June 2016



Take Time for Little Things that Still Mean a Lot

By: Dr. Jackie Black

Over the last decade or so "life" seems to have gotten busier and more rushed.

People are over-extended and over-committed, and trying to meet multiple deadlines and address often conflicting priorities. Travel is easier and more affordable. Leisure time options are more plentiful. For many reasons most of us are on the go... doing, doing, doing!

And children all over the world seem to be over-stimulated and over-scheduled. There is hardly any time to day-dream or lay in the grass and watch the clouds move overhead anymore!

That's why it is more important than ever to carve out precious moments to "do the little things" for the people who mean a lot to us and to let them know how much they matter.

Beyond cards, flowers, expensive jewels and surprise trips to exotic places, there are so many tiny ways we can say, "I love you," "I am so glad you are in my life," "I am so much richer because I am here with you."

By all means remember birthdays and anniversaries. Try sending a card just because...

Ask your kids to make a wish and then, grant it!

Plan a special day or a few special hours...

Take your Sweetie to a movie, concert or a walk on the beach at sunset. You make the plans and voilą! A fabulous surprise!

If your partner usually walks the dog offer to join him or her, or you walk the dog instead for a few days.

How about a taking the kids to a movie, letting him or her have a few hours alone, then planning to rendezvous and meet for ice cream or dinner altogether?

You get the idea. You know your lifestyle and your budget. Some of these things don't take much money but they all take time, imagination and attention to details.

The people who love you are worth your time and attention.

Spend some time today and make a few notes of the tiny things you can do and say that will convey that all-important message to your Honey, children, family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

If you can't think of anything, ask them! They are the experts on what is meaningful to them. Check it out with the people you care about.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Jackie Black and the Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Dr. Jackie Black is a Marriage Educator and Coach, the co-developer of RCI's Couples Coach Training Program and the lead Advanced Partnerships Trainer. Dr. Jackie serves couples in trouble in her private coaching business, and teaches and mentors RCI members to support couples to ignite their passion, deepen their connection to themselves and each other and step into the world of Radical Marriage. Connect with Dr. Jackie at www.DrJackieBlack.com

Ask Our Coaches

Why do we always have to fight about money?

Dear Coaches,

I love to spend money. It just makes me happy when I am shopping or buying things. My husband loves to save money. It makes him the happiest when we have lots of money in our savings account, even if we need things for the kids or the house now. We fight about this all of the time. How can we find a middle ground to agree on?

Ellen Champion

Ellen responds ...

Opposites attract. It's so interesting how something that attracted us, more often than not, becomes the one thing that ends up driving us crazy. The difference is there to help you achieve balance, which is beautiful and needed. But, how do you find middle ground? Before even talking about middle ground, it's beneficial to discover why you are each feeling the way you are feeling. Have a discussion about what makes him want to save and what makes him nervous about spending. And, visa versa. Share with him what makes you - well, you. What makes you want to spend and what makes you feel uncomfortable with saving? In a relationship, it is always important for you both to show your underbellies. Truly understanding is the key.

Once the two of you understand where you both are coming from, now is the time to find the middle ground - to find out where you each can extend your hand in order to shake and agree. Ask the other "Would you feel comfortable if" questions ..." For example - Would you feel comfortable with my spending as long as you were able to save a certain amount each month? Would having spending limits help you feel more comfortable? Would discussing whether or not to purchase when it's over a certain amount help you feel more comfortable? For instance, you might agree that any purchase over $100 should be discussed together first. You get the idea. It is important to be there for each other while allowing yourselves to be yourselves. You need to discover what is most important to each of you and find options that you both can and will agree on - find a win/win situation.

Ellen Champion | www.ChampionRelationshipCoaching.com

Lynn Goodacre

Lynn responds ...

Congratulations on reaching out for help and believing that it is possible to find some middle ground in this challenging situation! When we fight, we get polarized and hold tightly to our position. It's impossible to really hear and understand what is going on for the other, and not a good way to find a solution to an important issue like this one of different spending habits. Can you and your husband agree to sit down and explore this issue with the mindset that it is possible to find that middle ground you seek? Can you come to this discussion with openness and curiosity about what is going on for the other person? When each of you feels deeply understood and respected, then it is possible to come up with creative solutions that work for both of you.

Having a calm discussion after your history of fighting about money might be quite challenging for you. That's where a Relationship Coach can help you. A coach has the facilitation skills and practical tools to help you and your husband find that middle ground you seek. How might your marriage be different if you resolved this issue of spending vs saving once and for all? I hold that vision for you!

Lynn Goodacre | www.lovecoachlynn.com

Barbara Williams

Barbara responds ...

Great question! I'm sure you've heard, and now see for yourself, that money plays a huge role in relationships; especially depending on what your upbringing and beliefs are around money. The "happiness" you get from spending and saving are both temporary, so it's definitely something much deeper going on here for the both of you. Your "love" of spending and his "love" of saving comes from a deep rooted place. Think about that. If you could work through this issue and look at the way you think and feel about money differently, it might bring you some place in the middle. That means neither of you will focus totally on your own "needs" without at least considering the other. If these terms were not discussed when the two of you came together, you might wish to consider meeting with someone (a counselor or relationship coach) to help you work through these concerns, before it drives you even further apart. In the end, I hope your love and understanding for one another wins and makes the difference.

Barbara Williams | www.barbaraannwilliams.com

The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.

This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.


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