Written by: Katya on 04/08/17
Relationships can be a challenge. Marriage has some unique hurdles because it’s easy to develop habits, routines, and assumptions that can undermine proper communication.
“Nagging” is a habit in which a person exerts considerable energy in presenting a persistent stream of complaints or criticism, often passively, in such a way that it drips like a leaky faucet in the mind of another person. It’s not an effective form of communication, but it is a common one, nonetheless. If this unhealthy habit has developed in your relationship, take time to jot down these tips for a healthier life to help you replace it with constructive, relationship-building dialogue. Here are some common circumstances that can promote exasperation and the urge to nag your spouse. Be intentional with your attitude, and turn them into opportunities to make the flame burn brighter between you two!
Not in love with his sense of style? It’s important to recognize that he likes what he likes, and that’s ok. But, if something he wears really does drive you crazy, don’t tease about it or roll your eyes at him. Take some time to really think about what you love to see him wearing. Think about before you were married, what styles he wore that really caught your eye and made him shine. Present those alternatives to what he’s wearing in the proper light. No one likes to feel like their preferences are not good enough for other people. We want to feel free to be ourselves. But, there’s no doubt that sometimes people just stop paying attention to how they present themselves and that can become irritating.
Introducing your man to a new style can be a tricky subject. If he really loves a particular item and wears it with everything (whether it looks right or not), be intentional in your approach, look up men’s fashion tips for ideas and pick something out that you love that goes well with his go-to item. Find something complimentary that brings out his best features – then ask what he thinks of it. If you’re ready for a change in how he wears his facial hair, but he shows no sign of switching it up, just ask how he would feel about trying something new, just for a season, to see if he likes it.
Using this example, the first relationship tip for improved communication is to ask for input, instead of simply pointing out what you think should change. Who hasn’t gotten in a rut and needed to try something new? But sometimes people don’t get around to it because there are more important things to think about and do. It wouldn’t make a favourable impression to have someone tell you, “Wow, that really looks awful, I wish you would stop wearing that.” But people respond well to someone saying, “I think this would look really great with what you are wearing – what do you think of it?” The cardinal rule, however, is that if he agrees to try something new but prefers to go back to his favourite style, don’t force anything. You married him, after all, for who he is – let him be himself!
Making time for activities that you both enjoy can be another common complaint for couples. It’s not the same once you have kids, and if both of you work outside the home, it can get really challenging.
The answer is simply to make it a priority. It does no good to complain about how busy life is if you’re not willing to do something about it. So open the lines of communication, and get creative with your schedule! Living a healthy lifestyle means having balance – and plenty of time for nurturing your relationships. So when the two of you make a priority of sitting down together and scheduling date nights before you fill in the rest of your calendar, it sets the tone for how your days, weeks, and months will go. Instead of realizing regretfully you haven’t had a date in three months, you can confidently say “no” to the ample opportunities for being busy that would have otherwise crowded the calendar.
For couples that have been dealing with stress, excessively busy schedules, or frequent miscommunications, a helpful relationship tip for bringing positive vibes back is to tell your love story. Tell it to your kids, share it with your friends, write about it on your blog – communicate with the world what is so wonderful about the relationship you share with your spouse. How did it begin? What have been your favorite moments? What have you learned about yourself and about your spouse? Talk about your growth from hard times, and memories from good times.
This sounds strange, but it’s really easy to do. People love to tell stories. They also like to hear them. And this practice is a pragmatic way of bringing the reasons you fell in love, to begin with back to the forefront of your mind – which is a really helpful way of putting any frustrations into perspective to help your communications take a more positive tone.
Power up your marriage with intentionally positive communication. You’ll be amazed at the difference you notice as soon as you begin working on this habit. Even if it only starts with one of you, it won’t take long for your spouse to get on board.
Let us know what you notice and how the results are from this experiment – share your insights below!
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