ENTITY reports on couples therapy.

Is your relationship on a bumpy road? There are two options you can take if you’re in this situation.

Either you and your partner go to couples therapy or you work through it yourselves.

We all know how expensive going to couples therapy can be, and if your insurance doesn’t cover it, you might find yourself paying an average of $120 to $250 per therapy hour, according to Good Therapy.

If you’re trying to avoid taking that kind of hit to your bank account, sometimes it can be best to work on your problems yourselves. Besides, relationships work when the people in it are equally interested in solving their differences.

As Lori Cluff Schade, Ph.D told Women’s Health, “Having a good marriage takes intentional effort. It doesn’t just happen on its own. People who have great marriages work at it all the time.”

So before taking a leap and going to couples therapy, we want to give you some ways you and your partner can try to work on your relationship yourselves. Here are five things you can do.

1 Be open to communication.

ENTITY reports on couples therapy.

If you’re always arguing and not able to make rational decisions together, sit down and communicate. Be open to hearing your partner’s point of view.

Therapist Susan Heitler, PhD says, “Both partners need to be able to talk in a way that when they say things, their partner wants to listen – and when their partner says things, they want to hear them.”

Find a way to compromise with your loved one.

In order to have a successful conversation, you have to allow yourself to be wrong. The faster you’re able to admit you might be wrong, the better the communication will be.

2 Be Thankful.

Entity reports on couples therapy.

Sometime people take the great relationship they have for granted. This can lead them right into couples therapy.

But you don’t want that, right?

Be thankful for your relationship. Show your partner how much they mean to you and how much you value and appreciate everything they do for you.

Allen Barton, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Georgia’s Center for Family Research, did a research on married couples. The study found that gratitude and believing that your partner values you, directly influences how you behave in your marriage, as well as your levels of commitment.

Barton says, “It goes to show the power of ‘thank you.’ Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes.”

So whether you’re showering them with grand gestures or saying a simple “I’m thankful for you,” gestures of appreciation can make a big difference in your relationship.

3 Love your partner for who they are.

Entity reports on couples therapy.

It sounds like a given, but sometimes people forget this.

When you’re in a relationship you shouldn’t feel the need to change who you are. And don’t allow your partner to change you. Be yourself. Stay true to your passions, dreams, beliefs and everything that makes you, you.

Do the same for your partner. Love all the things you might “hate” about them. You have to choose to be with them. See the good and try to bring out the best of each other.

Honeymoon phases don’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean your love should end there.

4 Sex is very important.

Entity reports on couples therapy.

After you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you might not be having sex as often. It’s either getting boring or you’re just not feeling it.

“It may seem difficult, but committing to keeping physical closeness alive is really important,” she continues,” couples therapist Melissa Fritchle told The Huffington Post. “Touch releases oxytocin, which helps us feel bonded and relaxed. Many couples pull away from sex and physical affection when they are no longer feeling love, but working at rebuilding sexual touch and gestures of affection is a key piece to rebuilding love and intimacy again.”

There are many ways you can spice up your sex life to keep the relationship alive. Sex is key to maintaining a healthy relationship. And if you’re not having sex, there might be something wrong.

So instead of going to couples therapy to talk to someone about why you aren’t having sex, you might try an alternative first. Experiment new positions or try having sex in new locations. Trying new things can bring out the kinky side you might not have known about your partner.

Don’t be afraid to test it out!

5 And if you really do need couples therapy…

Entity reports on couples therapy.

It’s okay.

If all these things fail, then going to couples therapy isn’t a cop out. There are just some things you can’t fix yourself.

It’s alright to ask for help even if you initially thought you didn’t need it. You can even go to couples therapy when you don’t have a lot of problems. And if your partner isn’t on board to go with you, you can go by yourself. There’s no shame in that.

Psychologist Kristin Zeising tells The Huffington Post, “When you’re in therapy alone, you can really look at the issues that you bring to the relationship. It’s an opportunity to heal old wounds so that you can show up as a more engaged and loving spouse. And if your partner sees you make changes, they may be more willing to go with you.”

At the end of the day, you need to work with your partner to work through your problems. Whether you have a therapist’s help or not, it’s going to take mutual effort to fix issues in your relationship.

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