Building a strong, long-lasting relationship is tough. It takes work from both parties to make it work and learning to communicate with one another is one of the most important things, in my opinion, that can make it last.
Working through our problems and being a strong couple is tough. I know this first hand after going to through a major rough patch this summer. The worst thing about it is I didn’t know he was angry, hurt and unhappy. He comes from a culture that is very much non-communicative. The British (not all but most) feel problems shouldn’t be spoken about and definitely not shared with outsiders. I am the complete opposite. I talk about my problems to close friends and family all the time because it helps me see things from a different perspective and can usually help me work stuff out before it gets too bad. I also have always talked to my husband when things bother me.
What I’ve learned over the past few months is that one thing we didn’t do well as a couple was communicate well with one another, so now that we are working hard to rebuild our marriage, I have a few tips I wanted to share with you.
- Plan a date night at least once a month. We were sadly very bad at this, but now we are making it a priority. Even if we don’t leave the house, we have a least one night where we just talk and deal with issues after the kids go to bed.
- Stop focusing on the things your partner may be doing wrong and start celebrating the things they are doing right. I think too often we get ourselves into a routine of always telling each other what we did wrong instead of praising the things that are right. I know I am guilty of this and I am trying to say things like thank you and I appreciate you more.
- Sometimes letting silly things like they are messy, they aren’t as great at handling the kids or they aren’t great at planning romantic gestures slide instead of allowing them to be an issue. For all the times they left laundry on the floor, I bet there are 50 other things that they did to make your day better. For me, my husband throws his laundry on the floor beside our bed but that same day, he did 4 loads of laundry, changed about 4 dirty diapers and let me sleep in.
- Make sure your partner knows what they mean to you. One of the things my husband said to me after we started working on us was that he didn’t feel like he mattered to me anymore and that I didn’t love him. I didn’t know that was how he was feeling because he never said but I also didn’t realize I wasn’t showing him how I really felt. Small gestures like giving them a kiss and telling them you love them are really all you need to do.
- Be honest. This does have something to do with communication as well but if we aren’t honest with our partners about what we need, there is no way they will know. We aren’t mind-readers and need to be reminded of many things over the course of our relationships.
I honestly feel that doing these few things to help us communicate better, will help us get on the right track and make our relationship stronger than it has ever been. We do have some work to do but in the long run, I know our marriage can last until death do us part.