Good relationships don’t just happen. I’ve heard many couples state that, “If I have to work at it, then it’s not the right relationship.” This is not a true statement, for as long as you work hard at looking your best, work hard at loosing weight, work hard at being recognized by your boss, work hard at being a good parent, then why should it be so difficult at making your relationship work?
I’ve realized over time while at couples or dating forum and ladies talk room that there are some choices you can make that will not only improve your relationship, but can turn a failing relationship into a successful one. As you celebrate Valentine today, take these tips with you and improve on your relationship:
1.BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF: It is often said that ‘No one can make you happy, but YOU’. Being happy for yourself is the most important choice you can make to improve your relationship. By so doing, you take absolute responsibility for your own feelings and needs. Invariably, this means that instead of trying to solicit happiness and security from your partner, you learn how to do this through your own thoughts and actions. By so doing, you are learning to treat yourself with kindness, caring, compassion, and acceptance instead of self-judgment. No matter how wonderfully your partner is treating you, for as long as you continue to judge yourself you will always feel unhappy and insecure. Instead of brooding and getting angry at your partner for your feelings of abandonment when he or she is late, preoccupied and not listening to you, not turned on sexually, and so on, you should look inward and discover how you might be abandoning yourself.
When you learn how to take full, 100% responsibility for yourself, then you stop blaming your partner for your insecurity. The most important gift, vital to a good relationship you can give yourself this Valentine season is to learn how to take loving care of yourself, take responsibility and make it happen.
2. KINDNESS, COMPASSION, ACCEPTANCE: Sure you’ve heard of ‘Do unto others what you expect them to do unto you’. Simply said; treat others the way you want to be treated. This is the essence of a truly spiritual life. We all yearn to be treated lovingly – with kindness, compassion, understanding, and acceptance. We need to treat ourselves this way, and we need to treat our partner and others this way. Relationships flourish when both people treat each other with kindness. While there are no guarantees, often treating another with kindness brings kindness in return. If your partner is consistently angry, judgmental, uncaring and unkind, then you need to focus on what would be loving to yourself rather than reverting to anger, blame, judgment, withdrawal, resistance, or compliance. Kindness to others does not mean sacrificing yourself. Always remember that taking responsibility for yourself rather than blaming others is the most important thing you can do. Some women claim to have neglected themselves due to child birth or raising children thus leaving their partners to the memory of what they looked like during courtship. This is self injustice as far as I am concerned. You are not helping yourself nor your relationship. If you are consistently kind to yourself and your partner, and your partner is consistently angry, blaming, withdrawn and unavailable, you tried everything possible and no result, then you either have to accept a distant relationship, or you need to leave the relationship. You cannot make your partner change – you can only change yourself.
3. GRATITUDE INSTEAD OF COMPLAINTS: Positive energy flows between two people when there is an “attitude of gratitude.” Constant complaints creates a heavy, negative energy, which is not fun to be around. Practice being grateful for what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. Complaints create stress, while gratitude creates inner peace, so gratitude creates not only emotional and relationship health, but physical health as well.
4. LEARNING INSTEAD OF CONTROLLING: When conflict occurs, you always have two choices regarding how to handle the conflict: you can be open to learning about yourself and your partner and discover the deeper issues of the conflict, or you can try to win, or at least not lose, through some form of controlling behavior. We’ve all learn many overt and subtle ways of trying to control others into behaving the way we want: anger, blame, judgment, niceness, compliance, care taking, resistance, withdrawal of love, explaining, teaching, defending, lying, denying, and so on. In most cases, all these ways create even more conflict if not properly communicated. Remembering to learn and listen instead of control is a vital part of improving your relationship.
For example, most people have two major fears that become activated in relationships: the fear of abandonment – of losing the other – and the fear of engulfment – of losing oneself. When these fears get activated, most people immediately protect themselves against these fears with their controlling behavior. But if you chose to learn about your fears instead of attempt to control your partner, your fear would eventually heal. This is how we grow emotionally and spiritually – by learning instead of controlling.
