(Great advice shared from Mr Anthony Hopkins facebook page. I hope he won't mind me sharing this. - Ghita)
Quote by ANTHONY HOPKINS
′′Let go the people who are not prepared to love you. This is the hardest thing you will have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing. Stop having hard conversations with people who don't want change.
Stop showing up for people who have no interest in your presence. I know your instinct is to do everything to earn the appreciation of those around you, but it's a boost that steals your time, energy, mental and physical health.
When you begin to fight for a life with joy, interest and commitment, not everyone will be ready to follow you in this place. This doesn't mean you need to change what you are, it means you should let go of the people who aren't ready to accompany you.
If you are excluded, insulted, forgotten or ignored by the people you give your time to, you don't do yourself a favor by continuing to offer your energy and your life. The truth is that you are not for everyone and not everyone is for you.
That's what makes it so special when you meet people who reciprocate love. You will know how precious you are.
The more time you spend trying to make yourself loved by someone who is unable to, the more time you waste depriving yourself of the possibility of this connection to someone else.
There are billions of people on this planet and many of them will meet with you at your level of interest and commitment.
The more you stay involved with people who use you as a pillow, a background option or a therapist for emotional healing, the longer you stay away from the community you want.
Maybe if you stop showing up, you won't be wanted. Maybe if you stop trying, the relationship will end. Maybe if you stop texting your phone will stay dark for weeks. That doesn't mean you ruined the relationship, it means the only thing holding it back was the energy that only you gave to keep it. This is not love, it's attachment. It's wanting to give a chance to those who don't deserve it. You deserve so much, there are people who should not be in your life.
The most valuable thing you have in your life is your time and energy, and both are limited. When you give your time and energy, it will define your existence.
When you realize this, you begin to understand why you are so anxious when you spend time with people, in activities, places or situations that don't suit you and shouldn't be around you, your energy is stolen.
You will begin to realize that the most important thing you can do for yourself and for everyone around you is to protect your energy more fiercely than anything else. Make your life a safe haven, in which only 'compatible' people are allowed.
You are not responsible for saving anyone. You are not responsible for convincing them to improve. It's not your work to exist for people and give your life to them! If you feel bad, if you feel compelled, you will be the root of all your problems, fearing that they will not return the favours you have granted. It's your only obligation to realize that you are the love of your destiny and accept the love you deserve.
Decide that you deserve true friendship, commitment, true and complete love with healthy and prosperous people. Then wait and see how much everything begins to change. Don't waste time with people who are not worth it. Change will give you the love, the esteem, happiness and the protection you deserve."
Ideally, you want to find a couples therapist when you’re not in a real crisis. It’s nice in theory, but of course we are all busy. Most of us aren’t going to bother doing preventative work if there’s nothing urgently wrong.
Anyhow, here are 20 things to consider if you are the one booking in for couples counselling (Recommended Reading List is at the bottom):
High fives to both of you for taking this important step towards repairing your relationship! So long as you're both committed to putting in the work, you’re off to a great start.
Call or text me (Ghita Andersen) on 0439 888 070 if you have any questions about therapy or if you would like to see if I would be a good fit for you.
One of the best things I was ever taught in my psychology classes at university was by professor Dr Jodie Bradnam, who taught the 'Love, Sex and Relationships' class.
Jodie taught me her secret for marriage and it really stuck with me. So much so, that I use it with my couples counselling clients.
The Behavioural Marriage Jar
Anyhow, the 'Marriage Jar' is a simple concept that the mind can easily 'get.' It is amazing how this simple idea can adjust one's behaviour every day. Basically, it works like this: When you are first together, the jar is full. As time goes by, the jar empties. For every kind gesture, kiss, supportive comment, intimate moment, lunch pack made, etcetera, two marbles go in. For every sarcastic remark, episode of not listening or avoidance of connection, five marbles come out. (Ratio 2:5)
The Love Note Marriage Jar
The “Marriage Jar” can even be a real jar. Some people put post-it notes of gratitude in a bowl or jar for the other person to read. So that the partner knows they are appreciated and the little things don't go unnoticed. Notes that say, 'I love it when you bathe the kids without me asking.' 'You looked so hot the other night when we went out. ' I was impressed at your skills changing my car battery.' 'Thanks for paying that parking fine.' These little notes can mean so much to a couple that are under financial strain, have little time for date nights, or have a multitude of pressures.
The Empty Marriage Jar
When the marriage jar is running on empty for long periods, it cannot be sustained. One person will inevitably ditch the relationship, or release the pressure of conflict with a third party (cheating). These simple concepts are preventative measures. The marriage jar needs to be replenished regularly. It should be cherished and FED DAILY.
