My husband and I recently went to beautiful Portugal for a long awaited vacation. We rented a car, and drove all around the country, excluding the far northern Douro region, so we’d have sufficient time to really see places. I can’t say enough about what this does, not only for one’s joy and learning levels, but also for a marriage.
Getting away from your everyday routines and responsibilities allows you to reset an appreciation level, not only for other people and places, but also for each other. A self-guided road trip is especially useful in ramping up teamwork and trust. In our case, I was the Navigator, and my husband Thom was the Fearless Driver, negotiating hairpin turns on sky-high mountain roads, and well marked highways with signs somehow not illuminated at night! I guided us through ancient towns with tiny cobblestoned streets barely big enough to fit a car, (let alone two!), while Thom plowed forward in our tiny Citroen.
We sampled wines, cheeses, and exotic fish dishes we’d never experienced before. We had to be a well oiled machine, hauling our overloaded suitcases up dark staircases in remote Air B&B’s. We walked through orchards and vineyards, went to dinner in medieval towns late at night, and toured ancient castles and cities on foot for hours and hours, (something I’d usually love, but an act of generosity by Thom, who’s not so crazy about walking all day and night). Together, we had to communicate with the Portuguese, many of whom don’t speak other languages clearly. We had to negotiate where to go, and what to forego, given our time constraints.
We returned home with a much greater appreciation for the sensual European way of life, but also thankful for American conveniences, and vastly more thankful for each other!
If you haven’t gotten away in awhile together, either to an exotic place like Portugal for a vacation, or to somewhere in your home state for a weekend, I’d recommend that you begin doing it again whenever you can. Your marriage will thank you for it!
Most couples who’ve graduated into a king-size bed fully understand the ups and downs about the change. Gone are the days when the two of you naturally fell into the canyon in the middle created by your joint weight, cozily cuddling. Instead, you’ve probably permanently moved into your own canyons on the far sides of the mattress, keenly aware that king-size beds create a “mountain” in the middle, unless you’ve made a conscious attempt to share the middle “we” space, or have sex four times a day. If you live in a hot climate it makes it more pronounced – who needs to cuddle when bodily contact warmth isn’t a necessity for comfort? The up side is that you probably enjoy the ability to fully stretch out without worrying about unwittingly shoving your elbow in your partner’s nose. Ah, space… But there are costs to your new found independence: Disconnection! Less intimacy! Waning pillow talk! So, in the spirit of avoiding all these forms of alienation, I say, “be deliberate about meeting on the mountain!”
Here are three ways the rendezvous on the summit can help a relationship:
- If you do it together or take turns, you’re practicing compromise and collaboration in the name of closeness.
- You’re being intentional as a couple about maintaining intimacy and connection.
- You’re practicing the delicate balance between the “Me” and the “We,” so key to close relationships.
So, think of “Meeting on the Mountain” as a perfect metaphor for what you need to do in many areas of your partnership, only this time with a giant mattress underneath you.
If you’ve ever felt stuck in conversations which seem to go nowhere, and feel the need for some good skills in this area, then don’t miss this episode!
In this next 30 minute BTR episode tonight, (Wednesday 10/21/15) at 8:30 PM I will teach you a vital secret tool for better communication, especially when there’s conflict surrounding an issue.
Call in live at toll-free 877-497-9046 to join me on the air with questions or comments. If you can’t make the live show catch the recording at: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SusanLager anytime at your convenience.
If you or your partner tend to shut down, retreat, or yell at each other when you disagree, and the “conversation” goes south fast, then this show is for you. Moving forward, you’ll have the means to talk more calmly, take turns, listen better, lower reactivity and move toward solutions faster.
I hope you can join me!
*P.S. To get my book “I’m Talking! Are You Listening?” click on the link below to find it on my Amazon store. There are lots of tips and tools in there for much better communication.
Don’t miss this 45 minute episode! I’ll be interviewing Dr. Charles Rawlings, outspoken author of “It Really Is That Complicated – The Myths That Exist About Male-Female Relationships.” We’ll explore some of his controversial stances about relationships, and how, in his opinion, they center around control, manipulation and bartering.
Call 877-497-9046 to join in the conversation with questions or comments, or to just listen, tune in any time at www.BlogTalkRadio.com
In this 45 minutes episode, Susan Lager co-hosts with Meredith Richardson, a collaborative lawyer, mediator and conflict coach on the Southern New England coast. Hosting other events together, such as couples retreats, the two women bring their own spin to the issue of conflict in marriage as well as in friendships and in the workplace. Lager and Richardson explore the different conflict styles, and explore how each of us learns to manage conflict based on earlier experiences and adaptations to those environments.
- Find out what triggers you and why, and how you manage it well or badly.
- Take one of the recommended Conflict Quizes to find out more about your own conflict style
- Get some ideas for avoiding the “same old fight'” with your partner! Get a head’s up on getting along better with your spouse, friends, and co-workers!
Call in toll-free 877-497-9046 at 8:30 EST to just listen in, or to join the conversation on the air with questions or comments. Don’t miss this one – it should be lively!
