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Written by Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, the Marriage in a Box blog shares insights into common relationship struggles, gives ideas for moving beyond the roadblocks, and helps you find your path to happiness – both individually and within your relationship.

Are Jealousy and Insecurity Disrupting Your Marriage?

Healthy jealousy is part of a normal marriage. It’s human nature to be possessive about our loved ones. It is a desire to protect your relationship from outside forces that can destroy your marriage.  Jealousy in marriage is a feeling of insecurity or fear that one’s partner is attracted to or interested in someone or something else. Jealousy can be normal and healthy if it motivates couples to appreciate and protect their relationship. 

However, jealousy can also be unhealthy and harmful if it leads to controlling, accusing, or ignoring the partner.

The Difference between Insecurity and Jealousy

Some people believe that jealousy and insecurity are the same. While they are related to each other, they are not the same. 

Jealousy refers to the thoughts and feelings of insecurity and fear that come from the lack of something or the presumption that someone else is doing better than you. Jealousy comes from a fear of losing something. In a marriage relationship, it shows up as a fear of losing a partner’s love or devotion.

Insecurity involves feeling inadequate. It can cause you to doubt your abilities, instincts, and relationships, making it difficult for you to believe in yourself and trust others. People’s insecurities can be traced back to a low self-image, lack of self-confidence caused by past negative experiences either in childhood or in a past relationship. They often do not believe they deserve to be loved and don’t know how to support their partner.

Insecurity may be the motive, but jealousy is usually the outward emotional result. 

Causes of Insecurity or Jealousy

Jealousy can be induced by a multitude of circumstances, including insecurity, prior traumas, or personality or lifestyle contrasts. Jealousy or insecurity can happen for many reasons, including:

  • Having a poor self-image.
  • Fear of abandonment or betrayal.
  • Possessiveness or a desire for control.
  • A misguided sense of ownership over a partner.
  • Unrealistic expectations about relationships. 
  • Reliving a hurtful experience of abandonment in the past.
  • Worry about losing someone or something important.

Problems can arise when jealousy or insecurity moves from a healthy emotion to an unhealthy and irrational one.

When Jealousy or Insecurity Becomes Unhealthy

Jealousy or insecurity are complicated emotions that can be healthy and normal up until a point. When they become dominant emotions in your relationship, they can cause serious problems and even lead to the end of your relationship if you don't address these emotions within yourself.

Jealousy or insecurity are often associated with feeling angry, contemptuous, anxious, and depressed, which is why they can be destructive and potentially dangerous. Irrational or excessive jealousy or insecurity are often a warning sign of a potentially abusive or suffocating relationship.

Signs that jealousy or insecurity are unhealthy can include the following:

  • Being paranoid about what a partner is doing or feeling.
  • Demanding an account of where a partner has been.
  • Displaying unusual insecurity and fear.
  • Making accusations that are not true.
  • Constant questioning about a partner's behaviors and motives.
  • Following or stalking a partner. 
  • Prohibiting a partner from seeing friends or family.
  • Reading emails and texts or listening to voicemails.
  • Texting a partner non-stop when the couple is apart.

 A perceived or real threat like infidelity can also cause jealousy and insecurities. So can a loss of intimacy or attachment or a failure to fully develop those bonds.

How to Cope with Insecurity or Jealousy

If jealousy is disrupting your marriage, there are things you can do to regain control of your relationship.

Accept that jealousy is hurting your marriage. The first step in any issue is realizing there is a problem. Keep a journal and in it track the following daily for a week:

  • How often do you call your spouse?
  • How often do you text your spouse?
  • When your spouse comes home from work, do you question them about their whereabouts or who they’ve been with?

You should notice a pattern and be able to see how often your jealousy is interfering in your marriage.

Communicate with your partner and discuss your jealous feelings.  Don’t store up these feelings and let them fester inside of you. Talk to your partner about how it makes you feel. Explain why this is bothering you so much and how it makes their love seem less special than before. Talking about it will help them understand what’s going on.

Make the decision to change your behavior. It’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts. Learn to actively keep things in perspective. Your partner married you because they love you. Train your mind to think positively about your partner.  Believe in your partner’s trustworthiness. Don’t call or text your partner constantly to determine where they are or who they are with. 

