Lake Mary Counselor Therapist offers 3 Relationship Mistakes or Hacks to Avoid & What to Do to Secure your marriage! Computer hackers are always on the prowl throughout the year. Companies might think their software, hardware or network security is safe but companies like Target, Lowes, Sony and Apple still experienced security breaches in the last year. Did you know that similarly your relationship can be hacked? Couples often think that their marriage is safe when they are not experiencing any crisis like adultery, illness or financial stress but just like computer hackers like to chip away slowly on the internal structure of a company’s data system, your marriage can experience the same breaches if you are not careful to recognize these 3 Relationship Hacks:
3 Relationship Hacks to Avoid and 3 Fixes!
1. Use of Too Much Social Media. Couples will often say that after coming home from work, then helping with homework, getting dinner ready then putting the kids to bed they just need some time to wind down. This often leads to one or both retreating to their computer, smart phone or tablet. While wanting some down time is fine, the problem lies in the amount of time this takes away from a couple talking and having face-to-face contact before bedtime. Slowly over time this can lead to an erosion their communication with each other.
Security Fix #1: Limit Technology.
- Put away the smart phone when eating dinner or out on a date.
- Answer work e-mails at home if only required to do so by your boss and only in an emergency. Turn off Facebook and Instagram alerts.
- Make it a rule to not look at your phone after 9pm.
- Strive to have at least 15 minutes of quality conversation every night.
- Engage in an activities together like:
- Planning a family event
- Dreaming or looking together at pictures on-line of places you want to visit
- Play Twister or Cards
- Lay on opposites ends of the couch and massage each others feet, & pray together
- Aim to go to bed at the same time.
2. Complaining Too Much About Your Spouse. If one or both of you work away from home it is easy to bring our personal lives to the office. People will often ask how your spouse or family is doing. While answering this question may seem innocent enough it depends on what you say. It is perfectly fine to say that you had a good weekend or you are facing some challenges right now but it is not OK to say that you feel distant from your spouse, you feel you have nothing in common and that your sex life is dead. While it may feel great to get this off your chest, the person on the receiving end may interpret this a chink in the armor of your marriage. Complaining about your marriage to someone who does a better job of listening to you than your spouse can lead to an emotional then physical affair.
Security Fix #2: Increase Communication.
- Be honest with your spouse
- Strive to improve your listening skills
- Seek help from a Marriage & Family Therapist if you need help learning communication skills.
- Both agree on who are the safe people in your lives to get good advice from.
- Never talk your husband or wife down to family.
- Strive to affirm each other every day.
- Seek a mentor couple who is older and who has weathered life’s storms.
3. Putting the Kids First. When asked when things changed for the worst in their relationship, many couples can often point to the time when they began having children. Even though this is joyous time in the life of a couple, it can also be very stressful. Studies have pointed to the fact that couples tend to get divorced more when they have young children and then again after the kids leave the nest. This is because taking care of kids can consume lots of time and energy leaving a couple feeling tired, worn down with little energy for each other. Also, if one person has the primary responsibility for care taking this can lead to resentment and distancing. Furthermore, keeping the kids continually busy with soccer games, dance classes and too much extra-curricular activities can run a couple ragged.
Security Fix #3: Remember You are Husband & Wife First.
- Plan date nights 2X/month and strive to focus on each other instead of talking about the kids all evening long.
- Tag team as parents. Ask each other what responsibilities you can share in so that no one person feels overwhelmed.
- Let the kids know that Mommy or Daddy comes first when the two of you are talking and that they can wait. This shows respect for each other and teaches kids patience and how a family should be structured accordingly.
- Have your kids take turns when playing sports or planning extra-curricular activities. Perhaps one does t-ball in the spring and the other does gymnastics in the fall.
The security of your marriage is very important. Just like companies spend millions of dollars trying to prevent or fix data breaches it is important that you make the health of your marriage a priority.
Even if you think things are smooth sailing it is important to ask questions like,
- “How am I doing as your wife, husband,
- Am I meeting your needs
- What can I do to make your more happy?
These questions can help you take the emotional temperature of your marriage and help you identify any potential security hacks.
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Author: Lyris Steuber, MA, LMFT is a Lake Mary Marriage Therapist, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor with Total Life Counseling Center. Total Life Counseling Center specializes in marriage and families and our experts can be reached at (407) 248-0030.