Category Archives: Conflicts

My Husband Doesn’t Value Me

If you have the experience that your husband/BF/partner doesn’t value you, you probably feel hurt, angry, sad, or all of them in combination.

Feeling unvalued impacts your own self esteem and spills over into the quality of your entire relationship, and you might be questioning yourself, the future of your relationship, and whether there’s something wrong with your partner, your relationship, or yourself.

Feeling unvalued by your partner can show up in a myriad of ways. Perhaps he …

– Doesn’t listen to you
– Doesn’t tell the truth
– Doesn’t prioritize you
– Gives you the silent treatment
– Withdraws
– Offers little or no connection and communication
– Gives romantic or sexual attention to other people
– Belittles you, uses demeaning comments
– Doesn’t spend time with you and/or your family
– Speaks poorly of you in public
– Ignores or doesn’t honor your boundaries
– Doesn’t include your opinions and concerns
– Offers little or no appreciation, affection, or loving gestures.

And that’s not an exhaustive list.

If this describes you and how you feel about your partner, what can you do?

Our first tendency when we’re not getting what we want in relationship, is to get the other person to change their behavior. In this case, you might find yourself criticizing and nagging at him way more than you like, in an attempt to get the message across that you want something to change.

When we’re unhappy with our partners, we often come at them with lists of rules for how they should behave. Whereas it’s perfectly understandable that you want his behavior to change, this approach will not give you what you want. Even if you’re 100% right about your complaints and all your friends agree with you. If that approach worked, all we needed to do to have perfect partners was to tell them exactly what they’re doing wrong and how they should behave, and we’d be done.

His part and your part

In any less-than-ideal relationship situation, there’s an element of co-creation. When you don’t feel valued by him, there’s his part in that and there’s your part in that.

We like to start with your part. Not because you’re the one who “needs” to change, or that you’re doing something wrong, simply because that’s the only place where you know you have some control and influence. As we all know, that’s not always the case with our partners.

You don’t have to share this with your partner (although you can if you so choose), but for starters, ask yourself:

  • What am I doing that’s contributing to this experience?
  • How can I call you, inspire you, to move better with me?

Granted, if you do your own part and he still doesn’t engage in a process of change and growth, you might very well find someone else to be in relationship with.

Take a stand for yourself

One of the first way to inspire him to value you more, is for you to value you more.

Take a stand for yourself. Cultivate a sense of yourself as a valuable, deserving person. One of Sonika’s most valuable personal lessons from being in relationship with an abusive partner, was for her to get out of her victim mindset and craft a mindset of power.

To do that practically, you can be clear about what you’re up for and what you’re not up for. “I’m available to talk about anything but I’m NOT available for being called names or yelled at”. “I’m available for so-and-so, but I’m not available for so-and-so” or “I’m willing to do so-and-so, and I’m not willing to do so-and-so” are good ways to communicate that.

Often, your part in a situation where you don’t feel your husband values you, is that you let it happen and don’t communicate clearly what you want, what you’re willing to do, and what you’re not willing to do, in good ways he can hear.

Takes up all your “mental real estate”

When relationships are strained, perhaps even for long periods of time, the negativity ends up taking up more and more of your “mental real estate”. It’s as if your entire field of vision is filled with all the places where he doesn’t value you, doesn’t respect you, and don’t care about you.

More often than not, there are places where he values and respects you. You just have to focus a bit on finding them.

So begin to look for where he does value you, even if it’s in small ways. Perhaps he brings you a coffee from Starbucks, makes a meal for you, picks up the kids on your day, or asks if you want to make love later on. All those are examples of him expressing that he values and cares about you. Maybe he does ask what you think sometimes. That’s an example of him respecting you.

When you find these instances, thank him for it. We call this approach “Providing what’s desired”, and it’s useful for both partners in relationship. Whenever you’re missing or desiring something, you start by providing it. You want more appreciation? make sure you don’t just rail on him to appreciate you more, but also offers him appreciation.

This is not to stroke the guy’s ego, but simply to use an approach that might work. Plus, it really helps your mental and emotional wellbeing when all your focus is not on what’s not working, and you deliberately notice where you have some of what you want.

He wants to be successful

When you feel unvalued by your partner, it’s easy to make the assumption that he doesn’t want to value you and simply doesn’t care. In our experience working with thousands of men and women, that’s pretty much never the case. Quite the contrary, men are desperate to be successful with you, they want nothing more than to win with you and to make you happy. And … they often have no clue how to accomplish that result. And when men can’t accomplish their result with you, they feel defeated and inadequate, which in turn makes them stop talking and stop trying. Which in turn has you feel unvalued. Bad cycle!

Sometimes you just have to coach and guide him for how you feel valued. If you assume, as we’re suggesting, that he wants to make you happy, you can offer feedback and guidance to him in the form of “appreciation sandwiches” (so named by a man in our workshops).

In fact, this is a great way to deliver feedback to anyone. If you want him to clean up after himself in the kitchen, instead of saying, “Why can’t you clean up after yourself; you’re like a child!” (nagging, criticism, and contempt), you might say, “I appreciate how focused you are getting back to work after dinner. Would you be willing to help clean the kitchen before you start working again? I really like working with you:-)“

In the same spirit of kind guidance, it’s useful to ask for what you want in a clear and specific way that supports him to give it to you. For example, if you say, “I just want you to connect with me!”, he might have no idea what “connect with me” actually entails. We know, to you it might so obvious as to require no explanation of any kind, but that’s not true for everyone. Men and women are different, and people are different. So you might say, “I love it when you take my hand and tell me you love me … would you be willing to do that?”

We also know you might think, “Well, that’s not very romantic when I have to ask for it!” To which we say, yes, it’s nice when we just get what we want, but would you rather ask clearly for something or get nothing?

Get Curious

Our final idea to beware of the tendency to think “he should know this already”, and instead to get curious. Inquire about his experience, and share your own. That kind of communication is, in and of itself, a good way for you to feel valued. Instead of judging and criticizing how he goes back to work after dinner, instead ask him, “I notice you like to go back to work after dinner. I’m curious why that is? Would you tell me about that? I know I’m toast after work and dinner, and I just want to curl up on the couch … how is that for you?”

In summary, take a stand for yourself, look at your part in the dynamic, provide what’s desired, ask clearly and specifically for what you want, appreciate where he does value you, and get curious about why he does what he does.

That’s a really good start to a relationship where you both feel more valued!

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My Wife Doesn’t Respect Me

My wife doesn’t respect me! What I am going to do about that?

This is a refrain we often hear from husbands.

