Blog #600 Improving your relationship

8 Ways to Improve Your Relationship

Let’s continue our thoughts about love, communication and relationships.

We’ve talked about communications and active listening; we’ve talked of trying to understand your spouse first (before trying to get them to understand you); we’ve talked of common ground.  This article has some additional ideas we can put into play.

-1 Be understanding AND compassionate.  

You have just come home from a long day at work.  You are tired and just want to put your feet up. But your spouse has a problem and wants to talk. Give your spouse your full attention.  Face him or her and listen actively – and with deep compassion. In your brain put the thoughts that this is YOUR BELOVED – this is the number one priority in your life.  Jobs, TV, emails, books, will come and go – but put this first.

-2 Set aside time for intimacy – at least once a week.

For this point, I will use the statement in the article “Couples who do the deed at least once a week report the greatest relationship satisfaction, according to a recent study. The catch? Don’t force it. Even though couples who have sex less than once a week report being less satisfied with their relationship, the findings don’t clarify whether having more sex makes partners happier or if happier couples simply tend to have more sex.”  Make each other happy. Words and listening are one sense (hearing); but being physical with touch, smell, vision and even taste can excite and bond couples together more than just listening.

-3 Set up a formal time to reflect.

I have a men’s group that meets once a week.  The first part of that meeting is to “check-in” – what is happening in your life (and in their life). This can work well with couples too.  Schedule this formal meeting when you bring up all that is going on in your life – work, children, appointments, health concerns, finances, spirituality, fitness, and social. Things that you thought your spouse knew and you thought you had communicated – may have been when he or she was brushing his/her teeth and went in one-ear and out the other.  Take notes if you need to. Make it a formal time (almost like ‘Date Night’ and/or ‘Intimacy Night’.

-4 Step away from technology.  

You NEED to wake up and listen!  Stand up – stretch, shake your arms and legs – get into the moment.  Turn off the TV, turn off the phone, put down the newspaper or book. If you are playing a game on your phone when he or she comes into the room, put it down.  The relative value of a game on the phone as compared to time with your spouse is so small. Who cares if you lose a game, you are building a better relationship with your special person.

-5 Send a spicy text.

Again, I’ll quote the article “A racy text message every once in a while may be good for couples. Those in casual or committed relationships reported that sexting increased levels of sexual satisfaction, according to research,”  (As a male, if my wife sent me a text a sexy text, I couldn’t wait to get home!!!  And, for my wife, if I am sending her a racy text, she know that I love her with all my senses – touch, sight, hearing, tast, and smell.  And that I do love her).

-6 Plan a date night.

The article says “Husbands and wives were 3.5 and 3.6 times more likely, respectively, to report being “very happy” in their marriage when they spent “couple time,” like date night”.

-7 Say “THANK YOU” often.

And even (or maybe especially) for the mundane things – like taking out the garbage, paying the bills, doing the dishes, etc.

-8 Buy into Romantic Notions.

And, what is wrong with flowers occasionally?  How about candy (his or her favorite kind)? I’ve heard of the wife who on occasion greeted her husband at the door dressed only in plastic wrap (which he got to take off).  Put up balloons. Put post-it notes on his (or her) bathroom mirror saying “I love you” (and other statements).

What do you think?  Time to spice up your relationship?


Posted by Bruce White

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