thing. Expectations not only create accountability and establish boundaries, but they can also inspire us to be better people, if not for ourselves then for our partner.

So then what’s the problem? Shouldn’t that mean that the more epic our expectations, the greater our opportunity for growth? Well, not necessarily. Read More

The Expectation Filter

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Let’s say there’s going to be a party.

Expectation A: You’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, building it up to epic proportions in your mind. All of your friends are going to be there, you’ll get to wear that new outfit, and it’s at that new, trendy place in town so the food, drinks, and ambience will be fantastic!

Let’s say there’s going to be a party.

Expectation B: You’ve been dreading it for weeks, wishing you could come up with a plausible excuse to get out of it. You probably won’t know anyone, you have nothing to wear, and it’s at that new, trendy place in town so it will probably be crowded, expensive, and parking will be terrible.

Reality: So the party was last night. Some of your friends were there, but a few didn’t make it. No one seemed too preoccupied with attire—some people dressed up and some didn’t. You were a few minutes late trying to find a parking spot, but you found one relatively close by. The food and drinks were moderately priced and relatively tasty, but nothing exceptional.

Based on the two sets of expectations above, how do you think you’d feel about the party at the end of the night? Read More

3 Things You Can Do to Prioritize Your Marriage Today

priority-01All marriages require work! Your marriage doesn’t reach perfection the moment you tie the knot, and your relationship won’t remain strong unless the two of you team up and make a commitment to work on it continuously. Life is busy, and it can be easy to let your marriage take the backseat when other people or deadlines seem pressing. In these situations, it is important to understand what it really means to make your relationship with your spouse a priority. Read More

The Middle Couch Cushion

couch-159717_1280As I was sitting and watching TV with my husband one evening, each of us comfortably plopped on our respective ends of the couch, I looked to my right and was somewhat astonished by what I saw. Lying there between us, in the no man’s land that is the middle couch cushion, were no less than four– four!– remote controls, plus our smartphones!

It suddenly dawned on me that this stalwart middle cushion, used much less than the comfy reclining ends we tended to gravitate to, was both literally and metaphorically coming between us. Read More

Check In – Part 3: Conversation Inspiration

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Last night was rough. Work ran late, traffic was bad, dinner was overcooked, kids didn’t want to take their baths or go to bed, and then finally, after all of that, my husband and I sat down for our Wednesday night “check in” and we just stared at each other.

I set aside time at the end of my (hectic) day for what should have been an effortless (and rewarding) talk with my husband, and yet we both felt like it was another draining task that needed to be completed before we could finally get rest.

If this situation sounds familiar – you’re in luck! Read More

Check In – Part 2: $20,000 vs. $20

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You know what? Weddings are expensive. The beautiful venue, delicious food, trendy entertainment, stunning dress, personalized invitations, crafty decorations, photographer with the perfect eye, adorable favors, so on and so forth, it adds up. I spent just over $20,000 on my (small) wedding years ago and comparing that to others, turns out it was inexpensive! Wedding websites like theknot.com suggest the average cost of a wedding to be just over $31,000. Regardless of your financial situation, that’s a lot of money to spend on one day.

Assuming you spent a decent amount on your wedding, let me ask you – how much money have you invested in your marriage since your wedding? Read More

Why You Should Pick A Fight With Your Partner

Portrait of a young unhappy African American couple lying on the bed and arguingA few years ago PREPARE/ENRICH conducted a survey of over 50,000 married couples. It turned out that 78% of couples reported that they go out of their way to avoid conflict with their partner.

Maybe we could interpret this as a good thing—that the majority of couples are simply extra polite and courteous to their partner, not wanting to upset them.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Avoiding conflict was listed as one of the top five conflict-related problems for couples. “Why is it a problem?” you might ask. “Isn’t it a good thing to get along with your spouse?” Yes, it is, for the most part. Read More

The Right Foot

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Why do we make New Year’s resolutions? Why not “Third Saturday in July resolutions” or “Birthday resolutions”? Perhaps it is because the beginning of a new calendar year offers a clean slate and the opportunity to literally start the year off on the right foot, in hopes that we will set a precedent that will carry through the remaining 364 days of the year.

Using this logic, we begin to understand that starting something on the right foot can set off positive reverberations that help drive us to success. Read More

How to be More Present in Your Relationship

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Now that we’ve finished opening (or exchanging!) presents, let’s talk about being present!

The more tasks we can accomplish at once, the more productive we feel. We must admit though, that often these are tasks we can complete rather mindlessly— folding laundry while texting your friend and catching up on your favorite show. Your relationship, however, should not be one of these things; it deserves your full attention. Read More