2 of the Most Serious Problems in Your Marriage (And They Happen Before You’re Even Married)

There are the difficulties of developing relationships with your new in-laws and learning how to handling fighting with your soon-to-be spouse. The list goes on and on but I want to get back to my 2 concerns.

The first, and to me as a Marriage and Family Therapist for many years, the most serious, is about expectations. If I had a dollar for every time a young woman or man or an older woman or man said to me, “My wedding is going to be the best day of my life” I’d have an awful lot of dollars.

I’d like to break this sentence down. “My wedding (a single event) is going to be the best day of my life.” If that were to turn out to be true, and based on what couples tell me after their weddings are over, it almost never is true even at the time, then what does that say about your hopes of happiness for the rest of your life? Apparently, these people think it’s all downhill from the wedding. Putting such pressure on a single day, a single event causes tremendous stress on everyone to try and make everything perfect, and we all know nothing is ever perfect.

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According to GoodTherapy.org, quoting a book by R.S. Miller (2011) called Intimate Relationships, couples site constant pressure, criticism and opinions from others as sources of substantial stress when planning a wedding. They also indicate that finances, and expectations for perfection (unattainable) are equally stress-producing per H.T. Reis, Rusbult, C.E. (2004) in his work “Close Relationships: Key Readings. N.Y. Psychology Press

Why does this concern me? Because when perfection is not achieved, depression and self-criticism often sets in. I see couples come in and feel deflated. They had such high expectations for their wedding day and then there were problems. The band wasn’t as great as they’d thought. The food was too cold. The flowers were wilted. The guests didn’t seem to have much fun. And even when all these things went really well, many couples feel let down after the day itself. I believe this is because reality has now set in and the real work of being married and learning to live with someone else and be committed to that person forever feels overwhelming. So many brides and grooms feel doubt. Did they pick the right person? Why aren’t they feeling all tingly and excited anymore? Can they really stay with only one person for the rest of their lives? Coming from such a high as the perfect wedding expectation back to the real world is a roller coaster ride and can be quite devastating. If couples had realistic expectations for their wedding day it would make for a much smoother transition.

 

Continue Reading Here Via My Huffington Post Blog

To Talk Dirt or Not to Talk Dirt, That is the Question…

To Talk Dirt or Not to Talk Dirt, That is the Question –

There’s an article in the current issue of Cosmo about how it seems that once you are in a serious relationship, it’s not ok to talk to your girlfriends about your SO if you have bad things to say.  The writer mentions that when in her twenties, she would gladly listen to friends complain about their current boyfriends, and she would quickly suggest they “dump the guy”.  But now that she’s been in love herself, she has a different viewpoint. She thinks that a girlfriend can help you sort things out when they’re not going well, but that they often don’t want to.  

I both agree and disagree with this.  Yes, friends can be a blessing when you really need someone to talk to, just to have them listen while you try and sort things through.  But all too frequently, friends chime in with their advice, which can be useful sometimes but can also often be wrong.  While they certainly have your best interests at heart, their advice is colored by their own experiences, and they may not be the same as yours at all.

imgres-1Also, because you love your friends and trust them, you may end up taking their advice and doing something that you end up regretting.  If you decide to end a relationship, you should be the one making the decision, not your friend.

More importantly, women often will complain to a girlfriend and not say anything to their partner about what’s bothering them.  The problem with this is it creates distance between you and doesn’t allow for your partner to make any changes.  It’s like that old saying that so many women have used about not wanting flowers from their man if they have to tell him they want them.  Of course, it’s obvious that if you don’t tell him, how is he supposed to know that that’s what you want?

In the situation with things you don’t like about him, or a specific problem you have with something he’s doing or not doing, the same thing applies.  Maybe he does know that you’re unhappy about whatever it is, but maybe he doesn’t.  If you complain to your girlfriend you may get it off your chest, and feel better at that moment, but this doesn’t fix the problem.  

The most important thing two people can develop to help have a solid, positive, and long-lasting relationship is good, open, honest communication.  Obviously it’s easier to just bitch and complain to sympathetic friends than to have to confront your partner and work through something difficult.  It’s only through that kind of work together that you grow as a couple and move closer to each other.  

This is doubly true in the bedroom, where any leftovers from earlier hurts or anger will work their way between the sheets.  By not talking about these together, they become a barrier and close you off from each other.  That makes for really bad sex.

So while letting off steam with a friend about a problem with your man is ok sometimes, be sure to starts by tackling the issue head on with your guy.  When you’ve cleared the air, you’ll both be feeling much more affectionate, and the bedroom will look much more appealing.

DOES CUPID HAVE GOOD AIM?

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Quote of the day

“In trying to understand my attraction to sex, I’ve come to realize that in addition to control and paradoxically, lack of control, sex has given me tremendous power.” Sizzlethebook.com

Question

When you’re unhappy in bed with something you’re partner is doing or isn’t doing, how long does it take you to say something?

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“You know what’s really, powerfully sexy? A sense of humor. A taste for adventure. A healthy glow. Hips to grab on to. Openness. Confidence. Humility. Apetite. Intuition. … Smart-ass comebacks. Presence. A quick wit. Dirty jokes told by an innocent-looking … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day

“A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.”  D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Saturday Sex Tip

Find 3 or 4 photos of yourself as a teenager.  Then find a few of your partner.  Take about 15 – 30 minutes and write out a script for both of you as those teenagers.  Start out with a first … Continue reading