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Fix Your Partner - the Blog

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Every week I will introduce a topic that comes up in counseling with my clients and offer ways you can navigate the issue if it shows up in your relationship.

How much time to be Happy?

By Marlon Familton, Jun 9 2015 08:02PM

I have seen a few articles and blurbs around that suggest happy couples report spending five hours “working” on their relationship. This includes talking after work, cuddling on the couch, going out together (ideally on a date), kissing and generally being with each other.

I’m not sure if there is an optimal time, however I will tell you that if you break up five hours over the week, it makes good sense. I will also tell you that from my anecdotal observations couples in distress typically spend very little time together “working” on the relationship. They might talk about bills, who’s calling the landscaper or who is picking the kids up from school, but that is all task oriented conversation. Conversation that will help maintain the relationship connection needs to be about maintenance.

“How was your day?” Is the typical question asked in the evening. That can be okay if a couple things happen.

1. It is preceded or includes a hug and a kiss for connection (not sex).

2. There are follow up questions that communicate “I know you.”

If your routine has punted the relationship to fourth or fifth on your list of priorities, I will suggest that is a ticking time bomb of disconnection. Your relationship is a living breathing thing, or at least think of it that way. It needs nurturing and oxygen to survive. Your relationship needs time and attention, which means it needs you to take time to be invested in it with your partner, and they with you.

Agree to spend 15 minutes every night, sitting, talking and catching up on each other’s lives. Preceded by a hug, I promise it can help your relationship feel better fast.

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