Reading Corner

Links related to the weekly posts.


This week, we wrote about taking the time and attention to honor your relationships. Read these posts and make sure you do what they recommend!

Attention Is the Most Basic Form of Love “One of the most common relationship concerns we have found in our Marriage Checkup study is that partners stop paying attention to each other in the struggle to accomplish the myriad demands of the day. We are all, so many of us, so monstrously busy on a day-to-day basis that we practically tremble under the strain of it all…. And then, finally, sometimes, through the fog, we catch a glimmer. My wife. My husband. Our marriage.”

10 Tips To Make Your Relationship A Priority “It’s easy to let your relationship slide a little bit in the business of everyday life. Especially during these times. Between working from home, dealing with kids learning virtually, and the added stress of living through a pandemic, it can frequently feel like we’re just trying to get through the day in one piece. But when one of you perceives that the other isn’t making an effort, then you both might be tempted to stop trying – and that’s where your relationship can start to deteriorate. For example, if you feel your partner would rather be on the golf course than with you, that can affect your self-esteem. And if your spouse thinks you’d rather be at work than with them they will likely start to resent your career.”

9 Tips for Making Your Relationship a Priority “One of the common complaints I hear from couples is that one of the partners feels that she is not important, or that the relationship itself is not important—it’s pushed aside by work or kids or whatever. Sometimes this is situational—one of you is dealing with an ill parent or work demands have ramped up. But more often, it is patterns that you’ve both fallen into. You both feel disconnected. You may not argue but you also don’t talk beyond mapping out the logistics of the day or week. You fall into parallel lives, daily routines with each of you doing your own thing. You really haven’t had a date night since … honestly, you don’t remember.”

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In this week’s blog, we said to remember the shared purpose at the heart of your relationship. Here are a few different viewpoints on why this is so important.

A Couple Mission/A Shared Purpose “As in all of life’s opportunities, those who set goals and work toward them are most likely to succeed. Couples who are not clear about why they are together or how to reach their dreams often react to personal interests, peer or family pressure, temporary goals, or crisis events. These influences typically do not sustain affection, confidence, or meaning—and often leave couples confused, conflicted, and crippled. Since love or good looks are not enough to build a satisfying, long-term commitment, couples need a sense of purpose to guide their choices and challenges.”

Enriching Your Marriage by Creating Shared Meaning “Just because you fall in love with someone, that doesn’t mean that love will stay alive without nurturing your partnership. If you find yourself asking, “What is missing from my marriage?” your situation may be similar to Brian and Teresa’s. What might be missing is what Dr. John Gottman refers to as a sense of shared meaning. A successful marriage is about more than raising kids, paying bills, and getting chores done. It is also about building a meaningful relationship that has a spiritual dimension and is rich in rituals of connection

Goals Are a Relationship Necessity “I believe that happiness comes from moving toward what you want, not necessarily getting it. What this means to you is that in order to be happy, couples need to have goals that they are moving toward. How can couples motivate and support each other to achieve individual and relationship goals? Here are 10 steps that will enable you and your partner to create and reach your goals and keep your connection as a couple strong.”

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This week, we wrote about honesty and living your inner truth. It requires both understanding and effort. Here are some blogs to help with that process.

What Is The Cost of Withholding Your Truth? “One of the casualties of living an outer-centered reality is that we can easily lose our ability to tell our truth honestly, openly, and freely. Sadly, this doesn’t just mean being unable to tell your truth to others, it also means not being able to tell your truth to yourself. This state of affairs is part of the learned response that motivates us to give others what they want or at least what we think they want, even if it means sacrificing what we want. In the worst scenario, it means putting ourselves last.”

Speaking & Living Your Truth (Why it’s Hard & How You Can Do It) “Speaking the truth can be tricky. For those of you who have this down, bravo to you. Although, even if you’re a truth speaker, my guess is that there have been and will be situations in life where “the truth” is difficult to speak. Verbalizing the truth, first to ourself and then to others, requires vulnerability, awareness and courage. A problem arises when we get in the habit of avoiding the truth, which leads to living a life based around something other than what’s real and authentic.”

The Power Of Telling The Truth “It can be scary to tell our partner how we really feel sometimes. Out of politeness, embarrassment, shyness, avoidance, or just not wanting to hurt their feelings, we can find ourselves not sharing our innermost feelings. We may find ourselves inhibiting and censoring our truest, deepest worries and fears with the people we love the most. And, our relationships will suffer for it – from the lack of depth, from lack of real connection, and from the shear superficiality of inauthenticity. Here is a spiritual rule of thumb: the more someone matters to you, the more you owe them your Truth.”

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This week in our blog, we wrote about how mutual solutions help you to solve disagreements and avoid arguments. Since this is very much a central theme of ours, we have written extensively on it; here are three of our past blogs that cover different aspects of the topic.

How to Work Through Disagreements to Reach a Mutual Solution “You may find yourself at odds with your partner, friend or relative when discussing your wants and needs in a particular situation. It is important to peaceful relating to have a process for preventing this kind of disagreement from turning into a full-blown conflict. When the decision affects both of you, it can seem at first that there is no solution, but as long as you are both flexible, that’s rarely the case. There are ways to not only transform a potential argument but instead to actually find solutions and make decisions that create an even stronger sense of agreement and mutuality.”

How to Reach Mutual Solutions in Your Relationship “There are multiple outcomes that would satisfy us; we can’t see them at first because we are staring at our metaphorical strawberry ice cream. There are more flavors in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. The first step is not to be stubborn, and to accept that there are always other possibilities that we haven’t seen yet. Locking onto a single solution is a kind of identity panic.”

How to Find Mutual Solutions With Your Partner “Can you avoid conflict in your relationship? Absolutely! And we don’t mean avoid as in ducking out of the room when it looms. No, we’re talking about negotiating differences without descending into recriminations, counter-attacks, hostility, hurt feelings and battle scars. We never go there, and you don’t have to, either.”

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Our blog this week was about supporting peace in the world by expanding your circle of trust. Here are some inspiring writings on manifesting peace in your relationships and in the world.

How to Strengthen Loving Relationships with Mindfulness “‘Of all the experiences we need to survive and thrive, it is the experience of relating to others that is the most meaningful and important,’ [Cozolino] writes. His thinking grows out of the relatively new field of interpersonal neurobiology, based on the recognition that humans are best understood not in isolation, but in the context of their connections with others. Our brains, Cozolino writes, are social organs, and that means that we are wired to connect with each other and to interact in groups.”

12 Simple principles to build peace in your community “Now, you may be thinking: “How can we honestly make a difference?” Well the reality is that change really does start at home folks! If we build strong united communities, we can fight hate crime, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and take a stand against divisive politics. If we fight toxic narratives, common misconceptions and negative stereotypes, the media and politicians lose their power to drive communities apart, scapegoat groups and divide people.”

Ten ways you can promote peace “1. Develop your understanding of the frames of mind that promote conflict and violence against another group
• The perception that another group threatens our well-being
• A sense of uncertainty about our safety and security
• The belief that our own group is superior to another group.”

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