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Are You Truly Communicating With Your Spouse?

Marriage problems can arise in many ways, strike at the heart of a marriage, and cause communication to break down. A communication breakdown between couples can occur when they fail to communicate or reach a stalemate about disagreements or misunderstandings healthily. Effectively communicating with your spouse is essential to offset frustration and anger in your relationship and leads to greater happiness. 

External factors can influence your connection negatively, but determining the cause and working to fix it with the right attitude and healthy communication is what matters. So, connect with your partner and share meaningful conversations with your spouse while avoiding strife. Engage with your partner and remember that communication is a binding factor to keep your marriage intact.

Shouting is not Communicating!

It is easier to raise the volume of your voice than to calmly talk when you are upset as you speak to your spouse. Shouting triggers the fight-or-flight response, creates a lot of negative emotion, and doesn't get your point across effectively because the focus shifts from the topic at hand to the conflict. It could also incite an argument or make the other person want to leave. Remaining calm fosters a more loving atmosphere with more opportunities to connect.

Remember that Winning is not the Goal.

Realize that you're not in it to win it. Winning an argument means that by default, one of you gets to feel good, and the other is left feeling wounded, and that's not a healthy approach for any marriage. A spiteful mindset destroys good communication, and It's easy to fall into a mindset of wanting to get even or get your point across to win the fight. Instead of getting caught up in conflict, try to have the mindset that you are a team and are in this together. The key to healthy communication is finding a solution that makes you both win together.

Communication is More than just talking; It also means Listening.

Not listening to each other is a real problem when your relationship is rough. It can be a time when frustration and tension boil over, and you both want to communicate your point. When communicating with your spouse, listen to their words, tone, and voice pitch, and note body language and expressions. Research links attentive listening to coping more effectively and relationship satisfaction. Consider stepping back to listen to what your partner has to say. Then, take turns talking without interruption instead of trying to make your point

Communication should be a Discussion.

Interactions between you and your spouse involve how you convey thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Verbal ability to communicate with your spouse can enhance the relationship between the two of you. Communication should be a discussion between partners, not a debate involving preconceived notions about what is happening between you. Communication in personal relationships is all about partners collaborating and being willing to compromise through sharing perceptions, feelings, and ideas to understand what is happening between them.

10 Steps to Improved Communication with Your Spouse

  1. Be comfortable – Stay neutral on hot topics you discuss and use good timing. For example, don't talk about upsetting things in bed.

  2. Pay full attention. Turn off distractions and lean into your partner, using connective body language to avoid creating distance.

  3. Make eye contact without staring down your spouse, but don't send a message that you're afraid; avoid eye wandering.

  4. Use "I statements" such as I feel like this when… Indicate your awareness about being responsible for your thoughts and behavior.

  5. Invite your partner to share their perceptions and be empathetic and non-judgmental. 

  6. Don't interrupt! Stay focused, attentive, and connected. Even if you don’t particularly like or disagree with what is said. 

  7. Reflect, check, and clarify what you think your partner is saying by repeating what you hear to ensure you hear the overall message correctly. 

  8. Use language that sounds collaborative and recognize that when there are two of you in a room, there's also a third entity present—the relationship. Focus on what is best for the relationship.

  9. If there's a problem that you are trying to solve, communicate your ideas for solutions with tentativeness. For example, use terms like, I'm stuck. What do we need to do next?

  10.  Keep the communication flowing, be willing to listen, and don't be afraid to say you don't know something.

Couples need good communication skills to survive. Verbal and nonverbal communication is essential to marriage success. If you struggle in this area and want to know more, 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 1/10/2024

Do You and Your Partner Have a Healthy Work-Life Balance?

Managing your work life and your love life is a balancing act with a packed schedule and to-do list. It's natural if you feel challenged to do your best work and be a good partner. Managing a job you love and keeping the love strong in your relationship is possible if you work at it. There is so much talk about work and life balance, yet balance is very short-lived and constantly requires us to correct our course in one direction or another. We get busy, tired, and stressed, and the first thing that goes out the window tends to be the people closest to us, including ourselves, which creates a sense that we need to see that everybody gets some attention. 

