Relationships are like plants. Food, water and light (attention, communication and affection) are vital if we expect to have a healthy relationship. Not feeding, watering or providing light is a sure way for your relationships to dry up.
It Takes Work to Create and Keep a Healthy Relationship
After some time in therapy a husband remarked to me, “I never realized how much effort you needed to put forth to make a relationship work.” He went on to describe his previous notions of how marriages evolved. “First you date, then you fall in love, get married, and start a family.” He went to work, and provided for his family but somehow his wife was less and less happy. Double digits into the marriage she threatened divorce. He was shocked.
It’s Starts With YOU
There is a scene in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes that perfectly illustrates the lack of effort by a husband. He comes home from work, grabs a beer and plops in the chair to watch TV while his wife brings him dinner. He thanks her without any eye contact and is perfectly content with the evening. She walks away upset.
My client realized he’d been doing the same thing. When coached on the necessity of nurturing your relationship, and how to nurture it, he happily reported that his relationship had much improved. Divorce was off the table.
He learned to express his appreciation for his spouse and her contributions – verbally and with behaviors. He pitched in around the house rather than expecting her to carry that load. He had conversations about finances and kids and chores rather than losing his patience and ordering his family’s activities.
Notice his wife was not involved in counseling. He needed a safe place to vent and learn about healthy relationship skills. He had a strong desire to improve his marriage and a willingness to change what he could change – his own behavior
I see wives who’ve taken husbands for granted as well. Appreciation for a husband’s contributions, acknowledgement of their efforts and affection go a long way toward nurturing a relationship.
A Quick Healthy Relationship Tip
So, if you want a more healthy relationship, do what this man did. Ask your spouse. What is s/he missing? What do they need that they are NOT getting? Then commit to giving them what they need, and watch that wilted relationship become lush and vibrant once again.
Want to Learn More?
Want to learn more about how to create and maintain a healthy relationship? Check out other articles in my blog dealing with how to improve communication and build and maintain a healthy relationship.
If you have trouble communicating without blaming or getting defensive, or you simply look at each other without a clue how to reconnect – seek help – sooner rather than later! I can help. Schedule a complimentary phone session, and we’ll discuss your situation. Together, we’ll determine if counseling can help.