Many couples enter therapy with this popular myth regarding love: that being and staying ‘in love’ is the ideal. The truth is that lasting relationships mature into a deeper and more quietly loving connection.
I frequently see couples who want to improve their relationships. No matter what the nature of the relationship, there is always the opportunity for vital growth, renewing intimacy and resolution.
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These can be
Areas of Strength
or Areas of Difficulty
Compatibility - Successful couples consider this the most important element.
We share interests that lie outside our physical relationship.
I feel a strong sense of independence within my relationship.
My partner seldom displays annoyance or impatience at what I do or say and respects my ideas and point of view.
We find ways to spend more time together than apart.
We find each other fun to live with and frequently laugh together.
Our backgrounds have much in common and we enjoy our differences.
We know how to fight and negotiate fairly.
Chemistry - Less than 10% of those in successful relationships feel chemistry is the most
We look forward to safe and consensual sexual intimacy.
We are both comfortable with our sexual orientation.
Conversation with my partner is effortless and interesting.
I feel a sense of validation and connection in my relationship.
I have a positive body image.
We are patient with each other sexually.
We use romance and affection to express love.
We both like to learn more about how to please each other sexually.
Commitment - Successful relationships evolve from easy and natural infatuation into the ability to maintain a mature and loving relationship.
My partner feels close to and loved by me.
My partner and I deal with money and job pressures in positive ways.
We are both looking forward to the same future.
We encourage each other to do well.
My partner and I never allow our families or close friends to undermine our relationship.
We easily forgive each other after disagreements and conflicts.
My partner and I never verbally or physically attack each other during conflicts.
Chronic dissatisfaction - We can’t seem to please each other, no matter what we do or say.
Lack of communication - Conversations between us either don’t exist or they are hostile, manipulative, or avoid real issues.
Values discrepancy - We have lost respect for one another’s personal standards, which creates conflict.
Co-dependency - Our sense of identity and self-worth depends on the relationship.
Lack of libido - Our romantic encounters - if they exist at all - seem perfunctory and mechanical.
Idealizing the past - I am spending more time missing the sex we used to have than valuing/improving the sex we are having.
Resentment - I perceive wrongs, real or imagined, that stand in the way of intimacy. Forgiveness is impossible.
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Distancing - I feel I don’t matter anymore and withdraw from meaningful interaction.
Dishonesty - The discovery of lying, deception or betrayal - including infidelity - undermines our relationship.
Lack of common goals - We are unable to “grow something together,” like a hobby, business, cause or budget for the future.
External Factors - Elements outside our relationship erode intimacy, and we often blame each other for the intrusion.