Any relationship can be hard work. The question is why, and what does it take to make a relationship work. Well, you do have two people with unique ideas, morals, standards, upbringing, philosophies regarding relationships and marriage.
Having conducted psychotherapy services for married and engaged couples, I became widely interested in what adds for a harmonious marriage or relationship, and what tips I could give to these couples to enhance and improve in their relationship. I looked at the themes across couples such as their desires, wishes, and dreams for their relationship and marriage. I also studied and explored what played part in the decision to get divorced, so that I could help my couples work through in therapy those issues to prevent divorces from becoming a reality for my clients.
During my famous RESET My Marriage Conference and Seminar, I compiled the top 20 tips and tricks that you can use to improve and continually grow in your marriage and relationship.
I hope this helps and you can apply it to your relationship or marriage.
What does marriage/relationship means to you? You should start there first and explore your own views/expectations of what you want.
Why are you in this marriage? What was it about that person, or the REAL REASON you are in this relationship or marriage, and please don’t give a textbook/churchy answer! Go deep to find the answer you buried in order to maintain your current relationship/marriage. It really takes you being honest to yourself before you can with others.
Don’t believe the myth: Love is what keeps a marriage or relationship going….NOT!
What makes you want to be in a relationship? Look within as to why you are in one or desire to be in a relationship.
Are you accountable? It’s not about one doing most of the work in the marriage and the other doesn’t do any of the work! It is about accountability and involvement of both parties.
Are you ready to be serious about your marriage or are you just having fun? The person you’re with may want to be serious, so don’t lead them on! Be fair and let them know where you are so they can choose to be in – or get out.
To get the right one, you need to be the right one!
Find a solution. The difference between symptom management and healing resolution is the former stabilizes, not resolves. Many “experts” tell you things you already know just to feel you were right about the matter, but then what? Does being right resolve conflicts? Don’t look for instant fixes, look for real solutions.
Do not seek “helpful” advice. Don’t go to every person for marriage/relationship advice. You have to qualify who can speak to your situation and discern who really have its best interest.
Don’t pattern after someone else’s connection, not your parents, mentors, etc, take what are your own beliefs, standards, morals, and create your own brand new original connection, if you have to RESET to do that, its okay to do so.
How were your past relationships? What was it about them and the person(s) you decided to give them a shot? Why didn’t it work? Look at your past relationships to determine what you want and gravitate to…it tells a story about YOU!
Bring back the romance. My colleague, Dr. Deb Lanio states, “One of the common problems with sex and couples is what is called Hypoactive Sexual Desire D/O, and it is not that women have low sex drives, but that women have to take the majority of the burden, work, children, family, and work.” So try to understand what depletes the romance from both parties.
Why tolerate imbalances in marriages? Each person may feel they are doing more than the other, but you get what you permit. It is about balance boundaries, and accountability. Step back to let the other start doing more, and hold them accountable for their part.
Let it out. Verbally communicate how you feel because if you don’t it will come out in less health forms, such as arguments, resentments, anger, and even infidelity.
Start listening. Really listen and hear what your partner is saying. The way you view things may not be the others view. Look at things at all angles, not just yours. The other is really telling you how they feel, and it may not be verbally.
Start facing the truth, and stop falling back on excuses. Close doors that are potential pitfalls to your marriage. Stop staying blind like everything’s ok or that it will go away, it won’t till you do something different to get different results!
Get interested. Why not be involved in each others interests? Why do things have to be limited to spousal duties and roles? If ones a rocket science and other is into trash collecting, you better get to studying on those areas to be involved in what’s important to each other, otherwise there is someone lying in wait that will study what your man/woman likes in order to really support where you are not! Don’t give any room!
A relationship is work. There’s only three choices you have concerning your marriage: equally work at it, let it stay the same and with all that comes with letting it stay the same, or dissolve. People barely look at the last choice as a choice, but you have to be honest at where you are in your marriage and if you have done everything in your power to make it work, but you cannot make it work alone, it will wear you out and it’s not fair to you. He/she must work too!
Do you fit? Are you two connected? You got together because you thought opposites attract. You feel you made a mistake, but it’s all in the perception, look at it as differences attract and try complimenting each other and enhance each other in your marriage.
Read the book. Check out The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It talks about the type of person/characteristic you and your significant other are, such as Word of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. When you have a chance to know yourself, then your significant other will know you! And Start knowing you first not as a role, but as a person.
Christian couples, please put things in the proper context when it comes to your marriage. Face it, are you hiding behind the spirituality hoping it will work itself out or go away? Go to the Pastor for your spirit, BUT go to the Counselor for psycho/physiological affects to your marriage.