How to Keep a Happy Relationship

How to Keep a Happy Relationship. It’s important to know what you want so you know what you want in a relationship. Do you wonder how some couples stay married for several decades?  A developed sense of self can make better choices when looking for a life partner. When you listen to your intuition and follow up on it you are more likely to select the right partner. It’s important to be self-reflective and independent. There are two people with individual wants and needs in any relationship. Being independent in an interdependent relationship while getting each other’s needs met is the determining factor for a happy marriage. A happy marriage is what makes a “happily ever after” marriage.

What Keeps A Relationship Happy?  There’s an internet-based study of 2201 participants which was cited in Time Magazine that poses the question that has been asked by Couples for centuries.  How do you find Love and how do you make it last?

Relationships aren’t just about sex and good communication although that is a good place to start.

Scientists have found while both can have a big influence on a happy relationship, other factors such as knowing how they take their coffee or what their favorite food is, along with maintaining employment to be able to support oneself also matter.

Top 10 Areas Important To A Happy Relationship:

  1. Communication (free of criticism and contempt)

  2. Conflict resolution

  3. Sex or Romance

  4. Stress Management

  5. Life Skills

  6. Knowledge of Partner

  7. Self-Management

  8. Know Your Partner Well

  9. Know How To Make Them Feel Special

  10. Maintain Employment (self-sufficiency)

Couples were asked to rate the qualities they thought were vital to keeping a relationship healthy and happy.  They were then asked questions that tested their competency in these areas and were asked how satisfied they were in their relationships.

Researchers then correlated each partner’s strength and weaknesses in each area with their relationship satisfaction.

The study showed Couples who communicated the best reported having the most satisfied relationships. But knowledge of your partner which included knowing their favorite pizza toppings, as well as their future plans and holding down a job, were the next biggest factors rated just as important.

The study also showed men scoring low in the area of knowing their partners.  Robert Epstein, the lead author, suggests men write simple information about their partners to better learn and share with them what they have learned about them.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 if your relationship isn’t where you’d like it to be.

Intimacy – You Have To Love Yourself First

Intimacy – You Have To Love Yourself First.  Intimacy is a state of closeness with another human being.  Our capacity for intimacy determines our ability to participate in a mutually fulfilling and satisfying relationship.  People I work with in Individual Therapy are afraid of getting too close to anyone.  They fear that if they open up and take a risk they’ll be vulnerable to pain.  Yes there are some risks, yet people who are able to achieve intimacy feel that a close relationship is worth the risk of getting hurt.  They can handle the risk because they tend to have high self-esteem, a sense of independence and a healthy respect for others.

Self Esteem

People who succeed in intimate relationships usually start out with a high level of self-esteem.  While they cherish closeness, they already feel complete before they enter a relationship.  They are not looking for someone to complete them or make them feel whole.  They understand they have value whether they are not in or out of a relationship.  The relationship may enhance the way the persons feel about themselves but the person already accepts themselves as an Individual.  They are also able to accept the partner’s individuality and enhance that person’s self-esteem.

Independence

People who are successful with intimacy understand the difference between that state and one of Mutual Dependency. While there is some mutual dependency in every relationship those who constantly rely on someone else are unable to see that there are two unique individuals within each relationship.  There is Oneself and there is the Other Person. Mutually dependent people are able to see themselves only as each is reflected by the other.

Respect

People who succeed in Intimate Relationships understand that Intimacy flourishes in an atmosphere of respect. Respectful partners accept  each other’s individuality but also carry it a step further.  Neither tries to change the other. Discovering what makes one’s partner unique can be one of the prime rewards of an Intimate Relationship

The Couples I see in Couples Counseling typically come in with good self esteem, however, they tend to concentrate on one another and not so much on how they as individuals are contributing to the conflict areas of their particular situation.  In my work in Couples Therapy I help the Individual develop a greater Sense of Self increasing their Self Esteem, encourage Independence within the relationship so that they enhance and not change one another, and learn to love and respect themselves so that they can appreciate the love and respect they receive from their relationship.

Think about whether or not you have the kind of Intimacy you want in your relationship. Are you an Independent person within your relationship where there is Mutual Dependency?  Does your partner have the same Self-Esteem you hold for yourself?

If you would like a deeper level of Intimacy please call me at (858) 735-1139.

The Sex Date

The Sex Date. This is not a normal Date Night where you go out to eat a big dinner and have a couple glasses of wine.  Usually, after a night like that, you come home full and just want to go to sleep.  Make a date with your partner for SEX.  Sex dates are an important part of creating spontaneity and special time with your partner so scheduling a weekly date shows that the relationship is important.

