We are in the third week in the relationships block of challenges. I think I saved some of these big topics for the last part of the 52 weeks because they are just that – big ! My hope was that having done such deep and hard work in the first 12 weeks it would naturally lead us to changes in other areas like our relationships. I am calling this week “marriage” but really I mean you current relationship – regardless of the label.
When you know your values or have a mission statement you are forced to think about how you want your family relationships to be. Hopefully you have worked through those challenges and the parenting one (if relevant) with your other half.
Relationships are usually complex especially when it comes to a person you live with. You don’t have the same degree of independence and space that you once had. Possibly add in children and it becomes more difficult to find enough quality time alone together. Stresses of family life, finances, jobs, chores, he said she said and more can complicate what was once simple – you love each other and chose each other from a sea of millions of people.
So this week that is my challenge for us all – focus on this person you chose to be with. Pick your challenge from the list below. Start with one idea and maybe choose others as you go ahead after this week. Only you know what your relationship needs right now. All I can tell you (and myself) is that it takes intentional effort at times to get things back on track or keep them moving along in the direction you want to head. It is never too late to try again.
My marriage has been permanently altered thanks to my battles with depression and anxiety, but I am grateful that we keep fighting for our marriage. It has been many years and I will admit we are still far from where I want us to be, but our commitment to each other and desire to stay together is the most important part of this thing called marriage.
I do not underestimate the power of our still wanting to be here and fight for our marriage. Intention is not enough though and we need to follow up with actions. What do we do every day that shows our other half that we love them, care for them, respect them, hear them, want them – or not?
Look for the positive and good in your other half:
Idea 1: Pause before you react to things your other half says or does this week. Choose being kind over being right. Try to see where they are coming from – what do they need, what are they trying to get across to you, can you let it go this time?
Choosing not to pick at things or fight or have it your way can take effort sometimes, but the ripple effect can be huge.
Idea 2: If you have been together a long time you can forget some of the amazing things about your other half – what brought you together, what made you laugh 10 years ago, what attracted you to them and more.
I saw this amazing post on Becoming Mum where she wrote 30 things she loved about her husband for his 30th birthday. Sunday happens to be my 13th wedding anniversary (almost 18 years together) and I chose this for my own challenge this week. I have not decided on my number yet but I plan to write my own list as part of my gift to my husband. I know it is something he can keep and re-read and I hope it fills his heart. I also know it will help me to bring into focus all the positive things and once I start I hope it takes me down memory lane and then right up to the present. It is easy to focus on a Thursday about the bins that did not get taken out or the late night at work (again). This week pause and focus on all the little and big things your other half DOES do and what makes them the person you chose!
Stay in the present:
Idea 3: If you tend to hold onto baggage or the past try to let it go and focus solely on the current moment. Let go of how things used to be and focus on today and building a future. Let go of the fight that happened a week ago or even 20 minutes ago. Try to simply live in each moment as it happens and treat it on its own.
Spice things up:
Idea 4: Most relationships (not all) go through periods of becoming routine and comfortable. Life gets busy, we get comfortable, we get tired, kids sleep in our beds or wake us in the night, we settle for “relaxing” over “exciting”. Perhaps your challenge this week will be to shake things up - have more sex, do things differently, surprise your other half, say yes to things you might normally say no to, don’t do your “usual” and just see where the week takes you.
Now I am far from a marriage and relationship expert so I will leave this open for you to decide. If in your heart you know something that is a sticking point and complicating your relationship challenge yourself on that this week. Make the effort, let something go, be the bigger person, practice gratitude, take action, speak up, clear the air, do something!
How will you challenge your relationship this week?
Find your simple,
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