ERP 008: How To Work On Your Relationship When You Do Not Have The Time
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All too often, we avoid challenges in our relationship. Either we don’t know how to address our concerns skillfully or we are afraid of creating tension and upset. While we want to increase the likelihood of feeling joy and closeness, avoiding difficulties in our relationship ends up costing us the intimacy we desire in the long run. To learn a little more, read #2 in Seven Reasons Why Relationship Feels So Hard Sometimes.
Regular meetings will help you get on a preventative and proactive path within your relationship. Meeting with your partner on a consistent basis will offer structure to what might feel otherwise too overwhelming and daunting to confront. Meetings will help you become more productive, effective, and efficient, as well as help you deepen the connection and intimacy between you and your partner. You will experience a greater sense of progress and resolution around the challenging areas within your relationship.
THREE TYPES OF MEETINGS
- Responsibilities, tasks, and/or chores
- Playing and laughing together
- Do a physical activity
- Using your creativity
- Artistic activity – participating or watching (i.e. paint and wine event or going to a concert).
- Working on a fun project together
- Learning together
- Pleasurable activity(i.e. massages, soaking in a hot tub or mineral hot springs)
- Try and keep the meeting to 20-30 mins, no more than 45 mins
- Start small and pick an issue that is lower in emotional intensity on a scale from 1-10 (“1” being the lowest and “10” being the highest).
- Address one topic at a time, so that the meeting is more manageable.
- Be specific about the situation or events, rather than taking issue with your partner’s character. See this article for more information. Nine Destructive Behaviors To Avoid During Relationship Conflict.
- Meeting consistently. Some people like to have a set time. Others, like to meet regularly, but change up the time.
- Being available for the meeting. Be sure that you are not distracted by being too tired, hungry, or upset.
MAKE MEETINGS ENJOYABLE
- Set the mood & appealing to the senses (i.e. music, candles, etc)
- Appreciation exercise: Take turns
- 3 appreciations for me
- 3 appreciations for you
- Take a walk together
- Give and receive a foot rub
The book 5 Love Languages is a help tool to consider, when looking ways you and your partner express love. I discuss the 5 Love Languages in this article When Your Efforts To Reach Out Are Not Working – Use The Platinum Rule. If you would like to read the entire book, you can find it here The 5 Love Languages (which is an affiliate link).
If you are interested in learning more about meetings to benefit your relationship, look into reading Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love (which is an affiliate link).
Thank you so much for being interested in improving your relationship. If you have a question that you would like me to answer, please leave me a voice message, by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here.
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