May 21, 2019
Do You Need a Relationship Makeover?
I love my wife and we have always had a pretty good relationship, but lately we are starting to feel more like roommates and I feel like we’re in a rut. How do we reset and give our marriage a makeover?
You’re already on the right track, because you opened with the positive: you’ve always had a good relationship and you know that this rut isn’t permanent.
Oftentimes, advice related to breaking out of a rut focuses on injecting novelty, but I suggest you look to the past to shape the future:
Can you identify what made your relationship so great in the past? Can you make a list of what you used to do well and can you make adjustments to restart some of these behaviours or rituals? If you look back a few years, what did you do differently? Did you spend more time with friends? Did you spend more time alone? Did you make time to get away together without the kids? Were you more adventurous in bed?
If you did something effectively in the past, you can likely do it again today. You don’t need to rewrite your relationship or develop new skills; you may simply need to return to prior habits.
My wife and I have been bickering non-stop about nonsense for the last few months and it’s exhausting. It’s my fault too, but how do we make it stop.
Consider airing your grievances. Research suggests that small arguments can help to relieve tension to ward off bigger fights, but if you’re having daily arguments and it’s detracting from your connection and happiness, you might want to set time aside for a bigger conversation.
Let your partner know you love them and want to make the relationship even better.
Speak for yourself first: I feel as though I’ve been bickering and getting upset about the little things, so I’d like to sit down and talk about what’s really bothering me.
Ask how they’re feeling: What do you think? Do you feel as though tensions have been running high?
Prepare for the conversation in advance: Write down what’s really bothering you. It may be related to the relationship or you may be harbouring tension related to other issues (e.g. family, work, health). Once you identify the issues, identify the solutions you seek and what you can do to produce them. Ask your partner to do the same and set 30-45 minutes aside for the conversation. Leave your kids, phones and any other distractions in another room and have an open conversation.