However, that strategy can make the people we care about feel like a responsibility or a burden.

What Happens When Your Work Life Overshadows Your Marriage?

Even ten minutes of being present with somebody can have an impact. Try to value the quality of the time spent together rather than the quantity. When we have space from each other and are engaged and happy in our lives, spending time together can be even more rewarding, nurturing, and valuable. Seeing somebody you care about enjoying themselves and feeling good about their work can also be incredibly fulfilling. 

Discuss what times work best for quality time with your spouse. Consider keeping a planner and sticking to it when it comes to time with your spouse. Quality time spent with spouses and friends during special occasions or holidays can't be replaced, but work meetings can. If you don't spend as much time with your husband or wife for one month, you can give a little gift or plan a nice date. If you're both morning people, plan extra time before work to eat breakfast together to start your days, help reduce stress, and improve your mental health. 

Seven Ways to Create a Healthy Work Life Balance

1. Communication is Key

Talk to your partner about the work-life balance in the marriage:

●   Sitting down for an open, honest conversation should be one of your first steps. 

●   Once you've established which areas are causing issues, try and work out boundaries. 

●   Discuss your shared goals. 

●   Let go of resentment. 

●   Schedule us-time. 

●   Focus on quality, not quantity.

2. Set Boundaries Between You and Work

You can often set yourself apart by making yourself available, taking on extra responsibilities, or staying late at work. However, being so accommodating might also set you up for undue stress and burnout and affect your marriage. A good work ethic doesn't mean you must always be perfect. It's okay to say no to overtime and want to have the weekend off. Your value as a human being is independent of your ability to perform at work. Removing the pressure of performing makes setting boundaries with coworkers easier.

3. Ask Your Partner for Help 

If the marriage has a poor work-life balance, it is easy to take stress out on your partner. Try scheduling something to look forward to each day. Read a best-selling book together to discuss at dinner, go for a  walk around the neighborhood, or plan a double date for drinks to unwind after work.

4. Disconnect from Technology at Home

In the workplace, speed increases productivity, but a fast pace has the opposite effect at home. Families don't thrive on speed and productivity but on love and communication. We need to soberly look at how we allow technology to replace loving interaction and limit their use or turn off cell phones, tablets, or laptops.

5.  Make an Effort to Connect With Your Partner Daily

Cutting out the white noise or distractions in life is no easy task, but it is crucial to a healthy relationship. Whether slowing down on responding to texts, limiting your time on professional blogs, or turning off your phone after nine o'clock, you'll have more time to focus on giving to your relationship. If seeking a healthy work-life balance, it's about dedicating an equal amount of time personally and professionally. The secret to successful work-life integration is disconnecting from the distractions around you and your spouse and making time for just the two of you to connect.

6. Make Time with your Partner for Emotional Check-ins

As it relates to marriage, prioritizing means reserving energy for your spouse. Even if you're dog-tired when you get home from work, check in with your partner for a few minutes. "Prioritizing" means you do this even if you are facing an impossible deadline. The best time for meaningful communication in a relationship may be at the end of the day when lying in bed together before going to sleep. Couples can talk about the highs and lows of their day, discuss deep topics, or be intimate.

7. Take Time to Show Your Partner Your Appreciation and Love

Seizing a moment to remind your partner of your affection can significantly impact your relationship. Showing love in small ways, especially when you're not together physically, like texting a  simple "I'm thinking of you" message, demonstrates that you're engaged and deeply committed to your partnership and enriches the marriage. 

It takes effort from both spouses to achieve a healthy work-life balance, planning, and communication. Consider using Marriage in a Box for suggestions to help work through the rough areas to achieve a healthy balance between work and home life.

Marriage In a Box is a resource for obtaining tools, techniques, and solutions professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the website. You can also set goals and obtain rewards. Feel free to check out the kit and sources of information online.

Posted 9/13/2023

Is It Time for a Fall Marriage Clean Up?