5. CREATE DATE TIMES: When people first fall in love, they make time for each other. Then, right after getting married, they get busy. Relationships need time to thrive. You need to create your own ‘kid time’, pretend to be kids once in a while and let loose of all inhibitions. It is vitally important to set aside specific times to be together – to talk, play, share quiet moments, make love. Intimacy cannot be maintained without making out time together.Today, the pressure of making a living is taking a toll on memorable love life but you have to create it and make it happen.
6. FUN AND PLAY: We all know that “work without play makes Jack a dull boy.” Work without play makes for dull relationships as well. Relationships flourish when people laugh together, play together, and when humor is a part of everyday life. Stop taking everything so seriously and learn to see the funny side of life. Most couples are rather nice, warm, friendly and jovial with outsiders but when it comes to their partners, they are like night and day. Intimacy flourishes when there is lightness of being, not when everything is heavy.
7. SELFLESS SERVICE: How beautiful is it when both of you venture into a project together? Work on a selfless service together, volunteer and enjoy feelings of mutual selflessness. A wonderful way of creating intimacy is to do service projects together. Giving to others fills the heart and creates deep satisfaction in the soul. If you are having problem in your relationship, volunteer at a relationship coaching group, listen to others talk and visualize yourselves in their position. You may come to realize that yours is not worse after all. Engaging in this type of service moves you out of yourself and your own problems and supports a broader, more spiritual view of life.
If you and your partner agree to these tips, you will be amazed at the improvement in your relationship and how happier you would be. Remember, love and life go beyond Valentine day, make your relationship last longer!
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think…
“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”
Rebecca – age 8
“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Billy – age 4
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”
Terri – age 4
“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”
Danny – age 7
“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”
Emily – age 8
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)
“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.”
Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)
“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.”
Noelle – age 7
“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”
Tommy – age 6
“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.”
Cindy – age 8
“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”
Elaine – age 5
“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.”
Chris – age 7
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”
Mary Ann – age 4
“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.” (Now THIS is love!)
Lauren – age 4
“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” (what an image!)
Karen – age 7
“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.”
Mark – age 6
“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”
Jessica – age 8
And the final one…
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
“Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
“There is no surprise more magical than
the surprise of being loved: It is God’s
finger on man’s shoulder”….Charles Morgan.
Marriage is a commitment, a relationship involving the joining of a man and a woman. It is as old as creation itself, dates back to the creation of Adam and Eve. To my mind, it is the union of two people from different background, with different orientation, attitude to life and philosophy. The fusion of all these characteristics from two willing people coming together as one body and soul for the purpose of recreation and mutual exchange of feelings and moreover as source of comfort for one another makes up the total components of marriage.
Sex is described as the sum of the structural, functional and behavioral characteristics of living beings that sub-serve reproduction by two interacting parents and that distinguish males and females. Given that sex plays an important role in marriage, how would you cope if hooked in a sexless relationship?
Cicero says ‘ the first bond of society is marriage, the next, our children, then the whole family and all things in common’. Could we have achieved all these feats without explore our intimacies? One definitely is an architect of the other. Where one is missing, the center cannot hold. Now, if sexual bond ceases to exist in a marriage, what is the fate of that relationship?
A friend once narrated his experience in the course of my regular probing about matters of the heart. He claimed to have been living with his spouse since their marriage of 12 years but the last four years has witness a complete turn off in their sexual lives. After the last child, the woman just tuned off sex completely. She became fully engrossed with her children, her work and her religion. They have not had any sexual relationship in the last four years, yet they live under the same roof. Surprised? Shocking you may say but it is real.
The wife is a complete opposite of the man, highly introverted and very conservative. She does not believe in outward expression of love especially in public places or when friends and families are around. She loves her husband but in her own way. She simply wants to live her life for her children; which to her, was the reason for getting married after all, secondly, for her job and finally her religion. And the husband, you may ask? She just wants him to be there, always at hand when needed. She takes care of him by ensuring he is well fed and well taken care of at home but not sex wise. She is not just cut out for it.
