Spring has officially begun and although we haven’t really had much of a winter here in the North East – I still find this time of year to be so exciting and full of life! Most people find themselves doing a little bit of spring cleaning – and clearing out the clutter in their homes. So now is just as good a time as any to clear out the emotional baggage in your relationship.
1. Clean out the emotional baggage you have been avoiding for awhile. You know, all the unsaid things that are building resentment and eating away at the very core of your relationship. Communicate what you are feeling and start to resolve them, or in some cases, respectively agree to disagree – since every conflict in your marriage cannot always be resolved.
2. Let in the fresh air! Spruce up the fun in your relationship by breathing in a bit of fresh air with acts of random kindness. For example, give your spouse a card without any specific occasion attached to it other than “just because”. Or leave little love notes in unexpected places – like the driver’s seat of their car – so they know you are thinking of them. These small gestures will go a long way towards rejuvenating your relationship and romantic feelings towards each other, and they don’t have to cost much money, or any money, at all.
3. Throw out the old and let in the new. Make a conscious effort to throw away all the silly arguments and differences you have been holding onto and replace them with new activities and/or routines that will re-connect you to each other. If you can’t remember the last time you did something fun together – just the two of you – start now. Take a walk together, go out to dinner, have morning coffee – anything that will shake up the “same old dull routine”.
4. Smooth the rough edges. We all know our words can cut like a knife – and we all know our partner’s Achilles heel. Rather than touch the third rail and aggravate a disagreement or difficult situation, make a conscious effort to not criticize them for their faults, but rather to accept them for who they are and express more compassion and empathy related to their less than stellar attributes. Rather than kicking them when they are down, lend them a compassionate, helping hand.
5. Clear out the junk to let in the gratitude. When we know someone as well as our spouse, and are faced with daily banalities and stressors of life, we often overlook, or completely forget about their positive qualities (you know, the ones that made you fall in love with them). Make it a point to be consciously grateful for the positive qualities of your partner, instead of focusing on the negative. Practice gratitude by telling your partner what you are grateful for about them on a daily basis. You will be surprised at how much and how far the expression of gratitude will go towards revitalizing your relationship.
Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,
Dr. Patty Ann