When you're dating, it's easy to see the possibilities of our future together as things look bright and hopeful. Opposites attract, and differences between couples don't seem so big, but they seem to grow once we get married while the similarities recede. Marriages Can get into a rut and become stale with mundane daily routines. So, it is essential to create things to look forward to.

Intentionally Connect with Your Spouse Daily. 

Create Touchpoints. Touchpoints are times of intentional connection with your spouse that occur with moments you find in everyday life. Doing tasks as a couple, like folding laundry, walking the dog, or doing dishes, not only provides connection but helps make the load lighter. Things like making coffee for your spouse, sharing time before you start your day, and catching up on what's new, funny, or exciting can create positive emotions.

Find a time in your schedule to build your connection and closeness intentionally. Some couples do this by showering together instead of alone, which can also set the stage for intimacy. 

Reduce Distractions and Communicate.

Make it worthwhile when you make time to talk by reducing misunderstandings and tension. It's painful when one or both spouses feel unheard or misunderstood, but it's also avoidable! Using the Stop-Look-Listen system is a technique to hear one another well and grow more connected through spending time together. 

Stop. Stop whatever you're paying attention to and give your spouse full attention. Let them know if you need a few minutes to wrap up, set a timer, then follow through.                                                      

 Look. Turn to face your spouse. Give eye contact. 

Listen. Listen to hear, not to respond. Try to understand where your partner is coming from and what's on their heart and mind. Reflect on what you heard them say and clarify to avoid making assumptions or mishearing. 

Clear the Air of Negative Emotions, Hurts, or False Assumptions.

Suppose you are in the habit of sticking a band-aid over problems. Now is the time to start healing those wounds, making peace, and restoring your relationship to health. Allow time for this process; "slow and steady wins the race," and be gentle with each other. Here are some suggestions:

  • Have more gratitude. Research shows there is power in gratitude and expressing appreciation for each other creates bonding. It's essential to notice the good rather than focus on what is not good.
  • If you created brokenness, fix things. We all make mistakes that can inadvertently hurt our partners; asking forgiveness and changing direction can go a long way toward healing. The important thing for the health of relationships is taking ownership.
  •  Create happy memories. If Boredom and a lack of fun have permeated your relationship, it's time to have positive experiences together to lay down the negative. Positive thoughts get internalized to result in positive emotions and free your brain from the negative. 
  • Avoid assumptions. A good way for couples to avoid distress is to ask their spouse what they meant by a statement rather than assume something negative that can taint an emotional response towards them.
  • Examine your emotions for hidden resentments. One problem resulting from insufficient communication in marriage is the build-up of negative emotions toward each other. Begin discussions with "I statement" rather than using attacking language.
  • Check in with your Spouse Daily Intentionally.  A brief" How are you? How are we? Is everything okay?" will do.

Spend time Reminiscing on Happier Times in Your Relationship.

Take a walk down memory lane. Remember when you met, recall what drew you together, and take some moments to reflect upon this time. Research shows that happier couples can remember pleasant earlier memories. It can anchor the relationship and remind you of what you might have forgotten. 

Banish Boredom with date nights and play dates.

Pack your favorite foods and head to a scenic spot for a picnic date. Throw down a blanket and pillows, enjoy the views, and have great conversation while dining. Adding some music can set the tone to create a romantic and relaxing ambiance. Regular date nights and fun games or activities strengthen the bond between couples. 

There are many factors to solving the marriage doldrums and disconnection problems where therapy is needed. If you continue to have trouble reviving the spark and fun as a couple, consider using Marriage in a Box for suggestions to help revive the spark.

Marriage In a Box is a resource for obtaining tools, techniques, and solutions professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the website. You can also set goals and obtain rewards. Feel free to check out the kit and sources of information online.

Posted 9/6/2023

Get Rid Of Selfishness In Your Marriage

A marriage has an ebb and flow with giving and receiving. When one of the partners always gives more than the other, the relationship be comes unbalanced and needs attention, or it may drive that partner away. When one is so concerned and consumed in themselves, they forget to care about their life-long partner, disrupting the balance of married life. Caring about each other's needs and moods is essential in marriage.

