A loving relationship can be one of the greatest challenges we undertake in our lives. And sometimes, we can get tragically derailed from our goals. But there are a few keys to fix your relationship and get it back on track.
Relationships are hard work. They require constant care and effort. But a lot of times, we can develop bad habits and patterns with our significant other. And over time, these create deep ruts that we constantly lose ourselves in.
We’re so burnt out on the endless to do list, caring for children, working, keeping the home that we don’t have the same energy for each other we once had. And that is okay. But the key is to maintain good habits within your relationship.
And if you’re already in a bad place, there is still hope. You can absolutely break bad patterns and with effort, rebuild new, better patterns.
The grass is never greener on the other side, it is green where you water it. The key is effort, constant, every day effort. But instead of spinning your wheels and getting no where, there are a few ways to create positive and effective effort in the right direction.
Expectations can wreak havoc on a relationship. We see movies, read books, and watch our friends lead extravagantly romantic lives. And then we expect the exact same experience from our partner. But in reality, many people love in very different ways.
Some people show their love in small discreet gestures, others in grand, expensive gifts. Either method shows the same amount of care, thoughtfulness, and love if you understand the intention.
The key is to make room for your spouse to love you in their own unique way. Stop trying to dictate how to appreciate you, and you’ll see they’ve been doing it in their way all along. So many times we have blinders on due to our expectations. They blind us from our partner’s efforts, because we are looking for only one thing.
Let your spouse show their love and appreciation in their own way, and you’ll be surprised how affectionate they really are. A fun activity is to test yourself and your partner at 5lovelanguages.com.
Dr. Gary Chapman outlines five distinct “love languages.” The different types are words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, gifts, and quality time. And his website offers a free quiz to find out which of the five different types of affectionate you prefer. You may end up being a blend of the five, but it can be very illuminating to learn the your partner’s preferred love language.
Give Them Space
Men need activity, exposure, and novelty. No surprise here, I’m sure you’ve heard this before. But there is a way you can actively facilitate this for your spouse.
The easiest method is to simply get out of his way. Men have a particular problem-solving style that involves investigation, trial and error, and eventually success.
Going through the trial and error portion is absolutely necessary for them to feel fulfilled. You’re probably like me, and when in need of a solution, go to the easiest and most effective method.
For many situations that leads women to ask for help, consult directions, or go directly to the source. For men, just getting the “answer” is not fulfilling. Remember, they need the hunt.
So the next time your spouse doesn’t want to just look at the map and thinks he knows where he’s going, just sit back and enjoy the adventure. Give him the space to make his own adventure and seek his own
This may be the most important piece of advice to take from this post. Men are programmed to problem solve, to find issues, analyze them, and create systems or solutions to eliminate them.
This is most commonly observed when wives bring small daily problems to their husbands. Instead of listening and appreciating the frustration, they start to proffer solutions.
Maybe even blaming you for the situation and suggesting an improved action for the next time. Odds are the wife was just seeking to express her emotions, not looking for a fix.
Instead the wife feels attacked and goes on the defense. And here lies the crux of a common type of disagreement. A good solution here, is to say, “I’m not looking for solutions, just expressing my emotions.”
This makes it clear to your husband, that he need to only listen, and not worry about solving any issues. You’ll be surprised how quickly this can diffuse tension or misunderstandings.
Everyone loves cuddling. If you’ve heard differently, you’ve been lied to. Most people absolutely enjoy and need skin on skin contact on a daily basis.
Showing physical affection does not have to be exclusively sex. There are so many ways to incorporate physical love in your day.
Make sure to always physically greet your spouse when you see them, or are parting for the day. A firm hug and kiss can make a huge difference in making you feel close.
Simple things like a quick shoulder rub, helping them stretch their back or limbs, or even just some surprise head scratches while they’re sitting at their computer take no time.
But they remind your spouse that they are loved and appreciated. Try to incorporate small displays of physical affection as often as possible.
Sometimes we all need a good reminder: You are not perfect. Your spouse is not perfect. You both make mistakes, and you make them frequently.
Relationships are a two way street. That is what makes them so challenging and yet so rewarding. Contending with someone makes you stronger, it makes you define your ideas and goals.
Your sense of self and identity is condensed In the crucible of a relationship. What doesn’t survive or doesn’t serve is burned away by passion and honesty.
It is absolutely critical to remember that you and your partner have existing trauma. We used to use the term “baggage” to describe the strings and triggers that we each bring to our relationship.
Now, it is commonly referred to as trauma. I know it seems like a harsh word, and for many, it’s hard to identify with. But in reality we all experienced some type of traumatic events as children, some far more seriously than others.
But at the end of the day, we all have trauma, and that Trauma may trigger each other at the absolutely worst time. You have to remember that you both are damaged, and trying. Remember to always give them the space and grace when needed. And you should expect the same.