Our world today is busy and even when we live in the same house with our significant other, we may not get to see them or talk to them often during the week. In order to stay on the same page, to remain connected to one another with careers and children and everything in between, at The Relationship Therapy Center, we recommend sitting down once a week for a couples conversation.
A couples conversation is your time to intentionally check in with one another. To talk about all the things. These include what’s going well in your relationship, where there’s room for growth, and ways that you can support one another better. Having this conversation once a week is a fantastic way to keep your connection strong and intact.
Let’s dive right in. Here’s what we recommend for your once-a-week couples conversation.
Start the conversation on a positive note. Begin by voicing your appreciation for one another. Shower each other with love and gratitude. List at least five things that you appreciate about your partner from the previous week and connect their action to a positive character trait. For example, you could say, “I appreciate how empathetic you were when you listened to me talk about the problem I am having at work”.
Next, Talk about what the two of you are doing well together, as well as the areas you’ve recently improved in. For example, you could mention how well you are doing taking turns making dinner, doing the dishes, and working as a team in the evenings. When you talk about what is going well in the relationship and where the two of you are excelling together, you will shine light on all of the wonderful benefits of being a couple.
The third part of the conversation is an opportunity to reflect on any challenges or conflicts throughout the week. Remember, in all relationships, conflict is inevitable. But when handled and resolved in a healthy way, conflict in a relationship has the capacity to bring two people closer together. It’s a chance to share your own feelings, listen with empathy and a desire to understand your partner, and to build a bridge between your two different perspectives. Dr. John Gottman of the Gottman Institute calls this attuning to your partner. So, when it’s your turn to listen, lean in, show tolerance, and listen to your partner with love and understanding. When it is your turn to speak, express yourself openly and honestly but avoid blame and criticism. Both sides are excellent opportunities to be non-defensive and soft-hearted.
Finally, end this conversation by asking the question, as stated on the Gottman Institute Website, “What can I do next week to make you feel more loved?”. The answer could be as simple as making the time to walk the dogs together on the weekend, or it could be something you never expected. But if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
This once weekly couples conversation is what the Gottman Institute has dubbed the State of the Union. It is one of many tools that Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman have developed to help couples communicate better, resolve conflict in healthy ways, and increase affection and intimacy in their relationship.
Our therapists at The Relationship Therapy Center in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are here to support you. We believe that making it a point to check-in with each other weekly provides the framework for both partners to feel seen and heard in the relationship, as well as to identify and manage conflicts before they fester and grow into something larger. Call our offices to talk to our client care coordinator today.
Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
In addition to couples counseling, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. We will discuss the importance of self-care and emotional support to help you cope and to discover ways to find healthy ways of dealing with stress.
Couples counseling can be beneficial, with the right therapist. Our compassionate therapists are trained to walk you through the process and help you find healing and peace. Please contact our therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you and your loved ones heal, grow, and love healthy.