Finally, some good relationship advice
You think I am giving you this expert relationship advice? God no! You guys know I am just like you and struggle on the daily. But, it’s gotten so much better. There’s no doubt in my mind my husband and I wouldn’t be married today if it weren’t for a few key people in our lives. The first person who “saved” our marriage (and my atrocious behavior) was Dr. Joseph Cilona.
Last week I did a survey to find out what you guys really wanted from my blogs. 94% of you said dating/marriage/relationship advice. Well, guys – I can fill you in on everything NOT to do in your relationship (lol), but I figured you’d like to hear from an expert who knows exactly what they’re talking about when it comes to some good relationship advice. So, I reached out to the most professional and successful psychologist I know, Dr. Joseph Cilona. And, as usual, he was ready and willing to help me out. (Truly, LOVE that my experts are always there for me!)
Let’s talk communication
Ugh, this gets me every time. For Doug and me, we are miserable in this category. I’m like a jack rabbit running all over the place speaking way too much of what is on my mind and Doug just sits there as silent and motionless as a slug. I asked Dr. Joseph to give us some clues on how to communicate properly. Here’s what he said (in blue).
Ahem, introducing Dr. Joseph Cilona everyone
Love can be grand, but it’s certainly not always easy! Here are two simple, but powerful tips to up your game when it comes to communication in your relationship. (Good communication advice = good relationship advice!)
Learn to use the simple, but extremely powerful technique called “Mirroring” in all important discussions with your spouse. In mirroring you simply mirror (repeat) back to your spouse exactly what you heard them communicate BEFORE commenting on it or responding to it with your thoughts, opinions, or interpretations.
Here’s a simple way to do it. Just say:
You will be endlessly surprised at how the simplest statements are heard differently by different people! This not only dramatically improves the accuracy and quality of communication by allowing for correction of misinterpretations, but also creates of strong sense of being heard and understood in each partner. This kind of validation allows for openness and genuine discussion/resolution of the issues at hand, rather than each person getting caught in a vicious cycle of trying to feel heard, understood, and validated.
CREATE A LOVE TRIANGLE
Think about the relationship as something distinct and separate from yourself and your spouse and commit to investing a specific amount of time, on an ongoing basis, working on strengthening it, “troubleshooting,” and making it more satisfying. Creating structure and positive rituals around this is key.
Create and follow a simple Agenda
Starting a weekly or monthly brunch or dinner with the intention of discussing only relationship issues is great example.
Include these topics in your conversation:
1) Each partner discussing some things that they appreciate or are grateful for about the other since the previous meeting;
2) Discussion of any new problems, challenges or difficulties such as feeling hurt, disappointed, or not appreciated;
3) Brainstorming as to how to solve problems, minimize them in the future, find solutions;
4) Checking in on previous issues and how proposed solutions are working.
So, What do you think
I happen to love his advice. I promise you if you actually go apply this to your relationships (all of them, not just romantic ones) you will see a positive change. Good luck, guys. AND, HAVE FUN. Don’t let your relationships become “work.” You always have to work at it, but it shouldn’t always feel like work.
I LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK
You guys have been so awesome! I love blogging to ya! Please let me know if you enjoyed this blog and want more (I know a few more experts who are always willing to share GREAT advice.) Do you want me to bring the MAFS recaps back? Do you want both? Or, do you prefer something entirely different? Just let me know in the comments below! Lastly, for Christmas I left you all a little present under the tree. It’s just my way to say ‘thanks’ and give you a little gift for the holidays! (Those of you with fine, thin hair – you’re going to love it.) Click HERE to find out what it is! 😀
P.S find Dr. Joseph on Social Media: