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  • Wendy Godfrey
  • April 17, 2018 06:45:15 PM
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A Little About Us

We offer Intensive Christian Marriage Counseling Retreats for couples and marriage in crisis. Our Retreats are down-in-the-trenches 3-5 day events aimed at completely restoring a marriage that is in crisis. We also offer 2 day retreats for individuals who have not been successful in convincing the other spouse to attend a retreat with them.

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How to Make Every Day Feel Like Valentine’s Day

“The sweetest things you can do for a girl are the little things that let her know she’s in your heart and on your mind.”  Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and feelings of “love” and “romance” are still lingering in the air. The truth is, planning February 14th activities can be wrought with stress […]The post How to Make Every Day Feel Like Valentine’s Day appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats....

“The sweetest things you can do for a girl are the little things that let her know she’s in your heart and on your mind.” 

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and feelings of “love” and “romance” are still lingering in the air. The truth is, planning February 14th activities can be wrought with stress and anxiety, however, it doesn’t have to be the “be-all and end-all” for couples in love. In other words, why put so much pressure on February 14th? There are plenty of ways you can show your love for each other every single day.

Who says you only get one day a year to showcase your love for each other? No one! The truth is Valentine’s Day is a commercialized holiday. It has very little to do with your love and commitment to each other. It feels special, but every day should feel like Valentine’s Day when you’re in love.

Ultimately, the most important thing in a relationship or marriage is to feel “bonded” or “emotionally connected” to one another every day – not just on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, celebrating your love with candy, small gifts, kisses and hugs, balloons, home-cooked or restaurant meals, and teddy bears is fun – and sweet – and romantic.

But, guess what is even more romantic? Making every day feel like Valentine’s Day. Showing your love and devotion all year long reminds your sweetheart just how special he or she is to you.

Not sure how to demonstrate your love and commitment throughout the year? No biggie. This article will provide you with some pretty amazing tips on how to do just that! Ready?

How to Show Your Love Every Day

Showing your love and commitment 365-days-of-the-year is a must-do if you are in a committed relationship. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the routines of daily life and neglect our partners. We do this, not because we don’t care, but because we become too comfortable with them and in our relationships. The result? Our partners begin to feel neglected, unloved, and ignored.

Feelings like these can rigger hurt, resentment, and hostility from the people we love most.  These feelings can also damage or destroy our relationships, causing an “emotional disconnect” between us. Therefore, it is extremely important to make your partner feel loved and valued all year long – not just on Valentine’s Day.

Every day should feel like Valentine’s Day. You can make every day special by strengthening the connection between you. How? By telling your partner you love and care about him or her every chance you get (there is no limit to this), surprising him or her with a thoughtful gift every once in a while, writing him or her a “thank you” note for helping you with something, helping out more around the house – without prompting from your partner, – communicating every day, working through issues, and forgiving each other – even when it feels impossible.

The key to making every day feel like Valentine’s Day is to be thoughtful and realistic. You do not have to do grand gestures of love every day to show your sweetheart just how much you love him or her. Sometimes less is more. In other words, smaller, understated gestures mean more than over-the-top declarations of love. Once you get accustomed to making every day feel like Valentine’s Day, it will become easier and more natural to achieve. So, practice, practice, practice!

Ways to Make Every Day Feel Like Valentine’s Day

Listed below are ways you can make every day feel like Valentine’s Day:

  1. Surprise your partner with his or her favorite treat – Think about your sweetheart’s favorite treat (i.e. his or her favorite cup of coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, cinnamon rolls, take-out from a favorite Chinese, Mexican, or Italian restaurant, etc.). Then, drop it by his or her job when he or she isn’t expecting it.
  2. Be attentive & listen – One of the best ways to show your love for your partner is to listen to him or her every day. I’m not talking about just “hearing” him or her, I mean being attentive and really listening to what he or she is saying to you. It’s hard to slow down in this busy world, I get it, but it is extremely important for your relationship.
  3. Check-in throughout the day – Another way to make your partner feel special all year long is to check-in throughout the day. Call him or her during breaks and lunch – and when you’re away from home, too! Ask about your partner’s day and how he or she is feeling. Let your partner know you miss him or her and can’t wait to see him or her. Do this every day.

Note: If it is against company policy to make personal calls at work, you can send check-in text messages or emails to your partner. Doing small acts like this will make your partner feel like the most loved person on the planet.

  1. Help with chores – Helping with chores goes a long way in a relationship. So, do something, no matter how small, to help out. For instance, clean the kitchen after dinner, take out the trash, throw some clothes in the wash, etc. Do this without prompting on a regular basis.
  2. Hide love notes in your partner’s belongings – When was the last time you left a romantic note in your partner’s purse, briefcase, notebook, suitcase, car, lunch box, or even on his or her laptop or phone? Can’t remember? Well, there is no time like the present, right?
  3. Leave romantic and sexy messages around the house – Who doesn’t like waking up each morning and seeing a romantic or sexy (if you don’t have kids) messages scattered around the house (Hello fridge, bathroom mirror, washing machine, table, and TV!)
  4. Say it – Taking a few minutes each day to tell your sweetheart you love him or her can make every day feel like Valentine’s Day! Want to take this tip to another level? Compliment your spouse every day and tell him or her just how much you appreciate him or her.
  5. Surprise your honey with small gifts – Is there something your partner has been wanting but refuses to ask for? Yes? Then, surprise him or her with it. You don’t have to do this every day to make it feel like Valentine’s Day. However, doing it occasionally can make a difference in how your partner feels all year long.
  6. Show your partner your “goofy” side sometimes – Every relationship should have moments of goofiness. Why? Because showing your silly side and child-like innocence is endearing and even a little romantic. So, don’t be afraid to let your inner child out to play now-and-again!
  7. Be passionate about your sweetheart – The worst thing you can do is be too chaste in your relationship. Why? Because it translates to your partner as “neglect” or ”abandonment.” So, always make time to get the fire in your relationship bristling. Everyone wants to feel desired by their partner – every day – not just one day of the year!
  8. Hug – Hugs make us feel loved, comforted, and protected. It is a genuine way to show your partner just how much you care!
  9. Be comforting – Another way to make every day feel like Valentine’s Day is to be comforting. When your partner is sad, ill, tired, or upset, hold him or her close and reassure him or her that everything will be okay.
  10. Turn-off or log-off your electronics – There is nothing worse than trying to talk to someone, who has his or her head buried in electronics – i.e. phone, tablet, video game, or even the TV. It makes your partner feel unheard and unimportant. So, turn-off or log-off your electronics when spending time with your partner!
  11. Surprise your spouse with flowers or candy from time-to-time – What woman doesn’t love fresh flowers from time-to-time? So, brighten her day by surprising the love of your life with a beautiful bouquet or a box of gourmet chocolates when she least expects it. Don’t let flowers and candy be relegated to purely Valentine’s Day indulgences!
  12. Post about your sweetheart – Nowadays, almost everyone has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Snapchat, or some other social media account, so why not declare your love and admiration on one of your profile pages for all to see?
  13. Cook together on the weekends – Cooking together on the weekend is a great way for you and your partner to give each other undivided attention. The result? A bonding experience that involves a lot of laughter and love.
  14. If you have kids, schedule “date nights” twice a month – It is common for couples with kids to forgo spending time together because of the kids. This is the fastest way to NOT make every day feel like Valentine’s Day. So, schedule babysitting services twice a month and go on some much-needed “date nights. “
  15. Say, “I love you” everyday – It is important to tell your sweetheart you love him or her daily. Nothing makes you feel loved and cherished than hearing those three words from someone you love and respect. So, say, “I love you” in the morning, throughout the day, and before bed.
  16. Get kissy – Who doesn’t love nice warm kisses from the person you love? So, kiss your honey as often as possible! All it takes is a sweet kiss in the morning, when you both get home from work. and before bed. Or, kiss throughout the day when urge hits you!
  17. Laugh a lot – If you want to make every day feel like Valentine’s Day, laugh a lot together. Laughter is good for the soul and can make you feel connected to your sweetheart!