What Fills the Marriage Jar?
Kindness, thoughtfulness, appreciation, nurturing and encouragement are just a few things that can fill a marriage jar.
Say, "Thank you." Say, "I fancy you." Say, "I think you are beautiful."
Instead of noticing what your partner does not do, focus on the positives. We can't control another person, but we can reinforce behaviour that we like
Couples Counselling: Get some new strategies for conflict resolution. Better communication. Do a workshop. Invest in your relationship.
Learning your partner's Love Language will also give you brownie points. Go to: www.5lovelanguages.com
Remember the golden rule for our base needs from our partners. Think of it as the bottom (foundation) of a relationship pyramid: The currency for men is Admiration and Praise. The currency for women is Safety (emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, personal growth) and Protection.
Let's have a chat over a cuppa.
It is an interesting phenomenon when people problem solve for us with phrases like, "You should..." It usually reveals the motives, fears and aspirations of the person talking.
Now, I know it can be annoying when parents and authority figures say it. My Mother's favourite mantra was. "You should..." It often annoyed me and gave me pain - especially during my teen years when I was super insecure about myself, my body, my place in the world. I did not feel like I was enough by myself. I saw it as unwarranted, constant criticism. It was offered whether I wanted it or not.
I wish I had have known what I know now about 'should' phrases. If we are clever, we can learn from these phrases and take the personal out of the statements we hear. Did you know that people often project (unconsciously) onto us what they are thinking or judging about themselves? If you exchange "You should..." with "I should..." it makes more sense.
For example, my mother was quite dominatng and gave out advice (criticism) like it was her job to correct the world. My mother was very unfulfilled in her life. She never worked after she married and it is obvious to me now that Mum needed something more to achieve than being a mother and a wife. Her hobbies did not fill the gap inside of her. But I think that she lost her confidence to go back into the workforce or to follow her dreams.
My mother's favourite mantras were probably similar to the ones you hear. They went like this:
"You should lose some weight." "We were proud of you when..." "Your natural hair colour is so beautiful..." "Never be a housewife..." "You should be an artist..."
But... What was she saying really?
"I should lose some weight."
"I wish I never left europe."
"My hair is going grey and thinning."
"I hate being a housewife."
"I want to go live in an artists' colony."
I really noticed this phenomenon of projecting (acutely) recently during a visit with a family member, because her mantras of unsolicited advice sounded exactly like my mother's. This lady's projections were very similar. She was obviously feeling unfulfilled being a housewife. It was a case of deja vu indeed. She said, "Ghita, you should buy a place in Tasmania, find a rich farmer husband and..." (Note: I have never been to Tassie and I have no interest in farming. Which she would know if she knew me at all.)
But you see, she was sowing her unconscious/ semi-conscious thoughts. (Hold this space for whether this family member does in fact end up being married to a Tasmanian farmer.)
Importantly, no one likes unsolicited advice, right? But consider that it is just projection. When your parent, family member or righteous friend/ colleague takes captaincy of what you should do with your life, remember that you can rebel, feel annoyed, feel oppressed and dominated OR... You can look at it in a different way and reframe the statement that they offer as wistful thinking. Not "You should... but "I should..."
You might say to yourself, "Eureka! I wish I had have thought of that before."
Sometimes, "You should...", "You must...", You ought to...", "You seriously..." "You never...", and "Why don't you...?" are projections of that person's limiting beliefs, career ceilings, beliefs about money and status, unfulfilled dreams, fear, self-doubt, feelings of insecurity etcetera. And sometimes people would rather throw a solution out than to really listen to you.
Anyway, I hope this blog helps to deal with people who offer unsolicited advice.
Happy May! You know, most people find that one hour is not enough for a first counselling session, because there is so much to their story to tell. So, this month's offer is perfect for new clients. During my birthday month of May, the 3for2 Special offers three hours for the price of two (a great deal) which is especially great for couples on a budget - A saving of $200.
For individuals, it works out better than the GP Referral Concession fees for an individual having three sessions.
Couples $400 - Save $200
Individuals $200 - Save $100
The offer is valid for three months from purchase to give you plenty of time to use it. Best method for getting the best from your session is to have two 1.5 hour sessions. Although, naturally you can decide how you want to structure it.
Examples of How to Best Use These Hours:
3 Hours for the Price of 2 Special: This special is valid for Counselling and Couples Counselling only.
Note that this deal is offering 3 hours, not necessarily 3 sessions and is a prepaid website offer only.
