3. Speak up. It’s not easy, but if you really want to
improve the relationship, you have to clearly state your needs. It’s best to do this when you’re both
relaxed, and to frame the conversation in “I” sentences. If you start the conversation by saying, “You
never clean up after yourself” or “you’re too absorbed with work and don’t pay
me any attention” you’re more likely to shut him down than open a
4. Offer concrete suggestions for
improvement. If you don’t feel
appreciated, name a few specific things he can do to show appreciation. Men are doers, not thinkers. I mean no disrespect here, their brains are
just wired differently than ours (and of course, there are exceptions to every
rule). Their ideas for how to show
appreciation might not mean much to you.
If you’re taking it this far, you might as well ask for exactly what you
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5. Be consistent. You can’t expect to have one talk magically
improve a relationship that’s been going downhill for months or years. Be consistent with your self-care, and be
consistent in requesting to get your needs met.
Change isn’t easy for most people.
Left to our own devices, we’ll revert back to old behaviors. Given gentle, consistent reminders, we can
navigate change more graciously.
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6. Make time each week to connect with
your partner. Life gets busy, especially
with kids. Commit to spending some time
alone together every week, even if it’s for twenty minutes over coffee on
Sunday morning. Use this time to check
in with how you’re feeling about each other and the relationship. By consciously connecting to each other as
partners, you’ll deepen your connection, which will help when times get