We often wonder what will happen in the New Year and for most of us we are content to let what will be, be. I would strongly suggest that for the sake of our happiness and well-being we don’t let that be our attitude when it comes to our relationship resolutions with our spouse. We shouldn’t take a chance in only “maybe being happy”.
Research indicates that when we make plans and set goals, we often exceed our expectations and we are more at ease with our life. We all have hopes and dreams for ourselves and our lives together, but do we write them down and plan how to achieve them? It’s a matter of knowing the difference between a hope or dream and a goal.
The topic of this discussion is about our resolutions for the New Year. If you would spend some time in your head and heart answering the question, ‘What makes this relationship so good and how can we contribute to making it great?’ And when each of you has done this, come together and begin to make those things a plan which you both agree.
So how can we achieve this? Perhaps with a little wine, laughter, love, and a large dose of adventure and an even larger portion of compromise. I think that compromise in relationships is the most underutilized tool we have. Think about looking at it differently; think about the freedom of compromise. Why freedom?
Recall how we get stuck when we each hold onto our own choice, our own agenda, that ties up a lot of energy and a good portion of the goodwill within the relationship. When you come together and promise, did you notice the play on the word compromise, come together and promise, free up energy, time, love to be used in enjoying each other and your togetherness.
Here are some New Year’s resolutions that we can adopt:
- Treat your spouse better than you treat your friends – This is the most important relationship in your life and if it’s not you should be seeking help for the relationship, so anyway, why would want to treat this person less than you would your friends, relationships require politeness, courtesy, and manners along with kindness and respect.
- Kiss – express your love in physical and nonphysical ways, 4 6 second hugs a day minimum, when you kiss, or hug make sure you are there in that moment because if you’re not your partner will know.
- Make passion and romance a priority – Too often we put other things, not necessarily bad things, before our love, passion is like the glue of the relationship, romance makes us feel special, loved, wanted and needed, do what is needed to fit it into the top 5 things of your to-do list.
- Recommit to the relationship – Commitment in a relationship is twofold, committing to each other and to the relationship and committing to making the relationship worth committing to, if you do that the first part is easy.
- Laugh and play together – Having fun together makes memories we can cherish in life, but also that we can use when we feel disconnected, out of sorts with each other.
- Date Night – Make connections with the relationship, usually we love each other but we not always in love that is a lack of connection, regular weekly date nights take care of part of that.
- 30 minutes a day of undivided attention – We need to put in the effort of daily connecting, talking, giggling, planning, without electronic interference, without kids, friends, in-laws etc.
- Express gratitude – Tell each other a minimum of 3 things a day that you appreciate or are grateful about your spouse, to make it more intense, don’t repeat anything in a week.
- Work together – This is where we can really build up the bonds of the relationship and trust as well, working at projects, raising kids, chores and physical fitness as a couple helps us feel connected as well.
- Learn together – Learning a new skill, hobby or language by itself is good for you, it can delay dementia but, learning something together reinforces that knowledge that you are equals and you can help each other, building bonds.
- Listen – The old saying “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason” is true, we should listen attentively, with compassion and empathy, active listening lets our spouse know we are involved in the conversation and in the relationship.
- Praise more, criticize less – Being positive is always a good thing, when you are praising your spouse regularly, they feel wanted, needed and appreciated and will be more willing to return the effort.
I believe that if we adopted these things, worked at making them true and part of our relationship habits and skills we would have healthier, longer lasting and happier relationships. Isn’t that’s why we get married in the first place?
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