Let’s continue with more tips that will help your relationship become healthier, stronger and more rewarding for you.
- Make more time for one another. Commit to taking time away from work to be together; take regular walks, plan a joint activity you both enjoy; start something new and fun, and do not use the excuse that you are already too busy to add more to your already full plate.
- Don’t play the blame game. Chances are it is not you OR your partner who are at fault, but how things evolved – or, more appropriately, devolved – between the two of you that got you to the current place.
- Don’t focus on how you got here, but what you can do to get out of here. Stay in the present and share with one another what is helpful to you and what you want to do for your partner, then invite him or her to do the same.
- Provide positive feedback to one another. If you see your partner doing something nice that he or she has not done in a long time for you, make sure you communicate that you have noticed and appreciate it. Positive feedback builds confidence in each other and makes each person feel noticed, appreciated and responded to.
- Review your progress regularly and adjust your goals and directions accordingly. Schedule regular times when the two of you can sit down together and assess how you are doing as a couple. Remember not to be accusatory _ “You haven’t done your part” – or complaining – “I am always the one who has to do all the work” – but state the facts and then, together, discuss the course to take in order to achieve your goals.
- Make room for fun and playfulness. This process of feeding the couple shouldn’t be all seriousness and hard labor. Plan for fun times when the two of you give yourselves and each other permission to leave all serious talk aside and be goofy and playful with each other, like you used to be when you were getting to know each other.
- Plan something new and different, like a trip, a special treat, an evening out, a drive through the countryside. Remember that this doesn’t have to be expensive, elaborate or over the top, as its purpose is that of signaling to one another that you are willing to invest time, energy, ideas and effort in making your relationship the best it can be.
Now that you have a dialogue going with your partner, and the two of you have shared your goals and plans, make sure you follow them. And, again, remember that this is not a contest where each of your activities needs to constantly be measured and compared to the other person’s. Doing things in a balanced way doesn’t mean doing everything 50-50 all the time. Rather, it means that at times you may do more and at times your partner may do more, as long as, in the end, both of you feel you have contributed your fair share to the health and longevity of your relationship.
If you are interested in knowing more about how to feed your relationship, please read our book, “Couples at the Crossroads. Five Steps to Finding Your Way back to Love.”