Please read the terms and conditions on my website: Expires May 24th 2021.
Let's chat over a cuppa.
GHITA’S CLONE METHOD
Oftentimes, we react to events because our minds automatically make value judgements and negative assumptions. Over our lifespan, our minds make filters, schemas and all sorts of shortcuts to reduce the workload. This negative self-talk likes to pick fights, runs on old, well-used tracks of negativity, and tries to protect us from harm; even when it is wrong.
It is often not the event itself, but our response to it. A person with another perspective or alternative filters would see the same scene very differently. Also, the more self-esteem we have, the less we take things personally.
It is said that 99% of events are situational, not personal. Anger for example, is the common emotion delivered when fear is the underlying feeling. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being seen as incompetent, fear of seeming stupid, fear of not belonging, fear of being unlovable, etcetera.
A great method that I use in my practice is the CLONE METHOD. When I was young, I was very sensitive to criticism. I was always taking things personally that really had nothing to do with whether someone liked me or not. So, when I became a counsellor and learned all about schemas and filters, I invented this method – which many of my clients have adopted.
Imagine if you will, an upsetting event which occurred for you recently. Now see your part in the play. See your part being switched out for a clone. You MKII.
Replay the scene with the clone and ask yourself if it plays out the same way with your replacement.
It does? 100% the same?
So, if the person treated your clone the same way, does that mean that it was not personal?
It cannot have been personal. It was a response to the situational stresses. Chances are that you triggered their insecurities, their coping mechanisms (or lack thereof), and mental filters.
I am not saying that your part in the scene could not have been better. Or that the other person was entirely to blame. But people are not their behaviours. People can always behave better than they sometimes do under pressure.
Furthermore, using the clone method can help you to stop and consider the following:
These days, many people are time-poor, stressed out by the media and government, covid warnings, unemployment, insecure finances, and more, adding up to an unknown future. This causes high cortisol levels and less serotonin to cope with it.
We are all just doing the best we can with the coping mechanisms that we have learned.
AKA: It’s not you, it’s mental filters.
So in summary, consider your behaviour first, and if you are moderately well behaved then it is likely to be the other person’s life stressors. Try the clone method for yourself. It may just stop your fight or flight system (red flag) from going off and wasting 20 minutes to reset – or wasting hours of your mind stewing on a personal insult. Life is too short for grudges and to be angry or hurt all the time...
Ps: Check out my Anger Management page if you want to improve your temperament.
Strategies to help both partners get what they need out of their relationship
Everyone deserves to have a healthy relationship. But healthy relationships don’t just happen on their own. Each party actively shapes a dynamic that’s either healthy or unhealthy.
Oftentimes, people disempower each other with complaining, berating, and shaming (aka ‘parenting’ our partners), and not understanding what each gender requires as a baseline to feel safe. The best strategy for making sure that both partners get what they need out of relationships is to understand as much about the other person as possible – including their triggers, wounds, sore points, and Achilles heels. In fact, this knowledge is gold and a lot less work in the long run, because we can keep our partner's love chemistry running like well-oiled machines – giving them what they need to feel loved, special, and understood.
So, exactly how can men and women empower their partners? Here are several ideas.
1. Women and Men Disempower Each Other By Accident: Gender Currency
Over the years as a counsellor, I have noticed that couples often neglect knowledge about the opposite gender and therefore don’t make use of brownie points: They wonder why their marriage jar runs on empty (See Marriage Jar Blog). Gender currency is that thing that is the baseline need of your partner:
Men need admiration and praise from their partners. Women need safety and protection first and foremost.
This is before any other good stuff, like hot sex or compatibility. Without these basic requirements from you, your partner is going to become resentful and hurt and state their disappointment often. The next important element is a person’s love language...
2. A Partner’s Love Language
There are five categories of Love Language: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Gifts or Tokens, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. If you know your partner’s love language you can love them accordingly and score extra big bonus points with them when you give them what they want in the way of demonstrated love. It is vital that you know your own Love Language and can tell them how you want to be loved also.
5lovelanguages.com has a great quiz for free.
Unfortunately, few of us are ever taught how to practice healthy behaviors in interpersonal relationships in the same way we’re taught how to drive a car or use a mobile phone. This lack of knowledge leaves us vulnerable to getting caught in unhealthy relationships, something that can happen without us even consciously realising it.
3. Empower Yourself: Personal Empowerment
While it is great to empower our partners, most of their power doesn’t come from us. It comes from having a strong sense of self. With this in mind, decide who you want to be in your relationship. In my own relationship, I want to be considerate, affectionate, caring, supportive and honest with my partner. These are the values that ultimately empower my other half - even if he doesn’t know it.