Obviously, we would all hope that our partners would treat us with kindness and respect, but sometimes that’s not the dynamic we have established. If we were talking directly to your wife, we’d be giving her her own coaching, but assuming we’re talking to you, the husband, we’ll focus on what you have some control over, namely your own behavior and how you communicate with her.

Not being respected can show up for you in a myriad of different ways. You might experience that she …

* Belittles you

* Emasculates you

* Puts you down

* Nags

* Criticizes

* Withholds affection, touch, love, sex

* Doesn’t appreciate you

* Doesn’t acknowledge the things you do do

* Questions your choices

* Doesn’t trust you

* Talks down about you to other people

* Tries to control or micro-manage you

Or perhaps it’s something else for you?

When you have the experience that your wife doesn’t respect you, there’s her responsibility in that situation, and there’s your responsibility. It’s not all on her, nor is it all on you. It’s a co-created dynamic. When we coach couples, we help each person take their share of ownership. As mentioned above, we’ll focus on what you can do to change this dynamic and in effect encourage her to respect and appreciate you more.

Is there a grain of truth? 

For starters, look at what she’s judging you for. What is she criticizing you for?

Then, take an honest look at yourself and ask, What’s the grain of truth in what she’s saying about me? Notice, we say “a grain of truth”, i.e. it’s not the full story about you.

For instance, if she’s judging for you always being late, look at where there’s a grain of truth to that? Are there times when you don’t show up when you said you would?

If she’s nagging you about not following through on commitment, take a look at that. Are there times you say you will do something, but then don’t?

If you can see a grain of truth to her judgments, you now have an opening to change those behaviors, if you so choose. But there’s no question that doing what you say will do, or showing up when you say you will, contributes to her respecting you. If you don’t, you feed into her judgments about you.

Now, I know when your wife says stuff like, “You never clean up after yourself!”, my default reaction is to either get defensive – “I DO clean up after myself. Stop talking to me like that!!” – or to just get the hell out of there so I don’t have to listen to that.

Next time that happens, try telling yourself, “Ok, hang on a second, let me just see if there’s any grain of truth to that I don’t clean up after myself”.

If there is a grain of truth to it, just own it. Just say, “Yeah, sometimes I don’t clean up after myself” or “Sure, there are times I don’t finish my projects”. Owning it without explanation is a way for you to respect yourself more, to restore your own integrity. In the process, it’ll help her respect you more, too.

Respect is an earned privilege, so in order to be respected we have to show up respect-worthy. And that goes both ways, of course!

So take a good hard look at this: Do you respect yourself? Do you value yourself?

Still to this day, despite my many years of growing and developing, I can still find times or areas of my life where I don’t really respect or value myself. It’s hard to admit, I don’t want it to be true, but it is.

How can you respect and value yourself more? As a man, there are several ways to go about that process which involves you getting clear about questions like …

* What am I about as a man?

* What kind of man am I?

* What is my mission?

* What is my purpose?

There’s more to that process, but that’s the topic of another post.

Step in with presence and power.

Often, women get stuck in complaint, criticism, and blame when they don’t feel their man with them. That’s not to justify blame and criticism, but to give you some additional insights and options for actions.

It’s as if under her complaints and criticisms, she’s saying, “Where are you? I can’t feel you! Come be present with me!”

In the face of criticism, it’s natural to want to get out of there, but instead, try to lean in, come closer, and tell her with your entire presence, “I hear you. I’m here for our relationship”.

Make a boundary.

Drawing a line in the sand can be done with presence and kindness and still be firm. By doing so, you’re taking a stand for yourself, for you deserving to be treated kindly.

As you step closer with presence, you might say something like, “I request that you speak to me with appreciation. I request that you see what I do do around here. I’m available to have a conversation with you – I’m not available to be yelled at, I’m not available to be called names. I’m happy to hear what’s going on for you and what your experience is; I’m not happy to stay here and have you put me down”.

Go for what you want

When you feel not respected there’s always something you’re wanting in the background. You can go directly for that “something” by making a direct request to her.

“Would you be willing to speak well of me right now?”

“Would you be willing to lower your voice?”

“Would you be willing to tell me three things you really love and appreciate about me?”

For me, when I’ve felt not respected, it’s typically about me not feeling that my partner is trusting the choices I make, or that she’s not appreciating and acknowledging the things I do do, whether it’s around the house or around career and money. In those case, what I really is for her to trust the choices I make, so I can go straight for that. “Hey, I hear your questions about how I’m going to take care of this project … would you be willing to just trust me on it? I got it and I’d like to demonstrate that to you”.

Sharing vulnerably.

When your wife is going off at you, not only can she not feel you but she doesn’t really know what’s going on inside of you. The more you can be vulnerable about sharing your feelings, your needs, your thought process, and what has you do certain things, the more you can help her step inside your world and understand you; the more she’s going to know you and the more she is going to respect you.

In relationship, we often expect our partners to be like us, but they’re not. We’re different people. We have very different ways of approaching things and thinking about things. You can help your partner understand how you move and how you think, and what’s important to you. When she understands you better, she has more compassion and feels more connected to you. Do your best to be authentic and vulnerable about even how hurt you feel when she speaks to you in a certain way or moves with you in a certain way.

I personally used to be a man who communicated very little in my relationships. I would have a lot of stuff going on in my mind but I didn’t say much of it out loud. I wasn’t very skilled or comfortable talking about how I felt and what was going on inside of me, so I just didn’t talk. I often felt she wasn’t respecting me because she always wanted to know what was “going on in there”. I felt nagged at.

What I realized (probably much too late!) is that when I’m not sharing about how I feel, it’s an invitation to her to fabricate conclusions; basically to make shit up on her own! If I don’t tell her anything, I’m basically telling her to go make up her own conclusions, and often those conclusions aren’t in my favor.

You can significantly improve the playing field by sharing genuinely about what you want her to see you as.

Provide what’s desired

You know the experience when you feel disrespected, you want to disrespect right back? When you get criticized, you want to strike back? Which makes for two disrespectful and disrespected partners.

Providing what’s desired is a powerful relationship idea, and it takes “the bigger person” to get it started (as opposed to both people waiting for the other person to “do the right thing”).

It means be the person you want to be. It means offer the respect you want to be afforded. You want her to speak well of you? You speak well of her. You want her to appreciate you? You appreciate her. You want to her not question your choices in front of the kids? Don’t question her with the kids.

Of course, you would hope she would do the exact same thing for you. Since we’re talking to you, the man who says, “My wife doesn’t respect me”, we’re talking about what what’s in your power. Providing what’s desired is in your power. We know, it takes two to create a kind and respectful atmosphere in your relationship and in your house. By doing your best to improve how you behave and show up, you contribute to a better dynamic between you.

