This post has nothing to do with fitness or nutrition, I felt the need to write about relationships. It seems that as of late that my girlfriends and I have had many conversations about marriage, not necessarily beating our husbands up (ok, maybe just a little) but more about how much effort it really takes to stay connected. It seems that in the working, chauffeuring, cooking, cleaning, homework, iPhone checking, bill-paying, calendar organizing over-scheduledness of life that it's pretty easy to take your spouse for granted. It becomes a vicious cycle of husband or wife not feeling appreciated. For those with kids, it's easy to let the kids take priority and to forget about your significant other. Before you know it you're both facing opposite directions in bed not speaking to one another. We've been there! I get really truly bothered when my hubby and I are both clearly unhappy and there is this glum feeling that hangs over my day even when he's not around. I don't want just a ho-hum relationship, I want an extraordinary relationship! One where we're on the same side when life is handing us more lemons than we can juice. One where we can just laugh together when both kids are whining and we want to run for the hills.
I've been putting a lot of effort into my work projects lately and I could tell that my husband was feeling forgotten. We were only speaking in passing and I had let all of my own relationship reminders fall by the wayside in lieu of everything else going on. Even though I'm as stubborn as a bull stuck in the mud I find it in me to reach out and hug him....it's amazing how such a small gesture can build a connection so fast. So not to say that I'm any sort of marriage expert but here are some tips that work for us to get the spark back when it feels like we're headed for the rocks.
1. Hug and kiss each other OFTEN. It may sound super cheesy but real live touch builds so much connection.
2. Know what's important to your spouse. If my husband doesn't take the time to get me a card on a special occasion he knows that I'll be really miffed.. It's something that he's always done and if he doesn't take the time I feel forgotten about. If he doesn't chip in with the work at home the tension slowly starts building in me until I lose it, not pretty! Not that I'm generalizing here but for most men (and surely some women!?)....dropping everything and jumping in the sack for a little roll in the hay is always well received. My husband believes that sex solves EVERYTHING.
3. Appreciate one another. In a world where we are constantly trying to pack more in it's so easy to take for granted all that the other person does to make life happen. All it takes is a simple, "I am so grateful for all that you do for us....." or "thank you for ...."
4. Make time to speak to one another. Shut down the iPhones/ipads or anything else with a plug in the evening and talk. Go out on a date or sit out on your patio with a glass of wine. Make plans, talk about your dreams, be on the same team. There is a reason that every relationship expert will tell you that communication is key. Stay interested in one another.
5. Remind yourself of your spouses value. I am constantly reminding myself to treat my husband like I would a cherished friend. He is after all the person that I chose to spend the rest of my life with which is pretty BIG so I would consider him my BFF of all time.
6. Give compliments. We all like to feel good about ourselves and it's so nice to hear a genuine compliment. Tell your wife that she looks beautiful or your husband how proud you are of him.
Relationships take effort and dedication as do most things worth having. I'd love to hear what works for you when it's seems like your bond is being stretched.
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