Three reasons smart couples get Relationship counseling, and why you should too.
Click here to skip down to the love language tips.
Fixing something that’s broken is far more challenging than preventing it from breaking in the first place.
That’s the essence of why relationship counseling is not something you should wait to get when your relationship is in trouble.
If you have something valuable like an expensive vase or your car, you take care of it.
You will put the vase in a safe place where the kids or dog can’t reach it and away from edges where it can easily fall and break.
You likely take your car for its regular service intervals to ensure it keeps working and does not break down.
You likely monitor your finances so you don’t suddenly run out of money and can’t pay the mortgage.
Your relationship is the same. It requires regular maintains and care to stay strong and healthy.
Prevention vs. Restoring
Restoring something that’s broken is much more challenging. It takes more effort and is less likely to give us a good result.
If the vase breaks into a hundred pieces, we can glue it back together, but it will never be the same.
Relationship counseling is like the yearly service for your car and put the vase in a safe place.
It’s most effective when used as prevention to teach you the skills to avoid conflicts and create connections, and to solve any resentment or anger before it creates a fracture in your relationship.
Don’t wait until you have spent all your goodwill and the emotional bank account is empty because then you have little left to invest in fixing the relationship.
Relationship counseling should be a regular part of your relationship just as you seek guidance
There is a faulty presumption in our culture that seeking relationship counseling means you are failing and that something is wrong with you or your relationship.
No one taught us how to navigate relationships or marriage, and the false belief that emotions alone will get us through is utter nonsense, as you know now.
Emotions are unstable, unreliable, and not consistent. That’s a fact.
If you do anything else in life, you prepare, and it takes practice to learn that skill, and you do regular training.
Learning an instrument or progressing in your job requires practice and getting help from those who know more about that skillset.
You do not see that as a failure, do you?
You would ask your music instructor or boss for tips, right?
Why have we created this stigma around relationship counseling that prevents people from getting the skills they need?
Success is seeking out help with skills to make your relationship work and accepting none of us are born with these skills.
The pursuit of happiness is at the very core of American culture, and yet we have been so misguided as to what actually will provide this happiness.
We pursue our career, more possessions, a bigger house, better car, and invest enormous time and resources into getting this.
Yes, smart researchers have found that they provide little to no increase in our happiness and satisfaction, and any increase is short-lived.
So, why are we still spending our lives pursuing this lie?
The most extensive study ever on human happiness done at Harvard University and additional studies have found that the quality of our close relationships is the most critical factor in our well-being and joy. Yet, it’s often where we invest the least time and effort long-term.
Relationship counseling is that investment to improve your skills to relate and navigate the inevitable conflicts when two different people come together and live through so much stress.
Relationship counseling will help you create intimacy and closeness, and that will be the best investment you have ever made in your happiness.
And it will make you a smart couple.
If you are not ready to try my relationship counseling yet, you will find some free tips below that I want to share with you.
Relationship counseling and the five love languages
I have provided relationship counseling, marriage therapy & marriage counseling to hundreds of couples over the years.
As a relationship coach, I have seen the same issues repeat themselves in relationship counseling again and again.
So, today, you will learn how you can change frustration in your relationship into intimacy.
We all learn to feel loved in different ways today; we will talk about the five love languages and how you can discover your partners.
By keeping the emotional bank account topped up, you will not go into overdraft or go bankrupt.
This is famously called love language, but I don’t believe this is the correct term.
The love languages are ways we feel important, valued, and cared for by others.
We all experience feeling valued and loved in different ways, so to connect with your partner, you must learn what their love language is to make them feel safe and cared for.
If, as a child, your father gave you gifts when he came home from his long business trips, you might have associated being important as someone giving you gifts, so this is what makes you feel special and close to someone.
For someone else, they might have had a lot of cuddling and stories on the couch with their parents, so they feel important, valued, and connected when they get touched.
These love languages are learned based on how we were made to feel important and unique.
We can have more than one love language.
The reason it’s so important to know your partner’s love language is that you can spend all your energy and money buying gifts for your partner. Still, it will have no impact if their love language is something different.
By knowing their love language, you can make them feel valued, safe, and loved.
So here is the first thing I teach people in relationship counseling.
So how do we identify what love language our partner is?
Many people are not aware of their love language, and so you can ask questions to help them uncover it.
A good starting point would be to ask how important love figures showed them love and made them feel special, valued, and cared for.
- How did your parents (or their primary carer as a child) show you love or affection?
- How did your parents (or their primary carer as a child) make you feel special or valued?
These two questions will tell you how they learned to experience feeling important, which is likely their current love language.
Did their parents hold them (touch)?
Did they give them a lot of dedicated attention (quality time)?
