How Can We Get Physically Healthier as a Couple?

Wondering how to get physically healthier as a couple? The struggle is very real for many couples and it affects more than just your physical health.

Your mental health also suffers making it harder for your brain and body to hold up to the pressures of life. But there are things you can do to take back your life. You don’t have to let poor health sabotage your future.

Here are a few of many steps you can take as a couple to improve your life together in this way.

Get Healthier as a Couple by Doing Less

You and your partner may be some of the most driven people around. But you likely will fail if you stay too busy.

For long-term success, you’ll need to do less. That means trimming the “fat” off your schedule before trimming it off your waistline.

Consider things that eat up your time whether it’s social media, television, too many work demands or hobbies. You can still have some time to do those things but you’ll need to limit them—especially if they’re sedentary activities.

Long-Term Plan with Small Daily Steps

When implementing your plan, start small and consistent. Set up rituals that you do every day. Maybe you begin with a ten-minute walk regardless of how busy you are or the weather conditions.

You also can agree to no food after 8:00 in the evening or whatever works for you. Set small daily exercise and healthy eating goals.

The important thing is to make sure your small steps are realistic. If you place too many demands on yourselves as a couple, you’ll get discouraged and likely stop trying.

You’ll Need Help to Get Physically Healthier as a Couple

Along your path to improved physical health, you’ll have many ups and downs. If you try to do this thing alone, you’ll almost certainly fail.

If possible, both of you agree to make your physical health a priority so you can be happier as a couple. Make a pact together to not give up.

Also, include others in your life who will encourage you along the way and who you can encourage. If you feel that isn’t enough, consider hiring a trainer or working with a therapist.

A trainer will help you with the nuts and bolts of an exercise plan while a counselor will enable you to overcome unhealthy life patterns that stand in your way to better health.

Couples counseling can help you work through why you make unhealthy choices so you can leave that baggage behind for good.

One thing’s for sure: If you improve your physical health as a couple, many areas of your life will get better as a result.

You’ll experience an improvement in your mood, be happier as a couple, likely experience a better sex life and increase the number of years you have together.

Today is the perfect day to take back your physical health as a couple!

If it is time for you to schedule your counseling counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

Do You and Your Partner Have a Similar Approach to Money?

This a question to find the answer to sooner than later. If you’ve been together for a while now, it shouldn’t be too hard to know. However, even those who’ve been together for a while can have problems if they don’t acknowledge potential differences in money management.

The best way to find the answer to this question is by going through a financial course or counseling together. The worst way to find out is when something goes wrong with your finances due to overspending.

Money Management: It’s Ok for You and Your Partner to Be Different

More than likely, you and your partner will have at least a slightly different approach to money. This could lead to disagreements ranging from small to great.

Your many differences likely played a large role in what you found attractive about your partner (although similarities didn’t hurt either).

Differences in how you view finances often aren’t a bad thing. You both can learn something from each other through this process.

Your goal is to work together and decide how to make your differences work. Sometimes that means that one or both partners need to change something about themselves for the betterment of the relationship.

Other times, there needs to be a compromise. Perhaps one partner likes to keep track of every penny but needs to lighten up a bit about spending for the sake of the partner who isn’t so detail-oriented.

The “tightwad” can learn from the free spender how to give to those in need or how to lighten up and have fun every once in a while. The free spender can learn that finances can quickly become a nightmare if there isn’t some discipline in place.

Talk About Your Differences Before Problems Arise

The most common time to talk about differences in how you spend is during “pressure points.” These are the moments after something’s gone wrong. You and your partner are tense and there could be an argument if caution isn’t taken.

Troubleshoot potential problems during non-threatening encounters such as dates or at a meal. Talk about your varied opinions and some ground rules to implement.

Doing so will give you fewer financial fights and improve your communication. And that’s what you ultimately want.

Although you and your partner need money to survive, you both are way more valuable than money. Preparing ahead of time for potential differences in opinion will prove that you value your spouse as the priceless gift that he or she is.

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

When Your Husband Doesn’t Wear His Wedding Ring

Do you have a husband who won’t wear his wedding ring? While there are some women who wouldn’t find that bothersome, there are plenty who would.

You see his ring as a symbol of a lifelong commitment to you. Also, you likely see it as a visible way of communicating that he’s “taken.”

If you’re frustrated by this issue, you’re certainly not the only one. Here are some thoughts on that subject.

Find Out Why Your Husband Won’t Wear His Ring

Some spouses would question their husband the first day he stopped wearing his wedding ring. Others secretly notice and quietly stew about it over time. Still, others have asked their husband about it but he didn’t get the clue that it bothers them so much.

