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Free Couple Communication Exercise

Do you want to learn how to listen to your partner? Try this exercise with your partner. It is harder to do than what it looks!

Getting Back Together Again


Getting Back with Your Partner – dating is not the answer.

People have the misperception that if they have a date with their partner or if they go away on a vacation with them, things will get better and they will recapture the closeness that they had lost. Going out or going away with each other will only be productive if you know how to communicate properly. The main ingredients here are interest and genuine curiosity about what your partner has to say. Do you ask questions, stay on the subject, and add to the discussion?

Here is the good news; you don’t have to go to Hawaii to have a good conversation. Even busy schedules allow for partners to talk meaningfully to each other. A cup of tea or coffee doesn’t take that long, but the positive effect can last awhile. Being interested in how their day went, or discussing a particular issue that has been upsetting to them will bring the two of you closer together. The important thing here is the consistency of caring and genuine exchanges.

Couples that feel closer to each other are those folks who talk to each other in a curious and interested way on a regular basis.

Marriage: Communication, Preparation, and Counseling


It is without the slightest hint of doubt that everyone will agree to the fact that being married is absolutely challenging. The problems that you face in married life are not the kind that you can sleep off and wake up okay. Sometimes, it could be particularly hard to shake ill feelings off when you are sleeping beside who you have identified as the problem, and everywhere you turn has something that reminds you of that.

MarriageMarried life is sadly not for everyone, especially for those who do spur of the moment decisions to walk down the aisle. Well, it could work out for some, but statistics support that a lot of these kinds of marriages just end in divorce. In the first place, divorce is not and should not be the primary recourse for marital problems. It should be the last option when every other option was already exhausted. Think about this: If people who waited and planned for their married life still encounter rough spots along the way, what makes you think that anything short of the right time and the right preparation will yield better results?

If you are thinking about getting married, this post is not intended to discourage you. No. This is meant to inspire you, to inform you about what lies ahead with the hopes that you will then take the necessary steps to ensure that the marriage that you are going to have will not be just another number to add to the surveys of those who tried but failed.

There is actually one aspect similar in all kinds of relationships that has to be particularly nurtured between couples, specifically married ones. This is the aspect of communication. As early as before getting married, assess your and your partner’s way of communicating with one another. Do the both of you talk in a constructive manner? Can you say the things you want to say without having to consider a million times before you actually do? What are communication patterns that seem to do more harm than good?

The way you interact with each other at present will determine the kind of relationship that you will have as husband and wife. Take it from a lot of licensed marriage and family therapists’ experience, a lot of the couples who walked in and out of their offices all had (or have) the same, prominent problem:  dysfunctional communication. Do not bank on the hope that things will get better once you get married because you will face a lot of different—and difficult—problems with your spouse then. Working on having a way to resolve your issues through effective communication channels will spell a great deal in keeping the marriage together.

In case you are unable to make ends meet at present, do not lose hope. This does not mean that you are never going to get along. This is only evidence of how limited your knowledge is on how to resolve certain issues. Luckily, counseling is highly advised of two individuals who decide to get married. There are licensed marriage and family therapists who are available to guide you through the different methods of getting to know yourself and your partner more. Do not think of counselling as something that happens only when problems are already present and are getting out of hand. Think of this as a preparation, a phase of conditioning, and a declaration that you are taking the decision of getting married and what it entails seriously.

Though therapists have a lot to offer, they can only do so little when a couple has each decided to close their minds to reason and understanding. One long-standing barrier to communication is having no communication at all. Make sure that you do not reach the point where talking things over only makes things worse. Start assessing which areas of your life need to be worked on now and proceed from there. If you feel that something is beyond your capacity, seek therapeutic help. More heads are better than one anyway.

Couples Therapy

It’s popular knowledge how falling in love is an easy feat to accomplish. It may not even only be popular knowledge but also popular experience. A lot of people have fallen into the trap of experiencing love too fast too soon. The problem with this is the even faster flaming out of a love that you thought was “the one.” This is why you see people falling in and out of lovefaster than the maximum speed you can go on a freeway. And with divorce being so easily achievable these days, marriage bonds can be broken as soon as you realize that you don’t like how the person you just married sneezes—or some other shallow a reason as that.

A lot of the couples who wanted to figure out “where the love went” but couldn’t often resulted to doing a lot of things that led to the eventual dissolution of the marriage. Depending on the feeling of being in love to fuel your years together spells disaster right at the face of it. Keeping the marriage intact needs more than just the presence of a feeling, but it requires the decision to stay in love with a person even during the days when you don’t feel like it. It takes effort to persevere through life’s challenges with your partner as being married has more complicated troubles in store compared to being single.

