DEAR ABBY: Reader wonders how to make relationship healthier

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

DEAR ABBY: I am 53 and have been divorced for more than 10 years. While we were going through the divorce, my ex and I went to counseling. Unfortunately, it couldn’t save our marriage. However, I learned a lot during those sessions about how to be a better partner because I recognized the mistakes I had made during my marriage.

I am currently dating a woman my age. When we disagree, I try my best to use what I learned. While I’m not perfect, I’m glad I have that foundation. The problem is, my girlfriend employs a lot of the bad behaviors from which I evolved. I see it clearly, but you can’t teach someone during an argument. How do we get on the same page? We love each other, so it would be nice to fine-tune our adversity to make it healthy and productive. — WANTING BETTER IN THE EAST

DEAR WANTING: Communication is all-important in relationships, as is the ability to fight fair when disagreements arise. Wait until your lady friend is calm, then suggest the two of you seek couples counseling together. It will not only help you to make your relationship “healthier and more productive,” it will also help the two of you grow closer by addressing any differences that might prevent it from developing further.