In Summary…

February 14th is no doubt one of the most celebrated and romantic days of the year, but why only show your sweetheart how much you love him or her on Valentine’s Day? Why can’t every day feel like Valentine’s Day? It is important to understand that “loving someone” involves more than just showing him or her how you feel on one day of the year.

Yes, Valentine’s Day is fun, sweet, romantic, and sexy; however, the true purpose of it is to remember why you fell in love – and to continue showing that love throughout the year. It is not, however, to stop showing it on February 15th. Making every day feel like Valentine’s Day is the best way to keep that spark alive and add some fun and excitement into your relationship.

References

  1. Schumal, T. (2016). Every day should feel like Valentine’s Day. Marquette University. Retrieved from https://www.theodysseyonline.com/everyday-should-feel-like-valentines-day
  2. Kurt, E. (n.d.) How to make EVERY day Valentine’s Day. Lifehack. Retrieved from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/how-to-make-every-day-valentines-day.html

The post How to Make Every Day Feel Like Valentine’s Day appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats.


Last Minute Valentine’s Day Date Night Ideas

“Let’s have a quiet, relaxing, multi-course dinner cooked by you at home this Valentine’s Day.”     With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, people are working themselves into a frenzy trying to find somewhere to go and something to do with their sweethearts on the most romantic day of the year. Unfortunately, if you didn’t make […]The post Last Minute Valentine’s Day Date Night Ideas appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats....

“Let’s have a quiet, relaxing, multi-course dinner cooked by you at home this Valentine’s Day.”    

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, people are working themselves into a frenzy trying to find somewhere to go and something to do with their sweethearts on the most romantic day of the year. Unfortunately, if you didn’t make reservations at least a month in advance, you probably won’t be spending the day or night indulging on decadent (and overpriced) food at a ritzy restaurant. Yikes!

And, teddy bears, balloons, flowers, and/or candy just doesn’t seem like enough…You want to do something new, fresh, fun, and exciting for Valentine’s Day this year – something you’ll both remember for a lifetime. But what?

You’ve waited until the last minute to start planning, so…

While planning for Valentine’s Day can be a joy for some, for procrastinators (like me), it’s just plain stressful. I guess that is what we get for waiting so long to plan for it. But, you know, life can get away from you sometimes, especially if you are wrapped up in work, home, and parenting responsibilities. It’s not like you don’t care, right?

Well, the good news, if you’re like me and have waited to the last minute to plan for Valentine’s Day, is you still have options. You just have to think outside-of-the-box. You can do that can’t you?

The good thing is you don’t have to pre-plan activities for Valentine’s Day – unless you want to. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a bust simply because you got a late start on planning an awesome activity to do together. In other words, you can still have an amazing time doing something memorable, fun, and/or romantic – even if you don’t spend it in the most “traditional way.”

There are last-minute date ideas that you can try that are sure to wow your special someone. Listed below are last-minute Valentine’s Day ideas for when time has slipped by, and all of the “fancy” restaurants are booked-up.

Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Date Night Ideas

Listed below are Valentine’s Day activities that you can plan at the last minute:

