5 Ways to Get Out of a Relationship Rut
Articles By Dr Ray And Jean Kadkhodaian
Relationships naturally fall into "ruts" over time, especially as couples experience the different stages of development in their relationship. There are many factors that contribute to the development of a "relationship rut", and there are things you can do about it to get yourself out of them.
In a study by John Gottman at the "Love Lab" in Seattle, over 2000 couples were asked to rate their marital happiness. What he discovered was that the couples that reported being happily married spent a minimum of 5.5 hours a week together of quality time. Quality time is defined as unintentional play time, not discussing issues, watching TV, or entertaining the neighbors. Thus, one of the most important ingredients to a happy marriage is simply, quality time.
When a couple first meet, there is a driving force of passion that makes them want to spend every waking moment together. A couple first in love can almost live on sunshine and air. They spend countless hours on the phone talking about nothing and everything. They are willing to experience their partner’s interests of going to a hockey game, for example, and antique shopping or sharing a ride to run errands. They stay up late talking into the night and merge themselves together energetically. They beg, borrow and steal time to be with one another.
Sooner or later, life has a way of taking over and usually for good reasons. They get engaged and include the various families in on their happiness. Then she gets a job promotion or he starts a softball season. At this point, though, there is still plenty of time left for intimacy. Then, they are blessed with a child and everything changes. All the time she lavished on him and herself is now going to the baby. He, in turn, might work overtime to make up for her maternity leave. If one of them stays home with the child their income suffers. If they both work, they feel guilty not being at home with the baby enough, so they don’t feel comfortable getting a sitter to go on a date together. Or worse, they work opposite shifts, get plenty of baby time, but no couple time.
Relationships almost have their own connection account, that works very much like a checking account. The time spent together enjoying each other’s company and being kind and thoughtful are like deposits. The time spent apart, the time they argue, or the time they spend thinking negatively about their partner are withdrawals. Once life’s stressors have helped push them into "bankruptcy", they can no longer draw on the energy of the past to help them sort through the problems of today. This leads to a longer period of time between the conflict and the resolution. The more time spent in conflict with their partner, the more likely they are to see their partner as a villain. So what do you do if you find your relationship bank account in the red?
1. Temporarily avoid all conversations that are emotionally charged whenever possible. The bond that is there is too weak to effectively handle the conflict and it would just add to the distance between each other
2. Commit to spending time doing something fun that either one of you has done before. When we are in a new environment having a new experience, it changes the way we interact. In essence, it gets you out of your rut.
3. Take turns interviewing each other, (Again, not about emotionally charged topics). The point is to rediscover your partner by asking questions such as, what is their dream vacation, favorite childhood experiences, etc.
4. At the end of each day, verbalize 2 positive things you noticed about each other; for what we focus on grows, and when you’re in a rut it is hard to see the positive in each other.
5. Surprise. Surprise. Surprise. Any thoughtful surprise will do to let your partner know you’re thinking about them.
These are simple things to do and are not a "cure", but they will get your relationship on the right track, and will disrupt the rut your relationship may have fallen into. All in all, couples must be cognizant of the state of their relationship and put in the time and investment to overcome the natural ruts that accompany their relationships. It is possible, over time, to be able to avert the ruts altogether and enjoy the rewards of creating a healthy connection with your partner.
Dr. Ray Kadkhodaian and Rev. Jean Kadkhodaian, founders of The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center, focus on the health and wellness of marriage and families, and provide services to illuminate possibilities in all aspects of living a powerful healthy life and in creating synergistic relationships. For more information or to contact them, check them out online at: www.LighthouseEmotionalWellness.com
Keywords: 5 Ways to Get Out of a Relationship Rut, passion, love, conversations, John Gottman, Dr Ray And Jean Kadkhodaian, Intuition, free articles, UK, Cape Town, South Africa,