Disagreements got you down?

Couples mistakenly believe they have to agree on things to resolve their issues, improve communication and make their relationship work. ​ ​
The same, I-feel-like-I’m-going-crazy kind of arguments come up over and over again. ​🥴
You start to wonder if you’re just too different to make it work. ​
It’s exhausting and life sucking to have these kinds of interactions with your partner day in and day out. ​ ​
It’s not surprising that these repeated conflicts would make you question your marriage. ​ ​💔
One couple I worked with repeatedly argued about how to discipline their kids. ​ ​
He was strict and she was more lenient. ​ ​
They always disagreed about how to set limits, give consequences. ​
Which led to them arguing about the kids in front of the kids. ​
When he was interacting with the kids she was trying to tell him how he should do it and vice versa. ​
Most couples are trying to push their perspective on the other, so of course they keep fighting. ​
Thinking their partner’s way is wrong and their way is right. ​ ​
The fact is you will always have disagreements regardless of who your partner is. ​ ​
The goal is not to make your differences go away but rather to make them work for your relationship. ​💗
To change the way you’ve been doing things you need to learn how to listen to your partner’s perspective instead of trying to convince them that your perspective is right or better. ​
This very important shift in thinking can change everything. ​ ​
Instead of right or wrong, good or bad, better or worse, your perspectives are just different. ​ ​💫
And instead of fighting for your perspective to be heard and acknowledged you have to learn to hear and acknowledge your partner’s perspective. ​
When you learn how to truly listen to the other person and work to understand their perspective and what’s important to them you will have better conversations EVEN when you disagree. ​ ​
While it sounds simple it is not easy and takes work and effort to change this way of relating to your partner. ​ ​
This means learning to really hear your partner’s perspective, being curious, asking why it’s important to them and what they’re thinking. ​ ​ And stop trying to convince your partner that they need to do it your way. ​
The challenge most people have is learning to listen without reacting in anger, interrupting, defending, blaming or judging. ​ ​
Listening sounds so simple but takes a shift in your thinking. ​
From thinking your partner is wrong to being curious about your partner’s thoughts and ideas. ​ ​
This simple BUT not easy skill of listening and understanding your partner’s perspective could mean the difference between a happily ever after or a miserable marriage or painful divorce. ​
Your marriage could be better than you ever imagined when you learn to make these shifts in your relationship. ​💑
So if you’re a woman or couple who’s been married for years and you’re struggling in your marriage with the same communication problems, arguing about the same issues over and over my guess is you haven’t learned how to truly listen to each other and be curious about the other person’s perspective. ​ ​
If you want help solving these communication problems for good so you can stop just surviving in your marriage and start thriving, that’s exactly what I help women and couples do in my 1:1 marriage coaching. ​ ​💕💕
▶️We identify and understand the patterns of communication that are keeping you stuck. ​
▶️We focus on your mindset. ​ The thoughts and beliefs that are keeping you stuck (we have to agree) that prevent you from seeing new possibilities for your future (we don’t have to agree to make it work).​
▶️You’ll learn to be curious about your partner’s perspective instead of fighting against it. ​ ​❓❓❓
▶️You’ll end up creating an entirely different narrative about your marriage and opening up to having a marriage that’s even better than you dreamed. ​
If you’re ready to improve communication so you can stop having the same fight over and over and enjoy being married again then send me a private message and we’ll have a quick chat to see if it’s a fit for you.
OR schedule a call here: Chat With Denise

How is COVID impacting your marriage?

You’re spending more time with your husband than you ever imagined you would (whether you like it or not).

All of this unusual togetherness has put an enormous stress on a lot of marriages. ​ ​ ​

The issues you had before covid have now become magnified. ​

You used to be able to escape to work or go out with friends.​

But now there’s little to none of that. ​ ​

Which has created a whole new set of issues for marriages and families. ​

Many couples disagree about how cautious they should be about going places and being around other people. ​

Should they allow their children to hang out with their friends and how does that affect being around extended family. ​ ​

With so many working from home there has been less separation between work life and home life with work life taking up even more hours than ever. ​ ​

You’re spending more time together, yet feel less connected than ever!

