If you’re worried about your relationship, you may start overanalyzing everything your partner does or doesn’t do. Constantly focusing on your relationship and seeing it as something broken can consume your thoughts and become overwhelming.
When you begin to compare your partner to your friend’s partner or complain to your partner about their inadequate areas, resentment builds up. Marriage experts warn against these behaviors because they decrease communication and increase isolation within the relationship. Research supports that adding new behaviors and making small changes to your relationship are more successful in improving emotional intimacy. Below are some new behaviors you can implement to lead to the most significant changes.
Get out of the house to spend undisturbed time together. We’re all too busy, and the person who gets the least amount of our time is often our partner. Take turns planning dates every week and try new things. Intimacy and communication improve when couples spend time alone together in a new environment.
Begin daily acts of kindness for each other. Small kind actions tell your partner you’re thinking about them and care about how they feel. Fill their car with gas, bring them a cup of coffee in the morning, touch them often when you’re out, and let them know throughout the day that you have their support.
Accept your partner as they are. Trying to make your partner change is futile and a primary cause for marital dissatisfaction. When you compare your partner to someone else, you’re only looking at one small area. Unrealistic expectations lead to frustration and bitterness; neither is ideal for your relationship’s health.
Add play to your relationship. Couples get bogged down with the stress and routine of life. They remember to take the kids to the park, but they forget the importance of play in their relationship. Schedule in play time with just the two of you. Watch silly movies, play computer games, enjoy a campfire watching the stars, or go for a run on the beach. Couples who engage in play improve the balance in their relationship.
Ask your partner every day, “How can I show you love today?” Asking this simple question and showing your partner love every day is the best way to make your partner feel loved and secure.
Great relationships don’t just happen; they’re nurtured and attended to daily. When couples take a break from trying to “fix” each other and focus on doing these behaviors, they allow their relationship to deepen and fulfill each other’s needs. Creating a healthy relationship is the best investment you can make for the emotional well-being of you and your family.