Established couples -- couples that have been together for several years – have great wisdom about themselves, about one another, and about their relationship. Their wisdom is well-earned, often as a result of sharing many wonderful moments, and it is often tempered with the knowledge and experience that comes from weathering life’s storms together.
Being in a stable, committed relationship like this provides you and your partner with many benefits and opportunities. You have the luxury of knowing each other very well, and you can sidestep many of the issues and stresses that waylay less experienced couples. Chances are good that, even with a few imperfections or the occasional disagreement, the foundation of your relationship is strong. You have a lot to be proud about, as many couples would envy your ability to survive and even thrive over the years. But you also have the wisdom to know that your relationship has changed a lot over the years and that it is likely to change in the years to come: your children are growing up fast; your financial goals might be in flux in the current economy; your health might be changing; you may be contemplating a new job, a move to a new home, or even retirement. Or maybe life is pretty steady for you, yet you feel that your relationship has become a bit staid and routine. The spark is still there, and you want to give it some extra attention so that it burns a bit brighter.
What’s Important To Keep In Mind
An important goal for established couples is to discover new ways to add a bit of sparkle and spice to their relationship. The great benefits that come from having been together for many years are often accompanied by a bit of lethargy and stodginess, leaving partners feeling content and committed but also a bit set in their ways. Established couples have the trust and shared history that allows them to experiment and explore more than newly formed couples – but they often need a little push to renew and deepen their level of connection and closeness.
How We Can Help
If you are in a stable, committed relationship, now might be a great time for you and your partner to reflect on all that the two of you have accomplished – and to prepare for the road ahead. In our seminars, we focus on three key aspects of intimate relationships that have emerged from our research and from our analysis of the research literature on human intimacy. We call these three aspects the Relationship Triad, and our belief is that if couples can grasp these ideas then they have the best possible tools for renewing the spark in their relationship and for thinking in new ways to make a good relationship even better. The Relationship Triad consists of:
- Individual Differences: Who you and your partner are as unique individuals
- Communication: The ways you and your partner talk to one another and give meaning to your communication
- Stress: The challenges and stresses you and your partner encounter
You know from your own relationship – and maybe from the relationships of your friends and family members – that relationships change. Some relationships continue to thrive with each passing year, as each new challenge is met with vigor and skill. But other relationships decline as partners lose track of strong feelings that brought them together at the start.
One key point to keep in mind is that whether you are in a relationship that is thriving or that might be losing steam, all couples must deal with these three underlying forces: who you are as unique people, how you connect and coordinate your actions and feelings, and the stresses and strains that can disrupt the balance that you and your partner have created. With each passing year together, it is important to understand these forces and be mindfully invested in your relationship. Getting the upper hand on these forces can be instrumental in keeping your relationship strong and rewarding for many years to come.
The largest group of couples who attend our seminars and workshops are established couples. Many are doing great, some less so. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, why not build on the wisdom and love you have already invested in your relationship to make it as good as it can possibly be?
Learn more about how to maximize the positives of your relationship and keep it thriving by attending our Foundations Seminar or Advanced Topics Seminars. If you prefer a more personalized experience, we recommend our new Premium Couples Workshop.