What is the Best Gift to Give Your Spouse or Partner This Year?
As the holiday season approaches, I keep thinking about what gifts hold the most meaning. In therapy sessions, I frequently hear couples say, “If only we could have just talked to each other more,” “If only we had more time…how did our lives get so crazy?”, “I just don’t remember or know who you are any more…or who I am now!” Especially with the pressures we find ourselves in this time of year, perhaps we need to find more time for our partners.
We can get lost in our relationships. We get caught up with life and we often lose sight of what matters the most: our relationship with our spouse or partner. As a couple’s therapist, I continue to think that we need to do more with prevention — finding ways to nurture and check in BEFORE we lose sight of our partner.
Dr. John Gottman has a saying: “Small things often.” He is saying the more we pay attention to small acts of love, kindness, compassion, affection, and admiration, the more positive and connected we feel to each other. When we are able to focus on small acts of love, our love and friendship continue to grow throughout time. If we get caught up in the negative, we grow apart. If we pay attention to the small negatives in our relationship, those get bigger too. Then we end up further away from the relationship, thinking about anger, resentment, frustration and eventually separation.
Most of us have never really learned how to be in romantic relationships. I feel that the more we learn about relationships, the better our relationship will be. Is there a way to learn about healthy ways to connect with your spouse? What makes love last throughout time? Do you want to build on emotional intimacy and learn how to work through conflict, instead of brushing it under the rug or getting caught up in nightly arguments over the same issue?
This holiday season why not make a commitment to each other that you will learn how to reconnect, before waking up one day and feeling like you are lying next to a stranger.
This coming February, I am hosting a couples’ retreat at the Tradewinds Resort in St Pete Beach, FL. If you can relate to what has been written in this blog then give your relationship the best gift you can give this holiday season: the gift of renewal. Join us February 20th-22nd, 2015. For more information and to register online please visit https://tampabaycouplesretreats.com/.