We have to start with ourselves and consider what we bring into the relationship. We don’t have to completely overhaul our lives in order to see improvements. Just taking even the smallest step to empower yourself in a relationship can have a huge impact on creating a healthier dynamic. Here are a few simple ways you can start practicing healthy behaviors to empower yourself:
Exercise Boundaries: Say “No” Unapologetically
In a balanced relationship, both parties should feel that their needs are recognised, valued, and addressed. There should be no dominance of one over the other; where one person always gives in and feels compelled to say “yes” when they want to say “no,” especially when doing so conflicts with their needs or values.
However, it is not easy to say “no” to someone you care about. No one likes conflict. Most people want to keep the peace. But being overly agreeable to seek approval and to avoid confrontation consistently minimises our needs in favour of satisfying the needs of others. This has a detrimental effect on your personal well-being and that of your relationships.
People-pleasing causes resentment over time and can be very disempowering. You will eventually feel like a doormat. Negative feelings of resentment, powerlessness, anger, and frustration bubble under the surface of relationships, unrecognized until they boil over. Over time, people-pleasing can also prime you as a target for more dangerous manipulation tactics – such as by a narcissist.
Saying “no” doesn’t make you a bad person. What it means is that you respect yourself enough to honor your own needs, boundaries, and priorities. This display of self-respect is a powerful signal to others to treat you with the respect you know you deserve and is behaviour that helps pave the way for a healthy relationship.
How to Say “No” Examples:
“I’ll get back to you.” “Let me check.” “Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for me.” “I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’m not going to be able to.” “No, I’m unavailable.”
4. Take Turns Making Decisions
Taking turns at decision making is normal and takes the pressure off one person always making decisions. Being overly agreeable with decision-making, however, can also set the stage for unhealthy relationships to flourish. Constantly delegating minor decisions (like deciding which movie to watch) may also seem inconsequential, but it becomes a habit. For if you habitually delegate decisions, it sets a precedence for potential manipulation and abuse. For example, let’s say you always end up letting your friend pick the movie for your weekly movie night. Eventually, she stops asking and makes the decision on her own. Then one day her boyfriend shows up to your movie night and she explains that she thought it wouldn’t be a big deal since you’re so chill—you don’t even care which movie you watch. And even though you’re annoyed he’s crashing your BFF time, you let it slide because you are so easygoing. Haven’t we all had that happen at some point?
In healthy relationships, one person shouldn’t make all the decisions; even if it’s been that way in the past, you always have the ability and the right to change it. Some healthy challenges may occur, particularly if you’re stepping out of a very passive role and becoming newly assertive. However, a supportive friend, partner, or family member will listen to and respect your opinion.
So the next time a small decision comes up, don’t pass it off, make the decision. Even if it doesn’t turn out great—for example, the movie you choose is a dud, you’ll begin to develop a new sense of empowerment that you can carry over to bigger and more important decisions when they arise.
5. Be Honest With Each Other: Speak Up When Something Upsets You
In relationships, don’t let the “small” stuff slide when it upsets you. Doing so poses the same potential danger as deferring small decisions to someone else, for it is a slippery slope that can move undetected into unhealthy territory when not speaking up becomes a habit that another person can take advantage of.
A big reason people don’t speak up when the small stuff upsets them is because they question their right to be upset at a situation that seems trivial. You have the right to feel whatever feelings come up. Whatever negative emotion you feel is valid and a signal to you that you need something that you’re not getting.
When these negative emotions arise in a relationship, it’s an opportunity to discuss needs and boundaries with the other person. Try broaching the subject in a non-blaming way so the other person doesn’t feel attacked or get defensive. For example, “I felt [insert negative emotion] when you [insert their action that the caused emotion].” The formula is to speak from the “I” perspective and to include feelings and state the issue. This is called Reflective or Active Listening. This is a Gottman exercise and workshop that I do with couples who have problems communicating.
6. Laugh at Your Partner’s Imperfections as Well as Your Own
The nature of being human means that we all have imperfections, flaws, make mistakes, etc. And anyone close to us, whether in the shape of a partner, friend or family member, can use our greatest fears and weaknesses to manipulate us. Therefore, it is natural that we might try to hide these imperfections from the world. But the best thing you can do is own them proudly. Openly making light of your flaws takes away powerful ammo from anyone who tries to use them to hurt, manipulate, or control you.
