I often have couples coming to me with relationship issues. These are some of the opening remarks I hear from them. “We don’t know where our relationship is going?”. “We seem to be drifting away over time”. “When we started our marriage we used to have so much passion. Now all we do is fight”.
Over time as I work with these couples using the best couples counseling techniques available I see not only a transformation in their relationships but in their outlook towards life. This happens due to the highly rated couples counselling techniques used by me.
We cover here Gottman’s suggested couple counselling techniques. Gottman’s has received worldwide recognition for them. He has identified six rules which if implemented will lead to stronger and better marriages and relationships.
From interviews with happy couples, Gottman identified six ways partners should devote time to each other that add up to the “magic six hours” that help to greatly improve your relationship. If couples were to adopt these in their day to day life they will would see significant improvement in the quality of their married life.
Just a bye in the morning is not enough (2 min X 5 days = 10 min a week)
Gottman strongly reinforces we should leave for their work in the morning only after enquiring about our partner’s schedule and plans for the day. Spending these 2 minutes in the morning checking what your partner’s schedule for the day, including their plans for the lunch, upcoming eventful and sought after meetings / presentation and catch up they have planned with their fast friends.
Invest in joint activities that de-stress and rejuvenates (20 min X 7 days = 140 minutes a week)
Daily spend about 20 minutes a day in activities that both the partners love. These are not about discussing the conflict you had the day before over a certain topic. It is about doing things both of you love and enjoy such as taking dog for a walk in the park, caring for the veggie patch at home, exercising jointly in your gym.
Spend at least 1 minute a day showing affection through a tight six-second (or more) embrace. Immerse yourself in these moments and feel them in your heart.
Show Genuine Admiration and Appreciation (5 min X 7 days = 35 minutes a week)
Gottman strongly suggests that couples spend a minimum of five minutes a day showing genuine appreciation to each other. This involves a lot of mindfulness. You have to really observe and find out something new that the partner did. For example you could praise him / her for how they calmed the kids down after they got injured falling from the bike. Or it could about how the lounge room has been decorated. Or about the new flower arrangement on the dining table. Such expressions of appreciation and admiration can be about events in the past. The point is that they should be genuine and heartfelt and it should show how much you value them.
All of us have a need for praise and appreciation from our partners. However sometime as the relationship progresses we start becoming silent and start focussing more on negatives then the positives. Express these sentiments even if you feel that your partner knows it. Especially do it in front of third person to show that you care.
End you day with show of physical affection (5 min X 7 day = 35 minutes per week)
Gottman said a minimum of 5 minutes a day should be devoted to showing genuine physical affection to your partner. Embrace them at night before sleep and give them a morning kiss when you wake up. Such physical touches, affection and kisses helps in release of oxytocin hormone, which strengthens our feelings of attachment to our partner.
As you show physical affection, it increases the passion in your life and brings both of you nearer. The lack of passion is one big reason for relationships drifting away over time.
Set up a weekly date (2 hours per week)
Gottman suggests couples should get out of the house and meet in an open and relaxing environment such as a restaurant, club or park and ask open ended questions about the relationship. It is a bit tricky and couples need significant training which I provide in my sessions.
Weekly Stocktake (1 hour per week)
Gottman recommends that couples review their relationship and activities over the last week. This is a stocktake meeting. Couples in this meeting check what they did last week, what worked, what didn’t and what mistakes they should be avoiding in the future. The meeting should be very open and receptive. Couples should strive to understand their partners and avoid conflict.
A minimum of 6 hours spent on investing in their relationships by couple is very useful in fostering and strengthening it. Those who seriously invest this time with the right intent and purpose reap benefits. There are of course alternative couple counselling techniques available if these ones don’t work.
Let us know through you comments if you have invested similarly in your relationships and how you have benefitted from. And yes, if you need help in getting your relationship on track you should contact us at Potentialz Unlimited by calling +61 (0) 410 261 838