You’re a high powered professional enjoying the life you built, but you’re also hitting a snag. Your relationship is struggling, and you feel stuck and unclear on how to help your relationship succeed in the same way you are at work.  If you love some quick tips, this blog post is definitely right for you. I am going to break down five ways to improve your relationship ASAP. By improving your relationship, I truly mean enhancing warmth, connection and overall feelings of love for one another. 1. Teammates firstYou and your partner are teammates above all else! Yes, there are other people in your world. You may have a work team to tend to, a large family, and a bunch of friends who love you. This is completely normal, and does not mean that your partnership cannot be a priority for you.  By “priority,” I do not mean that your partner is your everything, or even that you need to spend the most time with them. What I mean is putting them first the moments that count. Remember their emotional and inner worlds are different than yours, and respond based on their needs. This is the glue that will help you excel in your relationship.  2. Remember to laughI know this one sounds simple, but it is easy to lose in the shuffle. Because you are a business person, you know what it is like to be on hyperspeed. You want to move fast and get the most out of life, so you forget that part of getting the most out of life is actually slowing down to enjoy the moments you’ve worked so hard for. This is so difficult- there a million things to do, both at work and at home. It is easy to slide into a pattern of focusing only on things you need to do instead of remembering why exactly you’re doing them in the first place! Try practicing mindfulness to be present, and enjoy those small silly moments with your partner. Check out this article on slowing down to find joy.  3. Say “thank you”This is easy to skip if you’ve been with your partner for a long time. The things they do start becoming exactly that- just things they do. So when your partner pays for dinner or opens the car door for you, you forget to say “thank you” because this becomes the norm for your relationship. While it is lovely to have these pleasant, small gestures become the norm, it also makes it much more difficult to remember to show appreciation and gratitude. Saying “thank you” can help your partner feel understood and exceptional and could even leave them space to want to go that extra mile for you. After all, who doesn’t love being appreciated for who they are? Check out this post on the importance of saying “thank you” in the workplace.  4. Turn towards rather than awayOk, so this one is from Drs. John and Julie Gottman. As we’ve mentioned in a handful of previous posts, the Gottmans are couples therapists and researchers who are exceptional in what they’ve found throughout their years of experience.  Turning towards your partner essentially means that you are responding to the subtle bids for connection that they make. This could be verbal (“check out that sunset!”) to physical (reaching out to touch their hand) to an act of service (making coffee). Responding is turning towards your partner, and silence or rejection (“I’m reading right now”) are turning away. This can be very hard, especially when there is a ton to do and you feel like you’re buzzing through life! Acknowledging the small moments may even feel like another thing you have to worry about. Instead, take some baby steps- start by noticing when you are bidding for connection, and what it is like for you both when your partner is able to respond and when they are not. Once you master this, it’ll be a little easier to know what your partner is looking for when they are making their own bids! 5. Have buy-inInvest in your relationship! Your relationship is so important to you-- after all, that is why you’re reading this post! Give energy to those small moments. The goal here is to optimize the time you are able to spend together, rather than increasing the quantity of time together.  The first four tips on this post explore ways to optimize and enrich your quality of time with your partner. For example, let’s focus on that moment in the morning when your partner is making coffee and you are beginning your dive into work emails.  Picture this: You take a second to acknowledge your partner, and you say “babe, this coffee is amazing.” You both giggle because you’re using a Keurig, you are saying “thank you,” you are responding to a bid, and you’re making the moment of the small moment. Way to optimize! Why wait?! Get to it! Show your partner how important they are by using your small moments and making them the best they can be. Make your moments high quality by remembering to laugh, saying “thank you,” turning towards, and investing. Maybe start by sending over a quick text saying that you’re thinking of them. Who doesn’t love a small reminder of their importance? ​Mollie Eliasof, LCSW   

The springtime often signals us to find a general sense of refresh and routine in daily habits -- hello, spring cleaning! But how many times have you promised yourself you’re going to get to exercising, to commit to reading one book a month, or to have that tough conversation you’ve been avoiding? You know what I’m talking about. The cyclic nature of trying to keep that new promise to yourself no matter what can be detrimental to self esteem and perceived self competence, especially when you have a tough time making it stick. So, how can you nip it in the bud and make this promise a sustainable change? And further, how can you and your partner be conscious about the changes you want to make-- and commit to them together?

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Other Blog Posts:

Black Lives Matter Announcement​

As social workers (and therapists), we have always made social justice and the emotional well being of both our clients and those around us our priority. We also are trained to roll up our sleeves and get to action in every way that we are called to.

 

Over the last few weeks, that dedication has been focused on supporting our clients to manage their lives and emotions due to the impact of the continuous horrific injustices and murders towards the Black Community. We have also committed to actions of advocacy, donation, and supporting Black business, within our practice as well as our personal lives. We want to share with you some incredible resources, but before that, we want to be clear about where we stand. While we believe this is a given, it deserves to be explicitly stated:

 

As a practice, we are committed to being anti-racist. Period. We integrate it and will continue to integrate it in how we show up for our clients, our vendors, our staff, and the community as a whole. We want to continue to make changes and transformations occur to remove systemic oppression and participate in the change of this nation and world.

 

We will not stop being activists as well as therapists. We also know that you look to us for relationship help, so you’ll see us restart blog posts next week. There are new needs for support, challenges that you are experiencing in the world and how that has entered and impacted your relationship. Tell us what you need to hear from us and how we can show up for you, because that’s always our number one goal.

 

This week, we’re showing up for you by sharing resources of therapists that inspire us and that we admire.

 

We hope their vision, perspective, and voice will help continue to support you:

 

Dr. Joy Harden Bradford- @hellodrjoy

Why the Therapy for Black Girls Directory is necessary

 

Therapy for Black Girls- @therapyforblackgirls

https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com

 

Therapy for Black Men- @therapyforblkmen

 https://therapyforblackmen.org/ 

 

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis- @drthema

 https://www.drthema.com/ 

 

Alishia McCullough- @blackandembodied

https://linktr.ee/AlishiaMcCullough

 

Dr. Donna Oriowo- @dr.donnaoriowo

https://www.annodright.com/

 

Nedra Glover Tawwab- @nedratawwab

https://www.nedratawwab.com

 

Black Girls Rock- @blackgirlsrock

https://www.blackgirlsrock.com

 

Black Mental Wellness- @blackmentalwellness

https://www.blackmentalwellness.com

 

And here is a fuller list of resources from “To Write Love on Her Arms”:

https://twloha.com/blog/black-lives-matter-black-mental-health-matters-too/

 

In addition to resources for mental health, below is a list of places to donate. Join us in making change happen, in whatever way you have access to. Financial support is hugely impactful. If you have the means, donate and make a change.

 

Campaign Zero- A movement to end police brutality in the US

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/

 

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

https://www.nqttcn.com

 

The Bail Project

https://www.bailproject.org

 

Black Feminist Project- Restoring agency and justice to communities of black women, girls and non-men

https://www.theblackfeministproject.org/

 

Community Justice Action Fund- Building power with and for communities of color

https://www.cjactionfund.org/

 

National Bail Out

https://www.nationalbailout.org​

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