Exercise Your Relationship

Posted on June 18, 2012

It’s funny how we exercise our bodies to stay healthy.  We watch what we eat to stay slim.  We go to the dentist to prevent cavities.  And we see our doctor to prevent illness.  But what do we do to prevent disease from overtaking our relationships?

Many couples forget that their relationship is a living, breathing organism that needs care, attention, and exercise for health.  Most couples believe their relationships will stay strong and healthy because that’s how it started.  In the beginning, relationships are fun, free, and exciting.  They are low maintenance because they are new.  Early dating days are full of little or no conflict, late nights, a rush of emotion.  All these qualities make relationships easy.  So why do we think our relationships will stay like that forever without working for it?

Below you will find a brief questionaire to use as a check up for your relationship.  Be curious about how you answer the questions.  Is the topic something you have spoken about with your partner?  Would you be able and willing to speak with your partner about the topic?  Let’s see how you answer.

  1. In the last week, how many fights have you had with your partner?
  2. What are the topics you consistently fight about?
  3. How do you manage conflict?
  4. Do you resolve conflict?
  5. How many times do you have sex each week?
  6. When was the last time you spoke with your partner about your desires?
  7. How much time do you spend alone with your partner each week?
  8. What are the roles you play in your relationship?
  9. When was the last time you really enjoyed one another?
  10. How do you communicate with your partner?

Communication with your partner about each of the questions is a great way to exercise your relationship and keep it healthy.  Your relationship has probably not been exercised for a while and you may feel some pain when you’re done.  Like any good workout, however, the pain subsides over time and becomes increasingly healthy.

Creating a regular exercise schedule for your relationship will help maintain its health and prevent future illness.  Begin by speaking with one another once a week about your relationship.  Use the guestionaire above as an outline and then create your own questions.  I’ve always loved simple questions like, “How do you think we’re doing?” and “Is there something you would like me to do more of?”  Realize that you won’t always agree with one another’s answers.  The important piece of speaking with one another is feeling heard even if your partner doesn’t agree.  Take time to see your partner’s point of view.

Another great way to exercise your relationship is to have fun with one another (and this can involve actual exercise.)  Go on dates, stay up late, kiss without it leading to sex.  Capture what you loved about your relationship in its early stages and bring it back to life!

The main goal in exercising your relationship is to become more aware of your relationship as you create new, exciting ways of maintaining its health.

 

Written by: Kristie L. Watts, LMFTA

Kristie Watts is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Groff and Associates Counseling.  Her passions are parent child relationships, grief and loss, and pregnancy related struggles.  If you are interested in seeing a counselor and think that Kristie would be a good fit, please contact her at kristie@groffandassociates.com or (317) 474-6448 x 108

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==