8 Tips to improve Your Relationship This Year

  1. Focus on the Positive: Write down a weekly affirmation about something you are grateful for in your partner.  Focus on what your partner does well.  This "positive psychology" is proven to help you see the glass half-full this year!

  2. Work on yourself-- emotionally and physically.  Both partners need to regularly work on their physical and emotional health.  This will strengthen your emotional and physical bond!

  3. Agree to sit down once per week and discuss issues.  Plan on a good time (bad times are when people are distracted, hungry, or tired).  Perhaps once the kids are in bed, dinner is eaten, and lunches are made, you can sit down and discuss any issues.  Try very hard not to discuss these things when you are upset or when the timing is bad.  Waiting for a bettertime will significantly help the outcome of such a conversation (Gottman).

  4. Let him do things his way sometimes.  Men like to be in control and women often have a way of telling men how to do things better (because we often do know better, right?).  But sometimes it's better to take the back seat and let him do things (whether it be bathing the kids a certain way or taking the lead in the bedroom).  This will increase his self-confidence and will in turn help the relationship.

  5. Plan to be intimate on a regular basis, whether you are in the mood or not.  Agree to commit that time to one another anyways.  Remember: this means to try get in the mood, not to have sex even if you are not in the mood.

  6. Affirm your partner.  Tell him/her that you are proud of them, that you love them, and when you appreciate something.

  7. Remember- the nice things you do will not go un-noticed.  Usually, when you work on being a better partner, your partner will start to reciprocate.  

Read The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Read The 5 Love Languages.  They are the BEST self-help marriage books out there!


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