Portland Relationship Therapist: 4 Questions for a Stronger Marriage

August 5, 2015 by

As convenient as it would be, there is no exact scientific formula for creating a perfect relationship. There are, however, scientifically backed strategies for strengthening the emotional bond you share with your partner.

A large part of building a stronger bond relies on the attitude you take toward your marriage. Building a stronger relationship with your partner begins with transforming your own mindset and behaviors. To assess your own role in your relationship and determine how you can contribute to a stronger bond and happier interactions, start by asking yourself the questions below.

Do you take responsibility for your own happiness? To have a happy relationship, you first must be happy yourself. Rather than looking to your partner and other outward sources for happiness, you should take responsibility for your own sense of well-being. While other people can help, in the end, only you have the ability to make yourself happy.

Are you engaged in your relationship? If you expect your partner to read your mind, this can make it difficult to resolve disagreements or address vital issues, inevitably causing bitterness and grudges between the two of you. Similarly, disengaging from arguments can also keep you from resolving issues and expand distance between you and your partner.

Do you try to see your partner in a positive way? According to a psychological phenomenon known as the “Pygmalion Effect,” people will generally rise to the expectations you assign to them. This is largely because your expectations of a person impact how you interact with him or her. When you see your partner in a positive way, you are more likely to treat them with patience, care, and attention.

Do you interact with your partner in a positive way? Studies performed on romantic couples have found that healthy, satisfied couples typically have a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. While conflict is necessary to resolve issues, these types of interactions should not dominate your relationship. As you are interacting with your partner, take note of how many of your dealings are positive, and how many are negative.

If negative interactions and destructive thoughts tend to dominate your relationship, you may want to seek counsel from a Portland relationship therapist. An experienced counselor can help you identify the root of your negative feelings, and provide you with practical tools and strategies for handling them effectively. With the help of a therapist, you can build a strong, happy, long-lasting relationship with your partner, while strengthening your own sense of well-being and confidence.