Monthly Archives: June 2016

Marriage tips to be great one

Is your marriage alive and well, or is it time to dial 911? Chances are the health of your relationship falls somewhere in the middle — slightly out of shape and tired. Unfortunately most of us tend to take the health of a marriage for granted. And we don’t realize how important a happy, healthy relationship is until it’s time for marital CPR.

Maintaining personal health requires work — exercise, good nutrition, rest and regular checkups. No one teaches us that the same kind of maintenance is also necessary in order to keep a marriage alive. Love between a parent and child is unconditional. Love between a husband and wife is not. As divorce statistics would indicate, an untended marriage falls apart too easily. The good news is that there are ways to make a marriage survive, and better yet, thrive.

Your Marital Diagnosis

There are warning signs or “symptoms” when your marriage is “under the weather.” Here are some key symptoms:

  • feelings of chronic resentment toward your spouse
  • lack of laughter between the two of you
  • desire to spend free time with someone other than your mate
  • too much time spent playing the “blame game”
  • conversations between you are laced with bitterness and sarcasm

 

Relationship Revival Program

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? If so, it’s time to revive your marriage by following this program.

  • Make the marriage your priority, not an afterthought. Set aside regular time to be alone with your partner. If kids are in the picture, hunt for a “network” of trusted babysitters. If money is a concern, compare the cost of a night out with that of marital therapy or a divorce attorney! Get the drift? Start doing some of the things that used to bring you joy, and helped you to feel more connected. There are plenty of activities that you can do for free — a long walk, star gazing or window-shopping are all simple pleasures that can bring you closer together.
  • Resuscitate your romance. Remember how the sparks flew when you first met? It’s probably not too late to rekindle the embers. Surprise your spouse with a homemade Valentine (any day of the year!) and a bottle of champagne. Light up the bedroom with candles, or put a love note in his briefcase. Last but not least, initiate lovemaking. Passion is the glue in a marriage — it helps you feel close to your mate, and makes getting through rough times a lot easier.
  • Accept what you can’t change. Much marital strife is caused by the belief that you cannot be happy in your marriage as long as you must live with your partner’s bad habits or imperfections. Have you noticed that no matter how much you gripe and moan, these things don’t change? Rather than trying to control what you can’t, work around his quirks and focus on the positive. We all respond much better to praise than to criticism. And here’s the paradox: Sometimes when we stop fighting the way things are, they actually do change. No guarantees, but it’s worth a try.
  • Be attractive, inside and out. “Married” doesn’t have to mean complacent. Continue to learn and experience new things, and share these with your partner. Eat right, exercise, rest and make the most of your appearance. Doing these things is taking good care of yourself, but it’s also a way of showing your mate that you want to be your best and share yourself with him.
  • Improve communication and negotiation skills. Being a good listener is key to healthy communication. Even if you don’t agree with what he’s had to say, empathize with his position. This will open the door to more effective conflict resolution. If you must be critical, convert criticism into a request for behavioral change by stating it positively. Most important, apologize when you are wrong.

Mental health

For many of us, mental health is a difficult subject to talk about. When someone has a mental health issue, it can be hard to understand what’s going on, or to know how to talk to them.

But mental health issues can affect relationships with those closest to us, like friends, family, and partners. So, if your partner has a mental health issue, it can be helpful to know what to do.

This article is designed to give you some tips on how to support your partner. It is not a replacement for professional support and, if you are at all concerned, you should consult a doctor or mental health professional as soon as possible.

Depending on the issue, and the severity of the symptoms, mental health issues can lead to changes in behaviour and even personality changes. If your partner is going through something like this, it can be hard to know where to start.

But, with a few simple changes, and some good communication, you can be a real support and can help your partner through the most difficult period – alongside any professional support.

Why is it so tough for a partner?

When your partner is dealing with a mental health issue, the stress can start to take its toll on you too. You may notice difficulties starting to show in your relationship, particularly with communication and support .

Your partner might be feeling sad, tearful, irritable, and exhausted, often for long periods of time. You may also notice changes in appetite and sleeping patterns, and a tendency to withdraw socially. Your partner may also lose interest in things you usually enjoy doing together, including sex .

Your partner’s concentration may also be affected, making it hard for them to enjoy even simple activities like watching TV. As a result of all this, you, the partner, can start to feel depleted too.

But there’s lots you can do to help. Even small behaviour changes can make a big difference. Little things like cooking a healthy meal together; making sure your partner gets to bed on time and gets up in the morning; or going for a walk with your partner, can help .

You could even put together a diary of positive experiences and things you are both grateful for. This is a very simple idea and it can really help you look for the positive moments in your day. It will also give you a reminder of good experiences to look back over, which can be particularly helpful if your partner is struggling to see the bright side .

What part can you play in your partner’s recovery?

You’ll naturally want to do the best for your partner and help them wherever you can. What’s really important is that you consider the long term as well as the short term.

