Marriage Advice To Live By

Couple kayaking

Whether you are a soon-to-be or newlywed couple, there are some things you should never forget as you continue on your romantic journey together. Here are a few pieces of marriage advice that we hope you will strive to live by.

1. Always remember that you’re on the same team

When you choose to be married, you are choosing your lifelong teammate. You are both working towards the same goal, a happy and healthy marriage. When conflicts surface, focus on finding a peaceful solution rather than encouraging opposition.

2. Find balance

While dedicating time with your significant other is important, it is also good to maintain your own interests. Spend some time occasionally with your friends or volunteer for a non-profit. Don’t forgo your passions for the sake of your significant other, after all, they likely have their own things that they would enjoy doing. Support each other in your endeavors– doing so will strengthen your relationship and give you more things to talk about later on!

3. Find common hobbies

More likely than not, you have probably realized that there are some things that your significant other doesn’t enjoy doing (whereas you do). It can sometimes be disheartening to discover that some activities that you are passionate about aren’t met with the same enthusiasm from your partner. But discovery can lead to excitement. Spend some time to discover activities that you can both enjoy, it is very rewarding when you find a common interest and it allows you to do something different from the normal routine together.

4. Play & Date

Have fun! After a while, a regular routine will get established. Keep the romance alive (who said it has to end when you get married?) by setting aside some time to enjoy each other’s company. Enjoy a movie, a nice dinner, a round of mini-golf, or something else entirely. In fact, you could choose to watch a favorite tv show together on your couch. Either way, quality time spent together is the ultimate goal.

Planning to get married and want to power up your relationship to the max? Enroll in our highly-rated online premarital preparation course here: http://FLPremaritalCourse.com 

Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion

Couple Arguing

 

Relationships are full of emotions. We often think of these as happiness, joy, and excitement. In fact, with how many emotions you may experience, it’s no surprise that there are negative emotions that will appear as well. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t properly handle a negative emotion and ultimately convert it to a positive one! One of the most destructive emotions is anger — simply because it is such an easily misunderstood emotion. Many couples don’t express their anger in a constructive way, which leads to it being a hurtful experience.

Recognizing Your Emotions

When anger is expressed in a way where one partner takes it too personally or begins to feel alienated, it can have a toxic effect on the relationship as a whole. But it’s important to realize that each person has their own perceived reality, and while you may feel strongly about a situation, the other person may not feel exactly the same. With that in mind, you must take responsibility for your emotions– it isn’t bad to have them, but you should understand them. Make an effort to figure out how to handle the feeling in a way where you can satisfactorily address the problem with your partner. This is critical for communication!

“It’s not about me.”

As you come to the understanding that our emotions are a response to our own thoughts, beliefs, and other stimuli, try to be more mindful in situations when your partner is angry. While the emotions may have been brought up by something that you’ve done, they are telling you about themself. It isn’t completely about you. With that in mind, listen respectfully to what your partner has to say about the situation. It can be extremely difficult to listen without interrupting, especially in situations where you feel blamed. However, you should keep in mind that this is a form of intimacy. But instead of getting defensive, you should encourage yourself to feel curious. Ask yourself: why do they feel this way?

When you start asking yourself these questions, you place your focus on the real issue and opportunity. Not only do you get to learn more about your partner, you can understand how the things you do impact them. Conflicts are hard to handle, but by being a respectful and caring listener, you can peacefully diffuse and resolve problems.

Tips to Remember:

  • Ask questions that help you understand why they feel the way they do
  • Do not get defensive
  • Encourage curiosity between each other

Discover more tips for marriage and relationship success by taking our fun, online Florida premarital course.

Tips to Make a Long-Distance Marriage Work

Long-distance distance marriage video chatting

With our increased ability to communicate with people across the world along with economic issues, couples have more career choices and work location possibilities than ever before. While this can be exciting, it poses as an incredible challenge for couples trying to make a long-distance marriage work. It is important to realize though, that living apart can work for some couples as long they both are committed and use excellent communication skills.

Challenges:

Couples that live together are more aware of each other’s goals and intentions. This is primarily because things are shared on a day-to-day basis. Living apart makes it difficult to remain aware of changes that could occur, which can become a source of conflict. Couples living apart are more prone to experience increased jealousy or difficulty with their commitment, however, this is less of a problem if each individual is aware of their individual needs and voices them clearly.

Couples that are considering living apart should:

1. Have a discussion about why living apart is beneficial. While it is a tough situation, it can work if both partners strive to make it succeed. However, living apart is not a solution for getting away from the other… in this case, it is an unhealthy escape.

2. Make a plan to account for the details. This might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to know who will be responsible for financial chores, homekeeping, and other tasks.