First, it’s important for you to find the right time to discuss this issue. During an argument is a bad time to bring it up. Look for a time when you both have your guard down and are having a good time.

That can be while you’re on a date, taking a walk together or when you’re intimate, for instance. Do your best to think the best of him instead of jumping to potentially “devious” reasons he’s not wearing his wedding ring.

Possible Reasons Why He Doesn’t Wear His Wedding Ring

Perhaps, the fear of some women is that their man not wearing his ring is a form of unfaithfulness (Or at least that it could lead to such a thing). While that could be the case, there are many other potential reasons, too.

As a rule, men are not as “ring oriented” as women. This can be observed by the fact that women are much more apt to notice a wedding ring on the finger of a man than a man is to notice one on a woman.

Him not wearing it usually means something other than a lack of commitment. Some men have occupations and hobbies that would make the ring uncomfortable and possibly even dangerous.

Add to this that most men are quite active and fear losing it. Those guys with the metal detectors at your local beach would love to find your husband’s wedding ring he lost while surf fishing or taking a swim!

Fear of losing the ring or discomfort can lend to the habit of your husband not wearing it. But maybe you can compromise on this point a bit.

Discuss times when it would be reasonable for him to wear his ring and when it wouldn’t. If your husband finds his ring uncomfortable, you can get it resized or replaced with a better option.

To sum it up, what you most want is to be loved and cherished. This is way more crucial than a ring that is or isn’t worn by your husband. Communication will help you meet somewhere in the middle.

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

When Your Husband Forgets Your Birthday

Did your husband just forget your birthday? If so, you’re understandably irked and a little hurt. You’re the most important person in the life of your husband but you sure aren’t feeling like it at the moment!

As you process feeling hurt and angry, here are some thoughts to help work through the disappointment. There are some things you can do to decrease the odds of something like this happening in the future and to even salvage this year’s birthday.

Remind Your Husband of Your Birthday Ahead of Time

Your husband likely cares very much about you but is busy. He also may be a procrastinator which only makes things more difficult for him. In his mind, he has plenty of time. But, one day, your birthday arrives quicker than expected and he’s quickly in the doghouse.

Although you may want your husband to surprise you, it’s still a good idea to drop hints in the days and months leading up to your birthday. You can share about how excited you are for the approaching day. You can also let him know about things he did in the past for you on your birthday that were special.

By giving your husband plenty of “warning,” you’re less likely to be disappointed. Your husband will feel more prepared, less last-minute pressure and be able to enjoy celebrating you better, too.

Communicate with Your Husband About What a Great Birthday Looks Like

Now that you’ve prepped your husband for the upcoming day, don’t stop there. Drop hints about what you have in mind for a successful, happy birthday. After all, mind reading likely isn’t one of your husband’s gifts.

If you don’t do this, he may be baffled as to why you’re not excited to celebrate your birthday at home eating Cheetos and watching television together. Many guys would be fine with something like that.

Your idea of a great birthday and that of your husbands could be vastly different.

Maybe your thoughts of a fun birthday involve going to your favorite restaurant together. You can give your husband a few restaurants to choose from so it’s still a surprise.

Maybe you’re the adventurous type and want to kayak down a river with your hubby, for instance. Have him pick an outfitter and stretch of river you would enjoy.

You can also drop hints about the type of gift you would like or emphasize how meaningful a handwritten card would be.

All said, be sure to make your husband’s birthday special, too. If you just skip over his special day but want the full treatment on yours, it could feel unfair to him or communicate that it’s ok to not take your day seriously.

If Your Husband Just Forgot Your Birthday

As much as you feel like it, there’s no need to freak out. This thing can still be salvaged!

Why not set a date in the near future to celebrate your birthday? You can say something like this:

“Honey, I know you forgot my birthday this year and that you didn’t mean to. Why don’t we just celebrate it this Saturday and have a fun day together?”

Any good, caring husband should be OK with that kind of proposal. The best thing is that you don’t have to wait until next year to have a fantastic birthday!

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

How to Fall Back in Love with Your Spouse

For many, such a title is met with skepticism. Far too many of us feel “old and tired” in our relationships. That initial spark of falling in love is long gone, we conclude.

It’s true that the initial spark only happens once. It doesn’t mean you have to spend your life in a dull, boring or even adversarial relationship, though.

Yes, you need more than the in-love feeling to get you through a relationship for the long haul. That doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to that loving feeling for good, though

Here’s the why and the how.

