Covid-19 has caused many challenges for everyone, and for many married couples, including ours, it has generated new challenges! Even though the Covid curtain is slowly rising, there will be lasting impacts on relationships as we move forward. My deep desire is to provide you will tips and tools that will help you be more resilient in your personal life, your relationships, and your business endeavors
Here are five things you can do to keep your marriage healthy. These tips come from the work of Drs. John and Julie Gottman.
I want to take a brief look at one New Testament passage that, if put into practice would enhance every relationship. It is found in the New Testament book of Ephesians 4:31-32. NLT
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
With this principle in mind, here are the five things you can do to reduce stress in your marriage.
- Listen – Conversation is all about intentionally engaging each other. There are two roles, one as a listener and one as a speaker. The speaker’s job is to communicate as clearly as possible. The other must listen or ask questions to better understand how their partner is feeling. The listener’s job is not to fix the other person’s problem or bring up their issues.
- Demonstrate Empathy – this means guessing what your partner is feeling, naming it, and then saying, ‘I get it, that makes perfect sense to me. According to Gottman, “This is the best way to reduce our partner’s stress because they don’t feel alone in their feelings.
- Catch your partner doing the right things. I know, this is a big one for us. In the early days of quarantine, we tended to get on each other’s nerves because we were together 24/7 for weeks. Even after nearly 50 years, we both have some habits that tend to annoy each other. It is vital to resist the temptation to point out the negative and catch them doing something right.
- Express love – This is a place to be liberal! Let your partner know that you find them beautiful, handsome, caring. Be bold and call out what you love about your partner, not just what they are doing. Hint – you might want to check out the free love languages test link.
- Timeouts work for adults. In my practice, I’ve had scores of couples tell me that their arguments are more intense and their stress has been higher than before due to Covid. “Ask your partner to give you 30 minutes so you can calm down. Go to a different place and don’t think about the fight. Don’t think about your rebuttal. Don’t even pray for an answer. Instead, do something distracting. Maybe read a book, listen to some music, or your favorite podcast. Take a few moments to catch your breath and recalibrate. This is the only way your body can calm down where you are no longer in a fight or flight mode. This way, you can return to the conversation in a more relaxed state and hopefully have some resolution.
So, what do you need to do today to enhance your relationship?
What are you going to do today to “be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another?
What can you do to listen better?
How can you demonstrate empathy to your partner?
What is one thing you can complement them on today?
How can you express your love for them before bedtime?
For more help, click on this link to get my e-book, 21 Ways to Improve Your Marriage. You can also text the word 21ways to 33777 to get it.