The Modern Gladiator | A Man's Guide to Living

The Little Stuff is Really the Big Stuff: Getting out of “The Relationship Rut”—Part 2

on February 15 | in Relationships & Dating | by | with No Comments

So you’ve found the love of your life, and your relationship has gotten comfortable. You have experienced the ups and downs of life with your mate: exciting…then boring…and exciting again. The reality of life sets in with work, children, family, and friends—so how do you keep your relationship in a good and healthy place?

The good news is that maintaining a healthy relationship doesn’t have to cost a ton of time or money. Keeping things on course is a matter of making small gestures or conscious choices each day. You can think of it much like a savings account: If you only put in one or two big deposits each year, it doesn’t ever seem to grow and thrive the same way it does if you add in a little bit every week.

Are you scared yet? You might be asking what kinds of little things we’re talking about.

Take a deep breath and relax—they’re small, but very impactful things.

1. Make it a Point to Notice Her Unique Qualities

Think about when you got your new car or your latest favorite gadget. Remember the excitement you experienced when you found that it did _______? Or remember how glad you were that you bought your phone because it has an app that does ______?

Now think about what kind of feelings it would cultivate in your heart for your wife or girlfriend if you consciously chose to learn something new or acknowledge something you already respected about her every day. It can be how she organizes and manages the house or how great she is at her job. To learn more about her, you might ask what her new favorite food is or what means more to her, a special time together over dinner or you running the vacuum. This piece is all about taking notice of the unique and special woman you have fallen in love with. This is how you can fall in love with her again and again!

If you are looking for extra credit on this one, keep a small notebook—or you can use one of the apps on the cool gadget mentioned above—and write these things down. The extra credit will help with the next step.

2. Remember Your Sweetie with the Little Things

man cooking for wife-relationshipIt can be a sticky note, a box of her favorite candy, or surprising her with her new favorite drink. It’s really that simple. Remember the extra credit journal mentioned above—this is where it comes in handy. So when you find out that her new favorite drink is a 3-pump white chocolate, 1-pump dark chocolate, 4 shot, half-caf, breve latte with whip and chocolate sprinkles, write that one down. When you surprise her with that warm bit of gooey goodness, she will know that you have been listening. It also speaks volumes when you take the extra effort to show her she is cherished.

Even a sticky note on her steering wheel telling her that she is the most beautiful “taxi mom” around is enough to say you are thinking about her.

3. Be Her Rock

Celebrate her successes. Support her when she is needing encouragement. Be a soft landing place when she is experiencing failures. By continuing to learn more about your lady each day, you will better know how to celebrate with her and support her when she needs it. As for being a soft landing, here is a great question to ask before you start to help her process her challenges: “What do you need me to do? Just listen? Just hold you? Or help you figure out what went wrong and how to change it?” Then listen to what she says.

4. Avoid “Cutting Down” Your Partner

couple arguing on couchThis is very powerful “little thing.” If you can master this, you will allow more space in your heart for the love of your spouse or girlfriend. The little complaints have a way of slowly eating away at the love in a relationship. So watch things like, “You drive too slow” or “You don’t appreciate what I do around here” or “You spend too much money.” When you nag at someone and throw hurtful statements off the cuff, it causes people to become defensive—then it is all about being right and proving the other person wrong. Instead of complaining, sit down with your honey and share your feelings and ask to work together for a solution.

The good news is once you get into these habits, it continues to build your relationship to be all that it can be. It seems like some pretty simple and easy steps to take each day, but they are very powerful. Through these exercises she will feel cherished and loved. You will be focusing on her positives, which gives her weaknesses less focus. Go out and get busy with the little things, because really, they’re the things that matter.

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