I hate you right now!

It is so easy to get into petty squabbles that turn into full blown fights and before we know it, it can get nasty.

My husband Paul and I have been married 24 years – I know, that seems like a lifetime!

We’ve navigated four children through years of breastfeeding, nappy changing, broken nights, tantrums (actually teenagers are capable of a few tantrums so we aren’t through that yet!), sibling squabbles, long dreary weekends..

That's not to mention over the years.. house renovations, redundancy, moving home, financial stress and we’ve made it so far and are still together – it amazes me sometimes.

Have we felt moments of utter loathing for each other? Yes!

Have we had humdingers of arguments? You bet.

Do we bitch at each other and blame the other one for our children’s poor behaviour?  Absolutely.

So this week’s blog is about how to stick it out, not kill or punch each other and how to maintain a (mostly) harmonious relationship which, let’s face it, is a whole lot better for the kids.

Many of you will not have reached double figures in your relationships. They really do take time and focus and it is vital to figure out ways to resolve conflict and also make time for each other.

If we are constantly arguing, our children are directly impacted. They feel anxious, insecure and stressed.

The absolute truth is that if we aren’t happy, they aren’t happy. So make it a priority to do at least one thing this week that is an investment in your partnership

So here are my 10 top tips for a strong relationship

  1. Use ‘When you… I’ statements rather than ‘You make me feel’. We need to take responsibility for how we feel rather than blaming others. So for example:
    ‘When you leave your clothes in a pile on the bedroom floor, I feel upset as I don’t like stepping over them when I go to bed. Please can you make an effort to put them away’?“When you say ‘YOU need to keep the kids in order”, I feel like you aren’t sharing responsibility for raising them"

    “When you say ‘Isn’t dinner ready yet?” I feel criticised as it has just taken me longer than I thought”

  2. If an argument is brewing, put the other person’s side of it into words. This is extremely difficult to do but SO powerful.
    “Ok so you think that I should have taken the kids out earlier to give you time to work and now you can’t focus as they are running around.”
    You can follow it up with “Can I just explain what happened.  They were hungry so I thought I’d feed them first and it took longer than I anticipated”

  3. Have a ritual where you list things you are grateful for and say them out loud to each other. 5 things each is a good target. It is great to do it at bedtime or first thing in the morning.

  4. Humour is an amazing stress-release and bond. Laughing at funny clips, watching some comedy, talking over times you’ve got the giggles. Actually laughing when it all goes ‘pear-shaped’ with the kids is good for bonding.

  5. When things get really stressful let one person step away. It can really improve things if we step apart. Even take a child with you if necessary.

  6. Do something that is completely separate from being parents – at this moment in time, I know things are really limited but something like a game of cards or doing an online quiz together is better than nothing! An evening out is the best if you can.

  7. Watch TED talks, or listen to good podcasts together. There are some really good ones. Joe Rogan, Dr Rangan Chatterjee is good for health, Mad World, Bryony Gordon. Anything to increase a positive mindset.

  8. Cuddle up on the sofa, drink tea together and turn OFF YOUR PHONES. Talk about past holidays, when you first met, remember why you got together in the first place!

  9. Show an interest in your partner’s work – ask questions about it, give them praise and validation for what they do.

  10. This is probably one of the most important things – ‘LET IT GO’. We really feel so much better if we don’t nag and criticise every last thing they do. It is the same with our kids. We get more of what we focus on and if we praise and acknowledge our partners good points, they feel better about us and are more likely to do the same back.

Does this make sense? Do send me an email [email protected] to give me feedback ๐Ÿ˜

If you want to book a free discovery call with me, I'd love to talk about how to help you have a calmer, more harmonious family life which makes such a difference to the everyone. Discovery Call

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