Citing a different scenario, there are also a lot of couples that go for a divorce even if they don’t want to but push through anyway simply because they have no idea on how to manage the relationship from a shaky vantage point. The phrase “I love you, but this isn’t working out” is also one of the typically thrown around reasons for relationships to reach the sad end of the trail. Luckily, as long as two people are willing to try to make things work, there is still hope for them to save the relationship or the marriage. There is where couples therapy can come in.

couples therapyCouples therapy is akin to marriage counseling but is broader in a sense that it caters to more than just married individuals. Since not all couples are married, this wordplay suggests a more favorable and tasteful alternative to consulting someone who advertises dealing with married patients. People both in and out of marriage can undergo couples therapy as a means to solving relationship problems and concerns.  Being in the presence of a third-party professional who is bound by the laws and morals of confidentiality and secrecy is an assurance that a couple can afford to be as open and as honest as they can be without the fear of what they share about themselves being public knowledge. And because therapists who conduct the consultative sessions are educated and trained professionals in their craft, clients can expect to get tried and tested interventions that have proven to be effective in solving other couples’ problems in the past.

Undergoing couples therapy will enable individuals to realize a lot about their relationship, about their partner, and about their selves. The therapist will be able probe certain issues that a couple is too sensitive to resolve as well as guide the clients through creating workable system by which they can settle their differences. Couples therapy has helped a lot of relationships flourish and deal with concerns that prevent the progress and growth of two people. It does not promise that two people will stay together after attending counseling sessions, but it helps the couple come clean with the position of the relationship. Therapists can only do so much as present alternatives on how to go about the relationship. The couple still maintains the primary decision on whether or not to heed the therapists’ advice.

How Can You Rebuild Trust After Infidelity?

Author: Infidelity Recovery Coach, Savannah Ellis

In my clinic yesterday I seen a couple who were going through the infidelity recovery program. Both of them had made amazing progress. But one of the major challenges of recovery is restoring the trust.

“How do I stop thinking he is always doing something wrong?”, she asks.

Trusting someone isn’t easy after they’ve betrayed you. You want to believe what they say, but can you really ever know if they are telling the truth, once they have lied to you? The answer may be “Probably not.” 

But the good news is: there is a way you can learn to trust again. However it will take time. This is probably not the answer you wanted to hear. However, let me explain how trust is built in the first place.

Dr Gottman is a leading expert in the field of communication, and talks about the science of trust.
Science now tells us that trust grows from how each of us treats our partners. In each situation when our needs compete with those of our partner’s, no matter how small or large, we each chose to act in our self-interest or in the interest of our partner. Trust springs from the choice to take care of our partner at our own expense.

For example, you come home after a stressful day and want to connect. But your partner had an equally hard day. You say, “Wow, what a hard day I’ve had.” By saying that, you make a bid for your partner’s attention and connection. Trust builds when your partner decides not to counter your bid, but instead, accepts your needs at his or her expense. You might hear “I did too, but tell me what happened in your day. You seem so stressed.” When this pattern happens over and over, each of you giving to the other at your own expense, trust builds.

Trust is not about wishing and hoping that your partner wont cheat or wont talk to their ex. Trust is about learning to once again trust your own intuition. You probably started to doubt your inner voice once you found out that they lied to you or hid their affair. Now, you are wondering if you can really ever trust your gut instinct about anything again.

Trust is about learning to listen to your own intuition once again. Trust is not about learning to trust your partner. The truth is that they are human and another human can always let you down. Let’s face it, you never really know if anyone is telling you the truth, unless you feel it in your gut.

Only your own intuition tells you the truth. Learning to trust your own instincts is the only and most important way to know if your partner is cheating or being honest about their outside relationships. In order to be in a relationship and always feel safe, you have to learn to trust your inner voice. Your intuition will never lie to you. Once you learn to listen to it, you can always trust your inner voice.

The challenge is learning the difference between your intuitive voice and the sometimes louder voice of fear. Fear and intuition are two different things. Fear tells you what you don’t want to know. Intuition tells you the truth. Intuition is real and always authentic. Your fear can be real sometimes but often, it can be a fantasy or an illusion.

Trust your inner voice and you can learn to get past the affair, and always know if your partner is telling you the truth. 
When it comes to Infidelity Recovery, you MUST judge your partner by their current actions, not on their habits and behaviors from the past.

NOTE: I understand this advice rarely feels helpful when you are in the middle of recovery. This advice works best when you are also working on the other areas of your relationship that needed repair. If recovery becomes overwhelming – seek a coach to guide you through this stressful period.