Rekindle Appreciation for Your Spouse

Something happens when we’re initially in love that tends not to happen later. We initially appreciate our significant other instead of taking them for granted.

The fact that we appreciate them shows up in our actions and, boy, do those sparks fly as a result.

Love sparks, of course. Not friction sparks!

But what tends to happen as time goes on? We take our spouse for granted.

The fact that we do this shows up in a variety of ways.

We don’t smile as much when around our spouse. We don’t compliment as much. We don’t have as much fun together. We lose or, more accurately, forget to love creatively.

Whereas we would’ve gone to the end of the world to be with our spouse, we’ll at least go to the end of town, now.

The in-love prescription is far simpler than we realize: Start doing what you used to do in your relationship when you were “in love”.

Specifically, think about how you used to show your spouse you appreciated them and start doing those things again.

Act Selflessly with Your Spouse

Remember when you would go to great inconvenience for the one you loved.

Making the life of your spouse better or easier used to be reward enough. Somewhere along the way, we grew complacent and self-absorbed.

“Where did the loving feeling go,” we lament.

It’s still there able to be had. All it needs is a spark.

Selfless acts are a great way to provide the necessary spark.

That can mean giving your spouse a foot rub, chipping in with some chores you’re not expected to do or helping to run some errands.

The key is to ask “what about them” instead of “what about me.”

Selflessness can rekindle the in-love spark like few things can.

You Don’t Need a New Person for Adventure

Buying into the lie that you need a newer model to be in love is an unfortunate and destructive lie.

People reach for other people all the time while throwing their spouse and years of a meaningful relationship under the bus.

They go to great lengths to woo a new person but fail to continue wooing their spouse. They throw away something of inestimable value for a cheap thrill.

Predictably, the new person feels more loved because that’s where the passionate attention goes. But what happens when the new thrill isn’t as trilling as it used to be—again?

If the neglected spouse had continued receiving that passionate attention, the relationship fire could’ve stayed red hot instead of going out.

If your relational fire goes out, you only need to rekindle it. Going in search of a new place to start a fire completely misses the point and causes a lot of unnecessary grief.

You don’t need a new person for adventure. Find ways to share an adventure with your spouse instead.

That Loving Feeling

Yes, you can experience it again with your spouse.

Simply do what you used to do when you were “in love.”

Next, wait for that fire to start roaring again!

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

Things Super-Happy Couples Talk About

 Super Happy Couple after successful couples counseling

Super-happy couples are in the minority. But there are always certain people who defy the odds.

If you fall into this select group, that’s awesome. If not, you can in time. (And some couples move from ‘good’ to ‘super-happy’ with some relationship skills training from  a short time in good couples counseling.) Here are some ideas for you:

Relationships are a journey and are always changing. Some are getting better and some are deteriorating.

Understanding what those with uniquely fulfilling relationships talk about will give you some ideas about how to improve your own relationship.

More Than the Weather

Before going into more specifics, it’s good to realize that the happiest couples talk mostly about things that have depth to them.

Sure, there are surface conversations about the weather, schedules and summaries of what happened during the day.

But those are conversations you can have with a perfect stranger at a coffee shop. Anyone can talk about those things.

In a healthy, committed relationship, the walls come down and discussions about things you wouldn’t share with anyone else come up.

Just what are some of these rich conversations about? Here are several common topics.

Problem-Solving Discussions

Problems abound in every relationship. Some of them, we cause. Others are completely out of our control.

Most of the time, unhappy couples fight about these stressors. By doing so, they make their problems worse than they originally were.

Although happy couples have moments of weakness and fight at times, those instances are quite rare. And when the inevitable fights come, the couples know hoe ‘fight fair.’

Instead, happy couples work together to come up with solutions to problems. They’re better able to handle the struggles every person experiences through teamwork.

They fight the problem instead of fighting about the problem. And that makes all the difference.

The result is that super-happy couples grow even closer together because of problems.

Problems cause the demise of some relationships. Those same difficulties become the glue that holds the relationships of fulfilled couples together.

Super-Happy Couples Talk About the Future

For anyone, thinking about the future can be scary. There’s no way to know exactly what will happen.

Happy couples talk about the future anyway. They share about their hopes, fears and dreams. They plan the best they can though they realize some things are out of their control.

After talking about the future, happy couples come up with ways to better themselves, their children, their community and people around the world.

Happy couples implement plans to make a positive difference in the world together.

Other Conversations

What else do exceptionally happy couples talk about?

They talk about their fears, their beliefs, their childhood and what bothers them. But that’s not all.

