How to Preserve the Quality of Your Relationship or Marriage
Relationships are constantly evolving. In a truly valuable partnership, there are ups and downs; but it is truly all about how you grow and recover as a team. I have listed some tips about how to protect your relationship with your partner.
Limit outside interference. There are people that may be in your life that constantly want to tell you how to fix things – including your relationship. While it is healthy to have emotional support, you should not allow someone to “dictate” your relationship with your partner. If you have too many cooks in the kitchen so to speak, it can ruin the quality of your relationship with your partner by making you or your partner always seem like the bad guy. Furthermore, it can also strain your relationship that you have with the people that are “giving advice” because they may feel that you are not good enough or you are making too many mistakes. Having that extra judgment can put extra stress on you which you may take out on your partner.
Continue to date and make each other feel alive. Remember when you and your partner first got together, and it was exciting! When you are dating, you have a genuine interest in your partner. When dating you are interested in exploring people, places, or things. Most importantly, you are interested in communicating and doing fun and exciting things with them.
Clear communication. Talking with your partner regularly about things that are going on with you, them, or the relationship is central to a relationship. Being able to express your feelings and give feedback, as well allowing them the respect to do the same builds trust.
Eliminate blame. Often when couples get into an argument, it is not uncommon for one person to blame the other for the problem. When blaming someone for something, it creates a hostile environment for the other person to feel like the bad guy, thus they become defensive, and possibly hostile. The quickest way to eliminate blame is to accept responsibility for your feelings and actions. You should discuss how you perceived a situation or event that took place, and the feelings or behaviors that you had because of it.
Keep things poppin’ in the bedroom. Sex is a very important part of the relationship. Sometimes you can settle into a routine sex ritual, which gets dull, and almost makes you feel like you are doing a job that you don’t want to do. Liven things up and have a discussion about lack luster sex. After all you want to be able to connect on a physical level, and enjoy your bedroom. Take a trip to an adult novelty shop (or shop together online), purchase some “how to do” instructional sex dvds from amazon, or wear a costume. Open up the dialogue with your partner about your needs and wants and vice versa.
Then there is the issue of not having sex. Not being able to connect with your partner sexually is usually a clear sign of an emotional disconnect in the relationship. Again, this is where dialogue helps to try and understand the problem.
Pray together. It is important to connect on all levels with your partner. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. At the end of the day when you are lying in bed together, nothing is more humbling than speaking together and blessing God for your partner, family, friends, health…etc. In essence it giving gratitude for the abundance that the two of you have together.
For more information on working together in counseling to improve the quality of your relationships, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Natalie Jones, PsyD, LPCC