We often neglect our relationship until we are so unhappy we don't know how to change it. It seems like a huge task, and it is overwhelming.
Here is a list of simple yet effective ways to set your relationship on a better track starting at this very moment.
All of these things add up to a loving, fulfilling, secure and peaceful relationship with trust and and a strong foundation.
Commit to making a change: If you have been making other areas of your life a priority over your relationship, now is the time to commit to putting your partner at the top of your list! We get what we focus on; if you're not paying attention to your partner, then your relationship will suffer. We all need to feel significant, especially from our spouse.
Take responsibility and hold yourself accountable: We cannot control or change another person. What we can do is take charge of our own behaviour, choices and actions. Empower yourself today. Know that you can make changes because you have committed to it and because you want to. You change first and your partner will follow.
Stop blaming and criticising your partner: when we blame our partners, how does it make them feel? How do you think your partner wants to feel in your relationship? Would they like to feel happy, valued, calm, comfortable with who they are, loved and approved of? All of those feelings will diminish if they feel criticised or blamed. Please pay attention to their strengths, qualities and values and let go of their flaws or imperfections; we all have them.
Pay attention!: Are you paying your partner enough attention each day? Are you making time for just them? Do you send them a message to let them know you are thinking of them? Or just to ask them to pick up some milk? Are you making time each day where you are focusing 100% on them? No phone or TV or distractions? If not, then how will you know how they are?
Be grateful: Gratitude is the fastest way to change how you and your partner feel. What are you grateful for about them? What values do they have that you admire? What do they do for you? Expressing gratitude for the smallest things means a great deal; it makes them feel seen, loved, appreciated and valued. Write a list of things that you are grateful for about them and tell and show them several times a day whenever you get a chance, and watch them change how they react to you. When people feel unappreciated at their core, they will shut down their feelings of love and affection, and resentment will breed.
Be empathic: Do your best to see things from their perspective before you react. Your partner will thank you for it.
Let go of being right: What is more important, being right or being in a happy relationship? Our addiction to being right makes our partner wrong, and who is happy being told they are wrong? No - one!
Be nice: This is the most obvious thing you can do, but unfortunately, in some relationships, people are not nice to each other! Be kind to your spouse, and they will respond accordingly. Be your partner's best friend, be on their side and they will love you for it.
Be polite: If you speak to your spouse in a way that you wouldn't speak to a friend, parent, work colleague or boss, then you need to step it up. Your spouse should be the person getting the BEST parts of you, not the worst. Always say please and thank you.
Greet them: when they come into the house or enter the room - Stop what you are doing and show them that you are pleased to see them. Simple takes little effort and has fantastic effects on how they feel.
Make plans for the future: Get excited together about the future; despite lockdown, we are beginning to experience more freedom, so now is a great time to start exploring new events and activities.
Be spontaneous: Too much sitting on the couch can create boredom and monotony. Don't be afraid if suddenly suggesting you go out and do something fun; not everything has to be planned.
Be kind - speaks for itself! You can do it!
Surprise them: Add variety to your lives and plan small or big surprises to keep the spark alive. Make having fun a regular occurrence.
Be interested: do you remember when you first met? Were you interested in getting to know them? Don't assume that even if you have been together many years, you know all that there is to know about them. Show them you are interested in what they have been doing, their hobbies, friends, work, and in how they feel, what their dreams are.
Be vulnerable: Vulnerability is the gateway to true connection. Without it, there are walls.
Show affection: this may be difficult for some, and if it is, then start small. Little touches on the arm or hand, ahead on the shoulder or kiss on the cheek create more connection. If affection isn't a problem for you, then go for it as much as your partner is comfortable with it!
Make them feel valued: we all need to feel significant, and of you can show your partner how much you value them, then they will feel special and loved.
Give them reassurance: Whether you feel they need it or not. Do they have insecurities or get jealous occasionally? Do they feel neglected or unsure of you or the relationship?
Please don't wait for them to get upset or ask for reassurance, make it part of daily life. Express your feelings to them to know for sure how you feel and how committed you are.
Listen: Truly listening to your partner makes them feel all the good feelings, don't just pretend to listen. Be interested, ask questions and remember the information for another time. They will know how invested in them you are.
Ask questions: What does your partner want? What do they need? How do they feel about...? Be curious.
I hope that these suggestions have sparked something inside of you to inspire you to take action.
A long term happy relationship is created, it won't take care of itself for too long.