Some days the tension feels unbearable, the close quarters lack of escape the growing distance between you. ​ But you just don’t know what to do. ​ You know there’s a problem but neither of you are talking about it. ​

➡️ You’ve thought about reaching out for help but then convince yourself it’s not that bad. ​ ​
➡️ You vent and complain with your friends who are having the same experience but then only ​feel more resentful towards your spouse. ​ ​
➡️ You try to convince yourself it will get better when covid is over (when is that going to happen?)​

The truth is covid is not going away any time soon. ​ ​
And neither are the struggles in your marriage. ​ ​

And it doesn’t have to be this way. ​

You can have a marriage you love and enjoy your time together even during covid. ​ ​

What you need is to rebuild your connection to each other in spite of the stressful unpredictable circumstances of life. ​ ​

Your marriage can’t wait until covid is over. ​

And avoidance only creates more distance. ​

Don’t let the distance between you grow beyond repair. ​ ​ ​
Make your marriage a priority. ​ Give your marriage the effort, care, love and attention it needs. ​ ​
The same love and attention you give to your job or your kids.  Your marriage needs it now more than ever. ​ ​

This is the exact thing I help my clients with in my Four Months to Fix your Marriage for Good Method.

This offer is for women or couples who’ve been married for years. ​ You’re struggling to be happy and connected with your partner. ​ And although you absolutely don’t want to get a divorce you’re done living with the way things are now. ​ ​
You’re committed to making your marriage work and you want someone to show you how. ​ ​

With I’ll show you the exact steps you can take to bring a loving connection back to your relationship and enjoy being married again. ​

Here’s how we do it. ​

 ​ First we dive deep into identifying and understanding the patterns in your marriage that are causing you so much pain. ​ These patterns were there before covid but have become more painful since spending so much time together. ​ Knowing what these patterns are is key to being able to change them and create new ways of being with each other that brings closeness instead of loneliness. ​

​ Next we look at what you really want your marriage to look like. ​ ​When the problems are no longer a problem how will your marriage be different? ​ Instead of staying stuck in the problem and complaining about the way things are, I show you how to think about the future you want to have together. ​You have to have a vision for what you want to create so you know what you are working towards. ​ Without a goal you can’t know if you’re making progress. ​

 ​ Then we focus on gaining a deeper awareness of your mindset. ​ ​Our thoughts are what create our reality. ​ If you want a different reality you have to work on having thoughts that align with that reality. ​ ​
First by bringing awareness to your thoughts and then working on replacing them with ones that create a new and more connected experience. ​ ​

​ One of the most critical skills you’ll learn is how to talk about your differences in a loving respectful way even when you don’t agree. ​ ​You may be avoiding uncomfortable conversations right now because it just feels easier. ​ Unfortunately that only creates more disconnection. ​I help you have these conversations, share your thoughts and feelings with each other in an open honest way so you can create the intimacy and connection you crave. ​ ​

This is the work my clients dive deep into when we work together in my Four Months to Fix your Marriage for Good Method

If you’re ready to end painful patterns in your relationship so you can be more connected with your husband and enjoy being married to him again then send me a private message and we’ll have a quick chat to see if it’s a fit for you.

Join my facebook community

My Marriage Works – community for women

It happened again!

He came home from work in a mood and then went straight to his computer. 

Seriously, how many times do we have to have the same conversation for him to get it.

Couldn’t he at least say, “how was your day honey”.

You’re tired of feeling like an afterthought, like you don’t even matter.

You’re angry but it’s not worth bringing up AGAIN, so instead you go quiet, give him the cold shoulder, secretly hoping he’ll notice and ask you what’s wrong.

But of course, he didn’t even notice. Now you’re even more upset. 

The answer seems so obvious. If he would just change you wouldn’t be so angry and upset all the time.

Having the same issues come up over and over again and nothing changes is so frustrating.

I Get It!

Having the same issues come up over and over again and nothing changes is so frustrating. ​ ​

You think, It shouldn’t be this hard.

I know! I’ve said that countless times when I was going through these exact struggles in my own marriage.

And here’s what I discovered that turned my marriage in a whole new direction.  

The problem you’re having is NOT what your husband is doing or not doing. 

It’s the thoughts you’re having about it!  

Just take that in for a moment. I know it probably isn’t the answer you were expecting.

