How to Get Your Relationship Out of a Rut


The longer a relationship goes on, and the more comfortable you are with your partner, the greater the chance that you end up feeling you are in something of a rut and no longer living an exciting and fulfilling life. If allowed to fester, such feelings can damage even the strongest relationships, so it's important to employ all available strategies to ensure your home life is always as happy as can be.

Create a new adventure
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Sometimes the best way to break out of a rut is to take yourself out of your usual environment and head somewhere new. When you go on vacation, your partner is often the only person you know so you are forced to interact with them and communicate with them in new ways. This is most clearly the case when you travel to a foreign country and don’t speak the local language, but it applies any times you leave your usual surroundings.

Being on vacation also means you are also suddenly freed from other responsibilities such as going to work, shopping for groceries or changing the bed linens – activities that are essential but which in themselves contribute to the feeling of being in a rut. Being able to do something out of the ordinary and leaving all your usual worries and cares behind is often just what you need to get your relationship back on track.

Studies show that with fewer demands on their time and attention, the level of satisfaction couples feel with one another increases during vacation time. For this kind of strategy to work, it's important that the vacation you have is one that you will both enjoy rather than an ideal trip for one and a holiday from hell for the other.

Fix your communication problems

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Couples can often get into a rut in the way they communicate. The so-called "demand-withdraw" pattern of communication occurs when one member of a couple makes a series of demands, attacks, and criticisms, while the other partner remains unresponsive, refusing to engage.

Such situations often end with the unresponsive partner walking away and both parties feeling utterly discontented by the situation. In addition to it being an incredibly common pattern of behavior among long-term couples, it is also one of the most destructive, and can contribute to an overall feeling of dissatisfaction. Identifying and avoiding such patterns of behavior and learning to resolve conflicts in a way that is more mutually satisfactory can prevent you from taking one another for granted – another symptom of being in a rut.

There will of course, be times when you disagree with one another and there is nothing wrong with that, so long as you follow fair rules of conflict. One particularly important point is to ensure you only ever stick to one issue at a time. In the heat of an argument, it's all too easy to bring up other issues that have been bugging you for some time but the more points you try to argue at the same time, the lower the chance that any of them will end up being resolved.

If you can force yourselves to work your way through one topic at a time and to continue to do so until it has been fully resolved, then the level of future communication will be greatly enhanced. 

Do something fun together
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If you have been together for some time, you may have a series of interests that you pursue individually. Although such activities may bring you a great deal of pleasure, they can sometimes serve to drive a couple further apart.

Although it’s healthy and desirable to have separate interests, finding something the two of you can do together, especially something that takes you slightly out of your comfort zone, can be a way of shaking things up and reconnecting at the same time. Ideally, the activity should be something neither one of you have ever done before so that neither one of you has an advantage over the other. Consider attending dance lessons once a week for a few months or a short course of cooking lessons.

While many couples set up a regular date night in order to give themselves quality time together, this too can quickly add to the sense of being in a rut unless you make the effort to ensure you regularly do something different. Whether you head out of your way to try the cuisine at one of the best restaurants in Grapevine TX, visit a new bar in the next town on opening night, or get discount tickets for a show at a local theatre, it’s important to have enough variety in the time you spend together so that it never becomes predictable.

Check your work/life balance
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If you and your partner are both working long hours and have lengthy commutes, it's understandable that you might both be exhausted at the end of the day and have little time or energy for anything other than dinner, a little television and then bed. This kind of routine can easily become all-consuming and force you to spend your weekends doing all the shopping and household chores that have been missed during the week.

Although there are certain jobs that can be extremely demanding in terms of the hours they require and certain times when even more regular jobs will suddenly require an additional commitment of time, it's important to keep in mind the overall harm that working long hours can do to your relationship, not to mention your personal health.

Excessive working has been linked to depression, lack of sleep and a greater risk of heart problems. To make matters worse, one recent study from Boston University even cast doubt on the idea that working longer hours would be better for your career in the long run as it found that managers were mostly unable to tell whether their employees were putting in really long hours or simply pretending to do so.

Staying at the office when you don't need to is a classic sign of things being less than great at home, so if you feel the time you spend away from home is having a negative impact on your relationship, see if you can work out the true causes for this and then address them.




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17 comments:

  1. I think communication is indeed the most important thing. If you tell your other half what you feel, then it is easier to fix it! and doing more fun things together helps too

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    1. Yes, I agree. Communication is important. And the way that you communicate is particularly important. I know for me, if we're not communicating well, then the "fun" things don't even happen because I'm just not in the right place, mentally.

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  2. I've always found that an argument with my husband is often a can of worms into every other issue we've ever had! So important to not drag up the past in the heat of an argument, thanks for the due reminder~

    Vivian | LIVE IN LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_

    ~

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    1. Vivian, I know, right? What is it about trying to air current frustrations that makes us want to bring everything from the past up? It is difficult sometimes to just focus on the current issue.

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  3. WOW! Wonderful tips to keeping things fresh. Relationships are tough. Always wonderful to have outside ideas to help with getting through!

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    1. Thanks, Jodi! Relationships are tough sometimes, for sure. And I think that goes for any relationship.

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  4. Very useful Post for anyone and everyone👍 I have seen love n trust getting missed from a relationship just because of pattern of communication 😥 one has to give quality time to the partner n family.

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    1. Yes, Shilpa. I think "quality" time is definitely more important than quantity of time. It's hard to think that sometimes in relationships, we are having difficulties just because we're not understanding each other correctly.

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  5. You got some very useful tips, love them all. To freshen up I would gladly take a trip with my future boyfriend for some time.

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    1. It is important to get away with each other every now and then. Shared experiences are so important.

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  6. Communication is key for any relationship, professional or personal. It's amazing how much easier disagreements can be when your clear and communicative, not combative and petty. It's easier said than done because emotions play a huge role in how we communicate. It's an art to master, I swear. I also think that devices and limiting their use during quality time, as much as work/life balance, is a huge key in keeping your relationship fresh and out of a rut. Great tips!

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    1. Yes, I agree. Communication is the most important thing in any type of relationship. I would have to agree also that it is hard to keep emotions out of our "communications." The fact that there are sometimes arguments is a testament to our passion about which ever subject we are trying to resolve. And I ABSOLUTELY agree with the limiting use of devices during quality time. In fact there should be NO devices during quality time. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Me and my husband love taking small road trips together every once in a while to keep the adventure alive!

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  8. Such an amazing post, I am single but my ex would never have been willing to try any suggestions (I had mentioned some) I think these are great ways to connect and keep things fun.

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  9. Communicating is key & communicating on an adventure should help out if both parties are willing to make it work

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  10. 2017 was all about doing things differently for me ... reading books I wouldn't usually, watching movies I won't and traveling to new places ... the best part was my husband and I did a lot of it together :)

    ❥ tanvii.com

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  11. Some great points here. Communications is indeed important for any relationships and we need to spend quality time for the person we love.

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