How Unhealed Family Trauma Affects Us

Despite how other people say that family issues are not that big of a deal, they still differ in each one of us. Nobody can tell what we should and should not feel. Our experiences in our household are not the same as everybody. Thus, there are things that others won’t understand when it comes to our struggle with dealing with our family. For quite some time, there are issues that we often do not want to discuss. Perhaps that is because we think that nobody would listen, or maybe people will think of it as unimportant. But with specific family issues like neglect, abuse, death, parental alienation, and emotional stress, it is different. Sometimes these things that impact our lives are unbearable.

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Impending Violence Acting Out

Perhaps we do see a lot of people who resort to violence and aggression. Those actions make us think that these individuals are born that way. But would you believe it if I tell you that those persons are only aggressive and violent because they think they have to? Yes, some people’s violent ways come from the prominent role of fear and anxiety. Unhealed trauma tends to intensify these negative emotions to protect these individuals in feeling more pain and sorrow. It becomes an outlet for them to avoid getting drawn to emotional and mental exhaustion. Because when there is an unhealed trauma, it becomes impossible to deal with a lot of things whenever they come together.

Development of PTSD

It is normal to feel afraid during a traumatizing family event because that is how the brain works. It somehow tells us that the situation is something we need to recognize for us to understand our emotions and behaviors. However, when stress and anxiety often display, even though we are not in danger, there is something wrong. With that particular moment, PTSD becomes present. Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most well-known impacts of unhealed trauma. It manifests in so many ways. Some of us might experience flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of injury, isolation, and emotional numbness. It layers in different complexity, too, which can become hard to diagnose.

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Potential Substance Abuse

Some of us who perhaps can’t seem to cope easily rely on self-medication. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is a common coping mechanism to get rid of unhealed trauma. However, the impact of unhealed trauma makes our stress reactions more debilitating, leading to substance abuse. That explains why a lot of us who experience a traumatizing event turn to alcohol and drugs. There is this belief that these coping mechanisms can somehow get rid of the emotional pain temporarily. But since the effect is only for quite a while, we engage in the process more and more with the hope of totally eradicating the sorrow and pain we feel. That is despite the knowledge of how dangerous substance abuse is. Ultimately, the unfortunate result is that we end up getting addicted.

Possible Self-Harm And Suicide

There are traumatic experiences that can happen not only to a single person. Sometimes, the same event can occur in two or three different individuals. But when an unhealed trauma affects a highly sensitive individual, things can be a lot worse. That is because these individuals tend to feel everything more intensely. When it comes to these people’s emotional reactivity, everything for them is too much. That explains why when they struggle in any particular trauma, most of them turn to self-harm. In some unfortunate cases, some of them tend to commit suicide. These individuals try to embrace the pain and choose not to be kind to themselves. They have this mentality that there is nothing that can help their situation.

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Health Impairments

We know that unhealed trauma can cause cognitive impairment. That is because of the constant change in our brain pathways. It is why some of us suffer from mental exhaustion, memory decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, it hinders us from getting a hold of common healing resources. But trauma affects the body as well as the mind. That explains why a lot of us experience some physical changes. These can manifest from overeating, not eating, excessive adrenaline production, and inflammation. Thus, we get susceptible to a number of somatic disorders and diseases. Some of these include diabetes, cancer, stroke, anorexia, and obesity.

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Unhealed trauma can affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can change our lives in many ways. Unfortunately, it will not go away on its own. Therefore, we have to find the courage to stay focused on bringing the best in our lives despite the challenges we need to face. So after any of these effects from traumatic experiences, it is vital that we learn to work on the necessary healing, compassion, and self-love. We must prioritize ways to connect with ourselves, others, and seek help.

 

Keeping Your Family Safe And Well Despite The COVID-19 Threat

The threat from COVID-19 doesn’t just come from its status as a contagious disease. As it spreads, it disrupts everyday life as people scramble to slow down transmission and to protect the vulnerable.

