How do your grow your intimate love relationship to be more resilient to the many shifts, changes or unexpected traumas that life offers us? Here are the top 3 tips to hold within your hearts so that you can find more love for each other, as you may find yourselves possibly drifting apart;
Respect Your Differences: Conflict can be a Breakthrough
Most people are afraid of conflict. Afraid to speak up for what they want. Or afraid to say directly that they disagree. Some people are overly defensive and others are afraid to be rejected, shamed or just plain ignored. Conflict can be the spark that is needed to bring life back into a dying connection. It can also spice up the sex! If we were all the same, life would be so boring! The potential in conflict is that it can also sometimes be a threshold, or breakthrough, to grow into a new, more evolved level of relationship. This then becomes a resilient relationship as it can shift through the changes of life!
Conflict can also be learned to be communicated in a respectful way that includes the feelings of the other person. When conflict occurs through negative criticism, yelling or worse, the other side simply stops wanting to listen. Conflict engages our anger or fear buttons. It’s often asking for something to change. When you ignore or don’t respond to someone’s request, or needs, the conflict begins. There are always two sides to a story and sometimes the perception of one or both people is full of past history that gets projected in distorted forms onto the other. This can get very confusing and therapy can sometimes be needed to sort out what is appropriate anger or conflict for the present and what belongs to the past that needs more attention and deep healing. Here is a list of Healthy Conflict Books for more ideas.
Practice Healthy Communication: Learn How to Listen & How To Speak Your Truth
Slowing down the words and repeating back what you think you heard, is a great way to begin to show genuine interest & respect for what the other is saying. You will often find that you will get a respectful response back and the communication begins to open up and create space for change. A healthy relationship encourages safety in communication in order to always be able to speak your truth, even if it is something you know the other doesn’t want to know or hear. Being able to be consistently vulnerable with your partner is a sign of a strong, safe and resilient relationship.
If you want to learn how to respect the differences the other person brings to you, or how to feel safe emotionally in your relationship, take the time to read a book, take a course or enter therapy. There are many ways to learn how to speak so that you are heard or how to listen so that you can communicate healthfully. A couple of great resources to start with are: Read Hold me Tight, by Sue Johnson or take a course from Gay & Katie Hendricks
Nourish Each Other: Know Each Other’s Love Language
Over time, life happens and things can get overwhelming busy. We forget to take better care of ourselves, or the kids take priority and we can put nourishing the relationship on a back burner. It is critically important to not only make space for yourself to feed your own soul self with mindful, calming activities or joyful pleasurable occasions – but it is also imperative to create opportunities to nourish the relationship. The smallest gestures of offering flowers or doing that little chore that has been forgotten, or offering a shoulder rub can do wonders to hold the invisible glue of relationship when things can get stretched and stressed too much.
It is also essential to understand how the other perceives and receives the message of love. Gary Chapman describes in his book, The 5 Love Languages, how people have 5 different ways of experiencing love from the other;
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
It is extremely helpful for the resiliency of the relationship to know what you prefer and how your partner may experience receiving love much differently than you. Which top one or two love languages are your preferred choice of receiving love from your lover?
I’d love your feedback. And feel free to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.
An experienced Body Psychotherapist since 2001, Ingrid Cryns works with individuals or couples who feel stuck, lost or hopeless, guiding them to heal the separation between their body, mind, soul & the earth through life-changing personal therapy, webinars & workshops. For details see www.buildingsoul.ca/events or contact Ingrid at firstname.lastname@example.org 866-888-7662
© 2015 By Ingrid Cryns