Laughing at your personal imperfections also communicates to others that you accept yourself as you are and you expect them to do the same. It’s like saying, “Here I am, take it or leave it!”
All relationships, even ones that are already healthy, require active work to get and stay that way. With practice, you’ll become more empowered and better equipped to lead healthy relationships with others.
Blog: Ghita Andersen Counsellor
The gender ‘CURRENCY’ of Relationships is what motivates the other partner to remain in a relationship. It offers an idea for how to repair conflict and maintain a connection. When the currency is absent it has often been replaced with ‘CONTEMPT.’
Each Partner's Relationship Needs Based on Gender:
Women: Beloved: A ‘Special’ Damsel in Distress
Men: Hero: Dragon Slayer
TIP: Use a person’s gender currency combined with their love language for a bonus effect:
There are 5 Love Languages:
Words, Quality Time, Touch, Acts of Service, and Gifts.
Copyright 2020 Ghita Andersen
Print out available: https://www.ghitaandersen.com/ebooks-for-couples.html
Every week, I have clients come in to counselling who say that their partners spend too much time on their devices or mobile phones. Phones and computers are known to be addictive and we have become very used to using them to both organise and amuse ourselves 24/7. It is not uncommon for people to feel that their phones are a private device however and to be annoyed that their spouse looks at their social media posts, messages and emails. But is it okay to look through your partner’s phone?
In general, it is an invasion of of person’s privacy. While it is true that there should not be anything on your phone that hints of cheating, or secrecy, it clearly demonstrates mistrust if you make a habit of looking at another person’s phone (or computer).
Questions to Ask Yourself if You Think it is Your Right:
Let’s have a chat about your insecurities, either one-on-one or in a couples session. It is good to normalise what other couples/ people do.
For those who choose to marry or live together, it's easy to get into a pattern of bad habits over time. Whether your work life is creeping into the time you used to spend together or you simply can't remember the last time the two of you sat down to talk, relationships can get stagnant, and couples can grow apart.
The good news? Keeping your marriage as fun and exciting as it was when you first said "I do" is easy with a few additions to your regular routine. Here are 50 tips for keeping the love alive.
1 Plan Regular Date Nights
Keeping the spark alive in your marriage means spending quality time together, and that doesn't just mean nights at home on the couch. Plan romantic dates like the ones you had when you were dating and you'll keep that spark alive. In fact, research suggests date nights can have serious benefits in terms of bringing long-term couples closer. If you're in the market for some terrific inspiration, check out these 40 Irresistible Second-Date Ideas.
2 Say Thank You
It's easy to forget your manners when you've been with someone for a long time. However, saying "please" and "thank you" to your significant other can go a long way toward making them feel respected and appreciated. In fact, researchers have found that expressing gratitude to a partner helped strengthen relationships. Bonus: saying "thanks" is also a mood enhancer.
3 Staying Intimate
Keeping your relationship intimate, whether in or out of bed, can make a big difference in how fresh your romance feels over time. In fact, research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior reveals that the frequency with which couples were intimate was significantly related to their overall relationship satisfaction.
4 Surprise One Another
Break out of the monotony of your day-to-day routine by surprising your spouse. Whether you're bringing home a gift or just leaving a note reminding them how much you love them, it's a gesture that won't go unappreciated.
5 Put Your Relationship First
Everything from a hectic work schedule to kids at home can make it hard to keep putting your marriage first. However, whenever possible, make time to do routine maintenance on your relationship, whether that means taking a vacation with just the two of you or just talking at the end of a long day.
6 Treat Your Significant Other Like Your Friend
Treating your partner like your friend, from patiently listening to them to acting happy to see them when they walk through the door, can make a major difference in how romantic your relationship remains in the long run. Give them the benefit of the doubt when you disagree.
7 Journal About Your Disagreements
Don't leave your fights unresolved. In fact, for a healthy marriage, you should be writing them down. According to a study, marital decline was significantly diminished among couples who did a regular journaling exercise about the status of their relationship. And for more amazing relationship advice, read these 50 Relationship Quotes to Reignite Your Love.
8 Kiss More
Even if you're not in the mood for something more intimate, that doesn't mean you should limit your physical affection toward your spouse. Kiss them before you go to sleep, when they head off to work in the morning, and any time you want to remind them just how much you love them. In fact, kissing can boost your feel good homrones (dopamine), making you feel happier and more content every time you do it.
9 Ask Questions
One-sided relationships rarely last. When you want to make your marriage feel like more of a two-way street, make sure you're asking your partner questions. Ask about their day at work, their friends, or just ask them what they've been thinking about. Asking questions will go a long way toward making them feel appreciated. Just remember the 20 Things No Husband Ever Wants to Hear.
