Relationships can be a source of stress for many individuals.
It’s rich in resources for pushing buttons, triggering annoyances, and goading unresolved issues.
As a therapist and stress coach, I often have clients that want to work on the stress within the relationship (which usually revolves around changing the other person), to attain some calm and stillness at home and with each other.
While changing the other person is not something we focus on, there are other options that I explore with an individual. For example, sometimes the strain of a relationship comes from there not being enough quality time spent together.
Couples that have been together way past the honeymoon stage find themselves in the “rut” of the “reality” phase.
When conversations are focused on surface topics, such as schedules, bills, errands, etc — this is significantly different than the more intimate conversations that engaged the earlier courtship. Previous conversations may have focused on secret dreams, passions, and fantasies.
In an NYT article the author discusses an “experiment” about answering questions for yourself peppered with sharing your opinion about your partner. As the questions increased one’s level of vulnerability, there is the added component of staring into each other’s eyes.
The author explores (in her own self-experiment) what happens when this “experiment” is conducted in a loose sort of way; yet with the intention of understanding the relationship connection.
As it so often occurs in many relationships, when the strain of the “intimate” part of the equation is lost, the author explores one option to perhaps rekindling some of that intimacy and lessening that stress.
Another option is something that a friend of mine shared. It was a list of 50 Life secrets and tips. The goal here is that each person chooses something to work on in the month and both of you talk about that process.
Not only does it give you something to talk about besides the mundane surface topics, it gives you something you are actively doing together to increase your relationship satisfaction and decrease your stress. What can be better than that?
If you end up trying either of these, I am curious to know what happens, so please connect with me and let me know.