NOTICE: St. Cloud office was closed effective June 1st, 2019 due to a move.

Miho Adkins now works at Birch Lake Counseling in Hackensack, MN. Please call at 320-282-1066 to schedule an appointment with Miho. Miho provides online counseling as well to continue to serve clients outside of Hackensack areas.

Please fax a HIPAA compliant release form to request clinical records.

Four County Crisis Response Team (320-253-5555 or 1800-635-8008) for Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, or Wright Counties.

Relationship Advice to Save a Marriage

Relationship advice to maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner.

We all have relationships with somebody. Humans cannot not have relationships with others. Sometimes the relationships are good and healthy. Sometimes they are unhealthy. Sometimes we stay in the relationships even if we know that these relationships are unhealthy.

Relationship advice is a reality check. Sometimes it is a good idea to take time to think about the relationship you are in, and how you treat your partner. Also check here for Reasons for Divorce, and/or Take Marriage Quizzes.

The first and most important relationship advice you should understand is that:

1) No one has a perfect relationship.

People in relationships have experienced ups and downs, good times and bad times, pleasurable times and conflicts.

So why do some relationships last and some do not? Dr. Gottman stated in his book, the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, those people who keep their relationship in spite of difficulties are not smarter nor simply more fortunate. Dr. Gottman found patterns in these couples that seemed to somehow overcome difficulties and maintain their relationships.

He realized that the couples who maintain their relationship despite the conflicts tend to better handle the times when they are not fighting.

2) The focus is not just improving the ways we handle conflict, but also strengthening the friendship.

Improving communication is good relationship advice, but that is not enough. Just focusing on how to communicate better is a start but you need more. While you decrease negative interactions, you should also increase positive interactions. Positive encounters will allow us to communicate less negatively, hence decrease negative interactions, and increase more positive interactions. Click here to learn more about the power of communication. Dr. Gottman's research found eight signs that predict whether or not couples will divorce.

3) 10 Signs of Dysfunctional Communication Patterns

  1. Harsh Start-ups
  2. Criticism
  3. Contempt
  4. Defensiveness
  5. Stonewalling
  6. Flooding
  7. Body language and Physiological Responses
  8. Failed Repairing Attempts
  9. Rewrite the Past Negatively
  10. Totally Disengage

According to Dr. Gottman, arguments in themselves are not problems. The problem is how you argue. As your arguments escalate from I to VI, you will experience physiological reactions. You will feel extremely distressed and need to protect yourself. You start withdrawing from your partner because you do not want to have another argument that will "hurt" you. Everything is bad. Whatever your partner did was not good. There are no positive encounters any more and more negative encounters caused by emotional distance.

At this point, couples are extremely distressed and if they do not work through the issues their relationships are close to the end.

What happened to our relationship? That is not what they dreamed about when they got married.

I believe that respect is the most important aspect in healthy relationships.

4) Respect

It is a simple word but it is easy to forget and ignore. We all forget that we should respect our partners as much as we respect other people. We allow ourselves to talk to our partners in a way we usually do not talk to others. Our partners become like oxygen, necessary for life, but which we take for granted.

If you want to be respected, you respect others. With this golden rule, many relationships could be saved. Showing respect to your partner is a start to repair and strengthen the relationship.

Money and Marriage 101

Are you in an age gap relationship?

Click here for the information on Emotional Abuse

Click here for the information on Verbal Abuse

More relationship advice?

Relationship advice books? Click here.

Marriage quotes

Funny marriage quotes

Couples retreat

Spice up your marriage?