You might need support in this process. We have coached hundreds of couples about how to stop a disrespectful cycle and establish better, kinder dynamics. There’s no shame in not knowing, and in needing help. Often, your patterns of interaction have been established over years or decades, so don’t feel bad if it’s not changing overnight; and don’t feel bad if you need professional facilitation to work through issues like these.

Show this video post to your partner and your friends and start a conversation about how you’d like to be treated, and how you’re committed to showing up!

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How Personal Stress Affects Our Relationship

It’s no surprise that personal stress spills over into our relationships, and to all other aspects of our lives. Stress tends to be contagious, too, so that one partner’s stress “transfers” to the other partner and sometimes kids.

Even in the best of circumstances, there’s a lot of stuff one can be stressed about. Just making a living, minding a job or business, raising a family and dealing with the myriad responsibilities of modern life can raise anyone’s blood pressure.

Personal stress can show up in many ways and have many side effects. Here are some of them …

  • One or both partners withdraws
  • We disappear into ourselves
  • We quit communicating
  • One person shuts out the other
  • We become alienated and disconnected from each other
  • We might become less affectionate, distracted, superficial
  • We obsess about the things that stress us
  • We get more sensitive and take things more personally
  • Negative behaviors become more visible
  • We’re less able to stop ourselves from reacting
  • We get more irritable, hostile which leads to more fighting
  • We have shorter fuses
  • We tend to vent, we got less filters, we say stupid stuff that creates more problems
  • We get depleted, tired, fatigued.
  • We can’t think as clearly, we make more mistakes

And there are probably more (we didn’t even mention the physical health consequences of stress, which are legion!)

So what can we do about this?

#1 Break it down

First, break down your stressors. What specifically is it that you feel stressed about? It’s useful to break it down, because that opens the door to take productive action. As long as you’re in a generalized state of “I’m so stressed”, without getting clear about the stressors, you can’t do anything about it, it just festers inside you.

So break it down. Is it that you got a pink slip? That you have too many responsibilities at work? Is it that there are problems in your marriage? Or that your kids are growing up and leaving the house?

Make a list or talk it out with your partner or a friend.

#2 Determine what you DO have control over

Because there are so many things in life we don’t have control over (Covid, anyone?), it’s easy to just feel victimized.

So what CAN you take action around?
What DO you have some control over?
Where DO you have power?

It’s always useful to shift your mindset to one of opportunity and agency instead of problems and victimization. So you look at the stressors in your life and ask yourself, What if this was a challenge for me? What if (for some unknown reason) this was somehow happening for me? What could I learn here?

Call us hopelessly insistent on optimism, but Sonika & I have always used that mindset to help us turn around stressful situations, the external causes of which we had no control over. Our favorite question is, How are we going to use this to our benefit?

And it’s never failed to galvanize and invigorate our hearts and minds. Remember, the goal here is to do something useful to alleviate and transform your stress, not necessarily to change the whole world.

#3 Take action

Once you break down your stressors, and look at what you can control and have some influence over, then it’s time to take action. No matter how stressful the situation, there are always a host of productive actions you can take.

Some ideas …

  • Reduce your workload. Take on less tasks. Say no to stuff.
  • Create better self-care habits, such as sit in silence for a bit in the morning, or watch the sunset, or take a hot bath.
  • Get other people to take some work off your plate
  • Pay someone to do stuff around the house
  • Talk to a co-worker to help you with some of your projects
  • Ask for help. We sometimes forget we don’t have to do everything solo.
  • And as I always like to remind myself, “Chill the f*** out and stop worrying about stuff that’ll probably never happen” (being someone who’s prone to doing exactly that!)

#4 Create and cultivate empowering daily routines

Today I started my day with 45 min of Tai Chi on our deck, just me and the birds. That’s a daily routine I’ve started in Covid times to help myself feel better. Sonika started the day by envisioning how to best support the clients she’d be meeting with later.

The key here is “feel better”. What routines could you cultivate that would make you feel better? Not just once, but every day, or regularly (hence “routine”, not just a one-time action).

In the face of stress, some people fret, some obsess, some get angry, and some get depressed. Either way, stress is depleting, so by having daily routines that help you reinvigorate, you alleviate your stress.

#5 What can you do together?

How can you help each other? How can you leverage your relationship to ease your stress? So often, we respond to stress by isolating and carrying the whole burden internally. That’s when you know it’s time to use each other; to come up with what you can do together.

We always start by connecting and sharing openly about whatever it is that stresses us. Speaking it out loud, getting it off your chest to someone who will listen without correction, is a time-tested winner for de-stressing. If you feel like you should be able to handle this yourself, maybe you even feel ashamed that you even need to talk about it, then say all that out loud.

Remind yourself that you’re in this together, that you’re on the same team. In times of stress and frustration, who do most people take it out on? Their partners, who becomes an adversary instead of an ally. So use each other, lean on each other, connect, and keep talking. The very act of being vulnerable can help you shed some of the tension, stress, and worry that you carry.

Or, sometimes even better, stop talking all together, go snuggle up or jump in a hot bath and just feel your bodies. Give each other a massage or make love, and see if your stress doesn’t evaporate, at least for a time.

Here’s one super effective and connecting action you can take together for your relationship, which will definitely help with your stress.

We created a 90-min mini-workshop for couples to deal with stress and disagreements, How To Be More Understanding During Disagreements.

In this workshop-from-your-couch, we are going to help you:

* Find understanding
* Relieve tension and stress
* Discover common ground between each other
* Get on the same page
* Learn techniques to de-escalate during conflict
* Get back to connection

Register here: https://loveworksforyou.com/how-to-be-more-understanding-during-disagreements

We have helped thousands of couples navigate crisis and stressful times, and we’d be honored to help you, too.

Posted in Conflicts, Couples, Fear, Marriage, Relationship | Leave a comment

How to Deal with an Emotionally Unavailable Partner

When you have the experience of your partner being emotionally unavailable, you’re probably feeling that you’re not being “met”, that you’re not being heard, that you can’t get your messages across, or that he/she is always trying to fix you when you try to share something. You might find your partner aloof, stonewalling, or defensive. Or any combination of these.

It’s natural that you want to be more connected, more in communion, with your partner.

It’s important to understand that there are inherent differences between men and women, between personality types, and between … just people! We all have a different way of feeling, accessing and expressing our emotions.

