Becoming an entrepreneur is difficult. Someone who chooses this path is one who is not happy coasting through life. You have dreams and the traditional "9-5" just won't cut it. You have to make things happen for yourself, instead of waiting for someone else to do it. In embarking upon your adventures in self-employment many will provide advice; some good, some bad. Sure, you can find a wealth of information about how to start and maintain a successful business. One thing that is rarely discussed: the effect all of this has on your marriage.
Many of my client couples are creating successful business only to find their marriage is in shambles. With the long hours, late nights, travel, and all of the things needed to grow it can all become all encompassing. Starting and maintaining a successful business is hard, here are some ways you can salvage your relationship in the process.
Get Buy In
As a business owner you understand that you are your brand. You have to create value in your products or services to continually grow. Your business will never grow if you are not invested in it. The same is true of your spouse. It will be very difficult to grow your business if your spouse is against it. Try to get your spouse bought in to the process. Can you involve them in your triumphs and failures? Can you leave room for them to support you emotionally? Even if you are in business by yourself, you are not alone. The two of you are a team and will continue to be. Allowing your partner into your world may give them a sense of ownership and motivation to support you. Let them.
Realize Its Your Passion
Many who are self-employed felt compelled to do so and the status-quo was not an option. Realizing that your spouse may not have the same resolve is key. Although you are a team and having them bought-in is wonderful; they may not share your enthusiasm. Check your expectations. You can delight in their excitement and participation but they may never understand your drive. Respect who they are and where they are in their own professional journey and adjust your expectations accordingly. This is an opportunity for you to grow together as you both work toward your goals and an opportunity to dive into your passion. At the same time, share their passions with them too. Support should always be reciprocal.
Share Your Effort
Building a business can be an all-encompassing effort. Wearing so many hats everyday is exhausting. Particularly if you are performing this Herculean tasks alone, each day can be more exhausting than the one before. In all of this you still need to pour into your relationship. What you feed will thrive, but unfortunately, what you starve will die. If you wait until "tomorrow" to work on your marriage there is a good chance there may not be a marriage to work on. Make sure you set aside time to feed your marriage. It would be a shame to build this awesome future and spend it alone.
When I took the awesome leap out on my own and started Reconnecting Columbus I had no idea how hard it would be to juggle home and a growing practice/business. Over time I noticed that most entrepreneurs were struggling with the same balance. Many clients were coming to me for the same issues I used to struggle with. Being aware of the threat of growing apart is necessary for your relationship's survival. Take time and work on your relationship with the same vigor that you have for your business so that both can thrive. You deserve an incredible future personally AND professionally.
Feel like you are in a tug-of-war for your lover's heart?
One of the biggest challenges couples face is the over-involvement of family members in the committed relationship. The trouble comes when arelationship with family members is unhealthy and creates discord between lovers.Many couples come into therapy wanting to work on the relationship between them but neglect to invite one key participant, this third person. For readability I will use the term "parent" although this post can apply to parents, children, friends, or anyone. In some relationships parentshave become much like an emotional affair partner (I know scary right?). They receive more than their share of time, energy, and sometimes even finances. This becomes a problem in relationships when the other partner feels left out. If parentand partner are at odds, many committed relationships will struggle to survive. As you struggle with the relationship between your partner and their parenthere are some key points to consider. This Is Not ACompetition…If You Do Not Compete
Contrary to what it may feel like, you are not in direct competition with your partner's parent. Competition suggests willful opposition; yet you didn't sign up for this match. As well-meaning as they are some parents feel threatened by their child's love interest. This is their issue, not yours. Take the moral high-ground and avoid competing. If your partner values the relationship they will be open to hearing your concerns and making appropriate adjustments. This is easier when you are not creating more strife by being at odds with their parent. If you engage with the parent in competition you will lose footing and potentially your partner's ear. Rise above it. Parents AreTeachers
Many over-involved parents have difficulty with their own romantic relationships, leaving them time and energy to put into yours. What you may feel is inappropriate or destructive may be normal for that parent and perhaps even your partner. Take a step back and assess the situation. Does this family have a history of healthy loving relationships? If the answer is no, be prepared to begin the hard work of defining the boundaries of your relationship. People can change if they are willing and internally motivated to do so, they will not change simply because you want them to. Working with your partner to create a healthy relationship will bond the two of you together and perhaps salvage the relationship with their parent. The Ultimatum- Them or Me
Many partners feel they are left with no choice but to issue the ultimatum; your parent or me. This is a risky move. Your partner could be so intertwined with their parent that they are willing to lose you. This could be a very painful realization for you.You could find that you are the choice, but now resentment takes up the space the parent once occupied. The probability that you experience the outcome you are looking for is slim. This option requires a cost/benefit analysis are you willing to gamble the relationship to win this fight? At any rate, there is no easy answer to this problem. Talk to your partner calmly, out of love and respect for them and the relationships. Ask for what you need and want without letting anger rule the conversation. Believe that your partner has your best interests at heart and hear them out too. If all else fails enlist a trusted friend, advisor,or qualified relationship counselorthat can be objective and is not afraid to call you out on your blind spots. A great relationship is possible, if you are willing to put in the work.
