10 Ways to Nurture Your Relationship Back to Health
10 Ways to Nurture Your Relationship Back to Health
Or, your most important threesome
By Corinne Farago
You may think that having a threesome would be exciting, but the truth is, you’re already in a threesome.
There’s you, your partner, AND your relationship.
When we begin to view our relationship as the 3rd in our threesome, it’s easier to see how we are either feeding it with attention and nurturing care, or we’re literally ignoring it to death.
It’s not uncommon for couples to be living busy, high functioning lives, while the 3rd in their threesome is feeling depressed and neglected.
Have you checked in on your relationship lately?
Taken its temperature, observed its skin tone, its energy level, its mental health?
Is it getting the kind of nurturing it needs to grow and deepen, or is it so bored it’s wondering if its worth the energy to stick around?
This entity, we call ‘relationship’ follows us wherever we go. It’s in the car on our errands together, it’s in the bed with us at night, it’s at the breakfast table. And yet, we somehow manage to ignore it, taking for granted that it’s going to be there when we can finally find the time to engage with it.
Our attention is pulled in other directions like work or family. We’re drawn to louder, flashy intruders that make their way into our living rooms like news feeds, social media, and entertainment.
The world is frantically fighting for our attention, while our ‘relationship’ sits stoically in the corner of the room feeling defeated and starved.
If your relationship could sit down and talk with the two of you, what would it have to say? Is it feeling alive and appreciated? Is it having a good time with the two of you?
When a couple begins coaching with me, they usually see that their relationship is looking a little frail, because it’s not getting the nutrients to grow and thrive.
Part of a couple’s work together is to nurse their relationship back to health, and to learn how to feed it with a daily diet of attention, presence, desire and commitment.
For some couples feeding their relationship might be starting to take each other’s hand when they go for a walk. For others it might be sitting down at the end of their day to check-in and share their feelings about things. It might be planning weekly date nights that are more than the usual same ol’, same ol’.
Small daily gestures are the most powerful ways to sustain the health and wellness of our relationship.
Here is a new diet to strengthen your relationship, and bring your full attention back to the very important 3rd in your threesome:
Take turns creating mystery dates for each other regularly.
Initiate new experiences together. It doesn’t have to be expensive or exotic, but when one person takes charge of the date by planning it, preparing for it, and keeping it a secret from the other, it creates anticipation and mystery, and it sets the scene for some focused quality time with your relationship. Check out your local area for some fun activities, or grab a basket and a blanket and find a secluded spot to kick back. (and leave your phone in the car!)
Be willing to be happy, rather than being right.
There are probably numerous times a day when you could make the choice to be more agreeable when you feel a conflict arising, when you could say something kind and affirming, rather than critical. Look for those moments when the choice is yours to exercise your consolatory nature, and go the extra mile.
Be interested in how your partner is feeling.
Take a bit of time each day to check-in and show your interest in how they’re doing. Take your partner by the hand, sit them down and create the space for them to let go and open up. It sounds simple and maybe obvious, but a busy life can easily suck all our energy, leaving very little left over to say, “hey, how are you? I care about what’s happening in your heart.”
Acknowledge your partner when they make an extra effort.
When we’re generous with our praise and point out the things that make us happy, we’re affirming that action in our partner, and returning the gesture with our appreciation. If that sounds a lot like dog training, it’s because it is. Couples do behavioral training with each other all the time. Instead of using punishment, fill your pockets with treats. It goes so much further.
Whether it’s coming from your naturally keen wit, or a favorite standup routine, find ways to laugh out loud together, and counter the seriousness of life that can pull our energy down. Actively look for things that might put a smile on your partner’s face. Nominate yourself as the ambassador of humor, and feed your relationship some fresh belly laughs regularly.
Cuddle, dance, wrestle, make love, massage, learn partner yoga, whatever physical activity brings your bodies together. Use your bodies to connect and bond. Get your limbic systems in close proximity to each other, and let your brain chemistry do its thing. It’s nature’s anti-depressant.
The practice of extended hugging is simple. Once or twice a day, when you come in for a hug, agree to hang onto each other for 20 seconds. You’ll get a good hit of Oxytocin, your cortisol levels will drop, and you’ll remember that there’s immense refuge to be found in the arms of someone who loves you.
It’s easier to feel desired than show desire. How good are you at making your partner feel desired? Do you show your desire, or keep it hidden? Be vulnerable enough to show your desire, flirt, tease, compliment your partner, show them that you find them attractive. Showing desire doesn’t always have to lead to sex. Let desire out to play and enjoy the energy exchange for its own sake.
Talk about sex openly and honestly.
When couples learn how to talk about sex from a place of curiosity and playfulness, they realize that sex talk can be fun. Talk about what you like and want more of. Talk about sex after you have sex, and share your highlights. If sex has become boring, you know it’s time to start growing again.
Become a student of love.
Exercise compassion, empathy and forgiveness on a regular basis. Even the healthiest relationship has its challenges. Learn to take the higher road. Let go of grudges. Step into your partner’s shoes. Be willing to say “I’m sorry”. All of these things demonstrate your ability to love. Never stop learning how to love better.
These are just a few items on your relationship’s new daily diet.
You’ll start to see the benefits almost immediately.
It will show in the smile on your partner’s face when they see you.
It’ll show in the lack of small conflicts that eat away at intimacy. It’ll show in your partner’s intimate invitations.
It’ll show in your partner’s look of love from across the table, for no apparent reason.
Before your relationship heads out the door looking for another couple to join up with, sit down as a threesome and assure your relationship that from now on, you’re going to listen to its needs, make it feel special, and prioritize time together.
Follow this simple diet and insure your threesome lasts a lifetime!
Sometimes we all need a little help with love, sex, and desire…
I work with clients online or by phone from all over the world.
If you’d like to speak for 15 mins to say hello and discuss the details of working together to give you the love, sex and desire you long for, set up your call here:
Confirmation bias. We all have it. We experience it every day in the news, in our politics, in our workplace, and most directly in our relationships, where partners can suffer the consequences of confirmation bias on a daily basis. When it comes to our relationship it makes sense then that our brains are far more skilled at noticing what’s wrong with our partner, than what’s right.
Vulnerability is actually a gift that descends upon us when we stop pretending to have it all together and admit to our human flaws and fragility. It’s a gift we give to ourselves and our partner, because it shifts our state from one of closed-off superficiality, to one of feeling and deep sharing. When one partner in a couple opens the door to vulnerability, they create space for their partner to join them there, and it’s in that space of shared vulnerability where hearts connect and intimacy is experienced.
Sex is probably one of the hardest things to talk about with a partner. It’s easy to take things personally because sex is deeply personal. Confessing your desires and asking for what you want takes courage and trust that your partner is going to hold your feelings with care. If sex is difficult for you to talk about the best thing to do is to start talking, but do it in a way that keeps you both feeling heard and understood.
One of the most defining moments in my life was losing a brother when I was 14 years old. One day he was there, and the next day he was gone. Life's big lessons are irrefutable, and usually hold within them great wisdom. When you lose a family member, you never forget that impermanence is built into existence, and with every loss comes a second lesson which is equally important to understand. Here’s the confronting truth about life that’s hard to avoid, but easy to ignore. You’re going to lose everything and everyone you care about in life.