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Family matters

Another often controversial issue surrounding married couples are issues about family. Balancing your family of origin and family of choice isn’t always easy. Where to spend holidays, which family are you closer to—geographically or emotionally, does your husband feel welcomed, accepted and loved by your mother, do you as a wife and mother measure up in the eyes of his family and are they kind to you? We all bring family baggage into our marriage. Whitney Thompson, PhD., local therapist, advises taking the positive from your childhood, taking the positive from your partner’s childhood and make a path for your own family. Unresolved childhood issues can ruin a marriage. It’s important to either face and fix the negative relationship or resign yourself that you are going to make a better life for yourself make and take a healthy path for yourself and as an example for your own family.

It’s worth it

Marriage is hard work. Family life educators agree that one indispensable ingredient for making marriage work is communication. This is good news, because effective communication can be learned. Skills such as active listening, using “I” statements, paying attention to my feelings and those of my spouse, and learning tips for “fighting fair” make marriage easier. Some couples use these skills intuitively because they saw them modeled in their own upbringing. Others can learn them through classes, workshops and reading. Commitment bonds a couple together when you are tired, annoyed, or angry with each other. Sometimes, remembering your vows can prompt you to push past these problems and try to forgive and start again. Remember why you fell in love, grow with one another, support one another and turn toward one another in times of difficulty. Enjoy your spouse and family and appreciate the small joys as much as the great happiness life and love brings your way!

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The South Coast Insider - February 2010  

The South Coast Insider magazine - February 2010