The husband on the contrary is a happy go lucky man. Outwardly expressive, willing to arouse all feelings to ensure sexual pleasure but always gets rebuffed by the wife. What did he do, sure you want to know. He found an alternative means to his satisfaction. Discreetly, he engaged in extra marital affairs. The wife on the other hand is oblivious of happenings around her. For as long as she goes to work and come back to meet her husband at home, she is satisfied. If he has cause to come back late, she attributes it to his work schedule in the office. As far as she is concerned, there is nothing to be afraid of because she believes that lack of sex between them is not enough ground to break the relationship. How realistic? Is this a case of being gullible or simple ignorance?
In my quiet moment, I pondered over the scenario and concluded the wife probably had a psychological issue about relationship while growing up and has refused to outgrow it.
This is a woman that would give everything to please God but not the institution constituted by God. To her, sexual intercourse with her husband would not give her spiritual satisfaction. How ironic? Even the scriptures kick against sexual denial in marriage on either party. For her to have taken this position simply beats my imagination, perhaps am not conversant with the scriptures. May be I am missing something yet to be discovered.
While pondering over the issue, a few tips readily come to mind which I hope would be useful for whoever is in the same boat like my character.
1. Before signing the dotted lines, talk about sex, find out your partners point of view on matters relating to sex. This will help to identify his/her kind of person in sex related matters and will assist you in making the final decision if you both are sexually compatible.
2. Share and compare notes on your past experiences while growing up. Dig into a few things in the past especially if you know you want to spend the rest of your lives together, it helps to shape the future. Remember you can only proffer solution to problem shared.
3. Recognize you cannot change your spouse but you can help overcome the past and chart a new course if both parties are willing.
4. Identify your spouse’s strong sexual point and leverage on it. You never can tell, it might just work wonder.
5 When her mood is right, find out if she ever enjoyed making love with you, if you hurt her during love making or perhaps you have not been performing up to her expectation and would like to take her suggestions. If she is the shy and conservative type, put it in writing.
6. Create a relaxed atmosphere of congenial collaboration. Be open, don’t get boxed up, don’t be withdrawn it will only worsen the situation.
7. Be nice to your spouse and show empathy not pity. Create warm ambiance to boost her confidence that you are always there in good and bad times. Do not act nice and warm simply to have sex, make a regular habit of it.
8. Go down memory lane with your spouse. Remind her of your sexual life in the beginning, before the advent of the children, the sweet early stages.
9. Don’t give up on her. You can make a difference in her love if your love is genuine.
10. Finally all couples should remember that religion is a way of life. You cannot shy away from your marital responsibilities in the name of God. I bet God does not approve of that. Perform your bedroom duties and let love reign.
Its no gainsaying today that online dating is the in-thing. Job pressure and busy schedule are contributing factors to lack of physical social networking today. Therefore a lot of people have resolved to online dating to bridge the gap. The question is to what extent would you go to to get a date?
Men and women use dating sites to find love and relationship but some dating sites are more of escort service and the question is would you rather hook up with a dating site as opposed to conventional dating?
There are mixed feelings and diverse opinions about online dating. Just like anything else involved with dating, it has its pros and cons. As opposed to conventional dating, you never get to meet your date beforehand, all you rely on is the image posted on the profile which could be genuine or doctored to lure a ‘would-be’. I read of an instance where a lady subscribed to a dating site and found a very dashing young man’s picture profile, she read all about him and felt they were good match. He is based in the US and she lives in Africa. Ironically, the guy deliberately left out the fact that he is physically challenged. They kept exchanging mails and online chat and gradually got really close. After a couple of months, she got an invite to visit him in the US and realized she had been lied to. That’s the extent an online dating could go sometimes if you don’t do your homework properly.
In another instance I have heard of people who got swindled in the name of love on online dates. The People’s Court is one avenue to learn the reality of frauds on online dating. They drag themselves to court when reality dawns on them that they have been lied to or swindled.
