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6 Tips for Marital Bliss After ‘I Do’: Daily Herald

Wasatch Family Therapy

“I do” is just the beginning of the adventure of marriage. Here’s a quote from a recent Daily Herald article called “After ‘I do”: 6 Tips for Marital Bliss”.

A common misconception about romance is that it’s all about money, about buying gifts, or planning trips for your lover,” said Hanks. “Romance can be simple, thoughtful gestures in day-to-day life that tell your partner that you are thinking about them, that you’re devoted to them.”

Read my 6 tips for “Marital Bliss” here

Settling the Household “Chore War” in Your Marriage: Fox 13 News

Do you and your partner fight about whose turn it is to do the laundry, load the dishwasher, or put the kids to bed? Julie Hanks, LCSW, Director of Wasatch Family Therapy is here to help couples understand and setting the chore war. Division of household chores is among the top sources of conflict for couples. According to Dr. John Gottman the happiest, and most sexually satisfying relationships, are those where husband participate equally in childcare and household chores.

Despite evidence that men are contributing more at home than ever before to household chores and child rearing many women still complain of feeling overwhelmed and overworked. According to recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the work load of men and women have never been so similar.

A recent Time Magazine cover story, “Chore Wars” explores the narrowing gap between the time men and women spend performing unpaid tasks, challenging the common assumption that working mothers have a “second shift”:

  • Full-time working moms did just 20 minutes more of combined paid and unpaid than working husbands.
  • Married couples without children working full-time are doing the same amount of unpaid work at home.
  • Men are doing nearly 3 times the amount of child care compared to 1965.
  • Families and Work Institute found that 60% of fathers said they were having a hard time managing the responsibilities of work and family.

So why do women still feel like they’re carrying more than their fair share?

  • Although actual time spend doing household chores is similar, the burden management and tracking of household tasks usually falls on the woman.
  • Society still values on paid work over unpaid work so there’s less social reward for household duties.
  • Women tend to multitask during leisure time, whereas men are better at relaxing during leisure time.

Tips to settle the “chore war” in your relationship:

Explore your own gender assumptions about chores

Think of the household responsibilities chores as “ours” instead of “yours”

Decide together who will do what and who’s in charge of tracking it

Express appreciation for your spouse’s paid and unpaid work

Use leisure time to relax together, not to multitask

Ask Julie: Arranged Marriage Or Wait For Love

Hi. At last I have found one good place to open up myself. I’m going through the very common quarter life crisis… And I’m really confused.

A little of background about me. I’m from India and 26 old. As typical orthodox family in India my parents started seeing for marriage proposals. During the same time I started liking a friend in my office. It was around after 3 months I felt within very strong feeling towards him. I proposed to him but he was not ready for commitment. I decided to wait for him and be friends with him. But after that he happened to meet a gal and she fell in love with him and proposed him too. Things went worse in my life – seeing her being and mad about him. After 2 and half yrs. he decided to go ahead with other gal and coincidentally my parent were able to find a good marriage proposal at the same time. He got married to other gal and i went ahead with my parents. After this, the marriage proposal also didn’t go well, as I found the guy to be very rude and never understanding me. I decided to quit it and conveyed to my parents, and after a lot of discussions, my parents dropped it.

During all these tough time in life I had a very good friend who supported me and understood me and cared for me a lot who proposed me for marriage as well but I never had any feelings for him more than as a friend. I’m really confused what I should do. I always wanted my life partner to be as a good friend and lover and I’m not sure whether my feelings would change towards him. Any guidance?? Please help me. I’m really worried to go ahead with my parents marriage proposal again. I don’t like anyone in my life now.

A: What a difficult situation you’re in. While I am unfamiliar with the cultural norms of arranged marriages in India, I do know that it’s painful to have a man you love choose to marry someone else. If I’m understanding your question correctly, you’re wondering if you should marry your “good friend” with the hope that romantic feelings develop, or if you should go ahead with the arranged marriage with to a man who doesn’t treat you well. A man who treats you poorly during courtship is likely to continue to mistreat you after marriage. If your parents agreed to “drop” the arranged marriage after you shared your concerns with them, then I suggest you let go of that relationship for good and seek out other options for marriage.

There is a third option I’d like to suggest and that is to not move forward with either option. Please take some time and figure out what you value most in your life and what you want in your relationships. The decision to marry is one of the biggest and far-reaching decisions you’ll ever make. You may want to consider continuing to date your “very good friend” nonexclusively and see if any deeper feelings develop, while you continue to meet other people. While romantic feelings can develop over time, there’s no guarantee that they will. Since it seems that your parents responded to your concerns before, I encourage you to consult them again and ask for their help in finding other men to court.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Originally posted in my column

The 4-Letter Word Husbands Hate (Diet): Quoted in July Cosmo

It’s that time of year. SWIMSUIT time. A time that many women dread. A time that men dread too. All this talk about weight, diet, exercise can leave husbands puzzled. “Why are you so obsessed with this?” they wonder.

I recently talked with journalist Kristina Grish of Cosmopolitan Magazine to help her, and other women, understand how to approach her husband when it comes to weight concerns, why men don’t “get” it, and why it’s sometimes best to spare him the details of your weight woes.

Click link below to download article pdf…

Cosmopolitan May 2011 The 4-Letter Word Husbands Hate


Ask Julie: I Want Out Of My Marriage

I have been married for 15 years. I have grown very much but he has not. He will not deal with any issues between us. He is really immature. He never accepts responsibility for his part in any problem. (Everything is always my fault according to him.) We went to counseling two times but the same thing happened. He only argued with the counselor and she said she couldn’t talk to him. 

