Our day-to-day lives are absolutely saturated with technology, from the email inbox at work to the smartphone in your pocket, TV shows in the DVR, new levels to beat in your favorite video game.

It’s all too easy (and common) to get absorbed into this digital world nowadays, and it isn’t even always for entertainment or distraction. So many of our jobs, our hobbies, our communications with friends and family, are hinged on these technological devices – so much of what we do is dependent on staring at the screen.

The problem is, though, that when we’re sucked into Facebook (no matter how important the conversation), or compulsively checking our phones for sports updates or new notifications, we’re (to some degree) ignoring the “real world” around us in favor of the digital world at our fingertips.

It's easy to get distracted by technology. Remember to focus on what's really important!

It's easy to get distracted by technology. Remember to focus on what's really important!

And this is a very real problem, not just for couples, but for all social relationships. Have you ever been sitting at dinner, and all around the table people are fidgeting with smartphones instead of talking to one another?

This is hardly an ideal way to spend time with others.

So what can we do about these technological distractions?

First, we have to recognize them as distractions! We have to make this distinction between our physical relationships and our online relationships. We’ve got to remember to put the people closest to us (physically and emotionally) first.

Second, replace those technological pastimes with something else, something more “real life,” at least in part. We’re not asking you to throw your phone out the window or to smash your television set, just recognize the fact that they are taking you away from the very real things happening in your immediate life.

Is there some community project you can work on instead of watching your evening TV show? A craft you could work on with the kids instead of playing Candy Crush? Instead of that conversation in your favorite online forum, have that conversation with your spouse.

The problem with being hyper-connected at every moment, to every corner of the world, is that we lose sight of those short-distance connections sitting right in front of us.

There are small steps we can all take to break the cycle of techno-obsession though, like just leaving your phone in the other room during dinner. For TV, try to stick to the shows you know you like and want to see, and cut out the aimless channel surfing.

Taking a few small steps to break the habits already formed will show you that you don’t actually need to check every time you get a Facebook notification. You don’t actually need to beat that next level – you just want to. The world doesn’t fall apart if you miss an episode or don’t check Twitter.

Technology is here to stay, and it is a marvelous and important way to learn about the rest of the world, to stimulate our imaginations, to stay connected with people abroad, to meet people who share our interests… but it can’t be so intriguing that we let it take away from the lives we actually live – in the real world, with real people that we can see and touch.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!


Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Simply thinking outside of yourself can stop a LOT of arguments before they reach a boiling point

No, I don’t mean in the bedroom, though that doesn’t hurt either! I’m talking about putting the shoe on the other foot, imagining an experience or situation through the eyes of your spouse.

Now, we have to understand that we all have our own shortcomings, that we can only truly see the world from our own perspective, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to understand where others are coming from – and simply thinking outside of yourself can stop a LOT of arguments before they reach a boiling point.

First think about something your partner does that really frustrates you. Maybe your husband is irritable and short with you when he walks in the door from work. Maybe your wife goes straight to sleep in the bedroom every night.  It’s easy to feel snubbed by these things – like their behavior stems from spite for you.

Most of the time, though, that simply isn’t the case. Instead of focusing on how their actions hurt your feelings, take a moment to reflect on WHY they might be acting the way they are. The gruff husband may have a particularly stressful job, or might not be prepared to talk about his bad day (many men don’t want to bring their work stresses into their home lives). Maybe the wife has trouble sleeping soundly through the night, and by the time she lays down, she just can’t keep her eyes open.

Even if these explanations aren’t correct, the point is to start THINKING from the other person’s perspective. If you can entertain the idea that their motivations might have nothing to do with you, or your relationship, you are off to a good start. I don’t mean that you should make excuses, or try to rationalize all of your spouse’s behavior, but I DO want to prevent couples from jumping to conclusions about their partner’s behavior (and the cause behind it).

The next step is do put yourself in your spouse’s shoes when they don’t do anything that bothers you – in other words, think about how YOU might be irritating THEM.

