How to Strengthen Your Relationship
It happens in every relationship. You get busy and life gets in the way. You are so busy with your children’s activities, or just too tired. There are many reasons or excuses for why you and your partner can’t find time together. Neither of you do it on purpose; it just happens and, before you know it, it has been a month or more since you had a date night or even worse, sex.
This a common challenge—especially in long-term relationships. I often hear partners say things like, “I feel like I am last on his list,” or, “I feel alone in this relationship.” If it goes on for a long time, I hear partners say to me, “We are like roommates living together.” There is sadness, anger, loneliness and a desperate longing for connection with their partner.
Disconnection is a very common problem in relationships. A relationship is like a garden; it needs water and sunlight to grow. If not, it can wither and die. It is important to put your relationship at the top of your to-do list. Of course, if you have children, they have to come first, but, if their parents aren’t happy, then they will feel it and see it. So even when you have children, you have to make your relationship a priority.
Many times we allow other peoples’ demands and needs to come before our partners and our relationship. Your family of origin, friends, job or other interests cannot be first. You need to be able to say, “My spouse or my partner comes first.” You love and respect your parents, family and friends and want to support and spend time with them, but many partners never learn how to prioritize their relationship before their friends and family. Staying connected with your spouse will strengthen your relationship, and, ultimately, that will help you weather life’s storms and challenges.
Here are some couple-building tips to support you in strengthening your relationship:
Creating habits and rituals that work for your relationship is a great way to keep the connection. For example, you could have coffee together in the morning, take a walk after dinner just the two of you or sit and chat every evening in a quiet spot in your home.
Begin a daily check-in, or affirmation that can start by stating something you appreciate about your partner. Then, tell each other something new. You can also make a request of your partner in a non-blaming and non-judgmental way such as, “Can you please put your dirty clothes in the hamper, and not on the floor?” And end with a small hope, like, “I hope we can see a movie this weekend, or have dinner together. “
You can still have time with your loved ones, but that time can’t interfere with your desires and plans. The biggest challenge couples face is how you will handle the holidays. How often will you talk on the phone with them? How often will you have family to visit or for dinner? It’s not a time to cut off family or friends—you do need their love and support too—but, it is important not to let others make decisions for you, allowing for you to make traditions of your own as a couple in your home.
Learn something new together. Maybe you can take up a sport like tennis, or learn how to salsa dance; something fun and exciting that might spice things up in your relationship is important. A couple that I know was on the brink of divorce after 25 years of marriage and they started taking tango lessons. Well, they loved it and say tango saved their marriage.
If you are feeling alone in your marriage or feeling like you are not “connected” with your spouse, it’s no reason to give up. Have a talk with your partner. Share this article with them and together you can find your way back to each other. If after trying some of these tips, you are still having a hard time connecting, please consider couples or marriage counseling.
You can contact me directly at (561) 542-2466 or at jessicamarchena.com.