love well Posts

Who will you be as a couple in 2017?

Many people are considering who they will be in 2017. Many are setting goals that unfortunately, are rarely sustained past January. But there are few people who are making commitments about how they will show up in the world as an example of a couple who loves well and are trying to have a positive influence on their world. There has probably never been a time as important as now where who you are as a couple will make such a difference in your world. When couples show up in their world at their best, it brings such hope to others. When they see a couple who have a secure attachment relationship, others are drawn to that love and support that they sense in that couple. They respond in a biologically positive way. When you are showing up at your best in the relationship where your partner can count on you, it leaves you with emotional energy to give back to the world. That gives you meaning and gives others much needed hope for our world. This circle of positive influence is both wide and ripples outward and narrowed right into your home with your children or other intimates. How would you go about doing this as a couple this season?

1. Sit together and see what values you share. From this place of togetherness,  see where your heart leads you as you put together some possible projects that you would like to contribute together this year. There should be a sense of excitement and energy around these ideas. This might be something that you would like to change in yourself that would benefit the relationship; something that you would like to change in the relationship that would have you showing up more positively in the world; or something that you could contribute as a couple to your community.

2. Have times of reflection and renewal to keep your desires alive together over the next weeks and months. This needs to be built into your calendar together. You will show up together to evaluate how you are doing and to support and encourage each other in your projects together.

Take time to think of the end of your long life and imagine how the decisions to be a great partner and couple in 2017 will make a difference to how you feel you lived your life. Enjoy the process. As usual go forth and be wonderful!

5 Actions You can Take to End the Year Well Relationally

Fall is here. September is the beginning of the last quarter of the year and a time to evaluate, once again, whether we have created the kind of relationship that we wanted on January 1st, 2013. If you have taken the temperature of your relationship and found it wanting, what are some actions you could take now that will move you towards the couple journey that you would love to have. Here are 5 possibilities.
Say 4 or 5 kind or positive things to your partner today and everyday day this month. What will that do? First it will change you inside. What we say in our relationships matters. In fact, in Gottman’s research, 5 to 1 kind to negative interactions is an indicator of a stable relationship. Whereas, 1 to 5 kind to negative interactions is an indicator of impending divorce.
Honour your partner’s differences. I hear lots of couples who come to a session with me where they reflect on the differences between their partner and themselves. Unfortunately, their partner’s differences become negative personality characteristics in their mind, sometimes resulting in criticism or contempt. When you choose a partner, you choose a set of differences. What you do with those differences is what matters to your inner happiness. Will you adjust and work with your differences, allowing room in the relationship for the other person? Will you honour those differences by allowing them to be an enduring characteristic? From now until the end of the year, do not allow yourself to dwell negatively on your differences, but appreciate them. Laugh a lot about the 2 of you in your relationship.
Be present. When you are with your partner, be there. We are so busy these days and the culture of our technology can sometimes mean that we are multitasking by texting etc. I see it everywhere. Couples sitting in a car where they are both on the phone or sitting in a restaurant together, texting or on the phone. They are beside each other but not being present to each other. You may have heard a complaint from your partner regarding this. Decide for yourself a change you will make in being present to the end of the year.
Add an interest or spark in your life. Take a course together this fall. For instance, take some dancing lessons. The tango is a great dance for couples. Or join a hiking club or something else that would add a new element of experience in your couple life. Consider adding a new spark in your sex life. Even if it is adding another night or morning of love making or adding some sexy new night wear or? Take in a relationship workshop to increase your skills.
Reinstitute your date night. It really makes a positive difference in your relationship. But make it a date night where you have given some thought to your conversation topics. Consider how you can chat with your friends a mile a minute while in some partnerships there are uncomfortable silences or the same conversations about the kids or family again and again. Explore a topic together that you have not explored before. Adopt an attitude of curiosity about your partner’s thoughts and ideas around the topic and it will go well.
Above all enjoy your journey. We get this one opportunity and we are also given the ability to create a great relationship. Pay attention to the positive tools and skills for a great relationship. Be renewed in your quest for more!

If you are in the Vancouver area and would find value in improving your relationship skills, I am offering a workshop for couples using the book, “7 Principles for Making Marriage Work”, by John Gottman, as the text. Please join us. For more information and registration see: