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Relationship Problems

Relationship Problem: Communication

If both busy, make some time to talk.

Set up some rules like, not interrupting until the other is through or banning phrases such as "You always ..." or "You never ...."

If you can't "communicate" without raising your voices, go to a public spot like the library, park, or restaurant where you'd be embarrassed if anyone saw you screaming.

Use body language to show you are listening. Don’t doodle, look at your watch, or pick at your nails. Nod so the other person knows you're getting the message, and rephrase if you need to. For instance, say, "What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we're both working." Don’t be a smart ass either. If you're right, the other can confirm. If what the other person really meant was, hey, you're a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you, he or she can say so, but in a nicer way.

Relationship Problem: Smashing

"Smashing brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy."

Plan, plan, plan. Maybe a before-work quickie or when the baby takes its daily nap.

Ask friends or family to take the kids every other Friday night for a sleepover. "When smashing is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation.”

Mixing things up a bit can increase your enjoyment as well. Why not have smashing in the kitchen? By the fire? Standing up in the hallway? Kamasutra

Talk about what turns you on. Come up with a personal "Sexy List" and swap the lists and use them to create more scenarios that turn you both on.

Last resort, a sex therapist

Relationship Problem: Money

Be honest about your current financial situation.

Set aside a time to cover the issue.

Acknowledge that one partner may be a saver and one a spender, understand there are benefits to both, and agree to learn from each other

Don't hide income or debt. Bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, debts, and investments to the table.

Don't blame.

Construct a joint budget that includes savings.


Decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills.


 Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.

 Decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It's OK to have individual goals, but you should have family goals too.

Relationship Problem: Not Making Your Relationship a Priority

Do the things you used to do when you were first dating: Make gestures of appreciation, complement each other, contact each other through the day, and show interest in each other.

Plan date nights. Schedule time together on the calendar just as you would any other important event in your life.

Respect one another. Say "thank you," and "I appreciate ...." It lets your partner know that he or she matters.

Relationship Problem: Struggles Over Home Chores

Write all the jobs down and agree on who does what. Be fair

Be open to other solutions. Cleaning service maybe

Relationship Problem: Conflict

Realize you are not a victim. It is your choice whether you react and how you react.

Be honest with yourself. When you're in the midst of an argument, are your comments directed toward resolution, or are you looking for payback? If your comments are blaming and hurtful, it's best to take a deep breath and change your strategy.

Change it up. If you continue to respond in the same way that has brought you pain and unhappiness in the past, you can't expect a different result this time. Just one little shift can make a big difference. If you usually jump right in to defend yourself before your partner is finished speaking, hold off for a few moments. You'll be surprised at how such a small shift in tempo can change the whole tone of an argument.

Give a little; get a lot. Apologize when you're wrong. Sure it's tough, but just try it and watch something wonderful happen


Relationship Problem: Trust



  • Be consistent.

  • Be on time.

  • Do what you say you will do.

  • Don't lie -- not even little white lies to your partner or to others.

  • Be fair, even in an argument.

  • Be sensitive to the other's feelings. You can still disagree, but don't discount how your partner is feeling.

  • Call when you say you will.

  • Call to say you'll be home late.

  • Carry your fair share of the workload.

  • Don't overreact when things go wrong.

  • Never say things you can't take back.

  • Don't dig up old wounds.

  • Respect your partner's boundaries.

  • Don’t be jealous.

  • Be a good listener.

  • Ask for what you need directly

  • use humor -- learn to let things go and enjoy one another

Finally, be willing to work on your relationship and to truly look at what needs to be done. Don't think that things would be better with someone else. Unless you address them, the same lack of skills that get in the way now will still be there and still cause problems no matter what relationship you're in.

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