New year, new life! isn’t the expectation? We make plans for what we want to change and what we want to keep for the new year. When spring time is about to start we get energized to clean up the clutter in our lives. Also because no one wants to do anything in the winter. I would like to propose a challenge. Start the spring cleaning your relationship right now! You don’t have to be in a crisis to benefit from a good de-clutter of harmful interactions. I will give you 4 tips on how to tidy up your relationship and make it more fulfilling. Your job is to take it seriously and enjoy the benefits of a lighter load on both you and your partner.
Tips to Spring Clean your marriage:
Toss away resentments: A great number of couples that seek therapy come with a baggage of resentments to argue. Usually the exchanges are unproductive since each partner wants to defend his or her side of the story. The best approach is to let it go. How you ask? By having an honest conversation about what has hurt you in the past. Listen to each other carefully and respectfully to understand each other’s perspective. Validate each other’s feelings as this exercise is not meant to stroke your ego, but to give your partner closure on the issue. Accept the other person’s sincere apology (it has to be sincere to work) then plan for how you want to move from there. A famous quote from Nelson Mandela says “resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies”. Holding on to old resentments will only do you harm, not anyone else.
Sort through your expectations: We all have spoken and unspoken expectations of our partners. That he will do the dishes more often, that she will “stop nagging” about your work. We feel bitter when those expectations are not met. However, how fair is to be mad at someone for not fulfilling your expectation? Some expectations are appropriate and healthy for a relationship, such as to expect honesty, faithfulness (in monogamous relationships) and respect. If you are constantly frustrated with your partner for not corresponding to your expectations is time to sort through what it appropriate or not. Work on the issues that can absolutely break your marriage. Let go of the petty fights and unrealistic expectations.
Recycle your vows: Remember those beautiful words you said to each other when you decided to unite your lives? They meant something. Your deepest feelings and desires for a life together were in those words. Take those promises made in a moment of infatuation and turn into a guideline for your relationship nowadays. if your promised to never go to bed angry make a commitment to resolve every significant conflict with the urgency that it deserves.
Donate your affection: Our society declares that “there is no such a thing as a free lunch”. it is not surprising that we get in the habit of expecting something in return for what we do. Nonetheless, in a relationship love has be to given freely with no strings attached. When have either of you last shown affection without expecting something in return? It is time to reconsider how much are you giving of yourself for the simple reason that you love your partner. Make the first move and see the love multiplying.
About the Author Patricia Cochran is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She is passionate about helping couples and families to feel connected again. In her spare time, she is busy with her toddler and enjoying friends and family time