How is your relationship going between you and your partner/spouse/significant other? Are the coals of love, kindled long ago when you first both fell head over heals for each other, still burning bright and hot or have they become dim, dying embers that are on the brink of burning out?
No matter where you are in your relationship, there is always a need to stop and take stock of where your love for one another is.
Below is a list (by no means an exhaustive one at that) that will help stir up the coals and strengthen your relationship.
1. Put away your phone.
How do you feel when you want to talk to your partner but they seem more interested in checking out the latest cute kitten video on YouTube or busy texting their friends? It’s not great huh?
I have been guilty of doing this myself at dinner time and it irks my wife. I have apologised and repented and vowed not to use my phone while having dinner.
Surveys conducted by Baylor University show that using cellphones while spending time with each other can lead to a deterioration in relationships and even depression.
So, put away your phones. Set aside time just to be with each other without any sign of technology nearby and see your relationship blossom anew.
2. Don’t try and change your partner
We are not ideal beings. We are human and fallible and have faults. Once we accept that the easier it is to accept other people.
When you and your partner first met you fell in love because there was something there that attracted you to one another. You get married and then you start to see another side of each other that you didn’t know existed. A side that might irritate you. He cuts his toenails with your sewing scissors. She uses your shaver on her legs. These are small things, but annoying. You can talk to each other about them.
However, you might have an ideal of what you want your partner to become and try and mould them into this fictitious person only to be met with frustration and heated arguments.
Accept each other for who you are. Each of us are unique individuals. Celebrate diversity rather than ubiquity.
One final comment. If you find yourself in a verbally or physically abusive relationship then seek professional help. Don’t stay in it under an illusion that the person will change.
Don’t hold grudges or remind your partner of the thing that they did wrong or failed to to do. Did they upset you? Did they hurt you? Inevitably every relationship is going to experience hurt between one another.
When your partner genuinely apologises to you, forgive them and let it go. It’s liberating for not only you but for your relationship. Unforgiveness only leads to bitterness and hatred and destruction of your relationship.
Forgive, let go and move forward.
4. Show gratitude
When was the last time you thanked your significant other? When someone says “Thank you” to you for something you did (it might have been something small) how did it make you feel?
Show appreciation to each other. Not every now and then. Not once in a blue moon. Show it EVERY DAY and see how your relationship will bloom.
5. Don’t focus on the negatives.
If we’re honest enough with ourselves we realise that we all make mistakes. We aren’t perfect. When you always have someone pointing out the things you do wrong you will get weary of the person pretty quickly.
You will always find what you are looking for and focused on. If you focus on the things that your partner does wrong, then you’ll soon find yourself heading on the highway to Splitsville. Focus on the positives and you’ll find yourself living in Pleasantville where you will love and adore each other.
Do these 5 things and see how your relationship strengthens and blooms.