If you think your spouse may be cheating, you can feel betrayed, insecure and intensely upset. Confronting your partner may be scary and if you’ve already confronted them, and they deny it, then it’s difficult to know what your next steps should be. While suspicions aren't proof of infidelity, you can address them with sensitivity and clarity. Here are some tools if you suspect your spouse is being unfaithful.
“I was in crisis mode.”
“I never thought he/she would do this.”
“I thought we’d have time when the kids got older.”
When you have young children, it's easy to get caught up in the demands of parenthood and let your marriage take a backseat. You think that there will be time later, after the kids are older, to work on the relationship.
However, this approach can lead to major problems in a marriage. One partner may build up so much anger and resentment that they don’t know if they can get over it. One partner may start an emotional affair.
Plus working on your marriage while your children are young is crucial for the overall well-being of your family. Your marriage is the foundation on which your family is built - your family thrives when your marriage is strong. By nurturing your relationship, you create a stable and loving environment that benefits not only you as a couple but also provides a positive and secure space for your children.
Tips for Working on Your Marriage with Young Kids:
· Prioritize couple time: Set aside dedicated time for just the two of you. It doesn't have to be grand gestures; even simple activities like taking a walk together, cooking a meal, or having a date night at home after the kids are asleep can strengthen your bond.
· Communicate Honestly and Often: If you’re upset about something, share it you’re your partner in a loving way. Use I messages – I feel frustrated when you don’t help with putting the kids to bed because I’m so tired at the end of the day. Can you please help me put the kids to bed? Make it a priority to have open and honest conversations regularly. Share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns, and actively listen to your partner.
· Seek Marriage Counseling and Support: Don't hesitate to go to a marriage counselor if things aren’t getting better. The earlier that you do this, the better. There are many options such as attending a marriage workshop, reading relationship books, or seeking professional counseling from a trained marriage counselor.
· Show Gratitude: Telling your partner what you’re grateful for and acknowledging each other's contributions goes a long way in nurturing your marriage. Recognize and express gratitude for the small gestures, support, and efforts each of you makes in your daily lives.
· Divide and Conquer: Share the responsibilities of parenting and household chores. Many times partners will fall into stereotypical gender roles without having a conversation about what each of you wants. It’s important to discuss how you’re going to create a balanced partnership so you’re both happy.
· Find Shared Interests: Discover activities or hobbies you both enjoy. Engaging in shared interests fosters connection and allows you to have fun together, taking a break from the demands of parenting.
· Practice Self-Care: You hear this a lot – it’s important to take care of yourself. Many parents put taking care of themselves last when they have young children. But When taking care of yourself is important to your relationship and to your family. Prioritize self-care activities, set boundaries, and communicate your needs to create a healthy balance between personal and family life.
Working on your marriage while your children are young is an investment that benefits your entire family. By prioritizing your relationship, you strengthen the foundation of your family, model healthy relationships for your children, and create a nurturing and loving environment. With these practical tips, you can actively nurture your marriage and foster a strong and fulfilling partnership, even in the midst of the demands of parenthood.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy, love, and togetherness. However, for many couples who are struggling in their marriage, it can be challenging. You may be pretending everything is ok in your marriage for your children but children can tell when there’s tension. Here are some ways to navigate this difficult situation and create a positive atmosphere:
1. Have Open and Honest Communication
Your partner probably knows that things between you are not ideal. It’s helpful to have an honest conversation with your partner about how you’re going to navigate the holidays. Are you going to spend the holiday together? Do you need some alone time? How are you going to focus on the children and make sure there is no fighting? Carve out some time to create a safe space where both of you can express concerns, feelings, and desires without fear of judgment or reaction. If you need to enlist the help of a couples’ therapist, that is a good option.
2. Lower Stress This Holiday Season
The pressure around the holidays can be overwhelming. Make sure that you plan events that you’re comfortable with and that don’t increase the stress and conflict. Maybe it isn’t the time to have 30 people over for Christmas or go to 10 Christmas parties. Think about what calms you and your children. Doing a puzzle together or setting up a family movie night are great alternatives.
3. Know Your Priorities
Understanding what makes you happy will help you successfully structure your time during the holidays. Once you know what you need, schedule that into your time. For example, if you need some time to meet a friend for coffee, make sure that you schedule that into your day. Don’t hesitate to put yourself as a priority during this holiday season.
4. Focus on Your Children's Well-being
Shield your children from the stress and tension in your relationship. Make sure that you don’t fight in front of them and that you work together to make parenting decisions. Ensure that your children feel loved, secure, and supported during the holidays. Creating positive experiences for them can contribute to a sense of stability for your children and your marriage.
5. Foster Gratitude and Appreciation
Focusing on gratitude is one of the best tools you can use to minimize stress and conflict. Take time to express gratitude and appreciation for each other. Start a gratitude practice where your family regularly talks about what you appreciate about each other. Cultivating a sense of gratitude can help shift the focus from difficulties to the strengths and positive aspects of your marriage.
Navigating the holidays when your marriage is struggling can be tough. It’s a journey that requires effort, patience, and a willingness to work together. While the holidays can intensify existing marital challenges, they also present an opportunity for growth and healing within your relationship. By implementing some realistic strategies, you can lay the groundwork for a more positive and fulfilling future with your partner and children.
Anger is a natural response to getting emotionally hurt by someone or something, but when it becomes a chronic state of being, it can have a detrimental impact on your mental and physical health. Prolonged anger can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments like high blood pressure and heart disease. Additionally, it strains relationships, hinders personal growth, and prevents you from experiencing happiness. In this blog, we’ll explore how to let go of anger and offer strategies to help you move forward towards a more peaceful future.
The first step in letting go of anger is to engage in self-reflection. Take the time to understand the root causes of your anger. Was it a specific event or a series of incidents? What beliefs and values are intertwined with this anger? Self-awareness is crucial to the process of healing.
2. Express your anger in a healthy way
Many people don’t express their anger in a healthy way. They yell, scream, drive fast, drink too much or take drugs – all unhealthy ways to express anger. Instead, talking about your anger to a friend, family member, therapist or coach is a great way to express anger. Other good ways include joining a support group, exercise and focus on the positives in your life.
3. Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness doesn't mean you condone the hurtful actions of others; rather, it's about releasing the hold that anger has on your life. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, allowing you to move forward without the weight of resentment.
4. Develop Coping Strategies
Healthy coping strategies include meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in physical activities like yoga or jogging. These practices can help you channel your energy in a positive and constructive way.
5. Focus on Gratitude
Shifting your perspective from anger to gratitude is a powerful. Regularly practice gratitude by focusing on the positive aspects of your life. What are you grateful for? What are the things in your life that are good? Doing this can help you reframe your mindset and reduce your anger.
Letting go of anger is not an easy process. By engaging in self-reflection, expressing your anger in a healthy way, practicing forgiveness, developing coping strategies, and focusing on gratitude, you can release your anger and start on a path toward healing.
Parenting is one of life's most rewarding and can be one of life’s most challenging experiences. When parents have different parenting styles, it creates conflict and stress in the family. But children and parents benefit when parents work together as a team. In this blog, we'll explore essential strategies for building a strong parental team with your spouse.
Jill Barnett Kaufman, MSW, LCSW and Certified Parent Educator is an experienced clinician who helps clients discover new ways to resolve a variety of challenges and bring more happiness and peace into their lives.