One of the biggest poisons to a relationship is complacency. You know, the subtle contempt that you treat your partner with after a few years because in the back of your mind, they’ll “always be there”. Make no mistake – that thought process is poison.
About six months ago I looked at what I could do differently in my relationship with my husband to improve it – even if only slightly – and came up with the list below. They were tiny changes but they have made a huge difference in our life. According to him: “yeah… it’s been better… I guess. Was it really that bad before?”
See? Complacency. Ugh!
Anyway, here is my 5-step guide to changes that every relationship needs:
1: Don’t yell down the hallway at your partner. I’m talking about the “Hey Honey? Did you put the bins out…? …Babe….?” kind of calling out. I’m a horrid reoffender for this. Terrible. Unless you see your partner at the other end of the house about to put a knife into the toaster – don’t yell at them. Ever. If what you have to say is that important then get off your butt and walk into whatever room they’re in and talk to them. Because yelling at your partner is a) lazy and b) disrespectful. Since I’ve stopped doing this (or reduced it at least) things have gotten better. It means that when I do call out (like help me with a door because I’m about to drop an armful of glass jars), he knows that it’s something urgent and helps me straight away. Before it was just the girl-who-cried-wolf and made him resent me every time I called his name.
2: Close the door when you go to the toilet. Seriously, I shouldn’t have to tell you this but I think I do. I don’t know at what point it became okay for me to continue talking to my husband while I leave the bathroom door open and wee… but it’s NOT okay. It’s unhygienic, slovenly and removes any sort of feminine mystery. I’ll add to this that you shouldn’t fart or burp in front of your partner either. We don’t, but I’m sure other couples do. NOT COOL!
3: Do something thoughtful once a week. Something that might surprise your partner. Doesn’t have to be big. Fill the petrol up in the car. Buy flowers for the house and put some next to their side of the bed. Have them come home to their favourite cooked meal. Just something slightly out of the ordinary that says “hey, I thought of you and wanted to do this to make you smile because I love you”. It’s the little things that count.
4: Have proper meals together. By proper meals I mean – sit at the table, turn the TV off and put your phones on silent in another room. We do this every night, and it’s lovely. Some nights we’re both so exhausted that we hardly talk and other nights we can’t shut up. Either way it gives us an opportunity to see where we’re at and connect. (Yes, sometimes there’s even candles…)
5: Present yourself nicely. One of the things that I admire the most about my husband is that despite the fact that he works from home, he always gets up, has a shower and puts on jeans and a shirt. Me? When I get home from work, I get out of my suit and jump straight into either my trackies or my pajamas. I know, sexy right? I’m not saying that I need to wear a ball gown, but for the past few months I’ve made an effort to wear nice-ish clothes around the house. Like short shorts and a nice fitting t-shirt. Or a skirt and singlet. And, I must say, it’s been well received. Plus I feel a little nicer too. You’d make an effort if you knew you were going to bump into your ex who you hate, so why not make that same effort for your partner who you love?
These are all tiny changes that don’t actually require much effort, but will go towards showing your partner that you care what they think about you and that you care about them.
You are presumably with your partner because you love and respect them. So show them that.
Tiny Change for the Day: start implementing this 5-step plan and comment below on how you went!