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Communication Tips for Couples #1

  Communication Tips for Couples One of the biggest topics that bring folks to couples counseling is lack of communication.  Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some basic communication tips for couples.   We'll start really simple.  Each person in the relationship should start by making a list of all the positive things about the relationship with their partner.  And I mean everything.  Think back to when you first got together.  What did you love about the relationship then?  What made you take things to the next level? Once you have your list of all the positive things about the relationship, I want you to go one step further.  Now make a list of all the positive things about your partner.  All the things you admire.  Again, think back to the beginning of the relationship, what things about your partner drew you to them in the first place?  What things made you fall in love with them?   Now take a look at the list of the positive things about the relationship.  How many
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How to Manage Anxiety as a High Performer - Part 1

  How to Manage Anxiety as a High Performer Over the next few weeks, I'm going to share some tips on how to manage anxiety, especially for those who are considered High Performers.  Maybe you're in a Leadership or Executive Level and you're excelling at your job, but deep inside, every day is a battle within yourself. Together, we'll look at some strategies you can use in the moment of anxiety, that no one else even has to be aware of.  Because, let's face it, you don't want everyone else to know just how anxious and uncertain you're feeling. So, we'll start simple.  Breathing exercises. First, you'll inhale for 5 seconds, taking a nice big, deep breath.  Then you'll exhale for 5 seconds, preferably through your mouth, letting out as much air as possible.  And then you'll repeat this for about 1 minute.  If you're able to or comfortable with it, you can even close your eyes while you do this, to help minimize distractions. What you'll

Family Meetings in Marriage

  A common theme I hear when working with couples, is that there is a lack of communication between the two of them, or between them and their children.  They often feel like no one is on the same page.  And even moreso, they feel like they never have the time to talk because they are so busy. What I have found to be very successful with couples and families is to institute a weekly Family Meeting. This is a scheduled period of time that everyone sets aside to meet and talk together.  It creates a sense of purpose and unity that manay families struggle with.  It makes space for each person to share what's on their mind and for all parties to discuss topics that pertain to and effect the entire family.  It also tends to drastically improve communication amongst family members, thus creating more harmony. While there isn't a specific agenda for these meetings, it IS important to have an agenda.  The agenda for each family may look a little different.  But I've also found that

Using the 3 Questions in Marriage

Today we're going to talk about "the 3 questions" and how to use them successfully in your marriage. The 3 Questions are - "What's Working Well?", "What Are You/We Worried About?", and "What Needs to Happen Next?"   These questions are best used in planned conversations within a marriage relationship.  I often recommend couples who are struggling with communication, to schedule a weekly Family Meeting, in which they designated a specific time each week that is set aside to talk to each other.  There are several components that make these conversations successful.  The main ingredients are The 3 Questions. The 1st question is "What's Working Well?"  This question should be used to start the conversation.  Human nature is to want to hear positive things - about ourselves and our relationships.  By starting the conversation this way, both people's defenses come down and they are more open to a productive conversations.  Th

Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Wrap Up

  We've spent the last 10 weeks discussing the Fair Fighting Rules for Couples.  Let's summarize. Rule #1 -   Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset. Don't go into an arguement or discussion without knowing why you're upset, otherwise the discussion won't be productive. You need to be able to explain your feelings and how the situation has hurt you. And you need to stay focused on the issue at hand. If you'd like to read the full post for Rule #1, click here: https://brittaniedmillsmft.blogspot.com/2021/10/fair-fighting-rules-for-couples-rule-1.html Rule #2 -  Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them; own and express your feelings, respectfully. It's important to use words to share your feelings. You need to describe how the situation makes you feel and why. Use "I" statements instead of blaming your partner. For example, "It scares me when you don't call when you're coming home late, becaus

Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Rule #10

  As a Couple's Counselor, I've been asked to help couples learn to fight fairly.  Because, hey, all couples disagree and fight, to some extent or another.  So, I wanted to share some tips on how to have fair and productive fights with your husband or wife.  Wouldn't you rather have a productive fight, instead of one where you both end up hurting each other? So I'm providing a 10 part blog series, addressing some common Rules for Fair Fighting. During the first week I shared Rule #1 -   Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset. To read that post, click here: https://brittaniedmillsmft.blogspot.com/2021/10/fair-fighting-rules-for-couples-rule-1.html During the second week, I shared Rule #2 -  Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them; own and express your feelings, respectfully. To read that post, click here: https://brittaniedmillsmft.blogspot.com/2021/10/fair-fighting-rules-for-couples-rule-2.html During the third week, I shared Rule

Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Rule #9

  As a Couple's Counselor, I've been asked to help couples learn to fight fairly.  Because, hey, all couples disagree and fight, to some extent or another.  So, I wanted to share some tips on how to have fair and productive fights with your husband or wife.  Wouldn't you rather have a productive fight, instead of one where you both end up hurting each other? So I'm providing a 10 part blog series, addressing some common Rules for Fair Fighting. During the first week I shared Rule #1 -   Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset. To read that post, click here: https://brittaniedmillsmft.blogspot.com/2021/10/fair-fighting-rules-for-couples-rule-1.html During the second week, I shared Rule #2 -  Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them; own and express your feelings, respectfully. To read that post, click here: https://brittaniedmillsmft.blogspot.com/2021/10/fair-fighting-rules-for-couples-rule-2.html During the third week, I shared Rule