Intimate relationships are often one of the happiest portions of a person’s life. Romantic relationships can keep you going on tough days and ground you to what matters most.
Whether you’ve been married for 10 years or 5 months, however, every relationship can benefit from intentional action to improve its functionality, and each member’s enjoyment of the relationship and time spent together.
These actions don’t necessarily need to be extravagant in nature, but rather can be accomplished in a few minutes each day. Each week I will offer one action that can immediately improve your relationship, for both of your benefit.
Week 3 | Acknowledge Each Other’s Contributions
Acknowledge each other's contribution to your life. This doesn’t mean you need to write a three page love letter for your wife or husband every week (though for some that might sound nice), but could simply involve a passing comment following a conversation such as, “Thanks for talking through that with me. I’m glad I have you to confide in” or, expressing how grateful you are for your partner’s company, or acknowledging something they did for you or your family, even if it was as simple as cleaning up the kitchen. It is also important to acknowledge your partner’s contribution to your life on a more intimate level, as frequently as feels natural. Thinking about what your life would be like without them, or reflecting on a great moment you shared recently and then expressing that to them can have meaning beyond expectation. Stay connected!
Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Ridgewood and Hoboken, NJ. He has extensive clinical and research experience spanning individuals of all ages, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He specializes in men’s issues, couple’s counseling, and relationship problems. His therapeutic approach focuses on providing support and practical feedback to help patients effectively address personal challenges. He integrates complementary modalities and techniques to offer a personalized approach tailored to each patient. He has been trained in cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavior, schema-focused, and emotionally focused therapy, and has also been involved with research projects throughout his career, including two National Institute of Mental Health-funded studies. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Jersey Psychological Association, Northeast Counties Association of Psychologists, New York State Psychological Association, The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, The New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, the International OCD Foundation, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACSB) and a regular contributor to Psychology Today.