A lot of us after being in a relationship for a while often wonder why we ever got together with ‘this person’, I mean they are now ‘conceited’, ‘self absorbed’, ‘never help out in any way’. In fact, our homes and our relationships have become a battleground with both of us trying to see who is going to launch the most hurtful missile. As a dear friend of mine put it the other day, “when we argue, he stabs me in the back with everything I shared in the most intimate and vulnerable moment”. Later in the conversation, she confesses to launching missiles just as hurtful as his. This once beautiful thing we sort to nurture has now become distasteful. We look at one another and what we see is no longer lovely. So how do we get out of this wrath:
1) Tell yourself there is something wrong here: if you feel that what is happening in your relationship is really bad and you are heading for the rocks, chances are that you are probably right. The first move will be to acknowledge that and if at all possible to acknowledge it together. You have to be truthful to yourself and say ‘something is not quite right here’.
2) Decide to do something about it: now you have to be truthful about it cos nobody else is going to do that for you. It is at this point you decide that you’re going to rise above all that is happening and make a move. Hey, many people have been down this road and come through stronger because they decided it wouldn’t be the end of them. They decided to rewrite their own story.
3) Talk to each other: if you are able to talk, this is the point where you find a way to communicate. I understand that depending on how bad things have become this might be difficult. However, you might still have some inroads such as your time together in the morning, during that phone call at lunch time or your weekly time together. Be truthful but sensitive – no point driving the relationship to a point of no return. Let wisdom guide you.
4) Talk to someone: this you can do together or if you are unable to talk to your partner, you can talk to someone else you trust (probably someone they know you often confide in as it is important to keep matters in your relationship confidential). If doing it together, you guys want to agree on the best person(s) to confide in. Is it that trusted couple down the road, parents you know will support you in your relationship (be sure about this) or insightful friends. The aim of this is someone or people who can interpret the situation and help with some direction. They will not necessarily give long term solutions.
5) Remember the good partner: a very key part of all this (and perhaps the main reason why I picked this topic as my first after maternity leave) is remembering the partner you once loved and believed in. This will be the most difficult part for various reasons such as the hurt you feel that doesn’t seem to go away; the situation has been going on for too long it seems impossible to remember the good bits and a general reluctance to dig as far as we need to in order to extract the good traits they possess. It is only by identifying those beautiful things we once saw can we begin to look at them in a positive light and this is when the healing starts to come. The smiles start to creep in, you begin to show understanding for actions for which you were showing irritation and a general atmosphere of acceptance and love starts to permeate the relationship again.
6)Take a course/see a counsellor: once things start getting better, most people forget to get the support they need to keep things going well. A good marriage course like the one offered by Relationship Central is just that ‘a course’. Taking a course is a good way to stay on top of things and refresh your relationship. Depending on the value you place on your relationship a course is a great way to get you thinking about how you want to navigate your current relationship phase – bored, just had a baby, children out of the nest or just need it. The course offers the same tools as when we take a course to enhance any other area of life – computer skills, driving, programming, knitting or whatever else. Counselling on the other hand can be great if you both believe you need one-on-one personal support. You get to speak to someone and air your thoughts. It might also be a few sessions longer than a course.
I keep thinking about more and more ways we could possibly rekindle our relationships but these six steps will do for starters! There you have it, six tips to get you and your partner on the road to intimacy. Hope it helps! Do let me know what you think. Have you ever felt like you didn’t want to go on in your relationship? Do you have other tips? Do let’s talk about it…