In my time as a marriage counselor and couples therapist, I’ve encountered numerous couples at varying stages of their relationships, from those in the passionate dynamic of their discovery stage to those navigating the tumultuous waters of marital strife, there’s a consistent theme that keeps them growing together as couples: authentic communication.
While most of us are aware of the significance of open dialogue, the actual practice of it is, at times, overlooked. Today, I want to delve deeper into a simple yet profound practice of checking in with your partner.
The Role of Individual Happiness and Personal Responsibility
Checking in with your partner need not be a mechanical ritual that feels like a drag. It can be done naturally and authentically. This happens as you learn to take responsibility for your own happiness as an individual. As a couples therapist, I cannot stress enough the importance of personal happiness in creating a naturally flowing connection with another person. When each partner is willing to own their feelings and experiences in their relationship, they are more able to tune into each other’s emotional needs and fulfill them. This happens naturally and brings about happiness in each partner. As a result, checking in with your partner becomes an authentic gesture that comes from a place of strength, care, and love, leading to openness and a deeper connection.
The ‘Checking-In’ practice
However, you don’t have to be at a place of naturally flowing in your relationship in order to practice ‘Checking In’ with each other. In fact, making a point to do this on a daily basis would bring about the authentic communication that would lead to natural flow in your connection.
By taking moments out of your day to ask your partner, “how are you feeling?” or “what are you thinking?”, you create a safe space for your partner to voice their feelings without fear of judgement or backlash and pave the way for authentic communication.
Another important value in practicing ‘Checking in’ is that it nurtures trust in the relationship. Trust isn’t built overnight. It’s constructed brick by brick through consistent acts of understanding and empathy. Checking in with your partner sends a clear message: “I care about your feelings and well-being.”
Over time, practicing regular check-ins can transform your relationship. They act as cement in binding the foundation of understanding and love, making your bond resilient in the face of adversities.
A Marriage Counselor’s Advice
Having been a marriage counselor for several years, I can confidently say that the most robust couples are those who prioritize individual happiness. While seeking external help, like visiting a couples therapist is an excellent step towards resolving issues, daily practicing ‘Checking in’ plays an equally vital role in shaping the health of your relationship.
The act of ‘checking in’ is an invaluable tool for authentic communication; it’s a demonstration of love, care, and commitment. While the path of every relationship is distinct, the need for understanding, trust, and connection is universal. So, whether you’ve been together for decades or are in the budding stages of romance, take a moment today to check in with your partner. The depth and resilience it brings to your bond are immeasurable.