There's a lifetime of love left to share.
Keeping a relationship alive and thriving is like taking care of a living being — it takes loving attention and nurturing care. Without those things, your relationship can malfunction and eventually fall apart.
Of course, it’s easier to blame each other or drown in all the reasons on why it happened — kids, work, money, nasty in-laws. But even though all these arguments are valid, continuing to discuss them only widens the distance between the two of you.
I learned this the hard way. No matter how right I was about how wrong my husband always was, shooting darts of accusations at him didn’t solve any of our issues and it only made us even more bitter toward each other.
There's a better approach: effective couples therapy.
Therapy helps rekindle the spark of love that’s as essential to any relationship as oxygen is to our bodies. That spark that you had at the beginning when you first met, it's still alive! It just got asphyxiated by the challenges of living and the mental assumptions you’ve made about each other.
And yet, that spark still exists and can be revived. It’s time to set if free. There are four crucial steps to uncovering and reclaiming love again with couples therapy:
1. They each take responsibility for their part.
The disagreement is never one person's fault, it takes two to tango. No one is perfect, and you both did the best you could, but you didn’t know any better.
Life is a grand school where we are all learn the same thing: how to discover love in the midst of life’s chaos.
2. They decide if falling back in love is what they both want.
It’s a good idea to pause and re-evaluate your goals, and find clarity about what you both want. If you both decide to stay together and work for a happy marriage, then this becomes your dominant intention.
This is super important, because our minds are like a GPS: When the destination (your intention) is set, the mind will calculate the fastest and easiest way for you to arrive at your desired outcome.
3. They learn to focus on what works (rather than what doesn't).
For example, even if your husband doesn’t make much money, spends more time with his friends than you, and leaves his dirty socks on the floor — he’s superb in bed.
This is significant, because we get what we focus upon. Or, like my wise grandma used to say, "You will always find what you’re looking for." So if you are focused upon what’s ‘wrong’ in your relationship, more of the same will be revealed. But if you focus on what works, you bring out the best in your partner. How awesome is that?
4. They get back to creating a future they both feel excited about.
This is powerful, because it creates a strong bond between the two of you. Discussing the possibilities ahead of you — like starting a family, buying a car, adopting a pet, painting your bedroom, a weekend getaway— generates a sense of purpose and passionate alive-ness.
The more you talk about your exciting future, the better you feel. This creates a new pattern in your relationship — a pattern of happiness.
Bottom line, relationships are tough. It’s hard enough to deal with constantly taming your inner demons, let alone deal with somebody else’s.
Yet when you decide to make love a priority in your relationship, it becomes a powerful force that keeps you together.
Braced by a knot of love, in the safe harbor of each other’s embrace, you’re able to stay strong and withstand any hardships life throws your way.
Katherine Agranovich, Ph.D., is a Medical Hypnotherapist and Holistic Consultant. She is the author of "Tales of My Large, Loud, Spiritual Family". Call her for an office or phone consultation to attain mental-emotional alignment and close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Visit www.achievehealthcenter.com.