  1. DIY Spa Night – After a long day at work, your sweetheart might prefer a relaxing bath over getting “dolled up” for a very crowded and pricey night on the town. If you have candles and bubble bath or shower gel around the house, then you already have everything you need for a romantic night at home with your partner. For extra credit, try adding bath bombs, rose petals, and essential oils (i.e. Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Clove, Patchouli, etc.) and turn-on some low-sound romantic tunes. Don’t forget wine or your favorite beverage! Ask about each other’s favorite spa pampering treatments and get creative coming up with “at-home” versions. Husbands, maybe your wife can teach you how to file and paint her nails, and you’ll both laugh together as you learn that it’s not easy as it looks! Or maybe she will return the favor with a foot rub!
  2. Karaoke – Do you ever belt out your favorite songs in the shower? Well, why don’t you take your act on the road – to a karaoke bar – with your date – for Valentine’s Day! I don’t know about you, but singing the night away with my sweetheart seems like the best night ever! No karaoke venues in your area? Make a trip to a local store and buy a karaoke machine to make it a tradition!
  3. Romantic Indoor Picnic – When was the last time you went on a picnic together? Well, here’s a last-minute Valentine’s Day idea that will protect you from the elements and provide you with romance and privacy. Score!
  4. Grubhub Anyone? Want to eat out, but all of the restaurants are booked-up for the night? No problem! Why not ring-up a food delivery service like GrubhubDoor Dash, Uber Eats, or Postmates and have your favorite cuisine delivered right to your door? Awesome, right?
  5. Game Night – Why should kids have all of the fun? Game night at home is both classic and fun! Oh, and with the right game (think “Twister” or “Truth or Dare”), it can also be super sexy and romantic!
  6. Fort Night – Inner children come out… You’re never too old to get goofy with the one you love, so why not spend that special day building a pillow fort – with lots of sheets, pillows, yummy snacks, and a tablet so you can watch Netflix on it while snuggling with your sweetheart. It sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
  7. Gazing at the Moon & Stars – Want to get ultra-romantic for a fraction of the cost of a fancy restaurant? Your wish is my command – and it’s closer than you think. Like outside on your porch or deck. Snuggling up close and gazing at the beautiful moon and twinkling stars above is one heck of a romantic last-minute Valentine’s activity. Don’t forget to grab blankets and hot chocolate if it is chilly outside.
  8. Ice Cream Date – Who doesn’t love ice cream – even during the winter? Well, ice cream has no season – it’s good all year long. And, it’s super sweet and romantic. So, throw on a coat and spend the evening at the ice cream shop. Don’t feel like going out? Grab an ice cream recipe, pull out the ice cream maker, and make your own! Don’t forget to consider wacky ingredients like your favorite fruit and have fun picking out all of your favorite toppings.
  9. Wine Tasting – Could there be a better date night activity than winding down after a long day with wine tasting at a vineyard or winery? Wine is the beverage of romance, right? Want to stay home? No problem! Pick of a wine sampler pack from your local liquor store, settle down on a cozy blanket in front of a bristling fire, and sample away. Pairs well with chocolate, fruits cheeses and other delightful delicacies.
  10. Arcade Fun – Ever want to be a kid again? Well, here’s your chance! Grab your honey and head to your local arcade for some childish Valentine’s Day fun! It may not be the most romantic date, but it’s one you’ll definitely remember! You’ll feel like a kid all over again. Be as silly as you want – or get competitive and see who can score more points on your favorite games.
  11. Comedy Club – When was the last time you laughed – like really laughed? A while? Well, belly laughs are good for the soul, so why not spend this special day at a comedy club! Not sure you want to be cooped up with other couples on Valentine’s Day? No worries! Stay at home, order takeout, and turn on a Netflix stand-up comedy special. Nate Bargatze is just one example of the many hilarious and family-friendly comedians with comedy specials you might enjoy.
  12. Fondue Night – Melted chocolate is an aphrodisiac you can’t go wrong with on Valentine’s Day. Create your own romance by grabbing an assortment of delicious foods like shortbread cookies, strawberries, frozen bananas, pretzels, and/or pieces of cake, and indulge your inner sweet tooth with your sweetheart. Want to “fancy it up?” Add a cheese dip to the mix and dip pieces of bread, meat, and veggies into it. You can’t go wrong with fondue!
  13. DIY Sweet Treats – Eating sweets are a must for most valentines, but do you want to know what’s even sweeter than that? Making sweet treats at home together on this super sweet occasion. I can already taste the frosted heart-shaped cookies, decadent chocolates, and melt-in-your-mouth homemade candies. Yum!
  14. Roller/Ice Skating – Roller skating… really? Yep! If you are not afraid of falling on your butt, go for it! You’ll have a hilarious time laughing and tumbling. Don’t forget to stop by the concession area for some yummy pizza, popcorn, hotdogs, and/or soda! Or try ice skating instead to add some Winter Wonderland magic to your date night.
  15. Rock Climbing – If you and your sweetheart like to stay active, visiting a rock climbing gym together can be a fun activity! If it’s your first time, you can stick to the easy courses, or get advanced if you are comfortable. The instructors will show you how to “belay” or support your spouse by holding the rope while they are climbing, and vice versa. You can foster a sprit of teamwork while working together and getting some exercise!
  16. DIY Pizza – Making a meal with your honey is always fun, however, making pizza takes things up another notch in the fun department. So, stop at your local grocery store and pick up some pizza dough, pizza sauce, and your favorite toppings. Let the shopping and the topping selection be a part of the fun. Then, venture home for a delicious hands-on night together!
  17. Brunch – If you have the day off, why not head out to your favorite breakfast joint for some chicken and waffles, a heaping portion bacon or sausage, fresh salads, fruits and veggies, pastries, made-to-order omelets, biscuits and jam, roasted chicken, shrimp cocktail, mimosas, and everything else! If you are trying to plan a dinner date, remember that “breakfast for dinner” has a unique way of feeling like a special occasion! It might be time to dust off that waffle maker.
  18. Salsa Dancing – If you and your partner are the types that like to shake those hips, why not sign-up for a couples salsa dancing class. Can’t find a class in your area? No problem! Put on some sexy clothes and watch some “how to” videos together on YouTube from the comfort of your living room!
  19. Yoga – Looking for a Zen Valentine’s Day? Maybe you should consider signing-up for a couples yoga class. It’s low-key and relaxing. It’s also a good way to bond with your significant other while giggling at each other’s inability to perform some of the poses. Or if your partner is an expert yogi, let them show you some of their favorite moves.

In Summary…

The truth is it’s not about where you go or even what you do on Valentine’s Day – it’s really about who you’re with. So, it really doesn’t matter if you plan this date months in advance or a week or a couple of days before, it will be special because you care about one another. And, although “love” is celebrated on February 14th, you have an opportunity to show your Valentine how much you love him or her every day of the year. Didn’t get to do everything you wanted to do for your partner on this special day? No big deal!  Do it the next day, and the next, and the next. You have a lifetime to show your partner how special they are to you.

The post Last Minute Valentine’s Day Date Night Ideas appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats.


My Husband is Very Lazy – How Can I Get Him to Help Me with Chores?

“Men are overly sensitive to being told what to do. If they are persuaded to understand that they’re making you happy by doing more, they’ll be a lot more interested, than if they’re doing it because they’re being told.” ~Joshua Coleman Hi, My name is Beth…and my husband is very lazy. Everything that needs to […]The post My Husband is Very Lazy – How Can I Get Him to Help Me with Chores? appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats....

“Men are overly sensitive to being told what to do. If they are persuaded to understand that they’re making you happy by doing more, they’ll be a lot more interested, than if they’re doing it because they’re being told.”

~Joshua Coleman

Hi, My name is Beth…and my husband is very lazy. Everything that needs to be done – I do. The result? Most things go left undone. What can I do to get my husband to help me with the housework, the kids, and everything else? Help!

Are you living the scenario above? If so, you’re not alone.

Your husband’s slowness at “getting things done” has been infuriating and frustrating you for a while. But, the last straw was when you were trying to clean the house for impending guests, while your hubby was reclining on the couch – with his feet up, watching a football game on the television, and munching on popcorn. Really?! You think to yourself, “Could he be any more inconsiderate? Nope.”

Unfortunately, this is a common complaint amongst newly married women and those, who have been married for years or even decades. Many husbands partake in the fruits of laziness – because they can. Plain and simple. We allow them to do that.

But, what does that laziness really stem from? Well, it originated long ago, when most, if not all of the world was patriarchal. During that time, household and parenting responsibilities lie with the wives, while the husband brought-in money from their outside jobs.

Men didn’t really have do anything – but financially provide for the family. Their responsibilities typically ended once they arrived home. At which time, they could enjoy the luxury of, well, being lazy.

Women’s responsibilities, on the other hand, pretty much never ended. There was always work to be done with or without any “help.” They did not get to enjoy the luxury of laziness like their husbands, because the family (especially children) had to eat, the clothes had to be washed, children had to be “entertained,” and the house had to be cleaned – every day.

Surprisingly, even highly-educated and accomplished wives typically ignored the dismissive ways of their husbands and male children. Designating household and child-rearing tasks for themselves and their female children. As a result, even children were being taught that wives are responsible for the “home,” while husbands are responsible for “paying bills and putting food on the table.”

But, why now? That was a million years ago. Well, not quite a million years ago – maybe a few decades ago. I guess some traditions and beliefs die hard. In other words, even today, some remnants of this mentality still exist.

You’ve probably heard “well-meaning” onlookers say, “He’ll change his ways once you get married or have children.” Yeah…maybe, but maybe not. Plus, when did you become “rehab” for your husband? You don’t remember signing-up for that complex and possibly, impossible job, do you? But, here you are…trying to get your lazy husband to do something!

Yes, we, as a society, have become more progressive over the decades, but there is still a lot to be desired when it comes to gender equality and the “sharing of household and parenting chores.” It is what it is. But, that in a nutshell, is *probably* why your hubby appears to be lazy, selfish, unenthusiastic, and slow-to-act.

To be fair, we all have those days when we really don’t want to do anything, but “veg out” in front of the television. Maybe, he’s worked long shifts all week or maybe, he’s just not feeling well. Or, perhaps, he just needs a mental health break, because he’s highly stressed. Laziness in this situation is normal and even healthy.