Get busy in your work or involved in a hobby or community work. That adage “Idle hands are the devil’s playground” is true. Rather than sit around wondering whether your spouse is cheating on you or not, occupy your mind with something productive that makes you happy. If you are busy, there is no room to dwell on insecurities or feelings of jealousy about your partner.

Set fair ground rules that you can both agree to like not invading each other’s privacy. Don’t spy on your spouse or read their emails. Your spouse can help by letting you know advance whenever possible if they are going to be late coming home from work. Establish clear boundaries with your partner to alleviate feelings of insecurity and ensure a sense of safety within the relationship.

There are ways to overcome jealousy in marriage and restore harmony. By understanding the causes of jealousy and taking steps to deal with it, couples can protect their relationship from this destructive emotion. Marriage In a Box is a resource for helpful suggestions and guidance. Marriage In a Box provides access to tools and techniques professionals use for relationship issues. You can set goals, earn rewards, and find marriage coaching on the site. Check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 3/23/2024

Unrealistic Expectations Can Set Your Marriage Up for Failure

We can pick up unrealistic expectations about marriage from our families, friends, fairy tales or other books, television and movies, blogs, and magazine articles. Such expectations can set you up for misunderstandings with your partner, which can drive a wedge into your relationship. Let’s uncover the truth behind unrealistic expectations.

8 Common Unrealistic Expectations

1. Your Partner’s Looks. Over time everyone ages and no amount of beauty treatments or hours at the gym will bring back the looks you had when you first got married. Certainly, you should make every effort to appear attractive to one another, However, learn to accept each other for who you are and what you look like.

2. Continuous Sex. When you were first married, you probably couldn’t wait to have sex and might have had sex 3 to 4 times per week. As your lives change, children, jobs and other things may take up more of your time. The number of times you have sex may drop down. When that happens, don’t assume that your partner does not love you. Make plans to schedule sex dates to keep the fires burning and don’t worry about the number of times you have sex; it’s the quality that counts anyway.

3. One Partner is Responsible for Date Night Plans. Expecting one spouse to always be the one to plan and initiate your plans for date night is selfish and unrealistic. While it may have true while you were dating, during marriage both partners should take turns arranging your date nights.  

4. One Partner is Responsible for Finances. It really isn’t wise to make one partner responsible for your joint finances. It is an important part of your lives, and you should both be aware of your financial status, do your part to maintain your financial accounts, and sit down and discuss your financial goals and your progress regularly.

5. Your Partner Should Spend Their Free Time with You. It isn’t healthy to expect your partner to spend all their time with you. You both should have time with your friends and sports or hobbies that you pursue. It makes you a more well-rounded person and gives you both things to talk about.

6. Your Partner Should Be the One to Apologize. If you make unkind remarks in an argument or have done something to hurt your partner, you should be the one to apologize. That’s just a sign of maturity. Own your stuff!

7. One Partner Takes Care of Household Chores. Even if you are a stay-at-home spouse, taking care of all the household chores is too over much for one person to handle. Sit down and work out a fair distribution of the chores to be done.

8. Your Partner Should Know What You are Thinking. In the movies, people might have magical powers and the ability to read your mind. In real life, that’s not possible. Be open with your partner and calmly discuss things that are bothering your so that you can work them out together. 

The Danger of Unrealistic Expectations

What makes preconceived expectations so dangerous to your marriage? Unrealistic expectations can lull people into the idea that the person they married, and your marriage, will remain as they were in your first year of marriage.  People and relationships are not static; they both grow and change over time. Life changes such as career, children, moving to a new location or home, etc. necessitate changes in your schedule, home life, sex life, etc. 

When someone has set expectations about how their partner should act and what they should receive from their partner, they can become upset, angry, and resentful when those expectations are not met.

Such expectations can prevent you from being fully present in current circumstances. They can stifle you into not being flexible or taking risks that allow you to grow. They don’t provide room for working with your partner to deal with unexpected changes in your lives.

