Strategies to assist in strengthening your relationship and assist in resolving difficulties.
- One way to build a relationship based on caring is to try doing something once a day as an 'act of caring' towards your partner. You might keep it simple and small to begin with, you could make an unexpected phone call, send a text message, buy a small gift, or spend some dedicated time with your partner.
- Another strategy is to revisit a good memory that involves your partner. As you reflect on this memory look for the beauty you experienced in your partner. What do you notice about them? What is it about your partner in that moment that has your attention? Then, today when you are with your partner, take some time to actively look for qualities in them that you appreciate or admire.
- An important skill to develop is handling the difficult times effectively. Often when our buttons are pushed we become reactive and our communication suffers. One idea, when this occurs, is to create some breathing space, to give you a moment to respond differently. You could try the following as one way to ground yourself to short circuit conflict.
- Push your feet into the floor, notice the muscle tension in your legs and the feeling of the ground supporting you.
- Become aware of your breathing, breathe deeply if you aren't. Notice the sensation of your lungs emptying and refilling.
- Name how you are feeling to yourself (eg. I'm having a feeling of frustration, fear, confusion etc).
- Now look around and notice what you can see and hear around you.
- Then ask yourself, what could I do or say now that would be useful in the long run.
There are many ways to gain ideas about how to improve our relationships. These can include reading self-help books, talking to trusted friends or family, attending workshops or courses, and talking to a professional counsellor.
Two options you might consider are looking at www.relationships.com.au for a wealth of information or arranging an appointment to speak with a Counsellor at the University of Canberra Health and Counselling Service (to do this call the service on 02 6201 2351).
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