Marriages can get boring, stagnant and resentment can begin to emerge. Sometimes we need a reset, a spring clean like we do our houses. Letting go of old ways of behaving and communicating can make such a big difference.
Here are 5 important topics that are really beneficial to discuss as a couple to spring clean your relationship.
- Be a team
- A balance between positive and negative
- Being equal
- Letting go of the expectations
- Have your own identity
Who wants a spring clean?
1. Be a team:
A team around parenting, around money, around all the different areas that make up a marriage. It’s not for one of you to carry the load.
If you’re a team you will have good communication. For a long-lasting and empowered marriage, being a team is also being able to step out of the team and do things that are solely, individually is very important.
Ask yourself, are we a team or do I feel like I’m carrying a lot of the load?
You may need to start having hard conversations. You may need to start being honest with yourself as to how you are feeling and then being able to be assertive and address it. If you find that difficult, perhaps put it in an email or type it and then read it out. If you do not do that it can begin to build and can start to become quite toxic and you can begin to feel resentment. Bring it up with your partner. “I feel like we’re not a team and I sort of feel quite out of balance. Can we talk about this”?
2. A balance between positive and negative:
Being able to openly express what you’re feeling, positive and negative. Balance the positive with the negative, we talk about all the ranges of emotions. It’s not negative when you’re having disagreements or you’re having a strong reaction inside, and it’s being able to openly express it, feel it and talk about it and not be concerned with your partner’s reaction if they react harshly.
The resolution may be you both agree to disagree, but you found a middle ground. To balance the positive with the negative, the positive, fun, laughter, joking. You know, all those wonderful things, they just make life fantastic when you have that in your life. However, if you’re just constantly in the negative and you’re not balancing it up with the positive, it then becomes quite draining. That’s not an empowered marriage and becomes quite toxic and tiring.
3. Being equal:
You divide up what is required in running a household. Say, for example, one of you is a foodie and this isn’t gender orientated. This is about what your strengths are. You’re a foodie and you’re really, good at cooking. Perhaps you’ll do a bit more of the cooking. Perhaps you’re the social one in the couple, so you’ll organise the social calendar. Dividing up what is needed in running a household or running life and running a marriage.
Parenting can be a tricky one. Often the female will be with the baby and then it just begins that they take on that role. However, there needs to be a bit of an adjustment when she goes back to work and it’s dividing those kids’ tasks up.
For example, one of you may do the baths, one of you may do the reading of the bedtime story. Being able to divide those kids’ tasks up, then you will feel that you are more equal.
If there are things that neither of you really want to do and you can, outsource it. Get someone in once a fortnight to clean the house, a mower man etc. It’s being able to talk about it, to have good communication and do what interests you and what is of value. It’s not gender, it’s nothing to do with gender. It’s about being able to balance it up, so you are both content and happy with the arrangement that you have.
4. Letting go of the expectations:
Let go of the expectations that you have on your partner. When we have expectations and they’re not being met, we can constantly feel that we are being let down and so we’re constantly searching for that.
What results is we’re not looking for the great things that are happening in the marriage. We can often feel aggravated, frustrated, angry, and resentment begins to build. It all comes down to acceptance. Being able to accept your partner the way they are.
And if you are not able to do that? What choices do you have?
- Leave the marriage
- Live in the pain that you’re in
- Find a way to accept it
You can accept it if you’re not hitting up against your own values. However, if you are hitting up against your own values, you will find it very hard to accept and you will live in the terminal.
The question is, is this marriage life-giving to me? Is this marriage supporting me emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally?
If you are hitting up against your values, then perhaps you need to do some work around whether this marriage is right for you.
5. Have your identity:
Be your own person. A lot of couples when they’re working with me, I go back and look at the history and go back as to when they met and how they met. And for some people, it’s not always the case, but for some couples, those people who have just come straight out of home and got into a relationship struggle with this.
Separating from the childhood home, the childhood life and having a good amount of time where you have separated totally is very important.
You will know you are your own unique individual, authentic self. You know who you are, and you are then less likely to lose yourself. What do you enjoy? What are your hobbies? What are you passionate about? What are you motivated about?
It is about actually creating space and time to get to know yourself. And that’s where spending some time alone, reflecting, journal writing, meditating, reading, and podcasts getting to know yourself on a deeper level. Having your own identity and putting some energy into that if you feel like you’re losing your identity.
There is always going to be things that annoy you about your partner. That’s the wonderful thing about being in relationships and you learn so much about yourself. Sometimes we project so we need to bring it back to ourselves and look at what is going on inside of ourselves first.
Discussing these areas will support you in having a lasting empowered marriage.
Tune in to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This fortnight’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth.
Who wants a Spring Clean – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/
Or check out this article from my blog – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/blog/ways-to-make-marriage-fun-again/