How To Break Those Unrealistic Expectations You Have

The good news tis that you and your spouse can unwind those expectations by practicing following:

  1. Reframe What Attracted You to Your Spouse.

Everyone has several things that may have attracted them to their spouse and helped them decide to build a life with them. Very few people make their decision based on physical qualities alone. Perhaps they have a certain confidence or sense of humor that endears them to you. It could be their warm personality or the way they make you feel safe. Whatever those qualities were, focus on those.

  1. Maintain a level of independence.

It is a compliment when someone wants to spend time with you. However, when you expect them to spend all their time with you, it can be suffocating and uncomfortable. Most people need space to spend time with friends, enjoy sports or hobbies, or just relax alone. People that have variety of interests, yet still remain a close relationship with their spouse are more likely to be happier. 

  1. Create a more even division of labor.

When you move into a long-term relationship like marriage, it isn’t fair to expect one person to do all the planning, shopping, or house chores. In fact, it would likely leave them stressed out and resentful. Work together with your spouse to determine a fair division of labor that doesn’t leave either of you feeling like you are being taken advantage of. Perhaps you can break it down by your least favorite and most favorite task to do. 

  1. Communicate with Your Partner.

Most arguments in marriage can be avoided when couples learn to communicate. That means listening to each other’s point of view and trying to understand their intention before assuming the worst. It involves respecting your partner enough to sit down and talk things out before making big decisions. Communication requires loving your spouse enough to discuss the things you are excited about and the things that bother you with them. 

If you and your spouse struggle with unrealistic expectations, consider using Marriage In a Box as a resource for helpful suggestions and guidance. Marriage In a Box provides access to tools and techniques professionals use for relationship issues. You can set goals, earn rewards, and find marriage coaching on the site. Check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 3/13/2024

Harmonizing Hearts and Homes: Navigating the Home-Buying Process as a Couple

Embarking on the journey of purchasing a home together is a significant milestone for any couple. It's an adventure that blends dreams, practicalities, and the unique dynamics of your relationship. Starting this journey requires more than just financial readiness; it calls for open communication, shared values, and mutual respect. This guide, courtesy of Marriage In A Box, offers essential strategies to help couples navigate home buying while nurturing and strengthening their relationship.

Foster Open and Honest Dialogue

Begin with a transparent conversation about what each of you envisions for your future home. It's crucial to express your individual needs and desires clearly. Understanding and respecting each other's viewpoints is the foundation for a harmonious decision-making process. Through open dialogue, find a middle ground that satisfies both partners, thereby setting a cooperative tone for the journey ahead.

Establish a Shared Financial Framework

Discussing finances may not be romantic, but it's vital in home buying. Determine a budget that respects both your financial situations, including not only the price of the home but also the potential costs of maintenance and renovations. Then, use online listing sites to see what types of homes are for sale in your desired neighborhoods; you can filter your search by home prices, layouts, and features. Establishing a budget that you both are comfortable with is key to avoiding financial stress down the line.

Prioritize Your Home Wishlist Together

Create a list distinguishing between your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” This list should reflect the wishes of both partners equally. Understanding what is essential and what can be compromised will guide you in making decisions you can both be happy with. 

It's also a good idea to periodically revisit and update this list as you view different properties and refine your preferences. The process of creating and adjusting this list can also be a bonding experience, helping you understand each other's perspectives and preferences more deeply.

Experience Home Visits as a Team

Viewing properties should be a joint activity. When you explore potential homes together, it allows for immediate discussion and feedback. This shared experience not only aids in making a well-informed decision but also ensures that both partners are equally involved in the selection process. 

Additionally, these visits can help you envision your future in the home, discussing how you would use various spaces and what changes you might make. This can also be an opportunity to assess the neighborhood and imagine your lifestyle in this new environment.

Embrace the Art of Compromise

Finding a home that ticks every box is rare. Be prepared to make concessions. A home can be modified over time to better suit your needs. What is important is finding a space where you both can envision building your life together. This might mean one partner compromises more on this purchase, with an understanding that future changes or decisions will lean more toward their preferences. 

