The notion of living “happily ever after” typically only holds true in Cinderella-like fairytales and love stories. In the real world, the daily pressures of work, raising children, caring for parents, and other stressors create many challenges for even the strongest and most healthy relationships.
You’re just so busy, busy … BUSY! The relationship you have with your partner is and should be more important than anything else in your life. However, due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you take your partner for granted. And before you know it, your needs aren’t being met, and neither are the needs of your partner.
But it’s not your fault. We just aren’t taught how to nurture our relationships. Sure, we’ll run to the therapist when things are going bad, but I talk to my clients about taking the necessary steps to prevent the flames from fading in the first place. Incorporating these 3 actions into your life will keep the fire burning in your relationship.
1. Communicate Your Needs
When you don’t share your feelings, frustration can fester inside of you. Then when you’re finally ready to express how you feel, instead of calmly and rationally explaining your side you find yourself exploding at your partner because you have been holding in your feelings for way too long. And yet, the worst part is that your real message gets lost because your partner only hears your anger.
It’s important to put all relevant facts and feelings on the table so you can lay out a good foundation for communicating. You want your partner to hear and respect your needs, but you can only do this by creating open dialogue. Communicating your needs is critical for every healthy relationship.
2. Take Ownership
One of the most important things I see in healthy relationships is the ability of both partners to take ownership of their responsibilities to themselves and each other. We all have issues, which can easily affect the dynamics of our relationship. Our issues can also potentially hurt our partner whether we want them to or not. It’s important to know what you are contributing in both healthy and unhealthy ways to your relationship.
If you can recognize where the wrong came from, or what role you had in the wrongdoing, then let your partner know and apologize. This step alone can prevent your relationship from taking a bad turn. Taking ownership also helps to create boundaries in your relationship, which allows your partner to recognize that he or she is not at fault. What you’re doing here is showing your vulnerable side to your partner and letting him/her know that you’re responsible and committed to the relationship.
3. Initiate Intimacy
The act of physical intimacy helps to create a shared pleasure. Physical connection reinforces and deepens intimacy, and it acts as a tension releaser for the stressors in your relationship. I’ve had many clients tell me they feel more connected emotionally to their partner when they are physically intimate. This step is extremely important for those couples that lead very busy lifestyles and may not have enough time to spend together on a daily basis.
It’s very important to make your partner feel desirable. Unfortunately, I’ve seen couples have difficulty initiating physical affection and intimacy with their partner out of fear of being rejected. These couples begin to live separate lives by creating enough of an individual existence to keep them happy. The problem here is that this leads to them not putting enough energy into the partnership. You want to keep the relationship “alive” by physically connecting and not falling into feeling distant and disconnected to your partner.
By initiating physical intimacy, you are making your partner feel sexually desirable, reminding him/her that you see them as attractive. You don’t want the lack of initiation and intimacy to rob you and your partner of the physical and emotional connection you want and deserve.
I encourage you to take action and talk to your partner about ways to better communicate your needs, take ownership and initiate physical intimacy. The rewards will give you lasting satisfaction and sustained passion in your relationship.
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