with spring in the air, it isn’t just our homes that need a refreshing cleanse but more importantly – the people inside! these three ideas will help you “spring clean” your relationship (and no, it doesn’t require any special cleaning solution)!
1) de-junking built-up emotions
most of us have been to that point of breaking when we let too many emotions build up – the end result isn’t a pretty one. yelling matches, crying fits and pints of ben & jerry are no way to cope nor are productive ways to deal with those lingering emotions or feelings.
if there are things that your spouse/significant other has done that you are holding on to or they are currently doing something that is bothering you, now is the time to air it out. in order to start this process, talk to your partner and let them know you would like to do some ‘de-junking of emotions’ and invite them to do the same. choose an uninterrupted and private time where the two of you can connect alone and lay some ground rules.
when my husband and i do this, we make sure we are both well rested and well fed (feeling hangry is real and never helpful). we agree not to raise our voices, to actively listen to what the other person is saying (and not preparing our debate back to them) and then we agree to do something fun afterwards!
yes, the conversations can get deep and sometimes uncomfortable but my husband and i are committed to living an authentic marriage. to us, that means sometimes having tough conversations while be respectfully honest about how we are feeling and what we are thinking.
when you express these emotions, make sure you come from a place of how you are personally feeling as opposed to blaming your mate.
good example: “i feel frustrated when you misplace your keys. it makes me feel anxious when we search for them as we are trying to get out the door.”
bad example: “it’s irresponsible of you to constantly misplace your keys – you always make us late.”
the ‘good example’ is taking ownership of your personal feelings around the situation and why it makes you feel that way. the ‘bad example’ is blaming as well as using an all-or-nothing statement like ‘always.’
this exercise can help you get back on track and air out those things that have been pent up so you can both resolve them and move on to spring time fun!
2) dust off your initial connection
what was it about your spouse that initially attracted you to him? what did you do on those first few dates as you got to know each other? it is time to dust off those memories and start recreating!
while no one is the exact same person we were when we met our significant other, many of the early characteristics we found endearing about the other are still there. if you initially loved how uninhibited your partner was by belting out karaoke during one of your first dates, it’s time for a night out singing (liquid courage optional). perhaps you loved how adventurous your he or she was so why not look at a coupon site and see if there’s a local deal to try something adventurous nearby!
another fun thing to do to spark that connection is to look back at old photo albums (depending on your age, these many be literal albums or albums on facebook) and reminisce about those passionate first months together. this exercise is great for reliving those powerful first few months together and appreciating how much you have grown together!
questions to ask each other through this experience:
- what physical feature of mine attracted you to me in the beginning?
- what was it about my personality that made you want a second date with me?
- when did you first know you were falling in love with me?
3) make space to grow
by doing the ideas above, you are indeed making space to grow both as a couple and as an individual. the strength of a relationship is heavily reliant on how much we stretch and grow ourselves and that doesn’t work unless you are conscious in making space for this.
if there’s a habit you’ve been wanting to change, now is the time to do it. with spring in the air, it allows for a fresh feeling of possibility. it could be something as addictive as smoking or something as simple (yet makes a big difference) like waking up 15 minutes earlier each day.
talk to your significant other about your new goal or habit change and encourage them to pick something too! be sure to talk together about what type of support you each need in order to make the change successful and lasting.
try these 3 ways to spring clean your relationship to feel fresh and revitalized as a couple!
this post was inspired by a piece by elyse of ‘just murrayed!’