For instance, we worked with a couple where the woman was vivacious, talkative, charismatic, and the man was stoic, unmoving, and only talked sparingly. She loved asking him questions, and he hated being asked questions. It’s easy to assume that she’s emotionally available and he’s not. But it’s not that simple. When we took the time to create the right space, he too shared profound insights and emotions.

Some people cry at movies, some don’t, but remember “emotionally unavailable” doesn’t (necessarily) mean they don’t feel or have emotions.

If you have the experience of someone being emotionally unavailable, and they feel judged by you, all that’s going to produce is have them clam up even more.

For starters, what you can do is accept differences and get curious about what those differences might be. Ask questions in a mood of curiosity. Ask your partner, “What happens for you when you watch that movie?” or “What happens for you when so-and-so happens in our family …?”

Some people have much quicker access to how they feel. Like Sonika and me, for instance. it seems to me she’s always in touch with how she feels at any given moment, but I often have to stop and “think” about how I feel; I have to tune in in order to know how I feel. From her point of view, it might seem as if I’m not feeling anything, but I just need time to access my feelings.

A great tip is when you ask a question, let the person explore for a little bit, give them some time before you ask another question.

On the flip side, if you’re the “unavailable” one, add a little more detail than you normally would. Instead of just answering, “Great!” when she asks how my day was, I can elaborate a bit and add, “I did have an interesting experience with John at work …”. This breeds emotional connection.

Ask yourself, if there isn’t a lot of talking, do you assume it’s disconnection? Another way to think about this, is to join your partner in the silence, and to enjoy the connection inside silence. That’s a different kind of emotional availability, beyond words.

When you’re with an emotionally unavailable partner, it’s easy to have all of your attention is on what your partner is not doing, what they’re not saying. You try to get your partner to be more vulnerable and available.

Instead, try turning it around and ask yourself, How can I be more vulnerable? How can I be more emotionally available? Because often, when you’re busy trying to get your partner to be more available and in touch with their feelings, you’re not in touch with yours.

When you can get more in touch with your own emotions, and share that with your partner from an open, vulnerable place, you invite your partner into your world, which invites your partner to share more deeply.

Granted, there are different degrees of emotional unavailability. Most often, the tools and tips we’re sharing here can help, but if your partner (or you) are completely stonewalling, refusing to engage, you might need a different level of intervention. You can reach out to us for private coaching or talk to a local coach/therapist.

In relationship, we have a tendency to talk more “about” our problems, or “about” our emotions, but the more we talk “about” it, the further we get away from the connection we’re longing for.

Instead of talking “about”, turn it around to explore what am I feeling? How can I be more vulnerable here? How can I be more curious about you? That creates a space for us to “drop in” to, a place of connection and feeling, the place we’re wanting in the first place.

Finally, look for any place where your partner does reach out, where they do share, and where they do connect. Then, once you see those places, appreciate your partner for it. Thank them for where they DO connect with you. That way, you find some small pieces of what you want, and you make them bigger.

Your partner makes eye contact (a mark of availability) for a few seconds? Say, “Thanks for looking at me … that makes me feel really good”.

Here’s a next-step idea that could really boost your sense of emotional connection:

We created a 90-min mini-workshop for couples to deal with stress and disagreements, How To Be More Understanding During Disagreements.

In this workshop-from-your-couch, we are going to help you:

* Find understanding
* Relieve tension and stress
* Discover common ground between each other
* Get on the same page
* Learn techniques to de-escalate during conflict
* Get back to connection

Register here: https://loveworksforyou.com/how-to-be-more-understanding-during-disagreements 

 

Posted in Communication, Conflicts, Marriage, Relationship, Trust | Leave a comment

Can You Rebuild Trust In A Relationship?

Trust is hugely important for creating a safe, successful, loving relationship. A sense of trust in your partner and your relationship is what allows you to generally relax, let your guard down, and move with faith and ease in your life together.

According to Drs. Gottman et al, in their book A Man’s Guide To Women, trustworthiness is the #1 quality women look for in a male partner.

When trust is broken in a relationship, it can cause a lot of harm. It can make you question everything you’ve thought to be true and factual, and to wonder about what else you don’t know. Anyone who’s ever discovered their partner to have an illicit affair will know exactly what that means. Because you don’t know what to trust, it makes you feel kinda crazy.

If trust is broken repeatedly over time, sometimes years, it becomes very difficult to repair and stay together.

Even in perfectly harmonious relationships, trust gets broken from time to time. Whatever the circumstances, if you still have love for each other and you still want to be in relationship, you end up asking this question: Can trust be rebuilt in my relationship?

Whether trust can be rebuilt depends on the situation, and the way in which trust was broken.

Generally speaking, if you are willing to …

  • Own what happened and take responsibility.
  • Learn from it.
  • Change behaviors.
  • Apologize
  • Making new commitments backed by action.

Then you have very good chances of repairing trust and healing, even growing, from what happened. If you’re not willing to engage in the actions listed above, it becomes very difficult to repair trust and salvage your relationship.

Building trust can be a long process that requires professional support, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t figured it out on your own yet. It’s a big topic, bigger than one article will cover.

We want to support you to get started, so here are some important pointers and steps to take.

Get specific

Get really specific about where trust was broken. It’s a different situation if your partner showed up 5 minutes late to an appointment or emptied your retirement account and ran off with a lover. Both could be characterized as “broken trust”, but obviously not the same.

Instead of stating a general, “I don’t trust you!”, get specific. Is it that you don’t trust your partner to be with the kids? Or to shop for the right ingredients for dinner? Or to be faithful?

Getting specific makes it easier to stay on track with the process, and it helps the person who broke the trust to do something about it.

Apology process

For the person who broke the trust, the first “something” to do is to go through a complete apologies process. Just saying, “I’m sorry” just doesn’t get the job done.

A complete apologies process involves steps such as ownership of the behavior, demonstrating to your partner that you understand the impact of your actions, making amends to repair the damage, making new promises, and of course, keeping said promises.

If trust has been broken repeatedly over time, or the breach was severe, repairing trust is process over an extended period of time, not a one-time apology process. It takes many new promises that are repeatedly and reliably backed by action to heal from breaches of trust. It takes the ability to clean up when you fall short of your promises.

Acknowledge progress

In the process of repairing trust, make sure you acknowledge and speak out loud your appreciations for the efforts and progress made. If my partner had been lying to me, but now I see real a demonstration of him or her being truthful, I make sure to say, “Thank you so much for telling me that, I really appreciate it”.

It takes two

Even if only person was the one to break the trust, repairing trust still takes willingness from both parties. Even if your partner was the one to break a promise, it still requires willingness from you to learn and grow from what happened, and willingness to heal and eventually let go of what happened (with proper apologies and new actions from your partner). Note, letting go of what happened is not the same as forgetting or condoning what happened.

