Before you get out of bed in the morning, maybe before you even open your eyes, notice and enjoy 10 mindful breaths.
As we plan our holiday visits, it is not uncommon to have a sense of unease or even dread about being around certain family members. Perhaps you could handle that family member for a few hours on holidays but what becomes very difficult to walk through is the tension that seeps into our relationship as one or both people in a couple start to think about an upcoming visit with family.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
This week giving thanks and gratitude are on all of our minds. However, finding gratitude in our marriage is not always easy.
We have started a tradition with my children where each meal we go around the table and each say what we are grateful for. I am sure this practice benefits my children but what I have noticed is how much it makes me think about what I’m grateful for and how so often my mindset is not gratitude. Instead I find myself in mindsets of feeling sorry for myself, being frustrated, or disappointed.
A new baby has just been brought home. What a beautiful time in a couple’s life but it can also bring new challenges. Some of the biggest challenges a couple faces when they have children are increased stress, sleep deprivation, and less down time together. All of these challenge the couple to turn toward and rely on each other. The goal is to come to each other with concerns, frustrations, fears, etc. Versus keeping thoughts and emotions to ourselves and trying to manage all of the changes on our own. We were built for connection and to lean on our partner in times of stress and transition.
I love Berne Browns work on shame and vulnerability. The idea is that shame thrives on secrecy. The more we keep the ****y things we think about ourselves to ourselves the stronger hold shame takes on us. The good news is there is one thing that shame shrivels to, exposure. What might exposing shame look like in a relationship?
Vulnerability. This is not a word most of us are comfortable with and it might even have an association of weakness. Being vulnerable enough in your relationship to share your darkest inner thoughts about yourself takes crazy courage and strength.
Sliding Door Moments: Opportunities to Be There for Your Partner
Author and researcher, John Gottman, uses the term sliding door moments to describe opportunities to connect with our partners. These are often micro moments of potential to let your partner know you care, you are there for them, and they can count on you. The term sliding door fits well because these occasions can be so fleeting they are easily missed. Mixed in with other blog posts below are real life sliding door moments that I see in relationships all around me, including my own. Some moments were embraced and perhaps created stronger bonds for the couple while others were missed. I hope highlighting these real life sliding door moments in other’s relationships will help you seek out and take advantage of the opportunity they provided to turn towards your partner and build trust in your own relationship.
Sliding Door Moment #6
On one of my guilty pleasure podcasts, For Crying Out Loud, co-hosts Lynette Carolla and Stefanie Wilder-Taylor discussed what they felt like kept their marriages strong after over 15+ years. I loved what Lynette shared. After a disagreement or tense moment between her and her husband, Adam Carolla, before they part on go on about their day her husband will say, “Ok Mama, let’s enjoy…” Lynette has shared in other stories that “Mama” is term of endearment that Adam uses when they talk. Because Lynette cited this as a reason their marriage stays strong I take this to mean Lynette feels Adam genuinely wants her to be ok, them to be ok and wants to enjoy the rest of their day despite their rough moment.