Happy Couple leaning on a balcony during sunset

Tips to Stay a Happy Couple!

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Ever have that couple in your life who seem so happy, and you often wonder, “How do they do it?” We all have happy couples around us, and we might even be that happy couple. But we also know, staying happy can be tough as time goes on in a relationship.

Many things happen during a relationship that can be a threat to the ‘strength’ or ‘happiness’ of a couple. But so many of us seem to focus on what is wrong in the relationship rather than what is right.

Terry Orbuch, Ph.D from Psychology Today suggests adding positive behaviors to keep that happiness alive in a relationship.

There are four things she suggests to start today:

  1. Get Real About Your Expectations

  2. Do Small Things, Often, To Make Your Partner Happy

  3. Practice The 10-Minute Rule 

  4. Knock Each Other Off Balance

Getting real about your expectations. 

We often get these ideas of what relationships and marriages should be like from books, movies, and TV shows. But in reality, a long term commitment to another person takes continued work. Understanding these expectations can help relieve a lot of anger, frustration, and resentment. When you know that your relationships doesn’t have to be perfect, and there will be times when it’s not great, you can build your expectations in a healthy manner instead of an unattainable manner.

Do small things to make your partner happy often.

Orbuch says that she teaches her happy couples about affective affirmation. What is affective affirmation? Affective affirmations are compliments, encouragement, and physical rewards that don’t have to be sexual (like hand holding, back rubs etc). Offering your support and help to your partner, can go a long way. Even if it’s something small like taking out the trash or emptying the dishwasher.

Practice the 10-minute rule.

Talking to your spouse seems like something you do all the time. But when you really analyize your relationship, you might realize that you do talk to your spouse a lot, but about the same things all the time. How your day was, chores to be done, stressors at work, etc. But try setting aside 10 minutes a day to talk to your partner about anything BUT your relationship, work, or household items. You’ll be surprised about what you can learn about each other in such a short period of time!

Know each other off balance. 

We all tend to settle in certain ‘roles’ in our relationships. You might be the one who handles all the finances, while your spouse is the one who does most of the cooking. Maybe you do a lot of the planning for trips or date nights, and your partner helps to get everything organized at home. What about changing it up? Settling into routines can be great, but can also be frustrating in a relationship. Start to implement a few changes here and there. Ask your partner to plan the next date night, or go to the grocery store and whip up a nice homemade meal for them.

Where ever you are in your relationship, know that they are hard. They require hard work. Happy and successful couples know this going in, and adjust to it through out. Adding in positive behaviors can be a great way to keep that spark alive!

Advice on how to remain or become a happy couple!

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Hello! And welcome to the blog!

In February we’re talking about couples and all things relationships!

Today, Dr. Melissa Estavillo answers a viewer question that came in via our email address info@biltmorecounseling.com;

“Any advice on how to remain a happy couple?”

So click on the video to see her response, and make sure to give this video a thumbs up and subscribe to stay up to date on our weekly videos! If you have a question, you can comment in the comments section, email us, or message us on Facebook!

Happy couple lying in bed being silly.

12 Quick Ways to Reconnect with Your Spouse Now!

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Relationships can be tough. Especially in February when it seems like every store, ad, and commercial are getting ready for Valentines Day.

It is easy to start to feel distant or disconnected from your spouse over time. Relationships often have an ebb and flow, which can follow amazing times, and then times that aren’t so great. Marriages and relationships often take a lot of work and effort by both parties to make them worth while.

According to Jamie Long PsyD over on Psychology Today, there are 12 quick ways to connect to your spouse during the day.

12 “Thirty Second” Ways to Connect With Your Spouse

  1. Daily Touch 

  2. Be curious

  3. Side with your partner

  4. Express gratitude

  5. Sleep Naked

  6. Relive a memory

  7. Create new memories

  8. Listen to him or her

  9. Share a laugh

  10. Expressions of loving-kindness

  11. Flirt

  12. Turn off the electronics

Daily Touch:

Humans need physical touch to remind themselves, and to show others that they are loved. Make a point to kiss your spouse hello or goodbye. Make sure you give them a hug, or hold their hand for a brief moment. Any kind of loving physical touch, can be a great way to show your spouse you care and connect with them in a few seconds.

Be Curious:

Sometimes the conversations you have with your spouse can become mundane and routine. Switch it up. Ask more thought provoking and curious questions about their day, or about something they have coming up. Showing interest in each others lives is another way to connect.