The question here is what happened to the good old conventional way of meeting dates like the work place, church, bus station or college? Does it still work for us today? A thumb of rule says you can detect lies through eye contact and I believe this helps in face to face dating than online dating. Its so easy to hide behind technology and get away with deception. Nevertheless, some have been lucky to have beautiful relationship leading to marriage through online dating. It actually depends on how serious you do your home work and dig deep into your online date, chat on skype, at least to put a face to the name. In as much as extra precaution is needed in conventional dating more caution should be excised for online dating because its more of a gamble than the face to face date.
To help guide your decision, here are a few tips to consider before choosing your online date:
Background Check: If you are really serious about a long term relationship through online date, be sure to register with a legitimate dating site. Run a background check on your chosen date. Take the extra mile to verify the authenticity of the profile posted.
Keep your personal information: The world of technology today is like an open book. The more information you reveal to the world, the more of a victim you become and you may be an easy prey for fraudsters. Until you are sure of whom you are dealing with, keep you private information to yourself.
Ask Questions: Ask your chosen dates about personal family background before committing to any online relationship; parents, siblings, friends or associates. You can never ask enough about this and if your chosen date is legit, he’d be willing to bare it all. Also follow up on this information to verify the authenticity, call any of the contacts. Its better to get hurt knowing the truth in the beginning than realizing the truth later on.
Confide in someone: When going on your first physical date, confide in someone close to you. Let him or her know your where about, your meeting point and location. This is just a precaution in case anything goes wrong, bet you don’t want to be a victim of Craigslist killer. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine!
Do you live under the same roof with your spouse like two estranged partners and now you have no idea how you can turn things around? It absolutely doesn’t matter who started the fight and whose fault it is, right now you want to get him/her back and you can do it. I want to share a few tips with you on how you can get your loved one back into your arms!
1. Genesis: Reflect on how it all started, make notes of the causes, think of solutions and be willing to discuss it maturely.
2. Avoid argument: Even when you think you are right, let peace reign by listening more and saying less. Men love to be seen to be in control especially in the heat of an argument, consent there and then but find a more convenient time and avenue to further discuss the matter when tension might have died down. You will be amazed at the result.
3. You are not the same person I married: Remember it takes two to tango. Both of you will undergo changes in the course of the relationship. The success of every marriage depends on the partied involved, have it at the back of your mind that you cannot totally change your spouse no matter how hard you try. On the contrary, you both need to work on improving the status quo. Think back to the early days of the relationship and recapture those sweet moments, picture the image of that same person you married, the way you are now and find the missing link and improve on it. Whatever gave you the kick then than still be worked on.
4. Great Expectation: You probably expect too much from your spouse. You were looking forward to a perfect relationship where none existed. Every relationship has its own limitations. Come to think of it, we really can’t love everything about ourselves as individuals, we simply turn the other eye to our negative sides and try to work on it if we choose to while we project our positives. The same applies to our relationships, it’s all about management. You should be able to accommodate and look for a middle course rather than expecting too much that will constantly put you at loggerheads.
However, let your spouse know what he/she is not doing right without necessarily rubbing it in. Be matured about it without hurting his/her pride.
4. Accept your mistakes: Don’t always be on the defensive. Learn to accept your mistakes and strive to make a change. Make conscientious effort to work at correcting it even when its difficult for you. Remember your objective is to restore the shine in your life and be happy. Just remain humble!
5. Intimacy: The bedroom is the center of intimate activities. A lot goes on behind closed doors that remains strictly between couples. Excitement and romance are two key essentials in a relationship; a tense atmosphere cannot generate these two, avoid it if you can. Create sensation within the home, splash lovely perfume on your body before bedtime, put on a lovely lingerie, spread chocolate on your spouse and lick it off slowly (men crave for these outside so why not give him and let him scream for more). Try to fish out your soft spots and make the best of it. Remember, we all love adventure of any sort. Be creative!
