By Megan Hiscox, LMHC
Navigating family and marital relationships can be challenging. These are the people we spend the most time with and sometimes these are the relationships that struggle the most. Busy schedules can often lead to these relationships becoming last priority.
When we get stuck in our relationships it can be hard to even begin knowing where to start to rebuild them. You may find yourself wondering how you got here, where to start, or if your relationships can even be rebuilt. I know this can be a scary time, but luckily there are small things you can implement to start strengthening your relationships. Below are some tips to help you get started with this process.
- Communication – if you feel your needs aren’t being met, try talking to your partner / family member about how you feel
- Focus on “I” statements
- Describe how the situation or other person’s behavior makes you feel
- Stay on track and focus on your goal
- Quality time – when we have busy schedules it can seem impossible to spend time with our loved ones. Making a point to schedule activities in advance as a couple/family is a great way to ensure you are making time for those relationships
- Support one another – your partner/family members may have periods of time where they are dealing with issues of their own and need extra support. This is where the term “thinking like a team” can come in. Supporting this person through a tough time is another way to strengthen the bond within the relationship/family unit
- Taking care of yourself – in the process of trying to strengthen your relationships it can be easy to forget about yourself. Taking time to do things you enjoy and taking time for things that recharge your battery sets you up for success in being able to refocus attention on your relationships
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – some marriage / family conflicts may require more support and attention. Seeking therapy can be a great way to tackle these conflicts. Therapy can also be a useful tool in helping you and your family utilize the tips above
While acknowledging your relationship/family unit has fallen in your list of priorities is scary, it is the first step in being able to work together to utilize tools to rebuild and strengthen those relationships.