6 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Fresh
The following is a guest post from Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, licensed clinical professional counselor, certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and founder of The Marriage Restoration Project
Here is my best relationship advice for keeping your relationship fresh.
Coordinate “us” time
You may spend lots of time with your spouse, but is it quality time? Whether it’s a weekly date night, a few overnights, or an extended vacation, make sure that you have time where you can focus exclusively on each other. While it may be a challenge financially or difficult if you have young children, it’s crucial to do your best to make this happen in some doable form. When you do go out, don’t use it as an opportunity to talk about the kids, run errands, or strategize for work; focus on “us.”
Connect throughout the day
Do you remember when you first met? You may have been so excited to see each other that you used every spare moment to call each other when you were apart. It’s worth revisiting some of your old practices that you engaged in when your love for each other seemed all-encompassing. Make an effort to connect with each other throughout the day. Send a short text message or email to let your spouse know you’re thinking about him/her. Make a call during lunch to say, ‘I love you.’ These regular connections during the day will keep the positive feelings flowing and make your time together when you return home that much more meaningful.
It’s so easy to notice the flaws in our spouse and take the virtues for granted. We need to throw out this recipe for resentment. Instead, make it a habit to express gratitude and overlook your partner’s faults. Daily appreciation will help you not lose sight of all the good your spouse does for you. You’ll also get in the habit of focusing on the positive and your partner will feel loved. Make a few minutes a day to include appreciation in your routine. Sit down and look into each other’s eyes and share what you appreciate about what your spouse did for you today or a quality he or she possesses.
Try new things
Don’t let your relationship get stale. Try new things together. When you were dating you may have done new activities together. How exciting is your relationship? Take a cooking class, go rock-climbing, learn something new together, and you’ll see how it will liven up your relationship. Even if you don’t have the same interests, you can still have fun together.
Make your spouse laugh
Laughing can create the same chemical bond as intimacy. Couples can get bogged down in the heaviness and stress of life. Negativity can permeate the atmosphere and ruin all attempts to connect, even on a nice vacation. Infusing laughter into your relationship can cut through the stress faster than anything else.
Praise your spouse’s physical appearance
While this may be more important to women than men, it is a nice gesture to positively comment on your spouse’s appearance. As we age and begin to feel self-conscious about our looks, it’s helpful to know your spouse still finds you attractive. With the constant barrage of advertisements showing us what we’re supposed to view as beautiful, it is nice for women to know their husbands still love their looks as they did when they first got married.
Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is a licensed clinical professional counselor and a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist. Together with his wife, Rivka, he founded The Marriage Restoration Project, a global initiative to help keep couples together and happy. To learn how to have a happy and healthy relationship, visit the website to find out about their two-day Private Marriage Retreat.
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