We've been through marriages, divorces, and remarriages...and here we are.
We've been through the wringer in our own past relationships, and we know how a marriage can crumble. We know that you can want a marriage to work, and it just won't. We know that we can try to fix things that aren't fixable and that sometimes we must walk away to save ourselves. We also are making our marriages work now and know that many things can come between two people. Still, we've learned there are three things that can either create a wedge between us, disintegrate the relationship into something completely unrecognizable, or build it on unshakable ground.
These three things are:
We've learned from a young age that communication or lack of communication will create or destroy the best of friends, co-workers, neighbors, families, and of course, our relationship with our significant other.
Did you ever stay up far too late just talking for hours, enjoying each other's company, unable to get enough of your time together, learning everything you could about each other? How often do you talk now? When you do, is it always and only about the kids, the business, work, what so-and-so said/did, the bills, etc.?
It's easy for life to over-consume our relationship. Even date nights turn into talking about everything and everyone except each other...right? What came naturally, to begin with, has now turned into having to become a conscious effort, and when we're already worn down and tired, it's tough, and many times just gets pushed to the back burner. What can you do to open up communication again? Maybe you feel the need to be heard more than the need to listen? It may feel challenging to start the conversation or turn a listening ear, but opening up again to each other helps re-establish the bond you created so long ago.
Without trust, there will never be a strong relationship. Trust covers many facets of our relationship, not just trust of fidelity. Trust encompasses our feeling safe within the relationship, finances, unconditional love even in our most vulnerable moments. To know that the other person has your back no matter what. With trust, we feel a contentedness; without it, we can feel angry, insecure, or jealous. Trust finds its way, not through demands or promises but actions.
Have you bypassed the honeymoon days? Long-gone, the sleepless nights in each other's arms have converted to crashing in bed from exhaustion as life has taken the front seat in the relationship, leaving intimacy something that requires planning on a calendar. What happened?
There can be many different reasons such as,
Crazy work schedules,
Privacy (or lack of)
Physical issues, hormones
It's easy to lose the spark we once had. We've become more roommates than a couple, and when sex happens, it can end up as just sex vs. true intimacy that drives that strong emotional connection we used to hold so tightly to in the beginning. We know we've felt like robots in planning for it, but maybe it's time to do more than plan for it, but get back to the willingness of setting the mood and putting more effort into the set-up for it. If any of the issues listed are part of the problem, discuss it together and get creative to make adjustments to work around it. Intimacy doesn't have to be like a steamy romance novel but finding the time for each other in a way that makes you feel closer together counts.
Although this is the shortlist and doesn't encompass everything, it does umbrella over many other aspects of a relationship. Just focusing on one thing at a time, making small changes, and the willingness to take the extra effort truly does reward you in the big picture...and why we like to call them "edits."
What is something that you're currently editing in your relationship? We'd love to hear from you!