Archive: April, 2010

April 26, 2010

Gratitude Journal

journal pic

Years ago I had a roommate and we would leave each other messages on a notepad.  They started as simple messages about when we would be home and later became an ongoing dialogue.  We wrote about work, people we were dating, things that happened that day and things we wanted to happen.

When I was getting married, my friend gave me a page out of our old journals.  On it, I had written about my husband and my growing feelings back when we first started dating.  When I graduated with my Masters Degree in Counseling, I received a card and another page out of the journal.  This time I had written about being dissatisfied with my “day job” and wanting a more meaningful career.  What a gift to be reminded of how I felt then as I celebrated moving into my new career!

It’s easy to take our partners and our relationship for granted when we are busy.  Things that used to impress us or make us giddy become expected or ordinary.  However, it’s important to let each other know you care and are appreciative.  One way to do this is to start a gratitude journal together.  You can use the format my roommate and I used where we wrote when we had something to say.  Or you can try a more structured approach.  You can each commit to write something daily to each other.  You can start with one thing you are grateful for each day.  It can be very powerful to share loving, written words with your partner.  And it’s a gift to receive your own written testimonials as well.  This small act can impact how you feel about each other on a daily basis and give you special things to read for years to come.

What are you waiting for?  Go grab a journal and tell your partner how much she means to you!

Filed under: Gratitude, Intimacy, Relationship — admin @ 10:04 pm

April 21, 2010

Do you feel like a part of the family when it comes to your In-laws?

Ask someone about their in-laws and you will get a variety of responses. According to those who took the “Keep It Local” poll, most of you do get along with your in-laws.

It can still be a tricky topic for some.  If you have conflict with your in-laws you can feel left out, angry, disappointed or sad.

So what can you do about it?

If you are the parent and you don’t get along with your child’s partner, you can start by letting go of (or stifling) criticism.  It’s easy to think you know best, but it’s not fair to impose your views on your son-in-law or daughter-in-law.  Offering help is different than offering advice.  Try offering a little help or support next time and see how far that can go.

If you are the son-in-law or daughter-in-law you can extend the olive branch toward your partner’s parent.  One way to do that is to invite him or her to be involved in your life in one small way.  An invitation to dinner, a special occasion or even asking for a little help can go a long way toward mending your relationship.

We talked about this very topic on “Keep It Local.”  

If you are waiting for the other person to make the first move, you may be waiting a long time.  If you want to improve the relationship, it’s up to you to make a change.  What’s one thing you can do to extend that olive branch, today?

Filed under: Family, Relationship — admin @ 5:19 am

April 14, 2010

Balance of Power on Keep It Local

We talked about the balance of power in a relationship on KOIN’s Keep It Local.  

Do you feel like you have to be “in charge” all the time? Or do you feel like you don’t have a voice in your relationship? Here are some tips on how you can balance things out.

Filed under: Relationship — admin @ 9:42 pm

April 7, 2010

Does the power in your relationship feel imbalanced?

If it feels like you have to do everything in your relationship or it feels like you don’t get to have any input, things may be imbalanced.

What are some areas where the power may be imbalanced?

Household Chores

Decision Making

Sex (initiating, or suggesting new things)

Child rearing

Things don’t have to be balanced 50/50.  But when one person feels resentful or stressed, or one partner feels left out, it might be time for a change.  At the most extreme state a partnered relationship can feel like a partner/child relationship when one person is “in charge.”  And, if you feel like you are dating your parent or your child, that’s definitely going to put a damper on your sex life.

So what can you do to balance out the power structure?  One person needs to bend.  If you are holding on to control and power, it’s time to share some of that power with your partner.  If you’ve been giving your power away, it may be time to take on some responsibilities or be involved in the decision making.  And if you can bend, your partner will bend in response.

If you are person in your relationship who feels burdened or “in charge.”  Is there one thing you can give up this week?  Perhaps you can have your partner pay one bill or pick out the place you go for your date night.  If you don’t get much input, try to assert yourself.  Propose a date night, your next vacation spot or initiate sex.

Together you and your partner can balance out the power in your relationship.  Think of it like a teeter totter.  As you move up, your partner will move down and vice versa and together you will find a comfortable balance.

Filed under: Relationship — admin @ 6:00 am

April 1, 2010

When was your last “date night?”

It might sound frivolous when people talk about needing a date night…but a little time carved out for you and your partner, can really make a difference.

Sometimes people don’t want to “schedule” a date.  They want it to happen organically, or romantically.  They want it to come about because they really want to spend time with their partner.  People sometimes say that scheduling a date feels forced.  But if we don’t schedule something, it might not happen…

A date doesn’t have to be expensive or super time consuming.  You don’t even need to leave your house.  What’s most important is that you are both participating and that you set the intention behind it.  Laying on the couch together at the end of a long day, isn’t necessarily “date night.”  However, choosing to cuddle on the couch while enjoying a movie or some take-out, might be your date night.  If you are intending to have a date, focus on connecting – emotionally, physically, intellectually, conversationally or sexually.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, disconnected from your partner, or if your missing a little bit of that spark from those initial days of your relationship, have a date night.  And then, when you see how it benefits your relationship, make sure you schedule regular date nights.  Don’t think of it an extravagant thing you can only do once in a while, but rather an essential ingredient that will help keep your relationship fun, fresh and intimate.

Filed under: Intimacy, Relationship — admin @ 2:35 am