February 25, 2015
With 2015 just under way and Chinese New Year barely behind us, many couples are focussing on goals for the coming year. Unfortunately some are already dealing with disappointment and struggles. Financial matters, failing health, and/or family issues all contribute to relational conflicts. Some of these challenges are beyond our control. We can however, adopt a new mindset to see these issues, not as insurmountable challenges but, as opportunities for growth in our relationships.
When your relationship seems to be under attack, reset how you and your “significant other” face them.
Sit down together for a positive conversation, reflecting and speaking openly about the struggles faced, the changes that are occurring and how you might address the struggles – individually and together as a couple.
Consider times when the problems of the day divide rather than unite you as a couple. Don’t relive past decisions, but focus on how you can do better next time. Resolve that in the coming year, you’ll try to face difficulties with an “us vs the problem” attitude, instead of a “me vs you” mentality.
Decide together to approach the coming year with a sense of lightheartedness. Develop and practice the ability to laugh together at the uncontrollable things of life. Even this takes practice, as some of us are naturally wired to be more serious. Make a point to laugh more – it does work.
Mentally tear up the list of the ways your partner has failed, disappointed, or hurt you in the past. Decide that this year, you won’t keep a “record of wrongs.” Write a letter listing all those big and small things that you may be carrying inside seal them up – then burn the letter (in a safe manner of course). Now do your best to overlook offenses, deal with the issue and then, as the song says, “Let it go!”
Share your individual and family expectations and desires for the coming year. Honestly discuss practical everyday issues – and don’t forget to write them down. For example, maybe this is the year to implement a plan to get out of debt or enjoy the time away that you have spoken about for ages. Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to your hopes and dreams for the next twelve months?
Decide this year that no matter what challenges you may face, that you’re in them together. In your marriage, declare this the year of “Team Us!”
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