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Finances and Relationship Counseling

Do You Profit From Your Relationship?

What happens when we stop putting what’s really important in our lives first? Our relationship with our spouse or family, our hobbies, and our friends? What does it really mean to profit first from your relationship?

Over time our emotional bank accountants get withdrawn and who knows maybe we might even go bankrupt, ouch!

I recently read Profit First by Michael Michalowicz and how he revolutionized small (and big) business practices in helping make them profitable entities. Many people often forget that running a business is similar to running a family.

Profit First suggests that before doing anything (paying bills, upgrading services, etc.) in your business, always take your “profit first” (hence the name).  It’s a different way of thinking and mindset shift.

Most people think:

Income – Expenses = Profit

Michael suggests:

Income – Profit = Expenses

Think about your own relationship and consider whether or not you take your “profit” first.

  • How often do you prioritize spending time with your spouse over doing the dishes, cleaning, laundry, working, or running errands?
  • How often do you feel drained when you give your all at work to come home to destress, eat and fall asleep after watching TV?
  • Perhaps you are running around doing things that you feel obligated to do and not what you enjoy.

None of these behaviors on their own are bad.  The problem becomes when you spend your all and have nothing left over for your relationship.  When it comes to our relationship we are most often giving it the sloppy seconds, who wants that!  That just doesn’t feel good for anyone!

While reading Profit First, it identified 5 bank accounts necessary for your business, and I began thinking about how couples might utilize these bank accounts in their relationship.

  • Income

Have you heard of the saying “pay yourself first”?  Most people pay themselves last after they have spent money on all there expenses and half tos.

If you start by paying your relationship first what do you think the quality of your relationship would be like? What does paying yourself in your relationship look like to you and your spouse?

Maybe first thing when you come home you greet your spouse with a hug or kiss, or first thing in the morning when you wake up, you make your spouse coffee, engage in conversation, take the kids to school because your partner wants to sleep in.

  • Profit

The profit is what you put aside to do fun things in your relationship, whether that’s take a vacation, go out to dinner together, etc.

It is important that your relationship “be rich” and “profit” in order for you and your spouse to be happy. Most importantly the “money” you allot for each account should not be moved to others!

For relationships, this means no canceling plans with your spouse when something else comes up, unless it’s an absolute emergency. While this might seem scary at first, it will help you really get a handle on enriching your relationship.

  • Operating expenses

This is how you keep your relationship going. It might look like the “Business” of the relationship: organizing meals, scheduled home maintenance, going to and from work, scheduling activities for children, etc.

The most important thing to remember about operating expenses is you should NEVER take these first over your profit. This is where people in business, and relationships, get tripped up. They spend far too much time, energy, and money, on the operating expenses and not enough is put into their profit.

  • Owner’s Compensation

This one is often the most fun for couples because it’s when you put a percentage in every month in order to then give yourself a “bonus” every 3 months. You take half of the money out and spend it on your relationship.  Imagine every 3 months looking forward to a BONUS with your partner or spouse.  How fun!!!  I am planning things in my head right now!

The other half stays in the account for emergencies.  A relationship emergency could be the need to go to couples counseling, you forgot your anniversary and now you have to do something special for you partner.

  • Taxes

How do you file taxes (jointly or separately)? How do you save up for big purchases of things that you need to pay (taxes, repairs, remodeling, etc.) Since you only do your taxes once yearly and you either get a refund or you have to pay, set up an account where those things will already be taken care of for you from the money you put in. While this might not seem like the most romantic way to go about things, it helps to delineate financial goals, which can often be the number one stressor for couples.

Sounds like a lot? Trust me, it isn’t. When I first started using Profit First for my business, it transformed my business and it’s my hope that approaching your financial and relationship goals will be transformed too.

If you are in business I highly recommend reading Profit First for is true financial meaning and plan, great stuff!

If you’re ready to begin profiting from your relationship and trying out a new approach to connection with your spouse and need a little guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Katie at Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com or 954.401.9011.

 

Katie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Coral Springs who specializes in affair recovery, marital counseling, and helping couples love again

4 Tips for Affair Recovery During the Holidays

The holidays are here and that can mean a lot of high emotions for some people; sometimes, they have difficulty with their family of origin, like their mom or dad, or maybe a sibling rivalry that just hasn’t ended. Affairs in relationships are even trickier to navigate around the holidays, but there are 4 tips for affair recovery during the holidays. 