Look Beyond the Present

A home is not just a purchase, it's an investment in your future. Consider how the home fits into your long-term plans. Whether it's starting a family, career changes, or lifestyle shifts, ensure the home you choose can grow and adapt with you. Think about the potential for renovation or expansion if your needs change. Also, consider the resale value and market trends, as they are important factors in your long-term financial health and stability.

Support Each Other Through Challenges

The journey to buying a home can be fraught with stress, especially during negotiations and closing. It's crucial to maintain patience and provide support to each other during these times. You are a team with a common goal; mutual support is critical to overcoming obstacles. 

Encourage open and honest communication about any anxieties or concerns during this process. It’s also beneficial to take breaks from home-buying activities to relax and reconnect, reminding yourselves that your relationship is the priority.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a home as a couple is more than a financial decision; it's a partnership venture. As you journey through this pivotal life event, remember that every challenge is an opportunity to deepen your understanding and appreciation of each other. 

The process of buying a home together isn't just about finding the right property; it's about building a foundation for your shared future. Keep your bond at the heart of every decision, and let your love guide you to a place you both can proudly call home.

Posted 3/5/2024

Do You and your Spouse Have the Courage to Be Vulnerable?

In marriage, it is crucial to be vulnerable and build a close, deep, and more authentic bond with your spouse. It helps to maintain honesty to eliminate the potential for misunderstandings and allows you to be your true self. Not opening up to the people closest to you can lead to barriers in the relationship. Vulnerability is about uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Loving someone exposes you emotionally to scrutiny, and a spouse could decide to stay or go at any moment.

What does it mean to be vulnerable in Marriage?

Vulnerability refers to the willingness of a person to take a risk by revealing their emotions and weaknesses. This emotional openness plays a vital role in maintaining healthy relationships. It allows for a deeper understanding and evokes the empathy necessary for building and nurturing healthy long-term relationships. By engaging in open communication, others can better relate to you and imagine the nuances of your feelings. It is natural to want to protect yourself and your emotions, but holding onto your thoughts and feelings and keeping them away from others can make it challenging to be vulnerable in a relationship.

Why It Can Be Difficult to Be Emotionally Open

Sharing personal or sensitive information is always risky, and when a person is open and trust has not formed, they may feel as if they could fall prey to scrutiny in the future. It's essential to be mindful of the impact on your relationship by withholding sensitive information. If someone you are involved with struggles to express their emotions, it could be because of unresolved issues from their past. Some topics, such as sexual history, personal financial or health details, unresolved fears or thoughts, or grudges, may be challenging to disclose. Couples who have experienced emotional abuse in previous relationships may find it hard to be open and honest with their current partner. 

Some partners may not know how to be emotionally open. This self-protective behavior creates boundaries and barriers that make it difficult for their partner to connect. If your spouse isn't opening up to you, be patient; it is probably not your fault.

Does Vulnerability in Marriage Matter?

It is common for us to try to protect ourselves and our emotions by keeping them hidden from others. However, this can make being open and honest in a relationship challenging. If we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable, our partners may not be able to understand our needs and desires. As a result, the relationship may suffer, making it more likely to fail. If you do not allow yourself to be vulnerable, your partner will not understand what you need and want from them. They may respond in ways that are out of sync with you, and you want to blame them because you do not feel supported instead of disclosing your feelings and wishes to them. 

Vulnerability is crucial in any relationship because it helps to reinforce the bond between individuals and fills in the gaps. The answer to a strong partnership is a mutual commitment to being honest with emotional truths. Feeling safe and secure enough to embrace uncertainty and talk about things openly is universally important. Being vulnerable enough to share personal topics can enhance your bond and bring your relationship closer and more intimate.

How To Encourage Vulnerability in Your Marriage

  1. In today's busy world, we're all forced to be multitaskers, but that juggling act doesn't work in the context of open, honest conversations. Make it a rule to put away technology and distractions and give each other full attention during interactions.

  2. Let your partner speak uninterrupted. It's normal to want to chime in while someone else is talking, especially if you disagree with or are hurt by what they're saying. 

  3. Ask the right questions while being empathetic and understanding. Avoid being judgmental, hostile, or defensive, and foster a safe atmosphere. It's essential to make your partner feel heard, seen, and supported for vulnerability to grow, 

  4.  Recognize patterns and consider the uniqueness of your partner. Learn to work with your spouse if they need a cooling-off period when being open with them.

