Making Your Relationship A Priority
For a relationship to be healthy and mutually satisfying, both partners must prioritize it. Is your relationship your top priority? Every couple has times when life is out of balance, and their relationship slips from the top spot on their list of priorities. But, if the feeling of disconnection has become the norm for you, it’s probably time for you both to invest some time and effort into your relationship to ensure it is a priority. How do you know if your relationship is not a priority? Consider these indicators:
Indicators that your relationship is not a priority.
- You tend to approach life from the perspective of yourself as an individual and not as a couple. It’s “me” before “we.”
- You think that neither partner should have to empathize with or nurture the other. The effort to understand each other’s thoughts and feelings needs to be improved.
- You and your partner are on your own when facing difficulties or distress. You don’t offer assistance or protection to each other.
- Another person, task, activity, or thing takes priority over you or your partner.
- You each put your needs first when a conflict involves your needs as a couple.
- You take the axiom, “You do you, and I’ll do me,” too far.
- Your agreement, spoken or unspoken, is, “If it’s good for me, then you need to accept it.”
Your relationship needs to be a priority.
This view might not be popular with some, but your partner needs to be a priority over every other relationship in your life. This does include the kids as well. If you are in a blended family situation, this is a fine line that you must draw. You don’t love your children any less, but the relationship with your partner is the priority in the home. In actuality, this will give the kids the boundaries and security that they need.
The first step is for both of you to agree that you will prioritize your relationship in your life. And then you have to agree to work as a team to make the necessary changes to accomplish this goal. Then, when you are successful at this, you will achieve a happier and more fulfilling marriage. It will be so worth it!
Steps to make your relationship a priority
1. Adopt the “We get to” mentality.
Instead of thinking, “we have to do this,” try re-framing your attitude to be “we get to….” We get to make our relationship a priority. I get to grow with you and learn how to love you better. I get to find out what you think and feel about things.
2. Be intentional about emotional connection.
Be intentional about spending time each day – just the two of you. It can be just a few minutes each day. Love Recon seminars and Recon Coaching teach the Dyad System to help you communicate on a deeper level in just a few minutes. In addition, you should get your copy of the 40 Days to a Thriving Relationship book. It was written help couples make the most of their quality time together. And, of course, plan a date night or a weekend getaway without the kids. Make it a priority!
3. Express gratitude daily.
Expressing gratitude for your partner and things in your life will keep you focused on the good and positive aspects. You will realize your relationship’s value and will be less likely to put it on the back burner. Thank your partner for the little things they do and the more significant things as well and how it makes you feel when they do them.
4. Empathize with your spouse.
Empathy is sharing the feelings of someone else. Share your highs and lows, wins and challenges with each other daily, and be sure to enter into your spouse’s feelings as you do. Statements like, “That must have been incredible! I wish I could have been there to see it!” or “I’m so sorry that you had to deal with that today. Are you okay?” can let your spouse know that they are a priority to you and that you care about them.
5. Assume the best.
We tend to assume the worst about situations or even about our spouse. Try thinking that you love each other and want only the best for each other. Then, when one of you says something insensitive or unkind, it will be easier to resist assuming that it was hurtful on purpose.
6. Love your partner according to their “love language.”
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a book every couple should read. Chapman’s premise is that everyone experiences love in five primary ways, called “love languages.” If you are not expressing love in a way that makes your partner feel loved, then you are wasting your effort, and they are feeling unloved. But, on the other hand, if you understand your partner’s love language and each love each other accordingly, you will feel loved and cherished.
7. Tell each other first.
If you have something to tell others about, share the news with your partner first – not your friends, parents, or co-workers. Your partner needs
8. Be playful and flirtatious.
Come on! You remember how to do this. You could meet at a bar or restaurant, arriving separately and pretending it’s the first time you have encountered each other. You don’t have to leave home, however. Tickling, touching, laughing, seducing – have some fun!
Don’t neglect to say, “I love you!”
Those three words don’t grow old. Say them in the morning when you wake up, when you are leaving or arriving home, when you are hanging up from a call to each other, and randomly when you’re together. It’s a reminder that you are each other’s person and lovers, not just roommates. You’re in it together. Two people, one couple – all in!
Hug, hold hands, snuggle, give each other a quick kiss. And do this in front of the kids so that they can have a healthy role model of an affectionate, loving relationship. You could also adopt the 10-second hug or 10-second kiss policy. You can call for a 10-second hug or kiss, and the other must comply. You’d be surprised how good it makes you feel!
To prioritize your marriage or relationship, practice these suggestions, especially when you don’t feel like it! For example, you may not “feel” loving, but if you act in loving ways, your feelings will catch up. You can’t feel your way into an action, but you can act your way into a feeling.
If you want to discuss how we can help you and your relationship, please get in touch with me at Cliff@LoveRecon.org or call 866-218-1716. You may also visit our website, www.LoveRecon.org, for testimonials and information.