Relationship Minute: Witness, not fix this

When you see your partner in pain, your first instinct may be to offer advice or fix the problem to alleviate their suffering.

However, it can be more helpful to simply offer a listening ear. Acting as an empathetic witness to your partner’s struggles is often the most supportive move.

Offering advice can unintentionally communicate that you think they aren’t smart enough or capable of solving their own problems.

When in doubt, replace your solution with two magic words: “That sucks.”

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 18 April 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 


Relationship Minute: Use better words

People often use the same handful of adjectives to describe their partner: funny, smart, cute.

Today, take a minute to go deeper and come up with better, more specific qualities that you cherish about your partner.

Here are some examples:

  • Ambitious
  • Authentic
  • Compassionate
  • Dynamic
  • Generous
  • Nurturing
  • Perceptive
  • Reliable
  • Supportive
  • Thoughtful
  • Understanding

What other positive traits do they have?

For each quality, note one recent occasion when they displayed it. And then share with them.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 4 April 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Message from the 28 BW Commander

From 21 March via Facebook (@28BWCommander):

Today, South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem signed House Bill 1111 that provides reciprocity for military spouse licensing and certifications in the State of South Dakota.

We thank the South Dakota Governor and Legislature for passing this law that will improve the quality of life for our Military spouses as they move between states while their active duty member serves our country.

Thank you to our spouses who testified and completed the occupational survey providing key feedback.

Colonel Edwards

House Bill 1111 requires South Dakota licensing authorities to accept the active military and spouses occupational and professional licenses issued and in good standing in other states.  The only requirement is to register with the specific SD licensing authority and practice under SD rules and regulations.

Scholarship Gives Military Spouses Free Financial Counselor Accreditation

Now through April 19, military spouses can apply for the opportunity to earn a free financial counselor accreditation to help them find employment at any military installation or in the civilian sector. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program offers this career-enhancing credential to military spouses so they may in turn provide financial counseling and education to fellow members of the military community. Those interested in applying for the 2019 fellowship must submit applications no later than April 19. Read more about the scholarship on

Daylight Savings Time Turns Clocks Forward Early Sunday Morning


(Photo: Charlie Riedel, AP)

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead 1 hour before you go to be on Saturday evening. Sunday, March 10th at 2 a.m. is the start of daylight saving time, which means all of sleep-deprived America loses one precious hour of shut-eye.

It’s the most fussed-about hour of the year. For many, the disruption is torture.

About 61% of Americans say changing the clocks has an effect on them, and 40% say it takes them at least one week to get back to normal, according to a recent survey by the Better Sleep Council, a mattress industry group.

Experts are conflicted.

“That one hour doesn’t have as dramatic of an effect as people think,” says David Volpi, founder and medical director of Eos Sleep, a center for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. “I think people use that as an excuse. It’s only an hour. It’s not like you are dealing with jet lag.”

On the other hand, sleep educator Nancy Rothstein says the small shift makes a huge difference. “Our body clock is a natural thing. Changing the clock is not natural. It’s a man-made thing that forces changes on us,” Rothstein says. “People have enough trouble with their sleep as it is. Seventy-six percent of Americans want a better night of sleep.”

And on a Monday morning? That’s rough.

According to a survey from Sleepy’s, the mattress retailer, nearly 70% of Americans would favor moving the time change from 2 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Saturday.

Sleepy’s even has a link on Facebook for sleep devotees to sign a petition urging lawmakers to officially change the day. The petition says the shift would soften the Monday morning clock shock that many will feel after springing forward.

But not everyone is bummed.

Randy Alfred, 59, of Toronto, Canada, which also follows Daylight Saving Time, says he’d gladly trade that hour of sleep for more light in the evenings.

“My wife and I are walkers in the evening after work, and the dark takes the fun right out of it,” Alfred says. “We usually hit the sidewalks at 6 or 6:30 and it’s already dark. To us it means spring’s coming.”

Alfred is not alone.

“I look forward to it every year,” says Phaedra Steele, 44, of Orlando. “I feel alive when there is more daylight. We live on a lake and it allows us time to paddle board.”

One thing is certain: You have to remember to change your clocks. Otherwise, your sleep-deprived boss might not be so happy.

Source: USA Today

Relationship Minute: Emotional agility

The way you deal with your emotions shapes everything that matters: your actions, career, relationships, health, and happiness.

According to Harvard psychologist Susan David, emotional agility is the ability to apply the right emotion to the right person in the right situation at the right time.

It’s a process that enables you to navigate life’s twists and turns with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness, and an open mind.

It isn’t about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts. It’s about holding those emotions and thoughts loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to ignite change in your life.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 5 March 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.