Ways to Strengthen Your Relationships

Relationships are the most complex and the most wonderful phenomenon to exist between individuals, however, it’s easy to forget about the pleasure when we experience relationship failures or are suffering relationship distress. Yet, relationships are not designed to be trouble free, there is no ‘perfect relationship’ because they are designed to test us, stretch us, and make us grow. However, alongside the challenges there must also be joy in order to sustain a satisfying relationship over the long term.  Here are some thoughts to ponder on how you can strengthen your relationship.

Maintain that connection

Humans are made to connect; it’s embedded in our genetic code. Our emotional, physiological and intellectual systems are all hard-wired for connection.  What makes life so beautiful is that when you do experience a sense of connection with another, and the relationship is fully nurtured then the connection becomes stronger and more stable over time. This sense of connection can be felt in relationships with friends, family, and partners. We find acceptance with others which makes us feel safe and secure. The converse also applies; if the connection is neglected then the relationship suffers. When this important link is broken problems emerge, and if left unattended, the issues grow bigger and more threatening day by day.  It can be useful to think of your relationship like a child who needs ongoing nurturing. Pay attention to the other, be curious and interested in their day-to-day lives, value and encourage their actions and support their choices all within the context of established and clear boundaries. Set your intention to be kind and sincere and cultivate an attitude of paying attention. These small shifts in attitude will assist to maintain connection with your significant other.

Communicate

Communication is key. This means being clear about what you want and being mindful of the other person. Communication is the way we let others into our world, to see who we are and get to know us on a deeper level. Without good communication between partners we live in the world of guesswork, assumptions and ignorance. Communication is a double-sided coin; the way you communicate and the way you receive communication both hold the same value. This means that a less argumentative and more empathetic attitude can open up a host of opportunities for more meaningful conversations which always results in better outcomes. And, most importantly learn to be a great listener as it’s in the listening that you really get to see and hear what your partner is seeking.

Cultivating awareness about the way you communicate is important too. Are you communicating openly and without judgement, or are you telling your partner what to do, what you want, coupled with criticism and anger? This type of communication only creates hurt and resentment. Communication is the key ingredient to keeping your connection alive. Set some ground rules such as no yelling, stick to the topic, no blaming or shaming and remain respectful, honest and commit to working towards a mutually satisfying outcome.  Let your communication style invite closeness instead of creating distance. Remember, the inability to communicate well underpins the failure of many relationships.

Cultivate Courage And Forgiveness

When two people agree to work things out during the lowest point in their relationship there emerges great hope for their future. It takes courage to step forward when you are feeling hurt and unhappy. Find the courage to be vulnerable, and the bravery to be truly honest as this will prove to be your greatest strength in moving from darkness to light in your relationship. Forgiveness sits alongside courage as an absolute necessity for any relationship to survive. We are human and we falter – a lot, and often it’s those closest to us who experience our darkest sides. We lash out at those we love. The act of forgiving has proven time and again to be enormously healing. It provides a sense of relief, reaffirms our humanity and is a true act of love. Forgiveness is essential for building the strong, sturdy bridge of relationship.

Understand Your Expectations

Unmet expectations can be the cause of deep frustrations within a relationship. Expectations often sit in our unconscious and when they are hidden then it’s hard to work with them. Learn to understand your own expectations, and then be brave enough to communicate them even if you are fearful of the outcome.  The only way forward is honesty with yourself and your partner.  There is nothing wrong in having expectations and setting relationship goals – this is intrinsic to the health of your relationship, but keep them realistic and attainable. Be clear about what you need and learn how to ask for what you want – all within the context of respect and understanding. When each party is attuned to the needs of the other relationship problems become much less acute.

Look inward

And finally, look inwards. Take the time to reflect and evaluate what you bring to the relationship dynamic. What can you change to improve the relationship? Where can you soften, allow more forgiveness, lower expectations or communicate more clearly? What aspects of yourself do you commit to work on?  When two people understand that their relationship is the space between them, and it’s the relationship that requires attention then it will certainly flourish.

If you are experiencing relationship difficulties then talking to a counsellor can help. At the Melbourne Counselling Centre we are experienced in helping couples resolve their relationship problems. Click here to book a session.

Aisling Kinghan
Aisling Kinghan
2020-10-08
Anne is amazing, TRTP has changed my entire outlook on life, how I interact with people, and what I’m doing. In the few months since TRTP my life has honestly changed so much for the better, it’s beyond what I could have ever imagined. My friends and family are also noticing it! And amazingly, every day gets better. Thank you so much Anne!
Daniel Rodgers
Daniel Rodgers
2020-07-07
Working in the Health industry, Melbourne Counselling Centre is the first place we recommend all our patients with ongoing challenges.
Rick Saunders
Rick Saunders
2020-07-07
I would not hesitate to refer anyone seeking an effective solution to an ongoing mental health concern.
Poki Samuels
Poki Samuels
2020-03-31
Well all I can say is that Anne has helped me get through some of the anger And trauma Been built up inside of me for years and I have not known how to deal with it. She took me step by step on to see how I could overcome these issues that were holding me back on achieving some of my greatest goals in life. Thank you so much Anne 🙏🏾
Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson
2019-09-18
TRTP has completely changed the way I think about myself and the world around me. The changes have been extraordinary in such a short space of time. I suddenly find myself walking forward with a new set of positive core beliefs which others are noticing on a daily basis Anne supported me through the process with expertise, compassion and patience. TRTP really does offer you a new launch pad from which to embark on a new journey. I’m so grateful for having this opportunity to do this work with Anne
Daniela J
Daniela J
2019-06-14
I had been struggling with life and reliving my trauma for over 20 years, I tried everything and nothing worked. Finally I was referred to Anne, who took me through The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP) as that is the process that helped shift the past and get you to a better place.  Words cannot express how she turned my life completely around. For once, I am actually excited about life, I am actually thinking about my future. I feel like my life has been reset, I have a second chance and I am developing my life the way I want it to be, rather than the influences I was brought up with. Anne, I am indebted to you, thank you so much.
Housam Ahmad
Housam Ahmad
2019-04-04
I recently visited Anne Serry because I was told to do a anger management course. I’m am happy to say that Anne help me and I am grateful. Anne also learns about your life digging so deep into the family and finding the right solution to help you through your problems. Enough said call her if you are experiencing bad habits or bad issues, she will break them down and help you solve your own problems. Thank you very much Anne Serry! I will defiantly call you if I have any other problems God bless
Anna Anasa
Anna Anasa
2019-03-23
Completing The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP) with Anne has helped me profoundly. I feel free and less anxious around matters that used to overwhelm me, and my day-to-day experience is calmer and much less reactive. I can't thank Anne enough for this life-enhancing process!
Jess Taylor
Jess Taylor
2019-03-22
Anne took me through the step by step process of TRTP. It has completely resolved all my traumatic experiences that I haven’t been able to do by just talking to a professional . It’s a very powerful therapy that has changed my life . I can now be the happy positive person that I’m meant to be 😊😊