Julie Hanks, LCSW and Wasatch Family Therapy mentioned in a recent Closer Weekly magazine discussing the recent developments with Michael Douglas and his estranged wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. It seems the two have been out and about together and Julie believes that may be good news.
This may come as a surprise to you, but sex begins long before you make it to the bedroom. Many people report needing to feel emotionally close to their partner before they get physically close to their partner. Sex can be the most vulnerable you become with another person and so you need to feel safe emotionally with your partner. What does emotional intimacy look like? I have heard many couples describe this as feeling “connected”. To become more emotionally intimate you can spend more quality time with your partner. Be open with each other. Share your thoughts and feelings with one another. Try talking about things that don’t revolve around the tasks of running a household. Share your fears, sorrows, dreams, and excitement for life. Play together. This could be as simple as laughing with one another or doing something new together. Make sure you spend quality alone time to develop emotional intimacy and build trust with your partner.
It is very common for couples to reach a point in their relationship where they start to feel more like roommates than lovers. One thing that we forget once we are past the romancing stage is that a relationship continues to take work. It is easy to get comfortable and settled with our partner to where we stop putting forth the effort to win each other over. Though there is a deep and secure love between you and your partner, when this happens, it can feel like the spark is gone, and we begin to mourn for that loss of passion.
Here are some ideas on how to get that spark back and rekindle the passion.
1. Regular dates
Having kids and busy work schedules can make it tough to find time for just the two of you. Don’t let yourselves fall into the same routines. Make sure you plan time for each other and put forth the effort to plan fun dates. Your relationship is just as important as your kids and work, and it requires some attention as well. Go on dates, and get that much needed couple time together.
2. Physical touch
It is always important to make time for intimacy through sex with your partner, but there is also a lot of power in physical contact. Holding hands, rubbing your spouse’s back, raking your fingers though his hair, lingering kisses, and long hugs are great ways to ignite some passion. Touching each other more often helps us feel closer to one another.
3. Find something you both love
Finding a hobby to share with your spouse is a great way to ignite a spark. Take a class, try something new, be adventurous… When you share experiences with your spouse that you both enjoy together, you will feel a stronger connection to one another.
4. Remember the passion
Sometimes just remembering what it is that first made us fall in love with our partners can help bring some of that passion back. Try making a list of all the reasons why you love your partner. Write them down, and read them to each other. Acknowledge the things that you appreciate about the other and may be taking for granted. Besides building up your partner and making them feel good, you will also recognize all that deep love that is already there.
If and when possible, go on getaways together. Even small road trips can be fun and great opportunities to talk and just focus on each other.
6. Make it a joint effort
It is not easy to rekindle the passion in your relationship if you are the only one working at it. You and your spouse need to help one another. Talk to each other and express that you are trying to make an effort to reignite the spark and that it is important to you, and hopefully you will be in on it together.
Q: My life was fine until I was in seventh grade, my parents were alright and I had amazing friends, until one night my parents told me and my siblings that my mom was thinking about divorce and how they were constantly fighting that single night brought everything down since then my parents were fighting all the time, my father would get drunk and start talking without knowing he was hurting my feelings, one night he almost hit my sister and my mom that marked my whole life, I almost didn’t make it through eight grade because I would just think about my parents and how their marriage is gonna end. Is not very pleasant to see your mom and dad sad Now in my freshman year everything got worse I started to get sad, cry without a reason, I get stress more easy and stuff like that.
