We all know sustaining strong, healthy relationships can be challenging. What most of us really want to know is how to stop arguing, nagging, or getting bored and annoyed with each other. How can we get our relationship back to where it was when it started? How can we make it fun and romantic again? Use these 7 tips to revitalize your relationship, and at the end, discover the easy to use web app “tool chest” that actually enables you to integrate these great ideas into your real life – way more than a blog post, book, or video can do!
1) People that play together, stay together.
Play more together in ways that are easy to do, require no scheduling, and are even free. Be silly. If you are saying to yourself, you can’t find the time to play and have fun, fret no more. Here are two of 333 games you can do that transform the ordinary situations of everyday life into extraordinary fun:
*Be Each Other Game: At Dinner: Everyone writes their names on slips of paper, folds them up, puts them in a cup, shakes them and who ever you get, you talk and eat like that person. You ”Be each other!” This is where you might find out that you talk with your mouthful, play with your mustache, or interrupt others. Be sure that you use the tool we mention at the end, however for an important warning.
*The Kvetch Game: While in the Car or Shopping: If you need to complain – Go through the alphabet in turns, complaining about whatever you can dream up, real or imagined, that starts with the letter you get on your turn. For example, if it’s your turn and your letter is B, you might have the following kvetch: “I wish I had more bucks in my pocket today,” or “Old Bill at work sure gave me a hard time.” The idea is to not only have fun with complaints, but to give vent to real gripes and frustrations in a way that’s fun and easier to hear. Chances are, just being heard in a spirit of good fun will allow everyone to feel safe and ready to consider adjusting their behavior.
2) Use arguments as opportunities to create a stronger connection with your mate instead of a weaker one, and learn more about yourself and your partner in the process.
Start by asking yourself this heart and mind expanding and possibly life changing question, “Am I more committed to winning this argument, or to the quality of our relationship?” Learn a tried and proven 4 step technique called, “Non-violent Communication”. Replace arguing with compassion, empathy, discovery of unmet needs, and simple doable requests. Walk in the other person’s shoes, practice validation, and move toward positive change rather than stonewalling.
3) Make resolving unmet relationship needs a priority.
You may be wondering what unmet needs negatively affect relationships. Respect, compassion, finances, & understanding are a few. Learn the eight needs that are most predictive of long lasting happy marriages. Empathize with the other person so that you can feel their pain in not getting their needs met. Establish one mutually agreed upon action that will better satisfy this intention. Get automatic reminders to help you keep that agreement.
4) Be mindful and accountable.
Trust depends on behavior that is consistent and reliable. Any kind of relationship that doesn’t have trust, isn’t a safe, healthy, nor authentic one. Find out daily or weekly – or as often as you want- exactly how well you are doing in meeting the other’s most important relationship needs by spending 5 minutes checking into a certain web app on your computer. Take the action recommended to continue building strength and resiliency in your relationship.
5) Restore the other’s faith that you can and will be a better partner.
How? By using a tool called “Motivate My Partner”. Consider the sources of the other person’s reluctance to engage in efforts to restore and/or strengthen your relationship. Get suggestions on how to gently address those concerns. Saying something like this could help, “We have some problems that need fixing. Let’s tackle the small problems we have now, before they turn into big problems later.”
6) Be more constructively honest with the other person and help him/her to be more constructively honest with you.
Sounds tough? There’s soon to be a software tool that will help you do this. It is fittingly called, “Sleeping Dogs”. People that want to avoid facing difficult truths often prefer to let sleeping dogs lie. Using this simple and effective tool, you can take your relationship to the next level of understanding and connection.
7) Get a helpful reminder with tips to maintain five positive interactions for every negative one.
Show your admiration, respect, understanding, and appreciation to those most important to you. John Gottman’s Five to One Ratio demonstrates that couples who have five positive interactions for every negative one have a more successful marriage. When one person demonstrates positive sentiments, it’s typically reciprocated and becomes a natural element of the relationship. Just like laughter is contagious, so is kindness and warmth.
So what is this wonderful tool chest that enables you to integrate this advice into your daily life? It’s a web app (not yet mobile) called CoupleWise.com. Its new version is just launched and they are anxious to get their first 2000 users a.s.a.p. It’s free until your partner joins, and then for 30 more days. If you sign up now it’s only $4.95 per month after the 30 day free period (soon to jump to 19.95). It’s not yet mobile, so you’ll need a desktop or laptop. If you want the tips, tools, reminders (and soon rewards!) required to accomplish this relationship revival, stop wasting time. Activate your New Years Resolution this month. What are you waiting for?
*For more ideas on games to play that make the ordinary situations of everyday life extraordinary, no matter how busy you are, check out Simple Fun for Busy People: 333 Ways to Enjoy Your Loved Ones More in the Time You Have, whose author is the cofounder of CoupleWise.com. After all, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!” -Ashley Montagu
P.S. In case your partner isn’t as motivated as you are by these tips and the Couplewise app, follow us on twitter @Couplewise to get our upcoming “Motivate My Partner” contest invite. In the meantime, Couplewise has a neat tool that does just that. It provides great ideas from motivated wives and husbands that proved effective for them in motivating their partners. You can get a free one year subscription to CoupleWise for sending in a great idea yourself.
Please send us your suggestions and questions. Suggestions for improving Couplewise.com can get you one year for free. Gary@couplewise.com or Heather@couplewise.com