Relationship tip – You need to focus on all three of you in the relationship!
You need to focus on all three of you in the relationship.
One of the best relationship tips I can give you, and let me explain why!
Are you never completely satisfied with your love life?
Learn how to project your energy to the right places and let your relationship skyrocket.
Or rather: take it back to what it once was.
“You just need to spend more quality time together”
Yes, that’s a classic advice from a couple’s therapist...
But actually, on more than one occasion, I’ve asked the couple to do the exact opposite.
The couples I meet in my clinic always have one person more unhappy than the other.
For most parts, that’s also the person who is better at putting words to what’s wrong.
Well, what this person believes the relationship is missing.
Being present is often right at the top of the list and therefore they’ve often tried to fix things by adding more “quality time together”, like romantic weekends away and scheduled nights every week for some romance.
All of this is often initiated by the person who’s feeling unsatisfied.
But still something is missing.
When you keep trying to make an effort and follow any good relationship tip and advice that’s thrown your way, and it still doesn’t work, it’s fairly easy to jump to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with “us”.
And as soon as this thought has entered your mind, the hope of ever feeling good together again disappears.
However, my experience tells me that the reality is a bit different to this: we need to search for a solution that doesn’t lie in the “let’s nurture our relationship”.
The interesting thing is that why the whole nurturing the relationship doesn’t just magically happen.
Is it habit that makes you collapse on the sofa EVERY night with a phone or a tablet each or is it because you don’t want to have nice times together?
For some couples, the answer to this question is yes!
It’s either habit or a lack of wanting to spend time together.
But for so many of the couples I’ve met, there’s something else going on!
That one person – and sometimes even both – has been feeling really awful but hasn’t said anything.
If we take a quick look at the general psychological state of people just in Denmark, I must say, I’m not impressed:
We are 6 million people!
440,000 Danes are prescribed anti-depressants.
1/5 Danish men and 1/10 Danish women show signs of an alcohol addiction.
430,000 Danes show symptoms of serious stress every day and every second Dane can’t sleep and is therefore sleep-deprived.
In addition to all this, there’s a whole host of other issues, which affect your energy levels in your everyday life. The energy you have for work, family, general everyday business but most certainly also the energy you bring to your relationship.
And honestly, do you really believe adding more “romance time” will take away these problems?
In my experience: no.
Relationship tip with three factors!
As a rule, there are three factors to your relationship: You, me and “us”.
And if you or me in no way is feeling well, it’s very rare to have an “us” that works.
And therefore, more time together isn’t always the road to a happy relationship.
The desire for more time with your partner – or for more sex – doesn’t necessarily come by having more time with your partner or more sex.
In rare cases, yes.
There’s no rule without an exception.
However, for the majority of the people I’ve met, this isn’t the solution.
The desire, the initiative and the energy comes from a totally different source: you.
Your own surplus energy.
If you can relate to the struggles described above – or a whole other issue for that matter – and it’s draining you, then really it’s no wonder that you’re finding it hard to find the energy to play with your kids all afternoon.
Or to make interesting lunches, invite your better half out for dinner at that restaurant you just KNOW he’ll love.
Or buy those concert tickets you know she’ll go wild for or even just taking the initiative to be present in everyday situations and to “check in” with one another, you know, to see how things are going.
When we have a lot going on with ourselves, then our focus tends to be on ourselves and we become extremely self-centred (for good reasons).
It does require a broader focus though, to be interested in our partner and to have to energy and curiosity to be 100% present.
This simply isn’t doable if you, pardon my French, feel like shit about yourself.
We simply have to wake up and own the responsibility - and THAT is the best relationship tip I can ever give you - resonsibility FTW!
And yes, it IS ours to own and it is our duty to acknowledge that only ONE person (with, hopefully, a supportive significant other cheering you on) can take responsibility for our own quality of life and how we feel when we wake up in the morning.
We have to own up to the responsibility of getting the help we, deep down, know is due.
I rarely see anyone feeling awful without being aware of it.
You know if something is off!
The question is whether you choose to do anything about it.
When YOU are well and when you partner is well, it just IS a lot easier to look after your “us” and to take the initiative to nurture your relationship and your family live.
If we don’t look after ourselves but keep playing the anxiety thoughts on repeats or let ourselves be carried away by the stress (or alcohol) in our daily lives along with sleep deprivation etc., then it’s really dang hard to be there for your partner.
It’s close to impossible to find the energy to fuel the fire of love and erotica.
Way too often, I see couples who have been avoiding facing reality for years – they simply haven’t talked about their problems.
And this only makes the problems grow even larger.
As soon as you decide to own the responsibility of changing things, shifts do happen and more often than not, they happen surprisingly fast.
Fast is a relative term, of course. 6-8 months is fast when you look back on them though. And if you take some initiative today, you might even be able to feel some positive changes in a mere two weeks.
It’s often the realisation of “there’s something wrong here”, that’s hard to own.
However, as soon as the whole realisation thing is out of the way – without any blame and criticism – it’s so much easier to make a plan for how you’re going to solve this.
As soon as you’ve laid out a plan, this will bring you both hope and energy. And hopefully a bit more fuel to keep going a little bit more – and as soon as the energy returns, you will find it significantly easier to have “us time”.
An “us time” that is present and exactly how you wanted it to begin with.
Maj’s relationship tip:
If you have the energy for it, ask your partner this: “Is there anything I can do for you today to make your day better?”
If your partner is being absentminded for a longer period of time, please ask them how they are.
There’s guaranteed to be a reason to why their energy is running on empty and chances are, it hasn’t got anything to do with you.
Tell your partner what you’re observing and what you’re noticing.
Your partner is your friend and as a good friend you tell them what you’re worried about.
If your partner KEEPS feeling down in the dumps, insist that you seek help.
As a team.
Some people prefer to look the other way but you do have to face the dragon and get some help.
Own the responsibility and ensure that you move forward together.
Maj Wismann - Clinical sexologist and relationthip therapist with own clinic since 2006
Read more about relationships:
*** What are the best relationship tip you ever got? Have you experienced your partner having a hard time - and what did you do? Please share your experiences (and lessons) in the comments below. Remember, your comment might help someone else! And as always, thank you for sharing.
Please do remember that relationship tip and issues are very vulnerable topics, so please keep your words positive and loving. Thank you. Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.