I did couple's counseling for years, in Orange County, in private practice. I worked with single people desperately seeking a relationship, people getting divorced, people who had affairs, separated folks, couples who hadn't had sex in way too many years, or intimacy for that matter, pre marital couples, newlyweds and military couples. Now, as a Lifestyle Coach I continue to help people with their relationships, in a different way. There are specific exercises that are simple and easy to recognize the health of your relationships with not only your partner, but your boss, kids, friends and even acquaintances.
Techniques for a happier relationship
#1 Figure out what you want in an "ideal" partner
Write 30 things you want in an ideal partner and GO BIG! The list will be in the positive. Instead of no drug addicts, write Addiction Free. Remember and think about what really matters most to you in a partner. Think down the road at least 10 years and think about things you will want even then.
Has Close and Supportive Friends
Great Family who loves me
Emotionally Intelligent (READ Golman's Emotional Intelligence book)
Attractive to me
Loves my family
High Self Esteem
Loves to exercise
Good career, job or business
Okay now DON'T use my sample list.
Think of things that are important to YOU.
#2 Own your own feelings
Understand your feelings are your own. You have heard the saying OWN your feelings, well that is because NO ONE makes you feel ANYTHING. I often hear people say "She made me feel" or "he made me feel" or "they made me feel". NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL ANYTHING. Feelings are stuck inside of you, and they pop up when there is a trigger, but they are in you, and no one put them in there. Triggers can happen any time, place, and the feelings that you feel are yours. I can have 10 people in a room and I could jump up and down and flap my arms wildly and scream I'm a Turkey, and all 10 people will FEEL differently. I did not make them FEEL any of those FEELINGS. I was a trigger, but the feelings are theirs. I have not actually done the above, but I am certain some people would cry, some would laugh, someone would be shocked and someone upset....but I did not make them feel that way!!!
#3 Figure out if your feelings are aligned with what is happening.
Figure out if your feelings match the situation at hand. If your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend is late for dinner at your favorite restaurant, on date night, and you go into a rage, does that match the situation??? NO WAY! Ask yourself what situation would match you going into a rage. Perhaps a loved one being harmed, someone chasing you down an alley at gun point, you were cheated etc... Next ask yourself what would be a natural reaction to someone being late for a date. Perhaps irritation, aggravation, disappointment, or worry. The deepest, darkest feeling you might have is rejection, and even that would be over the top for someone being late to a date. Find out if your feelings match the situation. If not think about where that deep, dark feeling comes from. Did something happen to you that would cause such rage? Ask yourself where does this kind of rage come from? When you figure out which situation(s) the rage began, work through it, and if you can't work through it on your own, get a referral for a licensed professional or Life Coach to help you out.
Even Birds fight! But FIGHTING IS for the birds!
Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of I-Deal-Lifestyle, a Self and Space Organization Service.