Isn’t it a shock to hear that your marriage or relationship is NOT making your partner happy? Ouch! The sadness, grief, and hurt when you hear those words directed at you can be overwhelming, hopeless, and negative. What CAN be done?
Research and intuition shows that relationships can lead to the highest highs and lowest lows for us humans. How about seven tips for personal and relationship happiness? Do you want to be “right” or “happy” over the long haul? Jeff Haden’s article “Seven Things Remarkably Happy People Do Often”, points out choices you and your relationship can learn through therapy.
1. Make Good Friends. Simple enough, and through counseling learn what the qualities are that MAKE and KEEP good friends. Be an “active listener” as you make friends, and with your partner, which can help you orient your self towards fun relating with all people, without draining your self by trying to do too much.
2. Actively Express Thankfulness. You and your partner can grow in your capacities to be grateful in your personal and relational lives! Mindfulness, as a way to uncover and communicate thankfulness, can be practiced. Feel how good you feel when you communicate thankfulness!
3. Actively Pursue Your Goals. The author encourages you to know what you’re pursuing. I agree, and tend to invite clients to add “high quality intimacy” to this tip in their lives. Find out how it’s very possible to add quality time together, listening well when asked, and expanding breathing together for better sex!
4. Do What You Excel At As Often As You Can.
Signature strengths in business can be expanded through counseling to include RELATIONSHIP signature strengths! The author suggests his readers practice a little bit at a time, and in quality relationship practice, I encourage intimacy practice too.
When we remember to be grateful for what we DO have, individuals and couples give from a place of fullness, to others, and to the relationship. Notice how giving time, support, or quality attention to another fills your own heart, not by doing, but by just BEING there for another.
6. Don’t Single-mindedly Chase “Stuff”.
The author points out a study that says earning over $75,000 a year doesn’t provide more happiness. Why not learn through counseling how to enjoy your individual and relationship EXPERIENCES, instead of chasing too many THINGS believing they’ll make you happy. As we all know, “retail therapy” has its shortcomings for the long-haul happiness in your personal and relational life.
7. Live the Life You Want to Live.
Courage to live the life you want to live, rather one that’s merely expected of you, is a hallmark of happiness, according to the author. Wise words when you consider how to grow your long-term relationship. Learn how to balance your autonomy needs, that independent part we all want to live, with the human need for contact and relationship. Plus find out how to deal with “expectations” in your life. (Hint: Your parent’s teachings are more important here than your partner’s!)
The author contends that happiness isn’t as elusive as we think it is. With therapy, find the balance in your work, social, and intimate life with the help of friends, thankfulness, your goals, strengths, generosity, quality experiences, and the courage to live well. All of these can grow through couples counseling! In an intimate relationship, find out how you can deepen and expand your sexual happiness through relationship therapy. Why wait for unhappiness to set in, when you could be proactive.