Why are you putting work into your relationship?
Research has shown that people are motivated by 2 things:
While ALL couples will be motivated by both of theses factors, being motivated only by threats is not healthy for your relationship.
Those that are motivated to “maintain” their relationship due to threat are putting the work in to stop things from “falling apart”. This is eleventh hour effort. Affection is shown due to fear their partner might leave, for example.
Sometimes this can turn into daily, nurturing maintenance if there is recognition but not always.
Those that consistently maintain their relationships through loving efforts are nurturing it. These couples offer affection just because, find ways to discuss conflict before it gets out of control, think positively about their partner, and frequently consider ways to grow and move forward together.
Brian Ogolsky looked through 1,100 studies on relationships and found the following to be important maintenance behaviors:
- Think in terms of what is best for the team
- Make sacrifices
- Show generosity
- Show each other gratitude
- Pray for each other
- Keep lines of communication open
- Talk about their relationship
- Use humor
- Respond to each other
- Have fun
Are you putting these efforts in to nurture your relationship or to protect it from threat?
You can contact Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Philadelphia, PA. She support individuals to managing challenging relationships and to heal after the loss of breakup. She helps couples build the tools they need to love each other they way the intended.
Elizabeth offers therapy in office and online and also has several home study programs.
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