In marriage counseling or couples therapy, I often encourage couples I work with to go out of their way to find opportunities to strengthen their connection. I ask them to be creative and make it a game: "How can I make this moment a meaningful moment for my spouse or partner? "
Most couples have differing viewpoints on waking up in the morning. I'm a morning person. I enjoy getting up early, going for a run and drinking a cup of coffee. You may or may not be a morning person. My wife is not! She likes to lay in bed, snuggling with the sheets for as long as she can.
We wake up at different times, but we always try to greet each other before we head off to work. I try to tell her that I love her and that I’m grateful for her. She asks me about my run and hopes that I have a good day.
What are the first words you share with your partner? How you start the day in a relationship is important.
Starting on a Negative Note
It’s easy to start the day on a negative note. You didn’t get very good sleep. You’re hung over from stress at work. You’re not looking forward to all the kids’ activities. You’re still struggling from the big fight last night.
It’s easy to begin the morning with criticism. You could turn to your partner and nag them about sleeping in too late. You could criticize them for working out instead of helping with the kids.
When we criticize our partners in the morning it puts them in the defensive and tanks their mood. This not only hurts their feelings but sets the tone for the rest of the day.
It’s also easy to start the day with stonewalling. Stonewalling refers to shutting ourselves off from our partner. After the big fight, it’s a temptation to give our partner the silent treatment in the morning. Stonewalling is a passive aggressive way to get your partner’s attention. It is a strategy that backfires and hurts the other person.
Besides criticism and stonewalling, it’s easy to start the day with responsibilities. “You’ve got to pick up the kids” or “Don’t forget to pay the mortgage”. Starting the day with a daily to do list can put a strain on the relationship.
In couples counseling or marriage therapy, we start with the low hanging fruit and look for easy areas to shift from criticism and negativity to support and positivity. There are small moments that when changed, can produce significant results.
Starting on a Positive Note
It’s best to start the morning with fondness and admiration for your partner. Showing affection and communicating kindness goes a long way. Here are some ideas to start your morning on a positive note:
Greet your partner with warmth and concern, “Good morning sweetie. How did you sleep?”
If you wake up before them, bring them coffee or breakfast in bed.
Ask them if there is anything you can do for them.
Spend five minutes snuggling with them.
Give them a hug and a kiss before you head out the door.
The key here is intentionality and acknowledgement. The morning is a crucial moment in the day to express your love for your partner. Whether you start with a positive or negative note can impact the rest of the day.
Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy Can Help Address The Negativity in the Relationship
Some couples struggle to start the day on a positive note because of deeper issues. When the relationship is negative, it’s hard to practice positivity in the mornings. Are you in a relationship where there is more negativity than positivity?
If so, you may consider marriage counseling or couples therapy. Therapy can help address the pervasive negativity in your relationship. Working with a trained therapist can help you identify the roots of the negativity.
Marriage counseling can also help you explore how to express fondness and admiration. Once you shift to greater positivity, you’ll be able to start your mornings off right.
Begin Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Serving Couples in Katy, Tx
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage counselors and couples therapists can help. Sometimes the challenges can feel insurmountable. We have helped marriages and couples restore hope, trust, and connected, loving relationships.
If you are ready to start your healing journey at Katy Teen & Family Counseling, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Start your journey in reconnecting with your spouse or partner
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Serving Katy, Tx & The Houston Area
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage counselors and couples therapists can help. We provide marriage counseling and couples therapy to help strengthen your relationship -- the foundation of your family.
Below are a few of the other counseling services we provide for teens, families, and young adults in Katy, Tx and Houston:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Quique Autrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and family therapist. He views the family as a system working together. As a family system, he provides therapy working within this system: teen therapy, young adult counseling, family counseling, marriage counseling & couples therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling.
Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you're ready to start your healing journey in marriage counseling or couples therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.