After that whirlwind attraction, talking with each other until you hear the birds outside doing the morning chirp, the knot in your stomach every time you call her/his name there is a stage that most relationships will have to endure, it is called the power struggle stage, this is the stage that most relationships will not make it and had you known this maybe you could have saved yourself from breaking it off with someone you could otherwise have made it with.
Do you remember telling yourself if you were more mature maybe you would have stayed with Jane/Jim?
Getting to “we” seems like a given for newlyweds: You’ve planned the wedding together, tied the knot in front of friends and family, earned the marriage license that proves the two of you are an official legal entity. Yet experts say it’s important to make a concerted effort to heighten and reinforce this new sense of oneness — and then to guard and protect it. “It’s so important that couples form their own new, separate union together,” says Claudia Arp, who with her husband, David, founded Marriage Alive International and co-authored marriage books including 10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage. “But we see a lot of husbands and wives who never, ever prioritize their relationship after marriage. They’re still entwined with their family of origin, putting their parents and siblings first. Or they’ve been on their own for years and don’t realize that their friends or job or other interests no longer take precedence. Here are 6 Ways in strengthening your Relationship:
- My spouse comes first.’ Yes, you love and respect your parents. And you still get together with your friends. But this is your anchor relationship. If you establish this now, it will be easier to hold on to when life becomes more complicated later in your marriage.”
The mental shift from me to us can be startling: You can’t go home to your old apartment (or your childhood bedroom) anymore if you’re bored or angry or need quiet time. You can’t arrange a girls’ night out or a poker afternoon without factoring in your partner. You’re a team — and responsible to someone else in a new and profound way.
When University of Minnesota researcher David Olson, Ph.D., and his daughter Amy Olson-Sigg surveyed over 10,000 married couples, they found that togetherness was a top priority for 97 percent of happy couples but for only 28 percent of unhappy pairs. Enjoying free time together was important to 97 percent of the happy group but only 43 percent of unhappy husbands and wives. Nearly twice as many happy couples as unhappy twosome made most decisions in their marriages jointly. And perhaps most telling of all: 81 percent of happy couples said their partners’ friends and family rarely interfered with the relationship, compared to just 38 percent of unhappy couples.
Establishing a healthy relationship is not easy, in fact you should not wait until marriage is developing the habits, start connecting when you are both just dating, and you will find the transition after marriage as easy as 1-2-3.
“You really are forming a new system when you get married, and it needs care and feeding,” says marriage and sex therapist, Pat Love, Ed.D. “In our culture, we don’t do ‘we’ very well. We’re better at autonomy: I can take care of myself, I can give to you. But being a real unit means taking another step: making the relationship itself a priority. Other cultures do this much better — the Japanese have a concept called amae, which loosely translated means the delicious experience of interdependence. It’s a goal worth striving for.”
Revel in your exclusivity. You want to be together, just the two of you, so give yourselves permission to cocoon. Then try these couple-building tips. 6 Ways in Strengthening your Relationship could probably read, start with these, there are so many ways to reconnect and strengthen your relationship.
Create couples rituals. Do something regularly that bonds you, such as 10 minutes to chat before bed, having breakfast together is another wonderful way to bond, or saving Saturday for date night, for those who have religion in common that is even better, it is family devotion.
Institute daily check-in. Marriage experts recommend couples do something that big business has employed for decades to keep workers happy, productive, and in the loop: hold regular team meetings. Luckily, yours will be more fun than listening to David from Human Resource goes on and on about the need for more incentives for employees gratification. One version of the daily check-in helps couples keep communication flowing freely with an agenda, that would be my number one.
• Start by appreciating something about each other that is my number two.
• Offer up some new information from your day, how difficult is that?
• Ask your spouse about something that has bothered or puzzled you (or something about yourself).
• Make a none judgmental, complaint-free request (“Please fold the towels when you do the laundry. I couldn’t find any this morning after my shower.”)
• And end with a hope that could be small (“I hope we can go see that new movie Thursday night”) or lavish (“I’d love to retire at age 50 and sail the Mediterranean with you.”) For some reason you cannot expect to connect with someone when all you are saying is, when was the last time you took me out on a date?!
Ask: Is it good for our relationship? When you bump up against any important decision in your relationship/marriage, don’t just talk about whether it’s good for you and for your spouse. Make it a point to talk about and think about whether it’s good for your relationship. “You’ll know the answer almost intuitively if you stop and ponder it,” Dr. Love notes. This may come down to how much time something will take away from your time together, whether it will make things stressful between you, or if it involves people who in some way threaten your relationship (lunch with your ex, for example). If you don’t even want to ask the question, that’s a red flag that whatever it is — from working late to “surprising” your spouse with an expensive new living room sofa to making individual plans on your usual date night — isn’t going to be good for your relationship/marriage. Even if you are long distance, still have your date nights by putting each other first, connecting is not difficult when you think us instead of you and me.
Written by Sari Harrar. 8 Ways to reconnect and strengthen your relationship.