How To Take Constructive Feedback From Your Spouse, And Not Want To Kill Them

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This is a post from Elizabeth Davis of RelationshipsAdvice.co.

We’ve all been there. One moment you’re sitting together, cuddling and feeling as loved up as you could possibly be. The next moment, you’re screaming at your partner because they mentioned a flaw of yours in a passing comment.

It’s not the first time it’s ever happened, and believe me, it won’t be the last.

However, there’s a right way and wrong way to take that feedback and criticism. The WRONG way is to scream, shout and even physically attack your spouse; that’s definitely not the right way to go about it.

If your first instinct is to lash out, either verbally or physically, you need to take a second to calm yourself before anything else happens. Something as simple as counting to three in your head is a good way to calm yourself down and take control of your emotions.[Continue Reading…]

3 Ways to Surprise Your Significant Other

 

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from John and Wendy of Marriage Rescue Associates.

Whether you’ve been together a few months or a few decades, element of surprise in a relationship is always powerful.

So to keep things interesting and exciting between you and your significant other, take the initiative to surprise your spouse.

Anybody can do dinner and a movie, but to truly wow the one you love, you have to think outside the box.

With that in mind, below are three fun ideas for catching your husband or wife off-guard with unexpected affection. With a little strategic planning and foresight, you can give your partner a treat he or she never sees coming![Continue Reading…]

12 Ways to Improve Your Marriage in 2015

Couple in Love

Editor’s Note: This is a post from Rachel Dack of DatingAdvice.com.

Relationships and marriages go through many stages, changes and transitions. Similar to planting, watering and caring for seeds, in order for them to blossom into flowers, a marriage calls for constant nurturing and attention.

While our relationships bring us great joy, love and comfort, they also require deliberate effort and energy.

As all couples experience conflict and face the ups and downs that life brings, how you handle challenges, communicate and treat each other are vital components to healthy relationships. How happy and satisfied you feel in your marriage weighs heavily on the ways you interact and grow together on a daily basis, as well as your expectations. Daily interactions filled with contempt, anger, resentment and negativity drain and destroy your relationship, while kindness, gratitude and respect lead you to feeling positively about yourself, your partner and your marriage.

With a new year here, there is no better time to strengthen your marital bond, enjoy quality time with your partner and utilize a proactive approach for a loving and satisfying relationship.

Here are 12 ways to have a happy marriage in 2015 and beyond:[Continue Reading…]

How Gift Vouchers Can Be The Most Romantic Presents

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This is a guest post from Emma Merkas, co-founder of Melt: Massage for Couples.

With Christmas just around the corner, finding just the right gift for your spouse can be fraught. A gift voucher is an easy solution, but they’re impersonal and a lazy way of gift giving, right?

Wrong.

Everyone knows the best presents are thoughtful ones. And guess what? There’s no reason why vouchers can’t be thoughtful! In fact, I would argue that they’re often even more thoughtful than, say, a new sweater in a questionable color or the latest iPad.

The people that hate on gift vouchers have a bunch of arguments. Have you ever heard these?

“It’s like money, but less useful.”

“You’re basically saying you’ve given up on finding an actual present.”

“What kind of present requires work on behalf of the recipient?”

As far as I can tell, the biggest barrier to couples bestowing gift vouchers on each other is that it’s widely considered an impersonal present to give your spouse or lover come Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Birthdays.

Impersonal? Nonsense.

I mean sure, I agree that simply slapping $50 onto a department store card without really thinking it through is positively slothful.

But – done right – gift vouchers can make for some of the most touching and beautiful presents you’ll ever give, or receive.

That comes with a few caveats though. Just hear me out.[Continue Reading…]

Want Your Marriage To Last? Create a Love Map

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Duana C. Welch of http://www.lovefactually.co

“Have you seen this?”  Vic, my husband, had found something on the Internet, and he wanted to share it with me.  “Sorry, I can’t stop right now, hon; I’m writing an article on love maps,” I replied, continuing my work.

Oh, the irony.

Great Friendships Build Happy Marriages

If you’re like me, you might be tempted to believe that love makes the marital world go ‘round—that the happiest couples got that way by being the most in-love.  But according to the world’s foremost successful-marriage scientist, Dr. John M. Gottman, it’s friendship.  The thinking and the data go like this: Without friendship, love fades, but with friendship, love grows and grows.

Here’s a bit of what friendship looks like to scientists, and how we can all benefit.

Great Friends Keep Good Love Maps

If you’re partnered, think back to when you were first dating.  Half the fun was getting to know each other, right?  You probably asked one another a lot of questions about what you each enjoyed, liked, thought, believed, and dreamed.  It’s likely you wanted to know all about what your sweetie’s day held in store, and at the end of the day, you wanted to know how it had all gone.  Chances are, you knew their pet peeves, worries at school/work/parenting, and the names of their best and worst friends.

In short, if your mate were a map, you knew that map blindfolded.[Continue Reading…]

The Problem With Date Night

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This is a guest post from Emma Merkas of Couples Massage Courses.

We all know we should go on regular dates with our spouse, right?

The same way we know we should eat more Brussels sprouts and floss our teeth every day.

It’s good for us.

More than that, date night is actually enjoyable (for the record, so are Brussels sprouts if you pan fry them with some lemon juice and kosher salt!) but you wouldn’t know it the way some couples manage to avoid it.

The problem with date night is that we humans love the comfort of routine.

Stepping outside our little daily schedules takes a bit of effort. It’s much, much easier to just sit on the couch and watch TV than it is to plan a date night and spend quality time with your spouse.

And hey – I have nothing against sitting on the couch watching TV. My husband and I spent last night doing just that. But doing it every night is hardly the stuff of an impassioned marriage.[Continue Reading…]