In this classic, cliché, and all-too-common bedroom scenario, where the husband is initiating sex, and the wife shoots him down, I see one of the best applications for this practice. I’m not saying that wives should feel guilted into sex, but they should take a moment to think about how it makes their husbands feel emotionally and psychologically. Reverse the situation, ladies, and imagine if your husband shot you down, saying he was tired or didn’t feel well (unlikely, I know!). How would it make you feel? Probably not very good about yourself - and not very good about how your partner sees you.

Guys, how would it make you feel if your wife just blew you off when you had something important to say? What if she simply tuned you out to watch the television or work on something else? Would you feel ignored, neglected, uninteresting?

In the situations above, there are plenty of variables – sometimes we don’t feel like having sex, sometimes we simply aren’t paying attention – this happens, but as loving couples, we owe it to each other to consider how we are making our partner feel, intentionally or unintentionally.

Imagining yourself in your spouse’s position is beneficial in every aspect of you marriage, from hashing out arguments to avoiding potentially irritating behavior, from making a joint effort at household responsibilities to pleasing each other in the bedroom. If something seems to be bothering your spouse, and can’t quite put your finger on it, or you aren’t quite sure why they react the way they do, just use your imagination!

Does it feel like your spouse has checked out of the relationship? Do you find it hard to even connect with them anymore? For advice on how to save your marriage, without an office visit, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!


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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Life can be stressful, as we all know too well. It seems like everyday holds a mountain of chores, odds and ends, and ultimately, unfinished business. Whether it’s something unforeseen with the kids, a long day at work, or simply not enough hours in the day, checking everything off of a day’s “to do list” is almost impossible. There is always more to do.

While there’s no getting around it, married couples can make an effort to combat the never-ending to do list, and in doing so, reduce the stress the list can create.

It’s less about getting everything done, and more about getting things done FOR your spouse. Simply asking, “is there anything I can do for you?” can go a long way. The idea is to complete small tasks so your spouse doesn’t have to – you are acting out of kindness and love for your husband or wife, using your time to lighten their workload. If you are both doing this, everybody gets more done!

Wife Cooking While Husband Washing Dishes

Little Gestures Go A Long Way

In many cases, you don’t even need to ask your spouse if there is anything you can do. Chances are, you’re well aware of what needs to be done, or more specifically, the tasks your spouse has been putting off.

Performing little favors for your spouse is ultimately a gesture of affection, and can become a habit that improves the quality of your marriage every single day. It is a reason to appreciate the other person, to be thankful for their presence in your life, as well as a great way to stay on top of the seemingly insurmountable pile of things to take care of.

It doesn’t matter how minor the favor is, either. The motivation is the important part, because it is a tangible display of putting your spouse’s needs first. Anything from holding a door open to doing the dishes, running to the store to watering the plants, if it eases a burden for your spouse, it is worth doing. As this practice becomes habit, your appreciation for one another is bound to grow, and you will find you do things for each other without even thinking about it!

Marriage needs to be a team effort, and teammates watch each other’s backs. They use their strengths to cover each other’s weaknesses, and triumph as a unit. You and your spouse can literally support one another simply by volunteering to help, to get something done so the other doesn’t have to.

This is more than just a tip for getting more done around the house, or a way to make your spouse appreciate you more. The idea of constant “small favors” is a way to look at your entire relationship, a frame of mind that puts that will keep the two of you connected, appreciative of each other’s abilities and strengths, and as a fortunate side effect, you’ll probably get more checked of the do to list too.

These random acts of kindness will go along way toward showing your spouse your love.

For more tips on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!


You Really Can Live Happily Ever After. Watch This Video Now


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

In one of our monthly calls, we tackled the tough subject of getting over the pain – putting those hurtful memories of affairs and altercations behind you. Holding onto to painful grudges can lead to long-term trouble in a relationship. Even if the problem has been addressed, apologies made, many people have a hard time letting go of the pain, even as years pass by. They will continue to hold it over their partner’s head, and this isn’t healthy for any relationship.

