3 Secrets To Strengthen Your Long-Term Relationship

secrets to a long-term relationship

It's an unfortunately common issue among long-term couples: They eventually get stuck in a pattern. That pattern can take a variety of forms in their relationships — avoiding certain topics, feeling bored, walking on eggshells, frequently fighting or misunderstanding, or all of the above.

So when things get tense, stuck, volatile, stale or boring, try these simple practices to deepen your love:

1. Remember what first attracted you to each other. Have a conversation and share what drew you to each other in the beginning. When couples come to me for coaching, I often ask them to tell me the story of how they met and what first attracted them to one another. Each person takes a turn reminiscing about how things felt when they were first discovering one another and falling in love. This brings back those loving feelings.

2. Clear the air so you're really present. When couples have been together a while, little conflicts tend to get swept under the proverbial carpet — where they can't be seen. The only trouble is, these unseen issues can be held in your mind and make it hard for you to be present.

Invite your partner to do a clearing session where both of you get an uninterrupted time of five minutes to speak about, anything you have been reluctant to bring up or have put off bringing up because you were waiting for the right time. This practice is described fully in my recent book, Saying What's Real, available at my personal site. Keep reading...

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3. Gaze, touch and speak softly. Many of us did not bond very well with our parents or early caregivers — so we tend to become defensive or walk around with our guard up. But did you know that as adults, you can help one another heal those insecurities? Research in adult attachment has shown that the things that help babies feel safe and secure — soft, loving gazes, nurturing touch and soothing voice tones — are the same things that help partners become, "securely attached." So, whenever you sense that your partner is stressed or upset, offer calm reassuring touch, words of support in a soothing tone of voice, or gaze at your partner with love in your eyes.

My forthcoming book, "Awakening Intimacy," describes and guides you through a number of powerful exercises like this — designed to teach you how to help each other heal old wounds in your adult relationships.

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