Relationship and marital problems are not that uncommon. They come in all shapes and sizes. If you are feeling disconnected or alone in your relationship, you are not alone. The divorce rate is almost 50%. This should tell you something.

As a Marriage & Family Therapist and a trained Gottman Couples Therapist. I can tell you I have seen a lot of problems. My knowledge has allowed me to help many couples through difficult times. I have found that the small things make a BIG difference in a relationship.

So, the question is why do so many of you get away from that? I see it all the time. Work, children and the house take over. This means your relationship gets further down on the list. When you start putting your partner last, your relationship is in big trouble.

 Here are 7 types of relationship challenges:

  1. Perceived lack of concern, care and attentiveness. Feeling like the relationship is one-sided. Alright, you decided to stay home while the kids were young. You wanted to be there to see them grow and change. You sacrificed a lot to do this. You had a thriving career and great friends. Now, he is away at work all day. He has been promoted and works late most of the time. His travel schedule is crazy. This leaves you with all the responsibilities…

Read more: The 7 Types Of Relationship Challenges (And How To Fix Them)

It’s a very simple word. But, yet so many people have a really hard time saying it. Why is this? Does it mean you have to admit you are wrong? I’m sure you know, the answer is yes. This is one of the best things you can do for your relationship.

 

All relationships go through highs and lows. What’s important is you learn to repair, when you have made a mistake. It’s also important when your partner gives you a sincere apology, that you receive it.

 

Even if you think you had a small part in the argument. It’s important to fess up to it and say, ‘I’m sorry.” Now, wasn’t that easy. I think if more people did this, we wouldn’t need aspirin. If you don’t repair, then you stay stuck. This can lead to all kinds of other problems.

 

Here are 5 of the most sincerest stories of saying, ‘I’m sorry.’

 

  1. First, you must accept responsibility. You probably are feeling hurt. This can cloud your perception of the situation. Start by saying, ‘I’m truly sorry, that really came out wrong.’ ‘I’m sorry I hurt you.’ There are many ways to say it, what’s important is that it’s sincere. This will let your partner know that you are taking responsibility for your part in the argument. It’s important that you hold your space,…

Read more: Why Is Saying I'm Sorry So Difficult?

The wedding was beautiful. You had the perfect ceremony, followed by the perfect reception. You were surrounded by friends and family, that were for you. Next the honeymoon, maybe you went somewhere far away. It was just the two of you day and night. The sparks were flying.

When you’re in the right relationship, it’s the best feeling. You know your partner gets you and has your back, at all times. For some people the first year of marriage is great, for others that’s not the case. 

They need to make adjustments and have a difficult time with it. Maybe, you didn’t land the job you wanted or you had to move. Inflation rose more than your salary. You didn’t know he liked to watch T.V. as much as he did. If you are married, then you know what I am talking about.

There is good news, you can get through the first year of marriage. You can be reasonably happy in your relationship. Here are 7 tips to help you out:

  1. Make sure you know one important thing about your partner’s day before you leave the house. Regardless, of how big or small you may think it is. It’s important you know what’s going on in your partner’s day when you aren’t there. Be supportive when your partner tells you about their day.…

Read more: 7 Tips To Survive Your First Year Of Marriage

A lot of people feel like dating in your 40’s is like being is hell. I have to say I disagree. Sure, there are advantages to dating when you are younger, but when you are in your 40’s you don’t have the pressure you did when you were younger.

Most likely you are more financially secure and in a career you like. You either have children or have given up on the idea of children. And, you aren’t in a rush. This is the time where you can really enjoy dating.

You also have a much better idea of what you want in a relationship. Meaning what you will put up with and what you won’t. As human beings we need to connect. If you feel this way then you are normal. Remember, it’s alright to say no and to wait for something better to come along.

Here are 12 questions to tell if he is a keeper or not.

  1. Why are you single?
  2. What is your biggest insecurity?
  3. Are you looking for something serious or casual?
  4. Are you thinking about making any major residential moves in the next year?
  5. Have you ever struggled with any mental health issues?
  6. Have you ever been arrested?
  7. Have you ever been in a serious relationship before?
  8. What memories have scarred you for life?
  9. Are you close with your…

Read more: Dating After 40? Here Are 12 Questions You Must Ask.

In the beginning love is bliss. You can’t wait to see each other. You have so much in common and the sparks are flying. As time goes on, things change. You buy a house, have children and get promoted at your job. This is all great, but what happens to your relationship?

We start to put all these other things first and our relationship last. Not only is this hard on intimacy, it’s hard on the friendship. The Gottman’s have been studying relationships for over four decades. What they’ve found, is what keeps the sparks flying is a strong friendship. This is true for both men and women.

We’ve put together a list of questions that will help deepen your relationship and add meaning to it. Make sure to schedule some time with your partner each day to ask some of these questions. 

Here are 21 questions to help keep the sparks flying.

  1. What major stresses are you facing right now?
  2. What are all the details of your day?
  3. What is one of your greatest fears or disaster scenarios?
  4. Describe in detail what I did yesterday, or today.
  5. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened to you this past week?
  6. What would you consider your dream job?
  7. What medical problems do you worry about?
  8. What was your worst childhood experience?
  9. What is your favorite time of…

Read more: 21 Questions To Help Keep The Sparks Flying In Your Relationship

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
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San Mateo, CA 94404

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