Key Ingredient to Successful Relationships

How would you rate your relationship or marriage? How much time do you spend on your relationship? Are you too busy to really sit down and connect? Are you focused on other things like work, children, hobbies or fill in the blank? Maybe you have just given up. 

One reason for marital breakdowns in our country is that people don’t spend enough time together. People feel like they have grown apart. If love dwindles, it is because the relationship wasn’t a priority. 

In the United States, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. How do you feel when you read these statistics? 

Couples don’t seek help until they have been experiencing problems in their relationship for an average of seven years. We are busy with other things that we simply neglect our spouse or partner and the relationship. It falls off our “to do” list. 

Ultimately, I believe we all want and need to feel loved, valued, connected and worthy. We are born relational. Yet, relationships are some of the most challenging aspects of our lives. Here are some strategies to connect with your partner and rekindle your relationship:

  • Sit down as a couple and write out the vision for your relationship. What do you want? What matters to you?
  • Make your relationship a priority. Make a date night at least once every other week. Put it on the calendar, secure a babysitter and commit to making it happen. 
  • Dig deep and identify your fears. What are you most afraid of? Abandonment. Not being loved. Being controlled. Losing a part of you in the relationship. Whatever it is, identify it and try and understand where it comes from.
  • Never underestimate the power of long and meaningful conversations. Conversations don’t mean small talk. It means having talks about things that are important to you and your relationship. The more you communicate, the happier you will find yourself in the relationship.
  • When you do communicate, it’s important to have good communication skills. Step into your partner’s world. Try to see things from their perspective.
  • Turn off your computer, cell phone and all electronic devices. These can be barriers and distractions to true connection. When you shut them down, your partner becomes the priority.
  • Seek help with a professional, if necessary. It’s never too late to work on yourself and your relationship. If you don’t try to work on it, you might live with regret that you didn’t give it your all.

-Kristen D Boice M.A., LMFT, EMDR Trained

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