Put these tried and true methods to the test to mend your troubled relationship.
Make time together a priority. Nothing puts a damper on love and romance faster than life. Bills, family, chores. It’s enough to stress you out and diminish romance. Keep your love fresh by setting (and keeping) a date night. Devoting time to just you and your partner establishes your relationship as a priority in your life. Simple dates are fine, but don’t be afraid to venture off into something new. Instead of the local chain restaurant or movie theater, try the arcade or a haunted house. Nothing says loving like working through a final level of Pac-Man or screaming your head off because you swear something just touched your wrist…The important thing is that you’re doing these things together.
Be willing to compromise and do things differently. Often we get so caught up in our own way of doing things. Relationships are a merging of two people who have distinct personalities and a whole set of beliefs and values that have been constructed over time. Be willing to see that your way is not the only way. There is no “I” in the word “team” and successful relationships are all about the ability to work together toward the common goal of love, fulfillment, and happiness.
Make time for intimacy. It may seem obvious, but this is important. It’s very easy to get caught up in work and after-school obligations with children, but making the time to nurture intimacy in a relationship is key to feeling connected. If you’re on a tight schedule or find you never have time, put it in your calendar. Set reminders in your smart phone. Eventually it will become a habit.
Let your loved one know how you feel. Have you ever had a perfectly horrible day only to have the kind words or gentle smile from another human being completely turn your day around? Why not be that person for your spouse or partner? Leave love notes for one another. “I love you” or “Have an awesome day” scribbled on a post-it will suffice. Smile when you see him. Let her know you’re glad she’s home. Simple gestures like these can turn your whole day around and only help love to grow.
Acknowledge when there is a problem and be willing to do what it takes to work through it. No relationship is perfect. We all reach our limits or struggle to find the meaning behind it all. When those times occur it becomes more important than ever to keep the lines of communication open, honest, and clear. Let your partner know how you feel. Search for ways to remedy the problems, even if that means reading relationship-help books, talking with a trusted spiritual leader, or seeking the support offered in couples counseling.
Is your relationship in a down time? Are you struggling to find common ground and make sense of it all? If it’s too much to go it alone, let counselors at The Stone Foundation be of support to you as you mend your relationship. Call 410.296.2004 to schedule an appointment or connect with us online. Remember, the information given in this article is meant for educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical or mental health care.
Melissa Brooks-Cuffee has a professional background that includes many years within the health care industry. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore and is Editor of The Stone Foundation’s Weekly Wisdom blog. You can learn more about Melissa by visiting www.melissabrookscuffee.com.