While it might be tempting to protect your partner by taking on extra responsibilities and helping them to avoid difficult social situations, this could actually end up being more damaging in the long term.

Keeping up regular activities can help your partner maintain a level of independence that they risk losing if they become over-reliant on you. Visiting family and friends can help your partner to maintain important social ties, and even find solutions to practical problems . Ask your partner how much support they need but err on the side of encouraging them to stay active.

How do you improve communication?

Good communication becomes particularly important when your partner is struggling with a mental health issue. Research shows that attacking or challenging your partner’s behaviour could make them feel even worse, leading them to become more withdrawn and less confident in their ability to improve things .

Try the following tips to improve communication:

  • Drop your judgements. Set aside any preconceptions you have about mental illness so you can approach conversations with an open mind.
  • Hold the space. Encourage your partner to talk about their experiences. Let them know you’re there for them.
  • Listen. This means listening actively to what your partner is saying, and not thinking about what you are going to say next.
  • Acknowledge their feelings. Let your partner know you’ve heard and understood them. Sometimes it’s helpful to repeat back to them what you think you’ve heard so they know you’ve really understood.

How to refresh your mind at work

Understanding the causes and effects of workplace stress is important to developing strategies for change. The critical component of any stress management program is the belief that alternatives exist. Feeling trapped and without choices, is perhaps the greatest stressor of all.

There are two ways to approach stress management in the workplace. You can reduce environmental stressors in the workplace and/or change your response to this stress. Discussing your concerns and suggestions with a supervisor often yields positive results.

My suggestions for change include:

  • Be appropriately assertive and don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries and limits; say no when necessary.
  • Recognize that stressful situations often result from someone else’s inefficiency and tendency to manage by reactive, crisis techniques rather than proactive postures.
  • Personal problems can cause individuals to function in an unhealthy way. In these situations, recognize that you did not cause the problems and are not responsible for their consequences. Seek support from others in order to clarify your position and avoid being a scapegoat.
  • Practice relaxation skills and avoid using unhealthy escape mechanisms such as alcohol or drugs. Exercise is an excellent way to deal with stress and the biochemical effects of tension and pressure. Take a brisk walk at lunch or exercise regularly after work.
  • Become more efficient with your time and learn to avoid “time-wasters” such as unnecessary phone calls, “drop-ins”, and gossiping. Strive to maintain a focus and agenda, and be a leader who is committed to keep things moving during meetings.

If your stressful workplace situation is unchangeable, and the toll it is taking on you is too great, then seeking options of other employment may be necessary. Changing jobs for the right reason is nothing to be ashamed of and may lead to a much healthier situation in the long run.

How to be successful on your relationship

They might be 30, or 75. They come in all colors, shapes, sizes and income brackets. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been together. Whatever the demographics, when you see a happy couple, you just know it!

How do these couples stay in love, in good times and in bad? Fortunately, the answer isn’t through luck or chance. As a result of hard work and commitment, they figure out the importance of the following relationship “musts.” Because few couples know about all of the musts, I think of them as the relationship “secrets.”

Happy Couples and Their Secrets

1. Develop a realistic view of committed relationships.

Recognize that the crazy infatuation you experienced when your romance was new won’t last. A deeper, richer relationship, and one that should still include romance, will replace it. A long-term relationship has ups and downs, and expecting it will be all sunny and roses all the time is unrealistic.

2. Work on the relationship.

An untended garden develops weeds that can ultimately kill even the heartiest plants. And so it is with relationships. It is important to address problems and misunderstandings immediately. Some people believe good relationships just happen naturally. The truth is that a good relationship, like anything you want to succeed in life, must be worked on and tended to on a regular basis. Neglect the relationship, and it will often go downhill.

3. Spend time together.

There is no substitute for shared quality time. When you make a point of being together, without kids, pets and other interruptions, you will form a bond that will get you through life’s rough spots. Time spent together should be doing a shared activity, not just watching television.

4. Make room for “separateness.”

Perhaps going against conventional wisdom, spending time apart is also an important component of a happy relationship. It is healthy to have some separate interests and activities and to come back to the relationship refreshed and ready to share your experiences. Missing your partner helps remind you how important he or she is to you.

5. Make the most of your differences.

Stop and think: What most attracted you to your partner at the beginning? I’ll almost guarantee that it was exactly the thing that drives you most insane today. Take a fresh look at these differences. Try to focus on their positive aspects and find an appreciation for those exact things that make the two of you different from one another. It’s likely that your differences balance one another out and make you a great team.

6. Don’t expect your partner to change; but at the same time give them more of what they want.

If both you and your partner stop trying to change each other, you will eliminate the source of most of your arguments. At the same time, each of you should focus on giving one another more of what you know the other person wants, even if it doesn’t come naturally. For instance, instead of complaining how your partner never cleans out the dishwasher, try just doing it yourself once in awhile without complaint. Your partner will likely notice your effort and make more of an effort themselves around the house. If you do both of these things at once you’ve got a winning plan!