Getting Your Relationship Back On Track
Lost that loving feeling? Struggling to get it back, but feels like you’ve got a mountain to climb? Is it worth it? What should I do? Sounds familiar?
It’s a sad fact that two out of three long term relationships come to an end and many of the remainder continue in unhappy relationships. Relationships can begin to falter, often after many happy years together and often for no apparent reason, they just lose that ‘loving feeling’, BUT there ‘is’ always a reason and perhaps you are simply too close to the woods to see the tree’s?
This article is assuming you are struggling to make a relationship work with someone you feel ‘is’ right for you and that you want to be with, because most of us will have encountered people who we hook up with, but that deep down we know are not right for us. Those relationships follow a different set of rules.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and sadly that’s often the case. When people become too comfortable there is a danger that one or both partners start taking each other for granted. For example, they may not take the same amount of time and effort to look good for their partner anymore. You may believe that ‘they know me warts and all now, they accept me for who I am, so is it really necessary to have to try so hard anymore’? IT MOST CERTAINLY IS! It’s even more important, because as the initial excitement of a new relationship inevitably starts to wane, it’s your choice whether or not you want it to grow into something even deeper, where the couple continue to grow together throughout their lives.
Remember, it’s true of most things that we tend to ‘get out what we put in’ and relationships are no exception. By taking a few simple steps there’s a good chance you ‘can’ get that ‘loving feeling’ back as long as that’s what you both want.
Before you do anything else you have to be completely honest with yourself. You love this person, but is the pain worth the gain? If the answers to this question is a resounding ‘YES’, despite the water under the bridge, feelings of hopelessness, frustrations, etc, then as long as you accept it’s going to take some work and some changes, there’s a good chance you can achieve what you want. Taking on board some of the pointers below will help get you well on your way to achieving your goals.
Communication: If you’re not doing so already, learn to start talking to each other. Communication is the most important key to your relationship. Sounds simple, but if your relationship is already struggling, chances are, so are the communications between you. So where is it going wrong?
Listen and Hear: Are you doing all the talking, but not enough listening? We have two ears and one mouth and sometimes we need to be prepared to use them in those proportions! Do you recall conversations where you interrupt someone because you disagree with them and don’t let them finish? Have other people done that to you? and if so, how did it make you feel?
When we are passionate about something, it can be difficult not to interrupt, especially if we are defending ourselves, but resist the temptation. Don’t just listen, make a point of really hearing what they are telling you, and then before you answer, just put yourself in their shoes so you can see both points of view clearly before responding. Be honest in your responses, and if you realise that they might have a point then acknowledge that. Chances are if you get the ball rolling in this respect, your partner will follow your lead – you get out what you put in.
If you’ve listened, but do not agree with what’s been said, it’s a good habit to acknowledge how they feel too, but that you disagree, ‘because’, etc. Always ’respond’ calmly and with sincerity, no matter how difficult it is, resist the temptation just to let rip. If you’ve listened and you know, deep down, you have been wrong, then be big enough to say so. Some find it impossible to say the simple words, ‘I’m sorry’. It’s not showing weakness, it’s showing you respect your partners opinion, and you will gain a lot of respect from your partner in return. It’s rarely all one persons fault, in which case if you budge a little, so might they and before you know it you’ve started a new positive cycle.
Sarcasm: One of the biggest don’ts – DON’T ever use sarcasm when dealing with serious issues, at least not if you are serious about improving your relationship.
Be positive: Focus on the things you do like about one another. Sometimes, even when things are going well, we still spend our time thinking about what could make life better instead of focusing on what is already good. Focusing on the things you like about one another will help you to regain those feelings you had when you were first dating.
Work / life balance: It’s easy to get caught up in a lifestyle that becomes all work and no play. Sometimes we even tag it with, ‘I’m doing this for you and the family’! Yes, we need to work hard and earn a living to survive and yes, to enable us to do some of the nicer things in life that cost money, like holidays etc, which areimportant. The trick is getting the balance right. By all means work hard, but remember to play hard too. Put time aside just to spend together and learn to have fun again.
Plan the fun stuff: Spontaneity is great, but sometimes it’s good to plan the fun times too, it gives you both something to look forward too. So get some dates in the diary and don’t let other things get in the way of them.
It’s the small things that mean far more to most people. Whether or not it’s helping to tidy the house and do the dishes or putting a little note in the packed lunch or perhaps a back rub at the end of a long day – these are the things that if done regularly make someone feel cherished and make them want to go the extra mile for you too.
Making the other person feel attractive and desirable is key to improving one of the most important parts of your relationship – your sex life. If either of you feel undesirable, it is likely to lead to a reduction in physical intimacy.
Sex: is one of the most important base instincts hard wired into all of us. Without it, none of us would even be here, and you would not be reading this now. Sex is not the be all and end all, but it is the glue that cements an already good relationship, further helping to bring you closer together. Even if, for whatever reason, you are unable to have full penetrative sexual intercourse you can still enjoy many forms of sexual contact which will strengthen your bond and bring you closer together.
Many people have some kind of psychosexual dysfunction at some point in their lives ranging from Erectile Dysfunction to unhealthy beliefs about sex being ‘dirty’ sometimes taught to us by our parents. Sex can either be a wonderful relationship enhancing activity, or it can be a source of immense frustration and resentment. Many Sexual disorders are psychological. If you believe you may suffer from sexual dysfunction, you should always see your GP initially, to rule out any underlying physical conditions, but if there are none, then it’s likely you are suffering from ‘psychological sexual dysfunction’, which is incredibly common and can happen for a myriad of reasons. (If this sounds like you, why suffer in silence? This is something that we at Reachout Therapy work with. Feel free to contact us for a completely free, no obligation initial telephone consultation to find out more.
‘Laughter is the best medicine’. How true is that! Surveys, especially when asking women what they find most important in a partner, show that it wasn’t the six pack, chiselled face or pert bottom, it was the Good sense of humour that did it for most of them.
From a physical view, laughter actually produces endorphins in your brain, which are nature’s happy pill if you like. They make you feel happy, so learning to have a good laugh again, whether it’s walking along the beach, watching a funny movie or enjoying a meal out is another key ingredient to getting your relationship back on track.
Love doesn’t just disappear, but is something that can die if it is not given the proper nutrients to survive. Making time for one another, laughing, talking and showing affection will do more for your relationship than any professional counselling ever could. However, if you struggle to do it on your own and need a helping hand to rediscover the love that the two of you share, then feel free to contact us where we will be happy to offer a free telephone consultation, and arrange an appointment either on your own or as a couple, to help get you back on track.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.