  5. Give validation for being open and non-judgmental and thank them for accepting you as you are and understanding your feelings.

Couples need good communication skills to survive. Open, honest communication and trust are essential to marriage success. If you have trouble with being vulnerable about disclosing sensitive information with your spouse, consider using Marriage In a Box as a resource for helpful suggestions and guidance.

Marriage In a Box provides access to tools and techniques professionals use for relationship issues. You can set goals, earn rewards, and find marriage coaching on the site. Check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 2/29/2024

Does Physical Intimacy Lead to a Longer, Happier Marriage?

Physical intimacy includes being inside someone's personal space and touch involving hand holding, hugging, kissing, cuddling, caressing, and consensual sexual activity. Physical intimacy between couples involves exchanging feelings, close companionship, platonic and romantic love, or sexual attraction. Physical relationships after marriage can be critical in strengthening and finding happiness and longevity in a relationship, so people seek to know more about it. Emotional intimacy is another form of intimacy that enhances the physical aspect of a marriage and makes it vibrant. 

Understanding the Need for Physical Intimacy

Intimacy includes physical, emotional, and spiritual closeness inherent to the happiness and longevity of marriage. For married couples, physical intimacy is an expectation in most people's view of relationships. Physical intimacy in marriage is more complex and can ebb and flow with different marriage milestones. Sexual intimacy is a strong desire for a sexual connection, which doesn't necessarily require an emotional component to be satisfying. Still, everyone has their particular preferences and libido when it comes to what types and levels of physical intimacy they are comfortable engaging in. 

Human beings innately crave physical or sexual intimacy, and this sexual urge has ensured our species' survival over time. The simple act of being close to another person and enjoying the touch and sensuality that come with physical intimacy can be fulfilling in its own right. However, physical intimacy does require a certain degree of vulnerability and trust, which can vary depending on the situation and the individuals involved. Physical intimacy can occur even when trust is not deeply rooted, such as in casual relationships. Nonetheless, it is essential to recognize that sex alone does not necessarily bring us closer to another person. The value of emotional intimacy is in building deeper connections with others.

Common Causes of Dwindling Physical Intimacy

Barriers to intimacy in marriage can cause significant issues for couples if not addressed early on. Apart from differences in desire for physical intimacy, other common obstacles lead to a decreased level of physical intimacy between husbands and wives:

  1. One of the defining roadblocks to physical intimacy between couples is clutter in their intimate relationship environment. An untidy bedroom space, dishes in the sink, and heaps of laundry can all prevent a space where couples can connect intimately with each other. 

  2. Another potential threat to a marriage is the lack of intimacy in the relationship. Suppose couples do not prioritize intimacy and try to spend quality time with their partners; they must recalibrate their activities to carve out time to improve physical intimacy in marriage.

  3. Moreover, the emotional unavailability of a partner can seriously affect physical intimacy in marriage. Couples must break the deep-rooted emotional barriers and be more open to their partners to sustain intimacy.

Essential Ingredients for Physical Intimacy

  • Trust varies between individuals, and it is a sense that your partner will respect your boundaries and be concerned about your experience.
  • Vulnerability is showing up with our most authentic, unprotected self."
  • Communication: giving each other mindfully, being present, and paying focused attention during discussions.

Physical intimacy includes touch and any bodily contact ranging from holding hands to sexual intercourse. Physical intimacy is built on trust and creates feelings of warmth, bonding, and closeness between people. Physical intimacy includes being inside someone's personal space.

How to Regain or Increase Physical Intimacy

Tips to Overcome Roadblocks to Intimacy in Marriage:

  1. Ensure you're both comfortable.

If either partner is not comfortable, stop. Avoid trying to force your expectations onto someone and be realistic. 

  1. Communicate and Listen to Each Other

When discussing your sexual feelings, issues, fantasies, and desires, find common ground you can agree on before you become physically intimate. 

  1. Try to Connect Without Sex 

Get to know each other without the added pressure of sexual tension. (carnival rides, swimming, bike riding in tandem, or dance classes). 