Even though it feels like your husband is the one that’s making you feel frustrated and upset the reality is, it’s how you’re choosing to think about it.

You have expectations that he SHOULD be more talkative or more affectionate or less grumpy. When he’s not, you think, “he can’t even do one simple thing for me”. That thought is what causes you to feel angry and frustrated. 

Let me give you another example. Here’s a thought exercise I do with my clients. I ask them to imagine their husband coming home and sitting on the couch. And try on two different ways of thinking about it.

➨One thought is, “guess he doesn’t give a shit about my day”.
➨he second thought is, “he probably needs some time to decompress. I remember he’s said that before, that he likes 30 minutes to just unwind before having conversation”.

How did each of those thoughts make you feel?

I bet the first one made you feel angry, unimportant.
And the second one, understanding, compassion, love.

That’s the power of choosing your thoughts. Which is one of the core things I help my clients with.

With my  I teach my clients the exact strategies and tools they need to eliminate painful patterns in their relationship and connect to their husband with love.

First we dive into identifying and understanding the patterns in your marriage that are causing you so much pain.
Then we identify your key triggers. When you are aware of the things that trigger you, you can work on being less reactive so you can talk about things without arguing.
And then we focus on your mindset. The thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself, your husband and your marriage that are keeping you stuck and prevent you from seeing new possibilities for your future.

Just like you saw above when you change your thoughts it makes you feel completely different. Which ultimately changes the results you have.

Instead of taking things personally you’ll be able to stay in your own lane and not be affected by your husband’s mood.
You’ll be curious and compassionate about his behavior instead of furious. What does his quiet grumpy mood mean if it’s not about you.


❤️By choosing different thoughts you can have a different experience of your husband.

❤️You’ll feel more hopeful about your marriage and your life.

❤️Get out of negative thought patterns that you’ve been stuck in about your husband that have been holding you back from being happy in your marriage.

❤️You’ll end up creating an entirely different narrative about your marriage and opening up to having a marriage that’s even better than you dreamed.

This is the work my clients dive deep into when we work together in my  

If you’re ready to stop having the same fight over and over again with your husband and enjoy being married to him again, then send me a private message and we’ll have a quick chat to see if it’s a fit for you.

Join my facebook group – My Marriage Works community for women

Wondering how to make your marriage work?

Wondering how you’ll ever make your marriage work when you can’t have a simple conversation without it turning into another big fight? 

⭐️What you really want is….

  • To be able to talk with your husband without fighting
  • To Feeling in love with your him again, having conversations that flow easily and naturally. 
  • Working through your disagreements in an honest, supportive and respectful way, and feel close to each other rather than drifting apart.
  • Your partner being your best friend, biggest cheerleader and confidant – someone you can talk to about everything. 
  • ​Being able to move on from the past and all the hurt it caused you over the year (no unresolved feelings or grudges).
  • ​Feeling happy in your marriage, excited about the life you’ve built together and the future that awaits you.

It’s true marriage is hard.  There is no roadmap or manual that tells you how to make a lifelong commitment to another human.  And do it well! 🤦🏻‍♀️ 

When you first got married you never imagined there’d be anything but love between you….and now years later..😧

  • It feels like every time you try to talk (it’s probably not EVERY time), suddenly a seemingly small thing turns into a huge issue and ends up in another big argument. Nothing ever gets resolved.
  • The connection you once shared seems to have vanished and you feel more like roommates than lovers & best friends (Maybe this is what marriage looks like after 10, 15, 20 years?).
  • You’re great parents and absolutely love your kids, but you’re worried what will happen when your kids go off to college.  You fear there’s nothing that will keep you together. 
  • You feel lonely even when you’re with your him.  You wish you felt the emotional connection you once had

Over time these ways of interacting with each other slowing chips away and the emotional connection and love you have for your partner. 💔

Some days it feels so painful and unbearable that you can’t imagine it ever getting better.  You contemplate divorce even though it’s not what you want.  😔

What’s the answer?

◆It’s not changing your him. 

◆It’s not waiting and hoping it gets better on it’s own

◆It’s not going to years of therapy, rehashing the same old fights

The answer is YOU learning how to communicate in a whole new way.  

It’s about learning how to manage your own emotional triggers and reactions so you can put an end to the painful patterns in your marriage for good. 

