As the saying goes, ‘relationships that are worked on are the ones that work’. Below are some simple ways that you can connect better with your partner to create stronger emotional bonds. By spending more quality time with your partner, you set the foundations for a stronger relationship – something that the whole family can benefit from. It matters less what you do in quality time – what matters more is the fulfilling of emotional needs. Below are my 7 principles of connectedness (or 7 emotional needs) that when regularly actioned create stronger relationships;
1. Attention: By listening and really focusing on your partner, you show them that they are valued. Take time to fully pay attention to your partner. Set aside time to listen to each other without distractions – no phones, TV or interruptions.
2. Acknowledgement: Although you may not always see eye-to-eye with your partner, acknowledging their needs feelings, desires, ideas and individuality is important in fostering a relationship where there is a sense of mutual respect.
3. Affection: Showing that you care is important in sustaining the relationship. This is also a wonderful thing to model for your children. You can express positive emotions, reinforce what you like about them, touch them physically or doing practical things for your partner that they value that shows you care.
4. Apology: Being able to say ‘I’m sorry’ allows you to ask for forgiveness and to show your partner that you are aware of your actions and are remorseful. Modelling this behaviour around children also teaches them to take responsibility for any wrongdoings and shows them that apologies bring people closer together.
5. Acceptance: Partners are bound to differ in some aspects – opinions, tastes, values – but being able to accept these things in your partner allows the relationship to grow, rather than stall. Show them that you accept their differences rather than judge them.
6. Appreciation: Showing gratitude is a healthy and important part of any relationship. It lets the other person know that they do not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
7. Approval: Supporting and encouraging your partner can be done through expressing your agreement or liking and shows a person that they are valued and that you believe in them.
If you want to know more about how these 7 principles can be actioned, you will be interested in reading my book – Closer. It is available from March 1 2018, and can be pre-ordered from Booktopia if you use this link; https://www.booktopia.com.au/closer-peter-charleston/prod9781760409890.html