A common scenario for many couples is worrying that their relationship is on the rocks or their partner might not be as invested as they previously were. Whether our partner has a low libido or seems emotionally distant; when our relationship hits a rough patch it’s important to make sure we are using the correct knowledge and techniques to stay on the right track so we don’t continue to emotionally trigger ourselves and our partner. It can be all too easy to give in to emotional reactions when we feel falsely accused instead of being accountable for our actions, so in this article, we’ll discuss the 7 best actions you can take to help your relationships thrive.
1. Grow yourself up emotionally
Many people behave in a dysfunctional manner and this is usually due to the mental “scripts” we create along the way from the perception of our life experiences. These scripts accumulate, become the stories we tell ourselves and the beliefs which positively or negatively influence our behavior. What we may consider as a “normal” behavior may actually be destructive to us and also be viewed as destructive by others.
If you are confused whether your behavior is “emotionally mature” or not, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I making important decisions by myself or working as a team with my partner?
- Are my actions impulsive or in alignment with what we want to create together?
- Am I being in charge of how I feel?
- How am I contributing to the wellbeing of our relationship?
Be honest and brave enough to face the issues you may be contributing to, so you can rewrite your story and help your relationship thrive. Talk to a relationship or personal development expert if you need help with this.
2. Accept conflict as normal
Perfection exists only in Hollywood movies and novels. In the real world, disagreements happen. When you hit a rough patch, don’t throw away a relationship unless you are embroiled in severe problems such as addictions, unfaithfulness, legal problems, drugs or violence. Even then, do all that you can to help your relationship so you can walk away with a clear conscience.
Remember that we can always rewrite the stories we are telling ourselves. Choose to view disagreements as an opportunity to learn more about your partner and so you can both get clearer on what you want to create together. When your partner mentions something of importance to them out loud, know that it has been thought of many times and you need to work together to resolve the issue to retain long-term attraction.
Commitment and trust deepen in a relationship as you travel through the storms together; so make sure you respect, honor and give room for each other’s perspective.
3. Take and give space as needed
Rewriting the mental programs created from our childhood perceptions is already challenging without having to live up to our partner’s needs and expectations. This is why it’s important that we each take responsibility for how we feel. While working on our own individual issues, this can mean that a partner may choose to request some time out on their own.
If your partner asks for space, respect them by giving it to them, but also say that you are there for them when they want to talk. Refrain from stalking by checking their computer, driving by their work, peering at Facebook or asking friends for information. Trust that your partner will come back to you when they have taken enough time to figure things out.
Always communicate it nicely when you need some time to yourself, and give your partner an indication of when you will return. Timing is everything, don’t wait too long to communicate your need for time alone otherwise your triggered emotional state may also trigger your partner.
4. Communicate your boundaries
Most relationships die from silence rather than violence. Do you nag instead of enforcing consequences? Do you turn away from bad behavior? Do you bite your tongue until it bleeds? If you act “compliant” to keep the peace, then you are contributing to the lack of authenticity in your relationship.
In every relationship, it’s important to choose to be aware and responsible for how you are contributing to unwanted scenarios and modify your behavior accordingly.
Decide to forge a different path by not acting like a doormat, saying “no” and speaking up for yourself and your values. It’s also crucially important to stop criticizing your partner or giving them the silent treatment and to be accountable for your actions and the roles you have played toward generating arguments and disagreements.
Remember that it takes two to tango. Clearly communicate what you want so you can both move forward together, knowing what is important and expected of each other.
5. Take care of your own needs
Are you acting your age or your shoe size? Regardless of the childish scripts you may still be running, you are no longer a child, you are an adult and it’s you who now calls the shots. Be responsible for taking care of your personal needs and fulfilling yourself as a person. If you want to go to the movies, enjoy. If you want to feel fulfilled from working out at the gym, go and do it. By all means, invite your partner but don’t put your life on hold if they don’t want to go with you.
When you’re in a relationship, you can ask your partner to help meet your needs but don’t forget that they too have their own needs which may be in opposition to yours in that moment. So, they may say “no” to you. Instead of viewing this as a rejection, instead see it as an invitation to enjoy your own space. You can always reach out to others if you feel like company.
Don’t make your partner your be-all-and-end-all, as eventually they will resent you for it.
6. Heed the wisdom of your inner voice
When your relationship is in crisis, it’s natural to ask your friends for advice. But this advice is usually contaminated by their own beliefs and life experiences and may not be relevant to what you need. Seeking advice of family and friends can also contaminate your partner’s relationship with these people.
In addition to this, with all the opinions out there, it is likely that your own inner voice will be drowned out, along with your intuitive feelings to follow a particular direction. Whenever I ask clients how they found my website, many reply that they don’t really know. They just followed a feeling and kept clicking through links on articles and other websites until they found me – where they immediately received the insights they needed to solve their problems.
Take time to align with the feeling at the core of your being and make sure you act from there. Focusing on what you want to create and how you want to feel will go a long way to creating those ideal outcomes as you will be attracting the people and resources you need to help you achieve it.
7. Correct bad behavior and deal with any unresolved issues
Though psychology may explain bad behavior, it doesn’t excuse it. If you have been doling out positive reinforcement i.e. food, sex, favors, housing, etc. in hopes that your partner will change a behavior for the better, it will not work in the long run. This actually is a passive-aggressive behavior because you are not communicating what you want.
Displaying passive-aggressive behaviors designed to get your partner’s attention result in arguments and nothing ever being resolved. You need to explicitly (and nicely) communicate what you want and need, so your partner can work with you to resolve the issue.
This may include making some agreements. The key to a long-lasting relationship is to have mutual respect and the desire to maintain intimacy and connection. Learn to balance your sexual focus to resolve sexual function issues so you can reignite the love and passion in your relationship if it is lacking.
Every successful relationship needs nurturing and the care of two committed adults. Giving your relationship what it needs to thrive can quite often result in motivating your partner to do the same.
Published author and Psychosexual Relationship Specialist at End the Problem, Jacqui Olliver has helped thousands of men, women and couples restore emotional and sexual satisfaction in their relationships to create a happier life. Click here to check out her programs or to book a complimentary strategy session to gain real answers to solve the real problems.