Karen L. Kehler, MA,  MSHA - Private- Professional- Affordable Counseling Services
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Kehler Counseling Blog

What's Really Missing in Relationships

EFFORT.
 
One word.  It doesn't even take much to type it.  It's what's missing when a relationship is boring, not fulfilling, not fun, ignored, annoying or just plain neglected.
 
We too often think its about glamorous gifts, bragging rights, fancy clothes, houses, cars.  Valentine's and Birthdays get buried in candy, roses and cake.  If they are delivered by someone else, baked by someone we don't know, or happen thanks to a click of a button or directing an employee - there is no effort.  You passed it on. 
 
If you want to improve the quality of your love life, relationships with your parents, kids, friends, employers, neighbors - anyone -  start with making an effort. 
 
This is what it looks like - since I'm also a fan of doing something visible. . .
 
  • Take the time to mail a real card, write a real letter, leave a note, send a thank you, make a phone call - send a text. . . do something more - take that extra few minutes to select a card (even a .99 can be priceless), send a thoughtful and kind compliment - make an effort to TELL someone you are thinking about them. 
  • Do a chore without being reminded or asked.    No one wants to nag, repeat or worse yet - demand, threaten or yell.    Take initiative - make the effort to complete a regular - routine task without having someone beg or plead.  
  • Get up from the table at home and help clean up - show effort with cooperation and participation - not disappearing as soon as your final fork load hits the table.   Effort before, during and after the meal.   It takes real effort to not just decide what to have, but have it on hand, ready to eat, on time, tastes good and requires cleaning up throughout the process.   If someone is taking the effort to provide you with a meal you're not making - then reciprocate with your own efforts to make it easier for everyone.  
  • Show effort with parents - especially the infirmed, disabled or overwhelmed.  When you go to visit - don't expect to be waited on - make the effort to ask about their needs, feelings and what you can do to make their life easier or better.  Take initiative to fix the things you notice broken.  Pay for a service to be provided.  Take a minute to lift, move or remove heavy items, clumsy items, outdated items.   Ask to help - or just take the initiative - too often they are too proud to ask - but are seriously managing chronic pain and mobility limitations.  Don't just sit there - the activity will help both/all of you. 
  • Show effort in caring for yourself - but balance it with caring about others. If you can spend hours at the spa, gym or salon - you can spend minutes helping a child with homework, learning a new skill, help a spouse carry laundry, move heavy items, get the car washed and vacuumed. . . you can also take extra effort in the bedroom. If you can bench press or walk an hour you can 'effort' in bed too.   Too often women define sex as 'work' and see it as another thing 'to do' on the long list.  'Effort' here and your partner will hopefully show effort as well - in and out of the bedroom.
  • Show as much effort as you do for your pets as for your 'people' -  do you walk with your dog more than your partner, child, parent?  Do you splurge more often on the pets in the house than each other?  Think about it.  Take the effort to splurge on your spouse more than your pets.   Give your affection more than just to your fuzzy friends.
  • Effort is taking initiative - starting something - doing something without being prompted.    It can mean stopping somewhere out of your way to bring home something only your loved one enjoys.  It means going an extra mile - taking extra time - spending an extra dollar for something you ignore - neglect or overlook.    It's the favorite candy bar at the mini mart, coffee the way she likes it, the flowers at the store that you stopped at (and didn't have to).     Its going outside of your comfort zone or routine.  It is NOT about expensive - its about priceless. 
  • Effort is about making the other person feel like they MATTER.   That is the most important thing we can do each day.  
I'll finish here.  Think about it.  Make an effort today.   Do something slightly more than you did before.  Reach out - reach up - and hopefully - especially if its visible - you will get the gratitude you earned from it.  
 
Karen L.Kehler

    4 Comments to What's Really Missing in Relationships:

    Comments RSS
    the package tours on Thursday, May 16, 2013 4:52 PM
    Keep working ,impressive job!
    Reply to comment


    harpirisenergy on Monday, May 20, 2013 3:12 PM
    Heya i for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.
    Reply to comment


    Karen on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 3:10 PM
    Thanks for the positive compliments - if my sharing helps even just one relationship I will consider my efforts worthwhile!
    Reply to comment


    zipper bag making machine on Sunday, June 23, 2013 3:39 AM
    Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is just great and i could assume you're an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.
    Reply to comment

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