This series, The Marriage-Relationship Saga, is hopefully going to give you insight into the behaviors in your relationship that got you to ‘not-so-happily-ever-after.’ But focusing on the behaviors and trying to change them can really get tedious. Face it, sometimes it is B.O.R.I.N.G.
Come to find out, the focus is just what needs to change in slowly improving a relationship! Focusing on the ease of love you once had and the reasons why you want that loving feeling to come back has to be part of the mix of Reviving a Couple! As Zig Ziglar once said, “Aim for nothing and you’ll hit it every time.”
Let’s talk about some simple ways to begin to HAVE BALANCE in Reviving the Couple:
1. Stroll Down Memory Lane
Sometimes you both need to go some place public to make this happen. Especially if you can’t seem to breathe around each other without getting into an argument. Nevertheless, in public or in private, take some time to allow you and your partner to talk about how life used to be. Before the hard times. When you dated. When you met. What attracted you to each other? What made you laugh together? What was your favorite date? What’s your favorite memory together?
Couples who allow themselves to talk about The Couple Story in a positive way, increase their chances of moving in a positive direction. Simple, isn’t it? Yea. But we forget in the busyness of life to make time to talk and laugh about the good times. The exercise of Memory Lane is important for your future.
2. Have Fun
If you have things already that you BOTH enjoy doing, START DOING IT. If you can’t think of anything you both want to do together, make a suggestion box together of ways to have fun and take turns doing what each of you suggested. One week – your partner’s suggestion. The next week – your suggestion. Just make certain that it is some kind of fun for BOTH of you.
Agree to not talk about anything during this Time of Fun that will lead to a conflict. And – allow for repairs during this Time of Fun. That means – If one of you does slip up in some way, throw a flag and have a redo. Agree to give each other grace and focus back on the Fun.
3. Be Kind to Each Other
Gary Chapman wrote a wonderful book called The 5 Love Languages. In it, Gary talks about the different love languages individuals have. Most of us have one we really feel loved when spoken to us. Acts of Service – Words of Affirmation – Quality Time – Physical Affection – Receiving Gifts – Dr. Chapman’s book is an easy read of how to discover your partner’s love language and your own.
Easy read = No psychobabble. No looking at your belly button.
Learning what speaks LOVE to each other in the language unique to each other is important. Best yet, reading this book and applying it on a regular basis is a lot cheaper and time consuming than marriage counseling – or divorce!
Whether you read the book or not – Start being kind to each other.
Look, if 50% of marriages are ending in divorce, you’re not immune to having a difficult time. Research shows that couples come into marriage counseling 6 years after they first start having difficulties. Use these three simple pointers to begin turning it around.
We’re going to get back to the Gottman research on the Horsemen that make a marriage miserable. But my encouragement today to you is – Focus on What You’re Aiming For.
Stroll Down Memory Lane – Have Fun – Be Kind
Try it these three simple things this week. Come back. Let me know how it went!
The above isn’t professional marriage counseling. If you decide you want to try couple’s counseling and you’re in the Auburn, California or Grass Valley, California area – you can contact me. We’ll decide together if I am the right fit as a therapist for you. 530-268-3558 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.