February 16, 2018 in Group

Flipping the Script in YourRelationship

By: David Alexander, Psy.D.

 Many people look at the New Year asan opportunity to set personal goals to eat healthier, work out more, or bemore productive. I am inviting you to consider one more thing to add to yourlist and that is to be a better partner to your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband,or wife. Too often, people get stuck in this never-ending loop of anunsatisfying relationship. I say that it’s time we end that cycle and buildsomething new together.

As someone who has a history ofbeing in long-term relationships, I have experienced first-hand what it is liketo grow apart from your partner. It’s one of the toughest experiences I haveever had to go through. Contrary to popular belief though, it does not have tobe the ending to your relationship’s narrative. In fact, it can serve as apretty incredible launching point to take you and your partner to new heightsyou may have never realized were even possible.

I tell you this because it is notenough to just go back to the way things were when you were happy, young, andnewly in love. We cannot recreate the past, but that does not mean we arehelpless to manage the situation. What many couples do not realize is that theyalready possess all of the tools that they need. Their only problem is tryingto figure out which ones to use when. The solution to this dilemma is simple.We have to communicate with our partners.

Hiding behind shame, frustration, ordisappointment only prolongs the suffering. We need to face one another andtalk about our pain openly in a way that helps us create a new narrative wherewe feel heard by our partners, valued for our contributions, and hopeful for abetter future together; one that we can design together.

In my profession, I have been fortunate tohave helped quite a few couples rebuild connections. I say this because I don’twant you and your partner to become another statistic amongst the hundreds ofthousands of couples in the United States whose relationships end in divorceeach year. Start talking to your partner and see which parts of your scriptneed some revisions. Better yet, sit down and write an entirely new scripttogether. Experience that excitement that comes for getting to know yourpartner all over again. Appreciate the moments when you see your partnersmiling back at you as they realize how much you truly care about them. Aboveall, don’t be afraid to take a few risks along the way because it’s often timesthe deviations from our routines that are the most rewarding.