Finally, breaches of trust, betrayals, affairs, lying, etc. are difficult things to deal with in a relationship. It brings up all manner of feelings and the hurt can run really deep.

So get help! The faster the better. Call coaches like us, use a local therapist or a trusted friend. But don’t just stew with it on your own, that doesn’t help anyone.

And in the meantime, keep your agreements!

 

Posted in Conflicts, Marriage, Relationship | Comments Off on Can You Rebuild Trust In A Relationship?

Covid-19: Opportunity or Crisis?

“This moment of uncertainty and unprecedented change is calling to all of us. We have an opportunity to hone our capacity to be with life on life’s terms, to open instead of close, to learn and expand and grow and step into what is possible instead of shrinking away in fear and protection. We have an opportunity to deepen our connection with ourselves and our loved ones, to cultivate our relationship with the earth, with humanity and with Spirit. We have been given a gift, in this great pause, to clarify what really matters to us in this life, and to rethink how we want to live and love and be.”
Sonika Tinker

Covid-19 has turned our worlds upside down. Many have lost jobs and income, family vacations and trips have been cancelled, kids are forced to stay at home from shut down schools. Gyms, restaurants, movie theatres, and state parks are closed – this massive change and its domino effects have stressed even the best of relationships!

Stress has shown up in new and unexpected ways. Both intact and split families are finding themselves arguing about what version of the safety protocols to follow. Some family members insist on removing clothes at the door, washing all grocery items, and not visiting with extended family, while others are content with rigorous hand washing and sanitizing. Some members are okay with going out for walks and going to the grocery store, while others advocate for staying indoors 24/7 and opting for grocery delivery.

Some families are finding themselves out of work with nothing to do, afraid for how they will pay their bills and concerned about what the future holds for them workwise. Others are inundated with more work than they can handle and are exhausted from working long hours. Working one or two jobs remotely from home brings its own set of challenges, especially with young kids at home that need to be fed, homeschooled, entertained and watched over.

Singles are having their own challenges. Isolated with no family, intimate relationships or access to community support services, many are lonely and completely overwhelmed at having to take care of everything on their own.

Add in health challenges, with patients and caretakers stuck at home with no access to needed medical procedures and surgeries, or life transitions – moving to a new location or changing jobs or dealing with the death of an elderly person or the birth of a new baby, it is beyond challenging.

Honestly, we don’t need to say more. You are experiencing your own version of the impact of COVID-19 in your life.

Like you, we have been impacted. Our live workshops for the next three months are cancelled and may not revive for the rest of the year, and we are working overtime to shift our work online. We had intense conversations with family members over different interpretations of Covid protection protocols. Our daughter is not able to participate in classic Senior Year activities and will not have a graduation ceremony with family members in attendance this year. We aren’t seeing friends in person, aren’t participating in our monthly community work weekends, and my piano lessons are now taking place online. We leave the house only when we need food from our local grocery store. Life is changed to be sure.

We are aware that we are privileged and lucky, comparatively. We don’t live in a Covid hot spot, we have enough reserves to keep us housed and fed for many months without income, and we live in the country where we can still get out and take walks and enjoy gardening and being in nature. We also have a sweet loving relationship and get to go through this experience together. While we have had our fair share of “oh shit” moments during this Covid crisis, we have experienced some delightful surprises too.

For one, my “fear of missing out” has disappeared. On Friday and Saturday nights, I am happily content being at home knowing everyone else is home too. I was unaware of how much I pressured myself to be out and about in the world engaging in activities with friends just to stay busy and feel a part of life.

Time has slowed down. I feel like I have an abundance of time to do whatever I am inspired to do. I notice myself going to bed and 10, and waking up at 6, eager to start the day. I do what I want to do all day, and I am surprised to discover that I get way more done in a day than I used to!! Stress has reduced as a result. Whatever I don’t get done today will easily get done tomorrow. Inside of this spaciousness, I feel more present and in the moment.

I am taking better care of my body. Christian and I walk every afternoon, Christian does Tai Chi every morning and I do my Five Rites exercises. Because we are home more, we were able to purchase food shares with our local farm growers – something we have wanted to do for years! As a result, we are eating really great organic farm-fresh, home cooked meals every day. And because we are home all day, our outside work breaks have allowed us to prepare our garden for vegetables and herbs, plant flowers, weed the yard, cut and stack firewood, and burn debris from trimmed trees and shrubs.

We are also having more fun together. Christian and I have been playing outside more – bocce ball and badminton and horseshoes. We put on loud music and learn new line dances on YouTube. I practice my piano every day while Christian cooks dinner. We devour audio books and podcasts on walks and tea breaks. We take hot tubs and enjoy the singing birds and our deep conversations. And we have fun watching comedy shows and movies.

We are connecting with people more deeply when we reach out, creatively sharing online Zoom dinners and lunches and afternoon tea. We have connected with family members more often than we did before Covid, celebrating holidays and birthdays online. Christian and I enjoy our kids when they come over. We feel just as connected in our community of friends and family, maybe even more so, because we value now what before we took for granted.

Another byproduct – I got to be home and focus fully on caring for my 18 year-old cat before she died.

In work, we are getting more creative on the calls we lead and the coaching sessions we offer. We are stepping outside the box as we offer online mini-workshops, produce YouTube videos and Facebook lives, and we led our first Gift of Conflict workshop online. We feel expanded, in our heart, and called forth like we haven’t in awhile.

I don’t think I realized how scattered I felt being out there in the world. I am listening more to my heart and the whispers of Spirit and enjoying the beautiful richness of this life during this “stay at home” time period. I am taking more risks, following the lead of my feelings, and settling into accepting the grand paradox of life’s unfolding mystery.

Like many, we have no idea what life will look like after Covid. We don’t know what new form our business will take. For now, we are just letting all the questions of “what is next?” sit there unanswered, knowing the answers will emerge in time. There is no way we can figure all of it out right now anyhow.

While there are many gifts, possibilities, and options available to us during this pause, there are many fears, losses, and breakdowns too. Our feelings are likely to be all over the place.

When things show up in life that we can’t control, it is easy to feel powerless, stuck, scared and angry. For a lot of us, instead of coming together in support during this challenging time, we distance, fight, withdraw, separate and are much more easily triggered by seemingly little things. We distract ourselves with computers, televisions and phones, which only exacerbate our disconnection.