One of the points Dr. Dana stresses is the “ah-ha” moment, when one partner truly understands how the other felt – this is absolutely key in getting past any major issues in the relationship. When you are hurt, you want your partner to understand why.

Holding grudges isn’t healthy for any relationship.

Holding grudges isn’t healthy for any relationship.

Call it a “moment of clarity” if you like. It happens when the two halves of a couple can empathize with one another, and understand how certain behaviors or actions might make the other feel. Or, in some cases, it might mean understanding why or how an affair happened, or what factors led to a negative change in the bedroom. It’s all about being on the same page.

As our phone call wrapped up, there were an incredible amount of questions, all of them tackling some BIG issues. These callers really did something brave here. It’s tough to talk about the hard parts of your life!

One of the toughest questions was, “How do you deal with flashbacks after an affair?” This man couldn’t shake the image of his wife in bed with another man. Dr. Dana’s advice was twofold: First, don’t let yourself get on that train of thought. Teach yourself to see it coming, and simply don’t get on the train – make a point to replace those negative thoughts with something else. Part two: replace those memories with new, good ones! The couple is back together, working to get past the affair, and one way to do that is reconnecting in the bedroom.

Other questions included how to “help her get over the resentment,” how to deal with, “a spouse who has anger issues,” and “a husband who doesn’t admit they did wrong.” While there are plenty of specifics for each of these problems, it goes back to the “ah-ha” moment, and finding some empathetic middle ground with your partner.

If any of these concerns apply to you, this is just a small portion of the advice contained in our monthly call, each centered on a theme, culminating in an open Q&A with our marriage advice expert! To gain access to the monthly call, direct help from Dr. Dana, and our extensive member’s forum, check out the StrongMarriageNow system today!


End The Loneliness and Hurt... Watch This Video Today


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Doing the same things you are already doing is no way out of a rut.

Doing the same things you are already doing is no way out of a rut.

Is the romance fading? Are your date nights feeling a bit boring? Want to know how to get the spark back?

You've probably already set aside one night out of every week for a date night. But if you haven't, it's time to start. But as with all things, there's more to it than that. Rather than patronizing the same familiar haunts - the same restaurants, the same group of friends - it's time to do this right.

A date night centered around the same things you're already doing is no way to get away from the monotony. It's no way to break out of a rut.

Spending quality time together is only half of the equation. The key is to keep it interesting.

The key to maintaining romance and love is to spend quality time together and always keep it new and interesting.

The novelty of experiencing new things together is what's important here. This can be as simple as trying a new restaurant that's just opened up downtown or as adventurous as a drive with no particular destination in mind. And it is also a large piece of the most important lesson Dr. Dana can teach you.

Click Here to Learn More About Spending Time Together and The Most Important Lesson of All

And with this in mind, here are:

10 Unique Date Night Ideas for the Fall Season

  1. Go to the county fair
  2. Stroll through a historic neighborhood
  3. Go to an art fair
  4. Watch the sunset
  5. Play a round of miniature golf
  6. Walk the dog
  7. Go stargazing
  8. Go to a concert in the park
  9. Go for a bike ride
  10. Go on a picnic

Also... there are 90+ more ideas for the perfect date night available to you through the StrongMarriageNow System

It's vital to your marriage to embrace opportunities to connect and to spend quality time together. But remember that this is only half of the equation. The key is to find new things to experience together. The truth is in the science.

The Science Behind Experiencing New Things

Most scientists that study love and marriage ultimately come to the conclusion through research and experimentation that the decline of romantic love is inevitable. The butterflies of early romance, for instance, fade quickly and are then replaced with feelings of long-term attachment and familiarity. However, several experiments have presented researchers with a caveat to this long held doctrine.

In one such study that took place over 10 weeks, couples that undertook more "exciting" date nights showed evidence of a more increased level of marital satisfaction when compared to other couples that went on more "typical" date nights. And all of this in only 90 minutes' time each week!

