Guest Author: Steve Srotir
Does your relationship feel like a stretched rubber band that’s about to snap? Leaving you stressed, confused, and wondering… How did you get here? What do you do next?
Me too… Been there done, done that.
Have you ever tried innocently talking with your partner about a problem in your relationship that either suddenly explodes into a heated argument marathon, or ends abruptly in the icy silence off a cold shoulder?
Then you know first-hand what happens when you try to communicate before you feel connected. WIthout knowing it, you have been setting yourself up to walk on eggshells around each other – which is a plan for damn near guaranteed failure!
This is one of the main reasons 75% of couples divorce after marriage counseling (the highest failure rate of any therapy). Most couples counselors, therapists, and even mediators often make the mistake of relying solely on communication skills to fix your relationship – to your loss.
Of course solid communication skills matter, don’t get me wrong. They provide good form for HOW you talk. What they don’t do is address the disconnection between you, the very heart of WHAT you are needing to talk about.
What does that mean?
Consider your fitness… having the very best form for your bench press will do very little to help you stabilize and strengthen your core… and if what you need most right now is to develop your core… then you need to be sure you focus your efforts in the ‘right’ spot – for the ‘right’ gains.
So, how in the heck do you do that?
Before we go there, let’s take a moment to consider something… you’re reading this now, and what kind of man reads an article like this?
A man who cares about himself, his partner, his relationship, his family, his friends?
A man who knows that a good relationship takes work (and won’t happen by magic)?
A man who values his relationship and is willing to do what it takes to get it back on track?
If you answered YES to any of those, this sets you apart from all the folks that are hoping their relationship will get better, that have been led astray by the messages that Hollywood, social media, and advertising would like to have you believe.
You are willing to grow, to learn, to make your life better for yourself and your loved ones. And, I am glad you are here. You are the kind of man I want to invest my time with.
How does it feel to take a moment and appreciate yourself?
Really, take a moment for a few breaths…
Feels pretty good, right?
OK, now ask yourself… when was the last time you remember genuinely sharing your deep appreciation for your partner? Imagine how much your partner must be craving this from you?
So, here is a quick connection technique that will help your partner feel deeply appreciated, more connected with you, and you will probably end up getting more sex… which gets you back to waking up with that smile together again!
GIVE THE GIFT OF SPECIFIC PRAISE
Many times when people are upset with one another they lose sight of the positive aspects of their partner and of the relationship. Take a few moments and think about specific things you appreciate about your partner.
Now, from that list select the one thing you appreciate most about your partner.
You may only feel this slightly right now, and that’s OK. The important thing is to take the first step to developing this habit. So it may feel ‘off’ or a bit clunky, that’s normal.
Remember a specific time when your partner displayed this? When? Where? How?
Now, put it all together. That could be something like…
Babe,, you are one of the best gift givers ever. When you surprised me for my 40th birthday with a weekend family vacation to Timber Ridge Lodge over Veteran’s Day Weekend – definitely one of the top gifts of my lifetime. Thank you for listening and paying attention to what matters to me, and organizing this amazing weekend to celebrate my 40th. Thank you for caring. I love you.
This will likely have your partner beaming inside (afterall appreciation releases the “love chemicals”, serotonin and oxytocin).
Once you are both feeling warm, open, and safe.. It’s time to communicate (if you still need to).
So try this with your partner, kids, friends, colleagues, neighbors, or anyone you want to light up with a smile. And, notice how it is to bask in the warmth of the connection you just created.
If your relationship feels more like a storm front than a safe haven, you may be feeling disconnected, alone, abandoned, controlled or even trapped.
If your relationship is feeling stretched, and you’d like to ease that tension to get back on track and in better shape. You can join the MenLiving Relationship Workshop and get on the road to a new life together.
When you’re ready to get help now, I offer relationship coaching specifically designed for men to bond you and your partner together like glue again. It’s an effective alternative to relationship counseling or marriage therapy that you can do on your own time, and from the comfort of your own home. Click here to schedule a free consultation and let’s see if we’re a good fit