Make Any Relationship Better with Maggie Reyes

Make Any Relationship Better with Maggie Reyes

Mar 13, 2024

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Today’s guest, Maggie Reyes, is a marriage coach who is sharing her advice to make any relationship better. Even if you aren’t married, you’re going to want to stick around, because her model can be applied to any relationship in your life. 

We’re talking about the 4 essential elements of a great relationship and how they apply to marriage, parenting, and all types of relationships. Plus, we dive into how to reconnect with your spouse when you feel like you’ve been drifting apart and why they don’t have to change for your relationship to feel better.


4 Essential Elements of a Great Relationship

If you’re in a relationship with someone that’s not feeling amazing, you might not even know where to begin. The four elements Maggie shares give us a starting point to narrow down where the issue(s) might be and offer possible solutions.

They each come with their own question to get you started.

Perspective. Is there a different way to look at this? For example, if you feel you aren’t getting what you need in a certain situation, is it possible that your partner is trying but not doing it the way you would want?

Partnership. Are we on the same team? Do we have collaboration and rapport? This works like an emotional bank account. You need to make a lot of deposits into the partnership in order to make the withdrawals you want.

Pleasure. Are we having fun and enjoying our connection? In a marriage, this also includes having a sexual connection. This is where tools like the Delight List I often teach come into play. 

Personal Power. Am I thinking that I matter? This allows you to explore what is and is not okay with you. You have to believe that you matter enough to even ask for what you want and need in the relationship. You get to ask for things that you find pleasing or delightful, and you get to say “no” to things that don’t fit your priorities and values.

These elements are often connected. For example, if you’re enjoying each other’s company, you likely also have a strong rapport and partnership. If there is one that really stands out as you ask yourself these questions, that is a great place to focus your attention. 


Give and Get What You Both Need

Maggie believes that people love us the best they can, but it isn’t always the way we want to be loved. You and your partner might express your feelings and what matters to you in completely different ways. 

Sometimes we miss each other or we miss the mark on what the other person wants or needs. We're trying to do things, and the other person isn't seeing them. It’s easy to tell ourselves, “Oh, they don’t care. They’re not thinking about me.” But often, this isn’t the case. 

A shift in perspective can help us see things that we weren’t noticing or looking for before, or we might see that they are expressing love in a different way that we would. 

Try asking what is meaningful to the other person. What would they like? What would be delightful when they get home? You may be scared of asking these questions because we think they’re going to want something that's beyond our capacity, but sometimes what our spouse needs from us is much simpler than we think. 

And because you matter, you can give feedback, too. I’ve experienced situations with my own husband when I had to tell him, “I love what you’re doing, but I don’t like the way you’re doing it.”


Reconnect With Your Spouse

Busy schedules, work, kids activities and chores fill our days and often leave us feeling disconnected from our spouses. 

In her work, Maggie sees a direct correlation. The people who struggle the most in marriage are the people who spend the least time together. The people who are thriving spend the most time together. 

The natural inclination in any relationship is to drift apart. So you have to choose to turn toward each other on purpose. 

Maggie’s suggestion is to build in small pockets of “together time”. This can be 5 minutes of coffee together in the morning or 20 minutes together to check in and just breathe after the kids are in bed. 

If you love date nights, that’s great, but they’re not required (thank goodness!). Making a plan to curl up on the couch, eat snacks and watch Netflix works, too. It’s about doing more of what works for you. 

Daily check-ins also create space for connection and conversation, even just a few minutes each evening.


Get Clear On Your Values

The best way to understand what you value, Maggie says, is to look at your calendar and your bank account. With busy lives and limited amounts of time and money, it’s easy to feel like there isn’t enough to go around. But we choose where our resources go, and we can be more intentional so they better reflect our values. 

Sometimes our values aren’t clearly articulated, but you can look to your life for clues. I noticed that as a family we visited a lot of National Parks, which highlights the value we place on spending time in nature. 

When you look around and see where you are spending your time and money, the next step is to ask yourself, “Is this actually important to me in this chapter of life or is it just a habit?” and “What if I valued it on purpose?”

You can make your values even more clear with a simple conversation as a couple or as a family. What is important to you, as individuals and as a unit?

For example, if you are telling yourself that your weekends are all filled up, ask if there is another way you can look at it (shifting your perspective). Why is every weekend filled? 

If you say that your family and your relationship are important to you, how do you want your weekends to look and what can you say “yes” or “no” to in order to create that? 

There will always be an opportunity cost - something you have to give up in order to get something else. Make the choice that gives you what is most important to you and your family.


The Best News of All

Your spouse doesn’t have to change in order for you to be happy or to have the marriage you want. You don’t need to keep hanging your happiness on changing your spouse. Your peace and joy are not conditional on what they do or don’t do. 

This is great news because if you’re waiting on someone else to change, you might just end up sitting and waiting for a long time. It also means that you can take action towards what you want…right now! 

Ask yourself, “What do I want to be different? What do I want to prioritize?” 

You can start doing the things that engage you in the world, and your spouse can simply respond to what you're presenting in front of them. This can be as simple as making an invitation. Saying, “This is what would delight me this weekend. Would you like to join me for any part of that?”

If your spouse doesn’t want to do something that you’re doing, it’s okay. You don’t have to make them wrong for it. It doesn’t have to mean anything about your relationship. Instead, you can try a different approach of how it could be fun and work out for both of you or find a friend who would love it. 

And if they extend an invitation to you that you’re not thrilled about, you get to choose whether to decline or be a little uncomfortable and do something that’s not your favorite out of love service and love to this person that you care about. 


Especially with kids, it’s a bit of a dance between making an effort to prioritize our relationships while also exploring the things that matter to us as individuals. But there can be space for all of it. There's a space for you to do things that you’re interested in. And there is also space where you and your spouse (with or without the kids) can do things together that are fun for both of you where you can connect.

Maggie and I had such a great time recording this episode for you. We are cut from the same cloth and share so many of the same views in what we teach and how we help our clients. 

Her intention behind her group program, The Marriage Breakthrough Accelerator, is that once you go through the program, you will always be able to create your own breakthroughs. You’ll be able to use the tools you learned to handle any situation that comes up in your relationship with confidence and with grace. Learn more about working with Maggie at the links below.


You’ll Learn:

  • How to shift your thoughts when you’re bored with your partner
  • What to do when you feel like you don’t matter to your partner
  • How to reconnect (and it’s not just more date nights!)
  • Where to look for clues about your values so you can be more intentional with your energy


Connect with Maggie Reyes:


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