September 2013


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10 Tips to Enhance your Relationship

By Dr. Dar

Sometimes it's the simple things that are taken for granted or we think are unimportant Couple in love that hold the key to a healthy, loving and happy relationship.

Here are ten tips to enhance your relationship:

#1 Quality Time

Without quality time together, your relationship will not survive. Schedule at least half an hour every night in your calendars for each other. Also schedule at least one day a month where the two of you spend time exclusively together outside the home doing something fun together (not housework, job, chore or maintenance related).

#2 Create Security

You both want to feel secure within the relationship. To create security, compromise and a balance of give and take is necessary from both of you. Open communication is vital and no subject should be off limits for discussion in a healthy relationship. Make sure you hear both sides before making decisions. Try to arrive at a mutually acceptable and beneficial solution, instead of going all your way or your partner's way.

#3 Learn to love your partner

The little things that first attracted you to each other can become annoying habits over the years. You both must learn to love your partner, irritating habits and all. My husband does not like the way I load the dishwasher. I don't take it personally, if he wants to readjust the dishes, I am fine with that. It does not annoy him, he just prefers to do it a different way and accepts that I do it my way. Don't try to change your spouse into something they're not and recognize the characteristics that were present when you did fall in love with them.

#4 Get comfortable talking about money

Money is key contributor to relationship failure with many couples. Why? Money is the most difficult conversation for people to have. People are afraid of talking about money, about budgets, about financial planning, etc. For the relationship to work, you must learn how to get comfortable with talking about money and spending. You should meet at least once a month to review your outgoing expenses and income as a couple for the long term health of your relationship. Agreeing to a budget is important so that you both can accomplish your financial goals together.

#5 Learn how to communicate

Communication is vital to all healthy relationships. Listen to each other - hear each other out without interrupting. Talking things over can help you to both have a deeper understanding of each other. Listening is more important than talking, believe it or not. Acknowledging what you heard without judgment, interpretation, or opinions is a gift that will pay dividends in your relationship for a lifetime!

#6 Sex and intimacy

Sex is important to create connection and intimacy in a marriage. Life gets busy and it is easy to push sex and intimacy aside. It is critical to address your sex and intimacy needs with your partner, schedule time for it, and do what you can to bring intimacy back into your relationship. Remember talking about sex and intimacy is vital to the health and sustainability of your relationship.

#7 Balance dependence and independence

Maintain a balance of dependence and independence with each other. Do not depend on your partner 100% of the time because that can be suffocating to your partner. On the other hand, don't allow your partner to think you don't need them, by going or doing things without them. Do your best to keep a healthy balance between the two.

Again, communication is key. You both should know what is stifling to each other and areas where you both want to depend on each other versus areas in which you both need independence. Balance between the two is important and the best way to find balance is to share and discuss what works and does not work for both of you.

#8 Learn to let go of what bothers you

If you know something your partner said or did has hurt or annoyed you, you have to talk to them about it and ask for what you would like them to do instead. Once you both have discussed it and you have asked for what you need instead, you must let it go. Do not focus on the past event and allow your partner to be forgiven and see that you are moving forward.

#9 Implement a no cheating policy

Couples who talk about their thoughts and feelings about cheating have a better chance at succeeding in their relationship than those who do not. If you want an open relationship make sure you have an agreement about what that looks like and make sure you both understand what you are agreeing to and not agreeing to. It helps to put it in writing and both of you sign it. If you do not tolerate cheating, then make sure you both know that and agree to it.

People usually cheat because they are too chicken to address the problems in their relationship and succumb to using cheating as the catalyst to end their relationship. Instead, if you are having problems, address them. It is much easier to end a relationship before starting a new one than starting a new one while you are in a committed relationship with someone else. Be an adult and respect yourself enough to be a person of integrity.

#10 Get professional support

Don't ever think that going to counseling or coaching is a sign of a failed relationship or a failure on your part. On the contrary, it can help turn a relationship around and can transform an average relationship into an excellent one.

More people are turning to marriage and relationship coaching today than ever, it shows you are both committed to each other and to improving your relationship. There is no longer any stigma associated with getting a third party who is professionally trained to help you succeed in your marriage - in fact, it can be completely confidential - no one needs to know other than you and your partner.

Take the step to get coaching as soon as you notice a disconnect in your relationship, no matter how small the it may be. Sweeping it under the rug or ignoring it is a tell tale sign of deeper issues down the road.

The fact remains, that whether you're dating or married, relationships can be difficult without being educated, learning and practicing new skills. It takes 100% commitment from both of you. You can achieve any goal you have as long as you learn how, right? If you want to learn how to install hard wood floors, you would take lessons from someone who knows how. Why not do the same to create a long lasting and loving relationship - hire a trained professional who is committed to your success to show you how to succeed in your relationship. You are worth it!

