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rebuilding connection

Opposites Attract

In the Beginning

 

Ron was initially attracted to Anna because she had her life so together. She knew what she wanted to do for a career and actively worked to achieve her career goals. She was at the top of her class and kept striving to be better. Anna aced all her assignments while holding down a part-time job. Somehow she managed to do that and make time for her family and close friends. He was in awe! Continue reading

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Cracked egg

There is meaning hidden in the small changes of everyday life, and wisdom to be found in the shards of your most broken moments.

Elizabeth Lesser

 

Broken Open

There is a book entitled, Broken open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser that contains many pearls of wisdom about change, loss, grief, and devastation that is a natural part of our lives.

 

One of the many things that I really appreciate about Lesser’s book is Continue reading

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Couple holding hands

I just finished another marriage retreat with a couple. I can’t tell you how satisfying it feels to work with a couple regarding their relationship problems and finish the weekend with everyone feeling like it made a significant difference. Continue reading

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Maintaining Your Friendship

Couple on doorstep

In some ways it’s funny to think that we have to intentionally maintain a friendship with our partner. But the reality for many of us is that life can be really hectic! Between work, family, and home–let alone time for oneself–lies a myriad of responsibilities. It’s easy for us to forget to put much into our relationship amidst all that. Suppose you took some time each week to really talk about what’s going on in your partner’s life, what difference do you think it would it make? Continue reading

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Holding handsWhen you’ve been with someone for awhile, it can be challenging to maintain emotional connection or even sometimes to remember why you liked your partner in the first place!! Continue reading

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couple walking hand in hand

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about 3 ways to help troubled relationships. I talked about friendship, influencing one another, and trying to make things better.  I’ve been thinking about advice on relationships because I’m often asked, “What makes a happy marriage or a happy relationship?” Friendship is key.

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Couples conflictRelationships aren’t easy. Once you get past the honeymoon stage and regular life sets in, it can take a lot of work!! Continue reading

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Heart candy

 

Let’s face it. Valentine’s Day can put a lot of pressure on us—if we’re not in a relationship, if our relationship isn’t going well, if we don’t have much money, or if we want to make the day really special. How can we celebrate it with meaning to strengthen the relationships we have? Continue reading

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A relationship example…

I was working with a couple. Let’s call them Marj and Jack. They had been married for 10 years and had three children. Marj made sure that everyone got to their day-to-day tasks, commitments, and activities. She also managed the cleaning, cooking, laundry, and other domestic tasks.

Household chores

Jack loved to plan and do things with the family. Whether it was skiing, biking, or camping, he got the kids and his wife out there and believed chores could wait another day. Unfortunately, his quest for fun often left Marj feeling disrespected and unappreciated. She had tried talking with Jack, but felt increasingly resentful as her attempts seemed to go unheard. He felt she needed to relax and enjoy life more. Over time, both of them dealt with their frustrations with emotional distancing. Their relationship seemed to lose its vitality as each waited for the other person to change. Knowing their marriage was at risk of dissolution, they contacted me.

The Miracle

I asked each of them to imagine when they went to bed tonight, and fell asleep, a miracle happened. The miracle was that the troubles that had brought them to my office had been resolved, but because they were sleeping, they had no idea. I asked them to consider what signs they would begin to notice when they got up and as their day progressed, that would tell them that things were different.

What do you think each of them said? If you were in this situation, what would you say? What would you be doing when things are going exactly the way you want them to in your relationship? If you find yourself saying things like, “I wouldn’t have to…” or “S/he would be…”, pause for a moment, and consider what you would be doing instead. Try to be as detailed as you can.

Marj said she would cuddle in the morning with Jack before they got out of bed. Jack indicated they would have some early morning sex. He would then get up and make Marj coffee and get breakfast going. Marj and Jack would work together to clean up the breakfast dishes, and plan their day as it was the weekend. Marj would invite Jack and the kids to help her get things ready and would appreciate Jack’s support in working as a team…

I elicited as many details as I could from each of them, talked about what the other partner would notice her/him doing, and asked them what the kids would notice was different. Eventually, we discussed ways bits of this miracle were happening even in the smallest of ways in their relationship now.

Marj and Jack were amazed to discover they wanted some similar things. As an experiment, I invited each of them to pick a day over the next week and act “as if the miracle had happened”, without letting the other person know that was the day s/he had chosen. I asked them to pay attention for signs of the miracle in their relationship—especially what each of them was doing that was a sign of the miracle, and to notice what difference it made in how their day went.

How about you?

Relationship distance can grow when each person within the relationship is waiting for the other to change or to make the first step. Focusing instead on what you’re doing that’s helping the relationship go the way you want it to can help move your relationship forward and bring that connection back again. Suppose this miracle happened in your relationship? What would you be doing that was different?

Renew your connection

Take the time to re-connect during a couple’s retreat in Banff, Alberta. Click the link below for more info:

Couple's retreat information

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Rekindling your relationshipYou and your partner have worked all day long. You’re home now and tired. But there’s dinner to make, dishes to do, tidying, and laundry. If you have kids, there’s a whole lot more to the list-spending time with her/him/them, helping with homework, going to extra-curricular activities-possibly more than one if you have more than one child. Where do you fit time in for you, let alone your partner?? Continue reading

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