Effective Strategies to Save Your Marriage
"Relationships fail for one simple reason. Something in the way partners interact with each other is undermining their sense of emotional connection."
Dr. Todd's Relationship Tips
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Five Relationship Truths
It's All About the Bond
At the core of every intimate bonded relationship is an emotional attachment bond that serves to orient partners toward each other. When this bond is strong and healthy, partners tend to feel calm, loved, valued, empowered, and connected. When this bond is stressed in some way, partners will tend to feel distress, misunderstood, unappreciated, frustrated, helpless, and alone. When this happens, the key is to uncover what pattern of behvior between the partners is undermining their emotional bond.
Communication is the Relationship
Communication is not just important for your relationship, IT IS the relationship. The sum of the verbal and non-verbal communication between you and your partner, defines the quality of the relationship itself. But not all communication is created equal, there are certain ways to communicate that will bring you closer together, and ways that will push you further apart. The key is to develop communication skills that will strengthen the bond between you and help you successfully navigate through times of difficulty.
You Have Emotional Needs for Maintaining Sanity
All of us have fundamental emotional needs that are important for maintaining a positive sense of wellbeing. We have a need to feel valued, loved, empowered, safe, that we matter to those around us, and have a sense of belonging. These are not needs that we can fulfill ourselves. These needs are met through our relationship experiences — with our parents in childhood, and with our partners as adults. A good relationship fosters a positive sense of self and can be a powerful source of happiness and stability.
Human Beings are Very Sexual Creatures
Human beings are very sexual creatures. We use sex for many things other than just for reproduction, such as fostering a sense of intimacy and closeness with our partners, experiencing pleasure, elevating mood, and even as a form of recreation. Unfortunately, sex can become a source of frustration or conflict within a relationship, or can disappear altogether. Sexual play takes many different forms, and discovering ways to encourage our personal sexual expression can strengthen our sense of connection with our partner.
Not All Relationships Can Be Saved
Saving a troubled relationship depends on the emotional availability and willingness of both partners to fully participate. There are times when one partner is simply not emotionally available, such as when a partner has an active addiction, certain types of personality disorders, or they are too emotionally shut down. There are also times when a partner may be emotionally available, but simply unwilling to commit to the relationship. This is often seen when there as been a repeated violations of trust, or the conflict in the relationship has been too prolonged, and the partner has just given up. In these cases, a very different conversation needs to happen about how to move forward.
The biggest frustration for most struggling couples is not knowing what to do differently.
- Todd Berntson
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