Marriages aren't always made in heaven –– they require a lot of hard work to stay afloat. With the stressful duties of modern lives where both spouses work all day, strained relationships are sometimes inevitable. And while some strains may be more significant than others, you require commitment to give your relationship a chance at survival. Relationship counselling is an important factor that could help couples through their tough times, but there are also some tips to help you transform your strained relationship with your spouse.
Communicate with a Listening Ear
It's easier to talk than listen, isn't it? You probably want to talk about your thoughts and feelings, sometimes ignoring the fact that your partner shares his or her own too. Instead of always being the one to speak, take the opportunity to ask about your spouse's feelings. The clues of a strained relationship will come to you if you simply listen. Focus on what your spouse is trying to tell you and ask questions if you don't understand something. Take the time to hear every concern and understand what your partner is going through. You'll be surprised at how many relationships can heal just through lending a listening ear. Once you have understood the concerns of your spouse, you can take steps to address them together –– whether you need to mutually discuss your issues alone or whether you need relationship counselling.
Build Memories, Not Possessions
Many people tend to assume that showering lavish material possessions will solve all their problems. In reality, it is merely concealing the problem temporarily until it arises once again. Does your wife really need another necklace? Or does your husband need another camera lens? Use this money to spend quality time and create a lifetime of memories together. For example, start a hobby class that you can both enjoy together. It doesn't matter what you choose –– the entire point is that you take time out of your busy schedule to do it together. Doing something exciting together will be far more memorable than any material possessions.
Don't Let High Strung Emotions Control Your Words
Too many couples go through rough times because of harsh words spoken in intensely emotional moments. Have you ever said something you regretted later and wish you could take back? You're like millions of people out there, but you can't take it back, and a few harsh words could potentially destroy your relationship with your spouse. When you're angry or upset, it's easy to lose sight of your partner's feelings, but take the time to breathe and regain your rational thinking. Your relationship will be much stronger just by waiting a few seconds and thinking before speaking.
Use these tips as the stepping-stone to forging a stronger relationship with your spouse. And if they don't work for your situation, never underestimate the power of relationship counselling for bringing couples together.