Let’s face it. Most of us avoid the difficult conversations with our partners because we don’t want it to start another fight. Soon we find ourselves doing a cost-benefit analysis. Is the desired outcome worth the cost of an argument today?Some days we feel brave and start the conversation while bracing ourselves for the emotional consequences. Other days we remain silent and let the anger and resentment fester only to have it explode days or weeks later. This does not have to be your fate. Here are some helpful tips to start a difficult conversation.
Check Your Anger
All emotions are valid. If you want a receptive partner to hear your concerns anger is not the way to engage them. Anger comes across as attack. Very few people can feel as though they are under attack and remain open and responsive. Most people respond with defensiveness, withdraw, or counterattack. None of these responses will help you or your relationship. Instead harness that anger and allow the other emotions to come through. If you feel lonely, hurt, or disrespected; say so. Someone who is concerned about your well-being is more likely to be open to you if they can connect with your emotional experience. Check Your Motives
It may seem oblivious to you that your motives are pure. This may not be so obvious to your partner. Make sure your words are chosen carefully and respect those “hot buttons” in your partner. If you know your partner is sensitive to feeling overpowered then make sure you are doing everything you can do to level the playing field. If your partner frequently complains about feeling isolated in the relationship make sure you are paying special attention to ensuring you have included your partner in the discussion. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself “Will what I say next ultimately pull us closer together or further away?” If you want to be heard and understood make sure that you words give life to your relationship. Check Your Default If you are prone to believing your partner does not love you or wishes you emotional harm you may want to refrain from those difficult subjects. The two of you must work through these fundamental issues before you can have open and honest dialogue. This is also true of your partner’s default. If they struggle to find the good in what you have to say the two of your will continue to struggle with difficult conversations. Once you have cleared away the negative subtitles that are playing under one another’s words you will be free to create a new story. Communicating in relationships does not have to create additional strain in a relationship. Some conversations are difficult to start, yet we still need to have them. Be brave and express yourself. Honest conversations are the building blocks to emotional intimacy.
It is painful to be in a relationship where you sit up at night trying to figure out how to feel connected again. The silence between you and your partner is uncomfortable and familiar. Many couples come into my office with similar stories: 1. They are better friends or roommates than they are lovers 2. The kids left and now they do not know each other 3. They are living completely separate lives.
The sad truth:I can usually trace the disconnect back to silence.
Most people do not enter into relationships with the expectation to drift apart; they just do. They let work, kids, family, activities, and life get in the way of building the love they want. Couples struggle to juggle all of the responsibilities of life so something has to give. Unfortunately many people assume they have time later to work on “us” because so many other things are demanding our attention. Some couples address it in short spurts with weekend getaways or date night. Other couples assume this is normal in long-term relationships and allow life to take over. The silence is deafening and neither of you know what to do about it. Address The Elephant In The Room
This may sound like common sense, but ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Talk to your partner about how you feel. If you are feeling disconnected most likely your partner shares your experience. They may even thank you for bringing it up. Just talking about it can begin connecting the two of you in ways you have not been in years. Start the conversation without anger or blame; attempt to find out why. Avoid blaming or accusations. Develop A Plan And Stick To It
Contrary to popular belief marriages can be healed outside of going to therapy. Honestly, therapy is not a guarantee to save your relationship. If you are both committed to your relationship you can read books by reputable authors, get support from couples you respect, go on a retreat; whatever you think would work best for you. If you find that you need more professional assistance make sure that your therapist specializes in your presenting concerns, has a clear plan, and is objective. An excellent therapist for individual counseling may not necessarily have the training and expertise needed to provide effective relationshipcounseling.
