If strengthening your relationship in the new year is one of your goals, you’ve come to the right place. I work with couples every day to help them build healthier, happier, more fulfilling relationships. Today I’m sharing again some of the best relationship advice I’ve offered over the last several months.
If you want to improve your relationship, you need to let go of resentment, stay connected, speak in your partner’s love language, and create healthy relationship habits. If you missed my previous blog posts on these topics, here’s a recap for you.
Negative relationship habits like a lack of communication or not sharing your true feelings can cause resentment to build up. The more resentment you feel, the harder it is to overcome it. It can destroy your relationship. Dealing with it and moving on is the best way to create a healthier relationship with your partner.
If you’re not sure if you’re feeling resentful, here are some signs to look for:
- You’ve become quieter and keep more things to yourself for fear of starting an argument. You avoid conversations you know you should be having.
- You no longer ask your partner for help. They can help with daily chores or offering an opinion, either way, if you’re not asking for help, there’s a reason.
- You’re being passive-aggressive and start doing or saying things that you know will irritate your partner. You become “forgetful” when it comes to important things you’re supposed to remember. You say things that you know ahead of time will start a disagreement.
- You no longer show affection; either in the bedroom or in daily life. You don’t hold hands or have any desire to touch or kiss your partner.
- You no longer care about what happens in your partner’s life or celebrate their successes. You don’t care about their bad days either. You’re just fed up and simply want to walk away.
These are just a few of the signs that you’re feeling resentment towards your partner. Before it gets so bad that it destroys the relationship, it’s time to do something about it. Acknowledge how you’re feeling, take responsibility for your own part in the state of your relationship, and clear the air. The only way to improve is to forgive and let go. Start fresh and learn to be a better communicator instead of letting your anger and resentment fester.
You can read more about the signs of resentment and how to deal with it in this post on Letting Go of Resentment.
Staying connected in your relationship over the years can be challenging, however it can also be one of the best ways to ensure a long and happy love affair. It’s easy to get comfortable and settle into the day-to-day, yet that can quickly lead to your partner feeling taken for granted and unappreciated, creating distance in the relationship. Connecting, even in small ways, every day will keep your relationship strong. Here are some ways to make sure you’re connecting with your partner:
- Show your appreciation for the things they do for you. No matter how big or how small, never forget to say “please” and “thank you.” Recognize when they’re making an extra effort to do something nice for you.
- Solve problems together, remember, you’re a team. Don’t criticize, get defensive, or start an argument. Instead, work together to compromise and find a solution. Show your partner respect for their point of view.
- Find ways to quickly connect with each other daily. It can be over your morning coffee before you head out the door or a lunch time phone call to say “I’m thinking of you.” Leave a love note, give a hug, or give them your undivided attention as they tell you about their day.
- Make quality time a priority. Schedule weekly date nights or regular weekend getaways. Snuggle on the couch after the kids have gone to bed. Spending quality time with your partner lets them know that they are a priority in your life.
Want to learn more about staying connected? You can read the full post here and download your free printable – 15 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Partner on a Daily Basis.
Have you heard of Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages? It shows you how to connect with your partner in a way they can relate to and accept. Imagine showing your partner love in a way that they can truly connect with. Knowing yours and your partner’s love language and speaking them regularly can help to strengthen your relationship.
Here are the 5 Love Languages and brief overview of each of them:
Words of Affirmation – showing support and appreciation through kind and empathetic words. Speaking words of reassurance, compliments, and appreciation on a daily basis. This helps to build your partner’s confidence in themselves and trust in your relationship. A simple “you’re doing a great job” or “you work so hard and I want you to know how much I appreciate all you do” is enough to make your partner feel loved.
Acts of Service – showing love through your actions and the things you do for your partner. This can include being helpful around the house or making a grand gesture. This language is all about “showing” love for your partner by doing little things for them.
Receiving Gifts – giving love through small gifts. They don’t need to be extravagant gifts, yet your partner likes to be spoiled and know that they’re thought about when you’re not with them. Getting them a new book from their favorite author, bringing home flowers, or picking up something you know they need while you’re at the store.
Quality Time – making time together a priority. Some people feel most loved when they are given your undivided attention. The activity itself doesn’t matter much, the important thing is that you are fully present and in the moment with them.
Physical Touch – your touch lets your partner know they are loved. A simple hand on their back can reassure them when they’re nervous or anxious and show them how much they are loved, building trust. It allows you to connect with your partner on a completely different, and deeper, level than any other love language.
If you want to explore the 5 Love Languages more in-depth, check out my post, 5 Love Languages Wrap-Up where you can get an overview of the 5 Love Languages, check out links to learn more about each one of them, take the test to determine your own love language, and download my free printable – The 5 Love Languages At-A-Glance.
Your daily relationship habits can either build a long-lasting, happy relationship or destroy it. Making a conscious effort to create healthy habits will deepen your love and your bond. Here are some easy ways to create better habits today:
Think loving thoughts. Holding a loving thought in your mind about your partner will help you approach them in a more loving manner. Your thoughts will be translated into loving words and actions. When you’re struggling with your relationship or having a disagreement, instead remember a good time you shared or remind yourself how much you love them.
Show appreciation. Don’t take your partner for granted. It takes time and energy to do all the things they do for you. Time and energy, they could be spending on themselves. Remember to thank them and reciprocate in your own way by doing something nice for them.
Work as a team. You’re in this together, until the end, it’s better to work together as a team. You may not always agree; however, you do share the same goals. Learn to compromise and talk things out to find a solution you can both live with.
Be present. Spending quality time together means nothing if you’re spending that time on your mobile device. Enjoy some screen-free time together. It can be a date night or just morning coffee, however being present and focused allows you to connect with each other in a meaningful way. Regardless of what else is going on, take some time to focus your attention on your partner.
Be respectful. Arguments happen, yet how you handle them can make or break your relationship. Name calling and finger pointing won’t resolve anything and will only create more distance. Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean you should be disrespectful. Communicate what your feelings in a non-hurtful, non-judgmental way.
Learn more about creating healthy relationship habits and get a free download when you check out my post – Mindfully Shape Relationship Habits.
Becoming a better couple takes hard work, patience, perseverance, and trust. These things don’t happen overnight. They take time to build and each day builds on the one before it. Letting go of resentment, staying connected, speaking your partner’s love language, and creating better relationship habits will help you go the distance with your relationship.
Want further help and support call today for a FREE exploratory session to see how the horses and I can help 970-682-4405. Until then listen to the whispers…