Understanding Selfishness 

Selfishness is the tendency to act excessively or solely to benefit oneself, even if others are disadvantaged.

Selfish behaviors and attitudes are displayed by the following:

●      Lack of empathy

●      Prioritizing personal needs consistently

●      Disregard for partner's feelings and opinions

 Traits of selfishness in marriage:

      1. Acting in self-interest or feeling entitled instead of considering others' needs.

      2. No empathy for suffering people.

      3. No remorse when they've hurt others

      4. Use manipulation tactics and others to get what's wanted.

      5. Asking for favors but not repaying them.

      6. Unkindness, or kindness, has a price.

  Common examples of selfishness in marriage are:

●     When a partner makes their choices, desires, and decisions to benefit them only, regardless of how it would affect the other partner, it is selfish.

●     During arguments or a disagreement, both partners must be considerate towards each other's feelings; being one-sided is selfish.

●     In a marriage, family time should be a priority; getting so immersed in a career is detrimental that a spouse or family has lost their time and effort from that partner.

Causes of Selfishness 

Selfishness can vary with situations; everyone engages in this behavior to a certain extent.

Here are some factors that can cause selfishness:

Genetics: Family members with narcissistic personalities might make people more likely to display this trait.

Upbringing: Growing up with adult mentors who emphasized materialism and self-centeredness can influence selfishness in their child.

Stress: People may become selfish as a response to stressful events.

The Impact of Selfishness on Marriage 

Selfishness on the part of a spouse can cause their partner reluctance in thinking about their happiness. It can badly damage your love life if selfishness is repeatedly displayed. Physical intimacy, as well as emotional intimacy, is lost, and resentment can arise. Communication can break down, and trust weakens along with the couple's connection. Selfishness in a relationship might force the other partner to seek love outside the relationship.

Cultivating selflessness 

Here are some steps for couples to take:

●     Listen. Listen to grasp your spouse's feelings with as much accuracy as possible.

●     Validate. Respond verbally to your spouse with validation like, "I can see how you'd feel that way." while avoiding judgment and trying to fix.

●     Share. Put yourself in their shoes and look at the world from their eyes. Experience the anger, frustration, excitement, happiness, or feelings they express with an empathetic ear and a compassionate response.

●     Practice vulnerability. Empathy is built by both people in the marriage opening up about situations, feelings, and thoughts, and each responds similarly with empathy.

Overcoming Challenges

 Assertive communication is a skill that is valuable with selfishness. Practicing assertive communication allows setting clear boundaries, confronting selfish behaviors, and expressing feelings. Communicating in a way that will enable you to advocate for yourself while collaborating to find a middle ground with solving problems may be very effective with a selfish person. Using open and honest communication while sharing your needs, desires, and concerns and using skills such as active listening by focusing on what your partner is saying while showing understanding and validation is also helpful.

If you have a selfish person in your life, they've likely hurt you at some point, whether they realize it or not. Here are some tips to deal with the selfish people you have in your life.

Don't take it personally.

Understand that selfish people behave in their self-interest, regardless of how you act. Avoid taking their behavior personally or blaming yourself.

Set clear boundaries.

Sticking to boundaries may help you be less affected by the selfish person's behavior.

Practice acceptance

Understand that with mental health issues, there may be nothing you can do to change this person's behavior. If a confrontation doesn't change the person's behavior as you'd hoped, practicing acceptance in such situations isn't easy, but it may be necessary.

Get educated.

Knowledge of the root causes behind selfish behavior can help you empathize with the person and gain a deeper understanding that their behavior is not your fault.  

If you or your partner are struggling with selfishness, Marriage in a Box is an excellent resource for learning strategies and identifying selfish behavior patterns and communication skills.

Consider using Marriage in a Box to heal your marriage.

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 8/30/2023

Rebuild Lost Intimacy with Your Spouse

Intimacy is reflected in a couple's comfort and closeness and includes emotional and sexual intimacy. Intimacy occurs when two people know and care for each other. These couples are typically open, familiar, and vulnerable in their relationship.

