Is your relationship in a rut? Maybe you know that something’s missing in your relationship but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Being in a relationship rut means that you are neither particularly unhappy with your partner but you also not particularly happy. It’s like being in a comfortable place of indifference and acceptance that you can’t seem to get out of…why? Simply because it’s what you’ve both become accustomed to and you don’t know how to change it. But, here’s some great news...it doesn’t have to be this way! We all sometimes need a wake-up call to rouse us out of mediocrity and into the life and relationship of our dreams. There is a way to do this in your relationship and I’m going to give you some tips on how to get there.
1. Make a checklist – how are you supposed to make changes if you don’t know what needs to be changed? The best thing to do is to start your checklist with all the general relationship success givens (e.g. trust, love, respect, etc) and then to customize this list with all the things that have always been key to you and your partner (e.g. having fun together, independence, etc). Make sure that you do this together so that both of you are contributing.
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2. Highlight the items on your list that you both feel need the most work. For example, you have both become too caught up in your careers and can’t remember the last time that you had fun together.
3. Set time aside to discuss each item and why you feel why each one is crucial to work on – as an example, perhaps your partner is always checking your text messages, which you feel is an invasion of your privacy. This boils down to a trust issue. You and your partner should each take a turn to discuss your point of view on this issue and listen to each other’s perspective.
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4. Act to resolve these issues – actively work to resolve these issues. Make time to spend together, resolve any trust issues as much as possible (with or without counseling, depending on the depth of the issue), make an effort to split the household chores more, etc.
5. Keep at it – remember that this is not an overnight process – both partners need to work on this on an ongoing basis. Also, if any other issues crop up at any point, add them to your list and follow steps 1-4 again