Christian and I noticed at the start of this whole thing, that we were feeling sort of in shock, afraid and distant from each other. We really needed to drop down into our feelings, to reconnect, to talk, make love, and move into our hearts and out of our heads. We wanted to seize the opportunity to mindfully create a meaningful experience together during this “stay at home” order, and to make it the best time of our lives. But at the same time, we didn’t really feel like it or want to. Another part of us wanted to stay distracted on our phones, and disconnected and asleep and moving on autopilot.

We made it a priority and forced ourselves to connect anyways, and it has made all the difference! If we hadn’t of intervened and leaned in towards each other, we would still be feeling disconnected! If we hadn’t of intervened and consciously designed how to use this time as best as possible to create and live a good life, we would still be drifting along waiting for life to return to normal.

Can you relate?

Because of this tendency in all of us to disconnect when we need to come together most, we are offering several live online opportunities for you to stop, drop down and give your relationships the focused priority it deserves and need now more than ever. We are committed to helping you stop and reflect and explore what matters most to you, and to using this Covid time as a pivotal turning point in your relationships and your life.

We are offering 90-minute experiential mini-workshops for both singles and couples via Zoom to support you to connect and learn.

For couples, we offer specific interactive exercises for you to do with your partner, and for singles, guided intimate conversations with other singles, that are guaranteed to have you feel more connected afterwards.

Every week, we also offer free videos and blogs on specific topics to support you to create the best experience possible in your relationship world. Check the schedule below to sign up for the ones you think would make the biggest difference for you.

Space is limited so register soon to reserve your space.

FOR SINGLES:

FOR COUPLES:

 

 

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How To Remain On The Same Team During The Coronavirus Times

How do you do remain on the same team during these stressful corona virus times? And do you communicate with your partner when you disagree?

When you’re in conflict and you’re disagreeing, it seems like you’re on opposite sides. It’s tempting to think that if you would only do it my way, we’d be fine. My way is better, right?

When I hear that from my partner, I’m thinking she’s just telling me I’m wrong and that I’m not doing it right and that my way isn’t a good enough. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking she’s doing it on purpose and she’s out to get. Now I really feel like we’re adversaries on opposite teams.

Give The Benefit Of The Doubt

Our first tip is to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. What we mean by that is that anything you want has a positive intent under it. There’s something good you’re going for and the same is true for your partner. Whatever it is your partner is wanting there’s something positive underneath it that they are going for which it’s just as important as what you’re going for.

So if your partner says your family shouldn’t leave the house, not even for taking a walk in the park, but you think it’s totally fine under these circumstances to take a walk in the park, give your partner the benefit of the doubt and look for what’s the positive intention she or he are trying to get to by saying we shouldn’t go out and take a walk in the park.

Even if you didn’t ask directly – which would be a good idea – you can what their positive intention might be. It might be wanting to make sure everyone and that you don’t contribute to the spread of the virus. That’s a good intention. You’d probably agree with keeping everyone safe and not spreading the virus. Your intentions are aligned even if you go about accomplishing the intention differently.

Expand To Include

This is a central notion in the LoveWorks Solution that we teach. I expand my understanding and mindset to be big enough to include yours. In disagreements, we often think only one of us is right or can be right, but in truth, it’s possible that we’re both right. Expand to include the idea that your partner has a good idea, as do you. It’s about being a big enough person to hold more than one viewpoint without getting combative.

We live by the idea that your concerns matter as much as mine, and my concerns are not more important than yours and yours are not more important than mine. Both of our desires are valid and we strive to make sure we both get what we want. Because you say we shouldn’t go to the park and I say we could, we now start looking for ways to take care of both those desires. On the surface they look mutually exclusive, but as you saw above, the positive intentions underneath are not mutually exclusive.

Speak In “We”

Speaking in “we” means finding the place where there’s overlap and expand to include both our viewpoints and desires. If we think of ourselves as a unit, or a union, it’s as she’s the voice for we should go to the park, and I’m the voice for we should go to the park.

Sonika was just coaching a man for whom this was the exact issue of contention between him and his wife. She wanted to go to the park to get some exercise and he really wanted her to stay home. They live in a tiny apartment in a big city in India. He got scared every time she went out, but as he began to expand to include her needs and concerns and begin to see it from her point of view as well as his own, and began to speak in terms of “we”, he actually came up with a couple of different ideas.

One ideas was for how they could exercise together in the apartment with dancing or some kind of activity that created connection between them. He also came up with the idea to go out with her on a walk so he could reassure himself that she was being safe when she was out there. This too created connection for them in their relationship. He was basically saying, “WE want to be and and WE want exercise” … how do we do both? Which is much better than arguing about who’s right.

Give First, Give Fast

When relationships break down, in pretty much any form, one or both partners have stopped giving. In the early phase of your relationship, when you were still madly in love, remember how much attention, praise, time, touch, love, hugs, and sex you gave each other? Now think about a stressful time in your relationship – perhaps now? – and see if you are giving less? Probably so. One of the most effective ways to restore love, and to get back to being a team, is to pick up giving. We say whoever gives first, wins. Don’t wait for the other person to start.

When we’re in disagreement, we tend to focus on what we can get, and when we both focus on what we can get it creates a tug-of-war. Instead, explore what you are willing to give. Like the man above. He really did want to give his wife the experience of walking in the park and getting to exercise. She really did want to give him an experience of them being safe. They came up with ways to give that to each other.

Create Win-Win Solutions

In order to find solutions that work for both of you, you need to slow down the process. If you just plow ahead with your practiced behaviors and patterns, you’ll like just repeating whatever you’ve done in the past. We are firm believers – and we demonstrate this with our couple clients over and over again – in your ability to come up with win-win solutions. The four tips above are part of the foundation for successful “trouble shooting” and resolution. Even in these mad corona times, where’s there so much extra stuff to disagree about, you can find solutions that work for “We”, not just for “me or you”.

Remember, the only way you get a real win-win is if you’re satisfied and your partner is satisfied. If you get your way, whether by persuasive reasoning, pouting, guilt tripping or good old-fashioned stubbornness, but your partner is happy, what do you have? You have something you want and an unhappy partner. That’s not really what you want, right?

If you want to improve your ability to get on the same page, here’s a great opportunity to practice:

We created a 90-min mini-workshop for couples to deal with stress and disagreements, How To Be More Understanding During Disagreements. In this workshop-from-your-couch, we are going to help you:

* Find understanding

* Relieve tension and stress

* Discover common ground between each other

* Get on the same page

* Learn techniques to de-escalate during conflict

* Get back to connection

Register here: https://loveworksforyou.com/how-to-be-more-understanding-during-disagreements

We have helped thousands of couples navigate crisis and stressful times, and we’d be honored to help you, too.