Intimacy intensifies the bond between two people and allows them to open up in front of each other. It fulfills an individual's emotional and physical desires. Intimacy in marriage fosters a close personal bond. While it can prove crucial to friendships and relationships between parent and child, siblings, and others, it is vital to romantic relationships. However, maintaining intimacy and keeping that flame alive in marriage isn't easy. Fortunately, couples can keep the spark alive with reflection, hard work, and innovation.

What does no intimacy in marriage mean?

No intimacy in marriage from a wife or husband means that a couple is not sexually or emotionally involved with each other. It can indicate deeper physical, emotional, or relationship issues between the couple. 

How important is intimacy in marriage?

Intimacy is an essential aspect of marriage. If you lack intimacy in your marriage, address the issue healthily and constructively. Ignoring the issue can damage the marriage.

Understanding the Causes of Lost Intimacy

Some of the most common reasons why there is a lack of intimacy in marriage are:

●     Low libido or mismatched sex drives.

●     Childbirth.

●     Workload.

●     Stress.

●     Medical conditions such as erectile dysfunction.

●     History of sexual abuse.

●     Infidelity.

●     Insecurities or other personal factors like fears, anger, or resentments.

Rebuilding Physical Intimacy

Five tips for restoring intimacy in marriage.

To repair your relationship:

1. Recognize what triggered the lack of intimacy and why you must do something about it early.

2. Be honest with yourself and talk to your spouse.

3 . Prioritize rebuilding intimacy, which requires both partners to commit to effort for change.

4. Remember to also focus on building emotional intimacy. While sexual intimacy is essential, emotional intimacy is equally crucial.

5. Pay attention to the importance of communicating openly with your partner.

Heal Emotional Wounds and Resolve Conflicts.

Intimacy is displayed in a romantic relationship when two people know and care for each other; these individuals are open, familiar, and vulnerable.

There are four main types of intimacy: 

●     Emotional intimacy

●     Intellectual intimacy

●     Sexual intimacy

●     Experiential intimacy.

 Before you can work on intimacy in marriage, it's essential to understand these four main types of intimacy:

●     Emotional intimacy can occur when couples feel comfortable sharing their feelings (good and bad).

●     With intellectual intimacy, people feel safe sharing their ideas and opinions, even when they don't see eye to eye on the matter.

●     Sexual intimacy happens when people engage in sensual or sexual activities.

●     People engage in experiential intimacy when they bond during day-to-day activities or work together to accomplish a mission. 

Fulfilling each intimacy area helps strengthen a bond. Fulfilling is often a natural part of developing a relationship, but intimacy can bond us as we get closer to an individual. Fortunately, finding that spark again and improving every type of intimacy in your marriage is possible.

Try seeking out new experiences together and reveling in the closeness and comfort you have built in your relationship. 

Change up your routine to evoke intense emotions again and maintain avenues of communication. 

Find ways to put your love on display and show your spouse that you care for and support them.

Go out of your way to do the unexpected and surprise your spouse. 

Maintaining intimacy in marriage is a challenge, but couples can spark the flame with creativity and departing from the mundane. Intimacy isn't just about a physical connection; it's also about closeness and familiarity. 

Seeking ways to tell your partner calmly and respectfully if you're having issues is essential for maintaining intimacy. Silence is the silent killer of relationships. 

Your marriage isn't doomed if you and your spouse struggle to connect on an emotional, intellectual, sexual, or experiential level. Instead, it can continue to grow if you take time for introspection and put in the work to keep that flame burning. 

If you have trouble connecting as a loving couple, consider using Marriage in a Box for helpful suggestions and support to guide you through the stages of reconnecting for intimacy. 

Marriage In a Box is an excellent resource that provides access to the simple 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 7/19/2023

Do You Struggle with Effective Communication in Your Marriage?

A couple's communication pattern can often determine the success of a relationship. Good communication enhances your relationship in various ways: 

●     Couples can discuss and resolve their concerns more positively and effectively instead of stewing over negative feelings.

●     It helps with intimacy by using mutual give-and-take when sharing things about yourself and listening to the other person, fostering connection and allowing it to grow and deepen. 

