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How to Enhance and Enrich Your Marriage
Any marriage counselor will tell you that one of the most common problems observed when couples come for help is poor communication skills. People get into trouble in their marriages because they have not developed their ability to listen and communicate.
Barriers to Communication
These are a few of the things that prevent people from communicating effectively:
? Not knowing how to communicate properly
? Not taking the time to think through what you want to say
? Not taking the time to anticipate what your partner might be thinking and feeling
? Fear of revealing too much of yourself
? Fear of your partner's anger
? Not wanting to hurt your partner's feelingsEmpathy and Acceptance
People marry because they want to spend the rest of their lives with their partner. They have every hope of growing together and creating a relationship that makes them feel emotionally healthy. Two factors that are necessary for this to happen are empathy and acceptance on the part of both partners.
Empathy is the capacity to put oneself in another's shoes and understand how they view their reality, how they feel about things.
Demonstrating empathy and acceptance is critical to maintaining a strong relationship. Let's look next at some communication skills that enable you to create a climate of empathy, acceptance, and understanding. First we will explore a skill called Active Listening.
Active listening is a way of communicating that creates the important climate of empathy, acceptance, and understanding.
? It is a two-step response to a statement made by your partner.
? It includes reflecting back what emotion you detected in the statement, and the reason for the emotion.This is what active listening sounds like:"Sounds like you're upset about what happened at work."
"You're very annoyed by my lateness, aren't you?"
Why Active Listening Is a Valuable Skill
Active listening is a valuable skill because it demonstrates that you understand what your partner is saying and how he or she is feeling about it.
? Active listening means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said.
? It's a check on whether your understanding is correct.
? It demonstrates that you are listening and that you are interested and concerned.
Actively listening does not mean agreeing with the other person. The point is to demonstrate to your partner that you intend to hear and understand his or her point of view. This is good for your relationship for several reasons:
? When someone demonstrates that they want to understand what you are thinking and feeling, it feels good.
? It creates good feelings about the other person.
? Restating and checking understanding promotes better communication and fewer misunderstandings.
More Active Listening Examples
Here are some more examples of active listening:
"You sound really stumped about how to solve this problem."
"It makes you angry when you find errors on Joey's homework."
"Sounds like you're really worried about Wendy."
"I get the feeling you're awfully busy right now."
More Communication Skills
Although our space is limited in this short newsletter, there are a few more communication skills that I must mention. These include asking open-ended questions, making summary statements to check understanding, and encouraging your partner to open up and elaborate by using neutral questions and phrases.
Open-ended questions begin with what, why, how do, or tell me.
? These questions get the other person to open up and elaborate on the topic.
? Asking these kinds of questions gets the other person involved by giving him or her a chance to tell what he or she thinks or knows.
? These questions are designed to encourage your partner to talk.
? They are useful when the other person is silent or reluctant to elaborate.
? They are also useful in dealing with negative emotions (such as anger or fear), since they help encourage the other person to vent feelings.
Summary statements sum up what you hear your partner saying.
? A summary statement enhances your partner's self-esteem by showing that you were listening carefully.
? It also helps you focus on facts, not emotions.
? It helps your partner clarify his or her own thinking by hearing your summary.
? Summary statements also help you deal with multiple disagreements so you can deal with them one by one.
? They help eliminate confusion by focusing on the relevant facts.
? Summary statements also help you separate the important issues from the trivial.
Neutral Questions and Phrases
Neutral questions and phrases get your partner to open up and elaborate on the topic you are discussing.
? These questions are more focused than open-ended questions.
? They help your partner understand what you are interested in hearing more about.
? They further communication because they help you gain more information.
? When you ask these kinds of questions, you demonstrate to your partner that you are interested and that you are listening.
Business Skills for Marriages
You might be surprised to hear that the same skills that help people succeed in business can also be used to build a better marriage. Like any business, a marriage is a partnership of people. Many of the skills that make businesses run successfully-planning, organizing, and setting goals-also can be applied to running your marriage successfully. These are some of the skills that will strengthen any marriage:
1. Create an overall vision of what you want your life to be like; consider all life areas.
2. Develop a long-range strategy.
3. Set short-term and long-term goals.
4. Plan the steps that will help you accomplish your goals.
5. Organize projects.
6. Manage projects.
7. Manage people.
8. Evaluate progress and results at regular intervals.
9. Revise goals as needed.
Garrett Coan is a professional therapist,coach and psychotherapist. His two Northern New Jersey office locations are accessible to individuals who reside in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Rockland County, and Manhattan. He offers online and telephone coaching and counseling services for those who live at a distance. He can be accessed through http://www.creativecounselors.com or 201-303-4303.
