Ten tips to get through a tough day and make it all work better.
Things are going great. Suddenly, unexpectedly, something strange happens. You no longer seem to connect, something is different. Usually it is the woman that notices this first, but not always. Doubts begin to set in. Is he seeing someone else? Is it something I said, or didn’t say? So you start nagging him a bit with those “do you love me?” questions, and start keeping a mental note of the last time he bought you flowers. You can’t help it, even though you know that this is not the way to go.
In all probability, nothing has happened. Relationships are a bit like an aquarium with a leak. If you don’t keep an eye on them, you end up with dried fish. Stability is not he status quo for relationships, and and ups and downs are actually normal. Even so, when you do need to do something to work on your couple, what can you do? Let’s consider some “easy to accomplish” practices that will keep the engine running.
Men first (ladies, you can skip this part, but I know you won’t). Women have the reputation of being more complicated than a Patek Philippe, but it’s not really this difficult. You can try out one of these tips every day, and see what happens.
- Take a bit of time in a different context to listen. Go out for coffee somewhere you haven’t been and let your lady talk. Ask a question or two if you need to, but don’t give advice or your opinion unless she really asks for it (at least twice). Let her know that you understand what she says and how she feels. This simple action will pump life back into your relationship.
- Don’t forget to touch her; when you go by each other in the house, put your arm around her. When you are out somewhere, give her a squeeze when she is window shopping. This is not hard, is it? Well, it’s really harder than it sounds unless you are naturally the touchy type.
- If she likes you being gallant (opening doors, moving her chair so she can sit down), and most women do, then practice those things. They communicate that you know she is there and that you care.
- Be creative and do something different from time to time. What about a surprise? This can be really tough for some men, so don’t get hung up on it. Go out spontaneously for lunch, or take her to buy shoes. Shoes! Well, what does she like to do?
- Make some decisions. Don’t let her make the choice all by herself, even though she is very capable of doing this. Pick up the ball and be decisive. Not dominant or abusive, but decisive. I’m ordering Pizza for supper tonight. Let’s go and see this film. It’s time to repaint this room. Vacuum the house without her having to ask you, and fix that cupboard door! You will convey a sense of security and care that will most certainly be appreciated.
Life has come back into your relationship, even without the lady doing anything different. But what if she does?
How about it, ladies, what can you do? (men, you don’t need to bother reading this.)
- The first rule is actually a STOP and a do. Stop nagging and start encouraging. I have never met a man who told me he just loves it when his wife nags him. Men respond really well to encouragement, so find a few things that you take for granted and start encouraging him again. Better still, tell your friends how good he is when he is there! This is a guaranteed winner!
- ]It’s most likely that you know what he likes better than he does. So back to basics. Go for that nice meal or favourite restaurant, and then surprise him with an unexpected dessert. Men really do respond to food (but not if they feel nagged).
- Work out how he feels loved. Read up on this with Gary Chapman’s book on love languages, and target the right ones for your man. Maybe he doesn’t like romantic notes on perfumed paper, but he really appreciates you fixing his picnic. Find the appropriate method and use it.
- Remember that while women express their emotions with words, men express them with actions. Doing something with him (bowling, motorcycling, any kind of sport etc.) will always increase your complicity. He likes the idea that he is doing something and you will hang in and do it too. It’s a way of entering into a world which he can only talk about (words) with difficulty.
- These are just a few hints. There are lots more things you can do. If you really do think that your relationship is in difficulty, then you might want to try out a book called The Love Dare. This is a 40 day program that will give you insights and challenges to live out your love in a practical way, and it’s suitable for both men and women.
- If you made it all this way, then we will mention sex. If you are in a committed relationship (this usually means a marriage) then a sexual relationship is not the consequence of all of the above, but the enabler. Couples who take the time to have regular sex together experience a bonding that facilitates many of the other aspects.