For others, they might be going through something in their lives that they don’t really want under a microscope like an affair or possibly the endless barrage of questions about what’s next.  “So, when are you going to get married or, when are you having kids?”

For some couples who are dealing with the aftermath of an affair, the holidays might seem like the last thing on their mind.  The affair might not have been disclosed to anyone, so they might have to act like nothing has changed when inside they’re hurting.

If the family is aware of the affair, children, in-laws, and other family might demand the couple continue to engage in the status quo of the relationship or “put on a brave face for everyone”.  Either way let’s face it, it’s difficult!

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of an affair during the holidays or know a couple who is, it’s important to remember the following tips:

Boundaries

Whatever the case surrounding their affair, it’s important to set boundaries, and the first step in affair recovery, especially as it pertains to the holiday season.

Perhaps it means only staying at a holiday party for a two hours, rather than staying until the very end to help the host clean up. Perhaps it means no drinking or no work parties as that is where the affair may have occurred.  Perhaps it means a couple doesn’t host this year and rather offer to assist by bringing the side dish to a family member’s house instead.

Don’t Overshare

Sometimes a couple wants to share and tell everyone (especially with family), about what’s happened to them or what’s going on in their lives.  It’s important to be cautious about who you share the information with and how much information is shared. When either part of the couple opens up to family or friends, they’re opening their relationship up to potential negative opinions and judgements, which may or may not be helpful.

Assure there is a clear understanding of whether or not you’ll share and what you will share.  Check in regularly regarding thoughts and feelings about communication with others.

Figure Out What You Need

Think about your relationship as being in the Intensive Care Unit, ICU. Especially when an affair is fresh the couple is treating and managing the symptoms of the affair as they come up, often moment to moment.

If an affair is still in its first year after discovery then a couple might be experiencing the holidays for the first time post affair.  This can bring up a lot of anger, hurt, frustrations, resentment and more.  Family and couple traditions can feel tarnished or no longer special.

It is important to talk about this with one another or work with a therapist trained in helping couples navigate an affair.

Get clear on what both parties need during this time and how to communicate that to one another. Maybe taking some time to be together is helpful or time apart is what is needed. Come to a compromise on what that looks like and help each other honor that, knowing that from moment to moment that may change.  Discuss how you’ll handle any unforeseen events that might come up.

When an affair, an emotional trauma, is fresh, each party needs a lot of self care especially for the partner who is just learning about the affair.  For the partner just learning about the affair this information is brand new as opposed to the partner who was involved in the affair.  The involved partner has been processing the affair over time.

Recreating a New Relationship Story

One of the important things in affair recovery is that the couple begin to create a new relationship story.  If the couple is ready and has worked through aspects of the affair sometimes it helps to create new rituals and traditions especially during the holiday season.  Helping the couple say goodbye to the old relationship pre-affair and living into a newer relationship that is just the couple’s, post affair.

The holidays overall bring added and undue stress to most of us.  If you are working through an affair and having difficulty I urge you to seek out a trained professional who can support you through the process.

Katie Lemieux is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, expert couples counselor and coach

specializing in affair and betrayal recovery with offices in Coral Springs and Fort Lauderdale, FL. If you live or are willing to travel to the area to help heal your relationship reach out to her www.FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com.

 

affair recovery - technology is hurting your relationship

Stop Your Technology Affair Today

It’s Friday evening, you’re on the couch, watching Netflix with your spouse and your phone buzzes gently next to you on the couch. You glance over and a small smile crosses your lips. “Who’s that?” Your spouse asks. “No one.” You reply, yet you’re itching to pick up the phone.

Now, you’re out at a restaurant, your spouse heads to the bathroom, you pull out your phone and frantically check your notifications: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. You see your spouse coming back and quickly pocket your phone.

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to your phone. Are you having an affair with your technology?

You’re not alone.

It’s been thought that we check our phones at least 110 times a day, probably way more.

Your guess is as good as mine about how long we’re on our phones each times we check them.

Overuse of technology is a common complaint I hear in my office from couples, heck it is one of my own complaints.

Whether it’s during dinner, a movie, a date, a day out with the kids, you name it, it’s there.

What does all this phone time do to our relationships? How does it impact the quality of our love life? Is it really “harmless”, a victimless crime?