3. Check in with your partner frequently. It’s important to understand if the arrangement is working for both of you. After all, in marriage, you are  a team. Maintaining relationship morale is important in order to endure tough situations like this. Similarly, if you have children, you should set aside some time every day to talk to them. Daily check-in’s with your spouse and children are important for maintaining a strong, healthy relationship when you are separated by distance.

4. Set up a time for “big picture” meetings. During this time, you can address the progress towards accomplishing the ultimate goal that provided the reason for living apart. For example, moving for a position in order to save money and move your family to another state or country. Living apart is most successful when both partners understand that the situation won’t last forever.

Long Distance Marriages Are Not Easy

If you or your spouse have difficulty trusting one another, are afraid of being alone, have never been without a close physical relationship or have health conditions that require close observation and care, living apart may not be an appropriate option to consider. Rather, it should only be an option for couples that are in a solid marriage where the financial health of your partnership will significantly improve and both individuals are comfortable with the means of communication that are available. While long distance marriages aren’t easy, they can work. In fact, they can make a couple stronger in the long run since it takes a lot of care, attention, dedication and love to make a long distance relationship work. Just remember: regardless of where your relationship is, communication is critical.

Want more tips to make your marriage strong? Take our engaging online course before you marry (or even afterwards!) at FLPremaritalCourse.com

Marriage Poem: I Promise

Are you looking for wedding vows ideas or for a marriage poem that could be suitable as a reading for your wedding ceremony? If so, here is a heartfelt poem, ‘I Promise’ by Dorothy R. Colgan, which might fit your … Continue reading 

The Honeymoon Phase is Over… What Now?

couple holding handsPeople always hear about the honeymoon phase in a relationship, where the relationship itself changes into something else. That something else shouldn’t be mistaken for something negative; it’s a time when you’re both comfortable with each other and it’s a sort of stable routine. The tension, the nervous excitement is gone and now you’re spending time with your soulmate knowing who they are and how you both fit into each other’s life.

But what should you be thinking about after you pass that phase?

After the honeymoon phase, the idealizations and projections of the perfect partner fall away and you see your partner for the real person they are. At this time, infatuation changes into commitment. The post-honeymoon stage of a relationship is a vital growing phase in a relationship, where you begin to notice habits, dislikes and likes, and other things that you’ve never noticed of your partner before. It can be a tough time, which is why, unfortunately, some relationships don’t last past the honeymoon stage. But, with due diligence in learning about your partner and making an effort to be mindful that they might be noticing new things about you too, this time can bring you closer than ever before.

Keeping the romance alive

It’s important to remember that relationships are work; you can’t just expect them to succeed without putting in some effort. But it is possible to keep romance alive, at any stage of your relationship. It’s easy to desire excitement, but feelings of stability, mature love and deep attachment are vital for successful relationships. And, as Anne Hathaway says, “mellow doesn’t always make for a good story, but it makes for a good life”. Couples that make conscious efforts to stay connected, do things together and mix up their normal routine can still enjoy the excitement that they adored from their relationship early on.

Discover more tips for marriage and relationship success by taking our fun, online Florida premarital course.

How Apologizing Can Go Wrong

How apologizing can go wrong

Sometimes it can seem like your good intentions backfire.

Whether it was a miscommunication or an unneccessary argument, sincere appologies are important for opening communication and moving past a problem. But why is it that sometimes, when you apologize, things just seem to get worse?

Even if we have the intention to admit we’ve done something wrong, it can be easy to throw in an additional phrase that will put your partner on the defense. These acusatory phrases are a means to shift the blame. Here is an example of how apologizing can go wrong. Which would you prefer to hear if your partner was apologizing to you and you were feeling hurt? “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have reacted like that. It was inappropriate.” OR “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have reacted like that… but if you had just listened to me…”

Apologies are stand-alone statements where we take responsibility for our actions and ask for forgiveness. Shifting blame is an attempt to apologize where you claim that the actions you made were someone else’s or something else’s fault. In doing so, we’re not really taking responsibility for our words and actions. So, the next time you want to do a heartfelt apology, don’t let it turn into the blame game. When you start blaming your partner for your actions, it’s no longer about recognizing that you’ve done something wrong and hurtful, but rather, it becomes about attacking and hurting your partner further. Remember, when you blame your partner for your actions, it’s more difficult for them to forgive you and move past the situation.

How can you avoid shifting blame?

First of all, it’s important to understand that blame-shifting is often done in an attempt to protect ourselves and our image. Nobody wants to be at fault for a mistake. But we need to also recognize that blame-shifting can be detrimental to relationships, both in our personal lives and our professional lives. If you’re apologizing for something, avoid using the word “but” at the end of an apology and don’t bring up the actions of someone else. These tips will help keep you on track to accomplish your end goal.

