I treat many couples in therapy. And they often do not show up for counseling until things are really bad within their relationship and sometimes IT IS REALLY BAD!
But today I am going to offer tips tips to fuel your true love and daily practical ways to help your relationship.
1. Make NO Assumptions!
This happens ALL the time within relationships. People assume they know what their partner thinks, makes conclusions based on body language, and reads into their motives without all the facts.
Because we have spent so much time with our partners we assume we know what makes them tick. But people are subject to change all the time. Throw assumptions out the window and talk with your partners in an open non-judgmental ways. Your partner might surprise you with their true motive or reason for their behavior.
2. Get Rid of Your Score Cards!
You might be thinking, what is she talking about?! This is a relationship not a game. BUT many people treat relationships like a game, a big strategic game of chess. “Well, she didn’t think of me when she traveled so now I am not going to call her when I am out of town.”
Your score cards can include anything from taking out the trash, paying for dinner, cleaning the house, and even extra marital relationships. If couples want to make their marriages work they have to get rid of the score card.
This can be VERY difficult if the behaviors were very offensive and I would recommend using a licensed professional to help guide you and your partner in this process. No matter your scores, time to get rid of counting your partner’s indiscretions. Once you are not focused on all the things you do not like or things they have not done you might discover things you do love.
3. Be the Change You Want to See.
When I ask people about what they would want in their relationships they say “more intimacy”, “more patience”, “more understanding”, “more time alone”, “more help”, and so on. These are all wonderful goals within a relationship, but how do you make them happen without criticism and nagging?!?
This last tip is being the change you want to see. So if you want more intimacy then you initiate more of it. If you want more time alone with your partner, schedule a babysitter, send them a date night reminder, or a cute note that Saturday night is reserved for only the two of you. We often wait for our partners to magically know what we want. Like many things in life, you have to take action to get the results you’re dreaming of!
I am sensitive to the fact that it is hard for some people to apply these techniques out of fear of letting their defenses down. However, within a dully committed relationship this is how your strengthen intimacy. Keep tuning in as we will continue to discuss this topic in blogs to come.