A Different Way to Think about Improving Your Relationship

Think about your relationship; picture your typical interactions and everyday routines.  There are things you’re doing well as a couple, but also areas of opportunity and aspects of your relationship you would like to see improve.  I’m going to pose an odd question, so I ask that you give it a chance and use your imagination. 

Imagine that tonight as you sleep, a miracle occurs and all of your relationship problems are solved.  Of course, you’re asleep so you have no idea this miracle has taken place.  As you wake up and move throughout your day, how will you know this miracle has happened?  What aspects of your life will be different?  What will your partner say is different about you and what things will you notice in your partner?


Oftentimes people begin therapy with very broad goals.  Couples come in saying “I wish we could communicate better,” “I don’t want to be angry with my partner,” “I want to be happy.”  These concepts can mean different things to different people, so as a therapist I must ask my clients to be more specific.  What part of communication is lacking and what is your idea of “good communication”?  What does happiness mean to you?  What things will be happening in your life that indicate you no longer need to come to therapy?


I’m asking you to think about the above “miracle question” because I want you to imagine the possibilities for your relationship.  People mull over the problems in their relationship instead of picturing what life will look like after solutions are in place.  Taking steps towards change is hard work and uncomfortable if you don’t know where to begin.  Exploring your miracle will reveal tangible goals and desires.  In couples therapy, it also gives you a clear idea of what you need from your partner and what your partner needs from you. 


I encourage you to spend some time reflecting upon your miracle and what will be different in your life.  Maybe you will notice your partner smiling more often.  Perhaps you will sit close by your partner on the couch and talk about your day.  Your miracle could include a higher number of positive interactions and fewer negative interactions.  You could experience feelings of accomplishment and respect at the end of a conflict discussion as opposed to feelings of anger, hostility, and anxiety.  Name calling and use of profanity might decrease. 


I can’t tell you what your miracle looks like, that’s up to you.  Be willing to open your mind to a new way of thinking about the changes you want to make and how to improve your relationship.  Start building upon your miracle by considering many different aspects of your relationship and life.  The possibilities are endless. 


What steps will you take to get closer to your miracle?     


Please leave a comment below.  I would love to hear about your experience of imaging your miracle.  Did this exercise provide you with more clarity in regards to your goals?