That’s exactly what I do with my clients in the Four Months to Fix your Marriage for Good Method. 💕

 I teach my clients the exact strategies and tools they need to eliminate painful conflict and reconnect with their husband. 

➡︎When we first start working together we dive deep into identifying and understanding the patterns in your marriage that are causing you so much pain.  The patterns are the way you talk to and interact with each other.  What happens when you’re triggered, how do you handle disagreements?  Knowing exactly what happens in these patterns is important so you can change them.  

➡︎Then we look at what you really want your marriage to look like.  When the problems are no longer a problem how will your marriage be different?  What will you be doing differently, thinking, feeling?  You have to have a future vision of your marriage so you know what you are working towards.  This may be something you haven’t thought about before.  

That’s not uncommon.  Many clients are stuck in the problem when we first start working together and have not given much thought to what they want.  You may not have even let yourself go there because it didn’t seem possible.  

➡︎Next we focus on gaining a deeper awareness of your mindset.  The thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself, your husband and your marriage that are keeping you stuck and prevent you from seeing new possibilities for your future.  

Our thoughts are powerful.  Whatever thoughts we think over and over again is what becomes our reality.  To change your experience you have to change your thoughts.  Much of the work we do is identifying the thoughts that are holding you back and replacing them with thoughts that help you create the relationship you want!

One of the most critical skills you’ll learn is how to manage your emotional reactions and identify what your triggers are.  When you’re able to be aware of and control your automatic, knee jerk reactions you’ll be able to have calm conversations about any topic.  

With this method of working together you’re able to create change that lasts!   Change that becomes your new normal! 

That’s why we meet weekly so you have the accountability you need to take action and the support that’s necessary to guide you towards your goal.  Creating new habits takes time and practice so of course there will be times that you slip back into your old habits. That’s not a problem.  

Because along the way you are keeping track of exactly what you are doing that is creating positive change. That way you know exactly what to do to get things back on track.  

If you’re ready to stop having the same fights over and over again with your husband and want to enjoy being married to him then reach out and I’ll send you the details if my Four Months to Fix your Marriage for Good Method 💕  

Join the My Marriage Works – Community for Women







We’re Just So Different

This is something I hear from almost every woman or couple I work with. ​ They think “we’re just so different” is the reason they argue about so many things. ​ And wonder “how do we make this work when we can’t agree on anything”. ​ ​

Frequent arguments about the same things play out day after day, month after month, year after year. ​ You begin to wonder if you married the right person. ​

Earlier in my own marriage this is exactly how things played out. ​

My husband and I are different is so many ways.​
He’s more private and I’m more open, he’s quiet, I’m loud and outgoing. ​ Those are the obvious differences. ​ ​

Then there’s the differences that you discover as situations arise in your day to day life. ​

For example, I’d be frustrated and annoyed when we had poor service at a restaurant. ​ I’d complain about it and then ask my husband, what do you think? ​ Aren’t you pissed that the service was so awful? ​

He was not bothered by it, didn’t notice or didn’t really care. ​

What? ​ What do you mean you’re not bothered by it? ​ How can you not be bothered by it? ​ We get bad service and you’re not even upset about it. ​ And on and on. ​ ​

Do you ever get mad at your partner because they don’t share the same emotion about something? ​ ​

When I was outraged about something I expected him to be outraged, when I was happy about something I expected him to be happy, when I was worried about something I expected him to be worried. ​ When he wasn’t, I thought it was crazy that he didn’t feel the same way I did. ​ ​ ​

Here’s what I learned that has changed my marriage. ​

It’s not your differences that are the problem, it’s the judgment you have about your partner’s perspective being different than yours.​

You believe there’s a right way and a wrong way and your partner’s way is wrong. ​ ​

What are those arguments REALLY about? ​ Your attempts to convince, correct or control your partner. You want them to see things the way you do and you judge them when they don’t.​

When you continue to judge and criticize your partner for who they are and what they think and believe you won’t actually know who they are. ​ ​

You’ll be too busy telling them how wrong they are to even know or understand what they think and believe. ​

Judgment can be quite damaging to a relationship. When you’re in judgment, thinking negative thoughts and having negative emotions about your partner, it’s impossible to feel loving towards them. ​ It creates resentment and lack of connection. ​ ​ ​

