Have you ever made New Year’s resolutions and had trouble keeping them? Yes? Then join the very large club. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to make keeping your resolutions easier, while strengthening your relationship with your partner? Wouldn’t it be nice if, while achieving your goals, you also became more intimate? It’s a win-win for both of you.

Think about it. When you share your inner most desires and goals with your partner, you are sharing the most important essence of yourself. You are recognizing a lack and articulating it out loud, which can often be an important admission. You are letting your partner into your most intimate thoughts.

Resolved: Strengthen Your Intimate Relationship Nancy'S Counseling Corner

Once you pronounce your goals out loud to your partner, you have made a commitment to another person, a person you really care about. A person you would hate to disappoint. You might be more liable to let yourself off the hook if you are the only one who knows what your goal is. But now that it’s “out there” you don’t want to let your partner down. So you try even harder to succeed.

Your partner may even help you succeed. You are committed to your partner’s happiness and success, and he is committed to yours. When you help each other achieve your goals, then you are working together as a team. Along the way, you may strengthen your relationship by:

1) Becoming a better listener

When someone is telling you their most intimate thoughts, you had better pay attention. You had better thoroughly understand what they’re trying to do. You can help them be accountable by lovingly asking how they’re doing. By encouraging them when they don’t measure up. By reminding them that there’s seldom a straight line to success. By supporting them to keep going.

2) Understanding your partner’s foibles

He isn’t perfect. Never will be. Neither will you. When he takes the time to talk to you about how he can improve, he is, in a way, admitting his faults. That’s when you must realize that this wonderful person you love needs to be accepted, faults and all. No matter how well he succeeds at his resolutions, he will still have issues. As a loving partner who is in the relationship for the long haul, you will understand this and accept him for who he is.

3) Increasing your gratitude

You know how your partner is trying to improve. You can see the effort he’s making. Aren’t you grateful for a partner who is trying to be better? Be sure to share that gratitude with him, verbally, with an “atta boy” or physically, with a hug. It will encourage him to keep going. It will make him feel good. And when your partner feels good, don’t you feel good too? Sharing your hopes for the future is an intimate exercise. Contributing to making those hopes a reality—through encouragement, understanding, or just listening—will enrich your relationship. Best wishes for a very happy New Year.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us