A day here-and-there doesn’t mean your husband is lazy. However, if more times than not, you hubby refuses to help you around the house or with the kids, he just may be a lazy person, who needs a fire lit under is butt (figuratively not literally) to get him to help out.

The good news is this article can provide you with some much-needed pointers on how to deal with a lazy husband, who refuses to help you with…well, anything really. The suggestions listed below will hopefully motivate your hubby to get up and help you with household and parenting responsibilities.

Things You Can Do to Get Your Hubby to Help Out

Listed below are ways you can inspire your husband to help you with household and parenting responsibilities:

Ask – Don’t Yell

If you want your hubby to do something, ask him. Don’t, however, yell at him out of frustration and anger. It’s irritating to ask your spouse fifteen-times to do something. only to come back later, and find he hasn’t done a thing! I get it.

But, yelling at your husband about what he’s not doing isn’t going to make him do anything. It’s only going to infuriate him to the point that he blocks you out. It could also lead to a knock-down-drag-out argument or he could get up and leave the house altogether. Then, what? You’re still stuck with the chores – and now, you have to contend with an angry husband.

So, ask him in a calm tone, if he can help you with this-or-that. Do not however, make demands, yell, or give him ultimatums, because it’ll backfire on you.

Note: Accept that you may have to remind your husband several times to get him motivated to do something, however, try to ask him each time with a pleasant tone (even if you have to bite your tongue to do so).

Make Him Believe He’s Your Real-Life Hero

A good way to get your spouse to stop being so lazy and help you is to make him believe he’s your real-life hero! In other words, explain to him that there are certain things like getting things off the top shelf of your closet, cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, etc.

Disclaimer: Women can also do these things, but the goal is to get your hubby to help you. So, make him believe there are things only he can do. It gets you the help you need and provides him with an ego boost.

Seriously, men like to feel needed, so if you can make him feel like you need him, he’ll be more inclined to help out. Once he sees the “extraordinary” things he can do simply by helping out a little or even sometimes, he’s more likely to continue to help, because it makes you happy and makes him feel good.

Be Appreciative

Also, don’t forget to be appreciative when your husband actually does something. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small – make a big production out of it. Praise him for a job well done. And, explain to him that you couldn’t have completed your tasks without him.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, right? The key to making this tip work? Be genuine about it. Don’t fake your enthusiasm, because he’ll be able to tell. He’s your husband, after all. He knows you. So, be genuinely appreciative and reward him with a treat of his choice for a job well done!

Be Considerate

You’ll also need to be considerate towards him. In other words, put yourself in his shoes. Would you want to houseclean after you’ve been working 10-hour shifts at work all week? Probably not. Should you still expect him to do something? Yes, even if it’s simply picking up after himself and/or taking out the trash.

Should you expect him to clean the whole house with you? No. He’s tired and probably stressed, so don’t ask more than he can emotionally and/or physically do. It will only lead to disappointment and frustration (on your end) and resentment and anger (on his). So, think about why he may be “acting lazy” before you give him a million tasks to complete. Then, praise, praise, and praise some more for the help you did get!

Accept That You’re Different

In other words, accept that you and your hubby are two different people. You were *probably* raised differently, and, as a result, you probably have different values and perceived levels of cleanliness. So, your husband may have been taught how to clean differently than you.

And, guess what? That’s perfectly okay – if it gets the job done. You don’t have to do everything the same to accomplish tasks.  Who says your way is the better way? No one. But, if you just don’t like the way your husband performs tasks – do them yourself. You want him to help you because you need the help, so be appreciative of the help he gives you, and thank him for helping out with the household and/or parenting tasks.

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Don’t Go Behind Your Husband – Fixing Things

The absolute worst thing you can do if you want your spouse to stop being so lazy and help you is to go behind his back – fixing things. Nothing irks a person (any person) worse than having someone go behind him or her, “redoing” things they have already done – not because it’s wrong, but because the other person simply doesn’t like the other your method or style. It can make your hubby feel like the little he is doing, isn’t appreciated or is somehow “not good enough” for you.

You may not like how your hubby puts the dirty dishes in the dishwasher – you face them one way, he the other way. But, try not to take them out and reposition them. I know it’s hard, but try not to, because it could cause him to stop putting them in the dishwasher altogether.

Rather, sit down and discuss how you’d like both of you to perform the task – i.e. which way you want the dirty dishes to face in the dishwasher. Then, you’re both on the same page. So, leave it be, and remind yourself that the only thing that really matters is the task gets completed.

Ask Him When He’s in a Good Mood

Lastly, if you want your husband to get up and do something, ask him when he’s in a good mood. The truth is everyone has those days when they’re just not in the best of moods. That’s also normal. How does that affect your husband from helping you? Well, if he’s in a bad mood, there a high chance he won’t help you with anything, because he’s just not in that mindframe.

But, if he’s in a pretty good mood, there’s a higher chance he will. So, wait and be patient until he’s in a good mood – then pounce on him. In other words, ask him to help you. Don’t be blunt about what you want him to do, rather, ease him into it by sharing with him something you’ve been struggling with. Because, he’s feeling good and happy, you may just get him to stop being lazy.

couples

In Summary…

Adjusting to each other’s mannerisms, quirks, pet-peeves, and habits, when you get married can be challenging. The truth is it takes time to sync-up with one another, and it takes even longer to discover the things you dislike about one another. This is especially true, if you only recently got married.

However, it can also be challenging if you’ve been married for a while. To have a successful marriage it is imperative that both spouses’ participate, in some way, in household and parenting tasks. In other words, both partners’ must pull their own weight to keep the marriage afloat. When one spouse is lazy or unmotivated to help out, it eventually leads to problems in the marriage.

The good news is laziness can be changed. It’s not a permanent state-of-mind. But, your hubby must be inspired to do so. And, unfortunately, you must be the one to inspire him. Yelling at, belittling, and demanding that he help you will not work, but asking him (even several times) in a polite and non-threatening way and being considerate and patient just might.

So, be creative and flexible, and keep at it, because persistence pays-off – even with a lazy husband.

Reference

Science Struck. (2019). Patriarchal Society: Definition, examples, and ill-effects. Retrieved from https://sciencestruck.com/patriarchal-society-definition-examples

The post My Husband is Very Lazy – How Can I Get Him to Help Me with Chores? appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats.


Surviving Family Visits During The Holiday Season!

“A merry heart does good like medicine.” ~Proverbs 17:22 The truth is family visits can be stressful, especially during the holiday season. Yes, it’s great to see some family members during the holidays; however… some family members may be a bit challenging. Regardless, the holiday season typically comes with some level of anxiety, especially if […]The post Surviving Family Visits During The Holiday Season! appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats....

“A merry heart does good like medicine.”
~Proverbs 17:22

The truth is family visits can be stressful, especially during the holiday season. Yes, it’s great to see some family members during the holidays; however… some family members may be a bit challenging. Regardless, the holiday season typically comes with some level of anxiety, especially if you are hosting a family gathering.

So, how can you figuratively and literally survive family visits during the holiday season? Is it even possible? Yes, it is! The key to surviving holiday family visits is to be patient, accept what you can and cannot do, plan ahead, gather a strong support system to help you if or when the “going gets rough,” and… drum roll, please… practice self-care.