6. Don’t compare: You had your choices before hooking up with your spouse, don’t wallow in regrets. Remember Beauty and the Beast? ‘I wish I had known’ could be very destructive to a relationship and for as long as you still chose to remain together forever, don’t over-flog your spouse’s weak points or personal attributes. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. You have the beast already, why not turn him/her to your angel. Happiness comes from within. You can make your spouse into that admirable creature you envy so much, where there’s a will, there’s way; invest in your happiness and you’d be better off for it.
7. Bonding: Be a family and not a living partner. Children may come into a relationship and gradually create gaps if care is not taken. Draw a line between your love for your husband and that of your children, don’t knock heads! Let the children know they cannot take your spouse’s place while your spouse cannot take their place. It’s all about understanding. Don’t spite your spouse to please your children or vice-versa, it sows discord. Remember you are one big happy family!
We all experience jealousy at one point or the other even within the nuclear family and especially in our love lives.Jealousy can bring relationship to an end before it started if not properly managed.
Jealousy could lead to an unpleasant experience for the chronically jealous partner who often misinterprete innocent actions. Avoid negative thoughts and doubts unless you have no confidence in your relationship or you simply do not trust your partner.
Learn to be disciplined enough to deal with jealousy maturely by taking the following steps to deal with your jealous partner.
1. Self Examination: Why do you often get jealous? You need to identify the cause that triggers your jealous attitude for you to be able to deal with it effectively. Think of a past scenario and examine what, if and why.
2. Emotional Outburst: Are you hot tempered or you simply pent up your emotions? Do you read meanings into every action and bottle them up for the doom’s day?
You need to learn how to manage your emotions to avoid unnecessary suspicion.Communication is the key word no matter how tough the issue is. Discuss like matured adults and not overgrown babies.
3. Do Not Assume: Assumption could wear the red label that triggers the gun powder.Always get to the root of matters before taking action. Get all necessary information before raising the dust. The ability to carry out research and look into why your partner took certain action and decisions would help to determine if your jealousy is warranted or baseless.
4. Forget Your Ego: We all have ego that can rear its ugly head sometimes but you have to ensure that you do not allow your ego to becloud your sense of reasoning. Your partner may express innocent appreciation of the opposite sex or a more successful friend or pal. Do not feel deflated, have confidence in yourself and walk tall, don’t stoop.
5. Do Not Create Avenue for Suspicion: Avoid cozy chats with the opposite sex especially when your spouse or partner is with you, its a tell tale sign and shows disrespect for the relationship at hand.
Watch out for text messages that can upsurge your relationship.
Avoid tell tale signs that can give you away and makes you tongue twisted like lipstick stains, love notes in the jacket or wallet, hotel bills for a weekend escapade, sexy gifts and many more.
6. Communication: Essentially the key to a jealous free relationship is Communication. Lay your cards on the table and avoid discreet affairs. Communication is the major driving force in any relationship. Talk about anything and everything. Avoid keeping ‘criminal silence'(as coined by my husband)over any suspicious matter. You may just be worsening the situation. Above all, both partners need be reasonable in dealing with jealous issues or any family issues at all.Do not give room for rumor mongers.
Food For Thought
Always remember that jealousy could be healthy in a relationship if properly managed and it could be a waste of precious moments if otherwise mismanaged.
It’s okay to let emotions fly once in a while but wouldn’t you rather savor fun filled relationship than watch over each other’s shoulders for tell tale signs?
Just learn to appreciate and respect one another and you are on the path to a blissful relationship.
Hey guys, those little stuffs you do in bed consciously or unconsciously make us tingle with sensation or send numb feelings down the spine. You may think you are actually hitting the nail but in actually fact, you are riding a dead horse. Watch out!
1. We get turned on when you whisper sweet nothings in our lobes, especially in public, thereby making us feel like we are all that matters. All sexual inhibitions melt when you come up with that deep enriched baritone voice, how exciting it feels and obviously sends wild thoughts of what could happen afterwards. Being forced to contain ourselves there and then only turns up the heat. When you call to tell how our perfume haunts and how you wish to lick ice cream off our smooth skin, it makes us want to pounce on you like a tiger.
