Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered? Love does not always run smoothly – even the best of partners can take a moment to look at their relationship, and the rest of us always need a few pointers, Coupleworks is here to give you some tips for today, and everyday…
- We can offer praise in so many everyday situations, but this can so easily disappear in our most important relationships. Remember to thank each other for the small things. Make a point of appreciation for at least one thing a day. And keep touching, sometimes a hug Is a good painkiller
- Find time for each other. The couple relationship will not flourish without attention. Take the time to do things together. If finances are tight and going out is tricky, try and make an evening at home special even if it is just eating at a table and switching off tv, phones and computers for a few hours. Agree on an electronic truce, and concentrate on each other.
- F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out) is the driver behind a lot of phone and screen checking. If you take each other for granted it will be the vital relationship that misses out the most.
- Listen to your partner if they are trying to get a point across. You think you have heard it all a thousand times already, but try and think why this situation always becomes so loaded, and why they feel so strongly. Remember that behind nearly every power struggle is fear. Look out for the deeper issues and find out how these things were sorted in their original family. How was anger dealt with? Did they come from a conflict averse family, or was rage freely expressed? And importantly how were rows repaired. The family that can express fury but also show loving repair is the best example, but not all of us have this template. Each new family can learn to UNlearn the examples shown to them, and set up better ways of resolving conflicts.
- One truth, two perspectives. Yes, of course you are right, but that is your ‘right’ – the other side has theirs, and it is just another slant on the same situation. Sometimes there is even a third way of looking at something. Agree to disagree, it is not a mortal battle. You can see another point of view, acknowledge it and then put the whole thing away.
- Walk and talk. Being in a confined space during a difficult discussion can make things feel worse. if there are subjects that need serious thought, try going for a walk. Being outside and together but not looking at each other can help. We are less likely to misread facial expressions and body language.
- Often it is just feeling heard that is vital. Give up the need to ‘fix’ the problem. A search for the solution and a parental opinion may just frustrate even more. Often the hardest thing to do is just to listen and not feel that all dilemmas needs solving. Don’t be tempted to soothe or minimise fears, let your partner know that you are really giving them all your attention, they are then much more likely to want to listen in turn, when you need this.
- Finally remember that we can never change another person, and it is tiring and frustrating to try. The only person we can change is ourselves. Try dealing with problems in a different way, and it is almost inevitable that your partner will therefore respond differently.