Four topics you should discuss with your partner - KMSP-TV

Four topics you should discuss with your partner

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Every relationship gets lazy and comfortable, but it's important to remember that a good, satisfying relationship takes some work. Adrienne C. Laursen, MA, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, shares four topics you should discuss with your partner every year to keep things on track and keep you out of couples therapy!

1. Communication

Are both you and your partner communicating in an effective way? Are both partners sharing their thoughts and feelings equally? Are you able to talk to your partner when something is bothering you and do you feel he/she listens and understands you? Communication strategies can change over the course of a relationship, and just like checking the oil on your car, or cleaning your furnace before temps bottom out, it's important to check in with your partner {and yourself} periodically to ensure your communication stays on course. As life becomes more or less difficult, you may find that communicating your thoughts and feelings with your partner becomes more challenging. If you feel your communication and emotional connection has fallen by the wayside and could use some sprucing up, try weekly marriage meetings or buy a book that contains communication exercises you can try at home.

{Recommendations: "The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work" by John Gottman or "Hold Me Tight" by Susan Johnson}

2. Finances

Money is a difficult point of conversation for even the best of couples! Even though it may be difficult, what will be even more difficult in the long run is not discussing it. Obviously, these discussions typically involve a great deal of understanding and compromise and what most couples lose sight of is that you don't have to agree with your partner to understand where they're coming from. {I put that in bold because it's that important to remember!} It's important to check in frequently about your income, savings, spending, goals for the future, desired purchases {both short-term and long-term}, job changes and goals, etc.

{Recommendations: www.Mint.com or www.DaveRamsey.com}

3. Sexuality & Affection

Even if you feel that your relationship has a good sexual connection, it's important to touch base with your partner to ensure you're both finding satisfaction in this area. Are you both content with the amount of sex you're having? Have things gotten boring and routine? Talk about your fantasies and how you'd like to spice things up a bit. This conversation can be difficult to have, especially if you want your partner to change something they're doing or not doing. Sensitivity is the key, and remembering to speak to your partner with respect will go a long way in getting the results you hope for.

4. Leisure Activities & Fun

What are you doing in your relationship that's FUN? So often, jobs, children and everyday life takes precedence over enjoying each other as partners, that it's important to evaluate the fun in your relationship on a regular basis. Make plans for things you'd like to do together. Maybe it's a vacation you've been wanting to take, or just a local date that would interest both of you. Discuss things like exercise, independent friendships for both partners, and how that balance is working in your relationship. Are you both happy with your friends, separate and together, and would you enjoy spending more time alone or together? Evaluate your common interests as a couple and maybe focus on each of you having an independent hobby. The key to fun and leisure activities in a successful relationship is the balance of together and alone time.

For more information on Adrienne's counseling services and free relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.

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