In other words, make sure your needs are not dismissed or neglected during this crucial time. If you’re tired and worn-out due to a lack of rest and/or a poor diet, your temper, patience, energy, and mindframe will also be poor. In other words, you’ll become easily annoyed and upset at everyone and everything.

The good news is the holiday season doesn’t have to be anxiety-provoking or depressing, no; it could actually end-up being some of your best memories all year! All you have to do to minimize stress with your family is follow the awesome tips listed in this article!

Help is on the way!

How to Survive Family Visits During The Holidays

Listed below are ways to reduce or manage the stress of holiday family visits:

Go to Church

A good way to survive family visits during the holiday season is to go to church. Your church or one nearby may even host a special candlelight Christmas service. A church service can help ease your stress and calm your mind, so you’re better equipped to deal with anything that pops-up during the visits.

It’s also a good way to help you reconnect with a higher power, so you feel supported by something or someone greater than yourself. Lastly, going to church helps you remember why we celebrate Christmas – the birth of Christ. Thus, it’s a wonderful way to congregate with others, while being thankful for your blessings.

Note: If possible, ask and encourage your family members to attend church with you. The holiday season, especially because Christmas is a time of unconditional love and support, forgiveness, unity, and celebration. So, celebrate the birth of humanity with your loved ones in a place created just for Him!

Bible Verses to Help Your Marriage in Crisis

Be Realistic

In other words, don’t expect family members, who have never been easy to get along with to start behaving differently this year. Also, don’t expect family members, who have never gotten along to start holding hands and singing “Kum Ba Ya”– because it probably won’t happen. So, what can you do in this situation?

First, accept that things may not go as you hope. This may be hard to do, but it’s the only way you will survive family visits during the holiday season. Keep in mind that family visits like family members don’t have to be perfect for you to have amazing holiday visits. All you need to do to keep these visits pleasant is to accept that people will be people, no matter what you say or do.

So, try keeping things light during the visits. Number #1 rule – Stay far away from political and social issues. Nothing evokes the ire of family members like talking about controversial issues. It can cause a happy visit to turn sour in a matter of minutes. So, stay away from these topics during these times.

But, what if family members bring them up? Then, nod and quickly change the subject. Keep changing the subject until they get the message – you don’t want to discuss these things during your visit. If that doesn’t work, politely remove yourself from the situation.

Don’t, however, become frustrated, angry, or upset at your family members – if you can help it. Use every interaction as an opportunity to grow as a person, and as a family member – even if it’s hard.

Deep Breathe & Practice Mindfulness

You’d be naïve to think, that something wouldn’t happen that rattles you during your holiday visits with family members. So, what should you do when that happens? Practice deep breathing and mindfulness. What is mindfulness and how do you practice it? Mindfulness is a state-of-mind – a form of meditation. You practice it by going somewhere quiet and private, sitting down, taking a couple of deep breaths to center yourself, and conjuring-up positive images, words, or phrases.

Mindfulness helps you acknowledge your feelings and emotions during challenging situations, like a relative complaining that “you don’t come around anymore” or that your “mashed potatoes are dry,” without becoming angry or upset by the inconsiderate comments. The goal of mindfulness is to help you attain a calmer state-of-being, by replacing negative images and thoughts with happier and more peaceful and positive ones.

So, when something upsetting occurs during a family visit, briefly remove yourself from the situation (go to the restroom or an empty bedroom), take a few deep breaths, and practice mindfulness until you feel calmer. This will help you view the situation as a “causal onlooker” instead an angry or upset participant.

This takes practice, but once you master it, it will help you survive visits with family during the holiday season.

Plan Ahead

If you know a family visit is going to be challenging, plan ahead for it. In other words, think about what you’re going to talk about – in advance. For instance, if a family member is very political, think of ways to redirect his or her attention by bringing up less controversial topics.

If one family member doesn’t like another one, plan to visit each one separately, or if you’re having a family gathering try to keep each one busy doing separate tasks, like having one help in the kitchen, while the other one helps the kids with crafts, or sets the table for dinner.

The truth is a little planning can go a long way in easing your stress and keeping the peace in your family. So, do yourself a favor and plan ahead for family visits during the holiday season!

Note: If you are fixing meals for family visits, you may want to call ahead to your relatives to see if there are any dietary restrictions for them or their children, and to inquire about favorite foods, etc. Hopefully, this will make dinners more agreeable for everyone.

Try to Forgive!

This may be difficult, especially if you have been hurt or disappointed by these same family members in the past, but it’s important for your own survival – and sanity during holiday visits with family. Remember, the thing that makes the holiday season and Christmas so special is it’s a time for unity and forgiveness. So, try to let past hurts go and look at each year as a “new beginning” for you and them.

Note: Forgiving is more for you than the family members, who have “wronged” you in the past. In other words, let go of the cross you have been carrying on your shoulders since your fall-out with family.

Aren’t you tired of carrying around that tremendous weight? Yes! So, let it go by forgiving those, who have “wronged” you. Make that your Christmas present to them. Give yourself and them the gift that keeps on giving this Christmas. With the power of forgiveness and the Grace of God, you will survive these holiday visits!

Practice Self-Care

Lastly, don’t forget to practice self-care because it’s important every day, but especially during the holiday season! Family visits don’t have to freak you out or cause you stress. No, the key to de-stressing from family visits during the holiday season is to focus on your happiness, health, and well-being.

What does that look like? It looks like making sure you are eating lots of healthy foods, getting enough rest, going to doctor’s appointments, spending time with positive people, who make you feel good, going on dates your with partner, practicing stress-management techniques, like deep breathing, mindfulness meditation and yoga, taking a hot bath every evening, sipping on an alcoholic beverage, egg nog, or hot chocolate after a stressful visit, devoting time for a spa treatment, getting regular exercise, etc.

Basically, do things that re-center you and spark joy in your life. This could even mean spending time alone doing what you want to do, or doing things that have been neglected during the holiday season like going shopping or spending time with friends or pets!

Note: You can’t be your best self if you’re unwell, tired, frustrated, or stressed, so don’t forget to practice self-care – before and after family visits!

In Summary…

If you find visits with family during the holiday season highly stressful, you’re not alone. In fact, research suggests that approximately 90% of people view this time of the year anxiety-provoking and approximately 24% of these individuals experience the most stress during holiday visits with family. Yikes! The good news is a little extra effort can go a long way before, during, and after these visits. In other words, going to church, being realistic, engaging in deep breathing and mindfulness meditation, planning ahead, forgiving, and practicing self-care can reduce your stress and help you survive holiday visits with loved ones! Happy Holidays!

Reference

  1. Shader, M. (2011). Americans’ top holiday dread—being nice makes the list. Consumer Report. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/11/americans-top-holiday-dreads-mdash-being-nice-makes-the-list/index.htm

The post Surviving Family Visits During The Holiday Season! appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats.


How to Recover After a Bad Fight

How to Recover After a Bad Fight “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is a quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” ~Ann Landers After a nasty fight, you may feel angry, upset, […]The post How to Recover After a Bad Fight appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats....