Another more recent study used more primitive methods and acheived similar results. In this experiment scientists assigned couples the task of either walking back and forth across a room (to represent a more mundane activity), or binding their wrists and ankles and adding the task of pushing a ball as they crawled back and forth (this to represent a more challenging activity). The couples that were challenged with the latter activity showed meaningful changes in their levels of love and satisfaction.

The fact is that recent studies of the brain show that romantic love can actually last for years - 10 years (even longer!) - into a marriage. Though it's not yet clear why some couples can acheive this kind of long-term satisfaction, but one thing is certainly clear... they didn't do it without the drive to work at it. And part of working at it is allowing yourselves the time together that you need - and the experiences that make that time worthwhile and memorable. These experiences are what scientists call "novelty" and most scientists concur that these novel experiences play a large role in creating this romantic intensity.

You can read more about these studies at the New York Times

Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com


Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage


Sometimes the best path to understanding to see how someone else is dealing with a similar situation. This can let people know that they are not alone in their problems, and that help is, in fact, available. With that valuable lesson in mind, we've dedicated today's post to sharing these very real questions (as well as Dr. Dana's answers) with you.

Question: My wife and I have been married for 30 years. I love her and we are happy. The one thing we fight about is our son. He is 25 years old and still living at home. I think it’s time we boot him from the nest. My wife does not agree. Thoughts?
– Randy, Maryland

Answer: Dear Randy, This is a common phenomenon in today’s society. Many grown children are living at home longer or coming back home after college or after losing a job. As much as we want to help them, however, in most cases, this should only be a temporary solution. I recommend talking to your wife about why this is so difficult for her, and helping her see that the selfless thing to do is, in fact, helping your son grow up. Once she understands and accepts this, I suggest agreeing on a date for your son to move out (no more than three months from now). Let him know immediately and offer to help get him settled. This gives him ample time to arrange his finances and find a place to live.

It is helpful to know that people are not alone in dealing with their problems

It is helpful to know that people are not alone in dealing with their problems

While this may seem cruel to your wife, it is, in fact, the kindest thing you can do for your son. Taking away the scaffolding of your home and finances will force him to grow and become an independent and happy adult. Finally, it is no accident that we have our children in our homes for 18 years. As much as we love them, this is just about as much as our marriage can stand! Let your wife know that you’re excited to begin this next phase of life with her.

Question: HELP! I love my husband, kids, home, and job. I basically love my life. I have no reason to complain. I should be happy but I’m not! I cry for no reason, I don’t want to get out of bed, I feel helpless to change anything, and everything irritates me. Why can’t I just be happy?
- Gina, Brisbane, Australia

Answer: Dear Gina, You have all the hallmark symptoms of depression, not the lay-person’s definition (which usually means, “I’m sad, unmotivated, and I don’t know what to do about it”), but actual, clinical, Major Depression. I highly recommend speaking with a psychologist or doctor in order to determine if this is, in fact, the case. If it is, there are several options to treat it, including exercise, talk therapy, and medication (research indicates that the best treatment is a combination of all three).

Untreated depression can lead to a whole host of problems in one’s life from health issues, relationship problems, professional difficulties, and even divorce. I’m so glad you understand that it’s not your husband and family that are the problem. That is a very important step that many people don’t have the insight to recognize. The good news is that, in most cases, Major Depression can be successfully treated and you can regain an appreciation of your life and be happy again. I urge you to seek professional help.

Hopefully this Q&A session has given you some insight on the issues that others struggle through, and perhaps even touched on problems in your own life. It is our goal to make sure you have the information you need to make your marriage happy, healthy, and as strong as it can possibly be!

Want to learn ways to increase the love and fix your marriage? Check out our StrongMarriageNow System today!


You Really Can Live Happily Ever After. Watch This Video Now


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

We’ve all seen the headlines for the royal baby, Prince George, and there have been plenty of shows of support and advice for Charles and Kate as they settle into parenthood.