That depends.

For some couples, this isn’t an issue. For most, it is.

The iPhone 8 was released just last week and people are already plotting and planning on how to get it. I mean do you really need a new phone? What else could you do with the $700, of course I say invest in your relationship, but I am sure you already guessed that!

For couples, I always ask:
What are your rules and agreements around technology?
Does your phone or computer have a bed time?
Where does your phone sleep?
When do you have set weekly time that you spend with each other without technology?

Technology can rob relationships of time, presence, intimacy, and emotional connection, to name a few. It’s important to remember that staying overly connected to technology, when in the presence of your spouse or partner, is a way to avoid communication and connection.

When we think about the amount of time we invest in technology and checking our cell phones, our E-Mail, text messages, playing games on our phone, it’s little wonder there’s no time left for meaningful connection.

What we invest into getting the latest gadget or toy, we take away from investing in our relationship. (Check out my video on How Investing In Your Relationship Can Go A Long Way to see what I mean).

For couples who are struggling with getting the technology mistress out of their relationship, you might be wondering what exactly you can do to achieve that goal.

Set Boundaries

These aren’t just for other people! Boundaries around certain activities are just as helpful as setting boundaries with individuals in your life. Get some boundaries around technology. Putting your phone to bed, on silent, shutting it off or even stopping the notification dings, rings and bings helps if you jump every time your phone does. You need to recondition yourself.

Schedule It

I’m a huge proponent of scheduling your time and scheduling it wisely. We all get the same 86,400 seconds every day (go ahead Google it that is how many seconds in 24 hours; I Google’d it myself). They will be spent whether we plan them or not, they will replenish but we can never get them back. How are you spending your 86,400?

If you know you need to work with your phone or laptop for an extended period of time, schedule it for times when it won’t interfere with family time, add breaks in between working and put your technology to bed.

Get Present

Staying in the present moment is so important for couples. Mindfulness (Check out Everyday Mindfulness here) is a buzzword as of late, yet what does it really mean?

It means being fully present in the moment (bye bye, multitasking) without passing judgement on the situation. What does that mean for your relationship and technology? Leave the phone at home! Don’t worry if that would have made a great Instagram picture. Stay present and enjoy the moment for what it is; the memory will last longer that way.

Looking to end your affair with technology? I’m here to help. Feel free to give me a call to further explore the possibilities of getting your relationship unplugged at 954.401.9011 or E-Mail me at Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com.

Marriage Counseling Parents

Lessons Learned from Mom

Mothering it’s a hard job, for sure!   Here is a funny Mother’s Day video to make you laugh. Melissa Mohr show’s you how to… well you just gotta watch the video.

In honor of Mother’s Day, she’s has some words of wisdom for all mom’s because let’s face it; moms are human beings too. Bad Moms (great movie BTW) showed us what life sometimes feels like for moms with ever increasing societal and family demands.

Mother’s Day reminds me of my work as a couples therapist and how we view motherhood through the lens of relationships. Of course many of you reading this maybe grew up without a mother.  Think about the women or people in your life you played a mother role.  We all have many mom type influences.

Depending on your age and background, your own mother may not have had the same opportunities for career advancement you and your daughters do now. There may have even been laws forbidding your mother from working, or extreme societal pressure not to work. It may have been frowned upon for your mother to want relationship counseling or marriage help.Marriage Counseling Parents

Whether you’re married and a mother, in a relationship, or still single, it’s important to think about the lessons learned from your own parents, about what roles and responsibilities you individually were taught to bring to the relationship and conversely, the roles and responsibilities of your partner.

Considering Parenthood…

Some questions I like to ask couples who are parents or considering having children are:

  • What did you learn about love and relationships from your own mother?
  • What things did you want to incorporate into your relationship/marriage/children based off your parents? What things did you not want incorporate?
  • My core beliefs on parenting are…
  • The thing(s) I love MOST about parenting are…
  • The thing(s) I love LEAST about parenting are…
  • One thing I wish we could change about our parenting is….
  • Something my mom did/taught me that is important to me in our parenting is…
  • Something my dad did/taught me that is important to me in our parenting is…
  • Something my mom did that I didn’t like that when I was a child was…
  • Something my dad did that I didn’t like when I was a child was…

In fact, I’ve got a whole worksheet with 25+ questions you and your partner can ask yourselves or one another about your roles in the marriage as well as a parent.