Also I’ve been distancing from my friends and I know many people but I’m just used to them being my friends, two of them have boyfriends and they just stick to them like glue and its kind of annoying because we made a promise that no boy will interfere with our friendship but I guess isn’t validate anymore, for them I don’t exist anymore because they also have new friends and they leave in a corner alone. I guess that is also part of my sadness I guess and I also lost interest in things I used to like for example writing, photography, fashion and reading plus I’ve been thing about self-harming but I know that isn’t gonna help. So please answer me. take care
With Valentine’s Day having just passed you might have experienced a complete victory in gift giving or an epic fail. The year provides many opportunities to make it up to your significant other. This year you can’t go wrong by breaking with tradition and giving your significant other the gift s/he really wants – a gift that will keep on giving for years to come – the gift of love, support, and connection. “Hold Me Tight” Couples Workshop starts Tuesday, March 5 at Wasatch Family Therapy. This highly effective, scientifically based eight week class teaches couples that the way to enhance a good relationship or to save a troubled one is to be open, attuned, and responsive to each other’s needs. You and your spouse will gain insight into defining moments in your relationship and skilled marriage therapists will guide you in reshaping these moments to create a secure and lasting bond.
Julie Hanks, Owner and Executive Director of Wasatch Family Therapy shared with me this artistic expression and interpretation of overcoming addiction to the song “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. When I saw it I was so powerfully moved by the message it portrayed on such an important topic. A few points stood out to me from watching this dance that relate well to the emotional aspect of dealing with addiction in relationships.
Several years ago a good friend sent me the following email and I laughed until tears were rolling down my cheeks. I’ve never deleted it and still pull it up on occasion if I have a particularly rough day or just need a good chuckle. I wish I knew who to credit for this little stroke of creative genius that’s been floating around Cyberland. Sometimes just looking at your relationship from a different perspective – in this case, a humorous one – can make all the difference. Oh, if only marital bliss were as easy as buying the correct operating system and installing it without a glitch! The truth is human beings are much more complicated than computer programs and creating a loving marriage requires more than knowing the right buttons to push. Keeping a positive attitude through life’s ups and downs and sharing a good laugh now and then will help see you through. Enjoy!
Dear Tech Support ,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a
distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the
flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under
Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs,
such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed
undesirable programs such as NBA 5.0, NFL 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1.
Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes
the system. I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but
to no avail. What can I do?
First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
Husband 1.0 is an operating system. Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that
application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the
Snoring Loudly Beta. Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system
resources.) Also, do not attempt to reinstall Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are
unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0. In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.
Did you know that Cosmopolitan Magazine has a regular marriage column? I didn’t know until I interviewed with the talented and witty writer Kristina Grish, who chronicles the ups and downs of her own marriage in her monthly Cosmo “Love, For Keeps” column.
Check out page 122 of Dec. Issue (yes, the one with the lovely and insanely talented Taylor Swift on the cover) or download the pdf below.
Help for busy, overwhelmed women. Executive director, Julie Hanks answers your questions and offers strategies to help you carve out time for yourself.
1) Include YOU in your circle of care
Self-neglect isn’t a good long-term strategy for self-care. If you are committed to taking care of others for the long haul, then you need to include YOU as one of the people that you nurture and support.
2) Build it in
Set a recurring appointment with yourself and build in the support that you need to make it happen. Get a commitment from your husband for a certain time every week. Hire a teenage neighbor to come every Thursday afternoon for a few hours.
3) Get others on board
Let others have the opportunity to share the care giving responsibilities. If you tend to fall into the role of “caregiver” be sure to invite your family members to participate. If they are unwilling, ask extended family, your church or community group to pitch in.
4) Get creative
If you don’t have resources to hire a babysitter, you may have to get creative. Barter with a neighbor. Swap childcare for making dinner one night a week.
The popular song by Jason Mraz, “I Won’t Give Up” shares an important message of commitment in relationships and the powerful effect it can have. How important is commitment in a relationship? Researcher Steinberg created a model for what makes up love and relationships. He states that relationships thrive when they have a good balance of passion (physical), intimacy (emotional), and commitment. Why is commitment so important? It is hard to fully jump into the passionate and intimate part of a relationship when you do not know if this person is going to be with you or will stand by your side. When there is a sense of commitment there is a freedom to explore the relationship and continue to give more of yourself because you are not consumed by fear of being hurt or abandoned.