“I often tell couples to rate their requests. To say: “me, the first thing I would like you to do is…” or “what I would appreciate the most is…”. That way, by saying what is most important, the other can tell what really matters to us.” she says.. If we tell our lover: “I want you to do more!” or “I want you to be more respectful!”, it is too vague. And if we add to that a huge dose of criticism because he hasn’t guessed everything we did not say, we are off for a very negative sequence. “Love dies under criticism. It takes away all the initiative, breaks the desire, casts doubt, undermines self-esteem and leads to passivity. If we don’t clearly state what we want, we can’t accuse the other of not complying. And to say “You know what I mean!” doesn’t help either. Your boyfriend will shut himself down and will not dare to try anything, thinking that his girlfriend is always complaining and that nothing is ever good enough anyway.” says Pierrette Desrosiers.
Couple exercise number 2: the qualities
Pierrette Desrosiers notes that among couples that go wrong, the ratio is 10 critics for one positive feedback. It should be the exact opposite: 10 positive feedbacks for one critic. And that is, in your couple and in every other sphere of your life. “Before criticizing, always wonder if it is truly necessary”.
The psychologist suggests writing down 5 to 7 qualities that we love the most in our partner. Then we read them out loud and explain them to the other.
“Sometimes, this little exercise makes people cry because they didn’t know that the other still thought that of them”, she explains.
In addition, the libido is not constant in a couple. Adjustments should be expected. “In a couple, on the length of our life together, the desire is not always on the rise or even constant. The stress that leads our lives usually has an impact on our couple” says the psychologist. The biggest stresses of our lives are sexual difficulties, money, children’s education, and chores sharing. And the women are more likely to see their libido weakened by stress. “We must be able to talk about it and laugh about it as a couple. And as long as there is love, admiration and respect, everything is still there”. Intimacy isn’t only love making either! “The honeymoon that creates chemical reactions isn’t the same after several years together but we can still ignite a spark by spicing things up and communicating” concludes Pierrette Desrosiers.