One of the most common concerns I hear from couples that I work with in relationship counselling or marriage therapy is ‘Now that we’ve rebuilt our trust, improved our communication and become so much closer, what can we do to make sure we don’t fall back into our old relationship habits?’ or ‘Now that we’ve found happiness, how can we keep it?’
One of the first steps in counteracting our human tendency to revert back to the status quo is in having reasonable relationship expectations.
As a happy couple with new tools and strategies under your belt, you’ll still make mistakes and have many of the same disagreements and frustrations with one another as before, but it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.
Even though some of your problems will remain or resurface; overall, your relationship peaks and valleys will even out to create a much more joyful, appreciative and loving dynamic between the two of you.
Your interactions will be kinder, more respectful and a lot more mindful. This is where your real power and influence in shaping your relationship and your life lies.
As you probably already know, it’s not what happens, but how you react to what happens in your relationship (and in your life) that makes the difference between dissatisfaction and happiness.
When you’re under a lot of stress you’ll naturally revert back to your old habits. In order to keep the stress down and keep your tools and strategies for relationship happiness top of mind, consider creating a lifestyle that allows you to minimize your stress.
In addition to having realistic relationship expectations and minimizing the stress in your life:
Susan Blackburn is a Registered Psychologist providing Individual and Couples Counselling. She is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario, a member of the Ontario Psychological Association and has a M.A. degree in Counselling Psychology from the Adler School in Chicago, a B.A. (Honours) from York University and a B.Sc. in Business from the University of Phoenix.
Credentials include being a published author and several guest appearances on television and radio as an expert therapist including That Channel’s ‘Extraordinary Women TV’, the W Network’s ‘Style by Jury’ and Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s (of ‘Til Debt Do Us Part) show, ‘Princess’. Susan Blackburn Psychology