If you have a problem, you’re going to want to talk about it. But doing so should be done in a way where both individuals feel comfortable. Starting the conversation with an apology and following it up with something your partner did that really bothered you isn’t the way to begin a healthy, open dialogue. Starting with “I feel…” is a better option, but remember that your attitude, inflection and word choices are significant when it comes to having a worthwhile discussion.

Discover more great tips that will help you achieve a successful, long-lasting and fulfilling marriage by taking Envision Love’s fun, online marriage preparation course. Taking the premarital course will allow you to receive a discount on your Florida marriage license and skip the 3-day marriage license waiting period.

This is the Time for New Year’s Relationship Resolutions

Couple Looking forward to the New Year 2015, setting resolutionsCouples can set New Year’s relationship resolutions together

This is the time. This the end-of-the-year, beginning-of-a-New-Year time when people reflect on their past and their future. They make resolutions with new goals, ambitions and directions for a new year and for their future. Often we consider these to be personal/individual. However, we invite you to consider including New Year’s relationship resolutions too. These would be new goals, ambitions and directions for your relationship and for your marriage. Doing this can help you keep your relationship from stagnating as it keeps you both moving forward with new ideas and renewed energies directed within your relationship. Whether you are engaged and getting married soon, or been married for many years, this is a great time to sit down together and plan next year’s ideas for relationship adjustments or improvements as well as plan for new fun and exciting experiences you can share together. You can also use this time to reflect back in general on your shared past and envisioned future to improve emotional intimacy and strengthen your love bond.

Relationship tune-up plus

Essentially you can use this time of year to do a relationship check-up and tune up- it’s like giving it a boost to boot! Sometimes it may seem awkward or you may feel like “it never seems to be the right time” to discuss such topics with your partner. But, this is the time of year when it’s not only appropriate, it’s expected for you to set New Year’s resolutions. So, it’s the right time, without awkwardness, for you both to share your views and discuss ideas for your New Year together!

Need some conversation starters? Have no clue about what you can adjust or improve in your relationship? Don’t know what new fun or exciting experiences you can have together? Here are some ideas that may directly apply to you or that can inspire you to think of additional ideas for your own relationship.

New goals, adjustments, and improvements in the relationship

  • Changes with chores for one, the other, or both of you
  • Changes with physical expressions of love and/or sexual activities – type/frequency/initiation
  • Changes with time spent together and/or apart/time management
  • Changes with routines
  • Changes with child rearing
  • Changes with financial management/bills/what big ticket items/expenses to save for
  • Changes with how you treat each other and encourage each other/what, when, how
  • Changes with an addiction that affects your relationship

New fun or exciting experiences together 

  • Try a new sport together/Take newbie lessons
  • Decide on a local attraction you both like and get a yearly membership there (some places also offer extra perks like reciprocal discounted or free privileges to other similar type places for the year as well, like other museums or zoos or gardens)
  • Go to one of your “someday I want to go” places so you can cross one more thing off the list
  • Join a health club and exercise together
  • Learn to play the same or different instruments, then jam/play together for fun, or entertain your friends and family
  • Plan a day trip to explore a new-to-you town or city
  • Plan a Valentine’s day experience
  • Plan a visit to far away family members or friends you’re longing to see again
  • Plan on a monthly fun activity you want to regularly participate in (card game, bowling, biking, sailing, book club?)

Don’t feel like you have to make all sorts of changes and plans. Discussing and setting just a few New Year’s relationship resolutions together each year can be enough to strengthen and grow your relationship. Anything you both agree to and feel excited about will re-invigorate your relationship as you begin to realize more fun, more respect, and a deeper love connection with one another.

Learn more tips and skills towards realizing a successful marriage at FLPremaritalCourse.com

 

 

 

Trust in Relationships

Happy Couple, Trust in Relationships

“I’ve Got Your Back”

Trust is an essential ingredient to having a successful relationship and a fantastic marriage, but it takes time to create trust in relationships and to feel it. It also takes intention and effort to maintain it. When looking up definitions of ‘trust,’ you’ll find that it essentially means to have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, safety and strength of someone or something. Let’s look at each facet of this diamond that makes up trust, which is at the heart of each great relationship.

The ideal would be for each partner in a relationship or marriage to have the very highest level of belief and trust in their partner. In order to achieve that, each of you would need to repeatedly and consistently exhibit behaviors that would show the other that you have these admirable attributes…

• Reliability: consistency and dependability

• Truth: honesty

• Safety: protective and causing no harm or danger

• Strength: the power to resist strain and stress, potency, toughness

The main point of view of holding a firm belief that you trust your partner is that you can count on them, that they have your back, that they are looking out for you, and that they are supportive and there for you even when you express bad feelings or encounter negative events in your lives. In the traditional wedding vows this is expressed as “in good times and in bad.” Betrayals and disloyalty erode trust, especially if the couple does not fully discuss and work through those negative occurrences to re-establish enough trust again.