Families face a significant threat from COVID-19, but they are far from defenceless. You and your family can live a safe and healthy life, even as you navigate numerous social distancing measures and mitigate the fallout of this health crisis.

Know The Facts

The first step you need to take is to know the basics of COVID-19. It is a respiratory disease that can spread through droplets, which people release as they cough, speak, or even breathe. COVID-19 can infect people without causing symptoms, but these individuals can still spread the disease.

However, an infection may sometimes cause dangerous complications like pneumonia, and the elderly and sick are the most vulnerable at catching the illness.

Perhaps most importantly, COVID-19 has no cure nor vaccine. Hence, the best way to protect your family is to prevent exposure by using protective equipment and avoiding non-essential contact with other people.

Aside from the basic facts, keep yourself updated on developments. Uncertainty promotes fear and anxiety, but you can reduce it by arming yourself with information.

Of course, it’s not enough to know. You should also use this knowledge to guide you towards protecting your family from the disease. Instruct everyone to minimize contact with others and to stay indoors as much as possible. Teach children hygiene practices such as regular handwashing to help them form these into healthy habits.

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Update Everyone Appropriately

Some people might not see the value in informing their kids about the coronavirus. They think that children might not be able to understand the situation thoroughly and might get confused. However, engaging with your children is a crucial part of surviving any crisis.

Dr Lisa Damour, Ph.D., writes, “Parents should have a calm, proactive conversation with their children about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the important role children can play in keeping themselves healthy.”

She adds “Let them know that it is possible that [you or your children] might start to feel symptoms at some point, which are often very similar to the common cold or flu, and that they do not need to feel unduly frightened of this possibility.”

As an adult, you’re responsible for informing younger members of the household about what’s happening to the world. However, you need to use an approach that is appropriate for their maturity.

For example, you might want to use a story or a drawing to describe how the virus spreads and how they can protect themselves. Whatever you do, never justify withholding information by saying that COVID-19 is only an adult matter.

Establish Routines

One way to restore a sense of normality is to introduce routines. Make sure to have at least one activity every day that involves the entire family. It can be as simple as sharing stories during dinner or competing in multiplayer games.

Establishing routine reintroduces order and gives people something to look forward to every day. Ultimately, they also help your family members bond more with each other.

Make sure to include physical activities. Exercise is a powerful way to strengthen your immune system and to lift everyone’s spirits. It’s also fun, especially if your family tries out activities like dancing or hide-and-seek. 

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Encourage Child Engagement

Children are at higher risk of feeling disempowered during the pandemic. They might feel powerless against everything that’s happening around them. A powerful way to keep their engagement up is to restore their sense of control over the situation.

Converse with your kids and encourage them to voice out their thoughts. Engage with any suggestions they make and appreciate their efforts to help. Give them more freedom to choose what to do. For example, you may ask your kids to plan out their activities for the day. They may also pick chores that they can do to help, like dishwashing.

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Even as COVID-19 rages on, there is a lot you can do to protect your family during these turbulent times. Most importantly, always communicate and engage with every member of your household. Now is the time to build unity, because together you will be victorious against the threat of the pandemic.

What Is IVF And How Does It Work?

 

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It was a gathering of great minds in the field of gynecology at the 2017 Fertility Conference. The international event was graced by gynecological oncologists and pathologists, psychologists, nurses, fertility specialists, and other healthcare professionals who were interested in listening and sharing their knowledge about fertility and In Vitro Fertilization, which was one of the main topics discussed. Attendees witnessed and joined research forums, workshops, and presentations of new tools and techniques. Problems of women being able to reproduce were also of great significance, which was further deliberated during the conference.

So what is IVF, and how does it work?

In Vitro Fertilization

IVF is one of the most popular forms of assisted reproductive technology that works by utilizing surgical procedures combined with certain medications to help the sperm cell fertilize the eggs. One or more of these eggs are then placed inside the woman’s uterus. Pregnancy occurs if one of the embryos are successfully implanted in the uterus lining.

