How to repair a broken relationship

I see many couples with broken relationships. They have grown distant and may even question whether or not they even still love each other. One will often say “we’re just roommates.”

What can you do if you feel this way about your relationship?

I suggest you start by learning how to love each other and how to express your love. 

Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages is one of my favorite books to help couples start thinking about what the word love really means. Real love goes beyond warm feelings. It is action. It how they treat each other. It is meeting each others needs.

If they can begin to understand not only what they need, but more importantly what their partner needs, they can begin to give each other love as a gift, and show love in ways that are meaning full to each of them.

As the positive feelings begin to build you need to start talking about what went wrong and take corrective action by making some changes. 

A common complaint these days is one or both of the couple are always on their phone, tablet, or computer. Personally I think such devices can become a form of addiction we use to escape the reality of today’s hectic lifestyle.  We use media to find a safe place and in doing so we block out the world around us. Instead of talking with each other we become lost in the cyber world. In some cases one or both have more of a relationship with others through social media.

The key is to make time without distractions to talk with each other. Many of the couples I see admit the only time they really talk with each other is during our counseling sessions.

Say something nice each day.

Don’t let things build up

Pay attention and do small things your partner asks of you.

Send a little time each day catching up on what they did that day. Maybe over diner or after the kids go to bed.

Don’t get lost in looking at the past and arguing about it. Instead begin to focus on solutions and change. Remember, the only thing you can change is today and the future. 

Couples need to learn how to have fun together. 

I am sad when I ask couples when was the last time you went on a date and had some fun and they can’t remember when the last time was.

When was the last time you:

Tried a new restaurant together?

Took a walk in the park and looked at the beauty of the world around?

Played a game together?

Went to see a movie?

Went out for coffee?

Go to a museum?

Go someplace new?

Made your own fun?

Advertisements

Is marriage work?

Recently my wife asked me if our marriage is work? My answer is sometimes it is, however most of time it is fun. In the seventeen years we have been together I admit sometimes there has been work involved in the sense of taking the time to stop and think about my actions or the words I needed to say. For example I know if I take the time to clean up the kitchen and load the dishwasher before I leave in the morning it makes her happy. Work for me but a happy wife is definitely more fun to be around.

Much of human behavior is learned and in the early stages of learning new behavior it is work but in time we develop habits we no longer need to think about.  Why not make an effort in your marriage to learn how to show your partner the kind of love they need? Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, can be a good guide to helping you figure out what you each need.  Learn how to have discussions about issues and solving problems. The more we work developing good habit the more rewarding you marriage will become.

In the end the harder you work the more fun your marriage will become.

Email me at mark@independencecounselor.com