Are you having issues relating to your partner? Do you feel misunderstood? Unappreciated? Has your relationship lost its passion? Are you simply growing apart?
You are NOT alone! And, there is help if you want it.
As a life coach I encounter these issues quite often with my clients. All relationships encounter difficulty at one time or another, some bigger than others. Your relationship will continue to suffer until you actively decide to do something about it. And the great news is that it is not as hard as you may think.
Before reading any further, take a few deep and slow breaths. Then, imagine your life where you feel happy and at peace with your life, and you are living it alongside your partner. You love each other during the good days and the bad. You are communicating with each other effectively and appreciating each other. You feel heard and understood. You are safe to express yourself and to be “you”. You are enjoying your relationship and excited to be with each other.
Your first response to this may be “yeah, right. No way can that happen.” But, it can. Think back to the way things used to be, when things were great. They can be great again. It starts by picturing it and knowing your outcome. You have to truly want it. Close your eyes again and see it. Once you are committed to this vision, keep reading. I have written down an easy to follow, condensed version of a great program that I have taught to many couples and individuals.
Assess where you are at.
It is important to be honest about where you are right now. It is common to want to avoid this part but it is important. When you drive your car somewhere using maps, it needs to know where you start from. It is no different with a relationship. You must know where you are starting from.
Grade your relationship.
Put a number to where your Passion, Sex life, Intimacy, Communication, Fun, and Support are currently at.
You can use any scale that resonates with you. I like a scale of 1-10 but you may use whatever works for you. Be honest and put down the rating that matches each of those 6 key components of a relationship.
Do this as an individual and then come together and work on it as a team. Share how each of you currently see your relationship. Discuss it and share what you are grateful for. It is important to show gratitude for the things that are working.
Pick the category that you both want to work on first. You must both be clear on where you wish to focus your energy.
Set Expectations and Goals
It is important to get on the same page. Discuss what each of you expect to happen over the next week, month, 6 months, year. Often there are differences in expectations and it is important to discuss them and come to an agreement. This will help prevent disappointment and frustration. You may not agree on everything but it is important that both of you set your expectations and come up with shared goals and desires with a specific time frame.
This is about both of you, not just you or him/her.
Bring in an outside perspective if you have challenges with any of this. It often helps to have a neutral party, such as a life coach, advocate for the relationship and assist you in coming together for the common goal of reigniting your relationship.
Recognize and Manage Your Emotions
Remember you can only change you and your responses. You can not change your partner. Often people let their emotions such as anger, frustration or resentment kick in and prevent them from working well with their partner.
Ask yourself “Would I rather be right, or would I rather have a strong, healthy, wonderful relationship?”. This will help you to let go of any negative emotions that prevent you from finding common ground.
When you communicate with your partner turn the focus onto feelings and avoid using the blame game or focusing on what they do or do not do.
Use words such as,
“I feel …”, “My concern is….”, “How do you feel about that?”
Heal Old Wounds
Everyone has a past and has said or done things that cause hurt to those they love. No one is perfect. Take some time and forgive your partner for anything that still bothers you. Forgiveness is a conscious choice to release the resentment you have toward your partner. It is not letting them off the hook, it is releasing you from the negative hold that it has on you. It is an opportunity to move forward. If you hang onto the past, you can not move forward. Forgiveness allows you to move forward. Without forgiveness you will remain stuck. Take the time now and forgive your partner. Hopefully they will do the same.
Take Charge of Your Own Happiness
You are not in control of your partner and he/she is not in control of you. That is a healthy relationship. You, and you alone, are responsible for your happiness. Happiness is within you and not something that comes from outside of you. It is not your partner’s job to make you happy and it is not your job to make him/her happy.
This is something to be embraced! You are in control–isn’t that wonderful? Yes it is!! Find happiness in the things around you on a regular basis.
Rekindle the Romance
Prioritize your relationship. Set aside time for date nights, outings together, nightly conversation, fun texts to each other, and of course intimate times. Consciously think about your partner and let him/her know that you care and think about them on a regular basis. It is critical that your partner knows that he/she is important in your life.
Make it Last
None of this will last unless you intentionally decide to make it last.
Each day put your relationship first, be there for your partner, acknowledge and compliment them, give them space and take space for you, take control of your own happiness, communicate and let them know what you are thinking/feeling, and consciously make a commitment to let go of any issues holding you back.
Most couples can regain the spark and rediscover why they are together to begin with. It starts with a decision to make it work. You can do it if you want to! I am here to help you in this process if you need any assistance.