IVF Process

First, the woman is asked to take the recommended fertility medicines for a few months to assist her ovaries in producing some eggs that would mature and be ready to fertilize. This process is known as ovulation induction. Once there are enough mature ovaries produced, the doctor then removes them from the body, a procedure that requires minor surgery that can usually be done in the doctor’s clinic. The doctor may let you take some medicines to calm you down before the procedure.

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After the egg retrieval, the eggs are then combined with the partner’s sperm cells in the lab, which is called insemination. They are stored in a special container where fertilization is going to occur. For sperms that have low motility, the doctor might directly inject them into the egg cells to hasten the fertilization. Once the fertilized eggs separate and become embryos, the staff assigned in the lab are tasked to keep track of their progress. In about five days, one or more embryos are placed into the uterus (embryo transfer), which the doctor performs by sliding a thin tube into the woman’s cervix to the uterus and inserting the embryo through the tube. If any of the embryos placed attaches to the lining, then pregnancy occurs.

After an embryo transfer, the woman is typically advised to rest and to go back to her usual activities the day after. Shots of progesterone may also be injected for the embryo to be stronger and survive inside the uterus.

 

 

 

How Your Family Can Deal With Cabin Fever During A Pandemic

The world suddenly stopped. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new normal to the world as a whole. To avoid the spread of the virus, governments now implement strict social distancing, quarantines, and lockdowns. Suddenly, the kids had to study at home rather than going to school. Our homes transformed into our offices. Remember when we all wished our lives to pause, who knew all of this would happen?

The situation is far from the ideal break we had in mind. Yes, we wished for more time with our families to bond, but we envisioned this in our dream destination. We all wanted to go on a vacation with our families, bringing home memories from exploring a new city, tasting new cuisines, and merely sharing new experiences. But we are all currently stuck in our homes, and movement is minimal.

The pandemic has forced families to stay at home for everyone’s safety. However, this could also lead to family issues resulting from our prolonged isolation. A term called cabin fever has been used, especially during the winter. Merriam-Webster defines it as a state of being irritable and restless because of living in a limited area for an extended time. To make things worse, the uncertainty that the threat of the virus brings also adds to everyone’s anxiety. Due to the more extended hours than usual that we spend with our families, tension could arise even from the simplest of things.

We do not need additional stress during this time. That is why we all need to make the most of the time we have of our families. Instead of thinking of what we rather are doing, we could think of ways to avoid cabin fever and create sweet memories in the comfort of our homes. We do not need to travel the world to have the best experience of our lives. We need the company of our loved ones while staying safe and healthy during this pandemic. The goal is to create a nourishing home away from the danger and fear the virus brings.

We listed some activities you and your family might enjoy avoiding cabin fever during the quarantine.

Try Something New

Have you ever tried indoor camping? This activity might be exciting, especially for the kids. Go all out by setting up a tent indoor. Of course, do not forget your picnic basket! Preparing your meals could also be an additional family activity. Everyone can contribute a meal or snack for the picnic basket.

Stacey Simmons, MA, Ph.D., LMFT, APCC, advises, “Be sure to have a balanced schedule, and one that gives you plenty of room for experimentation.” For an added challenge, each member could create their recipe using one ingredient from your pandemic supply. Who knows, this might even ignite a child’s passion for cooking!

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Online Parties

The quarantine prohibited us from meeting our extended families, at least physically. But the good news is technology allows us to connect even from a distance. There is a high possibility that our relatives, even if located miles away, are also in quarantine. We could use this time to reconnect with our relatives by inviting them for video calls with the entire family. This virtual family reunion is a chance to catch up with our relatives and reminisce about old times. By conducting these online family parties, we could even save money from travel and hotel accommodations. Make sure to snap that modern family portrait during your online sessions!

