You’re taking on jobs that were left lying around now. But have you talked about an annual check-up for your relationship, even if it all goes well?
If things are going well between you and your partner, you will probably be reluctant to ask these questions, let alone consider relationship therapy or something like that.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, it’s the golden rule in many partner relationships where there’s no acute crisis (yet). As long as it’s going well, you don’t need to do any maintenance, right?
What we find quite reasonable for the car, an annual check-up, is apparently exaggerated for the relationship. If not, Michelle, the wife of former U.S. President Barack Obama. In a recent interview, she reveals she’s been in relationship therapy with her husband.
Not because their marriage was at risk, but because they wanted to develop as individuals and partners, to grow. Above all, they wanted to learn how to express any differences of opinion in the most effective and dignified way possible. The emphasis was on four skills.
One: Conversation. Regularly reserve time to talk to each other and, with the emphasis on taking turns, share feelings and concerns.
Two: Communicate. Don’t just talk to each other about problems, but also about how you want to talk to each other about problems.
Three: prosocial exchange. Provide at least one sweet, warm, or happy moment with each other every day, in the form of touch, compliment, just a sweet phone call or app.
Four: more ceremonial. Pay attention to or reflect on special, positive moments from the history of relationships.
Then adds the fifth skill: remember that a lasting relationship sometimes exists by the grace of the fact that you decide not to say some things.