Your relationship might need help if you're trying too hard (marked by jealousy, insecurity or manipulation) or becoming too hard (marked by numbness, distancing or retreating from love). Either way, try these tips for getting back on track:
Be clear about what you want and need
Any problem can be solved with creative and willing input, says psycho-therapist and relationship expert, Hanlie Raath. All you need is imagination and desire. Why don't we share our dreams and needs with our partners? More often than not, we hold back to try to avoid conflict.
Is he aware of your dream to study again? Do you feel that you are compromising your dreams to put his career and your family first? How do you know that a solution cannot be found if you don't tell him about your needs and desires?
Be honest and open with each other
It's possible to tell the truth without blaming or judging each other. You might not always like what you hear – your partner might have likes and dislikes that you didn't even know about. He might tell you that you could do with a little less weight or you might want him to drink less so that he doesn't snore.
Remember, lies are often used to keep things the same; honesty without blame or judgement can lead to positive change.
Be true to yourself
In order for a relationship to keep growing, you need to "show up" fully in the relationship. Be there emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. If both of you bring everything you are to a relationship, you will be able to find creative solutions to your problems.
For example, he wants to get romantic while you want to have tea and tell him about an amazing book that you have just read. Instead of him storming off in a rebuked huff, he lies back and listens and, as he responds to you and
hears what you have to say, you have a chance to
reconsider his earlier proposition.
Shift gears to find the right solutions
Conflict can, and should, lead to creative solutions and growth within a relationship but also requires
a willingness to "shift gears" when it comes to finding an answer. Steer away from a preconceived solution and remain open to an unexpected one, advises Raath.
She quotes the example of a couple who could not find any common ground because the husband craved adventure while the wife loved her home comforts.
Then a friend gave them a surprise gift of a parachute jump and they found that they both loved skydiving. Suddenly they had an exciting new interest and hobby, as well as something they could share.
Open the window, but don't jump
When going through a challenging or boring phase in your relationship, don't lose perspective. Look at the situation in the context of the entire relationship. Remember that intimacy is not something that is ready made. We make our
relationship into something valuable by using the
raw material available to us. The joy lies in weaving
intricate tapestries and extracting gold out of our
agonies and ecstasies.
If you've been in the same relationship for a long time, open the windows to invite in some fresh air: take risks, embark on new adventures together, and relish your own creation.
Have you revived a dying relationship? Share your story below.