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Exercise

The long hours we are stuck at home have probably resulted in a routine of eating, sleeping, and binge-watching. Although these are also great ways to bond with our families, we should also take care of our health. Besides, we have to keep a healthy immune system during this crisis.

A great way of making sure that we remain fit is to set a schedule for your family exercise. You may choose from learning a dance routine together, following a fitness video, or even just doing different exercises together. The important thing is that you spend a set time to exercise with your family. Incorporating physical activities into your family’s daily routine does not only result in being physically fit but also leads to the production of endorphins or “happy hormones,” which are much needed to avoid cabin fever.

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The world outside may have stopped, but with our families, we could still create a world of our own in our homes. No matter how harsh and uncertain the circumstances are, we could always make the best of what we have. Time is a luxury we now have, make sure to use it to avoid the fever and enjoy the cabin.

How Aphasia Can Affect Relationships

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The Oregon coast was filled with much love, compassion, and total fun during the 2018 Couples Retreat Event. It was an opportunity that was given to people with aphasia and their partners to bond and strengthen their relationship through fun activities and small group sessions with other participants as well. Their sessions will be led by a team of occupational and speech therapy students and certified therapists who will guide and teach couples some coping strategies that they can utilize during challenging times in their marriage.

Below is a brief explanation of what aphasia is and how it affects marriage and other relationships.

Aphasia can, indeed transform relationships. Family members and significant others will have to make adjustments to what the new normal will be. Friends often can’t last long when visiting, especially when the conversation becomes confusing and lengthy. However, aphasia may also be an opportunity for families to know people they have never met, perhaps from other support groups or from members of the occupational or speech therapy team. For the couple, it is an opportunity for them to be closer as they forge new memories of their new life together.

Relationship with Others

Friends. When you have aphasia, you will feel like you just went inside a whole new world. For the aphasic individual, he will have trouble putting the pieces of his old and new life together. The people he will meet and talk to every day will be like new acquaintances to him – his doctor, nurses, therapists, etc. But his old friends, the more empathic and sincere ones, they will remain in the aphasic person’s life and find creative ways to communicate with their friend and make him feel loved.

For his relationship with his partner or spouse, it can be challenging, a test of love. Communication in this situation won’t work the normal way. This means that the spouse must find other ways to communicate with him and letting him feel important and cared for. She may try to sway him into doing small but meaningful activities together, like having dinner or watching television together.

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Sadly, because of the increased levels of stress and anxiety, some couples break up. Still, many see through the challenges and will even come out stronger than ever.

 

 

When To Consider Marriage Counseling

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Having issues in a marriage can take a toll on your personal life. There is a high possibility that you can bring the marital matters at work or even in your business. When this happens, everything that you have worked hard for may crumble down right before your eyes. Because of this, it is best to make an effort to solve your problems with your spouse. Otherwise, you may end up having the worst days of your life. “Two egos in a marriage can be great if all the important issues are agreed upon up front,” life coach Laurie Gerber says.

 

One of the ways that you can resolve the marital woes is to consider marriage counseling. We understand that many couples are quite hesitant to try this approach in fixing their relationship. It is a normal reaction since many individuals are not comfortable about seeking professional help. However, it is time to change your mind about getting in touch with a counselor who can help you in so many aspects of your marital conflicts. Below are the top signs that will tell you if marriage counseling is necessary for you and your spouse:

 

You Haven’t Talked For Days

 

Keep in mind that it is not normal for married couples not to talk for several days. Once this happens in your marriage, take it as a sign that you are already falling apart. If you still want to save the relationship, make sure to seek a relationship counselor as soon as possible. Do not wait before it is too late to seek professional help. If your partner can go on days without communicating with you, it may mean that he has lost interest in your marriage.

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You Act Childish To Each Other

 

The funny thing about marriage is that it can make you do things that you never thought you wouldn’t do. It is possible that you will become childish, especially if the other person does something that you dislike. This occurrence can be acceptable if it rarely happens. However, if both you and your partner are always showing signs of immaturity, be sure to call a counselor. Both of you need to get the right treatment to solve your issues.

