Sunday, November 15, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #25-Making your partner a #1 priority

Feeling very low on your partner's priority list is not an unusual feeling in a relationship. Work, the children, parents, friends and even the dog get more attention than you do. A great exercise to remedy this problem is for each partner to take a turn asking and answering the following question each day:

"What can i do for you today that will let you know that you are important to me?"

While a simple hug, a kiss, taking out the garbage, picking up the kids, arranging for a babysitter, and listening to the events of the day may not seem much at the moment, multiply that by 365 days a year and each of you are making a special effort and taking time to give and receive from one another.

Please note, the requests should be limited to relatively simple behaviors and not changes in one's partner's behaviors or solutions to long standing unresolved issues.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #24-A little loving touch goes a long way

A great way to stay "in touch" with each other is to make it a part of your weekly routine to share some form of physical contact with each other that is not sexual. My suggestion is that at least once a week, each partner take a turn giving some shoulder, back, neck or foot massage, back scratching, scalp massage or light tickling. Massage oil and/or lighting a candle contribute to setting a relaxing mood. I also think it is a good idea to alternatae days so the individual receiving the "loving touch" can really enjoy it. Keeping the time to ten minutes also makes this experience one that does not require a great deal of energy or preparation.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #23-The Airplane Analogy

I like to pose this question to clients who are immersed in "caretaking" behaviors with their partner. If you are sitting next to a child on an airplane and the oxygen masks drop because of an emergency, whose mask should you put on first. Very often, "caretakers" will say "the child of course". On second thought, it usually becomes obvious that putting on one's own mask is the first order of business as one's own breathing is essential in case things don't go as expected.
In relationships this translates to-First love and nurture yourself so that you have energy to give to others. If you do not take care of yourself, you will have very little to offer those you love. Yes, this is selfish, but without self care, we all gradually lose our vitality and ability to relate.