Relationship repair tips
Human beings have a natural desire to connect and bond with others. No wonder romantic relationships are so important to us. When we feel distant or disconnected from our partners, it can impact us significantly.
Disagreements and difficulties are common in most relationships, but this can be worsened by stressful circumstances. Here are some tips on how to keep yourself feeling connected to your significant other during stressful times.
Be prepared for changes
Significant events and other life changes may result in shifts to the routine, space, roles, responsibilities and timings of daily life. Taking time to have an open discussion about these together might help you both to be on the same page about what will work best moving forward.
Spend quality time together
Quality time means more than just being in each other’s space. Quality time is when you make a conscious effort to spent dedicated time connecting with your partner doing something you both enjoy. This can be as simple as spending 5 minutes a day sitting and holding hands, talking about times when you felt connected, sharing a walk or playing a game of cards!
For those couples where partners may be in different locations, technology can help with creating a way to have video chats over a cup of tea or to show off your latest cooking conquest! Remember, this is not the time to remind someone of a chore or discuss finances, it’s simply time set aside to cherish and delight in your loved one and the connection you both have together
Save some time for yourself
Your own time can be hard to find during stressful times, but taking even five minutes to yourself to have a long shower, listen to some music or put on your mask and go for a short walk can refuel you so you can feel recharged and ready to reconnect with your special person.
Choose your words
Sometimes, we can feel so strongly that we might find it tricky to choose words that will help the other person hear what we need. Labelling, blaming, criticizing, and shouting might help us to release frustration, but probably won’t get us heard by our loved one!
When we feel overwhelmed, we may want to avoid speaking to avoid making things worse. But if we don’t communicate how we feel or what we need, this could create distance in our relationship and get in the way of the other person learning how to connect with us.
Instead, see if you can:
1) Describe what happened so the other person can understand.
2) Share how you feel about it using “I” statements.
3) Ask for what you need from your partner.
4) If our partner is telling us how they feel and what they need, see if you can hear their needs and help them get those needs met as best you can.
When we keep communicating in helpful ways, over time this creates positive interaction cycles in relationships that can bring more emotional closeness and safety.
Written by Dr Esha Jamnadass, Clinical Psychologist
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