Make One Another A Priority
In order to start the process of transforming your relationship you must make it priority. Many marriages fail because the relationship is secondary to any and everything else. What you feed will flourish, what you starve will die. It is hard to excel in other avenues in life if your marriage is failing. Take the time to invest in your relationship to ensure it survival. The returns on your investment may continue for years (even generations) to come. It is important to remember your connection was not broken overnight and cannot be rebuilt overnight either. It takes time to find those things that bonded you two in the first place. Your connection will be rebuilt one moment at a time as small drops into a bucket that canfill to overflowing; What keeps you from starting today?
The most romantic holiday of the year is upon us. Some are annoyed with Valentine's Day because our culture is more about giving someone things than sharing love and affection. This does not have to be the case for you and your love. We can take back the romance of February 14th by changing the narrative. Here are some unorthodox ways to show your love this holiday.
Make A Declaration
Pick your medium. You can use chalk in your lover's driveway, beautiful penmanship in a real (envelope and stamp) letter, or a rose petal message at the office. Any way you do it make sure your message is sincere. Some may adore the message shared only between the two of you. Others may enjoy having the message read by everyone. The key is knowing your partner and making sure they are able to appreciate your declaration.
Get In Your Time Machine
Do you remember where you first met? Where you said "I love you"? Your first kiss? Recreating your firsts is one of the best ways to rekindle a spark in your relationship. If you have been a couple a long time you will have many memories to recreate. Tell your love how important they are to you be bringing back the moments that brought you together.
Learn A New Skill
Doing something new for your partner may show them you are willing to put the effort into making them happy. You can learn to dance, paint, or cook. The result is not as important as showing your partner that you are willing to do something new to keep the relationship exciting. This could be even more fun if you learn something new together.
Check Their Bucket List
Romance is not flowers, candy, cards, or balloons. It is paying attention to your partner and making their want a reality. Listen to your partner's dreams and see if there is one you can make come true. Asking your partner open-ended questions may reveal dreams never realized. Columbus is one of the best cities for hidden adventures. The key is to listen without preparing to respond and hear what their aspirations are.
Go Off Of The Grid
Find a quiet place for the two of you where electronics are not allowed. Turn off your phone, tablet, etc. You can retreat to a cabin in the woods or not leave your own bedroom. Give 24 hours of your undivided attention. Blocking out all other distractions and tuning into one another may completely revitalize your relationship.
This holiday does not have to be boring and predictable, laced with disappointment, anxiety, and regret. Many of the couples that come in for marriage or relationship counseling are struggling to find ways to show that they care. The best gifts are those of experiences. Columbus has endless possibilities. Let this holiday be the one you both will remember for years to come. Give your love a memory for Valentine's Day. Your relationship is worth the effort.
Let's be honest, being in a relationship that is struggling is HARD. It seems that you spend much of your energy attempting to prevent a fight, getting your point across during the fight, or attempting to self-soothe after the fight. Before you know it weeks, months, even years have passed. Being happy together is becoming a distant memory. Sometimes it seems easier to leave. The truth is, leaving is not easier. Rewriting your dreams and redefining your identity is not easier. Leaving may seem easier right not because it promises to stop the pain. Many couples find that the temporary solution to leave creates a more permanent pain. If you are not in an abusive relationship you owe it to yourself, your family, and your future to make sure you have done everything to preserve what you have built.
Most of us know that person who seems to have never quite recovered from the divorce. They live with regret, shame, or anger. They seem to wear their bitterness like a cloak around their shoulders. In my practice when I meet these folks I realize that they gave up before healing. Some people are able to go on with life after the breakup to be healthier and happier. The success stories are usually a result of hard work on why the relationship failed, either as a couple or individually. These folks have worked hard to make sure they are able to walk away with a clear conscience. When you said your wedding vows you had dreams of what life would be like together, are you ready to give up on those dreams without doing everything in your power to save them?
Not Just Any Therapist
Marriage therapy is not interchangeable with other types of therapy; therefore not every therapist can (or should) provide marriage therapy. A qualified clinican can also assist you in determining if you want to stay in the relationship. A therapist that was great helping your friend with anxiety may not be the best choice to help you with your marriage. Clinicians need specialized training in order to be effective. This training is not obtained in most graduate school programs or even with years of experience. A clinician needs to have extensive training in what makes relationships successful and be able to guide a couple from their current destructive patterns to healthier ones or help you decide if divorce is your best option. Learning communications skills is essential for climbing the corporate ladder but they will not save your marriage.
