As we enter 2022, many of us are thinking of new year's resolutions. Common goals include an exercise plan, a healthier diet, steps towards a better job and more quality time with the kids.
As a couples therapist and marriage counselor, rarely does the topic come up at the start of the new year about focusing on our marriage in the new year. This is a mistake given that our relationship to our partner is one of the most important aspects of our life.
A relationship check-in is a means of reflecting on how the relationship is doing in light of the last year. A relationship check-in is an opportunity to explore what is going well, what needs to be worked on and future aspirations.
Like everything important in life, a marriage requires hard work to keep it healthy. It's one thing to talk to your partner about lofty goals for the relationship, it's another thing to take concrete action in the direction of those goals. Action and consistency are key!
3 Practices for the New Year That Can Help Strengthen a Marriage or Relationship
1. Gratitude Text
Contemporary research through the Gottman Institute suggests that people who incorporate gratitude into their lives are happier, have stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure. One of the best ways to express gratitude is in the context of your relationship.
One idea is to text your partner something you are thankful for every day. This is a practice my wife and I started this year. Here's the text I sent her early this morning:
"I’m thankful that you hold my hand at night before we fall asleep. It seems like a small gesture, but it means a lot to me. I feel safe and connected when you do that."
Try to keep it fresh and meaningful. Don't repeat the same thing each time. Be specific. Give details. And include why you are thankful for each specific thing.
2. 15-Minute Connection
Most of us are super busy with work, kids' schedules and all the other responsibilities that pull at our attention. Many couples feel they don't have the time to meaningfully connect with everything else they have going on.
The problem with this is that most relationships cannot withstand the pressure of prolonged disconnection. It is so important to find the time and energy to focus on your partner and connect with them in significant ways.
I want to be a realist about this. I also want to challenge myself and anyone else reading this. What would it look like to set aside 15-minutes each day to connect with your partner?
My wife and I are busy therapists with four children and other family responsibilities. One of our new year's resolutions is to spend more time outside by the fire pit discussing our days. Some couples go for a walk around the neighborhood or share a cup of coffee in the morning.
3. Learn Something New Together
If you've been married for some time, it's easy to fall into the rut of monotony. You eat at the same restaurants, talk about the same topics, and your sex life may start to feel routine.
One way to strengthen your relationship is to have some new experiences together. This can be a great way of incorporating other goals by choosing to try a new work out together.
Some couples decide to take a cooking class where they learn how to cook food that's outside their normal repertoire. Others learn a new skill like painting or dancing. Get creative and have fun!
Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Katy, Tx & Houston
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage therapists and couples counselors can help you achieve your marriage or relationship goals for the new year. Marriage counseling or couples therapy can help not only repair damage that may have been caused due to a breach in trust or other factors, but also help strengthen an already good relationship.
If you are finding that:
You are not as connected in your marriage as you used to be,
There has been damage caused in the relationship that could use repaired,
Infidelity has impacted the relationship, but you are looking to heal from the impact,
You are looking for ways to strengthen and protect your marriage, or
Other factors that may be putting up obstacles in your way of happiness and connectedness,
all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Partner with our marriage counselors or couples therapist to help you meet your relationship goals for the new year. Your marriage is worth working for and we can help.
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Serving Katy, Tx & Houston
Below are a few of the other counseling services we provide for teens, families, and young adults in Katy, Tx and Houston:
Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you're ready to start your healing journey in marriage counseling or couples therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.