I started my own business in 2004 so I could become financially independent so I could divorce my husband. I am still too poor to leave him, but my finances are getting a little better. I think in a year I will have money to leave. I am so antsy. I can hardly stand him. Everyday I say in my mind, “I hate him so much.” It is so difficult for me. Other people do not like him either. He is anti-social. We have no “couple” friends because no one likes him. I can hardly stand it anymore. I need to do something.

A: I’m so glad that you are reaching out for help and advice with your difficult marital situation. It sounds like you feel trapped and extremely resentful that your husband won’t own up to his contribution to your distressed marriage and continue seeing a counselor. Considering his defensiveness, I’m surprised that your husband actually attended two counseling sessions. On some level, that tells me that he does care about the relationship and about you.

I have several questions for you. Does your husband know how seriously you are considering divorce? Does he know exactly what you’re looking for from him in order for you to stay happily in your current marriage? Does he want to stay in the marriage?

If you haven’t told him how desperate you feel, it may be time to let him know. Tell him how lonely you are and how you long for a closer relationship with him, but that you are losing hope about this marriage unless you can find a way to feel closer to him. If he isn’t willing to go to marriage counseling again, ask him what he is willing to do. Is he willing to go to a marriage retreat? Attend a workshop? Will he read a book? I recommend that you both read the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson to understand the root of the disconnection that your marriage is stuck in. If he isn’t willing to do anything to improve the relationship, then it’s clear that you need to make a change and continue with your plan of becoming financially independent so you can move on.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

This post originally appeared in my Psych Central Ask the Therapist column

Pre-baby Counseling Keeps Marriage Strong: KSL TV News

I am all for pre-baby counseling. We don’t really talk about how traumatic the birth of a child can be to the marriage relationship–loss of attention to spouse, sleep deprivation, jealousy, miscommunication, financial and time stresses, additional household duties…I sat down with Scott Haws this morning (bright and early) on KSL TV News to talk about pre-baby counseling for couples and why I think it’s a great idea…

Watch the news clip


Behind the scenes clip before the show…

Ask Julie: My In-Law Hate Me (& the feeling is mutual)

Q: My in-laws hate me and the feeling is mutual.

How do I handle the situation without alienating my husband or making him feel torn? We’ve been dealing with it for a couple years & it’s HARD. Any advice?

A: In-law relationships are particularly tricky because you’re competing for the same man’s attention — your husband/their son.

I wish I had a bit more information about your relationship history with them like: When did the relationship become so negative? Did you have a time where you did get along? How do you handle your emotions about this? Are they intentionally mean to you? If you’d like to write back with more details I’d be happy to respond again.

If the 3 most important people in his life don’t like each other he will feel torn about it.

So here’s what you can do:

1) Go to counseling to work through your own emotions about your in-laws, explore why you are so stuck in the negative emotions, find ways to become more emotionally neutral about this relationship, and work on what you can do to improve the relationship.

2) Limit the complaints that you share with your husband about his parents. This will help him have some relief from feeling “in the middle”. Chronic complaining about his parents will likely wear on your hubby and end up negatively impact your marriage.

3) Come up with a cue word with your husband so you can gently signal him when you really need him to step in and take a stand for you to his parents.

4) Decide what kind of daughter-in-law you want to be and then become her no matter how they are behaving. Taking charge of your own behavior feels better than reacting based on their behavior.

Remember that you chose your husband and by doing so you chose his family. Do your best to let the little annoyances slide, pick your battles, and do your best.

Take good care of you and yours!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Send me your love & relationship questions here!

Creating An Emotionally Hot Marriage: You & Yours Show

In episode 008 “Creating an Emotionally Hot Marriage” on You & Yoursself & relationship expert and therapist Julie Hanks, LCSW shares tips to create and keep a strong emotional connection in your marriage relationship.

Listen to podcast

Subscribe to You & Yours with Julie Hanks LCSW on The WIN on iTunes

Self & relationship expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW is wife of 22 years and mother of 4, a performing songwriter, a licensed psychotherapist, a popular media contributor, and director of Wasatch Family Therapy. Watch Julie on KSL TV’s Studio 5, listen on B98.7 radio, and read her national advice columns on Psych Central, and Latter-day Woman Magazine. Follow Julie on Facebook & Twitter.

Your Kids AND Your Marriage – Don’t Neglect Your Marriage: SheKnows

Don’t Neglect Your Marriage

Get some practical tips on how to balance taking care of your children AND your marriage. I was recently interview by for this article on balancing kids and marriage and it just posted online today. Here are a few snippets from the article (It’s always nice when the writer makes me sound smarter and more articulate than I am).

“The role of ‘mother’ is so loaded with expectations that it’s easy to get lost in the relentless day-to-day demands of motherhood and lose the [other] parts of yourself.”

“A warm, loving marriage relationship helps children feel emotionally safe and provides a template of what a marriage is,” says Hanks. “It gives the child the hope that a wonderful adult life awaits them and that they will be able to give and receive love.”

Click the link below to read the entire article.

“Your Kids AND Your Marriage: Both Are Important”

How do you balance caring for your marriage AND kids???

Keep Your Marriage Emotionally HOT:

It’s easy for couple’s emotional connection can get lost in the busyness of life. I recently interviewed for this SheKnows article with tips on how to keep your emotional relationship sizzling! Here’s a snippet of my advice…

Hanks also recommends that couples “check in” with each other on a daily basis. “Develop a daily emotional ‘check in’ ritual with your spouse or partner,” she explains. “Not only check in with their overall emotions, but specifically about your emotional connection. Do you feel close and open? Distant and withdrawn? Or somewhere in between?”

Read Stay Connected: Keep Your Marriage Emotionally HOT!