Many times we know what we don't want better than we know what we do want. This is true for couples that I see in my practice as well. It is sometimes easier to voice complaints: "He/She doesn't make me happy anymore" "We are just a mess" When I ask them, "If we worked together for awhile and you finally got to the place where you said to yourself, 'there that's better, I like how we are now' what would be different?" I often get a blank look, or general statements and not much detail to how things would be better.
We are raised either watching TV and movies to get an idea of relationships or we just witness the ones around us growing up and those become our models (whether consciously or not). Below is a list of some of the ingredients of a healthy relationship. There are many more but it was just really hard to keep going in one infographic. Hope this helps stimulate your thinking and gives you some areas to work on.
Nancy Ryan, LMFT specializes in working with individuals and couples who want deep, satisfying relationships with themselves and their partners. She works with couples who are ready to stop the destructive patterns and want to build the love, friendship and romance back into their partnership. Go to our Relationship Counseling page for more information.