When the date night arrives know that you will have some type of Sexual Contact, even if you don’t feel like it at the moment. Sometimes arousal comes before desire….don’t wait for the desire to hit.  You are creating the environment where desire can flourish once it is aroused.  Sexual contact can mean a lot of different things.  Laying naked together, soft touching, massage, or pleasure through touching your own body while your partner watches are all erotic connections.

Leading up to the date make sure you put effort into preparing for your special night. Starting about four days prior to the Sex Date use small acts to help create anticipation for the big night.  For example, show your partner physical affection at least three times the first day.  Attempt to connect on the second day by whispering in your partner’s ear the things you want to do to him or her on your Sex date.

On the third day bring home a surprise like a card or small gift you can use for the date.  The fourth day is the important day so create an atmosphere in the bedroom that will remind both of you that this is a sacred and erotic space for you to play safely in together. Light candles, put fresh flowers by the bed, put soft sheets and blankets on the bed. Make extra effort to pick music your partner will like.

When the big night finally arrives keep your expectations open and reasonable.  If the evening goes well then wonderful.  If it doesn’t live up to your expectations, remember that this night can be anything that works for you and makes you feel connected to one another.  Massage, communication, and sharing fantasies can make this an important night of Sensual Pleasures.

In Couples Counseling I help Couples with specific exercises in preparing for their Sex Date nights utilizing techniques and putting systems into place.  As a Marriage Counselor, I have found that incorporating Sex Dates in Couples Therapy help the Couples I work with rekindle their desire for one another.  For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship.  It seems everywhere you turn someone you know is having an affair. I bet you claimed you would never cheat on your partner, right? Who intentionally gets into a relationship and then decides to cheat? It’s devastating to be on either end of that situation as the guilt and betrayal can be overwhelming. It can take up to two years or more for a couple to repair the effects of an affair so wouldn’t it be in everybody’s best interest to prevent one?

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship

Putting the following into practice could prevent the downfall of any relationship:

  • Be the Mature Person you need to be –  A person who is independent within an interdependent relationship makes for a less needy individual.  A less needy individual makes for a more attractive partner.
  • Don’t ignore your spouse’s complaints – Listen to and acknowledge their discomfort about housework, money, in-laws, etc., whether you agree or disagree.  It’s important they feel heard.
  • Be Honest – I’m talking about when you feel an attraction for someone else share that with your partner and talk about the feelings around it.  It’s perfectly normal to fantasize about other people but can be dangerous if acted out.  Telling your partner before something actually happens is less disastrous and painful than having to deal with the consequences of an actual betrayal (affair).
  • Show Appreciation – Telling your partner every day that you appreciate something they have done for you or how they look in appearance is very endearing contrary to any criticisms.
  • Tell your partner what you want – Women tend to think men can read their minds, well they can’t.  You need to tell each other what you want.  How you want your coffee in the morning or what you’d like in bed.  Being open is part of being communicative.
  • Have lots of Sex – (or an agreed upon amount between the two of you); when there is a physical connection often times there is an emotional connection.  When you make the space for your sex you hold your relationship in high regard and validate your partnership in a loving way.  It is during these encounters where sharing honesty and being communicative about your wants and desires that protect you from other people who can come between you and your partner.
  • Develop a Monogamy Agreement that is ideal for your relationship.  (see http://erelationshipadvicecafe.com/the-new-monogamy)

Continue talking to each other about what works in your relationship and what doesn’t.  Every relationship is unique to its own developed agreement.  If you put into practice what you agree upon your relationship should be safe from others trying to infiltrate it.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information about preventing an affair.

 

The New School Year and Your Relationship

The New School Year and Your Relationship.  School has started.  Summer vacation is over and you’re back to your normal routine. That fabulous family vacation was wonderful except you felt no connection with your husband/wife.  The kids had fun but what about you?  Just thinking about that same old routine is making you feel really desperate and lonely.  Do you think your spouse is thinking the same way?  Do you and your spouse go through the motions but don’t really feel that spark any longer?

As a Marriage Counselor, I work with couples who after so many years of being together have lost their individual selves in their relationship.  They have concentrated on meeting everybody’s needs but their own.  Does this sound like you?  Did you know that in every relationship their exists a “ME?”  The “WE” in a relationship can never be quite satisfied until that “ME” has fulfilled certain stages throughout their  life span.

I work within a Developmental Model and I help couples understand that the first step to finding a healthy relationship is to first develop a healthy Sense of Self.  In other words, there is a starting point to being with your soul mate.  You need to find YOURSELF first and determine what you are all about.  I can help you go through the process in finding out just who you are and what kind of “ME”  you are bringing into your relationship.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information about learning something new.