10 Listen More
And when you ask questions, take the time to really listen. Don't just wait your turn to talk, but focus on what your partner is saying, and offer constructive advice, if that's what they want.
11 Admit When You're Wrong
As hard as it may be, admitting when you're wrong can go a long way. Remember: in the long run, being kind is more important than being right. Everyone has a unique perspective and because of your values and mental filters the other party is never going to see things the same way as you. They don’t have the same parental conditioning. Okay?
12 Go Out Without One Another
Absence really does make the heart grow stronger from time to time. Spending time without your spouse, whether that means going to a concert or heading to a bar with friends, can give you plenty of exciting stuff to talk about with your spouse when you get home.
13 Remind Yourselves of Your Priorities
It can be easy to lose sight of your priorities when you're in a long-term relationship. Keep them in mind by making a list of what you both want out of your marriage and revisit it from time to time when it feels like you're going astray. And for more sound relationship advice, here are 30 Things Straight Couples Can Learn from Gay Couples.
14 Create Rituals Together
Creating new rituals and traditions together can help bring you closer together, no matter how long you've been married. Have a special seat at your favorite restaurant. Create new holiday traditions. Keep making new traditions and memories together and that spark will remain lit, no matter how long you've been with one another.
15 Dress Up for One Another
Don't let sweatpants and ratty t-shirts become your uniform just because you've been together for a long time. Put on your hottest LBD or a nice suit and make it a point to take your significant other out on the town to show them off as often as possible.
16 Be Transparent About Your Finances
Money issues are one of the biggest factors leading to divorce. Keep your relationship romantic by being honest about how much you're making and how much you're spending; a little transparency can go a long way. One person should not dominate on spending nor control the finances as this can lead to major fights or financial abuse. Agree on who spends what. Make a team plan for your combined budget. Make sure that you have the conversation about what roles you expect of each other surrounding money. What you expect the other person to contribute. Talk to a counsellor if you find this difficult.
17 Check In Throughout the Day
Instead of just waiting until the end of the day to talk to your spouse, check in periodically with texts and ask him or her how her day is going. Those little romantic gestures can keep your relationship feeling fresh, even when you've been together a long time. However, a word of warning: Being chatty or checking in too often can come across as needy or mistrusting. It also ruins your air of mystery. Limits your texts to 3 a day.
18 Say "I Love You"
Three simple words can make a big difference in how you and your spouse feel about each other. Even when you fight, make sure you still say "I love you" to one another before you go to bed or leave for work. Even if you don't like each other in the moment, remind them that the love is still there whether or not you are negotiating on some topic. Resect should be there whether or not you are in a happy place.
19 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Did your partner put down a cup without a coaster? Did they make the bed weirdly? If your partner keeps making the same mistake over and over, you can mention it, but letting little things go will make you both happier and less resentful in the long run. Positive Reinforcement works better than punishment. If you punish your partner for their sloppy bedmaking or other chores they may not want to do the task again. Relationships can turn into Parent/ Child Relationships easily and these will die. No one wants to be treated like a child and no one wants to parent their spouse. There is no team (intimacy) in domination. Effort must be 50/ 50. How you accomplish this distribution is up to your particular strengths and weaknesses. Work with their strengths, not against them. Many couples write up a chores list that they can agree on so that there is no argument over silly stuff. This list or chart goes on the fridge.
20 Drink Together
If your partner's having a glass of wine, go ahead and have one with them. Psych research has proven that discrepancies in your drinking habits can lead to marital strife, so don't hit the bottle solo if you want to keep your relationship in working order.
21 Try Some Role Play
Make things more exciting by adding a little role play into your date night. Let your spouse pick you up at a bar as though you're just meeting for the first time and you'll keep things fresh and fun. Furthermore, roleplays can be also fun in the bedroom.
22 Get Outside into Nature
It's easy to slip into a pattern of spending every evening on the couch with your significant other. Make a commitment to get outside together on a daily basis, even if you're just taking a short walk to the store, and you'll not only get more exercise, you'll have more to talk about, too.
23 Tell Your Partner What You Appreciate About Them
Make time to show your spouse just how much you appreciate them by reminding them (and yourself) what you love about them. Tell them how you love their laugh, the smell of their hair, or just how much you love waking up to them—it will make your relationship feel romantic, no matter how long you've been together. See Marriage Jar Blog
24 Keep a Gratitude Journal
Feeling like you're drifting away from your spouse? Try keeping a gratitude journal. By listing the things you're grateful for in your relationship, you'll make it easier to remember why you fell in love in the first place. It is easy to take for granted all the wonderful things that you noticed they did for you in the beginning. Revaluate your perspective. Imagine all the things you would have to do if they were not around. Having a partner around is also emotional/ moral support in of itself.