Asking yourself questions about what you liked, and didn’t like, about your parents, their relationship with you as a child, and their relationship with one another gives you an opportunity to examine your parenting and relationship strategies. You may find you’re repeating the very same behavior you swore you’d never do. There’s a reason we laugh at the joke, “Sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out!”

Reflecting on your role as a parent and a partner may be a bit jarring at first, especially if you fall into the category of “I didn’t know I was doing that…” And if you read the above two questions and started sweating, that’s why I’m here. I encourage you to review and/or talk about these questions, despite how difficult some of the questions may be to answer, and use those answers to move you and your partner towards growth.

As you reflect on Mother’s Day either as a mother, grandmother, aunt, step-mother, like a mother or the son or daughter of one, use what your momma gave you, good and bad, to achieve the type of of relationship you want and be the type of partner or parent you want.

If you’re struggling to make some positive change, I’m just a phone call or click away at 954.401.9011 and Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com and I’m here to guide you and your partner in your marriage counseling. Talk to you soon!

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4 Ingredients for Your Relationship

The holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving, is often accompanied by family recipes for certain dishes or meals. Perhaps there’s one dish that only a certain family member can perfect (or that you love when they make it, even if you’ve got the recipe). Recipes provide us the blueprints and guidelines for how to achieve that delicious pumpkin pie, roast beef, or grandma’s special… you fill in the blank.

If only other things in life came with a recipe book. Parenting, relationships, etc.  I mean how many times have you heard, “There’s no manual for raising kids!” and they’re right. We struggle to find ways to be successful and happy in our relationships, our careers, child rearing, and much more.  And while it’s true there is not “one size fits all” approach to a healthy relationship, we do know that healthy relationships and marriages are backed by science (no really, I tell couples this ALL the time), just like the perfect recipe. 4 Ingredients Blog

When you think about your favorite dish, and its recipe, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps it’s the person who gave you the recipe. Perhaps it’s the first time you made the recipe and how it turned out (good or bad). Perhaps it’s the entire experience of making the recipe, standing in the kitchen with your loved one and following the process, adding a cup of something when instructed.

Often, families have one particular recipe that becomes tradition for the family. It may have started with a grandparent, great-grandparent, or even earlier. Over time, the recipe begins to change ever so slightly, through different types of ingredients available (maybe that brand of tomato sauce or chicken stock was replaced a while ago and now you’re using store brand), or even just to suit the taste of younger generations (maybe you only put half the amount of sugar or salt, because that’s the way you like your tomato sauce). Although the recipe has undergone a transformation, its core is still the same.

Much like the family recipe, your relationship has a recipe as well, and it’s one that will change overtime. You and your partner were once dating and there was a certain recipe to those early days. Maybe one of you would drive to pick the other one up from their home and you’d go to see a movie together. That was your recipe for a Friday night. After you married, or moved in together, maybe the Friday night recipe changed to making dinner together and renting a movie to watch on the couch. For older couples who’ve become Soaring Eagles, the recipe for Friday nights might look even different still.

No matter where you are in your relationship, I’ve got a quick and easy recipe for you to follow to keep your relationship strong, healthy, and full of love and connection.

Recipe for a Healthy Relationship

5 Daily Kisses

Physical contact can be one of the first things lost in a long-term relationship or in a relationship that’s struggling. The initial passion fades and even the sexual aspects of the relationship can become routine. I’m a big proponent of including connection throughout the day, whether it’s physical, emotional, or verbal.

5 Relationship Rituals a Week

The Gottman method highlights the importance of having a ritual in your relationship, whether it’s saving “Good-bye” before heading off to work and “Hello” again when coming together at night. This ritual creates stability and familiarity within the relationship, a sense of comfort and peace.

4 Talking Tips

Communication is key in any relationship. When you talk with your partner, especially about something difficult, remember to be: express your feelings with kindness and a win/win attitude, acknowledge or express what you appreciate about your partner, and of course reflect and validate.  Allow these tips to be at the forefront of any discussion you have with your partner.

2 – 3 Friendship Building Activities

Many couples share with me how disconnected they have become overtime.  Much of that is lost in the habitual day by day robotic way we begin to do life.  You have to have fun, spice it up, be spontaneous or silly.  Fun things to do – go to a movie during the week, play a fun family game, have dessert for dinner, break the rules a little, relax and enjoy.