As we all get ready to pay our taxes, this is a particularly relevant show now!
In this 40 minute episode, I will co-host with Meredith Richardson, a talented and feisty lawyer, mediator, and conflict coach. Together we’ll focus on the central issues and some common pattterns couples play out related to finances during their marriages, or in their divorces.
* Learn about some key behaviors which are often indicators of marital strength and collaboration, or not.
* Find out about 4 new behaviors which can help you and your spouse to do better in this area.
* Learn about some critical legal issues you need to know about filing taxes jointly.
To listen in, or to join us live on the air with questions or comments, call toll-free 877-497-9046.
If you can’t make the live show, catch the recording at: The Couplespeak Relationship Forum
Whatever you do, don’t miss this episode!
Exciting news! My new little workbook, “I’m Talking! Are You Listening?” Fix Communication Problems With Your Partner In No Time Flat! is now available as a Kindle eBook! It was just published and can be purchased at: http://amzn.to/TQlnO1
Use tools I’ve developed from YEARS of experience as a couples therapist, and learn to have better communication with all the people who matter to you.
Anything is possible! I’ve just published my new little workbook,
“I’m Talking! Are You Listening? Fix Communication Problems With Your Partner In No Time Flat! An Original Couplespeak™ Workbook
It’s now available for purchase on the CreateSpace (a division of Amazon) eStore, and also available directly through Amazon, and other retailers, libraries, etc.
Who would have thought that I’d actually follow through and do this with all the levels of hassle, complications and time involved! My point to you readers is that if I can do this, SO CAN YOU do anything you set your mind to! Set your goal. Connect with your motivation. Line up your daily actions with that goal and motivation. Give yourself some breaks. Find support. Get feedback, and move forward!!
If you’d like to learn how to talk so your partner will listen, and how to listen so your partner will talk, this workbook is for you. It provides you with simple steps to accomplish this, and exercises to help you set the stage for success. And by the way, it doesn’t only apply in marriage or long-term partnerships. It also applies for any key relationships you have where productive conversation can get snagged. If you have a co-worker or a friend or relative you’d like to communicate better with, then this book will be a great tool!
Below is a copy of the eStore page describing the book. You can purchase it directly by going to my CreateSpace eStore below or directly on Amazon.com
“I’m Talking! Are You Listening?”
Fix Communication Problems With Your
Partner In No Time Flat!
– An Original Couplespeak™ Workbook
Authored by Susan Lager LICSW
A seasoned couples therapist and relationship coach shares her secrets, step by step, for better communication with all the people who matter.
8.5″ x 8.5″ (21.59 x 21.59 cm)
ISBN-13: 978-1469918846 (CreateSpace assigned)
Don’t miss my Blogtalk Radio show tonight at 8:30 PM! I’ll be discussing the six critical factors to evaluate when looking at how healthy or viable a relationship may be, and how people often delude themselves, thinking love alone will get them through. Here’s news for you: love is not enough!!!!
Call in toll-free at 877-497-9046 to be able to join me live on the air with questions or comments or stories. I welcome all of it!
If you can’t make the live show, simply catch the recording at: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SusanLager
If you’re at all like me you probably have a TV, and are subjected daily to news about all the rancor between the Republican, and Independent candidates competing to be the nominee against Barack Obama in the next presidential race. If you’re a real glutton for punishment, (like me), you probably also watch the news about all the fighting in Congress over issues about healthcare, job creation, and the national debt, etc.
We see the players hit stalemates with some frequency, polarizing about the “right” or “wrong” view of the issues, and then about “right” or “wrong” solutions to those problems. What’s missing most often are bipartisan solutions which incorporate mutual concerns, and work well enough for everybody.
This is what I see happens for lots of couples. They argue about what really happened, who started the problem, and what the “right” solution would be. (Does this sound familiar?) The issue could be as mundane as which restaurant to go to for dinner, or as weighty as how and when to discipline the children. Whatever the issue, it’s a battle for who will get their way, and who will be acknowledged as “right”. But if one partner is “right”, then that makes the other one “wrong”. If one “wins,” the other loses.
If you’re guilty of this polarizing stance, as most of us are at times, just look at the political scene to get an accurate picture of the likely outcome. It doesn’t bode well for any relationships, whether you’re a member of Congress facing legislation with your peers, or whether you’re in a couple dealing with disciplining the kids. If you want happier relationships with everyone, then you must “reach across the aisle” and seek “bipartisan solutions”!
PS. If you’re interested in seeing my initial selection of articles which will give you tools and insights about how to have happier, closer relationships with everybody, go to the “Products” page of my website www.SusanLager.com. The page will be open for purchases any day now! (I promise).
PSS. (The holdup isn’t because I’m sitting around yelling at the TV 24/7. It’s because I’ve been in the process of publishing my first book, “I’m Talking! Are You Listening? Fix Communication Problems With Your Partner In No Time Flat!”) Look for it soon on Amazon.com in paperback, then soon afterward as an ebook available for Kindle.