HOW TO FIX A SMOTHERED RELATIONSHIP: PULL BACK & REIGNITE THE SPARKS
Whether your partner smothers you or you smother your partner, you need to know how to fix a smothered relationship. If not, your relationship is doomed.
If you don’t do something, clinginess will destroy your relationship. Eventually, one partner becomes overwhelmed and unable to handle it. So, before it gets to that point, it’s time you learned how to fix a smothered relationship.
Because there’s always a healthy boundary to clinginess. You may be in a relationship where you’re feeling smothered by your partner or you’re realizing that you’re doing the smothering. These habits can be hard to break, so I’m here to help.
WIFE MATERIAL: WHAT YOU SHOULD REALLY BE LOOKING FOR IN A WOMAN
There’s tons of advice out there about choosing the right person for you, but this is what real wife material looks like. Find you a girl like this.
Finding that one special woman to be your wife isn’t an easy task. You’ve probably dated a lot of different girls and just couldn’t make it work with them. But maybe that’s because you weren’t looking for a woman who’s wife material but rather, you were just looking for a good time.
And there is a major difference between the two. While a woman who is wife material can certainly be super fun and a good time, the girl you look for JUST for a good time usually won’t make a great spouse.
WINTER DREAMS: FINDING THE JOY OF ROMANCE IN LATER LIFE
New love occurring in late age can awaken exhilarating feelings and experiences.
Shoba Sreenivasan and Linda E. Weinberger
Gerontologist Amanda Smith Barusch (2008) observed that romantic love in the later years (as opposed to early years) is “a force for change: romantic experiences define character in subtle ways; love opens doors to our potential, shapes who we become.” (p.4) Nevertheless, media depictions of love perpetuate “the myth that only the young and unwrinkled can enjoy romance” and, worse, that, “late-life romance is either comic or disgusting.” (Barusch, 2008, p.3) Baby-boomers, that statistically elephantine cohort born post-World War II, however, have re-defined each stage of life in ways that counter the status quo. This group is unlikely to adhere to social stereotypes of romance as a youth-only experience. In fact, older dating is a rising trend, likely related to the growing ranks of older singles in the U.S. For example, according to the data for 2012, one-third of baby-boomers were unmarried (Brown & Shinohara, 2013). Later-life love stories are not only possible but are common. In a national sample of older adults (ages 57 to 85), Brown & Shinohara reported the following statistics:
- Approximately 14 percent of older unmarried adults were in dating relationships
- More older men were in dating relationships (nearly 25 percent) than older women (10 percent)
- Older daters had more economic resources, were in better health,
- Men and women alike with greater social ties were more likely to date
HOW NEW PARENTS KEEP THEIR LOVE ALIVE AND WELL
You know the times in life when things just don’t feel good? When you see one of those uplifting t-shirts that says, “Life is Good,” and you think, “Not mine, today is hard and I don’t like it.”
The Bringing Baby Home Workshop helps parents to prepare for those days. Like it or not, life as a parent is not always baby snuggles and Instagram moments. As a facilitator of this evidence-based workshop, I have the privilege of witnessing couples see each other in a new way, a way that is more clear and authentic than before. When that happens, couples intentionally take in more of that beautiful view, and they savor it.
I want to share some relationship enhancing strategies that parents learn in the Bringing Baby Home Workshop. These ideas are not unique to parents; all relationships thrive with a solid foundation and continued investment.
BETTER WAYS TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARTNER
When we yell and scream, our partners can’t hear our words.
Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera
Here are a few more thoughts to keep in mind for couples that have difficulty communicating. First and foremost, the fundamentals of any relationship, trust and commitment, are at the heart of effective communication. With trust, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and we can express our true thoughts and feelings. With commitment, we approach conflicts with the interests of the marriage in mind rather than our own personal needs, so we tend to be more accommodating and better at listening.
This is an important point, because only if there’s trust and commitment can there be honesty and mutual respect, and these are essential for effective communication. Partners are more likely to listen and less likely to make hurtful or insulting comments. When equality and respect are lacking, we’re more prone to regard our own perspective as more important and not pay much attention to our partner’s feelings and opinions.
Openly expressing our thoughts and feelings is essential, but that’s only if we do it appropriately. When we’re upset, we may believe that yelling and using negative language is an honest expression of what we think and feel, and we have a right to behave that way. But in face we’re actually expressing hostility rather than honesty.
25 TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT IN A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP
Running out of topics to talk about while talking to your boyfriend or girlfriend? Here are 25 conversations that can help bring both of you closer.
Happy conversations are the difference between a happy relationship and a boring one.
Conversations can help both of you understand each other better, and help both of you bond better.
Have you ever felt like you’re running out of things to talk about, be it over the phone on an all night call or while you’re just spending an afternoon together?
WHAT MAKES A PERSON EMOTIONALLY STRONG?
Positive navigation through negative circumstances.
Shoba Sreenivasan, Ph.D., and Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D.
Naftali Deutsch was the type of young boy that psychologist Norman Garmezy, who pioneered research on emotional strength in children who thrived despite adverse circumstances, would have wanted to study.
Deutsch (2007), now in his eighties, wrote in his autobiography that the last day of Passover in the Spring of 1944 marked the end of his childhood in the rural Eastern European village of Kimyat. He was exactly 12½-years-old. Hungary’s Nazi party had ordered the expulsion of all Jews from the country. Within 24 hours, Naftali and his family, along with the village’s entire Jewish sector, were crammed into boxcars. Soon, Naftali would be in Auschwitz, ordered to move to the right—to work—while his father was ordered to move to the left, which meant death. Unlike many in his family, the 12-year-old boy, wrenched from his home and thrown into the dire circumstances of a concentration camp, survived. Yet Deutsch’s story is not only a tale of horrors; it is of a laser-like focus on survival. He used his farm skills to surmount obstacles to starvation, his guile to minimize severe physical abuse and to protect the weak, and his religious education both for spiritual sustenance as well practical guidance through recalling the actions of Biblical heroes who overcame impossible situations.
Garmezy (Garmezy, Masten, & Tellegen, 1984) and subsequent colleagues (Masten & Tellegen, 2012) would label Deutsch’s survival instincts and actions as positive navigation through negative circumstances. Developing competence in the face of adversity means adaptive rather than maladaptive thinking and behaviors: focusing on solutions and actions rather than catastrophizing and passivity. It involves goal orientation, curiosity, altruism, a sense of self-efficacy, meaning-making, and mental flexibility.
16 ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP SIGNS OF A DEVIOUS LOVER
Are you being tricked into living with abuse by your lover? Use these 16 shocking and devious abusive relationship signs to see the veiled truth.
It usually starts with verbal abuse.
Sarcasm enters the picture.
And one day, something gets thrown at you.
An abusive relationship isn’t scary just because it hurts.
It’s scary because you’re usually tricked into it.
18 EMOTIONS YOU SHOULDN’T FEEL IN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
We go through a range of feelings when we’re in a relationship. But if you’re faced with these unhealthy emotions, it may be time to cut it loose.
A relationship should feel like a support system, a safe haven, and a place to express yourself openly without being mocked or judged. Settling for less than you deserve by staying in a dead end or unsatisfying relationship will only make you feel more isolated and alone.
If a relationship affects your mental sanity, disrupts your inner peace, corrodes your self-esteem, and generally makes you feel more negative than positive, you should either let the relationship go or seek help in improving your relationship. People seek relationships in order to feel happy, accepted, and complete, but when you feel any of the following emotions, ask yourself, “What’s the point of staying in a relationship that’s doing more harm than good?”