How to Recover After a Bad Fight

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is a quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

~Ann Landers

After a nasty fight, you may feel angry, upset, confused, frustrated, and/or betrayed. As a result, you may feel like it will be impossible to personally recover from the fight, and even more impossible to repair the damage to your relationship. But, guess what? Every couple has arguments from time-to-time. Why? Well, mainly because you aren’t clones of each other. You are, however, unique human beings, who have had individualized experiences, from childhood until now.

Understand that it may require extra effort to regain the homeostasis (balance) in your relationship and the romance and cuddle factors may go AWOL for a while, but you can definitely recover from the fight – if you want to save your relationship.

The key to recovering from a bad fight is to fight fairly and be respectful towards one another. If you’ve recently had a knock-down-drag-out-fight, and feel like you’ll never recover from it – keep reading because this article will give you some valuable pointers on how to “bounce back” from a big “blowout” with your partner.

Listed below are ways you can recover after a bad fight:

1. Give Each Other Space

It is common to want to “hash things out” during a bad fight, even if the other person needs some space. Don’t “pigeon-hold” your partner, because you want to resolve the issue. Why not? Because, it may cause irreparable damage to your relationship. In other words, your partner may view your attempt to “make things better” as being “pushy.” Take a minute and allow your partner to do the same.

You need time to process what happened – i.e. why you are arguing and how you can compromise or resolve the issue. In other words, you need time to “relax, relate, and release,” before you can calmly and rationally discuss the issue or issues-at-hand. In other words, you need time to recover and heal from the fight, before addressing what occurred with your partner.  The worst thing you can do for yourself and your partner is force the issue, when you’re both angry and upset. This will only lead to a disaster.

What if my partner needs space, but I don’t? Give him or her space anyway. It can be upsetting when your partner tells you he or she needs space, especially when you don’t feel that way. But, being too clingy, pushy, or demanding can push your partner even farther away from you.  And, although being in close proximity, during or after a fight may make you feel better, it could be more confusing and upsetting to your partner.

It could even cause him or her to look at you and your relationship differently. You and your partner need time to think things through and decide your next steps. You can’t do that if you cloistered (confined) together. So, take an adult time-out and process how you are feeling. Don’t take it personally and understand that your partner may need this “pause” to collect himself or herself, so he or she doesn’t say something he or she will later regret. Revisit the conversation at a later date and take this time to cool down.

2. Don’t Be Defensive

Another way to recover from a bad fight is to refrain from being defensive. In other words, don’t try to defend yourself, as a way to justify your own behaviors. Rather, listen to what your partner has to say – without interrupting him or her. If you continuously interrupt your partner to defend your actions, it will only keep the fight going, escalate it, and damage your relationship further.

What should you do? Acknowledge and accept your partner’s feelings and the role you played in the current situation. Don’t automatically assume your partner is trying to “attack” you, because they may not be the case. It’s hard to hear the truth sometimes – I get that, however, it is important that you *hear* what your partner is trying to tell you, because it’s important.

But, guess what? You can’t *hear* your partner’s message, if all of your energy is directed at defending yourself. So, as hard as it may be, don’t defend yourself – during or after a bad fight. Listen and make the necessary changes in your mindset, attitude, and behavior.

Note: If you feel like you need to explain why you did this or that – do it later. In other words, shed light on why you did what you did (or did not do) once cooler heads have prevailed.

3. Take Responsibility

As mentioned briefly above, a good way to recover from a bad fight is to take responsibility for your own actions. It’s hard to look at oneself and point out errors, mistakes, and “bad behavior,” but it is crucial to do just that, if you want to heal and recover from that nasty tiff with your partner.  Questions like, “What role did you play in the fight?” “What led up to the fight?” and, “How can you work together to recover from the fight?” are important for “bouncing back” from an especially difficult argument and preserving your relationship.

So, how can you take responsibility for your own actions? By acknowledging and apologizing for something you said or did (or didn’t say or didn’t do) that was hurtful, disrespectful, rude, careless, and/or spiteful – especially if you went off on him or her without thinking before speaking, or you went off “half-cocked” (without all of the information). No one likes people who are always blaming someone or something else, even when they are at fault.

Take responsibility for your behaviors by admitting that you’ve been taking your frustration, mental and physical fatigue, stress, and personal issues out on your partner. Explain that these “things” have been causing you to behave out of character and/or take him or her for granted. In other words, be accountable for your words and actions – without unfairly blaming your partner for things he or she probably didn’t say or do.

For example, you could something like this, “I know I’ve been working a lot of hours lately, and haven’t had much time to connect with you. I also realize that I’ve been crankier than normal due to this work stress, and you’ve received the brunt of my angst. I just want to say I’m sorry for my part in the argument. You aren’t to blame for the things I did. I’m tired and frustrated, but that doesn’t take away from how much I love you. I’ll try to do better from now on by taking warm baths to de-stress once I get home, so I can spend more quality time with you in the evening and on the weekends.”

4. Control Your Emotions & Actions

One of the most effective ways to recover from a nasty spat with your partner is to control your emotions and actions. In other words, don’t say (or do) anything during or after the argument that you’re likely to regret later. Think before you talk and act. And, be mindful of the power of your emotions, words, and behaviors. If you say or do something hurtful, there is chance you and your relationship won’t recover from your words and/or actions.

So, when you feel your emotions spinning out-of-control, stop. More specifically, remove yourself from the situation, practice deep breathing, and take a few minutes or days or weeks to collect yourself. Pause and think about the long-term ramifications of your actions. Do not, however, return to the conversation until you are fully in control of yourself. The last thing you want is to say or do something your partner will not forgive. So, think before you act – and get those emotions and actions under control.

5. Agree to Disagree

The best thing you can do to save your relationship and sanity after a knock-down-drag-out-fight with your partner is to agree to disagree – if you are unable to come to a compromise or resolution. The truth is there are times in a relationship when you simply don’t, won’t, or can’t see eye-to-eye. And, as shocking as this may sound, that’s actually normal.

As much as you love each other and as compatible as you may be, you are still two very different people, so there are going to be times when you disagree. If you can accept this fact without blaming, shaming, or judging your partner, you’ll be able to recover from your fight.

The key to using this method to recover from a bad fight is to agree to disagree, when you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

6. Ask for Help

This brings me to the next step – seeking help. If you are having a hard time coming to a resolution, compromising, and agreeing to disagree, it’s time to reach out to a relationship expert – i.e. counselor, therapist, clinical social worker, and/or psychologist. Rehashing past hurts and arguments will only push you further and further apart.

It’s important to ask for help if you simply can’t move past the argument. Don’t just sit on your feelings, because that may lead to destructive behaviors – destructive behaviors that can cause mistrust and irreparable damage to you and your relationship. So, reach out to someone, who can provide you with sage advice.

A mental health specialist will help you get more in-tune with your emotions, so you can better understand why you behave the way you do. He or she can also help you work through residual feelings from the argument, so they don’t prevent you from recovering from it. The truth is seeking therapy doesn’t make you weak, no, if anything it shows just how strong you are.

