4 Ways Support Your Spouse Through Hardship

Tough times are eventually going to find you, it’s inevitable. Life has a way of interjecting adversity despite all we do to try and prevent it. Sometimes, it’s trivial and throws you off for a few weeks, and sometimes it’s life-changing and gives you a new perspective on just about everything.

When bigger adversity challenges you and your partner together, as a couple, there can be a “we’re in this together” bond that is pretty powerful and can give you the momentum to push through the difficult time. However, when something happens to you or your partner separately, it can feel very isolating, even though it’s likely that you’re both significantly affected by it. Tough times that fall into this category can vary greatly, but examples would be a health diagnosis or a job loss. 

In the case where it’s just happening to one of you, it’s really important to remember that even though it may feel as though it’s only happening to the one person, it’s really impacting both of you.

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Staying Curious

Let’s call it what it is, life is tough right now.  We’re still trying to learn our new normal, adjust to working from home, figure out virtual visits, and experiencing a lot of change to our daily routine.  On top of all of that, we are trying to keep our relationships steady and maybe spending more time in our pajamas together.

I have to say, I am personally spending a large amount of time with my partner during the pandemic.  It’s hard to get together with friends or see family, outside of virtual visits.  Since nothing is open, we have been enjoying more movie nights or making dinner together.

With that being said, we are spending so much time together that I cannot lie, he is getting under my skin!

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Break Your Communication Barriers

“If there’s an issue, make sure you always communicate,” they said.
“It’s the key to everything,” they said.

If only it were that simple. We’ll be the first to admit we’re big on emphasizing the importance of quality communication in your relationship. And it is important. It’s the foundation for staying connected, working through conflict, and the key to so many other aspects of your relationship. But as straightforward as that sounds, that very basic thing can actually be very difficult. You might feel like, “Oh geez, if we can’t even do the basics, where does that leave us?” That can be very discouraging.

Sometimes when we’re trying to work through a conflict or a contentious issue, things quickly devolve into an unproductive argument. Once again, nothing gets resolved. Why does this keep happening? There may be barriers preventing us from letting down our defenses and being vulnerable so that we can truly hear each other.

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Your Relationship Winterization Checklist

Here in Minnesota, we have to do something called “winterizing.” If you live in a region that gets cold in the winter, you probably know what this is, but if you live somewhere that’s warm year-round, you might be saying, “Huh?”

Winterizing is basically adapting or preparing something for use in the winter. For example, you might winterize your car by replacing the wiper blades, switching to snow tires, testing the battery, and making sure you have a winter emergency kit in tow. You winterize your house by checking your furnace, sealing up drafty window and doors, and putting away the patio furniture.

The idea is that you know a new season is coming, and you’re taking proactive measures to avoid ending up in a less-than-ideal situation, such as coming out to a dead car battery in a snowstorm or paying a sky-high gas bill because the heat is literally going right out the window.

Does your relationship need winterizing? Perhaps your “winter” is a new addition to the family, or a new career, or your kids entering a busier, more demanding stage of life. How can you take stock of your relationship and prepare it for what’s to come?

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3 Keys to Decision-Making Without Resentment

We make decisions every day. In fact, research suggests we make about 35,000 choices each day as adults. That’s a lot! Decisions range from minuscule to significant. Some of these small decisions we make every few seconds are things such as taking a sip of coffee, responding to a text message, or even readjusting in our chair. More medium size decisions are things like what to have for dinner, plans for the weekend or even what color to repaint your living room – decisions we make that are fairly low risk and usually don’t require our finances to take a large hit. These medium decisions are where you may start seeking input or opinions from others. Oftentimes the first person on your list will be your spouse, especially if that decision, like the ones in our examples, impact them as well. They’ll eat the dinner you selected, likely enjoy the weekend plans with you, and of course, live in the repainted living room – hey, you may even make a decision that requires their help to execute it!

At the far end of the decision-size spectrum are the big decisions. These are the ones that are life-changing or at least feel significant because of the financial impact.

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