If you and your partner are going through a rough patch, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that it’s 100% normal. Relationships ebb and flow, so even though things are strained right now, the next loving and happy period of your relationship is right around the corner. It's even possible for couples on the brink of a breakup or divorce to fall back in love with each other. I’ve found that there are three very specific (somewhat surprising!) things that anyone can do to guide their relationship through a rough patch while rebuilding love and intimacy.
Save Your Relationship Tip #1: Be specific with your praise.
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Have you ever noticed that people are very specific with their criticism, but less specific with their praise? The truth is, general proclamations of love like, "You’re the best," and "I love you" fall flat after awhile, especially if you and your partner have been together for longer than a couple of years. Instead, try saying something like:
"I love it when you greet me at the door after a long day. I may not thank you for doing that enough, but I want you to know it makes me feel really loved and missed."
Save Your Relationship Tip #2: Don’t fight dirty.
Fighting is normal and healthy — but only when you do it right. If you’re constantly fighting dirty with your spouse and saying really mean things just to hurt them, you’re not fighting fair, and you could be doing irreparable damage to your relationship.
If this is a challenge for you, try inventing a proper English houseguest and pretend he’s right down the hall during your next argument. I guarantee you’ll think twice before raising your voice or saying something hurtful if you think someone is listening in.
Save Your Relationship Tip #3: Put away the self-help books. (Seriously!)
You know your partner best, so for crying out loud put down the self-help books, and tune into what you know makes them happy. For example, do you know that she loves tacos, but you never cook them for dinner because you’re not crazy about them? If so, surprise her with homemade tacos this week! Or, does he really like having you by his side, like you were in the beginning, when he scores a home run playing for his local league? I’m not saying you have to go to every game, but showing up for things he loves just because he loves having you there — how cool is that?
These are little things that are easy to do, but they’ll show your partner that you’re serious about making them happy, both saving your relationship and getting your love life back on track.
More ways to say I Love You from YourTango:
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- 15 Simple Romantic Gestures That Say 'I Love You'
- Romance: How To Keep It Going Forever
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