Addressing Relationship Problems – The Right Way!
Tips To Strengthen & Enhance Your Relationship
Our intimate relationship can be one of the more rewarding and important connections that we have. However, at times, it can also be the most challenging. The truth is that no matter how strongly you may feel for your partner, there will be times when you struggle to communicate your needs in a healthy and constructive way. It is especially easy for problems in a relationship to build up when one or both partners lack the tools necessary to effectively communicate with one another.
Being in a relationship often leaves people feeling vulnerable, as we begin to open up, share more parts of ourselves, and allow that person to know us more fully. Often times, problems arise in a relationship when there are misunderstandings or differences in communication styles. Men and women by nature tend to communicate differently so it is very important to be aware of these differences and try to understand your partner’s point of view.
All of the best relationships take work. Here are some tips that may help you and your partner communicate more effectively, enhance intimacy and feelings of closeness, and create a stronger, more resilient relationship.
- Find the right time to have important conversations: When something is bothering you, it is very important that you pick the right time to have a serious conversation with your partner. It is best not to interrupt your partner when they are in the middle of a task, watching their favorite TV show, or about to go to sleep. Let your partner know that you would like to talk to them and agree on a time when they are not doing anything and the two of you can sit down and talk without any other distractions.
- Always talk face to face: It may be tempting to communicate important things via text or email. However, this indirect type of communication often leads to things being misinterpreted. Talking in person ensures that there are no miscommunications so make face to face communication a priority.
- Disconnect from your devices: Put the phone down! Don’t let outside distractions intervene when you are with your significant other. Whether you are having a serious conversation or just enjoying each other’s company, dedicate all of your attention and focus on the person you are with. This helps promote a feeling of intimacy and connection.
- Communicate authentically: Make authenticity and honesty between you and your partner a top priority. Sometimes the truth can hurt, but honesty is the key to a healthy relationship. As opposed to expecting or assuming that your partner knows what is bothering you, speak up and voice your concerns or frustrations. Honest conversation with your partner will often yield more authentic change.
- Compromise: Part of being in a healthy relationship is compromising with your partner so that both of your needs are met. To make compromise easier, try putting yourself in your partner’s shoes and imagine how they may feel. It is also helpful to admit when you have made a mistake instead of making excuses or blaming the other person. In the end you will feel better and your relationship will be stronger.
- Compliment: Be sure to let your partner know what you appreciate about them. Even the smallest daily compliment can help remind the both of you why you are together.
- Schedule regular date times: Everyone gets busy, and it is easy to settle into a routine. It is important to carve out special time for you and your partner to reconnect. Try going out to one of your favorite restaurants (or try a new one) or take a romantic walk. The most important thing to remember is that this time is reserved for the two of you!
No Shame In Seeking Couple Therapy
There is often a taboo tied to couples therapy. Many people think that seeking help from a professional signals the end of your relationship or that couples therapy is a last ditch and futile effort to save a failing relationship. However, nothing could be further from the truth. A couples therapist can help couples explore their relationship and confront those issues that are being ignored or avoided. My approach to couples therapy focuses on helping partners explore who they want to be and what they expect of themselves in their relationship – instead of focusing on how to get their partner to change. Ultimately, I provide couples with the tools and resources they need to more effectively communicate with one another, enhance intimacy, and reach their potential for an enduring and meaningful intimate relationship.
About Dr. Kelly Mothner
To learn more about my practice click here. My office is centrally located in Hermosa Beach, California and I provide therapy and counseling services for children, teens, adults and couples in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance and all over the South Bay area. Please feel free to contact me!