As time goes on, it is not uncommon for couples who started out very connected to and interested in each other to lose this bond and take each other for granted. You end up using most of your time and energy on children, work, family obligations, unforeseen challenges that need to be resolved, and so on.
You are still committed to one another and are not in a relationship/marriage that needs rescue or that is on the brink of dissolution. However, you feel dissatisfied with the state of your union and would like to go back to that deep love and friendship you once had.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP/MARRIAGE NEEDS ENRICHMENT IF…
Here are some examples:
- You feel that “something is missing,” that “the spark” is gone, that there is no adventure in your lives
- You feel that the relationship has grown stale, and no one is putting in much effort
- You feel taken for granted
- You don’t feel championed by your Partner
- You think that your Partner doesn’t really listen to anything you say unless it’s about the practical things in your lives (especially if you have children)
- You think your Partner doesn’t tell you or show you that he/she cares
- You believe that you don’t spend enough time together as a couple
- You’re not sure your Partner actually likes to spend alone time with you
- You are no longer as familiar with each other’s inner world, such as goals, hopes, struggles, and dreams
- You are coasting on the connection that brought you together, but that was years ago
- Life changes us, so neither of you is likely to be the same person from 5, 10, or 30 years ago
- You started out admiring and being fond of one another—now, the passage of time, life’s challenges, and familiarity have caused you to focus more on your Partner’s flaws than on his/her positive qualities
HOW I CAN HELP
As always, I conduct an in-session relationship history interview to hear each Partner’s perspective and to learn about any personal challenges that may need to be addressed. Then, we use online assessments and exercises, with the latter specific to relationship/marriage enrichment.
- Especially in the case of couples who need enrichment rather than rescue, it is at times difficult to pinpoint what exactly is not going the way it should
- Assessments save us a lot of time by identifying and analyzing each Partner’s attitudes and beliefs on an extensive range of topics
- Assessments identify strength and growth areas, which enables us to amplify those that you can use to your advantage and address those that need some work
You will be given exercises specifically designed to help you start the process of regaining a deep knowledge of each other. In some exercises, you get to ask questions of each other, while in others you answer questions about yourself and then share those answers with your Partner. Additional exercises ask you to complete tasks together.
Here are some specific examples of what the exercises are meant to do:
- Get you started on the process of reviving, rebuilding, and enhancing the state of deep friendship
- Reestablish your fondness and admiration system by showing you how to “scan for positivity” and make cherishing your Partner a habit of mind
- Offer a structured self-help four-week course in fondness and admiration (with me acting as your accountability coach)
- Help you do a better job of offering the right type of support and encouragement to your Partner
- Help you structure couple time, alone time (and/or friends time), and family time
- Offer guidelines on how to structure couple fun time and protect it from conflict
- Help you reinforce the four pillars of couple shared meaning