10 Reasons Why Counseling Is A Romantic Gift

Roses, chocolate, and jewelry are all great gifts – but if you want to give your wife the ultimate gift of romance – give her the gift of Counseling.   What could possibly be more romantic than saying, “I love you and value our marriage so much that I want to do everything I can to make it even better and stronger”. 

Marriage counseling is not just a place to address problems, but it is a chance to develop and strengthen your relationship by building true intimacy.

Men, if you are looking for a gift to show your wife how much you love her and you want to increase the romance in your marriage – consider these ten reasons why Counseling is the most romantic gift you can give her…

1.  Investment:  Counseling is a major investment in your marriage.  A woman has a need to feel loved and cherished…like she is the most important thing in your world.  When you invest your time and money in the counseling process, you are showing her how important she is to you!  Flowers and candy are short-term investments in love…Counseling is a lifetime investment in love with unending dividends.
2.  Intimacy:  Sexual intimacy increases when you build stronger emotional bonds with your wife.  Counseling provides a place to overcome sexual issues and deepen your intimacy physically and emotionally. Increased intimacy will lead to increased sexual satisfaction. 
3.  Communication:  The most important factor in a strong marriage is communication.  Learning how to express yourself openly and honestly with your wife and gaining a better understanding of her communication style will increase how you much you “feel comfortable and connected” to each other.
4.  Forgiveness:  Hearing the words, “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” is usually not enough to heal emotional and relational pain in a marriage relationship.  When one or both of you have been hurt, the pain can keep you stuck from going forward and cause resentment.  Forgiveness is a process.  Counseling provides a safe place for you both to work through hurts and disappointments together.
5.  Conflict Resolution:  Unresolved issues are the main cause of mental and emotional distress in a marriage.  Avoiding a problem or overreacting to one creates a wedge in your relationship.  Learning how to resolve matters no matter how big or small the issue may be will lead to peace and harmony in your marriage.
6.  Parenting:  A child’s development and wellbeing often depends on the relationship between their parents. Counseling gives you and your wife an opportunity to look at how you are parenting as a couple and strengthen both your parenting style and parenting plan.  One of the most important ways to love your child is to set an example of loving your wife.
7.  Childhood:  Sharing childhood experiences with your wife and gaining a better understanding of what influenced her during childhood helps you both have insight into the adults you are today.  Sometimes we are blind to the habits and patterns we have developed from our childhood experiences and family influences.  A professional counselor can help you gain insight into your childhood experiences and the positive or negative impact they are having on your marriage today.

8.  Goals:  Do you know what goals your wife has for your marriage?  What are her financial goals, parenting goals, personal goals…How does she imagine her future with you in 5 years…10 years?  Have you shared your goals with her?  Counseling gives you an opportunity to develop and share your goals with each other and then create a plan to reach them.  Dreaming about and planning for the future creates a romantic connection and excitement in your marriage.
9.  Trust: Marital romance does not exist without intimate trust. When trust is broken, it takes time rebuild feelings of safety and confidence in your relationship.  If trust is an issue in your marriage, coming to counseling shows your willingness to be open and honest and will give you and your wife the tools to rebuild and maintain trust for a lifetime.

10.  Commitment: Giving time, money and energy to the counseling process is the most romantic way to show your wife you are committed to her and to your marriage.  It shows how much you value her.  There is no greater way to earn her respect than to be a man who honors his commitments and is wiling to learn and grow with her for a lifetime. 

5 Tips for Solving Family Feuds

Every family will experience conflicts at some time or another throughout a life time.  Special occasions, events, and holidays can be difficult when family members are at odds with each other due to unresolved issues.  Attempting to resolve problems within a family always leads to a happier and healthier family dynamic.   The next time you are facing an issue in your family – try following these 5 Tips. 

1.  Remind Yourself…The Problem is the Problem, Not the Person:  When we are at odds with a family member, just hearing their name can make us have feelings of anger and distress.  We can lose sight of what the problem is and begin to hate the person.  Anxiety and anger can cloud our judgment and ability to reason.  Stay focused on what the problem is and what specifically happened.  Remember, we are all capable as human beings to hurt others in some way.  Take a minute and imagine if you were the one who did the wrong and how that may feel.  The person you are in conflict with will be in your family forever, the problem causing the conflict only exists as long as the family allows it to. 

2.  Own Up to Your Part:  Take some time to think about how you may be contributing to the problem.  Sometimes the pain is so overwhelming that we can’t see where we may be contributing to the problem, or our part in the problem may not be clear to us.  Perhaps your part is that you feel stuck and can’t forgive and move forward.  Perhaps you are avoiding addressing the issue because you prefer not to engage in drama, or maybe you simply hate conflict. 

3.  Have a Resolution Idea Before the Confrontation:  Think of at least two ideas of how you think the problem can be resolved.  Next, schedule a meeting with the family member or members and state the problem, own your part, listen to what they have to say, and offer your ideas for resolution.  Be willing to hear their ideas and work together to come to an agreement.  If the entire issue can’t be resolved in one meeting, set a time to meet again and continue the process of working toward complete resolution and restoration of the relationship.  Let the other person know that restoration is important to you.