7. Forgive

Lastly, before you can heal from the bad fight, you’ll need to forgive – yourself and your partner. Forgiveness is freedom from an internal prison. In other words, it can set you free, so you don’t have to carry the effects of the argument around with you. When you forgive, you let go of hurt feelings, hostility, and resentment towards your partner.

On the other hand, holding onto a grudge can lead to emotional and physical turmoil. So, as hard as this may be – forgive your partner for hurting you. Can’t let it go? Keep this in mind, forgiving someone does not mean you accept the behavior or you have forgotten what transpired. It simply means you are ready to let what happened go and move on with your life.

In Summary…

A bad fight doesn’t have to define your whole relationship. More specifically, it doesn’t have to destroy what you have built with your partner. You can recover from what happened. In other words, you can “bounce back,” if you want to. Keep in mind, however, that it will require patience, openness, honesty, forgiveness, respect, love, and commitment. You have the ability to heal from the hurt of the argument; you just have to give your partner space, refrain from being defensive, take responsibility for your own actions, get a check on your emotions and behaviors, agree to disagree, ask for help, if necessary, and forgive.

References

  1. Steeves, S. M. (2016). Balance in relationships, life, and everything in-between. com. Retrieved from https://www.marriage.com/advice/relationship/balance-in-relationships-life-and-everything-in-between/
  2. Kirkpatrick, N. (2019). Counseling (or counselling): 5 reasons why we need it. Better Help. Retrieved from https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/counseling/counselling-vs-counseling-is-there-a-difference/

The post How to Recover After a Bad Fight appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats.


Topics Every Couple Should Discuss Before Marriage

Topics Every Couple Should Discuss Before Marriage Studies suggest that couples, who adopt a “happily-ever-after,” “Cinderella and Prince Charming,” and “all we need is love” mentality have the highest risk of having an unsuccessful marriage. Why? Well, because it’s unrealistic and can cause both partners to set unrealistic expectations of what marriage should be like. […]The post Topics Every Couple Should Discuss Before Marriage appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats....

Topics Every Couple Should Discuss Before Marriage

Studies suggest that couples, who adopt a “happily-ever-after,” “Cinderella and Prince Charming,” and “all we need is love” mentality have the highest risk of having an unsuccessful marriage. Why? Well, because it’s unrealistic and can cause both partners to set unrealistic expectations of what marriage should be like.

The truth is: most, if not all marriages, experience issues at some point. Maybe the issues are minor, or maybe they are gigantic – either way it’s something both partners have to work through if they want their marriage to remain intact.

It is important to understand that the success or failure of your marriage may depend on how well you and your spouse can communicate and work through any issues (i.e. finances, kids, household chores, family involvement, sex, religion, and priorities and life goals) that arise. These are important topics that should be discussed before tying the knot and regularly revisited during the marriage.

The ability to effectively communicate with each other (even when it’s difficult) is a hallmark sign of a happy and healthy relationship, so it’s important that you work on your communication skills before you get married.

Being compatible and united on fundamental values is also a must for a healthy and happy marriage. Why? Because, you will experience “tests” as a married couple – “tests” you will have to address and work through together.

So, the best way to tackle some of the “trials” you will experience once you are married is to address a wide-variety of topics, while you’re still dating. More specifically, it is vital that you have these conversations before you decide to spend the rest of your lives together. The good news is this article will provide you with topics that you and your partner can discuss before walking down the aisle.

Listed below are topics every couple should discuss before marriage:

Finances

Money can make or break a marriage. According to studies one of the main reasons couples divorce is because of finances. One spouse is a tight budgeter, while the other one spends money freely – sound familiar? So, it is important that you discuss this topic with your partner before you get married.

Sit down and talk about how you handle money vs. how your partner handles money. Also, discuss how you will handle finances once married.

Financial questions you may want to talk about before getting married:

  • Are you a budgeter and/or “tightwad” with money? Is your partner the same way or is he/she more of the “free spender?”
  • Do you or your partner have a lot of debt or do you or partner value saving money over spending it?
  • What will you do if one or both of you loses a job? Will you take whatever you can find to support your family or wait until you get what you want?

It’s important that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to money, especially if you are thinking about getting married. Ask your partner what he/she likes to splurge on and how often he/she thinks one should be able to do this. Also, ask him/her what he/she considers “a lot of money to spend on something.”

It is common for married couples to put their finances together in one joint bank account, so this is a really big deal. A joint bank account means you both have access to it, and can deposit or withdraw money from it at any time. So, it’s vital that you know your partner’s spending habits if you are thinking of building a life with him/her.

Moreover, once married, most creditors will not separate you from your spouse, when it comes to bills. In other words, your credit score will drop along with your spouse’s, if you are late or delinquent on bills. In other words, bills your spouse doesn’t pay can affect both of you – and vice versa.

So, the last thing you want to do is join your money with someone who is reckless when it comes to his/her money. Address this topic with your partner before you consider marrying him/her.

Kids

Another “touchy” subject that a lot of couples try to avoid is KIDS. Still, it is a topic that definitely needs to be addressed in-depth before marriage.

Questions you may want to discuss before “getting hitched:”

  • Do you want kids? Does your partner want kids? If so, how many and when?
  • What values and morals do you want your kids to have?
  • What about education – private or public school?
  • Do you expect the mother to stay-at-home with the kids? What about the father, can he stay-at-home with the kids instead?
  • What do you think about gender roles?
  • How will you and your partner feel if one or more of your kids turns out to be gay or transgendered?
  • What do you think about circumcision for boys? What about your partner?
  • Are you pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine? What about your partner?
  • How do you plan to discipline your kids? How does your partner?
  • How do you and your partner feel about surrogacy or adoption, if you can’t have children the “natural way?”

These are extremely important topics that should be discussed, in detail, before getting married and before having children. The quickest way to divorce is if one spouse is ready to have kids, and the other one is not sure he/she wants them or doesn’t want them at all.

This can become a major problem if it’s not addressed before marriage. The worst thing you or your partner can do is pretend that you want kids or may want kids in the future, knowing you have no intention of starting a family with your spouse.

Pretending is one of the most heartless, selfish, and inconsiderate thing you can do to the person you say you love. Why? Well, because it prevents the other person from finding someone who shares his/her dream of being a parent.

For many couples this is a deal breaker that can rapidly lead to divorce. The truth is if you and your partner have conflicting views on having kids, you probably should not get married. If the spouse that wants kids “settles” by staying married to the spouse that doesn’t, both partners will probably end up being unhappy and unsatisfied.

If you definitely wants kids, but your partner is unsure, then what? Well, talking to a couples or marriage counselor could help your partner decide if kids are in his/her future. If they are, then you can look forward to having a family together. However, if your partner decides he/she absolutely does not want kids, you may have to re-evaluate your relationship. So, talk about this subject before you get married, and be honest and open with one another.

Household Chores

Another biggie that couples should discuss before getting married is household chores.

Questions you may want to talk about before “tying the knot:”

  • How do you and your partner feel about gender roles, when it comes to household chores?
  • Do you expect the man to work outside of the home, fix things around the house, kill insects, and take out the trash? What about your partner – how does he/she feel about the man doing these specific chores?
  • Do you expect the woman to stay at home and take care of the household by cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids? What about your partner – how does he/she feel about a woman doing these chores?
  • Or, are you more fluid and gender neutral about chores? In other words, are you okay with the woman taking out the trash and working outside of the home, while the man cooks, cleans, and takes care of the kids? What about your partner – how does he/she feel about this?
  • How will chores be divided between you?

