I want to make my relationship stronger! If you live and/or work in NYC, you know that it can be a busy place. And when you are working and living in the hustle sometimes taking care of your relationship gets lost. Sure, you may have the same home, kids and goals, but are you really connected?
Many of my clients come to therapy looking to build something into their relationship. Maybe trust has been broken and they want it back. Sometimes their marriage lacks intimacy, understanding or they just do not feel connected. Some of my clients are struggling with infertility and want to ensure that their marriage does not collapse around the stress. Or they may have already noticed that the tension they are feeling from not being able to conceive is causing strain.
When couples start therapy and talk about their relationship it is often the first time they are open and honest with each other. The work we then do together is dependent on the hope that both stay committed to the process of slowly opening up and then building on the discoveries they make about each other.
Many couples ask me for ideas on what they can do outside of our sessions. While I encourage clear and open communication it is often important to get out and have some fun. What can you do in NYC to have some fun with your partner.
Well my first suggestion is don’t go out to dinner to talk! Engaging in new activities enables you to see your partner in a different light so go ahead, try something new. It is sometimes fun and interesting to visit old places that were significant to your relationship history. This can include the spot where you met or a place that was very special. You could even have lunch at the restaurant where you got married, visit the spot of your proposal, or the building stoop of your first apartment.
If you are able, try to get away for a vacation or give a cooking or dance class a go. Incorporate different ideas each week to add new dimensions to your life and to your communication. Mixing it up and getting out of your normal routine and comfort zone can be great fun and recharge the energy that is running low in your relationship.
Volunteering together at a local charity here in the NYC area is a great way to bond. You get to do something meaningful and make an impact while spending some time together as well. You can work at a soup kitchen, build homes, collect items for a shelter, sort books at the library, or even visit a local college/high school for career day. Giving back will help both of you sit in gratitude for all that you have as a couple.
Join a team – even if you have never played baseball, soccer, tennis or kickball you can find a team that will put the two of you on their roster. Walk around Central Park, Chelsea Pier, or some of the other beautiful outdoor spaces in this city. You would be amazed at how many sporting opportunities there are in the city.
The important part of this entire process is making sure the two of you bond. It actually has nothing to do with specific activity you choose. A simple walk around the block holding hands may do the trick to reignite the spark or at least ease some of the pain as we work through the tension you are experiencing in your lives.