The truth is you will have differences in any relationship. ​ They will be a different set of differences in another relationship but you’ll still have to figure out how to deal with them. ​ ​

Letting go of judgment and accepting people for who they are may not be easy but is critical for the success of any relationship you have. Whether with your partner, your children, parents, co workers, etc. ​ ​

And yourself! ​ Because judging others doesn’t feel good to the person judging either. ​ ​

Remember the example from above I shared about getting angry with my husband for not sharing the same emotion? ​ ​

I was judging him and feeling triggered and frustrated, which led to a night of not talking to him. That certainly didn’t feel good for me. ​ ​

Want a more loving relationship with your partner? ​ ​

Learn to accept your differences. ​ Accept that differences are a part of all relationships. ​ You don’t have to make your differences go away. ​ You just have to learn a better way of dealing with them. ​ ​

When you can let go of judgment and let your partner be who they are you can feel more loving because you are no longer trying to control another person. ​ ​

So how did I change this? ​ How can you change this?​

First recognize that you are judging. ​ Question your own beliefs. ​ ​
Beliefs that your partner “should” see things the same way you do. ​ ​
Or that there’s a right way and a wrong way. ​ ​

That’s what I did. ​ ​

Whenever I was triggered by something my husband said or did that I didn’t agree with, I asked myself “why am I getting angry right now”? ​ I reminded myself, he can think and feel any way he wants. ​ ​

The more I was able to do that the less I reacted in anger and judgment. ​ We stopped having arguments about right and wrong. ​

I started to actually listen to my husband’s thoughts instead of criticizing them. ​ I made a genuine effort to understand his perspective by being curious and asking questions. ​ ​

We stopped arguing over poor service at a restaurant. ​ ​
If I was annoyed or frustrated I would still share that with my husband but with no expectation that he should feel the same way. ​ ​

This was a relief for both of us. ​ And relieved so much tension in our marriage. ​ I felt more loving and accepting when I let go of judgment and stopped trying to change him. ​ ​

If your differences are taking a toll on your relationship and you want to figure out how to let go of judgment and reconnect with love so you can be happy in your marriage, send me a private message.

It’s not that you can’t communicate…..

 

It’s that you don’t know how to stop being defensive.

After yet another big argument, that same argument that you have over and over again. It’s so familiar you could write the script.

AND there’s never any resolution. Sometimes you don’t even remember what it was you were fighting about in the first place.

You want desperately to stop having these arguments. They’re ruining your marriage. It seems no matter what you do nothing changes. You wonder why can’t we figure this out, it shouldn’t be this hard.

One of the biggest reasons you keep having the same arguments is you’re stuck in a pattern of being defensive and blaming.

What exactly do I mean by that.

When you’re triggered by something your partner says or does, you have an immediate defensive reaction to that. That might sound something like, “that’s not true”, and then blame, “well you do that to”, “if you didn’t say what you said then I wouldn’t be angry”.

Defensiveness and blame keep you spinning in circles endlessly, never coming to resolution or being able to solve your problems.

If you continue down this path without changing this dynamic you will keep having the same fights that are destroying your relationship.

What’s possible if you learn to stop being defensive?
For one, you can stop having these painful arguments that are threatening your marriage.

You can listen to your partner without over reacting, you would be able to actually figure out the issues that are important to you instead of fighting about who’s right and who’s wrong.

When defensiveness no longer has a place in your relationship you can listen to a differing opinion from your partner or anyone for that matter, and you can be calm, you can listen without making assumptions about what it means. Without taking it personally.

Imagine being able to hear things that you don’t agree with and not feel defensive, not take it personally?

You can completely change the way you and your partner talk to each other when you stop being defensive.

Disagreements can be just disagreements without it escalating into a big fight. You can still feel close and loving even when you disagree.

If you’re worried about where your marriage is headed if things continue this way, that’s one of the main things I help women (and couples) master in my 4 month coaching intensive.

The core focus is on managing your reactions (defensiveness) when you disagree or get triggered by your partner. You will focus on changing the things that are within your control and that is how you respond to your partner.

The first step is being more aware of your reactions. When you feel triggered by something your partner says or does or doesn’t do, what is your reaction?

