Good connections do not happen by accident.
Many of my clients have stated that if I have to work at it, the connection is not right. This is not true, any more than it is true that you do not have to work at maintaining excellent physical health through exercise, proper nutrition, and stress management.
In the 35 years that I’ve been counselling couples, I’ve discovered seven options that can not only improve your relationship, but also transform a failing one into a successful one.
TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
This is the single most critical decision you can make to strengthen your relationship.
This entails learning to accept responsibility for one’s own emotions and needs. This means that, rather than relying on your spouse to make you happy and safe, you develop the ability to do so on your own through your own thoughts and behaviors.
This entails developing the ability to treat oneself with kindness, concern, compassion, and acceptance rather than self-judgment.
Self-judgment will always make you feel miserable and insecure, regardless of how well-treated you are by your partner.
Instead of becoming furious with your spouse about your emotions of abandonment when he or she is late, distracted and not listening to you, or sexually unavailable, for example, you would investigate your own feelings of abandonment and find how you may be abandoning yourself.
When you learn to accept complete responsibility for yourself, you may stop blaming your partner for your problems.
Due to the fact that blaming one’s spouse for one’s own unhappiness is the leading cause of relationship difficulties, learning how to take loving care of oneself is critical to maintaining a healthy relationship.
ACCEPTANCE, KINDNESS, COMPASSION
Treat others in the manner in which you like to be treated. This is the core of a spiritual life lived fully. We all desire to be treated with compassion, kindness, understanding, and acceptance.
We must treat ourselves in this manner, as well as our partners and others.
When both parties treat the other with kindness, relationships develop. While there are no guarantees, frequently treating another with compassion results in reciprocal kindness. If your partner is regularly furious, judgemental, indifferent, and unkind, you must focus on self-love rather than reverting to anger, blame, judgement, withdrawal, resistance, or acquiescence.
Kindness to others does not imply self-sacrifice. Always remember that the most critical thing you can do is to take responsibility for yourself rather than blaming others.
If you are consistently kind to yourself and your partner, but your partner is regularly angry, blaming, withdrawing, and unavailable, you must either accept a distant relationship or end it.
You can not alter your lover; the only person you can change is yourself.
EDUCATION INSTEAD OF CONTROL
When conflict occurs, you always have two options for resolving it: you can be open to learning about yourself and your partner and uncover the disagreement’s core roots, or you can attempt to win, or at the very least avoid losing, by some type of controlling behavior.
We’ve all learned a variety of overt and covert techniques for coercing others into doing what we want: anger, blame, judgement, niceness, compliance, caretaking, resistance, withdrawal of love, explaining, teaching, defending, lying, and denying, to name All of the ways in which we attempt to exert control generate additional conflict.
Reminding yourself to learn rather than control is critical to enhancing your connection.
For instance, the majority of people have two fundamental fears that become activated in relationships: the fear of desertion or loss of the other – and the fear of engulfment or loss of oneself.
When these fears are triggered, the majority of people instinctively defend themselves by engaging in controlling behavior.
However, if you choose to educate yourself about your worries rather than attempting to dominate your partner, your anxiety will gradually subside. This is how we develop emotionally and spiritually when we learn rather than control.
GENERATE DATES AND TIMES
When people fall in love for the first time, they make time for one another. Then, particularly after marriage, people become busy.
Relationships require time to flourish. It is critical to schedule certain times to speak, play, and make love together. Without shared time, intimacy can not be sustained.
INSTEAD OF COMPLAINTS, EXPRESS GRATITUDE
When two people share an attitude of thankfulness, positive energy flows between them.
Constant whining generates a weighty, negative aura that is unpleasant to be around. Become more appreciative of what you have rather than dwelling on what you lack.
Complaints generate tension, whereas thankfulness generates inner serenity; hence, gratitude promotes not only emotional and relational health, but also physical health.
PLEASURE AND PLEASURE
We are all aware that work without recreation results in Jack being a dull boy.
Work without play also results in uninteresting relationships. When people laugh and play together, and when humor is ingrained in daily life, relationships grow.
Put an end to your excessive seriousness and develop an ability to appreciate the humorous side of life.
Intimacy thrives when one’s being is light, not when everything is weighty.
Participating in volunteer initiatives together is an excellent approach to fostering intimacy. Giving to others nourishes the heart and satisfies the soul deeply.
Serving others takes you out of yourself and your own issues and fosters a more expansive, spiritual perspective on life.
If you and your partner agree on these seven options, you will be shocked at how much your relationship improves!