1) Recognize and identify the issue(s). How does each of you perceive and define the issue(s)? Often one or both people in the relationship are in denial. It's important to get the issues "on the table," so you both can begin to resolve them.

2) Accept that you may be contributing to the issue(s). Since each person in the relationship impacts the other, it's important to recognize that your intent and your behaviors may be perceived differently by the other person.

3) Take accountability for your behavior to show the other person that you are willing to make positive changes to improve the relationship. By doing this, you are communicating to the other person that you value him/her and your relationship.

4) Be aware of your expectations. Be willing and committed to doing the work needed to improve the relationship. Counselors do not have a "magic wand!" Their role is to guide you, to help you explore your relationship, to share their reflections, to increase your awareness of how healthy relationships work, and to help you develop the skills needed for successful relationship changes.

5) Be patient. Remember that positive change doesn't happen overnight, especially if the issue(s) has been simmering for some time and if resentment and conflict have been building up. Stay focused on your goals - the time and work invested in improving your relationship will provide you with new insights, behaviors, and skills that will last a life time.

© 2012 Relationships Counseling Solutions
All photographs, video, and text are the property of Relationships Counseling Solutions
and may not be duplicated without written permission.
All rights reserved