Category Archives: intimacy

New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

It’s the time of year! A fresh start! A time for you to set new goals and refocus on how you can be the best version of yourself. When we think of New Year’s Resolutions, we often think about creating a gym routine, increasing our emergency fund, or improving our productivity at work. Imagine what could happen if you focused this time and energy on your relationship or marriage, too! Here are four New Year’s Resolutions that you can make with your partner to create a more connected and fulfilling relationship.

Be more intentional!

I get it! You’re busy. However, when you let structured time with your partner fall to the wayside you could be sending a message about where your priorities lie. The reality is that if you wait until you “have time”, it likely will not happen. Instead, try reserving a few hours each week to connect with your partner and stick to it! Are finances or childcare getting in your way? At home date nights can effective when you are in a pinch. Be sure that you are using this time to connect and not just to watch your favorite television program.

honeymoon couple laughingCommunicate about your Relationship

Many of the couples that I see tend to communicate about their relationship the most during conflict. However, having these conversations in a more calm and positive space can help normalize them and make them easier to navigate when things become escalated. Try checking in with your partner about your relationship at least once a week. Questions like “How can I best support you in the next week?”, “What discussion have come up for us in the past week that need resolution?”, and “How are you feeling about our physical intimacy?” can help you and your partner feel seen and cared for.

State Complaints in the Moment

Many of my clients avoid communicating complaints to their partner out of fear that they will cause unnecessary conflict. However, choosing not to communicate complaints can lead to resentment, bitterness, and eventually loss of connection. Instead, try to be mindful of how you are communicating with your partner. Are you coming across as critical? Are you unable to see your partner’s perspective in the situation? If so, it may be helpful to slow down and approach the situation with respect and curiosity. Doing so can prevent your partner from becoming defensive or shutting down. Still not convinced? Try noticing how you feel and act towards your partner when you make the conscious decision to communicate a complaint in the moment compared to when you choose not to. It is likely that you will feel more positively towards you partner when you choose to be honest and transparent and opposed to bottling things up.

Nurture Relationships with Friends and Family Members

One person cannot meet your needs all the time. Maintaining meaningful relationships with friends and family members outside of your romantic relationship can alleviate this pressure and help you feel energized and fulfilled. These relationships also allow you to maintain a healthy sense of independence, outside of your couple relationship which can lead to as greater sense of satisfaction long-term.

 

Westminster marriage counselor Michaela StandhartAbout the Author

Michaela Standhart is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. She specializes in couples therapy, betrayal trauma, and works with adolescent as young as 12 years old.

Why You Shouldn’t be Friends with Your Spouse

Why You Shouldn’t be Friends with Your Spouse

If you’ve ever been to a wedding before, you’ve probably heard someone say something like:  “Today I married my best friend”. Shoot, you’ve probably even seen it on your Facebook page when a friend or relative is announcing their anniversary. They say something like “15 years ago today I married my best friend”. Whether it’s… Continue Reading

What Blocks Intimacy?

What Blocks Intimacy?

Intimacy is important in relationships, and I am not just talking about sex. I am talking about the sense of emotional vulnerability and connection to your partner. But when our relationships are struggling, it can be hard to find that connection. You might not even fight often, but you feel yourself drifting apart. And when… Continue Reading

Low Desire Problems in the Bedroom

Low Desire Problems in the Bedroom

A lot of couples experience difficulties in the bedroom.  And one of the most common problems couples have is mistmatched sexual desire. In other words, when one partner wants sex more and one partner wants sex less. When this happens it can be really frustrating. If you’re the higher desire partner (the partner who wants sex more often), you… Continue Reading

Ways to Invite Intimacy Back Into the Relationship

Ways to Invite Intimacy Back Into the Relationship

You and your spouse are thinking about couples counseling and you find yourself thinking, what’s the point? Neither of you have felt happy in a long time. You don’t spend any time together outside of paying bills and taking care of the kids, and you can’t even remember the last time you’ve had enjoyable sex.… Continue Reading

Bring Back Sex!

Bring Back Sex!

If sex isn’t happening, or if you or your partner are not satisfied with your sex life, there are likely conflicts in the relationship. You’ve heard it before, but being able to be physically intimate and have sex is what distinguishes romantic relationships from other relationships. Considering this, how are you and your partner addressing… Continue Reading

We Have Sex… but No Intimacy

We Have Sex… but No Intimacy

When I ask people about sex and intimacy the answer often reflects a belief that they are one and the same. We believe both to mean the act of sexual intercourse. It’s true that they go hand in hand within a healthy relationship, but they don’t need each other to exist. If you are in a relationship that has no intimacy it feels like… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: Is it My Fault My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex?

He Said/She Said: Is it My Fault My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex?

Dear Aaron & Rachel, This is a little embarrassing to say but I feel like my husband is uninterested in me sexually. We’ve been married for almost ten years and have two kids together. Our sex life has always been pretty good until about a year ago. There wasn’t anything big that happened, it has… Continue Reading