So where do couples get stuck in their relationships? In my long years of doing couples’ therapy, I’ve found that there are five key areas where couples struggle. If you are able to master these, you have a solid foundation for a successful relationship.
See how well you do in each of these areas.
1. Speak up.
This translates into several issues. Speaking up as opposed to biting your tongue and walking on eggshells. Speaking up to let your partner know what is bothering you, what you need. Speaking up to broadcast your emotions, letting your partner know your emotional state – irritable, depressed, anxious, etc. – both so that your partner doesn’t misread you, and so that he or she can know how to help. Speaking up to let the other person know what makes you tick – this is the foundation of intimacy.
Where couples fall down is when they do none or only some of the above. They bite their tongues, refrain from letting their partners know what they need, avoid letting others know their emotional states, and instead spray their emotions around the room, or hold back and simply do not let the other person into their mental and emotional world.