Think for a moment, you’re driving in the car together and neither of you are talking. It’s quiet. You notice yourself starting to feel aggravated that your partner isn’t saying anything, he’s not talking at all, you’re starting to have a lot of negative thoughts.

Maybe you start to think he doesn’t care, or that your relationship must be bad because you have nothing to talk about. Instead, in that moment you learn to stop and think about why you are feeling aggravated?

What are you making it mean that there is no talking? When you are more aware of your own internal thoughts you can choose a different response.

The work of changing these patterns takes time and practice. Practice slowing down in moments when you are triggered and resisting the urge or impulse to react in the same way you always do. Which is defensive.

You can begin to not take things so personally by noticing what you are thinking and feeling and what you are making your partner’s words mean about you. What if what your partner is saying/ doing had nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

This is the mindset work that is part of changing this pattern.

When you are able to manage your reactions and be fully in charge of how you respond, this is life changing. This is the kind of change that transforms marriages and this is exactly what I do with women in my 3 month intensive.

So if you’re interested in that, you’re ready for change and you are ready to do what you can to change yourself, because that’s the only thing you can change, then reach out to me in a private message and we’ll see if my four month coaching intensive is right for you.

In my experience when someone is committed to doing this work, their marriage and really their whole life can change very quickly.

Send me that pm and we will chat today.  Or click here to learn more about Marriage Coaching!

Why My Marriage Works

I want to let you know about a really exciting change I’ve been working on.  

I’ve changed my business name from Relationship Counseling of Walpole to My Marriage Works, and I’d love to tell you why….

Why did I change the name of my business?

Ten years ago I decided to focus on becoming an expert in working with couples. 

Not only because I’m so passionate about this work but when I looked around to collaborate with other professionals in this area of work I discovered no other helping professionals that were experts in working with couples.  

So I made it my mission to be that expert. 

As part of that mission my work with couples has evolved into a thriving marriage & relationship coaching business. 

I’ve been a licensed counselor for nearly 20 years and I was done diagnosing people and answering to insurance companies.  I decided I’m going to run my business on my terms and serve my clients more powerfully. 

The medical model did not fit with my business vision and the work I want to do to help people create successful marriages and improve their lives.  

I hired a business coach to help me bring my business vision to fruition.  When I invested in myself, and it was a big investment, my life and business changed and grew exponentially. The personal and business growth I’ve experienced have in turn helped my clients achieve greater results faster.  

I am so honored to be a part of helping people save their marriages

Wondering what’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

Here’s my take after doing both. 

  • Therapy is about treating a mental health problem.
  • Clients explore and heal from the past.
  • Therapy generally goes on indefinitely at the client’s discretion. 
  • Provides support and empathy. 
  • Clients aren’t necessarily looking for massive change as much as to relieve pain.
  • Provide a supportive, empathic listening.

What coaching is to me.

  • It is an active goal driven process that challenges people to grow beyond what they thought was possible.  
  • Clients want to grow and are committed to making changes in their lives to get the results they want.
  • Coaching clients are fully capable of changing their relationships and improving their lives without a diagnosis.
  • Clients are fully committed to change and invested in getting results.
  • The focus is on the future vision clients want to create and taking actions to help them get there. 
  • Always focused on the future they want instead of the past they’ve been living in.  

This way of working has been a perfect fit for me and my own future vision.  

Coaching has given me the freedom to work with clients differently.  

To show up as myself more than I ever have in my 20 years of being a therapist. 

I now offer services for my clients in a way that I know works best instead of what the insurance company dictates. 

I work with clients for set periods of time.  Together we figure out what they really want in their life and relationship and map out a plan to get there.  There is a beginning, middle and end. 

Here’s what new in my business:

I created the 90 day Make Your Marriage Work coaching program for couples who truly want to make their marriage work but don’t know how. 

The 90 day program has proved to be hugely beneficial to clients.  

Couples are more committed to the work and have better results faster.  

Why 90 days?  Because in all my years of working with couples this is what it takes to make real lasting change.  

Remember, most couples that come to see me have been married for years.  They have been repeating the same patterns and habits that have gotten them to where they are now when they’re reaching out for help.  

Those types of ingrained habits/patterns don’t change overnight.  It requires commitment, effort, patience and lots of practice with support, feedback and accountability from me.  