25 Foster Your Personal Interests
Having a life outside your marriage is essential for the health of your relationship. Making time to pursue personal passions will keep the spark alive during the time you and your spouse do get to spend together.
26 Put Down Your Phone (Electronics Free Time)
Nothing breaks down communication more than having your phone in your hand when you're supposed to be listening. When you're talking to your partner, put your phone away. A method I use for my couples clients is to suggest an electronics free period around family time in the evening. Some select 6pm to 8pm to have a period free of phones, laptops and tablets. This is re-connection time for partners after work or for families to talk. If you don’t do this everyone will become dissassociated in the family creating selfishness and separation.
27 The Marriage Jar Concept
One of the best things I was ever taught at uni was by my professor Dr Jodie Bradnam, who taught the 'Love, Sex and Relationships' class. Jodie taught me her secret for marriage and it really stuck with me. So much so, that I use it with my couples counselling clients.
Anyhow, the 'Marriage Jar' is a simple concept that the mind can easily 'get.' It is amazing how this simple idea can adjust one's behaviour everyday. Basically, it works like this: When you are first together, the jar is full. As time goes by, the jar empties. For every kind gesture, kiss, supportive comment, intimate moment, lunch pack made, etcetera, a marble goes in. For every sarcastic remark, episode of not listening or avoidance of connection, five marbles come out.
Some clients actually use a marriage jar to pop in notes of appreciation or love. Others just use the concept in their minds that they have to work 2.5 times harder after a disagreement or disconnection. Repairing your relationship between fights is compulsory.
28 Exercise But Don't Overdo It
Want to spice things up in bed? Try hitting the gym first. According to research published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, exercise can help make women and men friskier.That doesn't mean you need to become a CrossFit champion any time soon, though. Beware: Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill found that intense exercise lowered libido among men.
29 Do Something Impulsive from Time to Time
Break out of a relationship rut with a little impulsivity. Take a spontaneous vacation. Host a last-minute party with your friends. Doing something out of the norm can make your relationship feel fresh, even if you've been together for decades.
30 Give Yourself Homework on How to Do Better
Tackling your relationship issues sometimes takes more than just initiative. Try talking to your partner about the things they'd like you to change, and make a point of doing them, as though they were actually assigned tasks. Counsellors often give couples clients homework like Active Listening. This is something couples can do at home.
Active or Reflective Listening is a game changer for couples with communication problems. Talk to me about learning this method. www.ghitaandersen.com
31 Make New Friends
Adding some new people to your inner circle can make your relationship feel fresh in no time. Making new friends outside of your relationship can broaden your horizons and your spouse's while bringing you closer together.
32 Maintain Some Air of Mystery
Don't become the people with the shared Facebook account. Also, don’t plaster social media with relationship memes when you have a fight. Keep your relationship in your relationship bubble. There should only be two people in there and the ony person (other than your therapist) that you talk about your spouse to, should be them. Don’t drag your extended family or mates into your marriage.
Furthermore, if you treat your spouse like a platonic mate, your passion will die. Don't become the people who use the bathroom when the other one is showering, or fart in bed. Keep some mystery in your relationship and you'll feel a lot more connected in the long run. Want to know what you shouldn't be sharing? Start with the 13 Secrets You Should Always Keep From Your Partner
33 Get a Babysitter
Kids can be a joy, but they are a romance killer. Whenever possible, book yourself a babysitter and go out with your spouse like you did when you were dating. Even if you don't have time for a night on the town, just a few uninterrupted hours at home together can do a world of good. If you find that your budget is a problem, then swap babysitting nights with other couples or bribe your parents. If you don’t invest in your relationship it will wither. It is the best investment you can make.
34 Add Some Romantic Viewing to Your Routine
Want to keep things spicy? Add some romantic movies to your roster. According to research conducted at various universities show that watching romantic movies (Chic Flicks) made couples significantly less likely to split than those who shunned the rom-com viewings. And when you want to brush up on your classic cinema, add the 37 Movies Every Man Over 40 Should Be Able to Quote to your must-watch list.
35 Be More Giving and Generous
Even if you typically go Dutch, treat your partner whenever you can afford to. Take turns in shouting each other. Those little gestures will make a major difference in your appreciation of one another over time. See Marriage Jar blog.
