Saturday, May 2, 2020

7 Ways to Keep the Marital THRIVE ALIVE in an Ever Changing World

It is a crazy time and one filled with a looooooooooot of family time.

Not only during a global pandemic, but life in general is constantly changing, so it should come as no surprise that your relationships would change as well.  From meeting someone, to dating, becoming exclusive and hopefully committing to that person, you change all along the way and you may not even realize it.

The b*$!& slap that a marriage takes after having kids can often make or break couples.  Pregnancy makes a usual rock-star of a Thriving Wife sometimes limited (the exhaustion alone is deadly) which only ends with the addition of a (wonderful and perfect) human joining the family dynamic. Don't even get me started on quarantine.

Amongst the confusion, frustration and uncertainty, It is important that we take a moment to observe our life in slow motion so that we can keep the THRIVE alive.

Easier said then done? Yes. But here are 7 tips to keep your relationship honest, open and to help you along the way.

1. Communicate:  First and foremost, talk to each other and talk A LOT.  Don't let the other one get off the hook with the whole, "Nothing's wrong" bit, that is a bunch of crap.  You know it, I know it, so cut it.  It's obvious something is wrong, so either come out with it or get over it. Discuss what you are feeling in the moment, hear each other, validate each other and make an effort to address the others feelings/improve in the future.

2. Know when to give space.  If the other person refuses to discuss what's on their mind, then leave it and them alone.  I know my patience runs very thin when my TH wants to pretend nothing is wrong when it is so totally clear that something is up.  So, I just say, "Ok, well I am getting a different vibe from you which is telling me something is wrong, so when you are ready to talk I will be ________" and peace out.  Sometimes no attention and some space is what the other person needs.

3. Be patient and understanding.  Allow the other person to work it out in their own way.  I know my coping strategies are much different from my TH.  I like to work out until I can't move, he likes to sit and drink a beer in peace.  We know that about each other and honor what the other needs. We help each other with the kids so we can have that "alone time" to reset and regroup.

4. Welcome changes and go with the flow.  With change comes adaptation.  Learn to adapt to the changes life throws you.  My TH and I have gotten to know and appreciate each other so much more now that we have a house full of little boys.  Our lives have changed dramatically but we have always been on the same page and see each other as our biggest supporter and teammate.  We definitely have our moments of weakness where the world seems to be ending (ok, that is more my take as a I am a serious drama queen), but we always end up working together and working through everything we encounter...together.

5. Make time for each other.  This is a BIGGIE. Once you have kids you lose a sense of who you are and start to be seen only as mommy or daddy. It is incredibly important to remember how it all started and how those precious little people came to two. Even if it is a small hug in the kitchen while making dinner, or a taking a moment to collapse in laughter together as your kids have full blown melt downs over fruit snacks, stay connected. Spend some time each evening talking about something besides kid stuff after everyone is in bed and make plans to go out alone at least once a month (at least). Don't stop being each other's best friend no matter how crazy life gets.

6. Never stop trying.  I love my TH more than is possible to express, but I never stop trying.  Even though I have more than my fair share of crazy moments, I always remember to thank him for letting me have them and supporting me along the way.  I never give up on working to make our relationship stronger and welcome any challenges knowing we will get through it together.

7. Remember why you fell in love.  When the stressful times come (weddings, homes, job changes, financial struggles, babies, babies and more babies) take a moment to step back from it all and remember who you are in this with and why.  You chose your best friend, your partner and (hopefully) the love of your life.  You can do anything if you work together, acknowledge the problem, and focus on a solution.  Remember why you fell in love with this person and why you chose to share your life with them.

Marriage is constantly changing and will continue to do so. Instead of growing and changing alone, grow and change together.

A very wise Thriving Wife once told me, "We had to remember the "me" mattered as much as the "us" and always work to keep balance"

Keep staying safe (and sane)!

Strive to thrive, 

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