Kirra, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads

Tuesday 10 June 2014

How to Maintain Marriage "Vibrance"

12 Tips for Relationship Harmony

My husband and I chose to hold hands as often as possible.  Until he died.  People constantly remarked how we seemed like 'a new honeymoon couple'.  For us, hand-holding had become a primary way we most potently felt a communication closeness.
There were certain steps I took to ensure my marriage became more and more the “fairytale” desired of many females.  I am happy to reveal them now, for the first time, since my husband’s passing 3 years ago.  May these 12 precious tips see your partnership enhanced, enriched and nourished and your love life magically renewed.
Tip 1.  Discover your partner’s “unique love code”
Find your particular coupledom way of close communion by paying attention to each other’s “love language”.  Your partner may do most things totally unlike your way. For example, he (or she) might organize surprises (when you loathe them!), be mega methodical (when you like spontaneity), not 'talk' (yet love making you things).  Discovering and learning to appreciate and enjoy each other’s unique way to 'give' is a primary key to delightful enduring enjoyable relationship.
Tip 2.  I love it when you.....”
Getting what we want from each other is an 'art' of non-manipulation. Encouraging our partner to understand and bring forward our preferences can be easy when clear, kind, direction (not stipulation!) is given.  For example, a bunch of flowers of your most unfavourite type, is produced in your most unfavourite way (yes, including not being 'produced' at all - when to receive flowers is one of your dearest desires.)
The phrase: “I love it when you.....” can be magical. Giving our partner a 'bouquet' of positive reinforcements of specific things they DO do, that you DO like, is the fastest way to more! The ubiquitous bouquet of actual flowers you so desire would most likely arrive faster and more accurately to your actual colour and type, preference, this way.
Telling each other what we DONT like & DONT want, is the fastest way to more of that! My husband and I chose to consciously avoid doing this. It took some self-discipline at first, but then became a habit.
Noticing that I could tend to 'shrew' my husband, apparently out of 'left field' ie:- admonish him for some extremely minor 'crime' (like wiping the bench 'the wrong way’ - with the ‘wrong cloth’!) I decided to set about eliminating such madnesses from my behaviour. Easier said than done! Such damaging behaviours are usually buried from a “childhood programme”.
Tip 3.  Name it and laugh at it together
Learn to realize almost all “unreasonable behaviour” of each other and ourselves is probably a residual of things from our early formative years. These don’t need to be “fixed”, “analyzed”, or “understood” unless that is of particular fascination to you.
We chose and learned to use the humour of exaggeration, to dissolve such toxic behaviours rather than the 'accusation' that seemed to want to seep in.  It took me many mornings of greeting my husband with 'shrew' to master greeting him with 'goddess'!  He was most patient and we laughed a lot and learned to enjoy sharing our 'in-joke' of my 'shrew' and his 'timetabled' characters.
Tip 4.  It’s my irksome inner voice - don’t take it personally
Caring enough to learn of each other’s 'inner voices / characters' and not taking the ones that irk us personally when they seem to 'attack' YOU, is an art very worth developing. It can accelerate naturally harmonious coupledom and is a skill useful for any relationship.
Paying attention to the most expedient way for each partner to dissipate negative behaviours, (which make inevitable appearance, when suppressed and even often when not!) and helping each other to refine this, can naturally revive romance.
Obverse to popular belief, a sure 'passion-killer' can be the sentence: "When you don’t ...... I feel…...." unless it is used for a positive reinforcement. For example, "When you do all I ask... I feel slightly less peeved with you"!  Obsequious as this seems, it’s reinforcing the alarmingly more common belief that one member of the couple has 'power' to drive the direction of desires. This at best is only ever a "temporary truce" and thrusts the relationship into 'constant battle" turf. Be aware to stay out of the dangerous “battle” propensity that most coupledoms allow and which becomes the demise of the relationship harmony.
Tip 5.  Avoid the blame-shame game
Do NOT develop insistences that 'your way is 'the right' way! Instead show how a way you both may have habitualized has evolved to perhaps not be serving your joint initial intention of your relationship. It is up to the two people in a coupledom to keep it enriched. For this, behaviour momentum with natural review toward the couple’s original intentions is useful. When the 'agenda' of one partner dominates, troubles can arise.  If you feel 'I always do the positive things and he/she doesn’t bother", examine this and realize the 'blame-shame' game never leads to positive, desired change.
Tip 6.  Go it alone - the other will catch on
Contrary to popular belief, major change in a relationship CAN occur from only one person’s focus.  As long as that focus is on his/her OWN behaviour improvements and NOT on the 'crimes' of 'the other".
I learned this by observing how my husband consistently behaved kindly despite the erraticism my 'shrew' character liked to do. (Well, he MOSTLY behaved kindly even he 'lost it’ sometimes!) I decided that because this kindness gave such pleasurable positivity to me, that I would adopt this behaviour toward he, also, as I'd like it if he could be the recipient of such pleasure too. Unwittingly, this led to more mutual pleasure.
Tip 7.  Giving to the other is giving to ourselves
Realize that what we give, we give to ourselves. Pay particular attention to this actual Universal law, when feeling tempted to admonish.
Our marriage seemed to take a leap of enhancement ease, when we both stopped  'demanding' anything of each other and focused on how much pleasure we could GIVE, each other. Often this is natural when the oxytocins are coursing strongly at the 'honeymoon' phase. Then, it can rapidly dissolve once expectations seem to not be met and disappointments take root.
Tip 8.  Find the other’s views “fascinating”
Keep agreement as to what constitutes your particular “partnership equilibrium”.  This can be done by:- constantly finding as many things as possible that 'the other party'  is doing 'right'.
My husband and I had wildly differing preferences, domestic and personal habits, and even worldviews.  We naturally, as well as deliberately, evolved a true fascination with each others!
Tip 9.  Love and respect the differences
Become genuinely interested in the how, why and what of our partner’s preferences. Rather than imposing ours, by 'instructing' each other! And rather than choosing irritation with each other.
For example, my husband liked 3 meals a day at specific times. He had a litany of strongly timetabled sameness doings daily that he seemed to me to be 'most unspontaneous' (and yes “annoying”!) In the beginning “Mrs. Shrew” had a strong urge to 'admonish “Mr. Timetable” for his 'wrongness'...  "There is nothing enticing about getting out of bed the same way at the same time eeeeverreyee single day!",  she would superciliously desire to say! (and, yes, she did actually say such things until she realized the folly of such sentences!)  Criticisms such as this can be a major passion-killer!
Tip 10.  Avoid criticism – always!
For a lifetime best investment: Take the energy involved to teach oneself to avoid criticisms toward each other or oneself. We daily, deliberately, found as much as possible, to genuinely share as a blessing.
Tip 11.  Count the blessings, share the gratitude
Count blessings and gratitude. This focus alchemically dissolves worries and annoyances. Hence, when we held hands, we experienced a genuine mutually pleasurable exchange of our Essence best selves. 
And finally, my Top Tip...

Tip 12.  Wildly fancy each other!
View each other, all day every day, as if you have just met and fancy each other wildly. Act accordingly.