Many things contribute to the success of a relationship. In my couples counseling work, I’ve noticed there are some things happy couples almost always do and some things they just don’t.
Happy couples tend to show frequent, spontaneous, and tender physical affection. They do not use sex as a weapon or affection as a tool to manipulate their partner into doing what they want. Happy couples are consistently physically and emotionally available to one another. They foster intimacy even when things aren’t going perfectly.
Happy couples don’t manage each other’s emotions, play mind reader or assume they know what their partner is thinking or feeling. They ask questions and listen with the intention of gaining insight into their partner’s thoughts and feelings, as well as to gather information about their wants, needs and desires.
Happy couples avoid shaming or blaming one another for the problems in their relationship. When issues arise, they readily work toward identifying the problem, creating a plan of action to deal with it and then carrying the plan out. They realize what affects one partner, affects both of them. They understand there really is no such thing as an individual problem in a relationship.
Fight about Facts
Happy couples spend very little time fighting about facts or events. What they do is spend lots of time discussing feelings. For example, they realize that a comment like, “You never help wash the dishes”, could very well mean “I feel overwhelmed and unappreciated”. They are ready and willing to address issues that come up, get to the heart of the matter and get at the root of their partner’s concerns.
Happy couples know the importance of keeping the lines of communication open. They do not stonewall or shut down when unpleasant conversations arise. Nor do they give their partner the cold shoulder to teach them a lesson. Happy couples don’t run from difficult discussions—they embrace conflict as a creative element in their relationship and talk things out. Happy couples understand that silence can sometimes create more of a problem than the problem.
When you think about conflict in your relationship, do any of these concerns seem familiar? Are you withholding affection, shifting responsibility, making assumptions or shutting down part of how you and your partner sometimes relate? Breaking these kinds of unproductive communication habits and re-framing the way you relate to one another can help you reclaim your happiness and move your relationship to a new level. If you would like to address the challenges, elevate your relationship and reclaim your intimacy counseling can help you in this process. Contact Amy Wine Counseling Center here or call 832-421-8714 to speak with one of our counselors.