Let's talk relationships!

June 19, 2020

About a month ago on Instagram I asked you guys what you wanted to see from me on this space. And boy did you guys show up. I love hearing what you're looking for from me! It's exciting and encouraging that I'm helping create a space that can help you!

I got a LOT of questions about relationships - requests for advice, specific questions, tips, etc. I did what I always do, I asked questions too. I reached back out to YOU and asked for your relationship tips!

I hope this post encourages you - answers your questions - and gives you some great ideas and tips on how to strengthen your marriage or your relationship.

MY ADVICE ||  I had a few followers ask for actual advice - guys let me preface this by saying I am not a relationship guru. I wouldn't even consider myself someone that many people go to for advice! But, I know what has worked for Adam and I and we're going on 10 years together and 5 years married! Whoo! So I definitely have things that have worked for us.

Here's some of my top pieces of advice. You'll see a lot of it has to do with intentionality and being thoughtful in our words and deeds to each other.

My love language is words of affirmation. Adam and I took this quiz (it takes like 5 minutes and you can take it here). But I think it helped because Adam knows that love languages like acts of service, while they are nice, don't fill me up like words do. Is it any shock that as a blogger, I love words?

Here's the definition of Words of Affirmation from Dr. Gary Chapman, the expert himself:
Actions don't always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, "I love you," are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving. 
Be intimate, both physically and mentally. You heard that, intimacy doesn't always mean sexually. I mean intimate in a way that is different than just your routine. Plan a date night with no phones, no TV and actually talk to either other. Ask each other questions "How are you really doing?" "What could I do to make our relationship better?" Talk about your first date! Talk about the first time you said I love you! Sometimes it's easy to get in a groove with your spouse. We wake up, do the same shit, go to work, come home, eat and go to bed. it's easy to get lost in the mundane.

Be physically intimate. Sex is how we connect to our partners. That is why it is so special! Kiss, have sex, repeat. And enjoy it! I think a lot of the time, we're conditioned to believe that sex has to be a certain way. But guys, news flash, it's fun! Enjoy it. It will strengthen a bond that you ONLY have with your husband/partner/spouse. Don't negate the power of it.

Talk to each other, and really talk. Look each other in the eyes and talk to each other. The other day I told Adam it feels like we're just surviving some days and it's 8pm and I haven't even looked at him! You know how it goes, we get up and we're instantly getting ready, talking about the day, getting Quinn up and ready and then he goes downstairs to work. He comes up after work and it's the same crazy. But taking 5 minutes in the AM, to intentionally say good-morning and I love you, can start the day in a totally different mentality.

Sometimes talking is hard for me. I am passive aggressive (saying it out-loud helps me deal with it and try and change it). I also don't like confrontation and I am quick to get over things. So sometimes I don't talk about it and I just clam up. On our anniversary, I felt sad and I didn't tell Adam why because I thought I could just get over it. However, when I actually talked to Adam and talked through feelings, we had the best conversation we've had in a long time. And he picked me up! He helped me through it.

Talk to each other.

Be honest. Even when it sucks. Even when it's hard. When you're mad, sad, hurt, happy, excited, turned on, etc. Your husband/spouse cannot read your mind. If you want to have sex, tell him. If you're pissed that he missed dinner (?), ell him. If you love him, tell him! If your feelings are hurt, tell him. Guys, if I've learned one thing it's that we often expect our partners to know exactly what we're thinking, wanting, needing. News flash, they don't. Be honest.

Go on adventures, engage in something your partner loves, travel. Adam loves sports, I could do without. But if indulging him for a day of football, cheering on the Broncos, and rocking a jersey, gives him life, then it's totally worth it for me to make him that happy! For me, I love double dates, or having people over, I LOVE hosting. Adam loves our friends, but he loves being home. But he knows that hosting gives me life and makes me feel fulfilled, so we host, a lot! Encourage your partners hobbies, speak life into the things that make them happy. Keep in mind, your partner should be willing to encourage your hobbies too. A relationship is not one-sided. Make adventure together. Find things you both LOVE doing. For example, the mountains are our happy place, together. So we make plans a lot to go to the mountains. We travel together. We make time for date nights. 

