I’m finding in this season of my life that I’m witnessing lots of my friends and family members really struggle with connection with their partners. I’d like to share some ways with you to better manage challenging seasons in your relationship and ways to start showing love and admiration for your partner. Here are four ways to show your partner they matter to improve your relationship:
1. Stop Waiting
I know that many times we feel that a relationship should be 50/50 when it comes to showing and expressing love. But in all reality, we have to choose how we want to act in our relationship regardless of what our spouse is doing. (Easier said than done right!) If you are waiting for your partner to be the first to show you that you matter, you might be waiting a while. This is why we have to take full responsibility for our actions and how much effort we put in our relationship and not wait for our spouse to make the first move.I always say to clients you have to be the person in your relationship that aligns with your values and priorities. If it is not reciprocated over a period of time and multiple conversations, then you get to decide if this relationship is the healthiest for you.
2. Use Their Love Language
Many times in our relationship we will feel disconnected from our partner. It’s very easy for this to happen because we all live very busy lives. Ultimately, we have to make time and become very conscientious about how we show our partners that they matter. It’s largely about prioritizing them and also being mindful.
What do I mean by “use their love language”? If my husband says he “shows” me that I matter by buying me presents, my response will be “Thank you, but that’s not how I receive love.” See, I receive love through words of affirmation and physical touch, so my love language is different from how he was trying to express it. Because we get so caught up in our own bubble of stress, we don’t recognize that our spouses may not feel appreciated or respected. It’s important to check-in and ask if what you are doing is being received with the intentions you are doing it with.
3. Don’t Rush The Process
We all want to feel a sense of value and appreciation, but we all have different ways. All of our personalities are different, so these feelings of respect will show up differently for each of us. It’s ok if you are not on the same page right away. Your partner may take longer to show his or her appreciation for you. That’s ok. It’s a process, but someone has to step up and make the first move to make a change.
Think of each thing you are doing to show your partner they matter as adding to the “trust and love bank.” If the bank was already in the red, then it’s going to take a while to really have your partner see what you are doing. Don’t assume the first time you show them love they won’t be on guard or defensive. I have even had a husband finally start saying positive things about his wife in session, and she started yelling at him about everything he had done wrong. It can be uncomfortable to receive positive deposits in our bank when for so long we feel like it’s been negative withdrawals.
4. Be Yourself
In relationships, when we stop being who we truly are and stop aligning with our values, then we start to feel anxious, depressed or disconnected. These feelings make us feel like we are in a fight or flight mode on a regular basis. When this is happening in a relationship, it creates a struggle and lots of tension, which starts to tear away at who we are and our core values. Sometimes we even get in a habit of acting the way we think our partner wants us to. Let me just tell you, I have worked with plenty of couples where this has happened and the other partner wants nothing of the sort! They miss their partner being authentic to who they really are.
As I start to empower these couples to be who they want to be in the relationship, instead of pointing the finger at their partners, then they start to reap the benefits. Check to see if you are starting to slip away from who you truly are and find ways to incorporate you back into your relationship.
My challenge for you is to look at how you are showing your partner that they matter. Additionally, when you show them that they matter, are you doing it in a way that is important to them? Are you speaking their love language? Our goal is to show them that they matter in ways that are meaningful to them, not just to us. We want the positive energy you put into your relationship to help it thrive so use these four tips for showing your partner they matter and let me know how it goes.