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Getting Out of a Couples Rut

You would not overlook changing the oil in a new car—preventive maintenance. But what about your love relationship? Do you practice preventive maintenance with it? Many couple therapists say one of the biggest mistakes couples make is not giving as much attention to the relationship as they do their partner. There is a difference. Bliss will only take a relationship so far. A car without proper care will sputter and eventually break down. The normal ups and downs of a healthy relationship can also become mostly sputters without due care. "Warning lights" of relationship trouble are fighting more often, feeling bored, and losing interest in showing intimacy and affection.

To practice preventive maintenance in your relationship, invest in it by practicing behaviors and engaging in activities that produce the following:

  1. more positive thoughts about each other,
  2. more frequent feelings of confidence that "this is the right partner for me,"
  3. a desire to behave more affectionately toward each other,
  4. feelings of satisfaction following sharing projects, activities, and challenges with each other, and
  5. general feelings of happiness and life satisfaction about your relationship when you are alone or sharing time together.

New Resource: The Couple’s Activity Book: 70 Interactive Games to Strengthen Your Relationship; Sept. 2020; Rockridge Press

UR Medicine EAP is brought to you by Well-U, helping eligible individuals to assess issues, and provide short-term counseling and referrals.

Keith Stein | 3/25/2021

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