Kiss each other hello, goodbye, and goodnight. This may sound crazy, but the small PDA seems to be the first to go. Remember when you were first dating and you would greet your partner with a kiss every time you saw each other? Sometimes Adam walks in the door and I forget to even say hi! He just jumps in to whatever Quinnie and I are doing! We've been making it a big priority, to stop what I'm doing, walk over, say hi, I love you, give him a hug and a kiss. We do this before he leaves for work and when he gets home. It's being intentional. It's bringing back that sweet moment of intimacy, we've often let slide in the midst of a crazy busy life.

Don't wait for your partner to do the special things. I think as a girl sometimes I think it's all up to Adam to be romantic or spontaneous and I forget that he loves those things too! Don't be afraid to be the one to offer up some kind of surprise. And keep in mind it doesn't have to be huge gigantic surprises. It can be picking up his favorite beer when you're at the store, or his favorite treat. See a shirt he loves is on sale, grab it for him! Is your kid painting? Have her make him a sign for his office just because. It's little things that remind him you're thinking of him when he isn't around that makes a huge difference.

QUESTIONS || Guys, these questions are tough! I got three good ones and I hope I can help shine some light.
  1. Partner and I are just in a bad place - I started seeing a new therapist etc. I know I have to work on my own issues. So I guess like if you and Adam ever had a bad patch how did you work through it and make it better? First I hope to reassure you - all couples go through phases in their relationships where they aren't doing their best. My first advice, talk to each other. Tell each other how you specifically are feeling in life, in your relationship, etc. If talking is hard for the two of you, have you thought about seeing a therapist together? Sometimes it helps to have a third party there to walk and talk you through it. One of the hardest questions some couples don't want to ask, do we want to make this work? Love/relationship is a verb. It requires both sides of the relationship to work towards the common goal of being together. If one side is out and not interested, it may be time to have a different conversation.
  2. I feel like we don't get each other anymore. We have very different views on things and quarantine has made that more apparent? This is tough! My first question would be, are these different views, views that impact your relationship? Or just differing views on minor details, because sometimes thats fun! Let me explain the difference - basic differing views would be things like TV shows, taste in music, one likes sushi and the other doesn't. While these might be annoying (I'll be your sushi date!) they aren't necessarily relationship altering or ending. But, on the other hand, are these views things like, does one want kids and one doesn't? Does one want to get married and the other doesn't? Huge differences in religion, politics, or life goals. While these things can be worked out, they are more difficult! Next, I think you have to ask, are you willing to sacrifice certain goals (kids, marriage) for this person? Are you willing to overlook or not let it get in the way? If you can say yes, start talking. These conversations will be tough! But if you're both willing to do the work, I think differing opinions/views/ideas can be overcome. It might not be easy, but only you can decide if it's worth it. 
  3. What is your stance on cheating? How would you approach it? Honest answerI don't know. I was cheated on by a boyfriend in high-school and took him back way too many times. I said after that relationship, I would never tolerate it again. Now, I'm married and Adam hasn't cheated. I honestly can't say what I would do if it did happen. I think only the person in the relationship who has had that happen can answer that question. One of my favorite Instagrammers, Jami was cheated on during her marriage. She is very vocal about it, and how her and her husband fought to make their marriage work. They are still together, and happy. You can go through her IG highlights, or watch this IGTV to learn more about their story, directly from them. I hope that helps!

FRIEND ADVICE || This advice is from some of my closest friends, funniest followers, and people I trust! No names given because -- privacy. But I hope these help, make you laugh, and feel close to your partner!
  • Crotchless panties
  • Sex!!! Have it. Enjoy it. Talk about it. Repeat! 
  • Go to counseling. You can't drive a car for more than 3K miles without a tuneup, same goes for marriage. 
  • Find couples that you both enjoy hanging out with
  • If you're having an argument, try and hold hands or be physically connected
  • When in arguments - turn towards each other, not away 
  • Ask for what you need Your partner can't read your mind
  • "It's not your against me, it's us against the problem" mindset
  • "I" statements. Feels silly, but so straight forward and can jumpstart an awkward conversation 
  • Asking "how can I show up for your better?" Help creates a safe space to ask for help. 
  • My husband and I did ReEngagae 16 week course <-- linked
  • Never go to bed angry, hash it out and then sleep. 
  • We got a vibrator and we have been using it to warm be up and we are both in to it!
  • We agree here: God, partner, kids
  • When the moment is heated, take a deep breath and say you to a minute or five to think 
Are you in a relationship? Married? What is your best piece of advice?

Post a Comment

I love hearing from all of you and greatly appreciate all your feedback and comments! xx Kristen