●      It resolves and reduces conflict by discussing your problems openly and honestly; it helps you to resolve arguments and disagreements more readily rather than getting caught up in misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and emotional strife. 

 Other factors, including how much you interact as a couple, the personality characteristics of each partner, and stressors, all play a part in determining how satisfied people feel in their relationship. Research suggests that communicating well isn't a guarantee for a happy relationship. Research indicates that good communication skills enhance relationships and well-being in many ways.  Effective communication is a way to foster a supportive marriage. By actively listening and responding to your partner (and vice versa), you are more likely to feel valued and cared for.

Recognize the Impact of Poor Communication

If you and your partner struggle with communication, consider talking to a professional for advice and tips on coping. Poor communication leads to money problems because it is hard to plan a budget together without discussing it. When there is no communication, there is no way to compromise. If you have barriers to your communication that you as a couple are unable to overcome, it may result in making wrong assumptions, and you become emotionally distant, and your sex life will suffer. You and your partner may seek others to fill the void. A marriage with little communication shows neglect and can become stagnant.

Causes of Communication Breakdown

Couples often have difficulty communicating about subjects that may cause arguments, like; finances, household chores, trust, jealousy, parenting styles, intimacy, spending time together, and tidiness. If the argument still needs to be resolved and drags on for weeks or months, the communication rut often leads to a breakdown. Criticism, contempt, stonewalling, or defensiveness become frequent if communication breaks down, and an unwillingness to find a path forward may occur.

Signs of Communication Problems

●     Avoid assumptions about your partner's thoughts or feelings and minimize or avoid criticizing one another. Engaging in passive-aggressive behaviors or behaviors that seems harmless but indirectly displays unconscious aggressive motives is toxic.

●     A neutral approach, with neither offense or defense, will help to hear and evaluate your partner's point of view and try to reach a compromise to avoid having the same arguments repeatedly.

●     Stonewalling or intentionally shutting down during an argument to avoid problems, also known as silent treatment, can be hurtful, frustrating, and harmful to the relationship. Difficulty talking to your partner is a sign of communication problems, and you may need more help from a therapist for tips and advice on coping.

Strategies for Enhancing Communication

The key to effective communication in a marriage is listening.

Factors involved in active listening can include:

●     tone of voice

●     one way to avoid misinterpretations of tone is with written communication (through text, for instance)

●     body language

●     using gentle touch

●     silence to reflect or listen.

Couples need to learn how to do reflective listening, which involves actively listening to what a person says and reflecting and repeating their statements to them. This type of listening helps your partner feel heard and understood, building their self-esteem, and fostering positive social and emotional feelings between you. It helps to clarify your partner's feelings, needs, and expectations so they feel understood, heard, and valued.

 You can foster competent marital communication with effort. If you approach conversations by avoiding thinking you are right about something and being clear and direct, it will help keep the peace in your relationship. You have a right to your thoughts and feelings but remember that a conversation should not be a battleground where you must prove yourself right. Talk about your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and listen to your partner's thoughts, feelings, and ideas with interest. Be cautious about misinterpreting relationship messages, so it pays to clarify the content of your messages to have clear communications.

Avoiding communication or silence is a type of communication that can send a negative, hurtful message. We can learn new behaviors if we are willing to put in time and effort. If we lower our ego and pride and realize it takes time to make changes, we can improve communication with our partners.

If you and your partner struggle to communicate, Marriage In a Box may be an option for learning new communication and listening skills, suggestions on avoiding pitfalls, and available coaching. Consider using Marriage In a Box for help in your new journey to help heal your relationship.

Marriage In a Box is an excellent resource that provides access to the simple 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 7/12/2023

Fight Fair with Your Spouse

Marriage partners will always have different thoughts, feelings, or values, even if you have much in common. Your differences may create healthy debates over politics, current events, or other situations and keep life interesting. Other times, conflicts may be over things like children, in-laws, tasks, and other everyday occurrences. Things may become heated, but as long as they stay respectful, these can be meaningful learning moments because they teach you valuable communication skills. Anyone in a relationship needs to work on healthy fighting in some capacity.

