Let's change the story: Violence against women in Australia




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We all have busy lives, and unfortunately, our relationships can be one of the first things to suffer from a full schedule. Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong throughout the years. You deserve more from your relationship than comes from watching Netflix together– and so does your spouse! While many of us want to spend more time with our significant other, it can be hard to know where to start. We have compiled 10 ideas for you to find some quality time for each other, all while building intimacy and trust.

1. Try something new together. When was the last time you tried something new together as a couple (besides parenting!)? Giving a new activity a go encourages you to rely on each other for emotional and physical support as you step outside your comfort zones. It also allows you to use a different skill set and feel like a beginner again. Reignite the friendship between yourself and your spouse, and don’t be afraid to look silly in front of each other. Try something unique, like a ring-making workshop or book a lesson and create beautiful natural skincare together, we know of a great one, LOVE ALY’S Natural Skincare Workshop!


2. Remove distractions. When you are already busy and opportunities to spend together seem few and far between, you’re going to want to focus on quality, not the quantity of time. It’s amazing how much of our time gets eaten up staring at screens, those little moments really add up. When you remove your devices during time together, you get to really feel present, and it shows your partner that they have your full attention. 3. Get busy in the kitchen. One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together. You already have to cook, so you’re making the most of the time that is usually lost.


This promotes teamwork, turns a boring chore into an opportunity to ask about each other’s days, and it lessens any feelings of resent that one partner may have about always being the cook in the relationship. Spice things up and try a new recipe, it always tastes that much better when prepared with four hands! 4. Have a Regular Date Night. You may have heard this one before, but when was the last time that you actually scheduled that date night? The weeks and months go by so quickly, especially when you’re both busy, so scheduling your regular date night makes it much more likely to actually happen. This also prevents both partners from becoming bored with the same routine month in, month out. Take it in turns to book the next date night location or activity, so that the responsibility is shared. You could even keep your date night location a surprise for the other person for added anticipation!



5. Skip TV/couch time one night (you know there’s nothing decent on, anyway!) When dinner is over and the little one/s are in bed, do the same and head straight to the bedroom. There doesn’t need to be any pressure or anxiety around what to do once you get there, even taking a break from screen time and reading a book next to each other can be relaxing and lead to a night of better night sleep. However, if you are open to it, this is the perfect time to rekindle intimacy. Think of using every minute of this extra time you have given yourselves to re-connect and get out of your heads and into your bodies. Go with the flow - this is not the time for a quickie!



6. Create a “Couple’s Bucket List”. Think back to when you were dating your partner. Did you get butterflies in your stomach thinking about all of the adventures and milestones you were dreaming of reaching together? Have some of those dreams been slowly replaced with other (quite boring) priorities, like renovating the kitchen, or filling out child care paperwork? Sit together and dream big again. What would you both really love to do together? Don’t filter yourself, this is the life you wanted to experience together!

7. Work out together. We all know that fitting in a workout is great for your health and fitness, but it also eats into your daily schedule, leaving even less time to spend with your love. Meeting up at the gym, or booking a class together is a great way to catch up on your days, while multitasking. Bonus points if you catch them checking you out on the gym floor!

8.Recreate your first date. Take a trip back in time and go to that restaurant or special place where you shared your first date together. This makes room for fun in the relationship, and you can reminisce on those early feelings you had for each other when you first got together. Share some of your favourite memories throughout the years, you have probably been through a lot together, which helps to put the relationship in perspective.


