Digging Deeper into your Relationship
Have you ever heard a child make a claim to get a pet for the first time? They explain how well they will treat the animal. How well they are capable of feeding it and walking it and cleaning up after it. So parents indulge in their child’s new found responsibility and go out and get a pet. The first week is great. The child does everything just as they said they would. However, by the end of the third to fourth week, the parents are finding themselves cleaning up more after the pet or feeding it more and having to ask the pet to be walked or taking care of in another way. The novelty of the pet and enthusiasm involved becomes interrupted by life and complacency sets in. It’s not that this child went out of their way to become irresponsible, it is just that life took precedence.
Relationships start out in such a similar way. We become excited to spend time with another person and enjoy so much with them. We laugh and compliment each other and then one day life interferes and we start forgetting our responsibility to the relationship. We forget to call or make plans. The lack of attention causes the relationship to flounder. By using positive actions and words we nurture our relationships and the strategies you will learn here will help you make almost any relationship better.
Talking it out
Communication it’s the foundation of what relationships are built on. Positive communication is needed in all of our relationships because it is healthy and it keeps us free from stress. In order to maintain such a positive environment we introduce a couple of exercises. First one is called The Daily Bulletin. This is when you take the time to talk and listen with your partner. The purpose is to enhance intimacy and should be performed often.
Work with your partner to decide on a time when you will sit and talk about the day’s events for 20 minutes.
The goal is daily, however 3-4 times will be beneficial as well.
Commit to meeting times and keep them written down where both of you can see them.
Let your partner begin and speak for 10 minutes.
Ask questions, nod your head and make brief comments making sure to let them know you understand how they feel.
After they are done speaking, try to summarize what they said in a positive manner.
Ask your partner if you are correct in what you understand and if you are not, ask for clarification.
Take your time to share about your day and ask your partner to follow the same rules.
Take time to reflect on how you felt before and after and how much better you feel about understanding each other.
The second exercise will remind you of the power of compliments. When you are anxious or depressed it’s hard to think of others and how much you appreciate them, but not expressing it can make them feel unappreciated as well as causes the relationship to suffer. Take a moment to write the Top 10 Things I Appreciate About My Partner.
First write down all the things you cherish and admire about your partner. Include items you feel sincerely apply such as talents, intelligence, caring, helping out, etc. and be specific.
Compliment you partner at least once a day from the list you created or create a new one.
Create a strategy to complete this task every day. Make a habit handing out compliments to everyone you.
After a couple of weeks of giving out compliments, reflect on any changes in the relationship.
If these past two exercises don’t fan out well we recommend you see a couple’s therapist for counseling. If you can’t think of anything you appreciate about your partner your relationship is in serious trouble.
Attending to a Lost Relationship
Losing a relationship can be devastating. Life is imperfect and so are people. Sometimes the loss we suffer is due to death, but other times it’s due other circumstances such as divorce, break ups or a relationship dissolving over happenstance. In any case, dealing with a loss causes stress and sometimes depression.
When you lose a loved one it’s vital that you still take care of yourself. Making sure you eat and get sleep and stay healthy because grieving take both a mental and physical toll and you’ll need all of your resources to get through it. Make sure to ask for help. You can seek helps from friends and family, religious sources, grief support groups and/or mental health professionals. When you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, the better approach is not to hole up in bed or turn to drugs that will only make matters worse, but rather explore your feelings about the person you lost. Review the relationship and what the person meant to you. This process causes you to move on.
Take time to look over the following Grief Questionnaire that will help you explore your grief. Take as much time to answer the questions and don’t rush. Expect to feel sadness or even cry, but if you feel you can’t handle the exercise at all, please seek professional help.
What was life like with this person?
What did you cherish about this person?
What was difficult about this person?
What lessons did I learn from this relationship both positive and negative?
What has changed about my life now?
What am I grateful for from this relationship?
What am I angry about the most?
What did I enjoy about this relationship?
Compose a letter to the person you lost to provide closure. Express anything that is on your mind.
People and the relationships we share with them are irreplaceable. Having said that, after you experience a loss and take the time to grieve and have recovered, it is important to pick up the pieces and move on and fill your life with meaningful relationships and activities. Take the time to help someone else out. It will make you feel better and quite normal again. Talk a little more. Become social again. You don’t have to be the life of the party, but simply engaging more and more into conversation with those around you will definitely help you heal. Go out and do something that makes you happy. Even if you feel you aren’t ready try doing something that makes you happy. Allow yourself to enjoy things again.
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