Happy couples build happy memories together and get to remind each other of them.

These memories make even unhappy situations much better. You’ll just know. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

What Your Mate Needs From You

What do we fixate on most in our relationships? The exact opposite of this title.

If we were honest, we’d admit that, much of the time, we think, “What I need from my mate” as most important to us.

But the surest way to get what you need in a relationship is to give your mate what they need. What you need will naturally flow back to you in that case.

Does this mean we should do unselfish things with selfish motives? No. Instead, it highlights how important it is to take care of our mate.

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind as you do just that.

Listen Without Judgment

Everywhere you turn there is criticism. A lot of the criticism is true. We all have problems and shortcomings after all. But consistent criticism and judgmental tendencies from others cause people to shut down.

As a result, most people find it difficult to be honest with others. What if those we thought were trustworthy use what we tell them as ammunition against us instead of understanding better where we’re coming from?

In your relationship, your mate needs the ability to share about the messy details of their lives. They need the ability to do so without attacks and judgment.

This is crucial because attacks and judgment are everywhere. Your mate requires a safe place to share their thoughts, process shortcomings, admit fears and talk about their dreams.

This must happen without someone stepping on their thoughts and feelings and driving them into the ground.

The best thing to do is let your mate vent and share their feelings and emotions without you initially evaluating whether they are correct. Do your best to refrain from getting angry if something is said that upsets you.

If you quickly interject disagreement with how your mate processes life right away, they’ll be less inclined to be open with you in the future.

Your mate needs the ability to express their feelings and get them out. If you’re patient, you’ll be invited to offer advice or input at the right time.

The proper time to offer advice almost never means doing so in knee-jerk fashion.

Wait and then wait some more as you stay attentive. Doing so will strengthen your relationship, increase transparency and, as a result, build trust.

Your Mate Needs a Friend

Your mate needs a friend that will be there for them no matter what.

You and your mate require other friends besides the two of you. But your mate should be your best friend.

Will you get warm and fuzzy feelings every time you’re in the room together? No.

Will you constantly feel romantic thoughts towards each other? No. That will come and go.

But what you need is a fellow life journeyer who will never leave you. Who takes on the resolve to get through life together with you in the good circumstances and the bad.

Your mate needs someone who makes them a better person. That doesn’t always mean happiness. But it means something even better than happiness: purpose.

It means that, together, you work to make the world better than you found it. It means that you leave a lasting contribution that makes a positive difference.

That is where the deepest and most satisfying form of happiness can be found! Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

3 Ways to Stop Settling for Less Than You Deserve

This subject can be a bit tricky. Taken to one extreme, we can become spoiled, privileged-thinking people that only care about our own needs.

Taken to the other extreme, we can feel like it’s bad to aim for good, meaningful and healthy things in life.

How about we cut to the chase and explore the balance between those two sides.

Non-Abusive Relationships

Let’s be up front, no one deserves that. In every single relationship, both parties hurt the other. Unfortunately, it’s bound to happen even when we make great strides at improvement.

But what is one to do when there becomes an ongoing pattern of physical, emotional or verbal abuse? “Business as usual” is not a realistic option—no one deserves to be treated like that.

Finding a competent, caring professional to help work through this can be beneficial. There are also times, for the safety of a spouse, children or both that temporary or permanent separation is the best option.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, get help as soon as possible. No one deserves that, not even your dog. You deserve love and affection—everyone does.

Follow Your Heart

When you come up to the end of your life, others aren’t going to experience your regrets. You’re the only one who will vividly feel those.

Oh, there are so many people ready to assign you to a box, though. They say, “This is who you are, this is all you’ll ever be.”

But you have your suspicions and for good reason. You don’t fit into their carefully crafted compartments. You have creative abilities and talents that must find healthy expression.

There is no one in the world like you. Act like it! Be different!

The world doesn’t need more conformists. What it most desperately needs is for you to be you—to follow your heart.

Ignore the current of conformity. Blaze your own path. And never apologize for it.

Of course, there will be naysayers along the way. But there will be those even if you conform. So, don’t bother being like everyone else. How drab that would be!

You deserve better. Painfully pick through the rubble of life to unearth the reason you were born. And once you find out, never let go of your dreams, your heart.

Everyone has dreams they must listen to and follow. Everyone deserves to follow their hearts.

Be Loved For Who You Are

Let’s wrap things up with a reminder that you deserve to be loved for who you are. Being asked to change who you fundamentally are to be deemed “lovable” is not fair practice.

If there’s something you know you need to change, then you owe it to yourself to get better. If it’s something you can’t or shouldn’t change, then don’t.

