Two simple things you can do this week to bring Goodwill to your Couple Relationship.

Have you started the new year with energy and hope? Are you making strides on all of those resolutions you made? Are you excited about new things you’re working toward?

Or maybe do you feel exhausted from the holidays still, and haven’t found the energy to do all those projects you had in mind? Or have you given up already on those resolutions to eat less, exercise more, finally deal with your budget, have more romance in your relationship?

Is your frustration or disappointment with yourself getting in the way of getting along with your partner?

You are not alone – many folk struggle a few weeks into the new year with overwhelm, the sense of being de-motivated, or just so tired. The continued long nights, early darkness and grey skies don’t help too much either.

Often when we feel blue or just want to hibernate, we may take it out on our partners. We may be more critical, less patient, more easily irritated. We may shut down or give them a cold shoulder when they’ve said or done something that bugs us. Rather than let them know openly that we feel vulnerable or hurt or need something from them. We might be quick to use our most ineffective communication patterns – which actually work really well – to bring out their most ineffective communication patterns! And then we are really stuck – feeling the stalemate of conflict between us.

Rather than letting yourself fall into that same old dreary and not uplifting pattern with your partner (you know – those winter blues downward spiral that totally suck where you both feel crabby, mad, distant, unsatisfied), try these two simple actions that are sure to bring some uplifting goodwill to your relationship:

  1. Try a Daily Double: that is, give two compliments or appreciations to your partner each day – just because, and without expecting anything in return. Appreciate your partner if he listens to you, or compliment the way her laugh sounds to you. Notice with appreciation his hands, or how she looks when she’s waking up… You know, notice and appreciate two simple things a day. You may have to look a bit, but with a little attention, I’m sure you’ll discover things to appreciate or compliment. See how these impact the energy in your relationship.
  2. Be curious rather than furious. Consider that your partner is his or her own distinct person, with valid thoughts, feelings, wishes, desires, and experiences. Try to remember that whatever your partner says or chooses or doesn’t say, is not all about you. If you don’t personalize everything, and instead nurture your sense of curiosity about your partner, you have a better chance of not reacting negatively and then not spiraling into an unnecessary argument.

See if trying these two things doesn’t give you some uplift in your relationship. My guess is that the shift in perspective will bring a little lightness and open-heartedness into your times together, and maybe even motivate you to re-visit those New Year’s intentions again.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty connecting or finding closeness in your couple relationship, please contact me for a couples therapy session.