How to improve your relationship with your spouse. phase1

Marriage is the ultimate bond between two partners. You made a vow to love one another for better or for worse, but sometimes things become strained. Perhaps you had a bad fight, you feel yourselves drifting apart, or you may have simply reached a point where you realize Marriage is the ultimate bond between two partners. You made a vow to love one another for better or for worse, but sometimes things become strained. Perhaps you had a bad fight, you feel yourselves drifting apart, or you may have simply reached a point where you realize you need to improve the relationship. Relationships require work and commitment to keep your love for one another strong, and marriage is no exception. With a little effort, some understanding, and a bit of patience, you and your spouse can improve your marriage and remember why you pledged your love to one another.

Working On Communication
1. Listen to your spouse: Often times couples that have been together for a long time take the things that are said for granted. For example, your spouse might tell you that something you’re doing has been bothering him/her, but you might assume that it’s not a big deal because you’ve been together for so long. However, little things add up, and when your partner feels invalidated or unheard, that can lead to bigger trust and intimacy issues down the line.

  • If your spouse tells you there is a problem, you need to take that statement seriously. Work on solving the problem, either alone or together, but make sure you take your partner’s concerns seriously.
  • Address your partner’s needs. If your spouse is telling you what he or she wants from the relationship, you need to put in the effort to make it happen or work together to find a compromise.

2. Spend quality time with tour partner: Quality time is time that you reserve unconditionally and completely for your spouse. No matter what happens, you should reserve this time for your spouse. Phone rings? Hang up and shut it off in front of your spouse. Listen to each other, sit together, watch each other. Enjoy each others presence and enjoy being together. Do this at least once a week for 30 – 60 minutes.

3. Be open and honest to each other: Honesty is tremendously important in a relationship, especially if you’re married. You want to feel that you can trust your spouse, and you want your partner to feel the same way. But honesty and openness extends beyond just telling the truth; it also means not withholding information, and not holding back when there’s something you want to address.

  • Never lie to your partner. Even a small lie, like saying something doesn’t bother you when it secretly does, can eventually boil over into resentment and arguments.
  • Open up and let yourself be vulnerable with your partner. Tell your spouse your secret hopes and dreams, your deepest fears, and other things that you keep hidden.
  • Let your partner open up and be vulnerable with you. This can help build trust and foster a stronger sense of intimacy and affection.

4. Work on compromising: Compromising can be difficult, especially when emotions are running high after an argument. However, needing to be right for 30 seconds isn’t worth the strain that argument could put on your relationship down the line. It’s normal to disagree or even argue from time to time, but you need to be willing to let go of your side in the name of compromising and collaborating.

  • Don’t think of arguments as something that need to be “won.” This is dangerous thinking, as it pits you and your spouse against each other. [3]
  • Let go of things that aren’t worth fighting over. Even if you weren’t in the wrong, it’s not worth the stress and frustration of an argument.
  • Be willing to cede an argument. Just because you think you’re right, it doesn’t mean arguing your point any further will get you anywhere, so work on dropping it before it escalates.
  • Compromise makes your relationship stronger. When you both set aside your needs, including your need to be right, you can work together as a team for the betterment of both partners.

5. Use “I” statements. When you and your spouse have a disagreement, it’s important to avoid using accusations or insults. One way many spouses inadvertently hurt their partners is by using “you” statements instead of “I” statements. Using “I” statements can help convey the way you’re feeling and promote a productive, positive conversation, instead of hurting your partner’s feelings.

  • A “you” statement conveys blame to your partner. For example, “You’re always late, and you make me look bad as a result!”
  • An “I” statement reframes the conversation in a way that focuses on the feeling, not on pinning blame or guilt. For example, “When you don’t keep track of the time and we have somewhere to be, it makes me feel like you’re not taking my feelings into consideration.”
  • An “I” statement has three components: a concise and non-accusatory description of the specific behavior you’re having problems with, your feelings on that behavior, and the tangible, concrete effect your partner’s specific behavior has on you. [5]
  • The behavior component should stick to the facts of the situation, your feelings should be directly related to that behavior, and the effect should either specify the consequences or support your feelings on the matter. [6]
  • The goal is to be as specific as possible and stick to the issue at hand. Don’t drag up other unrelated issues or feelings, just focus on the tangible effects of the current problem.

6. Never yell at your partner. Many people begin yelling without even realizing it. When you have an argument, your emotions may be running high, and you might feel very passionately about the thing you’re debating. However, yelling at your spouse will only have one of two results: either
your partner will yell back, and you’ll be screaming at one another, or your partner will become fearful of you. Either way, it’s a damaging situation that can put a huge strain on your relationship.

  • It may feel relieving in the moment to yell and let out your frustrations, but your emotions will be running high.
  • You’re more likely to say things that you don’t mean when you yell, and you won’t be able to take back those hurtful words later when you’re calmed down.
  • Avoid talking about important things when you (and/or your partner) are upset. Take a walk, or simply excuse yourself from the room for 5 or 10 minutes, then restart the conversation when you’re both calm.
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