  1. Don't Forget that there may be underlying issues. 

Examples include sex abuse, family history of low affection.

  1. Use Intimate gestures.  

Hold hands, kiss, caress each other, etc. 

  1. Avoid anger.

Frequently fighting and arguing may decrease the quality of your sex life. Try to communicate with each other well and avoid conflict as much as possible.

  1. Make sex a priority.

Try to make enough time for sex in your marriage to make things work and stay committed to one another.

  1. Be creative in the bedroom.

Get creative and try different things to make your sex life and make it more fun, and spicy. For example, you could try something new, like a change of location. showering together; massage creates a lovely tenderness between the two of you, foreplay.

If you struggle with building physical intimacy in your Marriage and finding strategies to help revive romance and happiness. Consider using Marriage In a Box for professional support, helpful suggestions, and guidance.

Marriage In a Box provides access to tools and techniques that professionals use to address relationship issues. On the site, you can set goals, earn rewards, and find marriage coaching. Check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 2/22/2024

10 Ways to Rev Up the Romance in Your Marriage

Marriage is a wonderful union that brings two people together in love and commitment. However, due to the routine and stress of daily life, it is common for the initial spark to start fading over time. Viewing this experience as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship is beneficial. There are several ways to enhance your marriage and reignite the excitement and joy.

Things that Break the Spark in Your Relationship

Every relationship is unique, but some common issues cause a disconnect from romance. For example:

  • Poor communication causes misunderstandings, hurt, and frustration, 
  • Lack of intimacy leads to feelings of disconnection
  • Unresolved conflicts lead to resentment 
  • Infidelity can shatters trust
  • Lack of mutual goals and aspirations cause dissatisfaction
  • Neglect of emotional and physical needs leads to partners feeling devalued, lonely, and insignificant.

Can We Bring Back the Romance in Our Relationship?

It's possible to rekindle intimacy, passion, love, and trust in a relationship if that dawn of love feeling has faded over time. But, it might depend on dealing with the circumstances that led to the current challenges. It will also require a commitment to love despite the ups and downs. Putting in the time and effort to nourish your relationship will help your brain start making more hormones that help you feel closer to your partner. When you reach that point, you can build a lasting bond.

10 Ways to Rev Up the Romance

1. Prioritize Spending Quality Time Alone Together

Life can become busy, so it's crucial to set aside time for each other to strengthen emotional intimacy, whether it means going on regular date nights, planning weekend getaways, or simply enjoying a quiet evening at home. During this time, be fully present and put aside distractions.

2. Express Gratitude to your Partner

Showing gratitude to your partner can ignite a spark in your marriage, make them feel valued, and foster your connection. It may not seem like much at first, but with continued effort, it can kindle the love flame in your relationship. and help remind you why you fell in love in the first place. 

3. Flirt With Each Other

Try flirting with your partner to bring some fun and romance back into your relationship. Send flirty texts, greet your partner with a flirty phrase, or occasionally sneak in a kiss or two. Your partner may be surprised initially, but keep it up because they'll catch on soon enough.

 4. Hug, Kiss, and Snuggle More Often

Kissing can reignite romantic feelings between partners, as it triggers the release of hormones oxytocin and serotonin in the brain, promoting bonding and reducing stress. It is essential to continue showing affection through hugs, kisses, and snuggles to maintain a healthy relationship and increase the chances of being sexually active with your partner.

5. Surprise Each Other with thoughtful gestures and gifts

Surprises are essential to rekindle romance. They can be in the form of gifts or going somewhere special. Surprises add spontaneity and excitement and show that you value the relationship. Big or small, surprises reignite the joy of early romance.

 6. Plan Secret Dates for Each Other

Plan surprise dates for each other once a month! Keep preferences in mind and try to pair them with your strengths. Suppose you both like art and take a painting class together. Enjoy and create memories!

  7. Dress Up for Date Night

Date night is special and deserves your best. Dress up and style your hair and makeup to feel flirty and fun. Treat your married date nights like you did in the early stages of your relationship, and you won't regret it.

