How To Rekindle Your Relationship

Do you need help to rekindle your relationship? Whether you are in a traditional relationship or something less conventional, relationships will go through their ups and downs. Successful relationships that stand the test of time are not fairy tales – they take work!

Happy couple reconciled after successful relationship counseling

Has your relationship hit a snag?

Whether your relationship has lasted several months or several years, you will eventually feel frustrated with your partner.

These are challenges that many relationships face:

  1. Couples are experiencing communication difficulties
  2. There are unresolved or long-standing arguments 
  3. There are intimacy concerns felt by one or both partners
  4. There have been life changes or fears of upcoming disruptions
  5. Parenting disagreements

What changes would you want to see in your relationship?  

  1. What would you change about your relationship, not your partner, but the relationship?  
  1. What’s something you could do to improve the relationship? 
  1. What are some positive aspects of your relationship that you’d like to build on?
Successful marriage therapy with a professional couples counselor in Fairfield Ohio

How can you improve your communication with your partner?

Here are helpful tools for communicating and navigating conflict with your partner. Remember that the goal is never to win arguments, it’s to strengthen the relationship. 

1. Use I statements instead of You statements

A “you statement” may sound like, “You always disregard me.” An “I statement” alternative to this statement could be “I feel disregarded when it seems like my feelings are not taken seriously.” The more specific you can get, the better.

Instead of “I feel ignored when you don’t listen to me,” you could say, “I feel ignored when you look at your phone when I’m talking to you.”  The idea here is to avoid blaming your partner directly by saying you did this thing wrong. Simply changing the language to say, “I feel… when you… you make me feel…” will pave the way for a much healthier conversation.   

2. Point out the things that you appreciate

Instead of criticizing what your partner is doing wrong, point out what they’re doing that you like! We can all fall into the trap of taking our partners for granted. Be intentional about pointing out the things or actions that you appreciate – even the little things that previously went unnoticed. Something as simple as, “Thank you for filling up my tank with gas, that saves me time before work tomorrow” can show gratitude and also help to give positive reinforcement that is uplifting to your partner.  

3. Restate their comments in your own words

This is a bit of a therapy secret, simply paraphrasing what your partner says back to them can be incredibly helpful. For example, if your partner says, “I feel anxious when the house is messy,” you may say, “It’s hard for you to relax when you know there are chores to do.” This not only lets your partner know they’ve been heard, but it gives them the chance to let you know if you’re missing something. You’d be surprised how many misunderstandings can be revealed when doing this.  

Read these additional tips to improve your communication skills.

When should you consider couples counseling?

Just like home improvement projects, sometimes calling in a professional will solve the issue faster and more effectively. But unlike bringing in a plumber, working with a couples counselor may not only rekindle your relationship but also improve it and set you up for long-term success!

Many people believe that going to couples counseling means that the relationship is failing. In fact, making the choice to attend counseling together can be the path toward a happy, healthy relationship. There are a few important reasons why. Read this list, especially if you’ve thought of reasons not to go to couples counseling!

1. Relationship counseling will uncover the root of the problem

Often it can be hard to determine the core reasons why there’s conflict or discontent. Therapists can help to sort through the emotional layers and clarify what’s needed. Often, beneath relationship arguments are feelings of hurt and/or disconnect. Couples counseling can help you and your partner to see each other’s deeper needs.  

2. Professional relationship counselors provide objectivity

Family therapists and relationship counselors offer an unbiased, third-person perspective. This means the therapist will likely see things that you and your partner don’t see. These counseling sessions can provide the space for the couple to truly hear and understand each other. Since the therapist will not be taking sides, they can also point out ways that you can both take responsibility to improve the relationship. Though taking accountability can feel uncomfortable at times, it is crucial for both individuals to do so for the growth of the relationship.  

3. Couples counselors will show you new ways of relating to one another

The therapist can teach you and your partner healthier, more effective coping skills and methods of communication and conflict management.  

If you think you need couples counseling… what are the best ways to ask your partner?

Bringing up the idea of couples counseling can feel daunting. It’s also not uncommon for people to react defensively when it’s brought up. On top of potential biases or stigmas they may hold against couples counseling, they may feel discouraged that the relationship needs extra assistance.

Here are a few tips to help navigate this conversation:  

  • Do NOT bring it up in the heat of a fight. Doing so will likely come across as a jab rather than an expression of love. This conversation is best had in a calmer moment with your partner. 
  • Be open to your partner’s reaction. As noted, they may feel apprehensive and even reject the idea at first. It’s natural to feel anxiety around the thought of going to couples counseling (it involves getting vulnerable in front of a stranger, after all!). Be patient with them and inquire about their perspective, including what they believe could be worked on within the relationship.

For more inspiration, the Gottman Institute put together a great article on inspiring your partner to join you for couples counseling.  

It’s not too late for you and your partner. Get scheduled with a Mindfully couples counselor today.   

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