The ball may have dropped on Times Square and next time you write a check, remember it’s 2017 now, yet it is certainly not too late to usher in the best possible for 2017. Reading about New Year’s traditions the world around started me thinking about how much they teach about how to move forwards from challenges, especially if those challenges come in the form of relationship issues or marriage problems.
Here are a few particularly striking cross-cultural New Years traditions, and for each a few thoughts on what they can teach about making a new era for a relationship – whether it’s New Year’s Day or any of the other 364 days of the year.
The tradition: One Scottish tradition is “first-footing.” In the early moments of the New Year Scott’s visit their neighbors with gifts of coal for the fire or yummy shortbread.
The advice: When you want to put a relationship on new footing, a simple warm, nourishing gift or gesture can really help. That said, a loving note or a bouquet of flowers might be more appropriate than coal.
The tradition: A silver or gold coin is baked into St. Basil’s cake. Whoever finds the gold coin will be especially lucky in the upcoming year.
The advice: When eating your figurative cake (that would be gong through life in your relationship), look for the gold coin that might be hidden within. Keeping your focus on the positive moments or hidden treasures helps everyone to feel more appreciated!
The tradition: At midnight Buddhist temples strike their gongs 108 time to try to expel 108 kinds of human weaknesses.
The advice: Everyone has weaknesses. At the same time, learning about common relationship mistakes and then calling out loudly to yourself each time you slip into an “oops” will help you bring in skills and strengths in place of those weaknesses.
With the start of a new year, naturally there is an opportunity to think about what changes you want to make and where you want to focus your energy in the coming days and weeks. Whether you are a seasoned couple, having spent many years together or a new couple still awash in the glow of infatuation setting intention for the year ahead will be a boon to your relationship. The work you do now will set the tone for the days ahead.
Here are 4 resolutions for your marriage to tackle in 2016.
Put your marriage on the front burner.
Too often intimate relationships, especially your marriage end up on the back burner, if it’s on the stove at all! Jobs, kids, hobbies, spiritual lives, personal free time, tend to come before “working on your marriage.” They shouldn’t! The health of your marriage is a driving factor in how successful you are at all the other ventures you tackle. How satisfying your personal relationships are tends to impact the rest of your life including your physical and mental health. While certainly not the only factor, when your emotional house is in order you free up space and energy to go after your goals and dreams with the support of your partner. Make sure your relationship gets its fair share of your time and energy by making a plan. Beyond the old “regular date night” save all, create a real concrete idea of ways you are going to make your marriage a priority. Try to avoid fuzzy goals like, “spend more time together” or “have more sex.” Instead try, spend 1 hour every evening together or kiss each other every day. Continue reading 4 resolutions for your marriage in 2016
When you are struggling to change negative patterns and turn your relationship around for the better it is often hard to know where to start. Online relationship help can be a really helpful place to begin. One of the best parts of online relationship help is that you are in the drivers seat. You are giving yourself the tools and the power to change your relationship. When your relationship is strained and you are ready to seek counseling it is not usually because one day you woke up and were unhappy. More likely there is a pattern of broken communication, negativity, anger and resentment that has been building for some time. Looking for help can feel overwhelming, the internet is often the first place folks turn. Online relationship help is becoming more available as therapists are offering skype and online sessions, unfortunately these options still don’t solve several other major road blocks to getting help: time and money. Finding time to sit down with a therapist or counselor (even via skype) can be difficult. In addition, therapists who offer online counseling options often still charge high hourly rates for sessions held online.
Programs like Power of Two offer an alternative way to address both those concerns and there is one other key difference. Power of Two is a skill based learning experience. While traditional counseling can be very effective in understanding how your childhood and past experience are contributing to your current relationship challenges as well as looking at deeper issues, most couples can benefit greatly from learning relationship skills. When a couple or an individual seeks online relationship help it’s important to look for a program that teaches skills. Online relationship help can be an incredible tool for change.