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This is where I was 6 years ago. Getting hitched to my BFF in Italy. It was a pretty sweet day. 

My husband and I recently celebrated our 6 year anniversary, so I’ve been doing that whole reflection thing. We fall in love and make proclamations (both public and private) and there’s blushing and hoopla and music and flower petals. But then the honeymoon is literally over and there’s laundry and bills and the flu.

Relationships of all kinds are an essential piece of the spiritual journey. Having a strong partnership can make the whole thing even more fun, but joining your life’s path to someone else’s can be incredibly challenging. Here are the best ways I’ve found to cut the day-to-day drama and focus on what’s important.

Go to bed mad
Life is not a sitcom; not everything can be neatly wrapped up in 28 minutes. Everyone needs space to think things out and gain some perspective. Rarely is 2 a.m. the best time to find a resolution for real-life problems.

Start seeing other people
I require friends who are all mine. Girl’s Night Out is not frivolous; it’s essential to my mental health and prevents me from becoming a Stepford Wife Zombie.

Don’t talk about it 
I have to write things out. My mouth moves faster than my brain and writing helps me be clear, complete and less whipped into an emotional frenzy.

Make sure neither one of you gets what you want
Compromise is key. I try to not get stuck with this idea about being right and winning, the real win is a peaceful and fulfilling relationship, even if it means bending a bit.

Talk behind his back
Venting to a friend can be really helpful and an honest reaction to the situation is invaluable. I have specific, time-tested friends for this; people who will shoot straight and won’t go blabbing my business. I also make sure I am not talking to my friend instead of talking to my husband.

Be evasive
Sometimes, I need to change the subject. For in-depth issues, sometimes a break from the discussion is in order. Doing something fun together that we both enjoy is entirely invigorating and offers important perspective.

Talk about yourself a lot
Unfortunately for him, my husband is not a mind reader. If I need something that I am not getting from the relationship, I have to actually verbalize that. Assuming that he “should” know never works well. Then I need to reciprocate by asking him what he wants from the relationship. And  then I need to remember to actually listen.

Lie
down. The oxytocin and endorphins that are activated during sexual activity are great for the mental state. It lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. Sex clearly isn’t just about the deed, it’s about maintaining and strengthening the emotional connections with a partner. Oh yeah, and it’s fun.

Pretend it didn’t happen
At a certain point, some issues just need to be released. I mean seriously released, not to be dug up again two years later. If I can forgive, I do my best to forgive completely. I find it to be even more healing for me than for the person I’m forgiving. Acceptance is incredibly powerful.

Treat your partner like they are a cop
Being polite goes along way. I like to say thank you and be appreciative when he does something helpful. I suck it up and apologize when I’ve done something wrong. These daily decencies tend to go out the window when you’ve been together a while. Loving kindness is a wonderful spiritual practice.


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