It is scary how many relationships there are out there that are hanging by a string. Relationships where couples are trying to survive the challenges of every day life, both inside and outside of the home. Life can be stressful and you forget that you are not the only one dealing with what life has to throw at you. For me, I believe my wife and I can survive whatever life has to throw at us by sticking together. And in order to stick together, there are three things that we must do to make sure we are a unified force in life.
Here are the three things that can build a stronger relationship and help strengthen your relationship with that special person in your life…
1. You Have To Understand, Not Save The Day
One thing I have learned is that when my wife is feeling the stress of life, it’s not my job to fix it. And even more importantly, she doesn’t usually want me to fix it. She wants to know that she is heard and that I understand. Some times some things just suck. That’s just the way it is. You can’t necessarily fix it. The best thing you can do is understand and empathize with them. When your significant other comes home, feeling beat up by life, don’t jump in with all the ways things will improve. Start with understanding their feelings, empathizing with how life is tough and what they experienced sucks. Then, if asked your thoughts on what can be done to make things better, provide some feedback. It is best to empathize and respond to requests for help, rather than jump right in to knowing how to fix their problem.
2. Do The Little Things
Yes, you have to do the little things in life. What are the little things you ask? In my experience, here are the little things that I happily do that I think takes stress out of my wife’s life and makes us closer:
- I do the dishes most nights. She works all day, makes the dinner. The least I can do are the dishes.
- I turn the bed down at night. When I go up to get my shower, I turn the bed down. I lay out her soft blanket, fluff our pillows and put them a little closer together, that way we are closer together.
- I take the garbage out without being asked. Actually, I look for it now and try to get it done before she notices.
- I happily vacuum the floors once a week. It’s not all it is cracked up to be!!!
Simply put, I find the little things in life that will either remove some of her stress, or bring us closer together…and I DO THEM. It will be different for each couple, but you have to look for those things. Listen when your partner is speaking. What is stressing them a bit that you can help with? What will bring you two closer together? Start with those little things and do them every day!!!
3. Give Them Your Undivided Attention
This is true for all of your relationships, not just the one with your spouse or partner. When your significant other wants to talk to you, stop and talk with them. Don’t be on your phone, playing a game, barely listening to them. Put your phone away, look up, and give them your undivided attention. Look them in the eyes…show them that you care. Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I have plenty of conversations, whether it be over text or while we are doing chores, and that is fine. But when you feel like your significant other really needs your ear, stop what you are doing and go to them, focusing only on them, making them the most important thing in the world.
While giving them your undivided attention, make sure you are listening. I love the quote, “Seek to understand, not be understood.” This is excellent advice. While listening, don’t try to think of all the ways to respond to what they are saying. Just listen to what they are saying…understand them. Give them a chance to talk without interruption. Don’t be in a hurry to jump in and give your two cents. Let them finish. Let them ask you your thoughts. And don’t be in a hurry to get to “the next thing.”
There are many things you can do in life that can help save your relationship. In my opinion, these are the top three. These are the little things we are all capable of doing every day and they mean a lot. These are the things that have a ripple effect throughout your entire relationship. They may not seem like much, nor are they very hard to do, but we have to be mindful and remember to do them. If you can make your significant other experience your love through these little things, the big things will take care of themselves!!!