The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

Working on Us: Making a Relationship Work

If you are anyone who is anyone, quite literally, you probably have some work to do in the area of your relationships. This could include friendships, romantic relationships, or family relationships. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on what you can do to improve your relationship with your partner or spouse.

Consider what your enjoy in your relationship with your partner. Do you struggle with finding more positive than negative? Do you find it difficult to know why you even stayed together in the first place? These are often common questions of people who have been together for some period of time. The "in-lust" feeling has worn off...and reality has set in. Lacking those butterflies you once had? This is normal and the course of a relationship. To be clear, it doesn't mean that you can't have those butterfly feelings again. It just takes some effort and work on each person's parts.

Often I am asked whether a relationship should require any work at all. I simply reply that within any relationship, there are has to be effort put forth. It is easy to fall into the trap of a ho-hum routine. You have to be creative, thoughtful, and be willing to take control of your part in the relationship in order for it to be healthy and happy.

Consider the following tips as you're getting a sense of where things are at in your relationship:

  • How often are you physically intimate?
  • How often do you share outward affection such as holding hands, hugging, and kissing?
  • Do you have a date night on a consistent and frequent basis?
  • How much time per week do you connect on an emotional basis?

If you're looking at these questions and thinking, this isn't happening in my relationship! Don't fret. It's possible to turn this around. Consider the following ideas to improve the quality of your relationship:

  • Set aside one time a week for 15-20 where you put the phone, computer, iPad, and TV away. Use that time to sit with your partner to discuss where things are at with your relationship.
  • Be aware of your assumptions! Don't jump to conclusions or think you know what your partner is thinking or feeling unless he/she has said it in so many words.
  • Share not only your emotional stuff but be physical- show each other affection.
  • If you continue to have trouble with meeting in the middle, consider a mediator, counselor, or therapist to help bridge the gap.

Check back often for more articles on relationship issues. This is a hot topic these days and everyone has questions or concerns at some point in their relationships. You're not alone!

24 comments (Add your own)

1. Verii wrote:
the reason your retslionahips dont last is not your fault ill tell you why. men have to feel a physical attraction as well as an emotion connection with a woman. a man can walk up to any woman and feel a physical connection i.e sexual chemistry. but if he has no emotional connection it will never work. men are extremely confusing creatures i swear but they are generally looking for a lifetime mate someone who is physically and emotianially healthy, someone who can give him healthy children and be stable enough to raise them. i could go on and on. but i basically outlined why its not u its him the sayin is true. we as women can try and try to impress but he wants what he wants. and for god sake dont ever let ur self esteem drop, keep a smile on ur face. confidence and a smile gets u noticed.

Thu, September 27, 2012 @ 1:07 PM

2. Izolete wrote:
Maybe it's because all of the women you've been with aren't right for you. That's how it was for me epxect for one person.Here's my story. I fell in love with my best guy friend not long ago. We've been good friends for two years before we fell in love. We aren't together (long story), but we still love each other and will always be there for each other. One day, I think we will be something great once he realizes what he has with me. My opinion is, I think it makes a relationship work out better if you're good friends before you start anything intimate. That way you already have an understanding of that person before you take a leap into intimacy.

Thu, September 27, 2012 @ 3:56 PM

3. Galam wrote:
Either you are choosing the wrong type of peolpe or your lacking strength to keep a good relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year and our relationship has no flaws, no arguments, and no downfalls. We give eachother space and check up on eachother sometimes. It's a balance. That's because we both work very hard at it, and also I chose an extremely nice and faithful young man. You have to choose a good person and be strong in order to make it work. If you can't do both of those, then your relationships will keep failing. Just work on it, you'll get there eventually.

Thu, September 27, 2012 @ 5:20 PM

4. Yosuf wrote:
Every person has a stmluaoe !You just have to test around to find the right person .Also dont let little arguements break a good relationship .Every person has enemies , friends , good friends , best friends , uncompatible people , pretty good compatibility people and that soul mate so test around ! Look for that special person and dont let bad things ruin the relationship ! Even if the beginning is rough theres a smooth part to that road and the choice if yours to rough it up again or keep it smooth

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