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You Have Too Many Secrets

 

Being married is not a license to evade one’s privacy. As such, it is okay if you still keep secrets with each other to keep the mystery alive. However, if both of you start to keep too many secrets to the point that you are already hurting one another, that is already problematic. You need to go through relationship counseling so that you can process your trust issues. At the same time, it can also open your mind to different possibilities in your union. Having too many secrets in a marriage is never good as it can foster negativity and dishonesty. As what clinical psychologist Susan Heitler Ph.D. suggests, “Learn how to express concerns constructively.”

 

Saving a marriage and making it work for a long time is a challenging thing to accomplish. There will be a lot of days when you would find it hard to move forward with your life. Nonetheless, if you truly love the other person, everything is going to work out fine. Marriage coach Lesli Doares, author of Blueprint For A Lasting Marriage, advises, “Being married is about joining two lives together, not giving up one. Being content in your own skin means you won’t be looking to your partner to fill voids in your life.”

 

How To Keep The Passion Burning (For Long Time Couples)

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Being in a relationship for a long time can be fun yet terrifying at the same time. Of course, it feels good to be in love with someone who understands you completely and loves you unconditionally. At the same time, it can also be frightening to think about the future, especially if you have been together for a long time. Take note that there are some challenges to the marriage and one of which is keeping the passion alive after being in a relationship for several years. According to Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D., “Specifically, some behaviors communicate and built trust and rapport better, whereas others are more suited for building attraction. While a healthy mix of both are necessary for keeping a relationship running smoothly, knowing which signal you are sending with a specific behavior is important as well.”

 

In this article, we are going to talk about the different tips and tricks that you can do to ensure that the passion in your relationship will continue to burn. Our primary goal is to help you and your partner become more passionate as you stay longer in your union. Keep in mind that you can make it happen as long as you know how to do the right things. Here are the tips to take note of:

 

Put Your Phones Away For A Day

 

One of the reasons why many couples fall apart is because they tend to forget to spend quality time together. Even if they are always having lunch, going to the movies, or hanging out at home, you can still see them with their phones. It is a clear indication that the romance in the relationship may have died down already. If you do not want this to take place or happen between you and your lover, make sure that you dedicate a day together wherein you will not check your phones unless it is necessary. “Texting is used early and often in dating relationships, and while it might be easier, it does have downsides,” says Theresa E DiDonato Ph.D.

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Surprise Each Other 

 

Do not wait for a special occasion before you can surprise the love of your life. Keep in mind that each moment is an excellent opportunity to surprise your partner. All you have to do is to think of an extraordinary gesture or thing that the other person will surely love. Once you have known or determined it, the next step is to select a date where you can hold the surprise. Make sure to be discrete in planning the surprise so that your partner will never get a hint of what is coming. The more you invest in surprises, the better your relationship will become.

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Have More Intimate Sex

 

Whether you admit it or not, the truth is that sex is an essential part of a relationship. The fact that you have been together for a long time is never an excuse for not having too much sex. No matter how hectic your schedule is at work or in your business, be sure that you still find ways to spend intimate nights with your partner. Keep in mind that the longer you withhold sex in the relationship, the faster your union will die down. Try to do something new or experience stuff when making love with your partner. It will be worth it if you focus on it.

 

Always remember that you can make things happen! You just need to dedicate some of your time and efforts in keeping the passion alive. According to John Gottman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle, his studies show that “couples whose relationships remain happy and stable know how to successfully repair problems.”

 

Tips In Dealing With A Cheating Spouse

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Finding out that the love of your life has cheated on you can be the worst thing that can happen in your married life. “Cheating, as people soon discover, is complicated,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D. At the same time, it can also bring a lot of mixed emotions on your part. Whether you like it or not, a big part of you will start to question everything about your relationship. Are you going to forgive your spouse? Should you try marriage counseling? Or is it a good idea to get a divorce? These are some of the questions that will enter your mind.

