When you first fall in love, you aren’t thinking about how in the future relationships can get into a rut or you could eventually break up. No, usually you’re too busy in the moment feeling that incredible feeling of intense love and passion for another person. Then, months and years pass and maybe you’re married, have a kid or two or three…and the magic is gone. You’re in the midst of parenthood and or your career–much too focused on getting through the busy day than on your relationship with your partner.
By the time couples get to counseling they are usually so dissatisfied with their relationship, that they (one or both partners) have hit the threshold of their tolerance for pain. Maybe one person has already checked out. Maybe they’re having an affair. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a physical affair–it can be flirting with someone over the internet. Maybe they’re working all the time, or there’s an addiction, a hobby that’s taken a lot of their time, friends, other family members–something or someone takes the place of the partner.
Here are some warning signs that your relationship needs some attention:
- When your partner comes home from work, you don’t greet them. Or, if you do, it’s all about the problems you’re having.
- You have a better relationship with your child than you do your partner.
- You talk more to others about how bad your partner is, than addressing the issues with your partner.
- You don’t know what your partner’s dreams are.
- When you communicate with each other, there are more negative statements between you than positive.
When you own a car, you know there are certain things you must do in order to keep the care running smoothly. It’s wonderful to have reliable transportation so you make sure to change the oil, check the tires, bring it to the mechanic for periodic tune-ups–you do the things necessary to keep it running. Do you put that kind of effort into your relationship?
Taking each other for granted leads to eventual feelings of frustration, resentment, sadness, and of not being appreciated. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and loved. It’s human nature. Being part of a loving, healthy, long-lasting relationship takes work, but it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Imagine the difference between coming home to a partner who is not loving and attentive versus coming home to a partner who is. But, separate from imagining your partner as being loving toward you–imagine yourself as loving toward your partner–because the only person you have control over is you. You might not have control over your partner, but you have control over your thoughts, words, and actions–you are 100% responsible for them. So, how can you, starting right now, contribute to your relationship in a way that creates a safe and loving environment for the two of you?
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If your relationship needs some attention, and you’re not sure just reading articles like these and books will help, I invite you to discover relationship coaching. You can find out more by clicking here: Relationship Coaching.
My passion is to enrich people’s lives by helping them create extraordinary relationships. I am a certified life coach, have a Master’s degree in psychology, and am a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. I am the author ofTransforming Divorce, the Transforming Divorce Workbook, and co-author (with my husband Don Nenninger) ofThe Secrets of Loving Relationships, and The Art and Science of Parenting: How to Act When Your Kid’s Acting Out.