The beginning of a romantic relationship can often be fun and exciting. However, months and years into a relationship brings increased life stressors, busy schedules, financial pressures as well as a growing family. This can make it more difficult to connect on a physical and emotional level. Do not be fooled, there is no such things as a perfect relationship. All relationships take work from both partners.
As a couple’s therapist, I have found 4 effective strategies to maintain a healthy romantic relationship that I regularly communicate with my clients.
Nurture and Prioritize
Make time for your relationship. It will not take care of itself. With increased life stressors such as busy schedules, grief, medical issues, finances and increased responsibilities, couples are often vulnerable to spending less time together. Increased fatigue and stress can cause them to turn away from each other and cause more distance in the relationship. Prioritizing your relationship by setting aside time to connect, going on dates and showing interest in what is going on in your partners’ world can be critical to maintaining a healthy
Feeling Heard and Respected
When there is increased tension and distance in a relationship, both parties are definitely more vulnerable to arguing more. This can occur with recent major life transitions as mentioned above. With increased stress, couples are prone to struggle with escalating arguments, name calling, stonewalling and put downs. This leads to increased emotional and physical distance. If one partner is consistently ignoring their own needs and prioritizing those of their partner this can build resentment and toxicity in the relationship. Taking the time to listen to your partner and respecting each others opinions make a big difference.
Communication is Key
Talking to your partner sounds fairly straightforward. However, it can often be very challenging due to increased life stressors. Having an open dialogue while being open and honest with one another without judgement can play a large role in strengthening your relationship.
A number of couples struggle with communicating due to years of increased distance and tension.
A mediator, such as a therapist, may be helpful at this time to make you both feel heard.
Compromise is Critical
A relationship is not a competition in which one partners’ needs are more important. Although it can sometimes feel this way with each partner having competing priorities. Both people should realize that it is not about jockeying for position but rather about understanding your partners point of view and coming up with a middle ground. A compromise can make your partner feel heard, loved and appreciated.
B Healthy Counselling specializes in helping clients reconnect. Call for more information today.
Samantha Attinello MSW, RSW, Psychotherapist