I recently spent a lot of time at home nursing an injury. Perhaps I may have watched too many Hallmark movies during that downtime. But I have also observed several friends troubled relationships. I am by no means perfect, but I feel my husband and I have a good marriage. It has problems, but we openly and honestly communicate our feelings with each other. We are partners in our marriage and I think that has been the reason for our success.
The first thing that is essential to understand is that no one likes to be “bossed around” or “told what to do”. I will admit, I was guilty of this. My husband adamantly protested this and I had to learn another way to communicate my needs to him. If you treat your husband like a subordinate, they will resist everything you want them to do. Instead, share with them what you think is important to get done for the day. Be fair with them. Do not ask them to do anything you are not willing to do yourself. Give them options. Let them do what you asked their way. Let them do it on their own time schedule. Ask them to help you rather than commanding them to do something.
Do not forget the gratitude. My husband wants a parade when he takes the initiative to unload the dishwasher. He will point out to me several times that he unloaded the dishwasher. I used to get very upset about it. He unloaded the dishwasher maybe once to my 10 times on top of the million other household chores that I did and I would point that out to him. Then he would stop unloading it at all because I never gave him credit for it, so why bother. I learned that noticing and acknowledging the things he does and giving him gratitude for helping, even when minor in my book gave him the appreciation he needed to feel helpful. Back to basics with please and thank you and be genuine about it.
When there is conflict, communicate fairly! It is important to sit down with your partner and have an open and honest conversation with them about what your needs are. Do not bring up the past. Do not accuse. Use phrases like “I feel …”, “When you do this action, I feel…”, “What I need right now is…”, “Will you please help me with…”, “This action upsets me. How can we change it?” Allow your partner to communicate without interrupting them. Their feelings are just as important as yours. Remember that you need to compromise, this is a relationship, not a dictatorship.
Plan activities together. You developed your relationship on dating and doing activities together. It is still good to have a couple of activities that you do apart, but make sure you have just as many together. If you are not spending quality time together you will grow apart. If you find you have been neglecting this area, pick a date night once a week. Take turns planning the evening and never turn down your partner’s planned evening. Keep an open mind and find a way to enjoy yourself and your company.
Fall in love again!
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