When clients invest in themselves and in saving their marriage, they commit to real change and growth.  

At the end of working together I want clients to be able to say…

“MY MARRIAGE WORKS”

Groundhog Day

⭐️DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU?

You have a big blowout over the weekend with your spouse, yet again.
.
You swear this time you’ve got to do something about it.
.
You start googling marriage help, how to fix my marriage or some variation of that. You’ll call on Monday.
.
But Monday comes, you both head off to work, kids are off to school, and you return to everyday routine.
.
Monday turns into Friday and before you know it you’re back in a groove and things don’t seem that bad.
.
We’re good. We don’t need help.
.
Even though the dust has settled, there’s still tension. In the back of your mind you’re worried about the next big fight.
.
One or both of you walk on eggshells. You may hold back from saying things because you’re not sure how your partner will respond or what might set off the next big argument.
.
But for now, things are quiet. Tense but quiet.
.
You never quite get to feeling like you can let your guard down or just rest in the comfort of knowing you can handle whatever comes.
.
It’s exhausting to live this way. Isn’t it.
.
What effect is this having on your life, family life, your job, your relationships with other people. Your kids?
.
Most days you can just push it aside and just do what you’ve got to do.
.
But it feels more like just surviving!
.
Do you want more for your life than just surviving?
.
Here’s the thing,
.
The problems you have are most likely not deal breakers.
.
Let me say that again. The problems you have are most likely not deal breakers.
.
But if this kind of pattern continues, it does eventually become a deal breaker.
.
Because it becomes just too difficult to live this way.
.
So if it can be fixed, Why wait?
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Get help for your marriage before it’s too late. So you can do more than just survive.
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You absolutely can fix this. And have a marriage you are happy to go home to. Imagine feeling more ease, having peace of mind, being more relaxed, enjoying each other, looking forward to spending time together, having positive feelings about your marriage, your partner, your life.
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How would you feel if you felt really good about the example you’re showing your kids of what a strong, healthy relationship looks like?
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Your marriage sets the climate for other areas of your life.
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When your marriage is doing well everyone does better, life is easier, there’s more laughter more lightness, more joy.
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If you want to stop just surviving and have more ease, peace, and joy in your marriage and your life book a free 30 minute relationship breakthrough call today.
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I want to help you figure out what’s not working, what you want more of in your marriage and help you make a step by step plan to get you there!

Call or text today 617-694-7015

Listen Up

If you really think about it, when you are in a  difficult conversation with your partner or spouse are you listening to understand and learn or are you listening to respond

If you’re being truthful you probably said “listening to respond”. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this.  This is quite common and one of the most obvious blocks to good communication. I see this in the majority of couples I work with in my coaching practice.  Can you relate?

Most of us think we are listening when we’re really not.  When you’re caught in tense moments of disagreement or more difficult moments of full out arguments you are likely just thinking about your response.

You and your partner disagree about something.   You argue for your perspective to be heard without hearing what your partner has to say. You interrupt each other, talk over each other, tune out, judge, blame, and the big one is defend.  Being defensive is a huge block to real listening and is a hard habit to break. But is not impossible to learn.

In addition to defending another thing that partners do that gets in the way of good listening is trying to “fix it”.  

Instead of listening, which is what we all want, you or your partner try to come up with solutions to try and fix it.  Really, all you want is for them to listen but instead they are saying things like “why don’t you do x” or “don’t worry about it”  “you shouldn’t be upset about that”.  And while it may be well intentioned because the listener may not want you to feel discomfort, it only serves to invalidate your thoughts and feelings.  

Listening is such an important component of good communication. Without improving this it will be impossible to have better communication.  Learning and practicing real listening is the best way to have a deeper understanding of each other’s experience. When couples improve their listening they improve their communication and their connection. 

Here is an exercise you can practice at home.  One of you will be the speaker and one of you will be the listener.  The listener’s job is only to listen and the speaker’s job is to talk about an experience or subject they want their partner to know about. It can be about anything and preferably something neutral that the two of you have not historically fought about. This will help you practice the skill of listening.  

