A few months ago, my husband and I had a heart to heart talk. Well, actually it was a heart to heart text messaging. It was past midnight and I was in the bedroom trying to fall sleep (I’ve always had trouble falling asleep) while he was on the living room sofa being depressed about the state of our relationship, on top of everything else from work that was bothering him. So we began a string of text messages exposing our raw emotions and what we had hoped could be different. It might seem silly that we texted instead of talked, but sometimes we express ourselves better when we write. We don’t cut the other person’s sentence half way and we think before we click send, something most of us can’t do so well verbally.
Problems that surfaced, but not new nonetheless, were the lack of quality time we had as a couple, the lack of intimacy, we both agreed we felt like we were roommates helping each other raise a bunch of kids that matter to us both and that there was nothing more between us, we love each other but we didn’t feel we had the chance to give and receive that love. That text conversation made me nervous for the stability of our family.
Fast forward to today, we are much happier and satisfied with the dynamics of our relationship. But how was that possible? How did we go from what seemed like a failed marriage to one that will last instead of heading straight down to divorce?
Looking back, as a couple, we developed 3 key habits that most likely saved our relationship. We seek clarity, we communicate and we raise energy when we need to.
We asked ourselves these questions from time to time over the past few months and made sure we were working for the same thing and heading to a mutually desirable destination:- What is it that we wanted as a couple?
– What is missing?
– What kind of change do we want to see in our relationship 6 months from now?
Seeking clarity is about knowing what the current problem is, as well as knowing where we want to go from here.
If my husband had not expressed his depressive mood about the state of our relationship, and waited for his ticking-unhappiness time-bomb to explode, where do you think we will be right now?
Communication is so so important but most of us think we already know how to do it and that can potentially lead to complacency.
So how do we communicate effectively? In our relationship, we try very hard to follow these 3 golden rules of communication though it doesn’t mean we could do it 100% of the time, but at least we try to.
– Listen and try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Why is he telling me this? What importance does it have to him? How would I feel If I were in his shoes?
– State without accusing. Oftentimes when couples fight, it almost always sounds like one person is blaming the other. Instead, we try to state the problem without hinting that the other party is at fault. That way, we can help each other solve the problem instead of argue over whose fault it was or wasn’t, which naturally won’t lead to any solution.
– Always allow the door of communication to be open. Be approachable and be willing to listen when your partner wants to talk about something. Brushing it off till the next day is a habit that might destroy what’s most precious to you: your marriage.
- Raise Energy
How do you have a relationship without energy? Do you remember how hyped you were to go on your first date? Or how energetic you felt just thinking of meeting him or her for dinner after work years ago?
In a marriage, especially those with kids, energy could be hard to maintain. That’s where most couples lose in the battle to keep the relationship going.
3 ways to raise energy:
– change frame of mind. Have a way to prompt yourself to change your mood before you walk through the door when you come back from work. Or do a 5-minute meditation when you switch from responsibilities to a relaxing evening with your spouse. Sometimes we have to consciously make ourselves ready and available to interact with our spouse.
– improve overall health. When we’re healthy, our energy lasts longer throughout the day. Keep fit by having a regular exercise routine. Stay healthy by eating a good balance of protein, fruits and vegetables.
– remember what’s important. Sometimes when we remember what’s precious to us, we have the motivation and the energy to carry things out. Just don’t forget to remember 🙂
And…. as simple as that, we’re back on track. We’re loving as ever and we do our best to carve out time from our daily responsibilities and kids for one another.
Will you try these 3 habits in your relationship even though there’s no problem right now? I’m positive that it will take your marriage to a whole new level. Who wouldn’t want to be even happier? 😉