You and your partner must be on the same page or it will cause issues in your marriage. So, get this “hashed out” before you “tie the knot.”

Family Involvement

A topic every couple should discuss before getting married is family involvement.

Questions you may want to discuss before marriage:

  • How involved do you and your partner think your immediate and extended families (i.e. family, siblings, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws) will be in your lives once you get married?
  • Should you and your partner expect to see both families during holidays, vacations, and special occasions?
  • Will you and your partner be expected to see your families every weekend, a couple times a month, during holidays, or at church every Sunday?

When it comes to in-laws, it is imperative that you always have a united front. Once married, never contradict your spouse in front of your family, and especially not in front of your parents. If you always have each other’s backs, in-laws will have fewer nasty things to say about your spouse. And, they will be more likely to treat your spouse with respect and kindness.

On the other hand, if you continuously complain to your parents about what your spouse did or did not do, they will probably end up not liking your spouse, which could cause problems in your marriage.

A good test? How your partner treats you in front of his/her family, while you are dating. If he/she “sticks up” for you, he/she probably won’t change once you get married. But, if he/she continuously allows his/her family to “put you down” and disrespect you, you can expect that behavior to continue once you are husband and wife.

Sex

Sex is an important part of any relationship, but especially marriage. Some couples shy away from talking about intimacy, and specifically sex. Maybe, it is because sex is often linked to vulnerability or emotional attachment. Or, maybe, it is because of past sexual experiences or societal expectations. Regardless of the reason, it is a topic that every couple should talk about before getting married.

Keep in mind that sexual expectations may be different when you’re dating vs. when you’re actually married. For instance, when you’re dating, sex may be a marathon (long and satisfying), however a decade into marriage, the sex may be a sprint (short and quick), if it happens at all. Why the difference? Well, because when you’re dating, you want to make the experience fulfilling for both partners, so it may take a while. However, when you’ve been married for a while, a “quickie” may be required because you have children to raise, job responsibilities, and household tasks to perform.

You just may not have the time for a long sexual experience. So, you “settle” for what you can get. The good news is, there are couples and marriage counselors, who can help you in this area. Counseling may also be especially beneficial, if you have been married a while, and feel as if you are sexually disconnected from your spouse.

The truth is you can’t predict your sex life down the road – even if you talk about it while you are dating.  So, a relationship expert is a good resource, if you start to have issues in the bedroom later on. However, once married, it is essential that you make time to sexually re-connect with your spouse from time-to-time.

What does that look like? Well, if you have kids, it means sending them to their grandparents for a night or hiring a babysitter, while you spend the night or at least a few hours at a local hotel. If they are pre-teens or teens, it means sending them for an overnight sleepover with one of their friends.

Questions you may want to ask about sex before you “get hitched:”

  • How often do you expect to have sex once you are married? What about your partner?
  • What is your favorite position? What is your partner’s favorite position?
  • What does sex mean to you? What does it mean to your partner?
  • What are sexual activities that make you uncomfortable? What about your partner?
  • What are sexual activities you enjoy? What about your partner?
  • What do you think about foreplay activities? What about your partner?

These things matter in a relationship – any relationship, but especially if you plan to spend the rest of your lives together. If you ask these questions before you get married, you’ll have some idea of what to expect when you finally make your relationship “official.”

Religion

Religion is another “hot button” topic that every couple should explore before marriage. Now, it’s not as crucial if you are just dating and not really thinking about marriage, but if you are, it’s worth talking about in advance. Why? Well, because once you are married you’ll have to take in consideration religious holidays, religious traditions, and children (what religion they will follow). While if you are just dating, you won’t have to participate in these activities unless you want to.

Religious questions you may want to ask before getting married:

  • How important is religion to you? What about your partner?
  • What religion would you like your children to follow? What about your partner?
  • Will you expect your spouse to convert to your religion (if yours is different)? What about your partner?
  • What religious activities do you participate in and why? What about your partner?
  • How will you handle religious holidays and traditions, if you are of a different religion? How will your partner?

Many married couples experience conflict over religious matters, because they did not discuss this topic in advance. If you “hash out” all of these things before you get married, you be less likely to squabble over them once you are married.

Priorities & Life Goals

The last topic every couple should discuss before marriage is priorities and life goals. Why does it matter? Well, it matters because if you and your partner have different things you want to accomplish in life, your marriage may not work, especially if you can’t find a compromise that satisfies both of you.

For instance, if you want to join the military, but your partner wants to “settle down” and live a more “traditional family life,” you will most likely experience major issues once you have “tied the knot” – especially if you are both set on these lifestyles. So, it is extremely important that you know these things before you decided to tie yourself together for forever.

Questions you may want to ask your partner before you get married:

  • Where do you see yourself in the future? What about your partner?
  • What are your priorities in life? What are your partner’s?
  • What are your life goals? What about your partner’s?
  • Do you want to “settle down” or do you want to travel and see the world? What about your partner?
  • How do you feel about having kids in the future? How does your partner feel about that?
  • Would you like to go back to school? What about your partner?
  • Would you like to live in another city, state, or country or are you satisfied living where you are now? What about your partner?

Get this out of the way by talking about it before you contemplate getting married. The last thing you want is to get “stuck” on one lifestyle, when you spouse has another idea.

Final Thoughts…

The truth is having a happy and healthy marriage takes work – lots of work. It takes unconditional love, good communication, respect, loyalty, trust, compatibility, openness, commitment and fidelity, patience and tolerance, a deliberate effort, and a willingness to compromise and work through issues.

It’s a big step – one that signifies you willingness to stay around for the long haul. Sadly, however, sometimes love just isn’t enough to keep a marriage afloat. This is especially true, when the differences between the two spouses are so big and overwhelming that they are impossible to overcome.

One way to combat issues that can arise in marriage is to discuss them before thinking about or planning to get married. Talking about these issues in advance can save both you and your partner a ton of heartache and disappointment. The answers to these questions can help you and your partner decide if you’re truly ready to take the next step in your relationship.

If you are able to compromise on issues you don’t fully agree on, then the outlook for marriage look promising, but if you can’t, it may be time for you and your partner to re-evaluate if you are truly meant to be together forever. Regardless, it’s worth exploring before you get married.

References

  1. Bredow, C. A. (2015). Chasing prince charming: Partnering consequences of holding unrealistic standards for a spouse. Personal Relationships, 22(3), 476–501. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12091
  2. Loftus, M. (2004). Till debt do us part. Psychology Today, 37(6), 42–52. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a2h&AN=14843379&site=ehost-live
  3. Kazemi, P., Tarkhan, M., & Golpour, R. (2018). Predicting of marital conflict based on religious attitudes in women applicants for divorce. Journal of Fundamentals of Mental Health, 20(4), 278–283. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a2h&AN=131822950&site=ehost-live

 

 

The post Topics Every Couple Should Discuss Before Marriage appeared first on Marriage Rescue Retreats.


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