Are your managing to satisfy your partner in your relationship?
And visa versa?
If not, what tends to come in the way of a happy and fulfilling relationship? What are the barriers in this regard?
I’m not referring here specifically to the intimate aspects of your relationship, though of course this is usually a crucial component in most relationships. I’m meaning this in a more general sense.
Often because of our busy lives we take this type of issue for granted – everything seems fine at home so we tend to concentrate of urgent and pressing tasks until something serious happens, for example a huge fight in which very hurtful things are said or some type of infidelity comes to light. At that point couples often take stock of their relationships and their lives together and begin to pin-point recurring problems and issues that they are experiencing in their relationship.
I would like to suggest that couples stay mindful of their relationship health of of their own and their partners happiness on an ongoing basis in order to ensure nip potential problems in the bud before they become a real threat to relationship satisfaction.
Susan Johnson, who pioneered Emotion-focused therapy (EFT), maintains that the fundamental question underpinning relationship satisfaction is the following:
Is my partner there for me when I need him/her?
Or putting it another way: “Does my partner always have my back”, do I feel supported on an ongoing basis by my partner in all aspects of life, both on an emotional and a practical level?
Do you feel that your partner prioritizes you and your needs and do you do the same for him/her? This is invariably not the case with couples that I see in therapy who often complain that aspects like cellphones and work commitments seem to take up most of their partner’s attention.
John Gottman talks about “bids for connection” – he numerous subtle and not-so-subtle efforts that each of us makes every day to reach out to our partner in order to get our needs met, from a quick whatsapp message to ask about how your partner’s day is going so that he/she knows you are thinking of them or even enquiring about what you are having for supper.
Do you recognize and acknowledge your partner’s signals and requests for your attention, input, co-operation and help? These can be quite subtle and easy to miss.
I believe it is extremely worthwhile for all couples to initiate regular conversations on this topic in order to keep their relationships healthy, happy and mutually satisfying.
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