Couples therapist Jason Fierstein shares three habits that can help promote a successful, longlasting relationship.
As a counselor working with couples I’ve recognized three habits that are really helpful to the growth and health of a marriage or relationship. One of those things is having a money talk. Every weekend I think the most successful couples can talk about money. Now why money? Because sex and money are two of the most intimate things that we have to deal with in a relationship or marriage, and so coming up with a money or sex talk actually, every week and committing to coming together, so not only are you talking about the topic, money or sex, which are both very intimate, but you are also coming together in practicing communicating on a regular weekly basis. So I think that’s important.
The other thing too is, and I know this sounds overrated, but a date night or having some quality time. You know, I think that for women, especially working moms and parents out there just don’t have the time or they haven’t made the time to be able to connect with their husband or a boyfriend and this is vital. This is important to the health of or functionality of a marriage or relationship.
So, creating the time, scheduling every week or twice a week, some evening and carve out even one hour or 30 minutes where you can go somewhere out of the house and you can be together and you don’t have to talk in-depth but just having the time where you’re scheduling something regularly because time passes us by and we get busy with things and responsibilities and so it becomes really hard to have that home base. So that’s the second.
Now let’s talk about the third. I think the third thing that couples could be doing is to practice listening better. So making some time, even ten minutes back and forth, so the wife takes ten minutes and the husband takes ten minutes and just listen and even pair it back what that person is saying.
So you don’t have to be a counselor or a therapist to be able to do it but I think reflecting back what your partner is saying, you’re practicing really good communication that way and again, you’re creating an anchor so that you are going to be able to understand where this person is coming from. You are practicing getting out of your reactive patterning by doing this. So ten minutes one person, ten minutes the other person and I think if you can do that once a week for 20 minutes, twice a week would be golden. If you can do that I think then you’re on your way to success.
About Jason Fierstein, M.A., L.P.C.:
I am a State of Arizona board-licensed professional counselor practicing in Phoenix. My master’s degree is in psychology, with a counseling emphasis, and I have a post-graduate certification in Gestalt Therapy. I have been counseling a variety of different clients for nine years, and have been practicing privately for five.