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Marriage Makeover For Stressed Out Couples

My friend Jennifer recently launched a virtual institute for women called Fem Central. There’s a lot of info about health, beauty, love, and money! Here is an article I wrote for her readers:

WHEN we get married we promise to cherish, love and care for each other until death tears us apart, or so it goes. Little do we realize that there comes a time later in life when the sizzle dissipates and our relationship fades into one of millions similar stories – with ups and downs and (mostly) sideways.

Why we end up in this predicament:

No “romance” can last a lifetime. Daily routine gets in the way. The butterflies have long flown away from our stomach and instead we drudge along, buried under a workload of washing, cooking and pamper-changing.

What many couples fail to realize is that love is more than a particular feeling, it’s an action verb. It is built on a foundation of consistent loving acts. These loving acts do not always include candle-light dinners, but are more about being kind, humble, generous, patient, and forgiving toward each other.

How to claim back your relationship:

Instead of stressing out about the lack of intimacy in your marriage, I suggest you try the three action steps, as outlined below. The secret is that you have to do it consistently even when you do not necessarily feel like it. You will feel love by doing loving acts.  Over time, you will find closeness again.

1.
Rediscover yourself: True character is shown when no one else is watching you.  When you met the public persona of your spouse you fell in love with that public face.  Understandably, you are dispirited when, over time, your partner revealed his/her true character. This inevitable process means that the persona is no longer guided by the adopted “public behavior,” but by the real self.

But now, not only are you meeting each other’s ‘real self’ for the first time; you’re also meeting YOURSELF for the very first time.

The circumstances we experience are like a mirror reflecting what’s going on inside us. When people say that they do not “love their partners anymore”, they actually admit that they do not love themselves.  They do not love the very person they themselves are, when in presence of their partner. It’s painful to acknowledge our ‘dark’ side and many people would rather start anew to avoid facing that less pleasing part of our own selves.

Marriages fail because we fail ourselves. How can you expect another person to love you unconditionally when you do not love and accept yourself first – with all your murky sides, your flaws and shortcomings!

Find out who you truly are, learn to love yourself and soon enough your partner will benefit from this new-found awareness too.

2. It’s time to talk: Unless you both take time out to talk and connect  regularly, you might lose track of what your partner is actually feeling, thinking, aspiring to do, or worse: already doing.

Get involved with your spouse; ask questions, show genuine interest in their hobbies, find out things about their job, share your joys and worries with one another without being opinionated.

Set timeouts to talk about non-logistical stuff- things other than groceries, bills, and kids. These timeouts are meant to constitute quality time spent together; time that allows you to recall WHY you fell in love with the other person in the first place.

3. Tactile awareness: Rediscover your senses with the power of touch. Try to touch your partner when you speak with him/her frequently, connect through your eyes and really pay attention to what he/she says at the time.

Too often we fail to really listen to each other because we are strung out from hours spent at a stressful job, dealing with daily problems and not having enough time to connect with ourselves, much less with the other person.

By making a true effort to get back to basics and using tactile awareness to connect, your marriage will enjoy a renewed sense of sensuality, without pressure.

And what is your experience? Do you feel that you are slowly growing apart with your partner? Leave a comment and let us know what your experience is when you use these simple tips.

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As Featured In Elle Magazine