 

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How to deal with financial stress in a relationship during Coronavirus (Covid-19)

We know there’s a lot of financial stress in a relationship in a time like this when income and job security are threatened. People tell us the financial stress is killing their relationship and are asking us for advice on how to deal with the financial stress and anxiety.

Even under “normal” circumstances (remember when there was no Corona virus? :-), financial stress in a relationship is a big source of upset and breakdowns. Finances are often quoted as the #1 or #2 reason for divorce (the other top one being infidelity). So it’s no surprise that fear and tension is spiking in the quarantined households of the world.

How you deal with financial is an expansive topic but we have four practical ideas we want to share with you.

1. Create a declaration that keeps you centered.

In the last worldwide financial crash in 2008, we lost almost everything. Our house actually went to foreclosure, we lost investments and retirements, and we were scared! We felt our stress and fear levels rising and we knew we needed to do something proactively or we would be going down the tubes. We were committed to stay out of the fear spiral, keep our heads clear and work together to make it through the crisis.

So we wrote up a declaration, like our own We’re Not Going Down Manifesto, and we read it out loud to each other whenever we needed a boost to get back to a centered and heart-connected place.

Here’s an excerpt from our declaration:

“We are resolute in our decision to do whatever it takes to realize our goals, disregarding of our changing moods and thoughts and to act consistent with that decision we proactively maintain a positive attitude and optimistic outlook by choosing beliefs and actions consistent with our vision. We commit to daily line up with our desires to risk and expand into our full self-expression, to take massive action and give thanks for our many blessings.

Because who are we to think that we are not enough for this challenge! Who are we to doubt God’s magnificent capacity to create through us? We daily express our gratitude for everything we have and we commit ourselves to rise to our fullest potential as a gift to others as well as ourselves. We act from the faith that all is well; that we’re going to be fine and everything we want is on its way to us.”

This manifesto literally made all the difference. It kept us out of panic and fear. And we absolutely turned our financial situation around. We encourage you to write up something like this, something that keeps you focused on where you want to go.

2. Make a 3-category list of your expenses.

Make a cup of coffee, sit down at the kitchen table and make a list of your expenses split into three categories: 1) Necessities, 2) Nice-to-haves, and 3) Luxury.

Necessities are expenses like food, electricity, housing, medical. Nice-to-haves might be your Netflix subscription or money you spend on take-out food. Nice to have, for sure, but you’d probably survive if you didn’t have it for a while. Luxuries could be buying that extra pair of snazzy boots or a new hot tub.

Splitting your expenses into these categories gets you clarity if and when you need to cut expenses, and even if you don’t need to cut expenses, simply knowing that you could cut 20% or 30% of your expenses will help you decrease your stress level and sleep better at night. Which in turn makes you a much more agreeable, loving, and fun partner to be around.

3. Explore how to get more money.

Now that you’re sitting at the kitchen table with your coffee anyways, the third tip to help you alleviate financial stress in your relationship is explore how to make more money and financial resources available to you.

As we mentioned, we’ve been through this ourselves and we’ve helped couples get creative in this domain.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Reduce your expenses (see #2 above as well). I was talking to a guy who can’t go to Starbucks due to shelter-in-place, and he’s realizing that he’s saving a lot of money by making his coffee at home. Great example of a nice-to-have expense.
  2. Find lines of credit. In the current low-interest environment, maybe you can find 0% credit cards or perhaps you have a local money institute who offers low-interest loans or lines of credit. Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but simply knowing you could use that resource if you had to, will help your sense of ease and security.
  3. Pull out money from a savings account, investment account, or retirement account. If you’ve been saving money, this could be the exact emergency you’ve been saving for. There are regulatory changes happening that might allow you take money out of retirement without penalties (but always check with your tax professional).
  4. Ask for loans or gifts from people who care about you. In a crisis like this, fortunately there are still many people who are doing wonderfully financially, and also many people who are looking for where they can give and contribute and you might be just such a person that somebody would love to help out. Short on rent for the month? Ask somebody if they’d be willing to support you by giving you a contribution.
  5. Defer payments. I talked to a friend who said he deferred almost all his monthly payments. Today, some banks will allow you to defer your mortgage payments, and my friend even managed to defer his insurance and some of his utility payments.
  6. Sell stuff. Maybe you don’t really need that fancy kitchen gadget, or the second mountain bike in your garage? Perhaps someone else could really use those items? Today, you can sell and ship stuff without ever leaving your house.

Remember, all these practical steps are meant to not only help your financial situation, but just as importantly, to keep your fear and stress as low as possible. Any financial stress that rises in you is basically survival fear, which tends to make anyone pretty tense. So any action you take that supports you to let go of fear and connect with trust, confidence, and ease is a good action.

Additionally, having financial options gets you out of the detrimental “victim mentality” which sucks the power of out the best of us.

4. Decide which action you CAN take and take it.

Of all the options you discovered by doing the steps above, what action can you take? Decide, then take the action. And once you’ve taken the action, give yourself or each other a giant high five 🙌🏽

 

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How To Survive Working From Home With Your Spouse

In today’s coronavirus (Covid-19) environment, many of us are stuck working from with your spouse or partner, perhaps children, too. Sometimes that’s a blessing and a luxury we’ve been dreaming of, but other times, it’s tremendously stressful and you might want to scream at your spouse.

We’ll share 5 tips for how to survive working from home with your spouse, maybe even have a good time:-)

First, we’ll just acknowledge that’s a genuine challenge when you have two people working and living in the same house, perhaps even with a bunch of kids in the house.

#1 Compartmentalize your workspaces.

Compartmentalize your workspaces, so you know who’s working where and when. We’ve seen some good examples with couples we’ve coached. One couple that have kids at home and both work full time, came up with him being on kid duty in the from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM, then he’d go to work in his “garage office” while she took over the kid duties in the house till 2:00PM.

If you have a very small space you might need to use dividers or curtains or to create some private work space.

A man we coached worked it out with his wife, so they agreed that when he was on his work time, they’d literally pretend like he wasn’t at home. If she “accidentally” tried to talk to him during that time, he’d say, “Remember, I’m not here”. It took them a little bit to get used to that, but they’re now working harmoniously together.

#2: Create time apart

We always say that relationships need time together and time apart. Not unlike breathing. During our regular work schedules – i.e. before Corona – we often have a lot of time apart built in, because we work and do activities in different locations. During those times, it’s more a challenge to build in together-time. But now, given how much we’re in the same space all the time, it can be the exact opposite. Now, we need to create apart-time.