Be Mindful of Serious Damage to Your Marriage in Arguments.

According to psychologists, relationships fail because of trust issues, unmet expectations, and compatibility, to name a few. Frequent arguing can lead to a troubled relationship and, if handled poorly, could end the relationship altogether. While fighting in a relationship is normal, there are ways to stop and take your conflict with poise and understanding.

It's Not Whether You Win or Lose. 


Challenging each other intellectually with healthy debates helps you identify how your partner communicates. It shows how the other person deals with agreeing to disagree and when you should react or end the conversation. Staying calm shows self-control and an ability to handle a difference of opinion without leading to an argument. Learning some fair fighting rules can help you resolve conflicts or agree to disagree in a healthy, constructive way without hurting your partnership.

Six Rules for Fighting Fair.

1.Make Sure you know what you want from your partner.

Your partner cannot read your mind, so clearly tell them what you need. Whether it's something concrete or emotional, it will let your partner know how to make you happier and prevent future arguments. 

2.    Avoid monopolizing the conversation with a tirade.

It can be unpleasant when someone speaks over you or begins talking about themselves when trying to convey your feelings. Allowing your partner the courtesy to complete their thoughts during any argument is essential to ensure they feel heard, valued, and appreciated. Acknowledge that you understand and respect their point of view and ask them why they think the way they feel before you disagree.

3. Listen to what your partner is upset about before responding.

Look out for the interests of your spouse, as one of the components that can lead to an unfair fight is usually selfishness. The results will contradict the couple's well-being when looking out for their interests rather than their spouse's. It is wise to check your motives before engaging.

To be a good listener, give your partner uninterrupted time to talk. Great listeners are slow to speak, so they take in what their spouse is saying. When your spouse talks, do you listen or begin forming a rebuttal? The other thing great listeners do is ask great questions. Seek to understand by asking questions that lead your spouse to feel heard.

4. Don't drag in the past. Stick to the current issue at hand.

 Don't Bring Up Past Arguments. While building your case with past offenses is tempting, it may remind your spouse of all the areas they failed in the marriage. Fighting fair in marriage involves grace and love in abundance. Choose to stay on topic rather than bring up the past.

5. Attack the issue, not each other.

As spouses, you are on the same team with dreams of facing this world together. Fighting fair in marriage always includes being respectful and considerate. Remember, your goal is resolution. Anger can harden hearts, whereas respect leads to a solution. Don't let your emotions dictate your behavior; maintain a respectful demeanor. If overheated, stop action, take a time out, and agree to return to the game as soon as possible. Often taking a 15-minute break will allow you to continue productively.

6. Remember, the goal is to find an agreeable solution.

Strive to come to mutually beneficial solutions. Negotiate, barter, compromise, sacrifice, and be creative in this process. You may have to let go of things you want, but you can find happiness. Consider being happy over being correct, which will help keep the peace. When you get through a challenging conflict, make sure that you celebrate together! 

Trying to reach a compromise in conflicting situations takes time and effort. It can be challenging to get each other on the same page. Maintaining your marriage and family bond requires skillful communication techniques and a lot of openness. Consider using Marriage in a Box if you need helpful advice and suggestions on working through this.

Marriage In a Box is a great resource that gives you access to the simple tools, techniques, and solutions that professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the site. You can set goals and earn rewards. Feel free to check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 4/12/2023

Will a Spring Getaway Help or Harm Your Marriage?

Daily routines like cleaning, running errands, spending time with family, and even date nights can develop a rote quality. The daily routines and stressors of life can dampen romance and connection. Vacations with your partner may be a time of refreshing and a chance to reignite your relationship and spark. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, just a weekend away from what has become mundane. A romantic getaway is a time to keep things light and positive. 

Ways a Spring Getaway Can Help Your Marriage

Being in a Beautiful Place Can Create an Opportunity to Reconnect.

Being together in a scenic and serene setting can bring peace and create an opportunity to focus on each other and reconnect on an intimate level. A beautiful vacation location and change of scenery can inspire couples to take up activities that would foster qualities that initially drew them to one another.