Everyone deserves to be loved for who they are, not for what others think they should be! Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Agree to Disagree

The other kindred saying to this title is “pick your battles.”

Imagine a nation that went to war over every petty provocation. That would be disastrous, wouldn’t it? And plenty of innocent people would get badly hurt in the process.

No one would deny there are times when a hard stance should be taken. But pushed too far, key relationships dissolve. Children become bitter towards their parents. Parents towards their children. Friends stop getting together.

There are certain things worth fighting for. Still, battle points often need to be dropped, axes buried and good will must prevail though complete understanding of the other side may not.

Is it time to agree to disagree? It could be. Here are some things to think about as you strive for an answer.

So Incredibly Different

It’s remarkable how differently people think and act. Even within the same family, members often shake their heads during tense times. How are such varied viewpoints possible within a close-knit group?

Step outside of your family and bring in different ages, races, nations, genders, childhoods and life experiences and things get way more interesting.

The first thing to remember is that this world is incredibly diverse and that isn’t about to change anytime soon. There’s no way everyone will ever fall in line and start thinking and acting exactly like we do.

Anyone who’s about to embark on a crusade to get others to think like they do at all costs is in for disappointment. Not to mention, a life strewn with wreckage of broken relationships.

Deciding on the Cost

Here’s a quick way to decide on whether to agree to disagree or to hold your ground. Picture a scale in your mind with a place to set something on two opposing sides. You can even draw a picture of this scale.

On one side, mentally place or write down the costs of dropping the conflict. On the other side, write down the cost of not giving in. After you’ve taken a close look at your results, decide on what to do.

Whichever side will cost you and others the most is generally the one you’ll want to avoid.

Most of the time, the necessary or best choice is to agree to disagree. Yet, there are times when this isn’t the best option.

We all tend to be biased toward our own preconceived ideas. Include a trusted friend into deciding what is best. This will help to bring in a more objective opinion.

In conclusion, agreeing to disagree, when done properly, is a huge way of showing you care. It’s a bold though friendly way of saying that you value a person’s friendship more than being right or pushing your own agenda. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Why Nagging Your Mate Doesn’t Work

There are plenty of lies we buy into about relationships. Let’s face it, we’re all working to get better in that area.

One tempting misconception is that nagging a mate will encourage and motivate them to change for the good.

It actually causes the opposite. Why is this? Let’s explore what nagging really is and why it doesn’t work.

What Is Nagging?

Simply put, nagging is an ongoing attempt to get someone to change but the attempt is carried out in a persistent, uncaring way.

A nagged mate feels demeaned, put down, treated like a child and attacked. This leads us to the first reason nagging doesn’t work.

Because of Human Nature

The natural human response to ongoing negative criticism is to rebel. This may be more commonly attributed to children but adults respond the same way.

A nagged mate won’t say, “You know, I finally see it. All along you were right!”

Instead, they’ll say, “You want to be mean? I can be mean too. You want to confront? Then I’ll just avoid.”

Since the nagging partner takes an adversarial role, for a nagged mate to give in to their critic would be to admit defeat. Human nature is to hold the high ground, not to grovel in this case.

Opposite Of What a Relationship Should Be

A good and healthy relationship is a shelter. It’s a safe place from the storms and “haters” of life.

When a mate is nagged, the one relationship that should be the safest and most supportive painfully becomes everything but that.

This inevitably leads to resentment, hurt feelings and anger. Some nagged mates live a miserable existence for years in this state.

Others quickly hit the eject button on a relationship like that. They search for someone who will be a safe, loving and admiring mate instead of a naysayer.

The Endless Nagging Cycle

Here’s how the downward spiral works.

One mate nags their partner. The other partner resists, avoids, becomes frustrated or angry. The nagged person begins becoming more “nag-worthy” because they don’t want to conform.

As a result, the confronter increases the amount and severity of their criticism. This causes the amount and severity of the push back from the receiver to multiply at the same time.

Over time, the nagging cycle grows stronger and more destructive. The nagger feels it necessary to nag because their mate is failing so badly.

The nagged person no longer wants anything to do with their mate who, in many cases, has become the most difficult person in their lives to deal with.

Summing It Up

Nagging isn’t fun for either mate. It’ll put both parties on the fast track to misery and greatly increase the chance of relationship failure.

Stop the nagging cycle by complementing your mate, talking openly about your struggles and by being more patient. You can also find an outside party to help you work through your frustrations in a healthy way.

You can break free from the nagging cycle one good choice at a time and experience a much higher quality of life in the process! Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.