We are already three weeks into 2018 and how many of us are still going strong with our new year resolutions to do more exercise, eat less sugar, have a dry January? How many of us have given up already and prioritised on refocusing on work? How many of us have resolved to improve our relationship this year?
Judging from the amount of enquiries that Coupleworks have received from clients wanting to make appointments to see a counsellor, its very clear that many couples are struggling to make the significant changes that they need in their relationships to ensure that 2018 brings them more contentment, excitement and connection.
Relationship patterns are hard to break, but if you start to think more and use some of these strategies there is a strong chance your relationship can really improve this year:
Here are some things to think about:
*It’s the small everyday things that can make the biggest difference: how we greet each other, show kindness, respect and appreciation. What tone of voice and words do we use with each other.
*Can you let go of past hurts and focus on sharing your goals for 2018 to help each other achieve what you want.
*If you really want to make your relationship better, you both have to focus on making time to put energy and commitment into overcoming your problems to make your relationship the best it can possibly be. It won’t happen without this.
*How well do you know yourself and what you are looking for in your relationship? What do you bring to the couple? Is it what your partner needs?
How often do we check this out?
*The importance of feeling you come first for your partner.
* Do you feel supported by each other? Couples who feel they have each other’s backs and see each other as team-mates are usually more positively emotionally connected and see a future as an exciting time for growth.
*Are you still curious about your partner or do you think you know and understand everything about them and how they work?
*Recognising we have different needs and drives in our relationships that change over time. When was the last time you checked this out?
*Focus on your partner’s strengths rather than their weakness. Start by complimenting more and criticising each other less
*Taking responsibility for what each of you are bringing to the relationship and is that what you want?
*How good are you at making compromises that will help strengthen your bond?
*Recognising that we all make mistakes and the need to rebuild our trust in each other. Can we forgive?
*The importance of keeping your sexual energy alive and growing
*Take responsibility for your own behaviour in the relationship and how it makes your partner feel.
*Instead of closing down and turning away from your partner, turn towards your partner to share how you feel.
Of course the New Year will bring challenges – that is part and parcel of being in a relationship. With a shared desire to put more effort into spending time focusing on what you both need and what needs to change, you are on your way to a more loving and fulfilling relationship for 2018.