Humans are social beings. Think about all of the relationships you have in your life, from your partner to your hairdresser.
All of those relationships can be a source of both positive and negative stress in our lives.
Most healthy, long-term relationships have a lot of emotional ups and downs. During those lowest points, you may feel helpless to make things better.
When it feels like things are going downhill, follow this relationship checklist to stay on track.
You have the occasional argument.
It may surprise you, but in my work with couples, I worry more when they tell me “Oh, we don't fight or yell." That usually means one, or both, of them has given up trying to resolve issues. Resentment starts to build, silently destroying the relationship.
Since you’re not always going to agree with one another, the occasional argument is inevitable. Communicate openly and honestly. Accept and respect the other person’s position.
You speak each others' love language.
It's important to remember that everyone perceives love differently, like a personal love language. Show you're partner that you appreciate them in ways that are meaningful to them.
Just because you like gifts, doesn't mean they do. Maybe they prefer just having time together without the kids around to interrupt.
Not sure what makes them feel appreciated and loved? The best way to find out is to ASK!
You set goals together.
These don’t have to be elaborate. Talk with each other about what you want things to look like in the next one, three, five years. Where will you be with your careers? What phases will the kids be in?
This is a great time to voice wants and needs to each other. Prevent assumptions by talking about expectations.
You are active in the bedroom.
Revel in the comfort of being intimate with someone who knows you as well as your partner does and loves you anyway.
Too tired at the end of the day? Try dividing up the household To Do List more evenly, so you have more energy for sex.
Total silence in the bedroom is definitely a concern. Once medical issues have been ruled out, look to emotional causes that make people lose that loving feeling. Talk to your partner about what does and doesn't feel good.
You talk about more than just work and kids.
Can you see a theme here? Communication is so important to a healthy relationship.
Try making it a game to talk about anything but work or kids. Talk about those goals you want to set. Talk about your sex life. What's working; what's not.
You share the household responsibilities.
I'm a firm believer in a division of labor that fits the family. There was a point when I stayed home more, so I did the cleaning and grocery shopping. Now, my husband has more free time so he’s taking over those tasks.
Research shows that even if the division isn't equal, as long as both parties feel the responsibilities are fair, greater satisfaction is reported in the relationship. Again, make it work for you.
Thanks for taking the time,
Amanda Campbell, MS LMHC is a licensed counselor and life coach in Indianapolis, Indiana. She offers online coaching services that help busy moms find balance. In her counseling practice, Amanda helps worry warts find peace of mind and reconnects distant couples. Contact Amanda today to get started on the path to a happier, healthier you!
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