There you have a quick and easy recipe for a healthy relationship. If you think your recipe with your partner needs, a little adjustment, don’t hesitate to contact me at Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com or 954-401-9011.

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Relationship Counseling

Top 4 Ways to Support Military Families

We had the great pleasure of interviewing our colleague, and friend, Jessica Jefferson on tips for working with military families. Jessica is uniquely situated to work with military families and couples, coming from a military family herself. Below, she offers the top 4 ways to support military families. Relationship Counseling

Military couples go through the same issues as most couples; however, it’s often heightened and other issues are added onto everyday struggles. When working with military families, it’s important to have a background knowledge of the the military. The top 4 tips Jessica offers for families with a member in the military are:

  • Create Structure

Deployment and station changes can be stressful on families; sometimes spouses don’t always accompany the military member on the station change. It can be a hard transition and sometimes a family member can be unsure of their new role in the family, especially when a returning family member rejoins the family and hasn’t been around for a while. A structure when the service member is both home, and deployed, is key especially with your children. The structure will allow for an easier transition upon returning home from deployment.

  • Create Memories

Service members don’t always have their deployment on a timeline and may not necessarily know when they’ll be deployed. Jessica suggests creating memories together as a family even before the service member leaves and keeping the memories alive, so they can be sent as snippets throughout deployment, as a way to stay connected and communicate. This is also a way that children can stay involved and have a sense of control through participating.

  • Build Resources

A military family is always moving, making a support system so necessary for families. It can be tempting to rely entirely on a spouse as a support system but this can create dependency, which is especially hard when that service member is deployed. Conversely, welcoming a returning service member back into the home and social network will go a long way in reintegration. The spouse who stays home will want to avoid becoming overly independent and unneeding of the spouse, in addition to avoiding over dependence.

  • Be Understanding, Compassionate, and Accept Limitations

In retirement, military members can lose a sense of identity. It’s important that the partner be understanding and compassionate, while also recognizing when they need additional resources. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is commonly found in service members who return home and in some instances, a diagnosis of a mental health issue may result in a service member returning home prematurely. Individuals with PTSD may have higher stress responses, particularly around holidays with loud noises, or fireworks, as it’s reminiscent of combat. A result of PTSD can be increased introversion, withdrawal, and avoidance of potentially triggering situations.

A military family, like any other, goes through ups and downs of the family cycle. As clinicians and family members, it’s important to educate ourselves on best practices and individualized ways in which we can support and treat our returning active duty service members and veterans.

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How “Dogs” Help Relationships

I’ll admit, I’m a dog lover in fact I am a bully breed lover.  Don’t get me wrong, I like cats too and in fact I grew up having cats.  It seems anyone I ever dated was allergic to cats, so in order to have a pet I had to get a dog. And I’m making the case for how dogs help relationships.

We recently adopted a pitbull rescue in the month of September not even knowing that October was Adopt a Dog month.  One year old Charlotte came into our lives at the right time not knowing what was going to happen just 5 weeks later when we had to say an unexpected goodbye to our sweet and loving Destiny who was an 11 year old blonde (red nose, her coat was super light) pitbull who changed the hearts and minds of those who misunderstood the breed. The last 12 hours of her life highlighted so many things for me, not only about animals but about relationships.  Being able to be there for my spouse who had her since she was 6 weeks old was a precious time in all of our lives.  It highlighted to me the meaning of love, relationships, and marriage.  When I think of marriage the symbolism for me is choosing someone to “do life with”, the ups, downs, twists, turns, the belly laughs, and times of deep grieving and sorrow. How a Dog Helps Relationships

Pets, no matter what kind, can be a wonderful addition to a family and an excellent component in therapy. Studies show pets can actually improve our health, reduce stress, and help us live longer. Personally I think they make us better humans overall.  Therapists utilize pets in numerous way with clients, to help them heal from trauma, teach valuable life and coping skills, and much more.

