Stay Mine Valentine: How to keep your relationship healthy

Have you ever considered, the reasons you are attracted to you partner may be the same reasons you disagree?

We are attracted to the differences between our partner and ourselves yet the differences often bring conflict. The attraction and the conflict mean you’ve found the right person

Attracted to your spouse?

Part of our attraction to our partner is to once again feel our wholeness and aliveness because the attraction represents a need to connect to lost parts of the self.

Our behavior and our defenses represent our unmet needs. We fall in love because of certain qualities the other person possesses that meet those needs. However, the quality changes after time, and that same quality represents the lost part of the self.

We tend to fall in love with someone with the same amount of baggage, and we all bring baggage into our relationship.

How to make your relationship even better:

  • Express your love to your partner: “One thing I appreciate about you is…One reason I fell in love with you is…One thing I love about being in a relationship with you now is…”
  • Listen to your partner. Demonstrate your listening by reflecting back what you hear your partner saying to you.
  • Validate your partner. “I hear what you are saying, and it matters to me.”
  • Empathize with your partner: “I imagine you may be feeling…”

How Counselling can help your relationship (even if you’re not having problems!)

One of the forms of therapy we use is called Imago. It allows for the couple’s experience to evolve from voicing frustrations about your partner to noticing and sharing your own self-struggles and experiencing and re-experiencing connection and differentiation.

You reflect on yourself, and how you affect your partner and how what you say makes you more or less connected to your partner, and how you wish would respond.

The Science of Imago and why it works:

Through Imago practice, the dialogue rewires the reptilian or automatic responses in the brain, causing us to behave defensively, to become learned and intentional behavior and communication.

You reflect on yourself, and how you affect your partner and how what you say makes you more or less connected to your partner, and how you wish would respond.

– Advice offered by Grace McDonald, RMFT

*The information contained is intended for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent illness or disease.