How's your relationship with your partner? Not as exciting anymore? Going through a rough patch? Or one of may rough patches? Maybe you drifted apart, or maybe you're just afraid of those things happening your relationship. Here are the 6 must do's for keeping your relationship amazing!
Out of all the things on our essential needs list, universally, healthy relationships will fall somewhere on your short list. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, one where the romance and connection is breathtakingly constant and both partners are always in a constant of state of attunement to each other. Those are beautiful ideals, but that is all they are. Most people experience moments or periods of time of this kind of epic love, when they do experience it. But it not something that can or should be sustained. It is often this kind of thinking that gets a lot of relationships into trouble. Check out my 10 myths of relationships and marriage if you need to!
Since life coaching is all about getting to the issues that matter to you the most and making some plans to help you find a little resolution and a little clarity, I'm going to talk about some tips and hints to plan into your life, easy simple things, that can go a long way to further a relationship, and they are all super secret powered tested not to drain you or give away pieces of your soul!
- Never underestimate trust, hurt, and healing:
When we go through any kind of hurt, whether it's a loss of income to the family, infidelity, loss, or strife, we will go through stages of acceptance. Most people might have realized this about loss and grief, but these stages are true for any kind of life shock or trauma.
Those stages are:
- Shock and/or Denial
- Depression and regret
This is very helpful to keep in mind, as most people will go through many, if not all, of these stages when dealing with everything from hurt feelings to loss or separation. There is no real way to by-pass any of these stages within in the context of the situation you are in. Some stages will last longer than others, sometimes you will cycle through them more than once. It it helpful to know where you stand and where your spouse or partner stands in a common conflict or situation. Knowing where they fall in these stages can help you find a little compassion for yourself and your partner.
Hurt happens because some kind of trust is broken or lost within a relationship. The closer we are to someone the more we trust that person and their patterns, whether or not those patterns are actually healthy or not. When there is conflict or if those patterns begin to change, whether we are understanding or not, we will usually feel a little hurt or disappointed that something we have come to depend on can no longer be there for us. We have to deal with the root of that inequity or perceived inequity in the relationship for any real healing to begin.
One of the surest ways you can tell you are not dealing the root of the pain or hurt is when you keeping using blame. Blame can be hard to spot at times, especially when we are in the heat of the moment or situation. But we are coming from a standpoint of blame when you are convinced that someone is making or forcing you to feel a certain way. For instance, “I wouldn’t be so upset, if he/she would simply grow up!” or “Why am I always the one who gets hurt (does all the work, takes care of everything) in this relationship?” Those are statement of blame, because we are not acknowledging our own role in the relationship or conflict. Mind you, we are speaking of relationship problems, here not criminal acts between people who may or may not have had a prior relationship. There are no one-sided relationships.
Get clear on what you are feeling, why you feel hurt, and what your role is this situation!
- Couples vision:
Never underestimate how difficult it is to live in harmony with someone else, day in and day out, through good times and bad. The merging of two separate lives into one is miracle, not automatic. There is nothing wrong with you for not knowing exactly how to live with the love of your life, the first or even second time around. Our first exposure to families is in the role of a child, someone who is watched after and molded. But when we enter into our second family relationship as an adult, we have literally no experience in how to live as couple. Having a vision and common set of goals toward which the couple is collectively building toward can go a great way to establishing how the rules and expectations there are for living with your partner or spouse, and rules and expectations that you are both more likely to agree to.
Few have had to chance to build that vision together before marriage, but it's never to late to re-focus where a relationship is going and to re-evaluate how your combined patterns and habits are serving your collective life. If you would like more information on how to create a vision for marriage and family, sign up free membership to my site here!
- Active listening
Better communication is never a bad thing. Never ever presume you know what your spouse or partner meant by something, and always, always keep asking whether you correctly understood them. There is a ton of good material out there to teach active communication, just keep in mind it's something that takes mindful practice. Even if you slip up and speak from anger or fear, you need to get back on the active listening horse and find the road again. Blame, remaining stubbornly correct, and tit-for-tat behavior will never resolve any argument. Energetically speaking, it will only make the hurt continue. So remember to be present in the conversation, listening, and always keep asking.
- A Couple that plays together, stays together:
In the beginning, most couples don't need to reminded to go and fun with each other. But as that “real phase” in life and relationships set in, we take those fun bonding times and activities for granted because we are focused on maintaining what we have or actively working toward something. Never stop laughing in your relationships, it opens the heart and creates more bonding!
- Intimacy, cuddling, hugs, and sex are all different things and all needed:
Never limit yourself or your relationship toward counting one type of intimate contact above all else. The more and diverse reasons and ways we generate more love in our relationships the healthier and stronger our relationships will be!
- Rules for date night:
Don't leave date night to chance. In the real world and real life, alone time is hard to come by and has to be a priority for both partners. So why not set a few ground rules to keep date about the two of you, like limit cell phone use, unless you are both doing something on the phone together. Some other ideas for date night rules are:
- Switch off for who gets to pick what happens at night
- Have a dress code for date night, make it suit your needs and your lifestyle
- Date begins with compliments about the efforts each other made to prep for date night, budgeting, taking time off during a busy week, getting dressed up, etc.
- Date night can only be about the couple, no double dates or other socializing. Make date night a bonding night for just the two of you.
- Don't always go to the movies, try different activities that might stimulate conversation and laughter where the attention is focused on the two of you and not something else.
Relationships are always a work in progress, make sure that the work, time, effort, and love that you and your partner are putting into your relationship is being protected and strengthen. These 6 musts are just the tip of the ice burg, but will easily work in any relationship. You will thank you and your partner will thank you for making your partnership a priority! Need a little help beyond 6 tips, you wouldn’t be the only one! Contact me for information about couple's life coaching.