On the contrary, we get turned off when you thank us for the sex. Hmmmmn! What do you think- a volunteer worker feeding the hungry? Rather you could present a case like ‘making love makes me feel whole and you are the best thing that ever happens to my sex life. Remember, be sincere!
2. You turn us on when you kiss like you mean it. Gently brushing the lips aside with yours, then pulling away and looking at us straight in the eyes without a word but full of messages. Igniting the fire with petrol. You lean close like it was going to happen again but gently eases out, creating suspense. Real fire on the mountain. A little teasing could be so sexy. We love it. When you kiss those hidden spots around the collarbone or elsewhere, the world suddenly stands still. Scintillatingly sexy!
However, you turn us off when you drop yourself on the bed like a bulldog anticipating dinner, reeking of alcohol and tobacco breath. Whatever happens to mint or some lovely deodorant? Flickering your tongue in and out like a monitor lizard in search of an egg makes us want to puke. Hey keep your tongue to yourself and hold the saliva. What a breath!
3. We are turned on when you read our signals. How observant are you? Do you notice the changes in our bodies? Depending on our cycle, the breast change in sensitivity. So while the nipples might have enjoyed a good squeeze last week, they might hurt today. Gentle suck will always do the trick. Hold them gently and watch out for our reactions between pain and pleasure before you proceed. Showing that you care about our pleasure as much as your own is what really makes us sparkle.
You turn us off when you squeeze the breast as if you are testing melons for ripeness. How would you like it if we bruise your banana? Be gentle. Twisting the nipples as if you were tuning to a radio station is the fastest way to turn us off. And don’t try to chew them, they are not gums but nipples.
4. You turn us on when you slowly work your way down the alley, treating the body like a delicious appetizer before the main course. And when you get there you gently ease your way in with light touches and a slow steady rhythm. Imagine paradise on earth for both of us. Do not forget to keep the rhythm steady and consistent otherwise you’d miss the beat.
However, when you pounce like a fastidious cat sniffing a saucer of sour milk, what are you – man or mouse? Oops! How it hurts when you insert your sharp fingered nails without a care as if you need to incise for an operation. Remember, keep the nails clean!
5. Imagine two running engines, one without lubricant while the other is well lubricated. Of course the lubricated engine runs better, right? This is what we feel when you gently suck the nipples, stroke the clitoris and tease the body before you think of penetrating. What’s the rush anyway? Love making is meant to be fun and memorable. Imagine the spread of vanilla ice cream on a warm body, gently lick it off and leave sensations running down the spine. Simply create the heat generation. After all, it’s not your banging that makes good sex anyway but the feelings that come with it.
Oops! You got to the climax before it’s over and you suddenly roll over. How selfish! We were in this together, so what happens to my feelings? Would you rather be a welder who simply strikes the iron than a masseur who tenderizes the body? We all love tenderness so learn to be a masseur. It really turns us off when it’s all over, you simply dose off with a loud snore. What happens to some after-play stuffs like kissing the tip of the nose, warm snuggle or simply expressing how beautiful the whole experience has been? Sex is a wonderful therapy, isn’t it?
Experience has shown that spouses who don’t get it right within craves for something without. Have you ever asked your spouse how he or she feels about your sexual lives or love making strategies? Do they work for you? If they don’t, take a clue now, it’s never too late.
Dating and marriage today is a great task. Many marriages today fail for one reason or the other. Commitment is fading off and what obtains now ranges from deceit to lies, emotional instability to outright disregard for one another’s feelings. For a lot of people today, ‘commitment’ has become a scary thing. Dating is more like marathon race, trying to date as many people as possible, instead of being committed to one and get to know each other very well is obviously the order of the day.
We all know there is no perfect marriage. Working to improve on an existing relationship to me appears tougher than trying a fresh one. Things do not always go perfectly as fighting, argument, disagreement do occur and it takes 100% commitment from both parties to make it a success.