9. Send a text. It takes about 20 seconds to tell your love how much you appreciate them, so even the busiest partner can quickly make their spouse’s day! Try reminiscing on a funny memory, thank them for making your delicious lunch, or let them know what you would like to do later (refer back to ‘Skip TV/couch time). Keep it fun, and it will stand out from your usual back-and-forth text messages about the kids’ schedules, grocery lists, and other mundane subject matter. Remember how you used to light up when their name came up on your phone screen? It’s never too late to get that feeling back. 10. Book a couples therapy appointment. Timing is everything when it comes to couples counselling. In fact, most couples wait much too long to reach out for help repairing their marriage. According to relationship and marriage expert Dr John Gottman, couples wait for an average of six years of being unhappy before getting help. It is a common misconception that you have to have big issues in your relationship to see a counsellor. Think of it as an opportunity to check-in and iron out any minor issues, or just talk openly about your relationship expectations. These check-ins actually help to foster a healthy couple and can bring to light anything that may need working on before it becomes an issue.


If you think that your relationship could use a health check, email us at welcome@alysplace.com.au to book your session.


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Last weekend was Financial Independence Awareness Day, so we wanted to take time out to talk to you about money within marriage and how financial independence isn’t as simple as just having separate accounts.


How often do you argue about money with your spouse? Chances are, you’re not actually arguing about money, but what that money means. Depending on a person’s personality and how they’ve grown up, money can have significantly different meanings to an individual.


How do you think the following couples will resolve their differences:

· If one believes money is to be enjoyed and the other believes it needs to be saved for the future?

· If one believes they have a right to choose how the money is spend because they earned it, but their partner is a stay at home parent who sacrificed their career to stay home with the kids?


Finding the best solution for your family, like these couples, will likely be unique to the situation, but with work it can be possible to find that happy medium once both of members of the partnership understand what ‘Money’ really means. For many couples financial independence means having separate bank accounts, but that won’t necessarily resolve your problems. Whether your finances are separated or together, arguments about money won’t be resolved until you both understand and empathise with what money means to the other.


Even if you’re an established couple, money is often a source of conflict. Arguments around money are often dismissed as a small problem initially, but later blow up to create major complications within the relationship. Burgoyne (2010) found that ‘a couple’s financial practices can both ... affect the stability of the relationship and their commitment to it’ (2010, p. 3). So, as money problems may eventually jeopardise the relationship, if it’s causing you stress, then it may be best to seek help.


In Australia, there has been a significant rise in couples separating their finances (Singh, 2011). However, having separate finances doesn’t mean independence. Sweden is a country that rates much happier on happiness scales than Australia. It is also a place where gender equality is the stated belief and intention; however, due to it being socially expected that women take care of the daily finances, women end up paying for family and child expenses out of their personal account, limiting or preventing them from being able to spend money on themselves and causing them to ask for money from their husbands (Nyman, 1999). This inevitably lead to a sense of inequality within relationships that threatened them long-term.


So, what should you do if your partner wants to separate the finances? Is it a sign that they’re planning to leave or that they’re no longer committed to the relationship? The answer very much depends on what is going on in your relationship right now. In studies, participants who asked for separation of finances didn’t want to leave they wanted to have more ‘freedom of personal spending’ and ‘flexibility to deal with split and multiple responsibilities’ (Singh, 2011, p.13). So don’t start worrying yet, but maybe do research out for help to figure out the next steps, so both members of your partnerships ends up with what they need.

So don’t start worrying yet, but maybe do research out for help to figure out the next steps, so both members of your partnerships ends up with what they need.

If you’re relationship is struggling because of arguments about money, we recommend seeking out a counsellor of financial planner to help you figure it out. Or you can also attend an intensive financial counselling workshop, like LOVE AND FINANCE. There are options.


References

Burgoyne, Carole Bourne, Reibstein, Janet, Edmunds, Anne Mary, & Routh, David Anthony. (2010). Marital commitment, money and marriage preparation: What changes after the wedding? Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 20(5), 390–403. https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.1045

Nyman, Charlott. (1999). Gender Equality in ‘The Most Equal Country in the World’? Money and Marriage in Sweden. The Sociological Review (Keele), 47(4), 766–793. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.00195

Singh, Supriya, & Morley, Clive. (2011). Gender and financial accounts in marriage. Journal of Sociology (Melbourne, Vic.), 47(1), 3–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783310386824

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