Love is in the Air or Does it Feel More like it’s Hit Rock Bottom?
Thoughts of romance, advertisements of love, Valentine’s Day, the bliss of being in love . . . Those messages all around can make you think about your relationship . . . romance . . .far from it . . we’re barely surviving!!!
Truth be know, most relationships go through ups and downs, times where you may not even like your partner and wonder “Are we going to make?” Hang in there.
Here’s 5 timely tips to help your relationship navigate tough times.
Maintain Hope Hang on to hope, hope that your marriage will survive, hope that it will get better, hope that it will last. When relationships are troubled, feelings of love have waned, many want to throw in the towel and call it quits. Hope can keep you together. Know that your difficulty is time limited. Five years, 1 year or even 6 months from now the turmoil will be a remembrance of a difficult season you survived. On the contrary, it’s easy to give up hope, end it, after all don’t 50% of marriages end in divorce? WRONG - The data we have been fed for years was not a fact but a projection based on the high increase in divorce back in the early 80’s. Corrected research shows, divorce rate has never reached as high as it was in the 1980’s with the highest being more between 29 - 34%. Many of those have regrets and wish they had hung on. Hope for your marriage - 70% of marriages last.
- Remember Your Story Take a moment to remember how you met your spouse. What did you like about him/her? What attracted you to him/her? When was the first time you realized you had feelings for him/her? Where did you go? What did you do? How did you feel during those days? Maybe you want to look at some pictures of those early times or write out the answers to these questions. Your brain can tap into those memories and bring up emotions of attachment and love toward your. spouse. Write your love story and remember.
- Look for the Positives Take the positive challenge. Look for those characteristics, qualities in your spouse that first attracted you to him/her. Set your intention on noticing the positive words, actions, events your spouse says and does. Make a list daily of those positive things. Our brains are funny, they can focus on the things we don’t like and make every irritation seem unbearable. The negatives can scream at us, build on each other and make it seem there is no way the relationship will get better. Like I said, our brains are funny, YOU CAN tell yourself to focus on the positives about your spouse. Your brain will start looking and finding those good things. The positives will build and you will think and feel better about your relationship.
- Take Action Say something, do something to connect to your spouse. It’s the little daily things that matter. Show appreciation for those unending tasks that are done for the house, family, for you. Acknowledge it. Say “thank you.” Do some every day task for your spouse. Maybe it’s making the coffee, helping with dishes, picking up after yourself, something that lightens your partner’s load or whatever may send the message that you notice and you care.
- Connect Maybe you’re not feeling all lovey, dovey, but you can still do something to connect. Attachment happens when we connect in meaningful ways to one another. In fact, that’s how love happens. As we spend time with others, our neurotransmitters release attachment hormones that cause us to want to be together, like one another and fall in love. Makes sense that we need to keep those going. No, the “falling in love” feelings can’t last forever, (we’d never get anything done in a state of bliss, obsessed with one another) nor is it suppose to. But we do need to nurture it. Dr. William Doherty in his book, Take Back Your Marriage, has an entire chapter on connection rituals. Greet one another, give a hug, a kiss , an intentional “Hi, how was your day?” Text or call during the day. Show interest in one another’s projects, life happenings and concerns outside of the relationship. Plan a time out - away from work, home and kids. Out to dinner, coffee, ice cream, an activity . . . something that can be shared together. Everyday connections are vital to your relationship
Use these tips to help draw nearer to your partner, to intentionally make an effort to weather the storms and celebrate the victories. Above all, Hold on to HOPE.