Despite all these odds, healthy and long lasting relationships are definitely possible. The ability to manage and restore sparks in our relationships when the reality of marital disintegration shows up is what makes a healthy marriage. Look at Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Hilary and Bill Clinton and a few others like them, you would agree with me that they don’t have perfect marriages but they have learnt to weather the storm and face realities of the ups and downs of marriage by choosing to love their mates irrespective of the odds against their marriage.
Relationship building is like a car, the more you service it and treat it right, the more it serves you. The longer the usage, the more the wear and tear. This is the way to look at relationships, you need to work for it to get the best out of it. Everything cannot be perfect, there will be obstacles to overcome but you have to make concerted effort to make it work.
Here are some tips to strengthen your relationship:
Create time to be together: Learn to spend quality time together. Its not about the activity but the fact that you are both doing something that you enjoy. We are often torn between our work, family and everything else going on around us at the expense of the people we care about. Schedule and keep to arranged dates as you would your corporate meetings.
Show Affection: When was the last time you walked up to your partner for no reason, without saying a word and affectionately placed a kiss on the neck? When last did you cuddle your partner, rub her hand or run through her hair or simply hold hands without uttering a word. We show love and affection to our children and often forget that our partners need attention too. The power of touch could be overwhelming, everything is not about sex but feeling each other’s vibes in our own quiet world says it all.
Renew old Traditions: Do you remember when you just hit it off? There must have been some things you both enjoyed doing that made you tick. Did you make a it habit to walk in the park? Or you hung out on Fridays for TGIF? Think back! Renew and improve on what you used to do together just like manufacturers would always slam us with a new and improved product.
Secret Getaways: At a point in our relationships, we truly crave for some quiet moments especially when you have children hovering round you. Map out periods when you both can take a vacation without the children. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip, you may choose to hide away at a hotel in town for a beautiful weekend. Make the outing as romantic as possible. Rekindle your love and refresh your memories of the good old days.
Exchange Gifts: Surprise your partner with little tokens. If your partner loves movies for instance, you may surprise her by picking her up without letting out your mission till you arrive there. Sometimes it could be flowers or card that truly expresses your mind. The fact behind these actions is a way of telling your partner that ‘you are always on my mind’. Small gifts packed with thought are far more cherished.
Exchange Compliments: For some reasons, you may have stopped noticing how your partner looks. Even when she wears that beautiful Victoria Secret or that Pierre Cardin shirt, you simply can’t see! Now imagine getting compliments from outsiders. I am sure you’d feel totally ignored by your partner and would wish the comment was coming from him/her. Learn to appreciate your own and say it, it registers better.
Listen: Cultivate the habit of listening to your partner. Some people only listen to themselves and ignore the other party. Get into a habit of listening to what your mate is saying, don’t wait until things get really out of hand to react.
Act the Kid: Have you ever seen kids play? Take a mental note of their reaction to the world around them at that point in time, they are simply in their own world. No inhibitions, no pretense. Put spice into your relationship, act the kid for a change. A friend once tried to act the kid with the husband, told him to close his eyes while he gave him a surprise but the husband couldn’t see the fun in the whole thing, he simply told off the wife by saying, ‘grow up and stop being childish’. This is very hurtful! We should learn to let go of our prim and proper, holier than though attitude and live a simple life. Enjoy the world of innocence for a change!
Night of Passion: As we grow older in our relationships, we tend to take intimacy and passion as secondary. When relationships are troubled, the last thing either party wants is to be sexual or passionate. However, this could be a part of the healing and rebuilding process if handled properly. Make your intimate time special and memorable as these memories would see you trough the troubled times.
Communication: When rebuilding relationships, you need to open lines of communication. I know the first thing that flies out the window in troubled relationship is communication. Sometimes we feel its easier to be quiet than to get mad meanwhile, healing in relationships cannot start until we talk. You both have to let down your guards and respect each other’s feelings. You don’t have to agree on all issues but you can both decide to work towards achieving peace.
Create Space: As it is important to spend quality time together, it is equally important to give each other a break. This is not the time to date other people but to enjoy ‘preferred activities’. Once you have trust in your relationship, try to respect your partner’s need for space to be herself or himself. This shows great respect for one another.