The beginning of a new year is a great time for Suwanee couples to reflect on where they have been and look forward to where they want to be. Many people evaluate their health, finances, and lifestyle habits, but few evaluate and set goals in their relationship. As a couple, the quality of your relationship impacts many areas of your life including your health and stress levels, so it is definitely an area worth looking at as you move into the new year. Here are five questions to discuss as a couple to help you reflect on your relationship and identify areas of improvement for the next year:
1) Are you spending regular time together?
Time spent together without children, cell phones, or friends can easily become rare in a couple’s relationship, but without undistracted time together you miss the opportunity to connect with your partner.
2) Do you have healthy disagreements?
A healthy disagreement does not have criticism, withdrawing or refusing to talk about an issue for days or weeks, defensiveness, or dismissal of your partner’s feelings or thoughts.
3) Do you have a growing knowledge of your partner such as their goals, achievements, and concerns in life?
A large part of having a close relationship with your partner is to know what is happening in their world at work, with extended family, and friends. It also gives you the opportunity to offer support in stressful or difficult times as well as celebrate achievements together.
4) Are you talking with your partner about your concerns and feelings on a regular basis?
Your partner can’t read your mind, so they only have the opportunity to respond to what you tell them.
5) Do you have common goals as a couple?
Common goals help to create a sense of teamwork between you and your partner while you learn to count on each other more as you go through life.
As you discuss these questions take note of areas you would like to see improvement while taking time to celebrate the areas of your relationship that are going well. Once you have pin-pointed areas of improvement, take it a step further and talk about how you and your partner would like the relationship to be and set goals for the next year. Sometimes relationship goals can be reached by increased effort while other goals will require additional resources such as a book, a seminar, or a therapist.
Healthy and happy relationships don’t happen naturally, they require significant effort from each partner on a consistent basis. In other words, expecting your relationship to be without areas of improvement is like owning a home without doing regular maintenance. Couples are often amazed at the difference they see in their relationship from investing time and energy focusing on goals. So don’t let another year pass without setting goals for your relationship.
Jennifer Wilmoth, LAMFT – Grow Counseling provides counseling for individuals, couples, groups, career discovery, coaching, and development stress management and trauma recovery, life coaching relationship counseling, organizational and leadership development, strategy and vision coaching. Workshops are also available on stress, personality, team dynamics, boundaries, etc. For more information, visit www.growcounseling.com.