While providing couples counseling it has become abundantly clear to me how couples stay happy and successful… they’ve put work in to make it that way. Relationships aren’t just hard work; they’re an ACTIVE CHOICE. We must actively choose to be a participant in our relationship, to purposefully communicate, to listen, to appreciate, to respect, and to love. For one moment stop and ask yourself have you communicated, listened, appreciated, respected, and loved your partner? If not, I may have some ideas why.
There are a multitude of reasons as to why couples begin to struggle; here are the top 3 reasons:
1) It’s not the priority anymore
Life moves very quickly and before you know it you’re raising a family, climbing the ladder in your career, and well just busy. Often times we view our relationship as our foundation and its common to think that because it exists we can afford to invest our time elsewhere. This is easy to do so it happens almost effortlessly. Ask yourself if you didn’t have the things that made you “busy” would you be satisfied in your relationship as it stands? If not, I can help put it back on the priority list.
2) You changed and your partner didn’t change with you
We are ever evolving creatures. We’re designed that way. We go through life and have experiences that allow us the privilege to grow and become different. We find ourselves wanting new things and developing new passions. The reason why couples struggle here is because one partner recognizes they’re changing but chooses to not include their partner or their partner doesn’t have a desire to change with them. Relationships don’t function when the partnership isn’t in synch. Change is good; evolution is fulfilling- couples just have to learn how to evolve together.
3) Intimacy and money
Sounds cliché I know but it’s real and true. Let’s start with intimacy- I call it that because I don’t mean just sex- I mean closeness, vulnerability, and understanding. When there is a couple that continues to be intimate with one another there is a deeper level of connectivity. Couples who find that there is little to no intimacy will naturally become estranged and possibly resentful. Intimacy can come back and shouldn’t be given up on. On to the money… Money is powerful and it controls a lot of what we can and want to do. Power in a couple is important and money drives power. The couple must get to the place where they have a clear and agreeable concept of the role that money plays in their relationship.
Relationships are very much like a car- we have to rotate the tires, check under the hood, and give it an oil change on a consistent basis. Why? We do this to avoid our car’s breaking down. Relationships are the same way; we must put the effort in to keep it running in perfect condition.
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