 

For today’s article, we are going to make an effort to discuss to you the different tips to keep in your mind when it comes to dealing with a cheating wife. Our primary goal is to help married women like you to find peace, despite all the pain that you are suffering at the moment. We want to make you understand that we sympathize with you. As such, it is crucial on your part to follow the items listed below:

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Accept What You Are Feeling

 

Whatever it is that you are feeling at the moment, be sure to recognize that emotion. Do not be afraid to feel mad because it is your right to get frustrated with your unfaithful spouse. According to Darlene Lancer, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, “Acceptance is essential for satisfying relationships.” At the same time, if you want to cry because of pain, be sure to do it as soon as possible. As much as possible, avoid denying to yourself that everything is okay in your relationship. Instead, accept what you are feeling as well as the reality that your spouse cheated on you.

 

Never Seek Revenge

 

Once you find out that your spouse hurt your feelings, it will be a lot easier on your part to try to hurt him too. A big part of you wants to make him feel the pain that you are trying to deal with. However, this kind of thinking will only take you one step back from becoming a better person. Keep in mind that revenge will never solve the problem in your relationship. At the same time, once you become unfaithful to him, you will be on the same footing. It means that just like him, you are also considered as a cheater.

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Talk To Your Husband

 

Before you decide on doing anything, make sure that you have tried talking to your husband first. “If you’re in a relationship that you care about and want to last long-term you must decide if your relationship is more important than any power struggle or disagreement,” psychotherapist Stacey Kaiser adds. Keep in mind that communication is essential in every marriage. Do not make any assumptions because you will only end up stressing yourself. If something is bothering you, open it up to your partner. If he is not interested in talking, then that is the only time that you may start to think of marriage counseling or even getting a divorce. What is important is that you have made some efforts to reach out to him. If he still continues to avoid the topic about his unfaithfulness, do not be afraid to leave him behind. Always remember that a fantastic person like you deserves the best in this world.

 

 

 

Living With Kids After Divorce 101

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According to Michelle Farris, a marriage and family therapist, “Divorce is one of the most stressful events anyone can ever experience.” There are several things that you need to take care of after the finality of divorce with your former spouse. Among these things is focusing on how to raise your children. Whether you like it or not, your kids are not going to accept the divorce right away. As such, you must never blame them for feeling that way because their reaction is only normal. What you need to do is to remain strong and keep yourself together so that you can still do what is best for them. “Detaching from an ex-partner may be especially difficult for people who are anxiously attached in the first place,” says Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D.

 

In this article, we are going to share some of the things that you need to remember, if you want to live peacefully and happily with your kids, after the divorce. Before anything else, we want to emphasize that the journey is not going to be easy. There will be a lot of days and nights when you would wish that things were different. However, with proper courage and determination, everything is within your reach. Here are the top tips to remember:

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Give Them Time To Heal

 

Take note that you are not the only person who has suffered pain from the divorce with your former spouse. Keep in mind that you also have children who will need to live with the consequences of having a broken family. As such, do not expect them to move on immediately from the separation. Instead, give them time to process what happened and give them the necessary space to heal. You need to stop insisting that things are going to get better. They need to see it for themselves.

 

Stop Blaming Your Ex

 

Now that you are already living with the kids on your own, you must also make sure that you will avoid blaming their father for the divorce. Never put your ex-husband on the bad light to make yourself better. Otherwise, you will end up having issues with them. At the same time, it can also increase the possibility of rebellion on their part. They may start to think that your family is so troublesome to the point that they will seek comfort and affection from other people. They may also find friends who are a bad influence on them.