Did they buy them gifts (gifts)?
Did they complement them (praise)?
Did they do special acts for them (acts of service)?
It’s not what the parents (or primary carer) did for them; it’s what impact it had. What made them feel special.
When you know which of the five above made them feel special, you know their love language.
Here are a few more options for how to find their love language in a more indirect way.
If your partner is complaining about you not doing enough of something, it will often indicate their love language.
If your partner often or repletely complaining about not getting enough massages, then their love language could be touch.
Or that you never do anything special for them, then it’s likely acts of service.
That you never buy them flowers or gifts, then it’s likely gifts.
That you never give them dedicated attention or are always busy with other things, then it’s possibly quality time.
That you never say anything nice about them, then it’s likely praise.
So, it’s straightforward to decode their love language by listening to what they are frustrated about when it arises.
I complain about not getting enough stroking on my back… Guess what, my love language is?
A third way to figure out their love language is to look for what they do to show you affection or that they care.
People often give what they want themselves as we understand the world from our perspective.
People that like to receive gifts tend to buy gifts for others to show they care.
People that like touch tend to touch others to show affection and that they care.
Look for what your partner is doing to show you they care about you.
I touch people I care about a lot, and that correctly shows that my love language is touch.
Now you have more awareness of your partner and your love language; try to see if anything has changed.
Ask them about how they feel loved now
3. What makes you feel loved/close now, and can you give me a few examples?
I recommend you both sit on your own when you write down the answers to these questions.
Then share them afterward.
- How did your parents (or your primary carer as a child) show you love or affection?
- How did your parents (or your primary carer as a child) make you feel special or valued?
- What do you wish more from your partner?
- What does your partner do for you to show you love? (this is their love language)
- In the past, when you have done something to make your partner feel special or show you care, what had the most significant impact?
These questions should help you uncover each other’s love language.
Here is a useful check-in tool to use regularly.
When you see each other, ask “how full is your love tank tonight,” and you both score it from 0 = empty to 10 = full.
If it’s below 10, ask what you can do to fill it back up.
This is an excellent way to ensure you don’t run dry as that will cause disconnect and often resentment, so a regular check-in will ensure you can fill up the tank before it runs dry.
The Five Love languages
Some people respond favorably to appreciation to feel valued and special in their love.
Examples could be:
- Thank you so much for making a wonderful meal tonight
- I love how your voice is so gentle
Be aware that if this is their primary love language, then it still matters what you say as the praise should be individual for it to have maximum impact.
If you are dating a model and keep complimenting her physical appearance like everyone else, it might have much less impact.
If you value and complement traits she feels insecure about, then the impact will likely be much more significant.
Time is an investment, and so is our attention.
When we choose to spend time with someone and give them our full attention, it communicates that we value and care about them.
It will have an even more significant impact on people where this is their love language, so making time for them and giving them your uninterrupted attention is essential.
All-time is not equal, hence why I call it quality time.
If you frequently check your phone, take calls, or keep splitting your attention between your partner and the TV, they have your time but not your focus.
They need both for it to be quality time.
It can be doing an activity together or turning off all distractions and sharing some secrets.
It could be sharing vulnerabilities or anything that matters to you, or even just sitting and looking into each other’s eyes.
We all like it when someone does something for us, but it is even more critical for people with this love language.
They feel loved and important and attach to you when they experience you do things for them.
Again, making it individual is vital, so find out what they would like to have done for them.
You could spend a lot of time and energy cleaning the car and picking up the kids, but if that’s not the acts of service that connect with your partner, it might not have the desired impact.
It could be making them their favorite meal when they are sick or planning a date with an activity they like or helping look after their ill mum.
Ask them and then make it an integrated part of communicating your love for them or that you care.
Your initial reaction might be that it’s superficial to want gifts to feel loved, but it makes complete sense from an evolutionary perspective.
Resources are critical to survival, so someone willing to share resources with you must love you and care about you.
It also shows investment when we give something to someone making them feel safe, as we tend only to do this to people we value and care about.
Being specific is important, so find out what gifts they value.
Touch release oxytocin and is critical to connection.
It’s the main route to feeling connected and important for some. For these people, it’s imperative to get the regular touch.
Many men are so touch neglected because men most often only get touch through sex.
Even this is usually limited to their genitals and less the rest of their body.
It’s culturally more acceptable for women to touch each other, and women often get more body touch.
So many men crave more touch but don’t feel they can ask for it.
They often don’t even have the awareness to know that is what they need as it has been suppressed for so long.
That’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the video. If you want more, then subscribe below and share it with your friends.
You can also check out the free webinar training on www.zensensa.com and get the relationship you want. The link is in the description below.