Three Steps to a More Satisfying Relationship

BY BENITA THORNHILL, MA, LPCA, LCAS-R 

tic-tac-toe-1777880__340Relationship satisfaction is vital to not only relationship growth but, individual growth. Individuals who feel satisfaction and connection in their intimate relationships also report feeling satisfied and supported  by the realtionship in their personal growth. This correlation could be contributed to the fact that individuals in satisfying relationships feel that their individual feelings, needs, and desires matter to their significant other.  When couples experience feelings of isolation, resentment and fear, it can often be traced back to feeling they are not important in the partner’s life. You can enhance your relationship by engaging in strategies that will help to strengthen your connection with each other.

This can be done in three simple steps: 1. Ask  2. Listen 3.Validate

  1. Ask your partner how their day went or what new project they are working on or what is on their mind.
  2. Listen attentively and intentionally. Pay attention to what they are saying and the tone they are saying it. Listen with the intent of listening, not with the intent of responding.
  3. Validate your partner’s feelings. You do not have to agree with what they say. At this moment, your job is to let them know that their thoughts and feelings matter to you.

You will find that when you listen with the intent of listening replying with supportive responses flow naturally. Natural and caring responses such as, “How can I help” or “Help me to understand what that must be like” will not only show your partner that they matter, but can help to strengthen your relationship.