Bruce Law Firm | StayMarriedFlorida Blog

StayMarriedFlorida was developed by Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer Christopher R. Bruce and is supported by the Bruce Law Firm

Want to Fall In Love All Over? Ask Your Spouse These Questions

In troubled marriages, information can seem not like a source of love and power, but a one-way ticket to more misery. After all, the thinking goes, if your spouse revealed what she really thinks or what he really feels, the fallout could be catastrophic. 

Not so fast. A popular article has been making its away around the web, claiming that 36 simple questions can help anyone fall in love. There's real science to back up this claim. Research suggests that simply knowing more about a person can make that person more appealing – even if he or she is your spouse. 

Of course, when you're fighting all the time, asking someone about their dreams for the future can be a recipe for disaster, especially if those dreams don't include you. If you want to explore your spouse's psyche without risking hurt feelings, try asking the following questions. Not only will they help you get to know one another all over again; they may also help you find new ways of relating:

·         What's your best memory of us as a couple?

·         What did you think of me when we first met?

·         What do you think is our biggest strength as a couple?

·         If you could change one thing about our marriage, what would it be?

·         If I could change one behavior tomorrow to make you happier, what would it be?

·         What would you like to change about yourself as a partner?

·         What are your hopes for our future together?

·         How do you think our values and relationship have changed over time?

·         What's the best thing about being married to me?

·         Is there any sexual trick you've been itching to try?

·         What are you most scared of in our relationship?

·         If I could surprise you with anything, what would you want for it to be?

·         What does a perfect day look like for you?

·         Which ways of showing love feel best to you? Gifts? Sex? Favors? Something else?

·         If I could get you any gift in the world, what would you want? Why?

·         If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

·         What's the sexiest thing I could do for your right now?

Don't stop at just asking questions. Remember, you're exploring your spouse's mind for a reason. Getting to know this person all over again can help remind you why you fell in love in the first place. Even more importantly, though, these simple questions can give you deep insight into what your spouse needs, what he or she wants most from you, and what you can do now to improve your marriage. After all, if you have the power to give your spouse the perfect day, change what bothers him or her most about your marriage, or build upon your greatest strengths as a couple, why wouldn't you? 

Four Free and Low-Cost Ways to Have Your Best Valentine's Day Yet

For couples who've been together for years or decades, it's easy for Valentine's Day to lose the sense of magic it once offered. And if you've gotten in trouble for “failing” at Valentine's Day before, you might see the day as little more than a manufactured holiday designed to make you feel terrible about your relationship. But step back and pause before you go casting too much judgment on this unassuming holiday. Romantic days are what you make them, and a good relationship centers around taking time to celebrate one another, indulge in a little romance, and depart from the humdrum boredom of everyday life. Even if you're strapped for cash, you can enjoy this most romantic of holidays. Even better, you can recycle some of these ideas when your anniversary rolls around.

Write a Love Letter

In an era of text messages and emails, it's probably been years since you've sat down, put pen to paper, and explained why you love your spouse. And if your relationship came of age in the digital era, you might never have written him or her a love letter. Take some time to do it, now. Not only will the love letter leave your partner feeling deeply loved; it can also remind you of why you're together, improving your own attitude about your relationship.

Chronicle Your Relationship

Research suggests that reliving the good times in your relationship can help you get through the tough times. Try chronicling your relationship in the form of a scrapbook, illustrated story, or even a song. The time you spend thinking about the past may give you insight into the present, and the thought that goes into such an undertaking can leave even the most unromantic of partners breathless.

Create a Picture-Perfect Homecoming

When asked about their biggest sources of stress, both adult men and women overwhelmingly respond that housework, cooking, childcare, and similar undertakings figure prominently. Give your partner a stress-free night where you've taken care of everything. Clean the house till it's immaculate. Send the kids to their grandparents. Cook a gorgeous and tasty meal, and then cover the bed or the bath tub with rose petals. Even the most harried and exhausted of spouses will appreciate your efforts, and the relaxation offers the sort of marriage reset that can help even troubled relationships improve.

Recreate Your First Date

If you both need a reminder of why you first fell in love, consider recreating your first date. Focus on the small details – where you went, where you sat, even what you wore. Not only does this show that the memory matters to you all these years later. Such an approach can also help stoke the passion you once felt. And if you play your cards right, you may just find that your spouse is as enamored of you as he or she was the day you first laid eyes on one another.



The Benefits of Marriage Counseling: What to Expect from Relationship Counseling

It's easy to conceive of marriage counseling as something only couples on the verge of divorce do. And if you are one of those couples on the verge of divorce, you might be even more opposed to marriage counseling, believing that it can't possibly fix your problems. But marriage counseling is incredibly effective. In fact, one recent study by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists found that 98% of participants were pleased with the results of marriage counseling. The right counselor can pull your marriage back from the brink, helping you recover the love you might think you've lost forever.


How Marriage Counseling Helps

Think back to the day you got married. Either the problems you have now didn't exist then, or seemed trivial. Either way, this suggests that these problems can be solved – or that, if the problems aren't solvable, they can at least be managed. For example, spouses with different spending styles can set rules and limits or create separate bank accounts. So how exactly dos counseling help you get back on track? That depends on what you're facing, but generally, a good therapist will:

  • Help you clearly define the problems that you're facing.
  • Work to help each of you see the role you're playing in those problems.
  • Help you discern the difference between problems that can be solved (such as a spouse's gambling addiction) and problems that must be managed instead (such as a child with a developmental disability).
  • Work to help you improve communication skills.
  • Give you the tools you need to improve one another's well-being and self-esteem.
  • Give you “assignments” designed to help you improve your marriage.

What Happens in Marriage Counseling?

The structure and feel of marriage counseling is primarily dependent on the counselor you choose. The single biggest predictor of success, though, is a strong and trusting relationship, so be sure you feel comfortable with your therapist – even if he or she pushes you a bit. In general, you can expect that most of your sessions will be joint sessions, though you may have a few individual sessions. You'll also get plenty of homework and suggestions for what to do outside the walls of therapy; fail to follow these suggestions, and you'll miss out on some of the most significant therapy benefits.

Choosing a Counselor

As with everything in life, there are good, bad, and great therapists. To get the most out of therapy, be sure to:

  • Check the status of your therapist's license; unlicensed therapists should not be practicing
  • Ask how long therapy will take and how you'll know you're succeeding.
  • Ask about your therapist's philosophy regarding therapy; for instance, if you're an atheist and your therapist intends to incorporate Christian themes, it may not be the best fit for you and your spouse.

Explore whether going to therapy on your own is an option; many couples report that, even when one spouse is unwilling to attend therapy, marriage counseling with just one partner can. 

Katie Lemieux's How to Keep the Spark Alive in Your Relationship Podcast

Palm Beach Divorce lawyer Christopher R. Bruce recently interviewed Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs Marriage Counselor Katie Lemieux  on how to keep the spark alive in your relationship whether you are married or dating. Katie's interview is accessible below and will be available in the next 24-36 hours for free download at the iTunes store: Click here to download from iTunes. 

Editor's Note: Katie Lemieux is a Marriage and Family  therapist in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs, Florida.  Katie's StayMarriedFlorida profile can be viewed by clicking here.  Katie can also be contacted at (954) 401-9011, or through her  website