10 WAYS TO REBOOT YOUR RELATIONSHIP
March 6, 2020
Even the happiest relationships can use new perspectives, and with Spring right around the corner, this is the perfect time to give your marriage the boost you and your partner need to reconnect and rekindle your relationship. I’ve shared previously on the blog how you should be celebrating your relationship all year versus waiting for those special days of the year like Valentine’s Day, Christmas and birthdays. Whether you are going through challenging times or simply feel the need to reignite your connection, here are some helpful ideas to put your relationship on the front burner.
But first, a plan!
You each need things from the relationship–what are they? What do you need more of? Less of? I challenge you to take some time and talk about what you each need and then make a heartfelt commitment to prioritize your marriage in the coming weeks. Set actionable goals you can accomplish together, and be realistic in your planning process. Need some help? Check out our Marriage in Review workbook for some guidance.
Give your relationship a boost!
Now let’s review some ideas to get you started. These are simply meant to be a jumping-off point and get your creative juices flowing. Pick the ones that appeal to you and your partner or better yet, make your own list of ideas!
- Have a movie night on the couch, and make it fun. Bring out your coziest blankets and pop a bowl of popcorn to share. Open a bottle of wine and share chocolates. After the movie, take 15 minutes to talk about it. What did you like? What are you going to remember?
- Write a love note for your partner, perhaps putting it in their work bag or on the mirror. In your note, list three things you love about him or her. Make it heartfelt and genuine. Has your relationship been strained lately and a love note feels like a stretch? Make it a note of appreciation instead and thank them for something they did and how it positively impacted you.
- Call your partner and leave them a voicemail. Don’t make this a “Hey, pick up milk on the way home” voicemail. This should be a “feel good” or a “just because” voicemail that doesn’t require any task or response from them. Your goal should be to put a smile on their face and let them know they are on your mind and in your heart. Not sure what to say? Fill in the blanks: “I just wanted you to know that I appreciate when you ______” or “I really love that you ______.”
- Sometimes we forget how important a sweet embrace can be. You can feel disconnected when you aren’t cuddling, and it’s a scientific fact. Physical contact causes us to release oxytocin, referred to by some as the “cuddle chemical” or the “love hormone” which encourages positive social interactions and reduces stress. Humans need that connection, and you can release a lot of anxiety with a good cuddle. Take some time to hold each other.
- Holding hands is something we often do during early courtship but forget about as we grow more comfortable with each other. I encourage you to spend some time holding hands. It might be when you are watching television or in the morning before you go to work. Think about the feeling of connection as you touch.
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual. Spend this time sharing a cup of coffee or tea and discussing your plans for the day. No phones or devices allowed. Or, you don’t want to talk? Decide together on another way to spend those 15 minutes that encourages connection (wink!).
- This is an “adults only” event. Make a plan to have dessert together after you send the kids to bed. This will give you time to really focus on each other and forget about other stressors. Get creative with your dessert fixings, including whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Finish dessert with a shower together.
- Greet each other with a smile. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Even so, many of us miss this small but simple gesture each day. As you walk into the house after a long day of work, try to imagine yourself physically shedding the stressors you associate with work. Some of you may have to “fake it ‘til you make it”, but dial down the intensity and resist the temptation of unloading on your partner. Instead, relax, take a deep breath, and walk in that door with a big smile on your face. Show your spouse you are excited to be home.
- If you are at home for the day, wash up and make dinner. No sweats or slippers–make it a nice dinner reminiscent of your early days of dating. Eat at the table, not in front of the TV, and talk about your day.
- Throw on a favorite song and dance together. It might be the ballad you played at your wedding or a current song you both love. Just have fun with it and feel the comfort of being in your partner’s arms.
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A lot of the therapy work I do is helping couples and partners understand what their contributions to the relationship are, and how they can start making changes for the better, specifically with communication. Specifically, when communicating with your spouse, it’s important to make sure that you are not part of the problem, but part of the solution.
I bet many of you have already seen the recent Brene’ Brown video making the rounds where she calls out the myth of marriage being a 50/50 partnership.