Cost vs. Benefit
Saving your relationship will cost you. This cost is not simply measured in dollars and cents; although quality relationship work is not usually cheap (although usually cheaper than divorce). Entering into therapy to save a marriage may require you to take a hard look at yourself and your spouse. It may even cause you to challenge beliefs you have held onto your entire life. It may cost you time and emotional effort. Success is not easy in any facet of life. If you want to excel at anything it will take practice and determination. It will be hard sometimes. The benefits are worth it. Having a best friend to go through life with is worth the cost. Feeling secure, supported, and loved is worth the cost. Self-esteem and empowerment is worth the cost. You are worth the cost. Our society is not supportive of working through the tough times in a marriage. We are inundated with information that tells us to be happy now and worry about the future later. We are trained to expect instant gratification with little effort. We expect instant results for almost no exertion. Marriages cannot survive on auto-pilot. Before you leave ask yourself this question: "Have I really done EVERYTHING in my power to make this work?" If you have yet to try counseling with a qualified marriage therapy could you honestly answer "yes"?
So many couples look for the "right" way to think and act to ensure the health of their relationship. Some may read the most popular relationship enhancing, self-help books. Others watch successful couples to (hopefully) unlock the answers to making a marriage work. We look for the answers outside of ourselves, believing that we do not have all we need to make a relationship work. The truth is: the answer has been hiding between the two of you all along. A relationship that works is a place where both people can be their true selves and be accepted by one another for their uniqueness. This does not mean the relationship is a fairy tale all of the time. It simply means at the end of the day both partners know that they want to be together and that there is nothing they cannot work through; as long as they do it together.
Partners Complement, Not Complete or Compete In a successful relationship the partners are great complements to one another. One may bring fun spontaneitywhile the other brings structure and security. One partner may spend more while the other saves. The keyis that each partner loves and respects the differences in the other. They have come to terms with the differences and understand the need for the complement to balance the life they share. A relationship that will withstand decades of challenges is one that has two complete people. The challenge is to be complete in the relationship and still understand that you need to depend on one another. Some couples struggle with competition, putting themselves above their partner because of one trait or another. Again, respect for your partner's differences will bring you together while putting your character traits above your partner's will slowly pull the two of you apart.
Finding Your Voice "If we learn to fight fair we would be happy". This is not entirely true. Yes, it is important to speak in a way that you can be most effective, but your message is still important. So many couples come to counseling because one partner has lost their voice. They struggle to say what they need or want. If you do not ever say what you need how can you expect the other person to know? Successful couples realize that neither of the two are mind-readers. Your wishes, needs, and boundaries need to be vocalized. Speak up!
A real, intimate, mature relationship is one in which two very different people can love and respect one another. We all come from different experiences that make us all unique. Couples sometimes struggle to remember that the characteristics and behaviors that irritate you now are the same ones that attracted you in the first place. Trying to change your partner or change yourself into someone else not will not save your relationship. Love is flexible. Bend, stretch, and create the love you want without bending yourself all out of shape.
An affair does not automatically mean that a marriage or relationship is over. Many times people who love their spouses find themselves in situations they never thought they would be in. A friendly co-worker, a Facebook friend, an ex-lover, or a complete stranger can be the temptation that threatens to destroy your marriage. Many partners who have cheated are in disbelief that THIS is the person they have become. Many love their spouses and cannot figure out why they found themselves going outside of their relationship to have their needs met. Considering these points will assist in your attempts to repair your marriage after your affair. Face Your Grief, Shame, and Hurt If you are interested in repairing your marriage after your affair you are probably very familiar with the guilt and shame of your decisions. Some unfaithful spouses fight back in defensiveness and blame when faced with the hurt the affair has caused. Some have been drowning in the pain of their actions and were secretly hoping the affair be revealed so that they can be released from the pain. Very few people will support an unfaithful spouse when an affair is revealed because the actions are difficult to accept. You never thought you would be "that person". You didn't notice the subtle changes in you that made you turn to someone outside of your marriage. Now you want to turn back to your hurting spouse. Acting defensively or blaming your spouse is almost as damaging as the affair itself. Resist the temptation to point the finger at your spouse. Owning up to your actions is a great first step to the healing that needs to occur in your marriage. Come Clean Affairs are kept alive in secrets. Revealing all of the secrets of how you deceived your partner is difficult and necessary if you want to rebuild trust. Saving your marriage may mean you will