Pets help us practice patience, teach caring, learn empathy and just plain enjoy life!  Are we really taking them for a walk or are they taking us out for some fresh air and exercise, of course I love a both/and scenario any day.  Pets bring us the utmost joy watching them play, being silly or showing us their personalities. When a dog especially comes into a relationship, couples must come together and decide on ideas ranging from how to raise and train the dog, notice and monitor the health and well-being of the dog, how the dog should be disciplined, and at the end of our time with them very difficult decisions on how to proceed. Couples also come together on the enjoyable moments pets bring.

Animals teach us so many things.  They can teach us a lot about relationships.  Having a pet is responsibility just like having a child or perhaps your dog IS your 4 legged child. I know to some couples having a child or having a dog may not be a future goal and I’m not going to convince you to do either. Although I do want to convince you to look at an area of your relationship this month that could use improvement. Maybe things are going smoothly in your relationship but you’re regularly annoyed your partner or spouse doesn’t empty the dishwasher or fold laundry. Maybe you’ve both been talking about taking that dream vacation to an exotic location yet haven’t quite nailed down a plan of how you’ll achieve that goal or seriously started budgeting.

Think of the “dog” in your relationship as the piece of your relationship for which you are jointly responsible. The maintenance of the house, mutually finances, short and long term goals. If you’ve both agreed to maintain separate responsibilities (Your spouse does the laundry while you mow the lawn) perhaps it’s simply a matter of keeping your spouse up to date on your tasks and vice versa. This open communication is important.

One way couples can reconnect, or recharge, is to focus on a shared vision. You may have both started out with a shared vision and slowly moved away from that goal. As we quickly approach the end of the calendar year, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about ways to adopt a “dog” into your relationship.

But don’t wait for the next two months to start working towards this goal! Begin today. If it seems like maybe you and your partner can’t identify the “dog” in your relationship, I’m always here to chat, Katie Lemieux, LMFT www.FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com.

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What Mask Do You Wear in Your Relationship?

Ever wonder what mask you wear in your relationship? A late night Pinterest prowl produced the following Pin:

Blog

Interested in what this could mean for couples, I quickly used Google to search for “Japanese phrase about multiple faces”. While it appears the above statement is not Japanese in origin (but still very clever and thought provoking), there is the idea in Japanese philosophy of honne and tatemae. These Japanese words describe the contrast between a person’s true feelings and desires (honne) and the behavior and opinions displayed in public (tatemae).

With Halloween fast approaching (my favorite, and yes I still dress up) the idea of having two faces can seem akin to wearing them within your relationship and begs the question what do you wear in your relationship with your family, friends, co-workers, kids, partner…? Are there parts of yourself that you hide from others because you believe they won’t be accepted or because they are conflicting with a commonly held belief?

As a counselor one of the most important things I find when working with individuals or couples, one of my most important tools is unconditional positive regard. This acceptance of my clients allows for a more open dialogue between us about aspects of themselves they would like to change and how to bring about this change.

During a recent intern supervision, an intern expressed a deep sadness over some family troubles with a teenage child and voiced concern about the fact that while trying to help clients navigate difficult relationships and family dynamics, felt fraudulent because of their own perceived failings to handle their own family conflict.

Perhaps you even feel this way too. Successful in one area of your life, maybe at work, you desire improvement in another area, like your relationship.

  • What mask are you wearing at work that you take off at home?
  • Conversely, what mask are you wearing at home that you leave behind when you go to work?
  • Is it wrong to wear a mask anyway?
  • How is wearing a mask helpful in certain situations and not in others?
  • Do you want to wear a mask?
  • What would it be like if you can be your true self in all situations?
  • Are you even aware of the masks you wear?

The term “two faced” undoubtedly garners negative attention. We feel that those individuals who cannot show their true selves must be sinister or untrustworthy, hiding the truth and speaking negatively behind our backs. In essence, someone who lies or makes contradictory statements may be someone we think twice about befriending.

Is that mask acceptable? This month, I want to encourage to be your truest self, without fear of being too much or too little.

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Coral Springs Couples Counseling Yoga

How Yoga Can Make Your Relationship Superior

It’s a great idea and fun to celebrate, random monthly holidays. What better way to brighten your (or your partner’s) day than by celebrating Happy Cat Month by looking at pictures of happy cats everyday for the month? (Not for you? There’s always Adopt-A-Dog month).  Speaking of Adopt-A-Dog that’s exactly what we just did.  We added to our family.  We adopted a 1 year old rescue from the humane society.  Now, I’m making the case for how yoga can make your relationship superior. 

