Welcome to 2020, a vision year. This month’s blog brings attention to the significance of self-care and to your partner relationship health with conscious reflection on benefits to the family unit. In this vein, Valentines Day is coming around the corner, and with it the opportunity to shift focus and recommit to the power of partner connection.

The ongoing and evolving responsibilities of family life, particularly with respect to families of special-needs children, though undoubtedly rewarding, are also stress-ridden. Individual adult needs are minimized, often shelved or overlooked, and attentiveness to the couple dynamic can be lacking. This may incur a downward cycle to conflict between partners, riddled with resentment and blame, shame, guilt, or avoidance. The potential stress reactions to the negative cycling are imbalance and inhibited personal and relational growth, both of which can be difficult to lovingly and respectfully work through. To address these common pitfalls, it is vital that parents become motivated to get outside the familiar and static patterns of their daily couple and family functioning while respecting obligations and even mindset. Powerful energy manifests when we mindfully move in thought and action towards deepening the couple bond.

Reserved couple time is hard to come by and is akin to taking a 12-hour, cross-country road trip, which usually necessitates planning for childcare, work schedule or other commitments, location and convenience. To address the issue of being stuck in neutral with limited couple moments, parents can make attempts to embrace the challenge of spontaneity by having an open mind to becoming intentional with self and partner care. The positive impact of improved couple cohesion will manifest through mutually identified bond-building activities.

Choose to plan and schedule couple time by setting notifications/calendar events. Or spontaneously find and explore activities of interest. Create via Painting With a Twist for Couples. Work-out or take dance lessons together. Meditate and share your reflections. Take nature walks. Visit art exhibits. Engage in meaningful play; if you’re tactile and nerdy, play a boardgame. Promote intimacy and affection; incorporate caring gestures, be still and focus your attention on the other, and reserve intimate time in your week. Be intentional.

Additionally, it is certainly acceptable for parents to cater to their individual importance. It is not self-sacrificing to respect alone time. In fact, seeking to care for yourself is mindful adulting! Honor the integrity of your personhood. With an increase to personal satisfaction and life fulfillment, we are more apt to feel fueled to engage in spousal wellness. Because we have celebrated ourselves, we will create energy to devote to our significant others and our children!

In conclusion, take the Couple Challenge. Commit to your relationship’s health and reaffirm the value of it. Couple wellness is working to mutually build a more fulfilled existence, which equates to a happier family life. If you need guidance through this process, reach out to us, and we would be honored to support you in a safe space with compassion and understanding.

May 2020 be a year of renewal and energizing focus for yourself and coupledom!

Shae Spearman M.A., LMFT