happy marriages Posts

** Limited Time Offer! ** Renew and Strengthen Your Love Connection with Your Partner

There is no better time to do this!
Want some proven strategies that really do work?
For a limited time, I am able to offer the principles John Gottman discovered in his 40 years of research using an online Zoom format that will allow you to learn to enhance your relationship from the comfort of your home.

If you are longing to have a solid connection with your partner this program not only gives you hope but tools that work! You will learn skills and maintain gains through a lifetime.

Description of Program:
The 7 Principles Couples Program is not therapy but is psycho-educational. The format includes lectures and private couple exercises. It is 12 modules and 6 separate question and answer sessions on Zoom. How great is that?

To learn more, go to https://lynda-chalmers.mykajabi.com/7-principles or click the link in the sidebar for 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work.

Be Aware of Your Capacity to Affect Your Partner’s Emotional and Physical Health?

Brain research shows us that we are much more relational then we thought we were and so much a part of “we” in the world then we previously thought. What that means in relationship is that we have the potential to effect our partner for good or for bad. I remember when I was in grad school, long before we had the great brain research we have today, we did a little experiment. In the greater class the professor asked for a volunteer. He tested this person’s energy / strength by pressing down on their arm, while the person pushed up. We then sent the person out of the room, closed the door and thought negative thoughts about them. At that point the volunteer returned to the room and the professor tested their energy / strength again using the same method. The volunteer’s muscles were too weak to hold their arm up at all. As she did not know what we were doing, she was greatly surprised (as were we!). We then sent the poor soul back out of the room again and thought positive thoughts about them. When tested again, their muscles were strong again. I remember being amazed at the impact we could have on others, just with our silent thoughts.

That seems pretty profound to me. Are you taking that responsibility on in your relationship? Is it your intention to watch out for your partner’s emotional health? Do you direct your energy towards positive interactions together? Do you think positive thoughts about your partner often? Do you give your partner the loving gift of your touch? One idea that I recently heard was to choose a couple of words that you want to be for your partner and whenever you are about to connect with your partner you bring to mind those 2 words that you intend to be for your partner. For instance, if I chose loving and supportive, when I walked into the house at the end of the day, I would be sure to give my partner a loving touch, say words of love such as I missed you today and then I would see what I might do to support him or her in our time together. These ideas are some ideas that Gottman found in his research to predict whether or not your relationship will sustain and be happy. Use this information to go forth and be wonderful today!

Be an Exception Detective

Be an Exception Detective:

When you are not doing well in your relationship, the focus is on what is not working. It is human nature, when focussing on the negative, to feel as if what is going wrong is a long string of events that is a never ending pattern. When I ask couples in this state if there is anything going right in their relationship, they have a difficult time trying to come up with anything. In one of the theories in psychology, Narrative Therapy, one looks for exceptions when there are problems. It doesn’t matter how bad things are, there are always exceptions. There are times when the two of you are working well together in your roles or at your parenting or teaming up together against a problem. It is just that your focus is not there – you are not noticing these times.
One of the ways to make changes in a relationship is to begin to look for the positive exceptions that occur in your relationship. Focus on how well you do at certain times. What is it that you do that makes those times work? What is it that you are saying to yourself? What is it that you are actually doing? What is your attitude? What is your level of hopefulness that you can both do whatever it is? Notice what was happening before this event occurred. What was your stress level that day?
Compare that to the times when you are not doing well. Notice what you are saying to yourself then. What has occurred in your day that perhaps is getting dumped into the problem? What particular worries might have impacted your negative events and caused your stress level to be up when negotiating your life with your partner? What were you doing or not doing at that time? What was your attitude and your level of hopefulness that you could work together? Had you given up?
Take this bit of detective work into the exceptions in your relationship to the next level and use the principles in what works in your relationship to improve it. It sounds simple. We need to have behaviour patterns that do more of what works and less of what does not work. Unfortunately, what we often do is to do the same thing over, just trying harder at it, in the hopes that we will get a different result. Do what works and remember, again, what you focus on, gets amplified. Make sure that what you are focussing on in your relationship is what you want to have amplified. Go forth and be wonderful!

Happy Spring – A time of New Growth

Easter has just passed and in my part of the world it was an amazingly beautiful weekend (see www.facebook.com/healthier marriages to see some of the beauty of where I was). Spring can really bring alive our hope in life all around us as we notice the signs of renewal and growth everywhere. You can use this time to notice where you need to grow in yourself and your relationship. Places to check for possible growth are;

  1. How are you doing as a partner? It is often the little things that make things go smoother such as everyday kindnesses and courtesy in your relationship. The times that we remember to say thank-you for an everyday task that our partner performs or noticing and helping to smooth the way for our partner as we would others (such as holding the door etc are ways that this kindness and courtesy can help your relationship.
  2. How about acts of supreme love such as when you recognize that your partners negative emotion that is directed at you is not appropriate but you accept and love your partner, choosing not to react to the injustice. I call this a supreme act of love because it is very hard for us to let go of our sense of justice and allow mercy to rule in our relationship.
  3. How about when your partner’s vulnerability is showing? Such as their inability to be able to negotiate. Are you able to curtail your own drive for winning and help your partner to negotiate, to be understood by you and to allow yourself to be influenced by your partner?
  4. How about actually listening to and trying to understand what you partner has repeatedly tried to tell you. And then entertaining the idea of how you might change that which is bothering them.

These are just 4 possible growth areas that might make a difference to you personally as well as your relationship. You may have a few things that you know would make a difference but you have been putting them off. Now is a great time to focus on yourself and where you could make one change now. We are entering our second quarter of 2013 and we are 3 months away from our New Years resolutions. Most of us need reminders as the year passes of what we really wanted from the year and reminders of the effort it will take us to get there along with the rewards that will happen when we actually make the changes necessary. Go forth and be wonderful in this!


Happily Ever After?

The statistics for marriage longevity can erode hopefulness for happiness in marriage, especially in the hard times. I will often have a part of the couple turn and ask during a session, “Does anybody really make marriage work and are they happy?” We certainly have research from John Gottman that says, yes, and if you are fortunate, you will know those in your circle of friends that are happily married. But here is more!  By using brain scan imaging, researchers at Stonybrook University showed that love really can last. in studying the brain scans, ‘there were very many clear similarities between those who were in love long term and those that had just fallen madly in love,’ Aron said. “[The brain scan showing the reward and motivation region of the brain] showed greater activation for those in the long term couple group who scored especially high on romantic love scales and on closeness scales based on questionnaires”, adds Dr. Aceredo. It needs to be noticed that the connection, attachment, sexual activity as well as romantic love were all implicated in the study. So… and they lived happily ever after is still alive and well.