As the listener you:

  • Reflect back what you heard the person say.  “So what you’re saying it’s really important that you get to the gym 5 times a week”. 
  • Ask questions to learn more, be curious.  “What is it you like about working out?”
  • Act as if you are a reporter, learning about something you know nothing about.
  • Don’t try to solve anything or input your own perspective or thoughts. 

One other very important shift you want to try and make when working at listening is to not personalize what your partner is saying.  Remind yourself “this is not about me”. This is about my partner expressing themselves.  

Remind yourself, your partner is a separate person and is entitled to have a different opinion.  Focus only on learning about the other person’s perspective and don’t make it about yourself. When you are able to do this you are truly giving the other person the gift of being heard. 

True listening is much harder than you probably think because it requires putting aside your own stuff so you can deeply understand what your partner’s thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires are.  Working to understand their experience is real listening.  

Listening is a skill you need in all relationships.  If you’re working on your listening skills know that this will positively impact all of your relationships not just the one with your spouse or partner.  

If you’re interested in learning how to improve communication with your partner schedule a free phone consultation today.

 

Thinking Traps That Are Sabotaging your Relationship

Are you inadvertently sabotaging your relationship with faulty thoughts and beliefs. Thinking traps like these can keep you from having the marriage you truly want.  The good news is you can do something to change this.

Here are 3 common thinking traps that you’ll want to reconsider if you are interested in getting more of what you want in your marriage.

Problem #1. Making Assumptions  

Making assumptions means accepting or believing something to be true without proof.  Your daily interactions with your partner are often unknowingly filled with assumptions.  You base decisions on these assumptions, avoid conversations, and may even hold a grudge towards your partner based on an assumption.  All of this going on without ever actually knowing for certain what your partner is truly thinking.

Maybe it plays out like this…You walk in the house after a long day and your partner is quiet.  You immediately assume they must be mad at you but you can’t imagine what you did. You’re now feeling annoyed that your partner is mad at you. So you become quiet and withdrawn.  Do you see what just happened there?

What if instead you checked in with your partner and asked them “are you ok, you seem quiet, are you upset with me?”  You just may find that their quiet mood has absolutely nothing to do with you.

You have to stop assuming and start asking.  Anytime you find yourself thinking you know how your partner will respond or what they will say, ask yourself, “do I know this to be true or am I assuming?”.  If you discover you’re assuming then ask instead.

Problem #2. Mind Reading

Do you think/believe your partner should just know what you want, know how you feel or know what you expect?  I hear this from almost every couple I work with. And truth be told it’s most often from women. I know I fell into this trap in my own marriage before too. What I discovered is, I don’t  know anyone with the power of mind reading, do you?

Say for instance you’re upset about something your partner did.  You may believe they should know, A. that you are upset and B. why you’re upset.  Or you had a rough day at work at need some TLC and you think your partner should just know you want to be comforted. You may even say to yourself “I shouldn’t have to ask for this, my partner should just know?

The truth is we are grown ups and if we want something we have to ask for it.  As much as we would love our partners to know what we want and need without having to ask, this is just not reality.  No one can read your mind.

I certainly do understand the desire to want this kind of connection, I wanted it as well.  However, expecting it to happen will leave you repeatedly disillusioned and disappointed.

You’ve got to stop expecting your partner to know what you’re thinking and ask for what you want.  Which, by the way, doesn’t necessarily mean you will always get it (to be discussed in a future blog post).

Problem #3. They Should Want To

Ok, so you finally accept that maybe you will have to ask for what you want.  So say for example you ask your partner to greet you with a hug when you come home from work and  your partner agrees. Fantastic! Except now you question “do you WANT to give me a hug or are you doing it just because I asked?”.

The request is no longer a simple request.  There is an added expectation of “I want my partner to want to, not just do it because I want them to”.  See how confusing that gets. We make it way more complicated than it has to be.

The mistake is thinking/believing that it doesn’t count if your partner is doing it because you want them to do it.  Instead believing they should want to . Where did we come up with the belief that it doesn’t count if they’re doing it just because you asked.   

If your partner is willing to do what you ask then why not celebrate. You have a willing partner. Willing to do something they know will make a difference for you.  So rather than discount the effort your partner makes, praise and appreciate their desire to please you.  

These are just a few of the thinking traps that can create problems for your relationship.  Do you recognize yourself in any of these? How would your marriage change if you stopped doing one of these things? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.