Working on your relationship: Three things to do

For many, a loving relationship can be the most fulfilling component of their lives. But this means that relationship problems can negatively affect you in ways that impact everything from your ability to work throughout the day or relax and unwind in the evening. However, problems do not signify that your relationship is doomed to fail. Here are three things you can do to give your relationship the boost it may need to keep you fulfilled.

Money is the root of (some) evil

70% of couples report that money causes tension in their relationship. This isn’t just because British culture stigmatises financial discussion; often it’s because money is tangible, and can be easy to conflate with emotional issues. The Talk Money campaign revolves around the fact that not talking about money can cause you to make riskier financial decisions, develop stresses/anxiety, and cause unnecessary devastation by an income shock or big life event. If you find it too hard to talk about money with your partner, the Money Advice Service offers guidance.

Don’t neglect the three types of love

According to the psychologist Sternberg, different types of love arise from mixtures of commitment, intimacy and passion. If these are all present in a relationship, couples enjoy consummate love that, among other things, leads to great sex for over 20 years. However, there is a strong emphasis on the role of sex in both the passion and intimacy components. This can be especially difficult for males, as evolutionary psychologists believe they are made to feel less attracted to a partner over time to encourage them to have more kids. Viagra is now available over the counter in the UK, but contrary to popular belief it doesn’t increase libido. In 2011, a study by Lamm and Cousins found that Viagra enhanced sexual satisfaction in 45% of men, but that epimedium enhanced satisfaction in 60% of men. Epimedium has become a popular staple of health stores, where it’s often known as horny goat weed due to its effects first being observed by ancient goat farmers.

Pick up on problems to break them down

If you notice your partner is in a worse emotional state than normal, it can be really helpful to pick up on this and talk it through with them. Many people find it incredibly hard to talk about their feelings, but if you explain that you need them to be open with their feelings for your emotional wellbeing as much as theirs, they may open up. Simply exploring the emotional roots of their negative state can lead to some productive discussions, and many observe their negative feelings dissolving away.

If all else fails, couples counselling can help you talk about your problems and give you more tailored advice about financial, sexual and emotional issues. However, it can be expensive, so consider some additional reading around these areas so you can apply these tips with a similar degree of personalisation to your situation that you could get with one-to-one help.