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Strengthening Your Marriage Before It Is Broken

When working with couples, there is a moment after the initial issue gets resolved when they assume we will terminate services. We can if that’s what they want, but it’s different from what I immediately recommend. Why is that? Fixing the core issue is fantastic, but an essential part I have found in ensuring healing is identifying how to grow and strengthen the relationship rather than merely filling in the holes of what was missing. By adding this counseling step and following through, couples are less likely to end up back in the office with severe problems. I get to see and hear about their successful relationship maintaining, even years after we finish counseling! 


A step that people often need help with in this growth stage is identifying what could still be improved. They are so used to living in stress and chaos that the absence of it feels strong rather than actual strength. If you are pondering the same thing, here are some places to start and look at how you can improve your already solid relationship! 


Your Communication


Excellent communication is the solid cornerstone of any great relationship. While this is always a focus in counseling, we often focus on resolving broken communication rather than enhancing communication that is “just working fine.” You can grow beyond that! Look at what could make your communication go from “fine” to “great!” What nuances do you miss with each other? What are some things you do not know about your partner? If you were to be curious about them again, what would happen? What are things they do not know about you?


Evaluate your ability to have awkward conversations as well. Not just difficult ones like you might have just worked through together. The conversations that start with the thoughts of “Please don’t judge me…” or “Goodness, this is embarrassing…”

What would make these conversations less awkward and more comfortable with your partner? The main thing is practice! As well as building on the self-regulation and curiosity that you may already have with each other. 


Your Sex Life


Have you ever had TRULY great sex? Not just “That was good!” but mindblowing, too-stunned to speak, “wow!” And if so, was that with your spouse? Currently? Most people answer no to at least one of the three questions. Sex is a great area to look at for growth and enhancing the quality of almost any relationship. A fun exercise to start with is to imagine three of your favorite “go-to” fantasies and write down adjectives and other aspects used to describe them. Options could be: sensual, loud, quiet, fast, intense, detailed, rough, gentle, in public, dark, new, etc… 


Now, look at how you would describe the regular sex you have with your partner. Where are the differences? Have your partner do the same and use the communication skills we discussed in the first step to talk through where you would love to be, compared to where you are now. You might be amazed at how much room your connection has to grow in just this area. 


Your Future Planning


Now that you know for sure you are staying together and having a future together, what will that look like, and how are you working together to make that happen? Investing in that future is something that many strong couples talk about increases their daily buy-in and investment in the relationship, knowing they are on the same page about what that looks like. 


Discuss this in-depth, your realistic plans and “out-there” hopes and dreams. Have fun in this! Build and talk about the castles in your mind you would love to enjoy together years from now. Then come back to the present, can you do anything together to make those things happen? This ability is an essential teamwork component and indicates a strong relationship. 

If you find yourself pausing and needing clarification at these points, reach out today to get started with one of our counselors! We can support you and your partner as you grow into an even stronger couple that can weather all the storms ahead!