How do I make my relationship with my girlfriend better?

She's busy because her mom makes her clean all the time and go out places with her family. We don't talk much because of it. Also, we have little fights. We want to work it out but we don't know how.

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Maybe your girlfriend feels torn in her emotions between loyalty toward her family and toward investing herself in a relationship.

There are so many "maybes", that the best way to strengthen your relationship is to ask your girlfriend if she feels any pressure from her family to avoid involving herself with you.

If the answer is "no", then continue to talk with each other as to what would make you each feel more secure with one another.

Also, more simply, are the  two of you able to resolve the "little fights"?

Differences of opinion are normal between two people, even to the point of each person feeling they are the only one who knows the correct answer.

As long as each one of you has the goodwill to give a little, then the fights are a healthy way to respect and care about each other.

If the fights are about the same topic which repeats itself, then there are strong differences between the two of you, including the possibility that her family places and she is willing to accept, some obstacle to this relationship.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH, CCTP, CCH
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH, CCTP, CCH
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

Maybe you can start with having 15 minutes per week that you know you will be spending time with each other (even if it needs to be on the phone). Because this much time could be scheduled ahead of time, at least you would know there was that time that was set aside. That may also help you to rekindle some conversations between you.

As far as your little fights, consider spending five minutes with one of you talking about one issue that is a concern and the other partner asking questions that are open-ended (cannot be answered with just yes or no) and listening as an investigative reporter to try to learn more about what the other person is experiencing. Then, once the partner who started speaking thinks the listening partner is understanding where they are coming from, switch. It's also good to restate what you think you are hearing. Then you know what each other is truly following about this. Also remember that following or understanding what someone is saying does not imply agreement, just that you are recognizing what they are saying and able to see where they are coming from.

Also consider noticing what makes you feel valued, special, loved, or appreciated. Think of the same for your girlfriend. This could be a great discussion to have as well.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

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