Advice on Relationships

Black and white picture of a hand holding a dart

Avoid throwing darts at your partner. Darts hurt and can cause serious damage. And throwing darts is not a loving thing to do.

Here’s some advice on relationships to help you to nurture problem relationships back to health. These little tricks will work wonders, especially if you tend to place blame onto others (don't we all?) when things go wrong. We'll talk about accepting full responsibility for your actions, and the  power that comes from not projecting blame or trying to control others.

Check Out A Few of My Most Popular Articles on Relationships Below

Resolving A Crisis
Spice Up Relationships
Why Relationships Fail
Romance and Relationships
Mending Broken Relationships

My Best Advice on Relationships is to Act Now, Before It's Too Late

If you want to save your relationships, it is best to act swiftly to create change.

Many of the couples who come to my practice for marital help often wait until it's almost too late. Few get help before the problems have become well entrenched . . .

endangering relationship recovery.

Sadly, some people wait until they are dying to clear their consciences, apologize and make things right in their relationships. Sometimes it happens in a dramatic deathbed confession; other times it comes in the form of a scribbled, hard‑to‑read note to be read after the person has passed over.

It may never come at all...

-- The long-awaited and needed apology.

-- The offer to negotiate a truce or compromise.

-- The heart-felt words of affection that should have been said long ago.

Why wait to save your relationship until it is beyond repair? Why not live life in a way that there are no deathbed apologies or revelations to make? What’s wrong with taking care of business right here and now? While you’re healthy and vibrant?

Just jump in and do the right thing, that's my best relationship advice . . .

. . . Getting a derailed relationship back on track can be as simple as seeing the situation more clearly and objectively, and saying the right things. A good beginning may be as simple as calling someone and showing you care.

Or saying you're sorry and meaning it!

We’d all be happier and healthier if we took care of our relationship problems on a daily basis. After all, relationships need routine maintenance. You can't neglect them and expect them to be good.

To look at it in another way, you can save your relationship every day by simply being more responsible to the relationship, and taking care of it in simple ways, such as talking through issues now (instead of putting them off), having more fun with your spouse or spending more time with your kids. If you deal immediately with any problem that comes up, you won't have to worry about saving your relationship. That helps with relationship recovery, too. Act now. Be decisive.

But what relationship mistakes do many people make . . . mistakes I see so often in my therapy practice?

They tend to sweep problems under the rug . . . Or they get mad about trivial things rather than dealing with the real conflict, ignoring the Pink Elephant in the room. Pseudo-mutuality and pseudo-hostility.

Relationship Advice Tips: How to Solve Relationship Problems

What can you do about stubborn relationship problems? Try these well-researched tips to improve communication and strengthen your relationship.

  1. Vent your true feelings on a regular basis without causing World War III by bringing up your concerns in a gentle way. Use Gottman's "soft start-up." Renowned researcher John Gottman noticed that successful couples brought up problems in a positive way, without going bonkers or blaming their spouses for everything or creating chaos and drama. A soft start-up (as opposed to a harsh one) ensures the other person will be more likely to hear you out and make a constructive response. That way the fight is avoided.
  2. Ask for your partner's thoughts and feelings about the problem and do not put them down or tell them they are wrong. Listen and honor their point of view, whether you agree with it or not. Really sound advice on relationships comes down to honoring your relationship partner's feelings, and not criticizing them.
  3. Stop pointing the finger and placing blame. It takes two people to tango and two people to fight. Nine out of ten times both partners contribute something good and bad to the relationship. We all make mistakes. Own up to your part and stop focusing on your partner's faults.
  4. Work on improving yourself, instead of insisting your partner change. You do the changing. Become a better person and relationship partner . . . and your partner will want to change for the better, as well. Stop comparing yourself and your efforts to your partner and theirs. Relationships are not competitions or games. They are cooperative arrangements. So cooperate and work together!
  5. When you aren't sure of the right response in a situation, do the loving thing. Sometimes we have to forgive and forget, so we can move on. Otherwise, the relationship stays stuck in a rut.
Man and woman holding hands splashing water with their feet while walking down the beach

In Sum

Would you like good, sound, clinical advice on relationships? Sometimes the best relationship advice I can give my clients, or anyone else, is to be humble, follow your values and do the loving thing.

Want to have a happy, fun-filled relationship again? Strive to become a better relationship partner, and your partner will come around, in time. Forcing someone to change doesn't work, not in the long run. It always tends to backfire in very derogatory ways.

So, be the change that you desire. Provide leadership through your hard work and loving, responsible actions. You'll make your relationship healthier and stronger.

Don't forget to take frequent walks on the beach (or wherever) and enjoy just romping in the sand, soaking up the rays. And you'll put the joy back in your relationship.

Good luck! Let me know if you need more advice on relationships or more relationship help.

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