Many people do not appreciate their partners very often, however; they very regularly make sure to state their criticisms of their partner. Did you know that appreciation is something that most people crave?

Of course there are a whole host of reasons why appreciation is not given in relationships. Some examples are that maybe one of the partners has had an affair, or has been emotionally abusive, or has pulled away.

I ask the couples and individual adults I work with whether they want to have a relationship with their partner, which includes appreciation. Most say yes, a few will say they are not sure, some that they are not ready, or in some cases, they say they have been too hurt to start over to repair the relationship.

In sessions, if both clients are open to it, I might ask for each of them to say the following to the other, “I appreciate that you are…. or that you do……… “.  This helps to really soften the communication between them. When this exchange goes well between them, you can literally see people relax out of that tense and stressed stance.

Is it possible for you to challenge yourself to find something that is good about your partner? In many cases, there are some things that are positive; and this shift of mind begins to shift away from a blaming and complaining dialogue to a place where less judgment exists. What does your partner do well?

There are some cases where clients feel that there really isn’t anything positive left to comment on, either due to the fact that their partner may have emotionally and/or physically abused them, is a narcissist, and/or that they have contempt for you based on the history of the relationship, and/or that you have tried repeatedly to incorporate positive aspects to the relationship but the other partner blocked it.  In this instance, I help these clients discuss their ambivalent thoughts about their relationship. In the case that someone is being abused, it is essential to the direct that person to safety and the appropriate resources!

I encourage you to contact me with questions or comments that you may have about this topic, as I really enjoy working with people in expanding how they communicate in relationships.

 Kelley Hopkins-Alvarez, LPC, NCC, MS, MSEd

Find Your Strengths!

Couple and Individual Therapy  * Sex Therapy

Text or Call: 203-948-0938

Fax:    203-775-6526


Address:  100B Danbury Road, Suite #201D (2nd floor), Ridgefield,CT 06877

(Building B is behind Union Savings Bank)