Vacation is a Chance for Personal Relaxation.

Couples may find that being on vacation carries no pressure to do anything or be anywhere on time and allows for personal relaxation. Vacation gives couples a break from their routines and fosters relaxing activities, like nature walks, afternoon naps, breakfast in bed, and massage. A vacation can help couples experience the good in life, revive their romance and deepen their connection.

Travel Can ignite Romance and Intimacy.

A positive correlation exists between high relationship satisfaction and using travel to improve romance. These trips together give much-needed time away from stressors and other demands so couples can focus on each other and experience fun and positive energy. Romantic couples' trips together are essential for sparking romance and sexuality more than couples who do not travel together. 

Ways A Spring Getaway Can Harm Your Marriage.

Travel Can Be Stressful and Exhausting.

Some vacations can be very tiring. Going from city to city and place to place with little time to catch your breath can be fun but exhausting. Unfortunately, when tired, we tend to lash out at our partners, and poor sleep leads to more negative interactions with partners, which may fuel more sleeplessness the next night.

Travel increases opportunities for conflict due to increased interdependence.

We may have more conflicts with our partners because we are highly interdependent during travel. What one partner does has a significant effect on the other partner. Couples must negotiate every decision together during the journey. Even daily disputes over how to spend leisure time are common. 

A Getaway Takes You out of Your Routine and Comfort Zone.

Embrace the good and the bad of your partner; you will have some beautiful moments but don't expect everything to be rosy. Every second of your trip will not be glamour and romance because sometimes:

  1. There are delayed flights. 

  2. One or the other may get lost.

  3. There can be frustrations with language.

All these things can kill romance. Travel has an inherent advantage: it constantly adds excitement and novelty to your life. Some level of routine is acceptable, but don't get so caught up in the daily routine and schedule that you forget:

  • spontaneity

  • romance 

  • small loving gestures.

Try to shake things up and consider what that means to you and your partner. 

How To Ensure Your Vacation Is a Happy One.

Make Planning the Vacation Itinerary a Couple's Activity.

It can deepen your intimate connection to ask and listen to each other about your desires for this vacation. Once you know what your partner wants from the holiday, you can create a mutually beneficial plan. Make choosing a destination, lodging, and forming an itinerary part of the fun. Couples should also discuss their expectations for the trip and be specific about how they want to feel when they return home. 

Provide Room for Downtime.

Instead of a packed itinerary, maximize downtime and focus on a relaxing experience with your partner. If you plan too much, you'll focus on adhering to the schedule rather than being present and taking in the experience. Give yourself a chance to feel all the experiences with your partner and create memories while on vacation.

Choose some Activities new to Both of You.

Choosing a new activity for both of you can deepen your emotional connection. Whatever activity you choose, be it ziplining, walking in nature, or a winery tour, ensure it's a new experience for both of you. Free yourself of your daily roles at home and bring in the playful parts of you: the adventurer, the lover, the free spirit.

Spend time talking and listening together.

Couples need to spend time together while on vacation, discussing how to keep the connection alive in their daily lives and renew their commitment. Practice active listening as a couple and plan time to put the phones away. Have an undistracted conversation and practice active listening and mindful presence with each other.

Focus on showing each other love. 

Talk about when you first met and what you loved about each other to remember what attracted you. Take up activities on your vacation that foster the qualities that initially drew you to one another. Take time to hold hands, kiss, and hug without pressure to have sex. Vacation is an excellent way to focus on showing love through the other person's love language or how they show their love (whether it be gifts, acts of service, affirming words, touch, or quality time together).

A couple's getaway is great for refreshing your intimacy and connection. If you continue to have trouble connecting as a loving couple, consider using Marriage in a Box for helpful advice and suggestions to guide you through the stages of reconnecting.

Marriage In a Box is a great resource that gives you access to the simple tools, techniques, and solutions that professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the site. You can set goals and earn rewards. Feel free to check out the available kit and sources of information online.

Posted 3/29/2023

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