These relationship tips may seem simple, but they are tried and true. Contact Dr. Dar now for a sample session, more relationship tips and tools to help your relationship problems today!

P.S. I invite you to take a moment right now to learn about relationship issues you may be experiencing by taking my Healthy Relationships Quiz for couples, or Are You Ready for Love Quiz if you're single to find and create a lasting healthy relationship. Your answers may surprise you!

Here's to living your "real life" love story!

Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Dar. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Dr. Dar

Dr. Dar is a Master Relationship Coach for Couples and here to help you create the relationship of your dreams.

For more information visit

Ask Our Coaches

Do I have to tell my wife everything?

Crossed Fingers Dear Coaches,

My wife is accusing me of having an affair with a woman at work and is threatening to divorce me. It's not true. Before I met my wife, I did date this woman for about a year. I never told her but somehow she found out. I don't think I should have to tell my wife everything I've done or am doing in my life. It had no bearing on my dating and marrying her, but she's accusing me of keeping secrets and is demanding I give her a rundown of my past. What's the big deal? It's not a secret. It's just something I chose not to share because it's irrelevant. I love my wife. I don't have affairs and never would.

What's healthy for couples when it comes to their past? Is there anything wrong with keeping secrets from your partner? I'm not hurting her or me or anyone and I've never asked her to give me details of her part relationships. Any thoughts?

~ Scott from St. Paul

Susy Giddy

Susy responds ...

Here are some questions I am curious about - perhaps they will help you sort through this situation...
What would it be like for you if you told your wife about your past?
What do you think you would gain?
What do you think you would lose?
What is the difference between a secret and just not telling someone something for you?

I am also curious about how you and your wife respond to each other's needs in your marriage. Your wife is hurting in this situation, what can you do to help her stop hurting? Have you two ever faced anything similar, if so how did you handle it? What it be like to have a conversation with your wife about honesty and truthfulness in your relationship and in your lives.

Susy Giddy |

Chuck Ames

Chuck responds ...

Your loving exchange is on the line. You need to feel trusted. She needs to feel cherished above all others. While the accuracy of the accusation is important to you, it is less so to her. Rebuild her trust. Stand your ground, while at the same time telling her everything she wants to know.

You don't have to volunteer any information that you don't feel is relevant. Just trust her as much as you expect her to trust you. It's a matter of fairness that requires this; not the loving exchange. But the two dynamics must mesh in a successful relationship.

Listen to her feelings with empathetic understanding. Don't attempt to explain, solve, or refute her feelings. All emotions are valid, even if the logic behind them is not. Allow her to emote, without being judgmental in any way.

Brush up on active listening techniques before these conversations. Combative, accusatory discussion will defeat your purpose. Deflect any accusations with appropriate "you messages".

She trusted you before. You can teach her to trust you again. You must understand that she feels this way, because she loves you deeply. Then use this attentive technique constantly from now on. Good luck.

Chuck Ames |

Denise Wade

Denise responds ...

No matter how honest you have been or how irrelevant you feel your past is to your current relationship; your wife's fears need to be validated.

She is most likely bringing in fears from her past relationship experiences or from her own childhood based on dishonesty and betrayal. The intimate relationship is where those irrational fears and insecurities will seek to complete unfinished business in an attempt to heal old wounds and right wrongs.

Try validating that you hear her and validate her feelings of insecurity, even though you are innocent. Her fears are actually more about needing to know you are honest with her, love her, prioritize her and are faithful, more so than a false accusation. Being defensive will only worsen the situation.

She may be interpreting not knowing your full history as you have something to hide. This is where the difference between men and women lie. Most women want all the past details of their partner's love life. Most men prefer not to know anything and choose to believe that he is her first and only. Give her a full account so she will know you have nothing to hide and she has nothing to fear.

Denise Wade Ph.D.|

Dr. Le

Dr. Le responds ...

Dear Scott:

Thanks for reaching out for support. Your wife threatening divorce is indeed a serious matter. Even though you may think that your past is "no big deal", it IS a big deal to her. In a way, this has nothing to do about you or your past. It's about your wife and what her needs are.

I am curious as to whether you know exactly why it is critical for your wife to learn more about your past? Has she been in previous relationships where trust was an issue? If getting more information would help her to move forward in the relationship, would that help you to share more with her?

With regards to your question about keeping secrets, I think it is not whether doing so is right or wrong, but what agreement you have with your spouse in regards to the extent you share with each other about aspects of both of your life. It's like going for surgery. Some patients would want to know the minute details about the procedure while others feel more comforted with not knowing much.

Needless to say, having conversation such as this with your spouse is not easy. You may want to consider engaging a third unbiased person such as a professional coach to mediate this conversation so the end result will be positive.

Dr. Le Doan PhD |

Let's Get Real

Let's Get Real responds ...

To view Let's Get Real's response to this question in a webTV episode visit

This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.


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