This is the time of Thanksgiving! Giving thanks for your family, friends, pie, and of course your SPOUSE! For some you reading this eNews e-mail you may have found yourself in a rut relationally. Maybe you just don't know what to do to get started in a positive direction. Small steps are all you need. Yes, baby steps in a positive direction can be the difference between working it out and kicking them out. Before you toss in the towel try just altering 5.5 hours in your week. Not even 5.5 hours in your day JUST your week. This will make a difference:
1. Partings: Don’t part in the morning without knowing one interesting thing that will happen in your partner’s day, and kiss for a minimum of six seconds. Two minutes a day x 5 working days.
TOTAL = 10 MINUTES
2. Reunions: The 6 second kiss. The stress-reducing conversation. Each partner take 10 minutes to talk about your day. Partner listens actively and gives support. Rule: Understanding must precede advice. 20 minutes a day x 5 days.
TOTAL = 1 HOUR 40 MINUTES
3. Admiration and Appreciation: Find some way every day to genuinely communicate affection and appreciation for your partner.
5 minutes/day x 7 days TOTAL = 35 MINUTES
4. Affection: Kiss, hold hands, grab, touch each other. Play is good. Make sure to kiss each other before going to sleep and in this case follow the admonition in Ephesians: “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” The 6 second kiss. 5 minutes a day x 7 days a week.
TOTAL = 35 MINUTES
5. Love Maps: Update your Love Maps. The Love Map is when you ask questions to get to know your spouse's hopes, dreams, triumps, strivings, fears, difficulties, how they've healed from issues, their emotional world, and where they see themselves and the relationship in the future. Turn towards one another. Go out on a relationship date Think of great questions to ask your partner (e.g. “how are thinking of changing to bedroom these days?” or “What would be your idea of a great getaway?” or “How are you thinking of your work these days?”) These dates can sometimes be about resolving a relationship issue.
TOTAL = 2 HOURS ONCE A WEEK
6. Aftermath of a Fight: For the first few months after treatment, consider practicing an aftermath of a fight once a week.
We encourage you to use it with smaller disagreements so that you can get the hang of the 6 steps encompassed in the process. Remember that the masters of relationships rarely use all 6 steps at the same time.
The process was created for the purpose of learning all 6 steps. Do this process 20 times, and you’ll find yourself incorporating different aspects of it spontaneously while discussing an area of disagreement (e.g. listening and validating your partner’s subjective reality or catching if one of you is flooded or taking responsibility for some piece of the issue).
TOTAL = THIRTY MINUTES ONCE A WEEK
I know we are all so busy and with the holiday season upon us it is easy to forget to take a moment and really love our spouse. Doing these little things every week will make a huge difference. Come on most of you already have the license to smooch! Why not take full advantage of it?