 8. Take Risks and Share More of Yourself

Couples should take small, reasonable risks, such as sharing unsaid things. Listen deeply when your partner is angry and consider their feedback. Try new things together, like ropes courses or zip lines. 

  9.  Try New things Sexually.

In a long-term relationship, getting stuck in a routine is typical. Doing the same things every day can lead to boredom and a lack of interest. But trying new things together can be a great way to break the monotony and reignite the spark in your marriage with something as simple as trying a new sex routine.

  10. Make Sexual Intimacy a Priority

 One tip that people are hesitant about is scheduling intimacy in their marriage. However, it's not as ridiculous as it may sound. It could increase the romance in your relationship, make it less routine, and keep it a priority. 

If you struggle to revive romance in your marriage, find strategies to help reclaim the spark. Consider using Marriage In a Box for professional support, helpful suggestions, and guidance. Marriage In a Box provides access to tools and techniques that professionals use to address relationship issues. On the site, you can set goals, earn rewards, and find marriage coaching. Check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 2/14/2024

Don't Take Your Spouse for Granted

At the beginning of a relationship, every moment feels magical - the warmth of your partner's body beside you, the joy of laughing together. The novelty can wear off as time passes, and those moments might not feel as special anymore. There are ways to prevent taking your partner for granted and keep the spark alive with concrete actions. It will not only keep things exciting for you both, but it will also make your partner feel valued and loved.

Taking your partner for granted can cause unnecessary fights and lost moments of happiness. But when you appreciate your partner, you can overlook the small things that might otherwise cause issues. By focusing on what you love about them now, you can avoid reaching the point where it's too late. 

How You Know You Are Taking Your Spouse for Granted

1.You expect them to handle specific tasks

Refrain from assuming your partner is permanently assigned to a specific household task just because they're better at them. 

2. You don't show them gratitude.

To keep your spouse motivated and appreciated, compliment them on specific things they've done around the house. It may prevent them from feeling unappreciated and less motivated.

3.You assume they know how you feel about them.

Give your relationship the time and attention it needs with planned rituals like date night or a kiss when you leave the house in the morning.

4. You expect gratitude for doing your part around the house.

Although it is nice to receive appreciation, you should not expect it or feel disappointed if it doesn't come for maintaining your part of chores. Don't wait for your partner to ask you to do chores. Share your thoughts and plan for the week ahead.

The Worst Thing You Can do is Ignore and Take Your Partner for Granted

When we're trying to win someone over, we do everything right. After marriage, we take our relationship for granted and pay less attention. Ignoring your partner is worse than criticizing them. Focus on what you appreciate to avoid this. Say these four things to show you care;

What do you want to do?

Plan activities together by asking your partner what they want to do. Lack of communication can lead to feeling taken for granted. Ask your partner what they want to improve and what's working well.

I can't wait to be with you! 

Longing keeps relationships alive. Let them know you long for them. Small acts of love are essential. For example:

  • Kiss and hug before work. 
  • Leave love notes.
  • Call them at work.
  •  Flirt regularly. 
  • Do the little things they appreciate, like buying flowers, holding hands, or splitting household chores.

Our relationship is the most important one I have on this earth! 

Prioritize your spouse and your relationship. Be aware of what's happening and communicate frequently with your partner. Regularly assure, defend, and stand by your spouse that you love and respect them. Nurturing your relationship is a two-way street.

Thank you!  

Expressing gratitude and appreciation towards your spouse is essential. Show appreciation often by saying "thank you" for even the most minor things. 

Ways to Show Appreciation for Your Spouse

1. Give Compliments

Expressing your attraction and appreciation towards your significant other is essential. Telling your partner they're attractive, sexy, or the best spouse ever, especially in a unique way using your voice, never gets old.

2. Spend Time Apart

Taking a break from each other can rekindle appreciation. Visit family or friends to be away from your partner; it will help you remember what you love about them.

3.Take Over Each Other's Chores

To show appreciation for your partner, occasionally take over their household duties or switch up your usual chores.

Remember, the goal is to show appreciation without expecting anything in return.

4. Tell Your Partner When They've Done Something Right

Thank your partner for even the small things, like making their special coffee in the morning. Expressing gratitude can lead to an ongoing appreciation cycle and encourage them to do even more for you.

