As one year ends and another begins, many of us consider what we want to improve in our lives. From fitness to health to more time with family, now is a good time to reflect on your relationship and the changes you want to make in 2015.
If you are looking for ideas on how to improve your relationships in 2015, here are 4 tips to help get you started.
1. Let Your Partner Influence You - According to relationship researcher and expert Dr. John Gottman, "the most stable marriages are those in which the husband treats his wife with respect and does not resist power sharing and decision making with her. When these couples disagree, these husbands actively search for common ground rather than insisting on getting their own way.
It’s just as important for wives to treat their husbands with honor and respect. But our data indicate that the vast majority of wives—even in unstable marriages—already do that." So, whether your male or female it's important listen to your partner and try to see their point of view.
2. Stop Criticizing When You Argue - Research indicates that whether you get mad as hell or avoid conflict altogether, negativity and criticism outweighs positivity by five to one. That means for every critical statement you make to your partner, it takes five positive statements to wipe it out. So be thoughtful of what you say, and how you say it when you argue. Lead with kindness.
3. Give Up Technology - Can't give up your computer, cell phone, iPad, or television? How about setting a 2hr Tech Free zone? Instead of turning on one of the many distracting electronics in your home, dust off the dining room table, pull out the 'real' dishes and eat a meal together. If you're feeling bold, plan and prepare a meal together. If dinner time conflicts with your schedule, plan a date night once a week, (think game night, going for a walk, or taking a drive). Just make sure you are focused on each other and not glancing at the clock for 2hrs.
4. Show Appreciation - Notice what your partner does well. Think of what you appreciate and just say it to them out loud. Want to surprise your partner? Write a note and leave it on their car steering wheel, bicycle or bathroom mirror . The more specific you can be about what you appreciate, the more positive your impact on that person may be.
Remember relationships take effort from both partners. That’s why it’s helpful to reflect on the past year and consider how you’d like to change or improve your relationship in 2015. The above resolutions highlight just a few of the meaningful ways to honor your relationship, strengthen connection and have more fun.