Couplespeak™ Blog

Quality Time For Couples

Hello Reader,

What do Hullavators, J-Bars, Slide and Set Saddles, new bathing suits, trailer balls, hitches, Thermos coolers, Porta-Potties, ice cream cones, picnic lunches, juicy novels, and sunsets have in common?

You guessed it! Summertime fun in the sun on a favorite lake, with not only kayaks, but now with our little cruising motorboat! This is the sequel to “Father’s Day Celebration With Determination”: what started as a gift to the Husband and Father of quality family time for the day, now unfolds into carving out regular quality time as a couple — no cellphones, no laptops, no “homework”, no dishes, no bills, no laundry, no distractions from the shear pleasure of precious time together. It never comes easily or automatically, it requires planning, creativity, collaboration, commitment, and a capacity for joy. If you value it in your relationship, the returns will be immense. (Keep in mind that if you create experiences which involve some novelty, something out of your ordinary routine, you will be ramping up supplies of dopamine and norepinephrine, the “pleasure” chemicals in your brain associated with romantic love!)  So your house will be a bit messier, and your voicemail will be full, but no one will get killed if you create wonderful memories together. It’s the “glue” in intimate partnerships, and most of us preserve too little time for quality time together. So start dreaming and together planning some experiences this summer, away from the stressors and routines of your everyday life. Think of all the money you’ll save on marriage counseling down the road!

Susan Lager

P.S. Look for my latest published articles about couple’s issues at: 

Celebrating Father’s Day With Determination

Happy Father’s Day Reader,

It may be a Hallmark invention, but honoring Dad’s is really a great idea if you have the energy. My husband Thom, is an awesome father, and certainly deserved to be treated like a king today. So my son Alec and I conspired to do “acts of service” (slave labor), to celebrate. First, we did all the research, then bought and assembled a new Thule kayak rack for my new car so next Sunday when we have the time together, we’ll be all ready for our first day of the season on our favorite lake. That’s where my husband, the father in question, goes into trance mode floating around looking for lures, old boots, and whatnot underwater. It’s like being on happy drugs without the drugs. Then I cooked up a gourmet breakfast we enjoyed on the deck, looking out over our land minus his four eyesore blueberry bushes I transplanted to my husband’s front vegetable garden– (no feat for the faint of heart, the first hole was filled with boulders, not rocks, boulders. The second hole was crisscrossed with giant roots which had to be extricated with an axe.) I thought I was going to have a heart attack, so the last two bushes I repotted into giant deck pots, hauling enormous bags of dirt, wondering about this Father’s Day stuff. Oh, I forgot, last night I packed a picnic dinner for the beach where we froze to death amidst the Maine monsoon, but he loved the romantic thought …. Then tonight I whipped up an elaborate Indian dinner fit for a Maharaji, while Alec invented new cocktails using about $30. worth of fruit, but it too was a romantic thought…. Tonight we all collapsed after Alec and I, the two slaves, escaped briefly before the King came home, to cool off with a swim in our local pond. The Father was truly honored. The slaves are happy and ready to escape….

Hope you too honored the Dad in your life, and have Advil on hand,
Susan Lager

P.S. Have a look at my published articles about couple’s issues at:

Sunday Night Party

Hi Reader,

I had the best Spontaneous End of The Weekend Bash last night ever! I’d highly recommend it as a useful “reframe”. Here’s the recipe for mine:

— one part lazy gardening earlier in the day, no broken back

— one part Food Network grilled pork with Blackberry-jalapeno glaze

— one part couscous-stuffed peppers with basil sauce (from the garden of no broken back)

— one part warm, messy kitchen

— one part happy husband watching the sunset over his arugula plants, martini in hand

— one part happy son with happy girlfriend, laughingly making coconut mojitos

— one part Yo-Yo Ma playing cello

— one part louder laughter as son’s friend, the supreme character, joins the crew

— one part competitive storytelling

— five parts love

Shake together till blended, and enjoy!

Goodnight for now,
Susan Lager

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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