Hello to all our dear readers. In lieu of a post this week we wanted to share a review of Power of Two, sent over by the folks at Dating Advice. Hayley Matthews wrote a lovely article describing the online marriage education program and the specific value we bring to couples interested in alternative ways to strengthen their relationships through skill education. We were particularly excited about the interest from a site that focuses on dating couples! We are thrilled at the opportunity to reach more folks at this stage in their relationship, after all it is never too early for relationship skill education!
Flowers are the quintessential romantic gift. Do you know how to pick the most romantic flowers for your anniversary? For a surprise gesture? For a birthday? In this guest post florist Lisa Bernshaw explains the traditional meaning behind flowers to help you pick the best bunch.
Giving flowers has been one of the most romantic and heartfelt gestures now for thousands of years. Just as you might give flowers to a loved one today so too did the Ancient Romans or Egyptians before you. Of course flowers have stood the test of time and proven so popular mostly because of their beauty – but there is more to it than that. Continue reading How to Pick the Most Romantic Flowers for Anniversaries and More
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, is a psychotherapist who specializes in helping couples overcome loss and manifest their potential. She is the author of Transcending Loss, Claim Your Inner Grown-up, and her latest book, Shortcuts to Inner Peace: 70 Simple Paths to Everyday Serenity. She also manages several loss support communities on Facebook. In this guest post for PO2 Ashley shares insight into staying connected as a couple through the grieving process.
In the brilliant 2010 movie, “Rabbit Hole,” Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart play a bereaved couple who are driven apart by their grief after they lose their young son in a tragic accident. While the mother draws inward and wishes to hide from her memories, the father wants to attend grief groups, talk endlessly, and memorialize his son.
The grieving process — with its mixture of pain, sadness, hopelessness, longing, anger, guilt, confusion, and disorientation – is one of our most universal experiences. Thankfully, we won’t all know the searing pain of losing a child, yet we will all know the grief of losing grandparents, parents, pets, friends, and even siblings.
While individuals have different styles of grieving, it is generally considered healthy to be able to tolerate, honor, and express emotions. When you’re grieving with a partner (who may or may not be feeling the same degree of grief), coping with your feelings can be quite a challenge.
How a couple handles their array of grief feelings has the potential to either drive them apart or draw them closer together. The following guidelines offer help for managing the intense, lifelong impact of grief. These are important to remember not only for an individual’s mental health, but also for the sake of the relationship.
1. Speak honestly
Be truthful about your experience and what you’re feeling during your grieving process. It may be that you want time alone to process or write in a journal. Or perhaps you need time to talk with your partner about what’s going on inside. Speak from your heart and be honest about what you need.
2. Listen to your partner’s feelings
Listen with an open heart to whatever it is that your partner is experiencing. Don’t take anything personally and be willing to offer them space when they need it and/or a listening ear when necessary.
3. Support your partner in his/her process
Although you and your partner may have different styles of how you grieve, try to support your partner’s preferences (even if they are quite different from your own). If you like to display photographs of your dearly departed but your partner finds them upsetting, keep pictures visible to you but private (such as on your desk, in your car, or on your bureau).
4. Honor the loss
Talk about the loss and don’t be afraid to reminisce. You may want to light a candle, for example, at special dinners/holidays to commemorate a person who is no longer present.
5. Stay intentionally connected as a couple
Even if you find that you want to experience your grief privately, find ways to stay connected with your loved one. Let them know that you still love them, care about them, and appreciate their presence. Stay connected through the grieving process with hugs, touch, texts, words of encouragement, and tokens of love.
At the end of the film “Rabbit Hole”, the two main characters find their way back to each other in spite of their different grieving styles. This was an intentional choice on their part aided by their desire to embrace life. One of the urgent lessons that loss has to teach is that life is fragile and must be savored. If you can take that lesson to heart and honor each other in the process, you may find that the grieving process – whenever it occurs – has the potential to knit a fabric of intimacy and intensity that you’ve never before experienced.
After the death of their infant son, John and Kathy Eubanks were more than devastated. The parents weren’t even comforted with a complete explanation for his condition, which led to multiple organ failure. Because of this lack of information, they weren’t sure if they could or should have other children. The lactating mom, Kathy, was hormonal and extremely emotional. John soon returned to work where he saw little sympathy from coworkers, many of whom didn’t even acknowledge his loss.
|Psych Central just posted an article about communication pitfalls featuring Power of Two founder Dr. Susan Heitler.
Here’s the top 5 pitfalls list.
Got you curious? Here’s the article. http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/5-communication-pitfalls-and-pointers-for-couples/
Want the good news? You can learn how to communicate like a pro with a Power of Two Online membership.
Power of Two has been making a particular effort to reach out to bloggers to review the Power of Two program. We’re getting incredibly strong responses which we wanted to post here for everyone to read.
These posts are arms-length reviews without any compensation to the authors. It seems they get the idea though — marriage education works, and Power of Two is the best way to get the help people need.
Here are our most recent blogger reviews:
Thanks to everyone for helping us spread the word!