I feel undervalued” instead of “You don’t appreciate me.”
•Reading great books or articles on relationships together or if only one partner is a reader, using the subject matter as the basis for couple discussions
•Complimenting each other or showing appreciation when something is done right in the relationship
•Practicing random acts of kindness; for example, delivering flowers outside of special dates like Valentine’s or birthdays, paying for a spa-day for our spouse, making breakfast, rubbing tired feet at night, doing a body massage with no “sexpectation” (if you get lucky well so be it), buying a special item for our spouse which we know he/she has had an eye on for a while
•Spending valuable time together just connecting and having fun
•Setting up clear boundaries for the things we will absolutely not tolerate in the relationship like infidelity, abuse or any form of dishonesty
•Accessing help from a counselor, pastor, mentor or friend when we think that things are way over the top and that we are clearly not coping
Getting to this point of positive relationship practices, is however not automatic. We must be proactive and be willing to do whatever is necessary to breed a healthy relationship, even before the challenges come. That means knowing the pulse beat of our relationship by living in the moments and not avoiding them. Ultimately, when we are open about our pain, and seek help, we begin the cycle of relationship renewal.