4.  Realize It Takes Two:  A relationship does not exist without more than one person.  It takes two to fight and two to make up.  Sometime we simply can’t resolve an issue no matter how hard we try.  We have to accept the fact that at least for the present time, the relationship is over.  This is challenging in a family because you may be forced to spend time with them at family functions throughout your life time.  When this happens, make sure you have peace that you have tried your best and then work toward managing your emotions at family events so can enjoy yourself.  Remember…the only person you can control is You! 

5.  Seek Counseling When Needed:  Sometimes, people are so emotionally hurt or the issue is so complex that an objective third party is necessary to help both family members have a voice and work together to resolve issues and restore the relationship.  When you feel like you have tried to mend the relationship with no success, try suggesting that you and the other family member or members schedule a counseling session together.  Remember, the bottom line is restoring the relationship and enjoying peace and harmony in the family.  Healthy relationships are part your overall mental and emotional well-being and learning to resolve conflict is a life skill we all need to develop. 

There is Hope for Healing that leads to Harmony in Life through Counseling!  


3 Ways to Make Saying “No” Easier During the Holidays

Even Santa Can’t Please Everyone…
Do you remember the disappointment you felt when you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas as a child?  Although you may have felt devastated in the moment, you got over it and enjoyed the other gifts and time with your family.  The truth is that even Santa can’t please everyone so why do we think we can? 

If we are going to enjoy the holidays, we have to come to terms with the fact that no matter how much we want to…we just can’t please everyone.  Let’s face it, we just have to say “no” to some of our loved ones, friends, and co-workers during the holidays.  We simply can’t please everyone – no matter how much we want to.  Unfortunately, there will be parties, events, and family get-togethers we will not be able to attend because of overlapping schedules, finances, and priorities.  To avoid feeling overwhelmed or guilty when you have to say “no”, make sure you spend some time prioritizing and deciding what you can and can’t do ahead of time regarding finances, events, and traditions. 

1.  Saying “No” will be much easier when you and your family create a budget and decide how to spend the money together.  Creating a holiday budget only takes a short amount of time, but can save a large amount of stress during this time of year.  Decide on a dollar amount to spend over the Holiday season for gifts, parties, outfits, food, and travel – and stick to it!  Without a budget, you will overspend and the financial strain will be a source of stress long after the holidays are over.  

First, decide on the amount of money you can spend over the entire season.  If you are married, make this decision with your spouse so the two of you work together as a team to support each other and have accountability to avoid over spending. 

Second, make a list of costs beginning with “Have To” and ending with “Want To”.   Be sure to create the list with your spouse and children so you can designate money for everyone that allows you to stay within your budget.  If there is not enough money for all the “want to” items, try being creative as a family and come up with ideas to reduce gift, food, and travel costs that may allow you to afford the “want to’s” on your list.

 2.  Saying “No” will be much easier when you decide what events you can and can’t attend after prioritizing them according to your family’s schedule and financial budget.  Job, neighborhood and organization parties, church and school programs, family gatherings, and community events!  The invitations and commitments can be overwhelming.  Attending all of these events will be impossible, but the thoughts of missing any of them can be so disappointing.   As your calendar begins to fill up, set aside some time to prioritize what events you will attend – and prepare to decline the ones you will not be attending.   The most difficult part of saying “No” to attending an event is telling the person who invited you because you don’t want to hurt their feeling or miss an opportunity to spend time with the people attending.  The worst thing to do is to not RSVP or just not show up.  Understand that the person may be disappointed and may not understand why you can’t attend, but responding to the invitation is the best way to keep a good relationship with them.  Don’t feel you have to always give a detailed reason for not attending, because people may not understand your priorities.  Simply letting them know you have another obligation is a sufficient decline.  Be sure to be kind and genuine in letting them know that you appreciate the invitation, but will not be able to attend and remind yourself that you have to say “no” at times to events you want to attend – even during the holidays.

3.  Saying “No” will be much easier when you and your spouse decide what Traditions are important to your family.  Every family has annual holiday traditions they enjoy year after year and are an important part of creating special memories.  However, when you get married and start your own family, it is impossible to continue to meet the expectations of keeping all the traditions you both grew up with including pleasing both sets of in-laws every year while also trying to accommodate traditions with your friends and co-workers. 

Trying to make your boss, in-laws, and friends happy can place an enormous amount of stress on your marriage and family.  Take some time with your spouse to talk about the family traditions you each cherish from childhood, the ones you would like to continue, and the new ones you would like to begin with your family.  Once you decide on the traditions for your family, saying “No” to in-laws, co-workers, and friends will be much easier.   For example, telling your in-laws you will be spending the day at your own home instead of coming to theirs may hurt their feelings, but being in agreement as a couple will help you come up with ways to compromise some aspects of the changes and continue to enjoy the holidays.  Perhaps inviting your in-laws, friends, and co-workers to join one of your new traditions, or informing each of these groups about traditions you have with the other groups may help in scheduling events that will enable you to attend, or at least increase the understanding of why you may not be able to attend. 

Saying “No” is a must during the holidays in order to avoid financial, emotional, physical and/or marital stress.   Try these ideas to make saying “No” easier and then just enjoy creating special memories instead of being stressed out trying to please everyone.    

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