5. Get Each Other Gifts

Take a few minutes to buy your partner something they need or want, like flowers or a phone charger. These small acts can make your partner feel cared for.

6. Go on Fun Dates

Try going on a unique date like dance lessons or a hot air balloon ride to reignite the excitement of a new relationship. Trying new things together creates a sense of novelty and connection. 

It can be challenging to restructure your life, reverse the habit of taking your spouse for granted, and revive a spark of romance. Consider using marriage In a Box for professional support, helpful suggestions, and guidance. Marriage In a Box provides access to tools and techniques that professionals use to address relationship issues. On the site, you can set goals, earn rewards, and find marriage coaching. Check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 2/7/2024

Navigating Addiction as a Couple: Rebuilding Trust and Connection

In the challenging journey of overcoming addiction as a couple, there are crucial steps to take to ensure your relationship remains strong and supportive. This article provides valuable advice for couples facing addiction, helping them navigate the path to recovery while maintaining their bond.

Seek Professional Help Together

Couples therapy can be a game-changer. A skilled therapist from Marriage In A Box can guide you both in addressing individual struggles and healing as a unit. This safe space fosters open discussions and equips you with tools to manage challenges effectively. It's important to understand that addiction affects not only the individual but also the dynamics of the relationship. Seeking professional help acknowledges the complexity of the situation and allows for tailored strategies to mend both partners' wounds.

Prioritize Open and Honest Communication

Successful recovery relies on transparent dialogue. Sharing thoughts, fears, and progress helps rebuild trust. Acknowledge mistakes and celebrate milestones, fostering an environment of understanding and empathy. Communication isn't just about talking – it's about active listening, compassion, and vulnerability. When both partners can openly express their feelings without fear of judgment, it paves the way for healing and connection.

Establish Clear Boundaries and Expectations

Clearly define what behaviors are acceptable and what are not. Set boundaries that protect both partners and the relationship. This provides a sense of security and structure during the recovery process. Boundaries can range from agreeing on sobriety expectations to outlining how conflicts should be resolved. When a partner knows their role in supporting the other's recovery, it minimizes misunderstandings and reduces triggers.

Avoid Ultimatums and Threats

Recovery is delicate; threats or ultimatums can backfire. Instead, focus on encouragement and support. Let your partner know that you're committed to the relationship, regardless of the challenges. Ultimatums can create a hostile environment and may even push your partner further into addiction. Your support should be unconditional, while also respecting the need for personal responsibility in the recovery journey.

Embrace the Present Moment

Concentrate on the here and now. Dwelling on past mistakes can hinder progress. By focusing on the present, you can actively work on healing and rebuilding together. Addiction recovery is a step-by-step process, and each moment counts. While acknowledging the past is important, fixating on it can prevent both partners from fully engaging in the present moment and making positive changes.

Highlight the Positive

Celebrate the positive aspects of your relationship and life. Gratitude and appreciation counterbalance the difficulties you're facing. Cultivate joy in shared experiences to fortify your bond. Finding moments of joy amid the challenges reinforces the notion that the relationship is worth fighting for. Shared laughter and positive memories strengthen the emotional connection between partners.

Consider Inpatient Treatment if Addiction Continues

If addiction is severe and you’re unable to quit, inpatient treatment at rehabilitation centers in New York City might be necessary. It's crucial to evaluate potential centers based on accommodations, accreditations, treatment modalities, and location. Past patient reviews can offer valuable insights into the center's effectiveness. Inpatient treatment provides the intensive support required for a successful recovery, especially in cases of severe addiction. Seeking professional help signifies strength and commitment to personal healing and the well-being of your relationship.

Overcoming addiction as a couple is a challenging journey, but with the right strategies, you can strengthen your relationship and achieve lasting recovery. Through couples therapy, open communication, and more, you can build a healthier, more resilient partnership. If needed, inpatient treatment can provide the intensive support required for successful recovery. Remember, you're not alone – the path to healing is navigable together. By approaching the recovery process as a united front, you can emerge from the shadows of addiction and into a brighter, healthier future as a couple.

Posted 1/31/2024

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