Relationship problems are extremely stressful for most people.
Some couples separate or divorce after long distress.
Some couples distressed about their relationships look for therapy hoping that therapy can rescue them from misery.
As a matter of fact, these couples have good potential to restore their partnership.
There are several initial steps couples need to take to attain healthy relationships.
The therapist assists the partners to take steps in a new direction.
10 Tips Toward a Better Relationship.
1. Sure, you have disagreements.
Perhaps you avoid discussing your disagreements, fearful of igniting a new fight.
Make a list of all your main disagreements include the ones you prefer not to talk about. When you making this list, concentrate on situations you don’t like, rather than on your partner’s flaws and limitations.
Suggest possible mutual agreement on these topics, focusing on a win-win resolution.
2. Learn how to talk about difficult issues in non-threatening ways, making your partner to feel safe and loved.
Focus exclusively on yourself. Use your intelligence to figure out what YOU can do differently. Try to find the way to stay loving and good-humored. If you both practice these things, you will be able to navigate your conversation toward a solution, instead of new fight.
Do not do mind reading. Ask for clarification, restate your partner’s message.Try to see the world through his/her eyes.
Do not raise your voice. Many people are not even aware that they raise their voice during the heated arguments.
For your partner, a raised voice may be perceived as aggression. In this situation, he or she may no longer be able to hear your point.
Learn new ways to communicate with focus on your concerns and feelings.
Learn how to make inquiries, using non-threatening approaches.
David Burns, MD, Psychiatrist, the author of many self-help books and scientifically proven technique, suggests the following format for communication:
a). When you initiate the inquiry follow the next steps:
“I feel ( describe your feeling such as sad, frustrated, etc) … My concern is ……….. I would like to … [not”I would like you to ….”] What’s do you think about that?”
b). When you respond to the inquiry:
“ Disarm. Find some truth in what you partner saying, even though it seems absolutely unreasonable to you. Express empathy. Try to see your partner’s point, look at the world through his/her eyes, and acknowledge your partner’s feeling, based on what he/she said.(never say BUT, when you empathize – it will kill your attempt to express empathy!)
Do Inquiry: Gently ask questions with a sincere intention to learn about your partner’s feelings and his/her way of thinking. Use “I feel” statement. Express your feelings, using a direct and tactful approach.
Always use” I feel” statement (sad, upset, frustrated, etc.), versus ” you statement”: ” you are wrong” or “You made me angry (upset, sad, etc).”,except when you would like to say something good about your partner.
Always finish with a stroking: Express attitudes of respect and find something genuinely positive to say to your partner.”
3. Be aware of “The Law of Opposites” that Dr. Burns describes this way:
“ If you disagree with criticism that is
totally untrue and unfair,
you will immediately prove that criticism is entirely valid. :( This is a paradox. :- In contrast, if you genuinely agree with a criticism that is totally untrue and unfair, you will instantly put the lie to it. :) This is also a paradox."
4. Eliminate the negatives from your relationship.
Projecting criticism, disrespect, nagging, blame, accusations or anger
will not help you in your arguments. It will make your relationship worse.
Staying calm during a heated discussion, even though if you may feel frustrated, apologizing or asking permission to postpone the discussion, will save you both from getting hurt.
Learn how to calm yourself: practice slowing your breathing; counting to 10 before responding, having a glass of water, or taking time out to recompose yourself. Then you can re-engage ready to be cooperative.
5. If you want to have a good relationship with your partner, eliminating destructive habits, such as affairs, addictions, disrespect, and anger should be on your to-do list.
These habits predictably destroy marriage and have to go.
Identify and eliminate them from the beginning. Support your partner efforts to work on these habits.
Sometimes it is healthier to leave a relationship than to live with habits like these– they destroy love and trust just in a matter of time.
6. Increase positive energy in your relationship.
If a good relationship is your goal, focus on positives. Our energy flows in the direction where we place our focus. Think what you like in your partner
( something brought you together and you made the choice to stay with
this person for the rest of your life!), rather what you don’t.
Our energy flows in the direction where we place our focus. Think what you like in your partner
( something brought you together and you made the choice to stay with this person for the rest of your life!), rather what you don’t.
Express appreciation that this person agreed to stay with you to share his/her life with you.
Pursue your partner the way you did when you were dating.
Don’t take for granted that he or she has to stay with you.
Practice more gratitude, support, and encouragement.
7. Do more pleasant activities together.
Learn new things together, share stories,
and make a dream list together.
Create special love rituals. Surprise.
Go back to your places- where you first met or had your first date.
8. Schedule love moments to share physical intimacy or leave the time for spontaneity.
Acknowledge any attempts your partner makes to pursue you.
Show your appreciation.
9. Learn how to forgive.
This is a difficult one. Many couples struggling with forgiveness.
Research suggests that inability to forgive will lead to an inability to connect.
Leave the past in the past. Focus on today and your future.
Give your partner a chance to prove himself/herself.
Accept that nobody is perfect.
Seek therapy if you struggle with forgiveness.
Forgiving your partner will decrease the chance of repeating the mistake and
will help your relationship to flourish again.
10.Be aware of your parents’ relationship and your emotional heritage.
People have a tendency to copy their parents’ relationship unconsciously, even if they didn’t like their childhood experiences.
Lessons learned about the feelings can affect your ability to connect and your current relationship.
Decide consciously on what you would like to keep in your relationship and what you don’t.
Keep practicing what you like to develop, and let go of what you don’t.
There is a lot of things you can learn about yourself, your partner, and how to reconnect with your partner.