Relationships

Are you having trouble communicating with your partner?

Try these super strategies for success at communication!

  1.  During your evening meal together, avoid watching the television, reading the mail or newspaper. Look directly at your partner and have a conversation.
  2. Ask open ended questions to encourage your partner to open up and talk. Open ended questions begin like this:
    • Tell me about…
    • What do you think of…
    • What was it like when…
  3. Check your communication with your partner and beware of using “You” messages. These are statements that begin with the word “you”. For example:
    • You need to come home by 6:00
    • You shouldn’t do that
    • You should call me if you are going to be late

“You” messages are damaging because they make the other person feel bad or that they are being blamed. It feels like you are talking down to them and can put them on the defensive.

 

The Key to Success in your Relationship

If you want to demonstrate to your partner that you respect and care about them, try substituting “I” messages instead. When you start your statement with “I”, you are taking responsibility for the statement. It is less blaming and negative than the “you” message.

Try this formula: Your feelings + Describe the behavior + Effect on You

Here’s how it would sound..     “When I heard that you had to work this weekend, I was angry that you hadn’t asked me first if I wanted to spend time with you”.

It takes some practice at first, but with a little patience and time you will be communicating in a more positive way with your partner!

How to Make Downsizing Fun After a Divorce

If you’ve recently went through a divorce, you may have thought about downsizing your home? Homeownership comes with its rewards but it can also be challenging if the mortgage is larger than your new budget. Maybe you’ve thought of getting a smaller house but then you remembered you the children. However, with the right mindset, you can reduce your mortgage costs with children. You just need the right “selling points” to make this work. Here are three:

Savings

Obviously, when you downsize you will save substantially on your mortgage. With the extra money you’ll pocket every month, your family can enjoy nicer or extended vacations. Or there may be long-term financial benefits. The savings can help pay for future educational goals of your children. Maybe one of them has always wanted private music lessons or karate classes. Whatever the case may be, you will have a bit more wiggle room for all those things kids always want. Use this as a selling point with them.

Family time

Nothing says family time like being closer together physically. When you downsize, chances are you can get a little bit closer to the kids. Some of the children may need to share a room, depending on how many you have. Your new home may have only a living room instead of both a living room and family room. This can be a positive experience if you promote doing more together as a family.

Highlight “special feature”

Just because you’re downsizing to a smaller home doesn’t mean you won’t find a plus in the new home that your current home doesn’t have. For example, maybe you can find a downsized home that has more yard space, more privacy, or even a pool in the backyard. Or if your current home is not close to other houses, the new one may have close neighbors, which means other kids to play with. You may find a home that is smaller but has a unique loft that your kids will love to fix up and make their own. Look for something special in the new house and sell that to the family. Downsizing with kids is certainly a bigger challenge, but your perspective makes all the difference. With a little work, you will have the whole family excited about the idea.

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