Friday, 30 August 2013

Keeping your relationship strong through tough times

It could be the death of a loved one, national tragedy, or the slow economy. Regardless of the nature of the event, catastrophic circumstances in your or your partner's world can have a major impact on your relationship.
    It's natural after a major life change or tragedy to gain a renewed appreciation for the important people in your life. It's harder to turn these feelings into actions that actually strengthen or grow these relationships. Tragic circumstances can tear partners apart, but they can also be milestones that help you focus on your relationships and improve them. Here are some tips for using tragedy to transform your partnership for the better:


   Whether it's one or both partners that have experienced a loss or tragedy, it's the job of both to work to be there as a support network. Oftentimes, the reason traumatic events tear partners apart is that one or both go through the mourning or both go through the mourning or recovery experience in isolation and come out feeling detached from the relationship.
If you've experienced a hard time, make sure you communicate with your partner about your feelings, how he or she can support you, and where you need space. If it's a situation that primarily affects your partner, make yourself available to listen and try to identify ways you can help without interfering too heavily in the recovery process.


Even beyond getting through the tragedy itself, hard times can create an opportunity to improve the relationship in it's entirety. We get so busy with careers and obligations that sometimes we forget to stop and really take inventory of the reasons a partner or loved one is so valuable to our lives.
   When tragedy strikes,  our routine is derailed and perspective is easier. Take a few moments to make a list of the things you appreciate about a significant other or family member. Take time to be specific and look past daily routine and really capture the essence of why this person impacts your life.


     While there are many great things about the important relationships in your life, there are always things that can be improved. Too often we float along in relationships thinking that eventually we will make time for each other, eventually we will talk about that issue etc.
  Instead of waiting for a time to come when events change and certain situations improve, make a list of things you can do to create more quality time, make your loved one's day easier and brighter... If you approach your partner or family member with a "Thank you" for his or her contributions and a list of things you are willing to do to improve the relationship, then he or she is more likely to respond on a similar level and also contribute to strengthening the value of that connection.


    When something terrible or mind-boggling happens, the world can seem to stop. Inevitably, some of the impact of the tragedy will diminish and the traditional routine will creep back up. Make sure not to loose momentum. Set weekly dates in your calender for additional quality time together. Put reminder notes about your commitment in your office space or somewhere at home.
  Create monthly or bimonthly checkpoints where, as an individual or as a couple, you evaluate your progress on the commitments you made together.
    Even bad situations can have some good hidden within. One of theses good things is the impact it has in helping us focus on the truly important things in our lives.

Culled from: www.third-age.com

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