One thing we haven’t seen a lot of, however, is the often-overlooked strain that a new baby can put on the marriage. People talk about the time commitment, about the long, sleepless nights and dirty diapers. They also talk about the huge, life-changing connection you experience with the birth of your first child, the true happiness that new parents get from their little bundles of joy!

What they don’t talk about, though, is how those long nights make people edgy, that taking care of a little baby can test your patience with each other, can cause arguments about things major and minor, and really, put a pretty serious damper on your happiness as a couple.

And because people like Prince Charles and Kate Middleton are absolutely famous, they are also dealing with a host of other pressures and responsibilities on a daily basis. Adding the increased media attention, the learning curve of new parenthood, and downright exhaustion to the mix is enough to put any couple at their wit’s end.

So how do they avoid the problems?

shutterstock_130423343

Soon to be dad, Channing Tatum with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum. The couple plans to put their relationship and family ahead of the media attention.

As we learned from new celebrity parents Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, putting the relationship first and foremost has actually helped them get through some of the roughest moments. By focusing on their marriage (and the baby, of course), they can help each other avoid burnout and see their co-parenting as a partnership, with each member of the couple offering as much support as they can.

Channing and Jenna have also made an effort to keep their baby out of the media as much as possible, a luxury that Charles and Kate may be having a difficult time pulling off. With so much attention on their newborn, they will have to remain diligent about not letting the scrutiny of the press get to them!

After all, one of the best things parents can do for their children is make sure that their marriage is as strong as it can be – the example of love, support, and connection goes a long way in raising happy, healthy children, and helps ensure that the family household is a place of positivity.

We’d like to offer our congratulations to Charles and Kate, and remind everyone that the strength of your marriage can have a big impact on the strength of your parenting.

For more tips on balancing and strengthening the bond with your spouse, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Have any advice you’d give to Charles and Kate, or any new parents out there? Let us know in the comments!


Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

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A regular feature of our blog is Dr. Dana answering your questions. If you'd like your question answered, please comment below:

Today's Question: We're Constantly Sniping At Each Other

My husband and I don’t “fight,” but we are constantly sniping at each other and I’m tired of it. It’s like we just can’t be kind to each other any more, like we don’t know how. Can you help?
- Diana from Franklin Tennessee

Young couple arguing

Always remember the Golden Rule when it comes to your marriage. Your spouse deserves your kindness and you deserve kindness in return.

Answer:

Dear Diana,

I’m just going to be blunt: without kindness in your relationship, your marriage will be miserable. If this sniping continues, it can damage your relationship and put it risk for even bigger issues. The sniping can also potentially escalate into badgering and bullying, which can wear down the foundation of your connection to each other. It's very important that you turn that pattern around. I encourage you to make a sincere effort to be more loving.

Here are some things you can do to bring kindness back into your marriage:

1. Say "yes" a lot more than "no" when your spouse asks for a favor or for help.
2. Be willing to share that last piece of pie or cookie because being kind is being generous.
3. Listen with your heart.
4. Don't interrupt your spouse.
5. Be polite and say "please" and "thank you" when speaking to your spouse.
6. Show respect for your mate.
7. Let your spouse know how much he/she is appreciated.
8. Don't roll your eyes.
9. Routinely look for the good in your spouse.
10. Be helpful.
11. Don't allow unkind comments to flow from your lips.
12. Make sure that your teasing is fun and not hurtful.

Try these tips for a while and see if your spouse doesn’t start to become kinder to you!

What many of these tips come down to is Dr. Dana's Golden Rule Of Marriage, which states:

You Must Give In Your Marriage What You Want To Receive

If you want be loved, appreciated, and wanted, you must show love, appreciation and desire for your spouse. If you want to be heard, you must listen. Check out this article for a lot more info on this critical topic.

Want to follow our proven System to get more love and fix your marriage? Check out our StrongMarriageNow System today!


Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

At every moment of every day, in every situation you encounter, you have a choice to make – and there are only two options. This choice affects every aspect of your life, from your job performance to your personal productivity, from the way you feel physically to the strength of your relationships with other people (especially your spouse).

This choice is a simple one: you can either chose to be positive, or you can choose to let negativity rule your life.

This choice is all encompassing – it determines the way you communicate with others and defines your entire outlook on life.

This may sound like a huge undertaking, but it’s really quite simple. You can either choose to be in control of your own happiness, or you can let it be determined by the things around you – it’s all up to you.

Unhappy  Couple Standing Back To Back

You can either choose to be in control of your own happiness, or you can let it be determined by the things around you.

 

When you choose to be happy, though, there is nothing that can dampen your spirits – not the bills or stress from work, not an argument with your spouse or a traffic jam. When you are in control of your mood, your happiness comes from within, and outside factors don’t stand a chance.

Happiness has a way of affecting the rest of your life too. When you choose to be happy at work, you’ll get more done, you’ll be more accurate, and you’ll be more pleasant to be around – and this quickly transforms into more opportunities for advancement, more recognition, and ultimately, raises and promotions.

When you choose to be happy in your day-to-day errands and routines, the daily commute is suddenly less stressful, waiting in line doesn’t seem so bad, and all of the potential stress-causers roll right off of your back.

Most importantly, choosing to be happy has an immense impact on the quality of your marriage. Making the conscious choice to be in control of your mood translates directly into fewer arguments, more affection, a better sex life, and an all around happier existence as a couple!

This simple choice really does make that big of a difference!

If you can find it within yourself to have a positive outlook on life, to understand that the only person responsible for your happiness is you – you can change your entire life! An attitude of general happiness makes it easier to solve problems, to approach new situations – to do anything you want!

Marriage advice music love: What do you do to harness your inner happiness? Let us know in the comments!

For more tips on improving your mood and marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!


End The Loneliness and Hurt... Watch This Video Today


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

We’re so used to seeing celebrities on the silver screen, seeing photos of our favorite actors and musicians strutting down the red carpet or wearing the latest fashion, it can be easy to forget that inside, behind all the glitz and glamour, they are people just like us!

And part of this misconception about the lives of celebrities is that all of their romantic relationships begin at fancy parties or in exclusive clubs – that every celebrity couple must have met on-set or backstage. For some celebs, though, this couldn’t be further from the truth, defying stereotypes and assumptions through happy marriages to their high school sweethearts!

shutterstock_124704964

High school sweethearts Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley!

 

Here are just a few examples:

International music star Bono married Ali Stewart in 1982 – the couple met at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin long before Bono was headlining world tours or using his influence for political and humanitarian causes.

Rapper and actor LL Cool J has been married to his wife Simone Smith since 1995, and the couple dated for eight years before tying the knot.

Actor Jeff Daniels went to high school with his wife Kathleen Treado before getting married in 1979, and actor-turned-director Ron Howard met his wife Cheryl Alley in a high school English class – they were married in 1975!

Even Jon Bon Jovi is married to his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley!

While we shouldn’t assume that each of these marriages is the same, it’s worth mentioning that in most of these cases, where the couple met before fame and fortune, we don’t really hear much about marital troubles, or even much about the people not intentionally in the spotlight.

It may have something to do with the stability of a marriage and home life outside of the demanding career of a famous actor or musician. Jon Bon Jovi told Yahoo News that, “without my wife and kids, I’d be a dead man.” He talked about the burnout from touring and trying to run the corporation surrounding his music career, and noted that having “a wife who loved me and a family to go home to” help him survive stresses of his busy life.

In our own lives, we can take a cue from these longstanding celebrity marriages – making the household a calm place to escape the stress of careers and commutes is just one of the great ways spouses can support one another!

Know anyone who is still with their high school sweetheart? What’s your favorite celebrity marriage? Please comment.

Want to know more about how to keep your marriage loving, strong and healthy, check out our StrongMarriageNow System.


Fall Back In Love, Watch This Entire Video Today


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com



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