Secrets to improving your relationshipBy Dr. Ruth Westheimer
I recently watched the movie Couples Retreat on TV. The four couples in this film think they’re going to relax and just have a good time, but this imaginary resort forces you to examine your relationship, and in so doing, the couples discover that they have issues. Lots of issues.
Since the movie is a comedy, of course, everything is exaggerated, but the truth is most couples don’t have a perfect marriage, no matter how long they’ve been together and no matter what others outside the relationship think.
Am I suggesting you go examining your relationship, seeking out the warts? No, I am not. If a relationship is rocky, then I think the couple should get professional help because, as the movie demonstrated, picking each other apart can lead to major problems. But even if your relationship is pretty good, I’m not letting you entirely off the hook.
Focus on positive changes
This year, as you approach Valentine’s Day, assume that you could make some improvements in the way you deal with your partner. Every relationship could use some spit and polish, and rather than approach this from the negative—“let’s find out what’s wrong”—just try to make some positive changes and offer them up along with the traditional box of chocolates.
Some people are afraid of change, especially if they think it’s going to disrupt their lives. But by promising to make some small changes—and keeping to those promises—you can actually better both your lives.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Your spouse wants to spend more time talking, and you both want more exercise, so agree to go for a daily stroll where you can both walk and converse.
Your loved one says you spend too much time watching TV. Agree on one night of no TV and see what you can do together instead.
Love sometimes blooms more readily in the morning for those over a certain age, so make dates for some morning romance.