Monday, February 17, 2014

February Is the Longest Month

Those of us on the East Coast and Midwest have really felt how long February can be this year!  The calendar may say it's only 28 days, but it feels like it will go on forever.  This winter may seem especially severe to a lot of us, but actually, February is usually the month for the highest levels of depression and suicides.

The festivities of the holidays are over and summer seems so far away.  A lot of us are really starting to feel house bound and a little stir crazy!  And this can put a strain on relationships.  When you're both struggling with the short days and bleak weather, tempers can become short, we might not be as kind and considerate, and communication suffers.  What can you do?

Well, maybe it's time to get creative.  How about a winter picnic, in front of the fire?  Maybe bake some cookies and make hot cocoa.  Snuggle.  Plan your summer vacation, or your garden.  This past weekend, I bought lots of vegetable and flower seeds and got them started in a sunny window.

Remember that, long as it might seem, February will come to an end, the days will get longer, there will soon be no more snow to shovel, and the sun will shine.  In the meantime, what are some of the ways that you and your partner cope with the winter blahs?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Making a Marriage Last

Guest blogger, Brooke Chaplan, has some thoughts today on making a marriage last.  After you've read her blog, I'd love your thoughts - what would you add to Brook's list?


Make a Lasting Marriage: Tips to Preserve Your Relationship

With so many divorces happening each and every day, it is no wonder that married people worry about how they can make their relationships last. There are no secret ingredients to a long-lasting marriage. It takes love, respect, and work from both partners. Yet, there are a few tips that can help you preserve your relationship, and maintain a long, healthy marriage.

 Keep Communication Open

Open communication means more than just talking to your partner each day. You have to be honest in that communication, and make sure your wants and needs are clear. Real communication cannot take place in a few minutes on the phone, while feeding the kids dinner, or through text messages. If you don't like talking to your partner, or don't feel that it is important enough to demand your time, then there is an issue that needs to be explored and resolved.

Share Time

Life can be busy, especially if you have kids. Therefore, it is vital that married couples take time for themselves, and enjoy spending time together. Spending time together can help couples reconnect, and remember that connection that brought them together in the first place. It is important for couples to share time together doing activities they both enjoy. Find time for you and your spouse to connect one on one, whether it's a long shopping trip together, or a nice dinner once a week.

 Add Some Spice

When life seems dull and repetitive, marriage can feel the same way. To make the marriage last, a couple has to figure out ways to spice up life. This might mean taking a romantic vacation together, or trying something new in the bedroom. You might even try taking a class together. When you learn together, you will be able to connect and have fun, making memories to last a lifetime.

Maintain Independence

Each partner in a marriage must maintain some degree of independence to make the marriage work for the long run. Partners who become too clingy, or couples who can't seem to detach themselves from each other often have real issues that must be solved. Individual partners must have their own interests, hobbies, and meaningful work to keep them happy. Do what is best for you, and make sure your spouse feels valued as an individual. This will help the both of you stay afloat when you need to take a break from each other.

Seeking Advice

When a marriage seems to be in trouble, couples cannot immediately abandon ship. One idea is to seek advice from a therapist or marriage counselor. Marriages sometimes need new energy breathed into them, and quitting before giving the marriage a chance is not always the answer.

Couples must understand that all marriages have low points and high points. The trick is to hang on to each other through the tough times.

“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives in Los Lunas. New Mexico where she writes, runs, and hikes. In her research of this article she found Valerie M. Little Law Corporation can offer legal advice when marriages are in trouble, that might help couples see things in a new way. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”

Monday, February 3, 2014


Here on the East Coast, we've been slammed more than usual this winter, with snow and ice storms that close schools, and in some cases, even cities.  When you suddenly have an unexpected "free" day, it's a great time to have some quality relationship time.

If you have kids, that may mean building snow people to represent everyone in your family.  Or maybe going sledding or having a snowball fight!  If you're like me, and prefer to stay warm and dry, what about a fire in the fireplace and hot cocoa?  It's a great time to put away the cell phones and computers and really take the opportunity to CONNECT with each other.  Play some games, bake cookies, finish that project when everyone's home to pitch in.

And if you're a couple without kids at home - well isn't this exactly what "afternoon delight" is about?  We get so caught up in our hectic day to day lives.  If you have a chance to get an unexpected bonus day, take it as an opportunity to nurture your relationship.