36 Develop a Mutual Hobby
Want to get closer to your spouse? Try participating in a mutual hobby. Whether you're taking cooking classes or hitting the gym together, a new common interest will keep things hot.
37 Send Each Other an Occasional Flirty Text
Hearing "I love you" is great, but if you want to keep things spicy, send your partner something a little more flirtatious from time to time. "I can't wait until you get home" or "You look hot tonight" is always nice to hear.
38 Tell Your Significant Other When They Look Good
Your significant other deserves to know more than just that they're loved. They need to feel wanted, too. Whenever possible, tell them how good they look and how much you appreciate the time they take to do so. And when you want to show off for your partner, tone up with some workouts, yoga, or gym exercise. When a person is appreciated, they will work harder to get the praise and for you to be proud of them.
39 Take Some Work Off Their Plate
If chores feel like they're the only thing you and your spouse do together, try taking something off their plate. Give them a break to do something they'd enjoy more; it won't go unappreciated. Notice whenthey are bogged down with some issue. Ask them if they want to talk about it. Put off chores until then if you can.
40 Write Each Other Love Letters
Make your spouse feel wanted and loved by writing him or her a love letter or pop a cute note in your marriage jar or lunch box. See Marriage Jar blog.
41 Spend Time Apart
Marriage often involves marathon togetherness, and that kind of time spent together can be draining. From time to time, take a solo weekend away from your spouse to relax and you'll return home feeling more excited to see them than ever. Self care is important. Fill your cup up before you fill up others. Men and women appreciate partenrs who take care of themselves.
42 Don't Shy Away From Corny Ideas
Just because you think leaving a trail of rose petals is corny doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Those grand romantic gestures you see in movies can make your spouse feel loved and appreciated. At the very least, you'll have a good laugh over how cheesy it is. Need some inspiration? Look on Google or Video Social Media. And who doesn’t like spontaneous gifts in the mail?
43 Be Each Other's Cheerleaders
Whether your partner is up for a promotion at work or shaved a minute off their mile, make sure they know how proud you are of their accomplishments. And when they fail, be there to catch them, too. There is no “I” in team.
44 Pack on the Passion
Kissing doesn't have to be an inside-only activity. Show the world how proud you are to be with your significant other by giving them a big old smooch in public when the mood strikes. Of course, kissing isn't the only way to show your affection. When you're out with your partner, hold their hand; not only can this make you feel closer to one another.In fact, research suggests it may even limit stress and pain.
45 Find Out Your Partner’s Love Language
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts and Tokens and Words of Affirmation. https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
Look at the quizz online and make use of this knowledge. How your beloved wants to be loved is how you should love them. Loving them your way will not give you brownie points, unless theirs is the same. If they like physical touch, use it to connect. If they like Words of Affirmation, tell them you love them. Etc.
46 Leave Work at Work
Bringing your work home can have a profoundly detrimental effect on your relationship. Make your home a sanctuary for your relationship by trying to compartmentalize your work stress and don't let it spill over into your marriage.Some couples have a habit of double tapping the door frame when they get home to leave their work stuff at the door, or showering away the day as soon as they get home.
47 Flirt, then Flirt Some More
Go ahead and give yourself permission to be a little flirtatious with someone other than your spouse from time to time. Doing so can help fuel a little bit of healthy jealousy and keep things hot at home.
48 Don't Go Any Further than is Appropriate
But make sure you don't take things too far. Talking to someone at a bar is one thing, but exchanging numbers—or worse—won't do any favors for your marriage in the long run. This includes online dating apps, messenger chats to old girlfriends and boyfriends, sexting apps or exhausted social media chatrooms. If it looks lke emotional cheating it is emotional cheating. Why can’t you get what you need from your spouse?
49 Ask Before You Make Major Decisions About Your LIfe
Make your partner feel included and important by asking their opinion before you make big decisions. Whether you're making a big purchase or are trying to decide where to dinner, making your decisions a collaborative process will keep you closer in the long run.
50 Get to Bed at the Same Time
Want to keep your marriage happy for the next 10, 20, or 50 years? Make sure you're hitting the hay at the same time. Research published in psych magazines reveals that women viewed interactions with their partners more positively when they went to bed together. Leave your electronics in the lounge. Don’t use them just before bed because they interfere with the body’s biorythms. Avoid bright fluoro alarm clocks. Make your bedroom a haven of comfort and intimacy. Put happy photos of you both in your special room. This room is for you to sleep and make love, it is not a room to have your children or pets.