How are those New Year's resolutions going? I don't know about you, but I tend to overreach and try to do too much all at once. Then... crash and burn. Better luck next year. Well, let's make it short and simple this year so that you can start creating positive change in your relationship right now!
If your goal is to have a healthier marriage, here are three simple habits you can develop to help you make it happen.
- Ditch the Electronics During Your Alone Time
Are you glued to the computer or TV when your spouse is trying to talk to you? When you spend time with your spouse does the phone keep beeping with that "important" text? I know that our phones are our lifeline and it's hard to part ways even for an hour, but the lifeline for your marriage is uninterrupted quality time. When you let these devices take center stage, it can damage the intimate connection you know you want to have. Instead, try to schedule uninterrupted alone time with your spouse on a regular basis. Make a habit of shutting out the world for a brief time each day to reconnect with the one you love.
- No Mind-Reading, Please!
There's nothing more annoying than having your spouse tell you what you're thinking. It's bound to cause some friction. But there's an easy cure. It just takes tweaking your message a little and using more "I" statements. For example, you emphatically proclaiming to your spouse: "You never liked my mother!" (This is headed for WW 3). Instead, try to get into the habit of describing the particular situation and just saying what you're really feeling: "Last night when you made that comment about my mother's weight, I felt angry and a little hurt." Same content - much better presentation.
- Stop Trying to Fix The Problem
This doesn't apply to the leaky faucet or the broken tail pipe. Fix away. I'm referring to the times you try to fix your partner's problems and you miss the all important job of simply listening. So when your spouse is sharing something difficult, get into the habit of taking the time to really listen. It takes a little extra effort, but it's so worth it. Trust me, if your spouse wants your advice, you'll know it!. Besides, it's so much easier to listen rather than having to come up with all those fancy solutions all the time. What a relief! And listening is almost always what your spouse actually needs from you. Don't underestimate the power of your focused attention. It's invaluable. Just changing a few habits here and there can make a big difference in your relationship and it might even make this new year the best ever! If you would like to talk to me personally about how to have a more passionate and supportive marriage visit my website at www.christinewilke.com