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    Relationship Resolutions

    So, what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2020? Do you want to join a gym? Dress more stylishly? Lose weight? How about looking beyond self-improvement and making some changes to improve your life as a couple? Here are a few relationship resolutions to consider while you head back to the gym and start cutting carbs.

     

    Listen Nondefensively

    It can be challenging to simply listen when you feel criticized or even attacked. Your first instinct may be just to shut down and walk away. But it’s important to try to understand your partner’s feelings before asserting your own. Try to listen without interrupting until your partner has fully expressed him or herself. Then repeat back what you heard to make sure you understand his or her point of view completely. By doing this, you’re letting your partner know that you value his or her feelings, and you have an opportunity to clarify anything you might be misinterpreting.

     

    Say Thank You and I Love You Every Day

    Over time, it can be easy to take your partner and all the things he or she does on a daily basis for granted. A simple thank you for cooking dinner, doing laundry, taking out the trash, or helping the kids with homework can do wonders in terms of making your partner feel appreciated. And if saying “I love you” has been relegated to the occasional anniversary or birthday card, it’s time to get back in practice saying it on a daily basis. Saying these positive phrases can help you and your partner really feel appreciated. And who doesn’t love that?

     

    Mind Your Words and Your Tone

    Do you easily slip into a critical or sarcastic tone with your partner when you’re tired or frustrated? This can be very hurtful and damaging to your relationship. If you find yourself starting to feel impatient or angry, simply stop and take a breath for a quick attitude reset. If you notice you aren’t being as respectful as you should be, recognize your mistake and apologize right away to minimize any emotional hurt you might cause.

     

    Remember Love Is a Verb

    Love is more than a state of mind. It’s a verb, which means it’s based on your actions. But it’s important to do the things that your partner values — not just what you’d prefer to do. That could be helping out with the chores, a foot massage after a long day, or setting aside time to spend together. If you’re not sure what would be most appreciated by your partner, simply ask. Doing something small that you may think isn’t even a big deal could mean the world to your partner!

     

    More Talk, Less Tech

    This is one relationship resolution that many couples could benefit from. Has dinner time become each of you staring at your smartphone and checking social media? If so, it’s time to put some limits in place. Unfortunately, you can be present without actually being “present.” If you’re checking email or Facebook during alone time with your partner, you’re not really being “with” him or her. Make a rule to put your cellphones away or at least silence them when you sit down to dinner. Talking to each other about your day, your feelings, or even the weather is better for your relationship and your connection to each other than being glued to your mobile device.

    Just like any other resolutions or changes you try to make this year, sticking to your relationship resolutions can take time and effort. You may not always live up to your own standards, but the important thing is to keep trying. Having professional assistance can help fast track your results and give you the confidence you need to know things can get better. Call me today at 407-579-2070 for a free consultation to see if Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy might be right for you.