Happiest start to sweet summertime! In our couples counseling and coaching practice, we tend to notice certain themes run through our office — with the challenges couples are experiencing and with the very things that would create the breakthroughs.
One of the big themes we’ve noticed recently is this: so many couples have lost touch with PLAYING together. Yes…PLAY!
When we refer to play, we’re referring to “play” as a way of stepping away from the world of tasks, distractions, and to-do-lists, as well as “playfulness,” which is a spirit in which we can approach just about anything!
Before we go on with some tips we hope are helpful for rejuvenating play, we first want to speak to those of you…
…who think you have too much to do and not enough time for play
…who bought into the myth that play is for children and not for adults
…and/or who are having a hard time imagining playing with the person you feel anything but playful with recently. … Read More.
Travel season is upon us! Although many people fantasize about a trip filled with laughter, deep connection, luxurious days just to delight in each other’s company, catching up on each other’s lives, and reigniting passion, research shows that many people get more benefit out of looking forward to the vacation (i.e. expected enjoyment) or reflecting on it afterwards (ex: some things that are difficult in the moment can make for really good stories afterwards!) than they do during the trip itself.
Turns out, for a lot of couples, traveling can be stressful. Romanticized vacations can turn into power struggles. All the quiet time can stir up challenges that have been hanging out just beneath the surface in your otherwise full and busy lives. Couples can start to get on each other’s nerves. … Read More.
It’s human nature to reach out for support after something really painful has happened — rather than proactively reaching out just to keep the good things growing. Therefore, as you can imagine, we receive a lot of phone calls from couples reeling in the aftermath of affairs. And we’re so grateful and honored they reach out.
During the first session, the couple often looks at us, wondering: is there hope? Can our relationship be saved?
We wouldn’t do what we do if we didn’t believe in the awe-inspiring untapped potential in nearly every relationship we see and in the vast capacity we humans have for healing, transformation, and growth. We assure them, if both partners are willing to dive in and do whatever it takes, then YES, there is a lot of hope. … Read More.
In our counseling work, we hear clients regularly complain about how they feel like things are imbalanced in their relationship, that they are giving more, doing more, loving more. When it comes to making money, household chores, being romantic, raising the kids, nurturing your relationship, and so on, have you ever caught yourself feeling like “you do all the work?”
It’s a very discouraging and frustrating place to be in — for both of you.
Your wants and desires are likely beautiful and valid. We simply want to set you up for optimal success by offering 7 quick tips that can help you break free from the rut of resentment and create more opportunities to feel more connected and supported as you co-create a mutually fulfilling partnership! … Read More.
*We were recently approached by Bloomington Parent Magazine to write an article that would give parents ideas of what to talk about on date nights other than the kids. We were so happy they asked! Enjoy the tips below!
“Our youngest leaves for college next year. We’ve been so focused on parenting that we’ve lost touch with each other.”
As relationship counselors, this is a common phone call we receive from couples who realize they’re overdue on nurturing their own connection. While it’s wonderful to share the joys and challenges of parenting, an imbalanced emphasis on your kids can detract from your roles as lovers, best friends, and co-adventurers of life!
To create a vibrant, healthy relationship, it’s essential to regularly tend to your love, and there are little things that can make a big difference – like staying up to date with each other’s inner worlds during date nights! … Read More.
Have any guesses what the one word is that can wipe out the good?
We see this happen again and again. We’ll be sitting in a session with a couple. Partner A shares something from their heart, hoping that maybe, this time, their partner will really hear them. Maybe they even perk up for a moment as Partner B begins to respond.
This one word creeps in and changes everything, leaving Partner A deflated and disappointed, feeling unheard and unappreciated. Again.
This word can ruin an appreciation, turn an apology into a criticism, destroy an opportunity for connection, and wipe out all the celebratory energy in just one breath.
Wondering what it is?
It’s this one little sneaky word: “but.”
Below, we’ve given you some examples of some of the most common “but’s” (in no particular order) that we’re suggesting you clear from your vocabulary…
#1 – The Defensive But
“Yea, but you…”
The Defensive But has a hard time receiving feedback, gets defensive rather than open-minded, is critical rather than curious, and is stuck in their own head, rather than dropping into their partner’s heart and really hearing them with empathy. … Read More.
If you are like most couples, you may find that, when you and your beloved work on projects together, you tend to criticize your beloved or feel criticized, you have different opinions, and they become a source of conflict or stress, you wish your beloved would just do things your way, you feel frustrated, annoyed, discouraged, disappointed, there’s a power struggle going on, and/or you start nitpicking.
Rest assured, you are not alone AND there is a much better way!
Today, we’re excited to share with you the 6 essential keys to working on any project with your beloved, whether it be a house project, running a business together, planning a party or vacation together, or raising children.
The first essential key is simply this…
#1 – Commit to being on the SAME team.… Read More.
If you are either wanting more space OR more connection in your relationship, you’re in the right place.
In our counseling practice, we regularly hear from couples who feel stuck in a conflict of one person wanting more space and the other craving more connection. While it’s rare for partners to desire the exact same amount of closeness, when the roles of Pursuer and Distancer become increasingly polarized, it can create serious issues. In contrast, when there is a HEALTHY balance between togetherness and separateness, you get to be best friends AND passionate lovers!
First, let’s look at what happens when there is too much space.
An imbalanced amount of distance creates an environment for people to grow apart, to feel unsafe, unwanted, or unloved, for affairs to ripen, and for feelings of resentment, hurt, insecurity, anxiousness, and frustration to fester. … Read More.