Stability in the Home

When couples are experiencing conflict between the two of them they often wonder about how to create a sense of stability in the home while they sort our their differences. When we return to a home that feels unsafe – whether physically, emotionally, or both – we are less likely to engage in resolution. Kids are often in the mix as well and parents are interested in making sure they feel safe despite problems in the marriage. 

Conflict happens. It’s unavoidable in a relationship between two humans with their own thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. Finding a stable way of engaging in conflict can be a game changer. Here are some ways to make sure your conflict stays in check. 

  1. 1. Do No Harm – as you search for resolution pledge to refrain from verbally or physically harming each other intentionally. There will be times that our words hurt each other, but there is a difference between saying something that is hard to hear and intentionally letting words fly below the belt. 

    2. Realize That You’re Part of the Problem – no one is 100% innocent. What was done to you may be way worse than what you have done but owning your part of the problem (and no more) will do wonders. 

    3. Treat Each Other with Respect – whether it’s in front of the kids, around friends, or just between the two of you, there is a way to communicate our concerns in a respectful way. Your spouse may not be acting in a way that you think deserves respect but there is some respect we all deserve as humans despite our behavior. Plus, it’s more difficult to yell at a person who is talking in a calm, cool, collected manner. 

Give these tips a try during your next argument and make sure to note the differences you experience.


STOP - How to Pump the Breaks:

Ever feel like you go from 0 to 100 in no time flat? This can happen in an instant as anxiety, anger, and impulsivity take the wheel. We strive for emotional regulation and control, but sometimes it gets away from us. Feel like you need to STOP? Here's a technique that can help you pump the breaks. 

S - STOP, literally. A mind and body action of cessation. 

T - Take a deep breath and Take a step back. 

O - Observe the situation, the environment, and yourself. What are your thoughts and feelings?

P - Proceed mindfully. Let your next steps, actions, and words be purposeful.


Boundaries in Marriage - Engaging with the Opposite Sex

Boundaries are dividing lines that create limits and awareness. In marriage, boundaries may appear restrictive but they actually promote protection, security and clarity. One of the best ways to show your partner you love and avoid painful consequences is to respect and honor the boundaries set in the marriage. 


One area where this can be a challenge is in engaging with the opposite sex. There can be a lot of “gray” when it comes to this as we are often in environments with inevitable interactions between the genders. Creating boundaries for engaging with others should be a collaborative activity that leaves no questions as to what is “appropriate” versus “inappropriate.” Couples are a team and a team functions well when each player/partner understands and agrees with the rules.


Here are a few helpful things to think about when deciding your boundaries: 


  1. If you wouldn’t say or do it in front of your spouse, then it probably shouldn’t be said or done at all. 

  2. Do not discuss marital issues or your spouse's flaws with others 

  3. Incorporate device transparency including passwords and any communication with others. 

  4. Identify what is appropriate to watch and where is appropriate to go both alone and together

  5. Avoid as much one on one time as possible with the opposite sex 

  6. Substance use around mixed gendered groups 

  7. Creating space for open and honest communication regarding struggles, needs and wants in the relationship.


Be intentional and thoughtful in this process. Do not be afraid of creating black and white limits as they will protect your relationship in the long run. 


Thank You

Often times, we are rather hard on ourselves, our bodies, and our minds. We are constantly expecting and demanding more and becoming frustrated easily. 


But what if, we took a few moments each day to appreciate all that those bodies and minds have done for us? Notice that pesky anxiety or unwanted memory of a traumatic event? Although the symptoms that follow may prove challenging, your mind is working to protect you.


Your memory stores information for you, some of which you may not even recall. When a familiar sensation, smell, sound, etc. presents itself, it triggers a thought process, which is quickly followed by an emotional process. This emotional process can then lead into moments of anxiety, stress, doubt, etc. 


Although you may in fact be safe, that smell may connect you to a memory in which that smell was once unsafe. In order to protect you, your memory is reminding you that smell has previously meant danger.


Instead of harboring frustration towards your mind and body for the symptoms that follow, allow a moment to appreciate its intent. You may just notice your symptoms weaken and anticipatory frustration subside.