As a wife myself, I can tell you that marriage is not easy, but it’s totally worth it. Here are my top 5 tips for couples in committed relationships who want to take their relationships to the next level.
1. Drop The Expectations
When people get together, they often expect the other person to fulfill their needs. However, expectations are one of the most powerful tools for destroying your marriage. If you want to “change” your spouse or the way they behave around you, you’re in big trouble—and you need to get your priorities straight.
The only thing you can change is your attitude about your partner. It doesn’t matter if it is about something silly, like always forgetting to take out the trash, or about something serious, like a drinking problem.
The only way to deal with it is to tell the other person how that makes you feel, and, literally, do nothing afterwards. It’s up to them whether or not they are going to do something about it. Drop your expectations, articulate your needs your partner, and watch the magic happen.
2. Don’t Take Things Personally
This is a tip from a person who used to be very sensitive and felt very vulnerable while having a fight. My husband and I have had a couple of very big arguments over the years—and I remember feeling so frustrated and hurt once they were over.
But the thing is, I felt almost exactly the same when he just made a comment about something insignificant. I was having a hard time separating my self-image from my feelings.
That’s when it occurred to me that my feelings towards him were a projection of my negative patterns, as well as his. So when your significant other wants to give you some feedback, don’t automatically feel rejected or hurt by their act.
Realize that they are simply talking about their frustration. Instead of sulking or getting angry, stay there and listen to them. You might learn something new about yourself (or at least the way your partner perceives you to be).
3. Do Things Together
Whenever a couple comes to me with marital problems, I ask them: “How much fun do you have together?” Often, the answer is little to none.
Sometimes life gets in the way and we get caught up in daily routines, kids, chores, etc. Your intimacy, that deep and interpersonal connection that you and your partner used to have, simply vanishes. But it’s important not to pin this on your spouse – it’s not their fault. It’s not your fault either.
This is not about blame, it is about reconnection. One of the best ways to do that is by taking small steps towards a common goal. If you want to know more, book a free coaching session with me.
4. Stop Criticizing
One of the greatest relationship killers is putting your partner down. Every time you snap at them, they are slowly, but surely, drifting away from you. “I’m sorry” is a good place to start, but an apology is not the best way to keep handling the situation in the long run. It’s much better to think before you speak.
If you feel like you don’t have control over your emotions and you get angry or frustrated quickly, my quick tip is to take a look at your feelings first. When you feel like criticizing your partner, ask yourself: “Why do I want him/her to change? How does that make me feel?”.
If you want to address the issue, start your sentence with “I feel …” instead of “You made me feel …”. The first one is about your feelings, while the second one may put your spouse in a defensive position.
5. Appreciate Your Partner
Telling your spouse mechanically that you love them doesn’t count. I’m talking about actually putting the effort to show that person how special they are to you.
For example: if you are a man, tell your woman how beautiful she is, how much you love her, buy her flowers or her favorite perfume. Don’t wait for a special occasion, surprise her. It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture, but it has to come from your heart. Trust me, she won’t forget it.
If you are a woman, thank your husband, give him compliments, surprise him with a nice meal or a sexy dessert in the bedroom. He will be more than happy to treat you like a queen and will give you all his love in return.
At the end of the day, we are all human beings. We need to feel loved and appreciated. Don’t wait for a miracle to happen, start creating the relationship you want today. It’s all up to you.