When we’re having problems in our romantic relationship, it’s often hard to know exactly where to look to improve things.
Perhaps you know that you and your partner drifted apart over time. Perhaps you also know that you’ve both been fighting more and more regularly. You want to understand why and what you can do about it, and I’m here to offer you critical answers.
Dr. John and Julie Gottman, two of the most renowned couples’ therapists in the world, worked with thousands of couples over the span of several decades. Their work shed a bright light on one of the most common reasons that relationships end up in turmoil: a lack of liking and respecting one another.
Several Critical Steps to Enhancing Your Friendship and Respect for Your Partner:
Remind Yourself of Your Partner’s Positive Attributes.
Take some time each week, perhaps even each day, to recall at least 1 of your partner’s positive qualities. When we do this, we strengthen our bond with one another. Additionally, when we engage in this process, it helps us better armor ourselves from the impact of conflict and stress between ourselves and the world.
Create a “Culture of Appreciation.
According to Gottman Therapy, a “culture of appreciation” is one where both partners feel valued. To help foster this atmosphere, devote consistent time to thank your partner for at least 1 thing in which you are grateful for about your partner.
Actively Try to Listen to and Properly Respond to One Another.
When our discussions with our partner are filled with contempt, defensiveness, criticism, and ignoring, we are likely headed for continued conflict and problems. Do your best to notice when any of these communication problems appear in your relationship.
Focus on avoiding these harmful behaviors, and instead, concentrate on consistently giving your partner your undivided attention. Do your best to hear what s/he is communicating with you, and then share what you heard.
Try to be open to your partner correcting you; it’s very important you accurately hear what your partner said and then share their feelings, thoughts, and needs back them. You’ll want to take turns being the listener and speaker for this to really help improve your relationship!
Ask Each Other a Key Question.
Each week, you could consider meeting with your partner and asking, “How can I help you feel more loved and appreciated this next week?” Again, listen closely, and then do what you can to implement your partner’s feedback.
I can help you learn more about these, and other practical skills, to implement in your relationship and foster that happy, loving relationship you deserve through an online or in-person therapy session. Give me a call and we'll discuss how I can help. Jordan Zipkin, LMFT, at 561.214.4113.