Each year, we come upon January 1st and many of us have compiled a list of things we want to accomplish in the coming new year. Some of us are determined to lose weight, manage stress better, or save a certain amount of money each month. Nonetheless, where many of us fall short is in making the commitment to make the time to improve our relationship with our spouse.
Let’s face it, those resolutions to lose weight or save money don’t always last longer than a few months. However, when you resolve to begin working on your communication with your spouse, you’ll find that you’re able to make lasting changes in your marriage that will make it even stronger. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Commit To a Date Night
Far too many couples stop dating each other after they get married. It can be easy to become complacent, and to stop putting the effort into “courting” your spouse once you get married. However, going on dates gives us time to reconnect with each other outside of our mutual commitments to family, jobs and daily managing of the household. Couples need time alone to talk, and reconnect after a stressful workweek. They also need to have those shared experiences of trying new restaurants and activities. These shared experiences are major building blocks in a successful relationship. Even if you only go out on a date once a month, schedule the time and make it happen.
Commit To Money Meetings
Money is still one of the biggest problems couples can face. For most, one person is in charge of the finances and paying the bills, while the other person is left clueless. Make a commitment this year to have weekly meetings about your budget so you can discuss where your money is going. You will find that when you can get on the same page, you are less likely to encounter surprises in your checkbook.
Commit To Intimacy
In addition to arguments about money, intimacy (or a lack of it) is also a major contributor to many couples’ marriage problems. When is the last time you had a conversation with your spouse about the intimacy in your marriage? All too often, we fail to communicate in this area, and doing so has the ability to break down the relationship. Remember, this person is your partner. He or she loves you, and has chosen to spend the rest of their life with you. Discussing the physical part of your relationship, and finding out what would make the other person happy will only bring you closer together, giving you a better marriage as well as a closer friendship.
Above all, remember that in your communication with your spouse, you don’t want to speak using “I” messages. It’s amazing the clarity, and the excellent communication, that can happen when you both focus on understanding each other instead. You’ll find that the more you can focus on what your spouse needs, the more he or she will want to focus on what you need. If you have a bad communication day, don’t worry. We’re all human, and we’re all trying to do the best that we can!
It won’t be long until 2014 will be upon us. It is our hope that you’ll go into this new year with a renewed vigor for your relationship with your spouse. Make your New Year’s resolution count this year, and make your goal to improve your communication with the person who matters to you the most.
A relationship counselor can work with you to help you improve how you communicate in your relationship. If you are considering couples counseling, please give the counselors at OC Relationship Center a call today at 949-220-3211 or schedule your appointment via our online calendar and start 2014 in a positive direction!