Portland Marriage Therapist: Bring Work Ethic to Your Marriage

February 26, 2014 by

It may not be a good idea to think of your marriage as a chore, but you should think of it as something that you need to continually work on.

At last year’s Academy Awards, Ben Affleck drew a lot of criticism when he thanked his wife for the work she put into their marriage. He went on to say that the work they did together was the best kind of work, but many viewers and reporters still had a problem with the “unromantic” nature of his acceptance speech. Critics suggested that something was wrong with the relationship because the word “work” was viewed as a negative thing.

As a Portland relationship counselor, I believe that the idea of working on a long-term relationship is actually incredibly romantic. It shows that you’re still very much engaged in the relationship and that even when your life gets hectic, you care about your partner enough that you want to work hard to ensure their happiness.

How Do You Put Work Into Your Relationship?

One of the biggest parts of putting work into your relationship is simply making sure that you spend time with your partner. It may seem like there’s never time for just the two of you, between work, kids, and other commitments, but you need to make time. Scheduling “partner time” might not sound very romantic, but carving out a space of time to go on a date, make dinner together, or even just sit and talk in the evening goes a long ways towards strengthening your relationship.

Another major component of working on a relationship is supporting your partner through both victories and hardships. It may be easier to show your support when your partner gets a raise at work than it is to show support when there’s a death in the family, but your partner needs you for the emotional highs and lows. If you’re not sure how best to support your partner, talk to them about what they need and then do your best to provide it.

And then, of course, there are compromises. No two people are going to agree with each other one hundred percent of the time, but if you and your partner want to strengthen your marriage, you’ll try to come up with compromises that work for both of you. If you do get into a fight because of a disagreement, you’ll work to make sure that you fight fair and resolve the issue by dialoguing.

If you’re interested in getting more help while you work on your marriage, consider talking to a Portland marriage therapist. I’d be more than happy to talk to you and your partner about how you can strengthen your relationship.