To improve feelings of trust in your relationship, it can be helpful to identify examples of behaviors representative of each attribute identified above and then work to improve those as they contribute to increasing trust with your partner.

For instance, here are some examples of behaviors in relationships that could demonstrate their related attributes, but you may well think of others to strive for that are more meaningful for you.

• Reliability: on time to meet you, calls or texts as agreed upon, regularly does a chore or task as expected or requested (you can count on them)

• Truth: honest about past experiences, present day issues/feelings/experiences, future needs/dreams, someone you can talk to and expect sincere reactions from (there for you, not deceptive or betraying, supportive with your negative feelings)

• Safety- someone you can safely talk to without feeling ashamed, demeaned, dismissed, avoided or rejected by, someone who values your safety and well-being, someone who does not verbally or physically abuse you (“I’ve got your back”)

• Strength- someone with the smarts and stamina to be tough in the face of life’s adversities and that can be a partner to help you both pull through any rough times, a tough go-getter that will pull their weight in the marriage to help you both get ahead and be happy together (looking out for you/looking out for us)

You may notice that these attributes are often held by our best friends as well. A good friend is usually seen as someone you can count on, feel safe talking to, and who you expect to be in your corner, as you would be for them. Is it any wonder that great marriages often start with a strong foundation of true friendship as well?


To gain more relationship skills for a great marriage, go to http://FLPremaritalCourse.com

Implementing LOVE in your Life Together

Love in your life If you’re here, it’s safe to assume that you’re happily in love and are seeking ways to strengthen your relationship further. But what is love?

Everyone has their own definition for love, whether it’s a feeling, a gesture or something more. Rather than define it, we’ve decided to use the word as a guiding method for implementing LOVE in your life and for relationship success!

Listen
Overlook
Value
Encourage

Listening to your partner is key. If there isn’t proper communication in a relationship, problems can build up until they are beyond repair. By listening to each other, you will both be able to understand the needs of the other and work to ensure both of you are happy and comfortable in your relationship. Couples that have good communication are less likely to seek a divorce.

Overlooking our partner’s flaws is also a very important relationship skill. If you think about it hard enough, you can always find some flaws that your partner has. But, nobody is perfect! Don’t focus on the negatives, rather, appreciate all of the positive aspects that your partner brings to the table. Couples that are happier tend to be more positive, so do your best to hone in on the good aspects. And, if it’s something that truly bothers you, make sure you communicate it with your partner. After all, if you don’t tell them, how can you expect them to know that it bothers you?

Valuing your partner goes hand in hand with overlooking their flaws. Showing how much you appreciate them is important, after all, we all like to know that our company is desired and enjoyed. Relationships with couples that feel needed, loved and valued tend to be longer lasting.

Encouraging your partner’s interests goes a long way in maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. After all, everyone has different interests. Even if you’re not interested in all of the same things as your partner, being supportive of their activities or interests demonstrates that you care about the passions of your partner.

By keeping these things in mind, we hope we’ve given you another definition for the word, “love”! Discover more tips for marriage and relationship success by taking our fun, online Florida premarital course.

 

Traits of Happy Couples

couple painting together

 

Happy couples keep finding ways to improve their relationship

No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been together, there is always something you can do to improve your relationship. Couples in a relationship naturally want to experience nothing but bliss together. Learn the traits of happy couples, and start improving your relationship today!

1. Cultivating Common Interests

After the initial phase of excitement and passion, couples often realize that they don’t share as many interests as they originally thought. This can be a sad realization. However, happy couples accept the things they cannot change and work to develop more common interests together. By doing this, couples are able to find more activities to enjoy together that can spice up their life! It’s also important to develop your personal interests. This will allow you both to enjoy your own interests, without depending only on your partner to have fun.

2. Walking Together

Another characteristic of happy couples is walking hand-in-hand or side-by-side. By walking together, as a pair, couples tend to feel closer. Plus, it shows that there is equality in the relationship rather than one individual with dominant leadership roles. Couples that walk together realize the importance of their partner and place them ahead of their desire to get someplace or see sights more quickly.

3. View Your Partner In a Positive Light

Nobody is perfect — we all have our flaws. However, happy couples maintain a positive view of their partner. If you ever look for something your partner does wrong, you’re sure to find something. But, the same goes for the reverse. Couples that maintain their positive perspective pay more attention to the things their partner does right rather than wrong. These couples are much more likely to enjoy a long-lasting and successful relationship.

4. Saying Key Phrases

In relationships, you need to always show your significant other how much you care. Regardless of whether you had a terrible day, feel sick, or just had an argument, it is important to demonstrate that you want to be in the relationship. By always saying “I love you”, “Have a good day”, and “Good night”, you show your partner that they are genuinely important to you.

Learn more about fostering a successful relationship and prepare it for the next step (marriage!) by taking our premarital course.