Depending on your physical space, you might need to get creative and negotiate win-wins to accomplish this. Maybe you can turn your back in a little corner and having time to meditate or read a book or play a game. Either way, it’s important that you find time where you can focus in on yourself.

#3: Nourish your soul, body and mind.

During your alone-time, do things that nourish your soul, body and mind. Don’t use all your alone-time watch Netflix and scroll through Instagram (although that’s fun too:-). In our house, Sonika is learning to play piano, so she finds private time while practicing a new song. Christian starts off his morning doing tai chi on the deck outside the house. Friends and clients tell us they meditate, sing, take walks, do yoga, study new topics, dance. Whatever it is for you, make sure you get to recharge and nourish, so that when you do come together with your partner again, you feel refreshed and filled up. That way, your together-time is going to be much more satisfying and intimate.

#4: Do what you’re doing right now.

For some of us, shelter-in-place has resulted in much more free time and less work. But for many others, it’s the exact opposite. We have to figure out how to work in a new environment, we have to be workers, parents, teachers, you name it. It’s overwhelming. It’s easy to feel that there isn’t sufficient time to do any of our duties well. One man I coached said he’s feeling guilty for not working when he’s with the kids and guilty for not being with kids when he’s working. He wasn’t being effective while working, but also wasn’t being present with the kids and wife.

So let yourself do only the thing you’re doing right now. If you really focus, you get more work done in half an hour than in three hours of half-focused, feeling-guilty work. Say to yourself, “For the next 30 minutes, I’m with the kids, and nothing else. I’m going to love my time with the kids!”. After that, tell yourself, “For the next 30 min or 3 hours, I’m working on this work project and nothing else”. Choose the activity you’re engaged in, and let yourself do one thing at a time. (We know might have sub-optimal circumstances, but try this as much as possible).

#5: Express appreciation and gratitude

This is always a go-to, don’t-ever-stop recommendation in any relationship. But during critical, stressful times, it is extra important that we express our appreciations out loud. For many years, we had a “standard operating procedure” of expressing three appreciations of the other person or of our lives before we go to bed. Every night, appreciation and gratitude is the last thing we say or hear before we drift off to sleep.

If you’re if you’re feeling tension in your relationship, your focus gets directed onto the stuff that isn’t working and the stuff you don’t like. The human negativity bias directs out attention to what is not wanted. Unless we direct our attention somewhere else.

The more we can focus in on what we love and what we appreciate, the better we counteract that negative tendency. It’s been demonstrated that relationship does better when we maintain a high ratio of of positive-to-negative interactions.

Today, you probably don’t have a choice in the matter about working from home with your spouse. You just have to, and there’s nowhere to go. So we just have to make the best of it. We’re in a time where relationships could turn into divorces, but it’s also a time that could help relationships and marriages turn even deeper, even more intimate, and even stronger.

Expressing appreciation and gratitude lubricates all the moving parts of our relationship and helps everything flow better. We heard from one woman today who said she was surprised to discover just how much she loved being with her husband 24/7 … much to her delighted surprise.

Sharing appreciations and what we’re grateful for is a quick way to connect, smooth our the kinks, and put “love deposits” in the bank for when stress gets high again.

If you’d like to connect deeper with your spouse our partner, we’re offering a free mini-workshop for couples, Couples Creating Connection, check it out here: https://loveworksforyou.com/couples-creating-connection

For singles, we’re offering a special mini-workshop, also free, Singles Connecting in Corona Times. Find it here … https://loveworksforyou.com/singles-connecting-in-corona-times

 

 

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How To Grow In A Relationship While Social Distancing

In these crazy and challenging Corona times, it’s understandable if we simply try and survive and make it through. Unfortunately, that’s like being engaged in a month-long game by playing only defense.

We don’t know how long this crisis is going to take. So we have to find ways to grow our relationship, because that’s how we’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Today, we’re going to give you three ways to grow in a relationship.

#1 Identify what “growing” means.

The first things you want to do brainstorm together what it to “grow”. Ask each other questions like …

  • What’s important to us?
  • What would we like to create during the next 6-8-10 weeks?
  • When we look back ten weeks from now, what would we like to say happened during that time?
  • How could we make this one of the best times of our relationship?

It’s important to start off with planning because often, we simply drift through our days we just trying to get through. We’re all in suboptimal situation right now, so it’s understandable if we just try to make it through.

When you can get it down on paper it helps you then be able to implement and actually make something happen.

Here are some ideas:

  • Identify one project you could accomplish together. Build a shed, paint the kid’s room, bake a cake.Projects and shared activities are good ways to grow a relationship because you have to negotiate and work through things together. It’s a good opportunity to actually build connection in your relationship.
  • Learn a new skill together. Learn a new kind of cooking, learn a new dance, learn a new language.
  • How about taking a virtual workshop together, perhaps even a relationship workshop (we have an easy option for quarantined couples right here … )
  • Revive your sex life or deepen your intimacy.

#2: Deepen your intimacy

Intimacy gets built when I share more of myself with my partner and I open myself to hearing my partner in a different way. In relationship, we tend to get into these habits where we assume we know each other, like “been there, done that”.

To keep growing in our relationship, and to build trust in a relationship, one of the best ways is to keep deepening our intimacy by asking intimacy questions; questions that foster a more meaningful and exploratory conversation (as opposed to just talking about logistics and who-does-what).

We created a great ebook with a hundred questions that you can use to quickly create this kind of conversation (download it here … )

Some examples of questions you can use:

  • What do you most appreciate about yourself and why?
  • What’s something you don’t want others to know about you, and why?
  • Tell me something you really like about me, and why?

#3: Speak appreciations.

Speaking your appreciations out loud to your partner (or anyone you care about) is perhaps the best bang-for-your-buck strategy when it comes to growing in your relationship. Plus, it builds a really strong foundation for your entire relationship.

Appreciation is to human beings what water and sun are to plants. Without the sense of feeling seen and known, we tend to wither.

When you deliver an appreciation to your partner there’s several things that happen. For one, you have to actively look for something you like. Just that can help shift your mood to a more positive and life-giving quality.

Plus, when you appreciate your partner, they tend to want to do even more of what you just appreciated them for. It’s a win-win all around.

We have as a regular practice where that every night before bed (and also during the day as often as possible), we express appreciation to each other. We’ve been doing that since our relationship first got started and we’ll never stop doing it.

Even though these are tough times, keep growing in your relationship. Actually, especially in these tough times, keep growing. What if we could not just survive this crisis, but come out of this crisis with a stronger, more connected relationship?

Download the free ebook, “100 Questions for Creating Instant Intimacy”.

 

 

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