Side with your partner:

Has your spouse had a bad day at work? Did someone cut them off in traffic, or did they get in fight with a friend? When your spouse is venting to you, take their side. Comfort them, and make them feel like you care. Even if you don’t agree with your spouse, and actually side with the other person, this can lead to arguments and tension after a long day at work. Instead, tell them you understand why they’re upset and let it go.

Express gratitude:

It takes a multitude of people to run an organized household. You have bills to pay, chores to do, and many deadlines to meet in your personal life. Chances are, you and your spouse take over different areas of your lives together. Make sure you show and tell them how grateful you are that they have taken care of the laundry that week, or that they ran to the grocery store before you got home.

Sleep naked:

According to Jamie Long of Psychology today, couples who sleep naked have reported a higher satisfaction in their sex life. So take a break from those pj’s, and try sleeping sans clothes tonight with your partner.

Relive a memory:

Reminiscing is something that humans do very well. It’s easy to start to feel connected to someone again when you start to remember and create a dialogue of a memory you share. Try talking about a trip you took, look at some old photos, or remember a story that you shared that was particularly memorable.

Create new memories:

One thing that can be sure to affect your relationship and make you feel disconnected is boredom. When you’re with someone a long time, it is easy for the routine of your lives to become a littler boring. Try stepping outside the box of your routine. Take a class together, try a new restaurant. Read a book together, or plan an exiting trip.

Listen to him or her:

Take a moment to listen to your spouse when they are speaking. Especially if they are feeling frustrated or upset about something. It’s easy to dismiss them and the conversation because you think you “know” your spouse so well. Try taking a step back and really listening to what they’re saying.

Share a laugh:

Laughing is some of the best medicine for a relationship. Take some time to relive a funny memory. Go to a comedy show, or what a funny movie. When you can laugh together, it is easy to fill some of the gap of distance.

Expressing loving-kindness:

Expressing yourself in a loving way is sure to be noticed by your spouse and appreciated. It’s easy to focus on the negative and start to pick at things that annoy you about your spouse. Instead, speak to them in a kind way, with a positive, affirming sentence. Expressing yourself in a positive and loving way is a great thing to practice when it comes to your relationships.


Flirt with each other! A great way to keep that spice and joy alive in your relationship is to keep the flirting going through your entire relationship.

Turn off the electronics:

We are in a day in age that technology rules our lives. We are constantly in front of computer screens, staring at our phones, or watching TV. Take a break from these to connect with your spouse. Make a no phone rule at the dinner table. Take a night where you plan an activity and don’t turn on the TV.


Tips to start feeling connected to your spouse again!

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For the month of February we are focusing on relationships. With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to start to feel distant, and disconnected from our spouses or loved ones.

On our Youtube Channel today, Dr. Melissa Estavillo talks about some tips that can start to bring that connection back into your relationship!

Have a question you want answered on a future video? Like the video, subscribe to our channel, and leave your question in the comments!

Today on Youtube! Self Care Habits to Start in 2019!

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Wow we can’t believe it’s the end of January already! This month flew by. Are you taking some time for yourself? In today’s video, Dr. Melissa Estavillo is talking about some self care tips to start implementing in 2019.

Have a question you would like answered in a future video? Leave your question in the comment section on Youtube, or email us at info@biltmorecounseling.com!


Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds spread out on a dark concrete background.

Foods that boost your Mood

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Foods that boost your mood. 

We all know that eating healthy has a positive impact on our health, both inside and out. But does eating healthier help with our moods, anxiety or depression?

The answer is yes! Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and good quality fats can be great in helping to boost our moods. When we are eating healthy, our body experiences less inflammation, which has a very big impact on our mood, depression, anxiety, and studies have even shown can decrease the risk for diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Foods high in sugar, or processed are linked to disease, inflammation, and depression. Avoiding foods high in trans fat, fried foods, and alcohol can be a great way to start to feel better.

So what foods should you eat? 

According to an article on Brain MD, here are 7 different foods that affect your mood in a positive way.

  1. Berries – high in Vitamin C, can be a great vitamin when dealing with stress hormones like cortisol.
  2. Beans – high in magnesium a mineral that many are deficient in, can promote relaxation and calmness.
  3. Dark Chocolate – high in fiber, and shown to boost positive moods and cognition.
  4. Fish – seafood like salmon and sardines are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which can help with anxiety.
  5. Herbal teas – can be rich in antioxidants, and promote feelings of calm and lessen stress.
  6. Leafy greens – rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium which helps combat stress.
  7. Whole fruits – high in Vitamin C and many other antioxidants and nutrients that create wellness in our brains.