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Co-Parent With Your Ex

 

Remember that just because the marriage ended does not mean that you are the only parent left for your kids. Keep in mind that even after the divorce, you have no choice but to co-parent with your ex-spouse. It means that you may need to agree on the visitation rights as well as on the amount of support. You need to see to it that the other party is also responsible for all his obligations to your children. Never become too proud to accept help because it is your right. Aside from this, you must also take note that in making significant decisions for your children, there may still be a necessity to consult with your ex. Otherwise, there will be more trouble between the two of you. For Dan Peters Ph.D., “By becoming aware of my feelings and expectations for my child, I was able to understand and question my belief system about what it means to be a good parent and what I really wanted for my child.”

“I Still Do”: 5 Simple Ways To Strengthen Marriages

In many cases, people often think that marriages are good only during the first few years. Married couples have a feeling they have lost the fire they once had during the courting stage. It seems like as couples get closer and become more familiar with each other, the spark and romance fades out. Suddenly, what is left are daily routines, obligations with the kids, the pressure to provide, and all the stressful to-do’s. This situation is what therapists confront day in, day out when it comes to marriage counseling. According to Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, “even though love is one of the most important elements of a satisfying relationship, it’s not the only factor to be considered.”

However, what people do not often realize, strengthening marriages does not mean that you need to make all the grand gestures once again. Here are 5 of these many simple ways to keep your married life full of love:

  • Say “I Love You” As Often As You Can
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As necessary as this may seem, a lot of married couples forget to say “I love you” over time. They set it aside, thinking that they can always show that they love their partner through acts of service. While there is nothing wrong with saying ‘I love you,’ it remains to be an essential reminder of the love that you both built together. There is always something special about it between couples. So make it a point to say “I love you” at least every day. When you wake up, before you go to work, when you are about to go home, before going to sleep, or anytime you feel like it, say it. You never know when it will be the last.

  • Talk Over A Cup Of Coffee

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As couples get deeply engrossed in the responsibilities confronting their marriages, it is effortless to get distracted. Most of the time, couples overlook the importance of taking time to sit down with their partners and talk. Aside from saying “I love you,” it is imperative that you ask your partner how their day went, what was it about their day that made it unique or stressful or even the mundane things like what they had for lunch. It makes your partner feel that you are interested in them and what they do. It makes them feel important and valued.

  • Sit Together Quietly

If you ever run out of things to talk about or you are just not the type of couple who loves long conversations, take the time to sit together and spend time quietly. Look for your happy place – whether it be on the balcony, on top of the roof, out in your garden, or just in your room. It serves as a great reminder to your partner that you will be there no matter what. It sends a particular message of love that brings forth comfort and security, thereby making your partner feel safe in your company. It lets you spend quality time together without thinking of all the stressful activities from the world and have you celebrate the fact that you have each other at the end of the day.

  • Express Your Appreciation

Another common issue among married couples is focusing on wrongdoings and not appreciating the good ones. Many wives and husbands feel neglected by their spouses because of the failure to say appreciative words. So even amid difficulties, and more so in good times, do not forget to appreciate your partner for trying, for being there, for giving their all, and for never giving up. According to  Kurt Smith, Psy.D., “Falling in love is easy to do, almost effortless, but losing that loving feeling is not that hard to do, either.” Sometimes, when times are rough, all it takes are kind words to help your spouse to keep going.

  • Hold Your Partner’s Hands

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Physical intimacy is another critical factor in keeping your married life happy. A lot of couples also seem to set this aside as time goes by, even if they live under the same roof. When trials come, you may go and give your best advice; but often, when all has been said and done, all that your partner needs is a hand to hold. Cliche as it may seem, the simple gesture of holding your partner’s hand or hugging them makes such a huge difference. Besides, nothing is ever cliche when you are in love.

Married life, like any other thing in the world, needs to be cultivated and nurtured. According to clinical psychologist Susan Heitler Ph.D., “Marriage problems need fixing, not ignoring.” You cannot expect it to grow on its own involuntarily without any effort. It needs work – a lot of it even – to keep the marriage going on for a long time. These simple gestures are only a few of the many things that you can do to strengthen your marriage and prove that after all these years, you “still do.”