Five ways to keep your marriage strong

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- As a relationship therapist, I am often asked the difficult questions. Can you save my marriage? We have tried everything what makes this different? Does this really work or is it just going to delay the inevitable divorce? What I have found is that most couples want their marriage to work and with a little expert coaching, guidance and a lot of effort they do work. The effort should be fun and self-rewarding! After all who doesn’t want a relationship that is fulfilling?

So, how do we do that?

Below are several strategies that every couple can use to keep their partnership fun, seductive and scintillating. The key to success, though, is that both of you have to be in agreement. Here are a few that you can implement today courtesy of the therapist and relationship counselors at The Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach:

1. Create personal space

Create your own physical space, your own place to work, think, be creative, and be private or just chill out. It can be the bedroom, your home office, a part of your basement, or the tool shed, also known as the man cave. Wherever there is a place that you can call yours.

Your partner should not be allowed to enter this space unless invited, or unless you give permission. Set the guidelines, the boundaries, and the rules, and stick with them. But remember, he or she gets to have a space, too!

2. Absence makes the heart grow fonder

A critical mistake that many of us make is believing that in order to have a stronger relationship, we need to be closer and share everything. In fact, the opposite is true.

Vogue marital counseling tells us we need more communication and more talk with our partner, but excess information and over-sharing can put a damper on a relationship, while a little mystery can feed attraction. Remember this does not mean avoidance or intentional neglect!

3. No one person can meet all your needs

Whether you believe in a soul mate or not, you can't get everything you need from one person. Many people (men and women) make the mistake of turning their partners into their "everything" that’s a lot of pressure that no one wants. No one can meet all your needs, it’s just not possible. No partner can be your lover, best friend, confidante, advisor, work-out partner. It's way too big a role for any one person to fill. This is especially true, very often, of people who retire and find that they have too much time on their hands and expect their partner to fill in the gaps. Expectations like this often result in relationship disaster.

4. Do your own thing

You need interest separate from each other. Both of you should try to find time for family, friends, hobbies, work that matters to you. As I often tell my patients, "The more interested you are, the more interesting you are."

Get out there, experience life, and when you and your partner come together as a couple, you'll have so much more to discuss and share. I have seen this simple technique breathe new life into relationships again, and it’s much better than that awkward silence at the table.

5. Come Together

I know it contradicts the previous points, but for many this simple therapy technique is a relationship key. Make quality time for your partner. Plan it and make it special so that when you are together, you'll be completely engaged and ready to give it your all.

Remember when you were first dating? Remember how you planned what you would wear and what you would discuss? That's what you want to be doing now. Never stop pouring on the seduction and charm.

A patient said to me once, “if I am going to have a relationship, I want one that is always worth pursuing.” Sometimes relationships need expert guidance and a trained therapist can be beneficial in helping the relationship survive or just be more fun and fulfilling. If we can be of any help please let us know by calling CCNSB at 386-423-9161 or visit us online for details about our experts at


About the Blogger

Shane Porter's picture

Shane Porter, a licensed mental health counselor who has been in private practice since 1998, is president of the Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach. His blog, "Get Psyched," is exclusively carried by Headline Surfer®.

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