Marriage and Relationship Tools from Our Therapist That We Still Use Today

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How We Communicate in Our Marriage

Yes, Lawrence and I went to therapy back in 2018. 

We got engaged, moved, traveled, got married all in one year, so as you can imagine, we fought like crazy and had a lot of communication issues. 

We went through very challenging times and finally sought the help of a therapist because us yelling at each other didn’t work. 

I know therapy is expensive and not everyone has access to it, so I wanted to share all the tools, tips, and guidance we received from our sessions. 

We currently don’t go anymore, but in the near future, I want to continue going so we could keep growing as a couple.

Check In With Each Other

Think about your work place and how you have weekly team meetings where you and your team members discuss any successes or where some efforts fell short. 

My manager would ask me and my coworkers about our workload and make sure that none of us are drowning, or if we were, my manager would make sure that we have support. 

This is the same with marriage and relationships.

My husband and I unwind at the end of the night and talk about how our day went. We even rate our day from 1-10. This was in our vows. 

We also check-in with each other weekly. We talk about how our week went, and we talk through any issues we have or anything that is bothering us. 

We also talk about the things the we did well that week. It is also a good time to figure out if you and your partner are on the same page with where your relationship is going.  

Are you growing? Are you both starting to feel complacent? 

Three Things

At the end of each day, we tell each other 3 reasons why we’re grateful for each other. We have been doing this since 2018 when we started going to therapy. 

We haven’t missed a day. If we do, we just double the reasons the next day. 

You can say simple things like, “I’m grateful for you for taking care of the dogs all day or I’m grateful for you for making me laugh when I wasn’t feeling well.” 

It’s so simple, yet it has done so much for our marriage. 

Our lives get so busy, but I always look forward to talking about the little things. 

It’s a beautiful concept especially if your love language is words of affirmation.

Trash Day

This relates to checking in with each other. 

Have you ever had a moment where you and your partner fight and you start bringing up little things from the past that are unrelated to the current issue? 

That is very unhealthy and unproductive. 

Designate a day where you and your partner can talk about any issues from the week and resolve them, so neither of you end up having a blow up for issues that could’ve been solved if you guys had sat down and tackled it. 

Sometimes we don’t bring up things to avoid ruining our partner’s day or if you know it just wasn’t the right time. 

Designate a specific day within the week to do that. Don’t let these things add up. 

Examples: You didn’t like that they kept forgetting to take out the trash or they said something offensive about you in front of people.

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Do Not Talk To Other People About Problems Within Your Relationship

It’s so easy to go to friends or even family for advice about your fights.

Maybe some people are able to remain unbiased and give good advice, but 99% of the time, they will be on your side. 

They don’t ever get the full story and might start badmouthing your partner, which could only make the problem worse. 

Don’t talk shit about your partner to other people. It’s not a good look. 

The things you say will always stick with them and leave a long-lasting impression. 

You might have already resolved the issue, but the next time they see your partner, they will judge him or her by what you told them.

It’s 100/100, Not 50/50.

I often hear couples say, relationships are a 50/50 thing which doesn’t make sense to me because that means you’re only giving half of yourself. 

You and your partner are two separate people with different thoughts and experiences. 

This is why there’s a saying “you can’t love someone unless you learn to love yourself.” You have to love yourself and be whole before you can fully give and take care of someone else.

If you’re not completely happy and secure as an individual, you will end up relying on your partner for your happiness which could end up being toxic. 

Once you come together, you give 100% of yourself to each other. 

You have to constantly decide and choose to give your best self and effort.

Do Not Bring Up Past Issues To Attack Your Partner

Your current fight has nothing to do with your other fights in the past. 

If you’re fighting about your partner being late, you can’t bring up the time when he or she hurt your feelings 3 years ago at 5:37 pm during a baby shower. 

You have to talk about each issue, resolve it, forgive, and vow to never bring it up again. 

Bringing up past issues solves nothing. It only shows that you guys never resolved it.

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Learn Each Other’s Love Languages.

 Take the test. If the test results don’t seem right, then try to notice how you give love. 

Most of the time, the way we give love is the same way we like to receive it or try to notice what kinds of things or moments make you happy.

The important thing is realizing that the way you give love is not necessarily the way your partner wants to be loved. 

In marriage and relationships, you both can love each other deeply, but you have to know HOW to love each other. 

Once you both know each other’s main love language(s), talk about it. 

Actually sit down and discuss examples. If your love language is acts of service, an example would be that you would appreciate it if your husband cooks for you or makes the bed.

Your spouse is not a mind reader. 

I know that we sometimes want them to just know, but it doesn’t really work that way. 

If you don’t talk to each other, you’ll build resentment towards each other because you are not getting what you need from the other person in the relationship.

If you need more ideas on how to love someone, I wrote about it here.

Practice Empathy

What is empathy anyway? It is the ability to understand how another person feels. 

Think about the time when you were in a fight with someone and you thought to yourself: “I don’t understand why it was such a big deal. 

I don’t understand why he got so mad. I didn’t mean it that way and they got so offended. They didn’t take what I said the right way.”

Sound familiar? 

Something so insignificant can mean nothing to you but can be such a huge deal to another person. 

You can’t ever tell someone how to feel or that their feelings are invalid just because you don’t agree with them. You just can’t. 

One thing to remember is that everyone is just trying the best they can to protect themselves. 

When you are in a fight, let the emotions drain then dig deeper and communicate.

Empathy doesn’t have to happen in a fight. Your partner might come home drained, upset, and frustrated. 

Other times, they will make decisions about groceries, finances, how to fold towels, when to wash dishes, and other decisions and behaviors that will not make sense to you. 

Practice empathy and build a connection with them to understand why they do the things they do. 

Really listen before responding.

These all sound very simple, but how honest are you within your own relationship? 

Are you able to be vulnerable with your spouse? How often do you all check-in with each other. 

Let me know if you already practice some of this in your relationship. 

Communication is so hard af, but I hope some of these tools can help you in your relationship.

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