If you’re in a relationship that sometimes feels like you’re riding a roller coaster – with the accompanying sense of dread at all the ups and downs – there are simple ways to feel more secure as part of a couple. There are 6 techniques you can use by yourself and an additional 8 that you can use with your partner to keep you both on a more even course, and to create more fulfillment in the relationship.
Steps You Can Take by Yourself
1. Build up your self esteem. Start out by feeling secure about yourself and being confident in your value as a human being. Take satisfaction in your own accomplishments. Pursue meaningful goals. Talk to yourself in a way that is kind, motivating, and empowering.
2. Acknowledge your feelings. If you’re together long enough, you’re bound to have conflicted emotions about your partner occasionally. Accept your doubts, fears and irritations so you can process them rationally. Being mad at your partner is not necessarily an indication that the relationship will fail, but stuffing your feelings down is not a healthy alternative.
3. Manage stress. A healthy lifestyle will keep you more resilient and help you tap into your power to handle challenges.
* Get plenty of good quality sleep.
* Eat right and exercise regularly.
* Use alcohol in moderation.
* Find relaxation methods, like meditation or massage, that work well for you.
4. Solve your own challenges. It’s nice to have a partner to commiserate with, but stay on top of your own responsibilities and build up your self-confidence by being an overcomer.
* Learn to do the laundry or make easy home repairs instead of always depending on your spouse or partner to do the job.
5. Try new things. Expand your comfort zone. Take dance lessons or volunteer in the emergency room at a local hospital. You may develop a new sense of assurance and become even more fascinating to your companion.
6. Maintain your family ties and friendships. Healthy couples rely on a broad base of support and encourage each other to maintain positive relationships. Spend time with your family and friends – and make new ones. Get to know your neighbors.
Steps You Can Take With Your Partner
1. Learn how to communicate effectively. Communication skills are fundamental to any stable relationship. Talk to each other openly, honestly and with respect. Pick neutral times for tackling sensitive subjects.
* Listen attentively and give your partner your full attention instead of splitting your focus between listening to them and thinking about what you want to say next.
2. Provide mutual support. Celebrate your interdependence with your partner. Share household chores and parenting responsibilities. Offer your spouse a quiet afternoon at home while you take the kids out shopping for school shoes, or take on another errand or task that gives your partner the luxury of personal time.
3. Resolve conflicts peacefully. Expect to disagree at times – you are individuals co-operating in a relationship. Try to see each other’s position and look for ways to compromise, focusing on a win-win resolution instead of win-lose. Stay calm and be willing to apologize.
* The best solutions make you both feel like winners.
4. Accommodate each other as often as possible. Be flexible when there is no risk to your wellbeing or core values. Take turns visiting each other’s family on the holidays. Volunteer for extra errands when you know your partner has a tight deadline at work, and be as supportive as possible.
5. Stick to your household budget. Financial pressures can cause intense and hurtful arguments. Put your household budget in writing, and make decisions jointly. Monitor how you spend, save and invest your money, and make sure each partner has some funds available for “just because” purchases occasionally. Plan major purchases together, and in advance.
6. Create your own traditions. Personal traditions give us a sense of belonging and safety, and help create memories for a lifetime.
* Make family dinners a priority.
* If you both enjoy the theater, buy annual subscriptions to a local theater company, or find other ways to experience favorite pasttimes.
7. Stay close – physically and emotionally. Flirt with each other. Hold hands when you go out for a walk or to the movies. Read interesting news stories to each other aloud over breakfast. Put out a vase of fresh flowers in your bedroom, and surprise your partner with petals on their pillow.
8. Consider classes and counseling. Being willing to accept expert assistance is a sign of strength. Couples classes can help you learn communication skills and new ways of interacting. Counseling can help you break through issues that are difficult for you to resolve on your own.
Work at making your relationship run more smoothly. Building up your self confidence and treating your partner with respect will help you to feel more secure with yourself and each other.