10 TIPS FOR A GOOD RELATIONSHIP By Dawn J. Lipthrott, LCSW
1. Every morning make a conscious commitment to eliminate blame, criticism, and invalidation from your side of the relationship. If it leaks out, acknowledge it, and apologize to your partner.
2. Pay attention to and express appreciation for positive things your partner says or does--no matter how small!
3. Ask your partner to write down what makes him/her feel loved and special. Do the same for yourself. Exchange lists. Then, every day, no matter how you feel about him or her, do one loving/caring behavior for your partner!
4. Honestly look at the things YOU do that you know are not helpful to the relationship. If you want something different, you need to do something different!
5. Develop compassion for your partner and for yourself. Reactive, defensive thoughts, words and behavior are ways we protect ourselves from "danger". Watch yourself reacting and ask yourself, "What does this remind me of from my own past?" and, " What can I do differently at this point to become safer for my partner?"
6. Ask very specifically for what you need and say 'why' it is important to you. Your partner cannot read your mind and actually experiences life differently than you do!
7. Learn new skills that make communication safe and effective for both of you.
8. Know that both romantic love and the power struggle are not the destination, but are stages on the road to 'real love'. Frustration and conflict are keys for healing and growth for both of you!
9. Read Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., for new understanding of underlying issues that fuel frustration in your relationship and of ways to co-create a better relationship.
10. Most relationships can be 'saved' and transformed, and getting rid of the partner does not get rid of the 'problem'! If you think you need help, call for an appointment or come to one of our workshops or classes. You can create the relationship you want.