Happy New Year from Lifestyle!

You’ve heard it said that what it took to get her it takes to keep her. This is true for her just as much as him. Yet for many couples, one or both fail to exert the energy toward the relationship they did while dating. Think about it – when dating, you’re constantly thinking about each other. You take every opportunity to see one another. You do thoughtful things for each other to let the other know how much you love them. You are drawn to touch one another and express sexual attraction. You talk about how you are feeling in the relationship and otherwise. You talk about your future together. Your conversation is full and engaging as you feel this person is as interested in you as you are in them. You feel safe and protected. They encourage you and demonstrate their belief in you. There is also a lot of grace demonstrated as faults are easily overlooked or downplayed.
For too many couples they are unable to keep this up. Once other life issues come into focus less focus is given to the marriage. Most simply fail to keep their marriage in balance with the rest of their life. Others are emotionally unable to handle the weight of satisfying another person in marriage. One partner has to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to the relationship tasks. A healthy marriage requires two emotionally healthy individuals.
Emotional health consists of healthy thinking about oneself and others. It is the ability, amidst the challenges and stresses of life, to find happiness for oneself and contribute to the happiness of another. Emotional health is being able to admit one’s faults, accept criticism, and make improvements on oneself. Emotional health is the ability to criticise their spouse in a way that is sensitive and effective at producing change. It is the ability to comprehend one’s impact on the others thinking, emotions and behaviors.
Ultimately, I believe emotional health is something learned from one’s parents. If your parents were not emotionally healthy it’s not too late to learn new thought habits. It can really help to have an emotionally  more productive from an emotionally healthy mate. Or from an emotionally healthy surrogate family. Or through therapy or a combination of the above.
A couple must be open to discuss the unhealthy parts of their relationship in order for change to occur. Often these discussions turn into harsh arguments. But couples mustn’t allow the conflict to discourage them from addressing these issues. They should stay calm, present and listen to one another. This is where a Marriage and Family Therapist can be very helpful.

It’s a New Year! This is a great time to assess your marriage. It’s a great time to assess each other. Identify what you want to make better in your marriage this year so you can become a better lover. Some frown on making New Year’s resolutions. I strongly advise for you to do so. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Set goals for yourself and work toward them. They say people who set goals are more productive than those who don’t. Set the goal to become a better lover.

This year I plan to drop a weekly marriage tip and accompanying blog post to encourage couples in their marriage. Click subscribe to get these weekly messages. You can get my tips on Facebook as well.


Joe Follette

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