- 1) Recognize and identify
the issue(s). How does
each of you perceive and define the issue(s)? Often one or both
people in the relationship are in denial. It's important to get
the issues "on the table," so you both can begin to
2) Accept that you may be
contributing to the issue(s). Since
each person in the relationship impacts the other, it's important
to recognize that your intent and your behaviors may be perceived
differently by the other person.
3) Take accountability for
your behavior to show the other person that you are willing to
make positive changes to improve the relationship. By doing this, you are communicating
to the other person that you value him/her and your relationship.
4) Be aware of your expectations.
Be willing and committed to doing the work needed to improve
the relationship. Counselors
do not have a "magic wand!" Their role is to guide
you, to help you explore your relationship, to share their reflections,
to increase your awareness of how healthy relationships work,
and to help you develop the skills needed for successful relationship
5) Be patient. Remember that positive change doesn't
happen overnight, especially if the issue(s) has been simmering
for some time and if resentment and conflict have been building
up. Stay focused on your goals - the time and work invested in
improving your relationship will provide you with new insights,
behaviors, and skills that will last a life time.