5 Local Ways to Make Your Marriage Better in Cumming & Alpharetta

Author: Brent Sweitzer
Original Post Date: November 11, 2021
Couple enjoys coffee in Cumming and Alpharetta Georgia. Time together makes marriages better.

Keeping your relationship alive and healthy is hard. Work, kids, stress….they all put a strain on a relationship. As a couples therapist that serves the Cumming, Alpharetta and Johns Creek communities, I’m always thinking of practical ways I can help couples improve their relationship outside of my office.

I’ve compiled a list of five activities you can do locally to make your relationship better and healthier. I try to practice what I preach and have applied everything I list below in my own relationship. My hope is that these suggestions stimulate creative thinking on how to improve your relationship.

To make this list, every location had to be within a 15-minute drive of the city centers of either Cumming, Johns Creek or Alpharetta.

Sip coffee by a fire and talk about future plans as a couple at The Coffee Lodge in Cumming

The Coffee Lodge in Cumming has a romantic fireplace and is a great place for couples to connect in Cumming, GA.
The Coffee Lodge has a romantic setting, complete with fireplace.

Sitting by a fire is romantic and has a way of slowing us down. There’s a reason it’s nicknamed ‘cave man TV’. Maybe it’s because our ancestors wired our brains to associate fires with interpersonal warmth and safety.

Talking about and writing down future plans together as a couple solidifies bonds. It also helps carve out mental space for the relationship rather than just work and kids.

This coffee shop is on the campus of First Redeemer Church, almost equal distance between downtown Johns Creek and Cumming. It’s not far from 400 so it is accessible from Alpharetta and Milton as well.

My wife and I have done our yearly goal planning here many times. It’s the only coffee shop I’ve found nearby with a fireplace.

Drop kids off at the Alpharetta YMCA and walk or bike along the Greenway

This option especially applies to people with kids under 10 but is helpful for anyone. It’s so important to get regular time away from children. Yet childcare can be expensive. And even if you have the money, if your regular person isn’t available, it can be tempting to skip date night.

The YMCA knows this and does all they can to make it easy to exercise with people you love. The Y has some of the best childcare of any facility I’ve visited. In my experience, the staff is friendly and well trained.

Most YMCAs have options to work out, swim, climb, play basketball, take a fitness class and more. But my favorite activity to enhance a relationship is to walk on the greenway together. The Alpharetta YMCA is next to the Big Creek Greenway. You can drop off kids, head outside and walk or run together for miles. The trails are shaded so it’s a great option for having private adult conversations while also getting your heart rate up.

Biking is an option too – you can put in earbuds and talk on the phone while you ride. The YMCA has 16 metro Atlanta locations. If you’re not a member, you can get a tour and use the Y for free for a trial period. They also have date nights available once a month.

Eat nourishing food while sharing nourishing compliments at Salata Salad Kitchen in Halcyon Forsyth

It feels good when someone notices the good you do. This is especially true when your work isn’t always tangible or financially rewarded (talking to you, stay at home moms!). Verbal encouragement and compliments are nourishment to a relationship. Some people thrive off of them more than others, but they’re essential in any relationship. Saying things like, ‘I really appreciate that you did ___ this week.’

Why not pair nourishing food with a nourishing talk by enjoying a healthy salad lunch? Salata Salad Kitchen in Halcyon off of 400 allows you to craft a healthy salad to your specifications. They also serve soup! Salata is convenient and has a great presentation for a quick-service restaurant. Plus, it won’t set you back $80-100 as most other sit-down restaurants will.

Enter your partner’s world by taking them to a restaurant or activity connected to their past

Sometimes we forget that our partner had a life before us. This can be especially true when children come along and life becomes all about providing for them.

Yet showing interest in the person of your spouse, and the traits and experiences that make them unique can communicate so much love.

Think about a significant interest your partner has or a particularly meaningful time in their life. Did they live in another city or country and rave about the cuisine there? Chances are there’s a food item that brings back positive memories for them.

Years before I met my wife, I lived abroad in New Zealand. Near downtown Cumming is the Australian Bakery Café. It’s the only place in Atlanta where I can get the meat pies and Tim Tam cookies that remind me of that wonderful year of my life. My wife takes me there sometimes and it helps me feel very seen.

If your partner grew up in New York, BB’s Bagels off McFarland in Cumming boasts authentic boiled bagels. El Trompo off Jones Bridge in Alpharetta was voted the most authentic tacos in Atlanta by Yelp. The location is less important than the intent to understand and enter your partner’s world. Picnics in the park with ingredients from home are free!

Hike along the river in Cumming while talking through a relationship misunderstanding or argument

Rocking chair by the Chattahoochee River at Bowman's Island in Cumming GA. Walking along the river is a great way for couples to connect.
Reconnect with your partner at the Bowman’s Island Unit along the Chattahoochee River.

Spending time in nature and exercise have been shown in numerous studies to reduce stress and help people feel calmer. Calm is essential when trying to resolve conflict or clarify misunderstandings in a relationship.

You don’t have to drive an hour up to north Georgia to do some great hiking. The Bowman’s Island Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area has 8+ miles of trails, much of it along the river. There’s even a peaceful (and romantic) rocking bench halfway along the main trail where you can sit, rock and look at each other. Eye contact can foster the flow of oxytocin, the hormone that fosters bonding.

It’s not easy to talk about difficult subjects or to re-visit a painful argument. But have you ever thought about working through conflict in a setting that is naturally soothing?

There are two ways to access this trail. The main entrance is off of Buford Dam Road in Buford. Here there’s parking and restrooms. The parking fee is $5.

But there’s another less known entrance inside the Chattahoochee River Club subdivision, near the corner of Windermere and Highway 20. It’s right next to the entrance to the Buford Trout hatchery (where they raise many of the trout to stock the river). You can park on the side of the road for free. Look for the picture of the fish hook to see where the trail starts. You’ll reach the river in about a mile.

Relationships are nurtured and maintained through simple, everyday activities. Hopefully this list will stimulate your creative thinking for ways to enhance your own relationship.

STEPS TO HEALING

Couples Counseling Helps Couples Communicate and Resolve Conflicts

You don’t have to continue suffering through relationship problems. Marriage counseling can help you communicate better and feel closer. My Cumming counseling office is conveniently located off of 400 and I specialize in improving relationships. To start your couples counseling journey, follow these simple steps:

1

Reach Out

Call me or fill out this form so we can schedule a free 20 minute consultation. This helps you make sure there’s a fit between what you’re wanting to get out of counseling and my skills & approach.

2

Begin Counseling

Once you decide to begin counseling, you’ll fill out the initial paperwork securely using the client portal. We will meet and begin the therapeutic counseling journey together.

3

Experience Relief

Through your counseling sessions, you will start working on your healing — experiencing shifts, progress, and relief as you go.

OTHER THERAPY SERVICES

Relationship Counseling isn’t the only service I provide at my Cumming Counseling office.

I also help parents and children using play therapy, offer teen therapy, premarital counseling, and individual counseling for issues such as stress and anxiety, grief and loss, and men’s issues.

Teens

  • Navigate peer struggles
  • Assert their independence without doing harm
  • Feel better about themselves
  • Cope with challenges at home

 

Individual Adults

  • Improve communication in relationships
  • Manage work stress
  • Recover from traumatic experiences
  • Improve communication in relationships

 

Couples

  • Heal from affairs
  • Improve communication
  • Increase intimacy and closeness
  • Navigate the challenges of blending families

 

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