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5 Top Secrets The Happiest Couples Already Know – Even If They Don’t Think They Do

You know those friends of yours who always look so happy together? The ones who you know not only look happy but who are happy? Together. Don’t you sometimes just hate them?

What do they know that you don’t know? That is always the question, whispered among those who wish they too could be so happy.

Here is the answer.

My latest – 5 Top Secrets The Happiest Couples Already Know – Even If They Don’t Think They Do.

#1 – Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex.

So let’s just start with the obvious one.

Every happily married couple has a sex life that suits them. There is no exact formula for how much sex a couple must have to be happy. Instead, each couple needs to decide what is best for them, to talk about it and play around and meet each other’s sexual needs in a way that makes everyone excited.

I have a client whose husband wants to have sex EVERY night and, while she really likes having sex with him, every night just doesn’t work for her. She used to just rebuff his advances, which made him feel badly, but on my advice she talked to him about it. She explained how she felt, they agreed that she would be the instigator and that she would instigate often. That worked for both of them and they were happy.

So tick this one off of your list. Talk to your partner about your sex life and make a plan to make it work well for both of you.

Sounds fun, right?

#2 – Equitable division of labor.

I have known many, many married couples. I have known many, many divorced couples. What is the differentiating factor that exists between the two? Equality in execution of chores.

My 15 year old daughter did a survey for school once. Who were the happiest parents among her friend group? She discovered that those who shared the household chores, particularly the meal planning, were the happiest.

Why? Because chores are a HUGE bone of contention for many couples. HUGE.

What usually happens is is that the person “in charge” delegates the chores to their spouse. The “in charge” person has expectations about the execution of the chore and if it’s not done within the expected time, or in the expected way, tensions flair. The delegator takes it personally and lashes out and the executor is left bewildered because they had no idea what the expectations were.

If both people are responsible for the delegation, and execution, of the chores then a huge issue just disappears. Things get done, or don’t, and both partners are responsible.

So, my daughter reported, my ex-husband’s and my decision to divide and conquer (he would work and I would run the house) was the deciding factor in the failure of our marriage. My sister in law and her husband, who equally shared home responsibilities, are living happily ever after.

I wish she had done this research earlier…

#3 – Inside jokes.

What really? How can that be? That is such a little thing.

Happy couples are like a little islands unto themselves. Sure, they have families and friends and jobs and responsibilities but they also have things that they only share with each other. Inside jokes.

Imagine this. You and your spouse are at a family BBQ. Tensions are flying over something. Politics, perhaps. And then your father in law says something, something that he ALWAYS says and that you and your spouse have whispered about in bed at night. You meet eyes as the statement is made and you just connect. You smile and nod and go on with the day with a warm feeling in your tummy.

Connection is what real love is about. And having a secret is super fun. So having an inside joke, a combination of the two, can’t be beat for keeping couples close.

#4 – Pie in the sky hopes and dreams.

Happy couples are couples who not only dream big but dream big together.

Remember when you were young and falling in love? Hours would be spent talking about the future – the jobs, the house, the kids, the happily ever after. And then life happens. Day to day living gets in the way of those dreams.

But not for happy couples. Happy couples still dream together. It might be little things, like dreaming of a movie date on Friday, but they dream together and work as a team to get it done.

So dream big. Or small. But dream together.

#5 – Putting each other first. Period.

Yes, yes, I know. There are so many important things in our lives these days. Making money is one of the first that comes to mind. Making sure our children grow into successful adults is another. And then there is exercise. And friends. And hobbies. And your phone.

And all of these are important. But one thing that you realize, when you no longer have a partner, is that none of these things really matter because you, well, you don’t have a partner.

So make your partner your priority. Every day.

Work is important but so is getting home for date night. That Saturday morning 15 mile run? Go for it but if you could instead spend the morning alone with your spouse, consider it. A movie night with the girls? Bring your husband instead. Movie negotiable. The phone? Put it down.

Consider all the good that could come from making your spouse a priority. Connection, laughter, physical affection, good will, sex, happiness. Arguably more life enhancing than the money and the muscles and the children with a perfect score on their SAT.

So there you go – my 5 Top Secrets The Happiest Couples Already Know.

Being part of happy couple isn’t something that just happens. It, like all of the best things in life, takes concerted effort.

That effort at work pays off with a raise. That effort at the gym pays off with muscles. Why not make that effort with your partner and be one of those truly happy couples?

So go home, look your spouse in the eye and kiss them hard, throw your dirty clothes in the hamper, laugh about the co-worker you love to hate, talk about a trip away together next month, make love and fall asleep happy.

It will all be totally worth it. I promise.

Looking for more ways to be the happiest couple around? Contact me NOW and I can help.

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Reasons to Love Your Mother in Law, Even When It’s Really Hard

When you get married, more likely than not, you also get a mother-in-law, the woman who raised your partner. And quickly there can arise conflict between you and your mother-in-law. She raised your partner and is used to things being done a certain way and you married him or her and have your own opinions. This conflict can be really hard on a marriage. It can even destroy it.

Don’t fret! By understanding more about how your mother-in-law’s brain works you can not only improve your relationship with her but you can alleviate conflict and thereby strengthen your relationship with your partner.

5 reasons to love your mother-in-law

#1 – Remember that she has experience that you don’t have. Our mothers-in-law have been doing what you are just beginning to do for probably more than a few decades. That is a lot of experience, experience that you should appreciate and take advantage of. You are new at all of this and, whether you know it or not, can use all of the help that you can get.