have to tell your spouse about the other bank accounts, how you covered your expenditures, where you were in the night(s) in question, etc. This requires complete transparency in a way that may make you uncomfortable. Know that every secret you tell (particularly if you volunteer it) will be a brick in rebuilding your spouse's trust and faith in you. The rewards may not be immediately apparent but they will have lasting effects. The betrayed partners is dealing with a host of emotions that may look like anger at first, but know this is part of the process in healing your marriage. If you need to better understand what you spouse is going through click here: http://www.reconnectingcolumbus.com/deidres-blog/my-partner-cheatedwhy-cant-i-get-past-it Find Your "Why" At this point you have at least considered why you cheated. Your spouse was either emotionally or sexually distant. You didn't feel loved or appreciated in your marriage. You needed to feel alive and find joy in life again. Spouses cheat for many reasons, but not all spouses cheat when they feel this way. When you have decided you want to repair your marriage, blame will destroy those hopes. Yes, it is important that your "why" for cheating is discussed. This discussion must take place when both of you have worked through the pain, resentment, disconnect, and shock of the affair. When first attempting to save your marriage, make mental note of your "why" or discuss it with a trusted friend. Discussing it with your spouse to early could end your marriage. First the two of you must work through the initial shock, disappointment, rage, and hurt. Once a safe space is created in your marriage, healing will come from a "why" conversation. Build A New Marriage Your marriage as you knew it is dead. The walls of trust and commitment that have held up your marriage have been destroyed. Both of you are attempting to pick up the pieces of your relationship. Honestly, putting your marriage back together is not an option. You have to build a new one. Building a new marriage means starting over with prior experience. It is making your marriage priority over other things in life. It is learning new ways to be honest, open, and transparent in ways you never were before. This is a time where you are shown your hurt partner's vulnerability and must respond with your own. If you want your marriage to work, you must lay out all of your cards. Rebuild Trust "How doI know you will not do this again?" This is a normal question from a hurt spouse who is wanting to trust again but does not know how. This question is a good sign that you are working toward reconciliation. No one can (truthfully) promise they will never cross a boundary that could be considered as cheating. Being honest, volunteering information before being asked, revealing all of the deceit, and conveying your commitment to the marriage will help to provide your hurt partner with the answers they need to this question. Infidelity is a complex human experience and recovery cannot be contained in a blog post. Many couples assume their marriage is over or are too scared to ask for help because the shame of staying together is too great. Recovery feels impossible when each day seems to present more worry, hurt, and anger. The truth is with focused, committed, feverent perseverance a marriage can recover from infidelity. The irony is that many couples find the affair was a symptom in an already dying marriage and recovering from the affair is the catalyst to creating the marriage they have always dreamed of. Realizing that your marriage is worth the work is the first step to saving it. If your marriage needs support please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When an affair is discovered, a relationship is changed forever. Two people are grieving different things at different times and the world seems to go into a tailspin. Partners who have the affair have their own list of challenges and I will reserve those challenges for another post. This post is about how the very identity of the betrayed partner is shaken to the core.
There must be something wrong with me.
Betrayed partners (at varying levels) will internalize the affair as an insult to who they are and what they provided tothe relationship. "If I were younger, more attractive, more attentive"; the list goes on and on. This partner will put their very being under a microscope to extract some kind of meaning out of what they are going through. Most will blame themselves, someonly for a short while until the anger sets in. Others may carry that blame for years.
The betrayed partner is trying to make sense of this somehow. The research and my experience with counseling couples recovering from infidelityteaches in most relationshipsthe answer is much more complex than simply lost attraction. Even some of most desirable people in the world have been cheated on.
Post-Traumatic Stress SymptomsBetrayed partners seem to experience a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in many ways. They may experience:
Recurring and intrusive thoughts or dreams about the affair- "Are they still together? Are they together NOW? Who else knows?" These thoughts seem to come without warning and are very hard to suppress.
Triggers related to the thoughts or dreams; a smell of perfume, passing a hotel where the partner was meeting, or a certain ringtone on the cell phone.
Angry outbursts without warning or being more irritable in daily life
Problems with concentration, eating, or sleeping
Hypervigilance (checking and rechecking phone records, popping up at the partner's work or school, etc.)
Depression with or without self-destructive behaviors (This requires professional help immediately).
Vacillating between numbness and overwhelm of emotion.
Why? This is a traumatic experience. Trauma is a highly stressful event that is emotionally overwhelming and exhausts a person's ability to cope. This is our brain and body's way to manage risk for re-injury and to regulate emotion.
