We all need some support occasionally with our relationships. During my long career I have helped many individuals and couples improve their relationships and there are a few common themes that tend to be useful for all.
Know your partner – people are constantly changing so don’t become complacent – there’s always more to discover about a person. If you’ve been together a while, new experiences or situations are a great way to learn more about your partner.
Separate facts from feelings – are false beliefs or previous experiences triggering unhealthy feelings and conflicts in your relationship? Is something from the past influencing your view of the current situation? A previously unfaithful partner triggering feelings of jealousy perhaps? Separating facts from your feelings will help you resolve conflict more clearly.
Ask – ask your partner what they want, how they feel, if they’re happy? Sometimes we assume we know more than we do and it’s important to keep questioning our assumptions. Your partner isn’t a mind reader – don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Be creative – all too often we become stuck in a rut with the same conversations, routines and activities. Find new ways to show your affection, new ways to laugh and play and interesting date ideas. Be creative and try something new that you can experience together.
Intimacy – many couples find that intimacy is lost along the years but contact such as holding hands, cuddling and kissing is an important part of most relationships. It’s often the small things that make a big difference. Small signs of affection can go a long way.
Love yourself – don’t rely on your partner alone to make you happy or to fulfil your needs. Concentrate on loving yourself and developing your own happiness. If there are things you want to do, go out and do them. You don’t need your partner to be involved in everything you do, and it will give you something new to talk about. Become a whole, happy person, spend time alone and then concentrate on sharing yourself. Appreciate the distance in order to value the togetherness.
Embrace the “ordinary” – some couples thrive on drama for excitement and get locked in a spiral of fights and make ups. Lose the drama and learn to appreciate the excitement of the everyday life you have created together.
Focus on giving – compassion is so important in relationships, both towards your partner and yourself. Can you communicate with your partner without judging? Do you take more than you give? Stay open, connected and kind, even during fights.
Resolve conflict – all couples have their own issues but there’s a healthy and respectful way to resolve these without irreparably damaging the relationship. Your relationship isn’t a competition. It’s an evolving, organic thing that can yield great happiness when healthily maintained.
Further Relationship Support
Relationship Coaching works because it is a safe environment where you can question and share without worrying about negative reactions. It’s very useful to put aside this time and space to work on your relationship and often protects your home life from constant negativity. A good relationship coach will act as a neutral mediator and help you work through your issues from a place of compassion.