September holds numerous monthly holidays (Happy Cat Month is one of them) but it’s also National Yoga Month and “Superior” Relationship Month. That got me thinking: what makes a relationship “superior”? Could every couples make their relationship superior? And could this been done through yoga?

Coral Springs Couples Counseling YogaI spend most of my time thinking about how couples can improve their relationships and find satisfaction in their lives together. While superiority holds a rather negative connotation, I’m reminded of the Ernest Hemingway quote, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” This month, I want to encourage couples to try and become superior to their former selves.

Where does yoga fit into all this? Yoga can be an incredibly transformative practice, for individuals and couples alike. Through yoga practice we find inner strength and peace, an ability to calm our mind, a way of letting go of judgement and living in the present. When couples practice yoga together, the experience is eye opening. Poses specific to couples yoga require clear communication as the couple moves from one pose to another, using each other’s bodies to stretch deeper into a position and really becoming in sync with one another.  I have done both couples yoga and flying yoga, so much fun.  What a GREAT way to enhance communication, create connection, and build trust with your partner.

There is no superiority in yoga practice and each individual honors where he or she in that moment of their practice. Why would we turn to yoga for superiority, if it appears to go against the basic tenets of the practice? Let’s return to the Ernest Hemingway quote, about being superior to our former selves.

Everyday is another day in our lives with opportunities to change the parts of ourselves we feel unhappy with or find cause us distress. The same goes for our relationships. There is nothing to hold back couples from starting today to become a superior couple, a healthy and loving couple, a successful couple.

A daunting task for most individuals and couples, one that doesn’t just start by taking a yoga class or two with your partner. Rather, the path to a superior relationship starts the way most yoga classes start: with an intention. You set your intention for your practice, whether it’s to try that headstand or stay in downward dog, why not set an intention for your relationship. The intention can be to express more gratitude towards your partner for completing a small chore, leaving a little love note, or even a quick phone call to check in on a lunch break.

Once you’ve set your intention, work towards reaching your intention each day with your partner. Encourage your partner to set an intention with you, not necessarily related to you, maybe related to a work related stress or personal goal your partner is working towards. There’s no right or wrong intention for you or your partner (unless of course that intention is spiteful in nature, that’s not the type of intention you want to set).

It takes time, effort, energy, and intention to achieve our goals in life and the same holds true for transforming your relationship into the type of relationship you want it to be. I’m always here to lend a guiding hand or a listening ear if you find yourself struggling in your relationship and can’t quite get it to the next level. I can be reached at katie@familyandcouplescounseling.com or (954) 401-9011; remember, your relationship is worth it!

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Coral Springs Premarital Counseling

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Premarital Counseling

This episode of The Couples Corner, we had the opportunity to sit down with Michelle Scharlop, LMFT of Plantation Relationship Counseling and discuss the benefits of premarital counseling, including three tips for those thinking about getting married or anyone who is already engaged.

  1. Focus on the Relationship

Wedding planning can be a stressful time in a couple’s life. There is so much involved in wedding planning, from picking out the flowers, the wedding dress, the cake, the honeymoon, and all the myriad of other little details, that the focus of the relationship can get lost and be put on the back burner. In premarital counseling, couples can take the time to focus on their relationship and connect, since the goal of any wedding is to have a successful marriage.

Coral Springs Premarital Counseling

  1. Get on the Same Page

Although most couples may think they’re on the same page about important things before they get married, it’s important to really explore those deeper issues that can occur later in the marriage and cause problems. Everything from finances to children, religion, household chores, even the expectations we hold about married life is fuel for an impending fire if each person in the couple is unaware of what the other is thinking. How often marriage counselors hear, “I wish I had known that before we got married.” Premarital counseling can help prepare for the hurricane before the hurricane, discussing those rare life events couples may face like unemployment or a sudden financial crisis. Couples can avoid these difficult conversations when they are happening often making it worse because of fear due or  lack of communication skills, but in fact, Michelle’s final tip is…

  1. Be Proactive

One of the benefits of premarital counseling is that the counselor will help couples who may be struggling with effective communication develop those skills. The counselor will help couples discuss difficult areas when a disagreement in the relationship arises. While many people still view counseling a slightly stigmatized, counseling can be very similar to coaching, in that who doesn’t want to learn how to have a better relationship?