New Trends for Wedding Favors 2005
Wedding favors have evolved over time. Wedding favors today combine the traditional with the modern and elegant design with great functionality. Here are some of the hot new trends in wedding favors:
How to Have a Sizzler of a Honeymoon! Article No. 9
When it came to love-making, Napoleon, that short plump bundle of masculinity, knew that it all started in the head. And as far as he was concerned you couldn't get a better start than by smelling sweet. He himself used almost one bottle of eau de cologne per day. As for Josephine?
Celtic Wedding Rituals -- Tying the knot
One of the most elegant rituals you can choose for a wedding is the traditional Celtic hand fasting. After the vows, the bride and groom's wrists are bound together with five colored ribbons, each symbolizing an aspect of marriage and their shared commitment. It is a long standing Celtic tradition that is still quite popular, and happens to be the origin of the expression "tying the knot" which has grown to mean getting married. Though this tradition is a lovely and meaningful tradition, many other Celtic wedding traditions have not aged as gracefully.
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6 Ways to Save Money on Wedding Invitations
Inviting your possible guests on your wedding day can be costly. You have to give them traditional wedding cards to inform them of the date and venue, and possibly those cards are made of elegant or high quality papers and other materials that might cost a lot. If your goal is to save money, then you should think of cost ? effective alternatives to send out cards to your guests. Here are some tips.
Marriage Missing its Spark?
If the fires of passion in your marriage have been reduced nearly to embers, then you are not alone. One of the most common problems that can damage a marriage is the loss of spark?or spice, or whatever you like to call it. It's really not so easy to get yourself or your partner "in the mood" once you have become very familiar with each other. Of course, it's wonderful to be familiar with your spouse because familiarity is the basis of intimacy. But intimacy is not the same as passion, is it? Routine is the culprit. If the proper countermeasures are not deployed against routine's assault on your relationship, then it will drain all the passion right out of your marriage. Routine is a tenacious killer of passion?a suspect in the deaths of over 1 million steamy romances. I know routine comes in very handy for showers and oil changes, but it has no place in the bedroom.
Planning a Special Wedding Shower
The wedding shower is a traditional party of the marriage process. Often times the bridal party, or the people who have been asked to be in the wedding, will through the party for the couple. Or, other times, friends or family members will hold it for them. Making a wedding shower memorable starts with planning. First, you need to decide if the party will be formal or relaxed and laid back. Often times, large families will have a formal wedding shower for the bride and groom which may include a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant. Other times, some of the brides close friends will get together at a house and throw a small get together for them. Either way, once this choice is made, the planning begins.
Engagement Party Ideas To Wow The Crowd!
He's proposed, and most likely you're flashing your new engagement ring. Now it's time to plan the celebration, but where do you start?
Building Your Marriage: Some Thoughts From St. Paul
These verses of Scripture from St. Paul are commonly used in Christian marriage ceremonies. They speak of the relationship between Christ and the Church in terms of the relationship between a husband and his wife. As beautiful as they are, they are also very misunderstood and misinterpreted. Look closely and see their wisdom for your marriage.
Wedding Shower Invitations: An Overview
The purpose of a wedding shower is to celebrate the bride and provide her a moment to share with family and friends before the big day. Traditionally, the bridal shower is hosted by the maid-of-honor or the bridesmaids. Sometimes it is co-hosted to save on costs for a large number of guests or hosted by a family member.
Get Fantastic Deals on Catering for Your Wedding
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And the Bride Didnt Wear White
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Marriage Dreams When Fails!
Marriage and Attraction: Relation is successful as long as there is attraction between the partners. Attraction of actions, attentiveness, beauty, behaviour, caring nature, sexual satisfaction and etc, contribute to prolong relation. Activities to attract partner becomes slow and casual as involves in normal and daily responsibilities leads to escaping the second role. A person has mainly two roles in married life, one for spouse and the other with Job/ responsibilities. Partner and family attraction influences to conduct responsibilities to benefit the family and thus the involvement in responsibilities intensifies that elapses attention to spouse. Especially women undergo this stage involving intensely in their free services of taking care of children and maintaining house. After reaching from office male partner expects his wife fresh and sexy who is heavily tired of hardship. A disappointment is the major factors for fading attraction towards her.
How to Save Money on Wedding Photography
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Cookie Wedding Favors
Cookies as wedding favors, create an unique twist on the time honored tradition of providing small gifts to guests, as a token of appreciation from the bride and groom. Initially wedding favors were only a part of celebrations European upper classes who would provide elaborate gifts to their guests. Wedding favors began as small fancy boxes, filled with the royal treat of confectionery delicacies, at a time when sugar was quite expensive.
Top 40 Marriage Quotations
"Is it better for a woman to marry a man who loves her than a man she loves. "-- Anonymous
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