Relationships can be rewarding but can also be a challenge.
If you're starting to notice your partner withdrawing a bit, keep reading along. Relationship and Marriage counselor, Jill White-Huffman provides tips about getting closer to your spouse.
Ways To Increase Closeness In Your Relationship or Marriage
• Trust: If your partner has not given you a reason to doubt don't assume or be insecure as a result of past hurts and disappointments.
• Respect: On outings make your partner feel a part by welcoming Him/Her to join in conversations, also allow Him/Her to make decisions.
• Support: Their opinions and decisions even if you don't agree, allow them the opportunity to handle it the way they see fit.
• Honesty: Disclose things that may cause potential problems later in the relationship.
• Communicate: Set time aside each day to sit down to talk Eye-To-Eye.
• Plan Outings Together: (Date Nights, Vacations, Spontaneous)
• Search For Reliable and Trusting Childcare: So that you can spend time alone.
• Family Gatherings: Also both partners should be involved in their Children's School Activities and Studies.
• Self-Care and Alone Time: Do not lose your Individuality, Independence, Space and Privacy.
• Say "We", "Us", and "Our[s]": Really feel and show like you're a couple. Wear each other's clothing that may be appropriate (girl wears husbands/boyfriends sweat shirt), drink from same glass, wear what partner has bought you around them and etc.
Communication Tools That Can Save Your Relationship/Marriage
Examples: Unhealthy Non Verbal & Verbal Communication Patterns
Unhealthy Non Verbal Communication Patterns
Avoidance or Withdrawal: Distance yourself by staying in another room or shrugging shoulders that represent "It is OK" rather than sharing your opinion.
Facial Expressions: Rolling your eyes or no eye contact
Yelling Provokes Anger: No matter what you are trying to communicate at that point nothing will be heard because your partner's emotion is going to take center stage.
You Do Not Always Have To Win: It is OK to have disagreements.
Negative Interpretations: it is not fair to wrongly accuse your partner of something they did not do nor they ever thought. Remember, you are not a mind reader!!!!
Put Downs: Calling your partner Stupid, Crazy, Dumb, etc.
Healthy Nonverbal Communication Patterns
• Smiles, Eye Contact, Holding Hands, Hugs, Kisses, etc.
Healthy Verbal Communication Patterns
Emotional Communication is KEY: It can be compared to the Circulatory System of the relationship.
• Partners are heard and listen to each other
Open Communication/Connecting With One Another:
• Greet One Another before leaving each other's presence and when returning on a daily basis.
• When communicating with your partner Sit Down and talk, stay in the here and now (No Distractions) and use Eye Contact when communicating with one another.
• Conflict and Disagreements is healthy when you strive to keep communication positive
• Switch Days or Weeks to work on one issue and do not avoid things that bother you.
• Conflicts can be opportunities for but you must be able to de-escalate properly Time Outs may be helpful.
• Use Role Reversal when and if needed
When we are physically sick and we experience symptoms of physical illness we seek professional help, and couples should also seek assistance when symptoms of "illness" occur their relationships.
Jill White-Huffman, MS, LPC, MFT, LMBT
1921 D Boulevard St.
Greensboro, NC 27407