In today’s time and age, with technology, social obligations, need for personal space, and pressures from work, couples have somehow drawn apart. Managing and multitasking work with personal affairs is the need today, where most couples struggle. Here are a few tricks and tips that couples, whether co-habiting, married, both working or not, can apply and change their relationship dynamics for the better.
Related reading: How couple-dynamics have changed across generations, for the better
1. Expectations: Expectation help us grow in life and become better. But, when the expectations become rigid demands from your spouse and you intend that he/she behaves the way you wish them to, problems arise. It’s important to look at how the other person is. Their personality, their value system (which may be different from yours), and most importantly, the skills they possess.
Not everyone is equipped to do everything. Access what each of you is good at and enjoy the best of each other.
2. Communication: A lot has been said and written about communication between partners. And yes, a lot more will be said, simply because healthy and effective communication can help build a foundation for a strong, respectful and loving relationship. With both having their responsibilities at home and work, it’s important that your love, acceptance, genuine regard and warmth is communicated through words and body language. Little gestures like a peck on the cheek, a warm hug or a genuine smile can go a long way in helping the other relax and bring joy. Keep your communication open and focused on solutions rather than problems.
Related reading: Couples that laugh together
3. Schedules: Nothing can work better for you than being on a schedule. How you manage your time and schedule work at both office and home between the two of you, can help reduce a lot of your stress. It helps you manage your work better, in turn leaving enough room for you as a couple to have your time. Leave room for some surprises too. Helping each other with chores, and surprising with gifts, gestures and voluntarily taking on a responsibility can go a long way in building mutual respect and acceptance.
4. Win some lose some: One cannot have it all. Prioritising and compromising is the key to have balance. Its important to work around the need of the hour and being able to shift responsibilities. It not only helps the job get done, but builds trust between partners.
5. Choose your battles: If at the end of the day you wish to come to a happy home and have a great time with each other, it’s important that you learn to choose what you wish to fight about and fight for. Avoid and let go of things that are unimportant and spark unnecessary tension between you.
6. Spark: Marriage or partnership is constant work. There are different phases in your relationship and each phase brings certain changes. During courtship, a half hour phone call in the middle of the night could do the trick and may be now, a good relaxed meal at home or outside can help you have a good time together. Recognise and learn what works for you and give yourself the chance to build on that spark. Have the “US” time.
If you have children, understand that the children came after you became a couple and they will eventually leave. You are a couple first and parents later, no matter how big a responsibility the child may be. Take help from neighbours, friends and family.
Most importantly, know that two individuals with different personalities have come together. There will always be differences, and some will rub off on each other. That’s what it’s about. Ultimately, no one really wants to be in a relationship to be unhappy and struggle. However, if you are unhappy and find yourself struggling, couples counselling can help you learn skills to build a happier relationship.
Snigdha Mishra specialises in Depression & Anxiety Management, Anger Management, Relationship and Marital Counselling, Feminist Counselling, Stress Management along with other Adult Life issues. She is now available for counselling on Bonobology and can be contacted along with the rest of our panel here: http://www.bonobology.com/relationship-counselling