#2 – Remember that she did raise your partner. I know it’s hard to imagine but she did influence your partner’s life for 18 years or more. And that shouldn’t be discounted. My mother-in-law always told me that her son could clean a toilet and vacuum like a madman. I told her that, after 20 years of marriage, I had retrained him: he cleaned nothing anymore. I see now that that was a slap in her face. She worked hard to raise the person that she did and she should to be recognized, and appreciated, for that. And remember, you did fall in love with the person she raised….

#3 – Remember that she loves your kids as much, if not more, than you do. I know that my grandmother was a huge positive influence in my life. She hadn’t been a great mother to my mother but for me she was amazing. And I have learned, from my own mother, that having grandchildren is the best thing that ever happened to her. So appreciate that this person loves your children as much as she does. After all, every person who loves your child is a gift.

#4 – Remember that she really does just want to help. Mothers in-law don’t set out to drive us crazy. They don’t mean to criticize our parenting or complain about the state of our kitchen. They are there, in the house, to be with their children and grandchildren. And, more often than not, their intentions are good. Perhaps the manner in which they speak up about our parenting or our housekeeping skills is abrasive and stinging but remember they are only human and are most likely just trying to help. Really.

#5 – Remember that you are lucky to have her and that she won’t always be there. So many mothers start out with no support. Their mother and mother-in-law is far away, or no longer alive, or absent for some reason. When we are new parents, or even more seasoned ones, we are lucky to have someone there who can support us when we need it. And remember, none of us is getting any younger so they might not always be there for us. Appreciate how lucky you are and make the best of it.

There you go. 5 reasons to love your mother-in-law. It might not always be easy but I promise you, in the long run, doing so will be worth it. After all, your partner loves her. She is his or her mother. You loving her too shows your partner just how much you love them which makes everybody happy.

Do you have conflict with your mother in law? What do you do to work through it?

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Make your Partner Feel Loved, Even if it Can Be Hard to Connect

Being a mom and a partner can be tough. From the moment that your child is born all your genetic material calls to you to make this child your priority. To make sure it survives in this perilous world. Unfortunately, it is this exact thing that can create a huge divide between you and your partner. Until your child is born you put your relationship with your partner first. Suddenly that is no longer the case and this can cause severe strain between the two of you, strain that can stretch a marriage to breaking without a little care and keeping.

5 Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Loved:

#1 – Do for your partner the things that make him or her feel loved, NOT the things that you would like done to you. This is easier said than done because we don’t always know what makes our partner feel loved. In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman lists 5 ways that someone wants to be loved – physical touch, words of affection, quality time, acts of service and receiving gifts. Both of you should go to his website www.5lovelanguages.com and take the love languages test so that you can learn what your partner needs to feel loved.

#2 – Tell your partner that you love them. I hear it all the time. I ask a client if they tell their partner that they love them and my client says “He/She knows that I love them.” Maybe this is true and maybe it is not. Regardless, you should look your partner in the eye and tell him/her every day that you love them. It means a lot for people to be told that they are loved or that they are beautiful or that you miss them. They might “know it” already but words are very meaningful. Kristen never heard from her spouse when he was away and it was very painful. They argued about it almost every time he left. I suggested that she tell him that she loved him very much and missed him when he was gone. She says that he has called her every night he is away since she told him how she felt.

#3 – Touch your partner. Touch is one of the most primeval ways to communicate with another person. Long before there were words, scientists say, humans beings communicated with gestures and touch. Animals still do. We know the importance of touch with our babies, that touch encourages bonding and trust. Take that same perspective with your partner. Hug them when they walk in the door, take their hand in the hardware store, wrap yourself around them when you go to sleep at night. Touching your partner will speak volumes about the love that you have for them.

#4 – Be Kind. I know this seems basic but it is something that gets lost in the chaos of family life. I know, from personal experience, that as our family grew, as my life became more stressful, I took it out on my husband. I nit picked and nagged and snapped and even yelled, all for things that were as often as not not his fault. And I saw the hurt in his eyes every time I did it. I would take it all back if I could. My not being kind to him created a chasm between us that was hard to repair. My client, Jessie, came to me about problems with her husband. They had a 2 year old and she felt the distance growing between them every day but she didn’t know why. When I asked if she was kind to him she looked at me with surprise, paused and said, with a sense of wonder, “no.” She set the intention to be kind that very day and it has brought them back together in a very meaningful way.

#5 – Give them freedom. You know the saying “If you love someone set them free.” Often, amidst the chaos of every day life, we cling to our partners as a life raft, needing them with us always to keep us from drowning in the messiness. This clinginess can actually drive someone away, however, because your partner will become resentful of your need to constantly have them by your side. Both of you should have some time away from the chaos, regularly, sometimes together and sometimes apart. We were all individuals once, before we became a couple and then a family, and it’s important to nurture that individual in ourselves, so that we can be a better partner and a better parent.

So there you go, the 5 Ways to Make your Partner Feel Loved. These suggestions aren’t always easy and might require some effort on your part but stop for a minute and try to imagine what it would feel like to love and feel loved by your partner, every day, as you navigate through this crazy world. Pretty good, don’t you think?

How about you? Do you feel loved? Do you make your partner feel loved? Do you have any ideas that I have missed?

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!