Putting the spark back in your relationship
Clients entering relationship counselling, often talk about having a changed relationship, they talk about the spark having gone from their relationship. Part of coming to counselling is about re-connecting and getting that back. We can think about a relationship rather like a new car. We drive it home from the showroom. We show friends and neighbours all the wonderful things we do together. At first you are to be found washing it every weekend, yet as time goes on it becomes a more mundane object. You use it on the daily commute to get the weekly shop. It only occasionally gets washed. The car moves to a more care and maintenance phase and if we don’t pay attention then rust breakdown and ultimately the scrapheap await.
If you find that your relationship has lost its way, what are the steps you could take to improve the quality? The first step would be in talking openly and honestly on a regular basis about the relationship. In particular, this means talking about the difficult subjects, because they are the ones which are most likely to breed resentment.
It may seem rather obvious but a relationship is between two people and changing the relationship will need hard work and commitment from both people. Lifestyle change is hard work and for that reason you may wish to consider counselling or relationship counselling. Especially at the start many couples find the structure of counselling a good way to begin sorting through their problems. The counsellor will help you with the practical elements as well as the emotional part of the relationship. Practically how are you going to deal with conflict? How are you going to work on intimacy and get the spark back into your relationship?
Perhaps the first steps in changing your relationship for the better, are about talking honestly to your partner. It’s about dedicated time for your relationship to talk about your relationship. Take time to resolve the issues while they are small. In part this will be about establishing and setting relationship boundaries space for each other as individuals as well as partners in a relationship. Without boundaries we can inadvertently hurt each other and cause hurt and upset when they are crossed.
Having an understanding of what you do well as a couple can help you understand what you need more of. In that respect the history of your relationship can help. When were the good times? Think about significant moments, when you met, your first date, if you are married your wedding and so on looking at significant moments in your lives. What was good, how can you do more of it.
Think about building the intimacy between you. Of course things like date nights (even if at home) are a great place to start, but you might also put those new found communication skills to use to make sure that you understand the things your partner values and sees as an expression of love an intimacy. Perhaps it’s being complimented, or the thought behind a gift, for others it might be quality time together, finding and knowing your partner helps build the closeness, a caring relationship.
In conclusion, remember there is no magic wand or single answer you can use to get the zing back in your relationship. It takes hard work, change and focus on the relationship. Take responsibility for your relationship and start to rebuild the communication and trust today. You might never get back to the initial spark, but you may get a long burning flame of true romance.
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