Relationships can be challenging and when you throw in the stress of the pandemic, they’re tested even more. Most couples need a relationship tune-up every once in a while and therapists can help. Here’s what mental health pros recommend to help you and your partner thrive in 2022.
- Improve communication- Healthy communication is key for a happy relationship and therapist Lin Sternlicht says one of the biggest communication issues couples face is listening to reply instead of listening to understand. So focus on trying to understand, rather than be understood and she says this will improve your overall relationship.
- Focus on the tone of your voice- What you have to say to your partner is important, but so is the way you convey it. Therapist Lynn Zakeri explains that the tone of your voice makes a big difference in how your partner perceives your words. “Requests can feel playful or demanding or condescending,” she says. “It’s all in the tone.”
- Avoid being overly critical- When tensions are high, it’s easy to be negative or argumentative with your sweetie. But try to make a point to point out what you appreciate about them and Sternlicht says that will make them more likely to listen and respect your thoughts and feelings.
- Spend some time apart- Couples who want to improve their relationship may think they need more time together, but creating some physical space from them can actually help. Everyone benefits from time on their own and it can help you reconnect in a deeper way when you are together.
- Be accountable- When relationship troubles crop up, we tend to point out what our partner is doing wrong. But instead of blaming them, acknowledge your own faults in the relationship and work to change them. Both individuals need to feel good about themselves in order to feel their best for themselves, their partner and the relationship.
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