Crisis of Identity and Loss of Trust in Many Facets of Life
To extend the understanding of the crisis in identity, many betrayed partners will ask: "What does this mean to the world around me?" . They lose trust in themselves to understand the world around them. They lose trust in their partner's love and fidelity. They also lose trust in the "realness" of the world around them. "If I didn't know this, what else is there I don't know?"
Many betrayed partners have to find a new place to put their identity, because the person or relationship they put it in is not as it seems. They are faced with the potential of no longer being part of a couple, and perhaps explaining to other people why the couple split. If they stay, the betrayed partner must contend with the embarrassment of this decision; even if only few people know. The person they were bonded to is not who they thought and the wake of that shock can spread to many (if not all) other aspects of life.
Finding Hope in a Dire Situation Knowing that this event does not have to permanently define who you are is key. It also does not define your relationship. Affairs are such a taboo subject that statistics vary widely; between 30-60% of all marriages will experience infidelity. It is very likely that you know someone who has survived this. Getting support is key to recovery. For some support is reading books, others it is talking with a pastor or trusted friend. Most couples who are trying to stay together find a trusted therapist to assist them. The most important key to recovery is understanding that you must work to recover. Many couples are able to rebuild after an affair and emerge stronger and better than ever before. Some are better apart. Working toward recovery will help BOTH partners decide if they will be better together or on their own; but better is possible.
Many times couples find it difficult to be intimate in their relationship. Between work, kids, family, and other activities, there is not much time energy left for love. Here are 3 things you can do today to rekindle the spark you are missing. Touch Her Touch Her Heart- That is right, we are talking about romance. You MUST continue to pursue your partner. This means doing the things you did when the relationship was still new. Do you still tell your love that certain love songs remind you of her? Do you still bring home little gifts or cards to let her know you are thinking of her. I am sure over time you have learned a thing or two that makes her heart melt. This is your way back to her heart. If you have forgotten, this is the time to relearn. If you ask earnestly her to share her heart, she is more likely to share her body. Touch Her Mind- When is the last time you asked her opinion or had an adult discussion? Are your conversations centered around work, kids or complaints? These types of conversations are mood-killers. Try having a conversation about her dreams. What about her fears? Do you know what makes her "tick"? The answers may surprise you and will build toward the emotional intimacy she craves. A woman who feels emotionally intimate is far more likely to be physically intimate. Touch Her To-Do List- In many cases women who feel overwhelmed by the demands of life experience a drastic reduction in sexual arousal. If her plate is full with life, she will struggle to find the energy to be the goddess you want in the bedroom. Do you and her a favor; help her with her to-do list. This tells her that she is not alone and that the two of you are a team. Many women refuse sex because they do not feel supported in other aspects of life. This does not mean that you vacuum once and hop in the sack. This is a change in her perception of the relationship over time. Sometimes it takes a whole season before a group of players become a team. Touch Him Touch His Ego- In my experience working with couples who are recovering from affairs I found many men who go outside of their relationship for the same reason. It is usually not about their partner or even sex really. It is about the ego boost in being desired by someone else. Many men cheat because they find someone who respects them and esteems them. Do you esteem your husband? If not, the issues are deeper than can be addressed in this blog; but if so, tell him! This ego boost will do wonders for his sex drive and being available to you. Men who feel respected by their partners are more open to doing what it takes to keep the love of their life happy. Touch His PlayfulSpirit- Being in love is supposed to be fun. A key indicator for the health of a relationship is how well the couple plays together. Can you truly enjoy one another's company? A friendly game of Monopoly or chess may remind you why you wanted to spend all of your time together in the first place. Playing basketball or going to an arcade may rekindle the enjoyment you found in the beginning of your relationship. Find time to be carefree and let him see the girl he married fell in love with is still in there somewhere. Touch His Body- This post would not be complete without suggesting an actual, physical touch. Skin-to-skin contact does wonders for intimacy of all kinds. Non-sexual touch is beneficial for both partners as it is the link to the friendship in the relationship. If done right it will release the Oxytocin in the brain that is used for bonding. Knowing what kind of touch he likes is crucial. When was the last time you asked him? Intimacy is about allowing being open to allowing another person to see the real you and feeling safe enough to trust them with who you reallyare. It takes many forms; physical, emotional, spiritual etc. Many times couples come to counselingbecause their relationship is starving for attention. These suggestions may not help all couples, but all relationships need attention. What you invest your time, energy, and resources in will thrive; what you neglect will perish. What are you investing in? If you would like to learn more feel free to contact me at email@example.com