Coupling Fun and Fulfilling

Couples/Partners often think that once love is put into the mix we can put our relationships on autopilot and good will produce better will produce best. Much to our surprise, autopilot often hits the side of a mountain and coupleness crashes.

To be partners means to have two people who put 100% into each other. It is not a 50/50 relationship. It is a 100%/100% commitment that continues as long as the partners choose to be together.

Yes, mountains come! There will always be challenges. Some will be minor – like who takes out the trash. Some will be major – like a cancer diagnosis. The key to ALL MOUNTAINS is that you face them TOGETHER. It is not MY mountain because I cannot bear children. It is OUR mountain because WE ARE AN INFERTILE COUPLE. It is not YOUR mountain because you have a gambling problem. It is OUR mountain because I will stand beside you every step of the way as WE get help.

Communication is key. Talk, talk, talk…about the BIG stuff and the Little stuff. Talk every day. Talk about what you’re thinking, feeling, dreaming. Remember, you’re never too old or too young to dream! What do you want to do 5 months from now; 5 years from now; 5 decades from now? How are you and your partner going to face the fun and the fulfilling parts of life together?

Intimacy is necessary. Hold hands. Rub each others’ backs. Whisper “I love you,” in the theater. Intimacy is more than intercourse – so much more than intercourse! Did you see in the news recently the couple who celebrated their 85th wedding anniversary? Their faces beamed as they looked at each other. This is intimacy.

Don’t forget the little things and the big things. Remember birthdays, anniversaries and those special days that celebrate the two of you. Bring home a sunflower, just because it’s Thursday. Bring home his favorite dessert, just because. Let them know you’re thinking about them during the day with an emoji. It doesn’t take money to share your love. It only takes thoughtfulness.

Finally and most importantly, listen. Listen with your ears and your eyes. Your partner may be saying more with body language than with words. Watch and listen. Take note. Say “I love you.” Say it again and again and again.

Coupling is fun and fulfilling year 1 and year 51 and year 81. Keep it strong and invest in your relationship 100%.

Renee Ahern, PhD, MS, MDiv, LPCC-S