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Very often during pre-marital counseling couples will ask me, individually, “Should we be working this hard?”. Maybe a better question “is the effort worth the reward?”. It’s hard to stay motivated if your efforts are not paying of. Weigh the pros and cons and decide of it is worth while investing time into your relationship. Ideally there should be a balance just like with anything else – work hard and play hard. Pick a partner with whom you like yourself and who challenges you but in a respectful kind way. Identify problems that you seem gridlocked in and think about how it would be to live with them permanently. They might get resolved but don’t commit to a relationship thinking you will change your partner.
Assuming you agreed to work on your relationship here are smart daily exercises to get you started:
- Continue to learn about your partner by engaging in deeper open ended questions.
- Openly share your admiration of your loved one in the form of compliments or vulnerable observations.
- Attune to your significant others need for attention and give generously
- When your partners intentions are unclear assume they are positive.