A successful marriage requires time and effort. With the pace of our lives today and the demands on our time it’s no surprise that we often feel disconnected from our spouse. Discussing who will run the kids to their next activity or coordinating diaries isn’t really connecting and can leave us feeling lonely within a relationship. It’s important we turn to our spouse in these times, not away from them. If you are no longer sure what makes them tick or turns them on, it’s time to reconnect.
- Daily Touch: Every human requires several minutes per day of physical touch to maintain good health and contentment. Whether it’s a kiss, a foot massage, holding hands or a hug, make it a daily ritual. No matter the type of touch, make it last for at least 30 seconds. Any kiss lasting longer than 30 seconds has a pure magical quality.
- Be Curious: Enquire how their day progressed and make sure you listen to the answer! Share something positive from your day and tell them when you thought of them during that time. Try having a discussion for at least 20 minutes that doesn’t involve your children, your work or any complaints. Now there’s a challenge for you!
- Be on her side: Allow your spouse to vent, without moving to solve her problem. Support her with some empathy and understanding. This increases the likelihood of her sharing with you in the future if she knows you will provide a safe place to let of steam without judgment.
- Walk the talk: Take a walk, preferably outdoors. I know that can be difficult in the heat of the Middle East, but a quiet walk in nature beats a bustle through a noisy, cold mall any day. If you can’t go walking, try finding a quiet place to sit together, touching. A garden swing seat is ideal to motion soothing and bringing you physically to the same tempo.
- Express Gratitude: At times it’s easier to focus on the negative but stop, think of the impact your partner has had on your life and find at least two positives to share with them. Sharing what makes us happy is a sure fire way to encourage our spouse to do more of it. Let them know how you appreciated him or her today.
- Past Glory: Relive a wonderful experience you both shared, before you became parents. When there was just the two of you and the relationship was new. Express in words something you have never shared, like the feeling of that first touch or first kiss. Relive a funny story, a touching moment, or look through some old photos.
- Create New Memories: Boredom and predictable routine can suck the life out of any relationship. Lack of intensity can sometimes be confused as lack of intimacy. It’s important to try new adventures and create new rituals of affection. Simple pleasures like lighting a candle for dinner, watching the sunset while planning a date, discussing our favorites; be it food, fun, music, place etc. all bring us closer.
- Turn off and tune in: Turn off the TV, the phone and laptop. Tune in to each other. Make a game of it; how many shades of blue are her eyes? What is the sound of his laughter? Sharing humor with your partner is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your relationship. Laugh and laugh; and repeat. It really is the best medicine.
- Expressions of loving-kindness: People in successful relationships treat others with love and kindness, expressed through kind thoughts, loving words and kind actions. Think of the smile on your spouse’s face when you post a loving sticky-note onto the car’s dashboard or slip a note in his wallet. Write a message via the steam on the bathroom mirror; leave her a note, just one sentence why she means the world to you. L-O-V-E.
Can you commit to practicing at least one act of affection each and every day? Try it and watch how your relationship grows!
Coach and Director EMEA Business Development