5 Tips for Distant Couples

Traverse City Marriage Counseling | Tip #1

Focus on the big goal of marriage: Why did you get married? Probably to spend your life with someone, have a level of intimacy, and grow with them. If you keep focused on the big goal of marriage, feeling that intimacy, then you’ll have an easier time letting go of the small things. When we do marriage counseling with couples in our Traverse City office, we often find that they aren’t focusing on the big goal of marriage. The book ScreamFree Marriage: Calming Down, Growing Up, and Getting Closer is a great resource to help focus on the big goals of marriage.

Traverse City Marriage Counseling | Tip #2

Realize it only takes one: There is an idea out there that when your spouse changes, then you will change. What happens is that we all get stuck. Instead, marriage is like a fire. If one element changes, everything changes. Without wood, oxygen, or a spark, it is no longer a fire. When you engage differently with your spouse, the dynamic will change. Here’s a great resource that can help when starting marriage counseling. Counseling Companion | Improving Marriage: Making your counseling sessions a zillion times more productive

Traverse City Marriage Counseling | Tip #3

Eat More: Couples that regularly spend time together eating tend to have deeper levels of intimacy. A meal can go a long way. Depending on the phase of marriage, weekly dates can be tough, especially with young kids, but finding time to eat together and have some moments focusing on one another can really help to change things. Marriage counseling researcher John Gottman talks about this shift in his book And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives

Traverse City Marriage Counseling | Tip #4

Stop living parallel lives: Marriage Counseling researcher, John Gottman talks about this in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert. He found that over time, couples shift into acting more like roommates than spouses. Finding things in common is a great way to grow together.

Traverse City Marriage Counseling | Tip #5

Have someone join you: Whether it is a friend, another couple or a marriage counselor, having another voice can help you grow in your understanding of your spouse’s point of view. Someone who is a neutral party can add depth and understanding to the relationship


private practice consultant headshot

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joe Sanok is counselor that helps couples in Traverse City, MI. He is also a consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice.

Joe has been helping couples families through marriage counseling, family counseling, anxiety issues, depression, relationship concerns, parenting issues, divorce, and a variety of other counseling issues.

To link to Joe’s Google+ .

Photo by Vic, thanks!


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