Many of us experience ups and downs in pour love relationships. These challenges are brought about by a number of reasons but many of them are self-inflicted.
As we head into the festive season, love therapists give us tips on how to keep our love and sex life alive
Don’t snoop. If you’re tempted to check your partner’s inbox or phone messages, stop, talk to yourself (whatever the psychologists say, it’s good for you). Ask, “Wait a minute, am I doing this because I think my partner is up to no good?” If so, have it out with him or her – you don’t need evidence, you need a conversation. Suspicion needs healing. The internet is a great place for expressing wishful thinking – but it’s important your partner is able to talk to you about those feelings.
Forget trouble for a little while and laugh together. A good laugh is like good sex: spontaneous and uninhibited and an act that unites two beings as one. It’s worth going out of your way to have a good laugh, especially if things have been rocky. Go to a place where you used to laugh or where there’s a good chance of laughter. That moment when you exchange a look and end up laughing, often over a shared memory, is the best way to understand each other again. It can be pretty sexy in bed too – as long as you’re laughing together.
Shut up and listen. No matter how bad things are, give your partner a chance to speak. Given silence in which to speak or rant, they’ll say more than they meant to – even more than they knew they were thinking. It can be surprising and revealing and paves the way for honesty. We tend to jump in with an opinion before we’ve heard each other out. Don’t scream, keep your cool: it makes a big difference. So often, things can be resolved by learning to listen.
Arrange time without the children. When you have kids you adore, find time to be just you alone so you remember and remind each other of who you were before they arrived, who you are now, and who you will be when they are gone. It’s natural that attention shifts to the children, but it’s a good idea to remember why you are together, and have a child together, in the first place. It’s possible to make it work by setting aside a time in the week and asking a relative to mind the children. Easier said than done, but important.
Invest in the relationship with your partner’s family. These relationships can be rocky. Keep yours smooth by remembering birthdays and anniversaries, by butting out of family disputes, and by never forcing your partner into the position of taking sides with you against their mother, father or siblings – those relationships go back a long way. Try to establish a friendship with the most sympathetic of your in-laws who can be your defender, if necessary, when you are not present. An ally in the family can also fill in aspects of the past that may help you to understand your partner.
***Adopted from The Independent UK