When you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, it only makes sense that you desire to grow closer with that special someone. As much love and compassion as you have for this person, unexpected situations are inevitable and as a couple, you will have to navigate some difficult circumstances together. During these moments of stress, sadness, or uncertainty, it can be easy to forget to prioritize your relationship and focus on your own needs. By taking some time to review this list, you will find a few productive ways to build a stronger bond with your significant other and further elevate your relationship amidst challenges thrown your way.
Practice words of affirmation
Although you might silently appreciate your partner every day, verbalizing your appreciation can truly go a long way in strengthening your relationship. Expressing your appreciation for your partner using words of affirmation can offer them validation while giving you the opportunity to reflect on the many things you are grateful for about them. Let your significant other knows when you appreciate something they did for you, especially if it helps make you feel better during a hard time. After putting this into practice, you will realize that it’s not as easy to be upset at your significant other when you are practicing gratitude and reflecting on all the wonderful things they do for you. Remember, you are on the same team and during times of crisis or uncertainty, and you need to be able to rely on their support.
If putting your feelings into words isn’t your strong suit, you can use positive affirmations for your relationship that will guide you in self-talk and offer a starting point in speaking openly to your partner. Communication plays a huge role in how couples understand each other and focusing on positivity sets the stage for a stronger bond with your significant other.
Encourage each other
There’s no better feeling than when you feel like someone has your back, and this is especially true when it comes to the person you are in a relationship with. When you feel like you are trying to navigate an uncertain situation, whether it’s a national health crisis, a loss of a loved one, getting laid off from your job, or simply a bad day—everyone can use a little encouragement now and then. Empowering each other is a major component of continuing to grow a stronger bond with your significant other and can help instill trust along the way.
Connect with your significant other by asking them what their priorities are at this time. Whether your significant other is focused on their career, personal development, or a health journey, encourage each other to push towards those goals, even when it might not feel like an easy road ahead. This type of support does not only have to be verbal; giving your attention and a listening ear is also a symbol of the encouragement you have for your special person.
Talk about the what ifs
For many couples, locking down a solid financial plan for the long-term is a way to find stability within a relationship. As hard as it might be to imagine your life without your loved one in it, life can be unpredictable at times and the best way to avoid future stress and worry is to talk about the future openly. Having a plan in place can help you both feel closer knowing that the other person is taken care of no matter what happens.
An important piece of this financial puzzle is securing enough life insurance coverage to ensure that your loved one is looked after. There are many different life insurance companies to consider, so discussing with your significant other how much financial protection is necessary would be worthwhile. This type of financial security will allow you peace of mind knowing that you will be able to provide for each other even after you are gone.
Prioritize rest and recovery
According to the Better Sleep Council, the chemical compound oxytocin is released with human physical touch. On top of promoting feelings of reduced anxiety, empathy, and trust, this chemical can also help you get better sleep. With that being said, you might be wondering how you can increase your levels of oxytocin naturally.
Spending quality time with your partner and sharing physical touch such as hugging or cuddling while watching a movie can have positive impacts on your overall health and stress levels—while promoting a better quality of sleep for you both. Being affectionate with your partner can help you both feel closer physically and emotionally, which in turn will improve your relationship. When you feel closer to your significant other it’s easier to be honest and transparent, especially when it comes to navigating challenging situations.
Consider their feelings
Part of any healthy relationship often means putting the needs and wants of your partner first. And for many couples, after the honeymoon stage wears off and real challenges arise, it’s important to be considerate of one another and the way your significant other might be dealing with a situation. Making a conscious effort to put your significant other’s desires before your own is extremely selfless and can help develop a stronger bond. It’s helpful to understand that as human beings we all have emotions and during hardships, certain feelings will inevitably surface. Realizing that anger and fear are very normal emotions and accepting when one another feels this is key to helping them get through these fleeting emotions in a productive way.
Whether you let them pick the restaurant for date night or put their favorite music on in the car, the act of putting them first is a concrete example of your love and care. Remember that you are still different people with your own beliefs and perspectives on situations, so taking a step back to look at someone else’s point of view is another form of showing empathy and prioritizing your significant other’s feelings.
Express your needs
When life feels a bit hard, it’s important to let others know—especially your significant other. If you’re someone who likes to avoid conflict or confrontation, taking this piece of advice could be one of the most beneficial ways to improve your communication skills with one another and strengthen your relationship. Many couples struggle with their communication due to fear that their significant other won’t understand, might not empathize with what they are saying, or they simply have different styles of communication. Nobody is perfect, and everyone handles situations differently which is why communication is key in getting through difficult circumstances together.
Expressing areas that you feel your relationship can improve or ways your significant other can be a help rather than add additional stress plays a part in maturing and growing together. There are ways to see and express your needs in a relationship, and helping your partner identify these areas can help them support you in the most productive way. Oftentimes, the best way to a resolution is being direct with your partner, avoiding getting overwhelmed with negativity in the moment, and actually listening to your partner. Having the ability to overcome adversity and obstacles together is a skill that you can practice building on together.
Create Healthy Habits
When life feels overwhelming and you can’t seem to collect your thoughts, creating a routine for yourself and sticking to some healthy habits might just help you feel better overall. Taking care of yourself physically directly impacts your mental health, so when stress and anxiety present themselves, being able to resort to some healthy ways of coping can help you feel better in the moment and help you feel more rational when it comes to your emotional state.
Consider doing an activity with your significant other that takes your mind off the problem or situation you are dealing with and gives you a moment to release your negative energy or worry. Something as simple as going for a walk outside, a bike ride, or attending a workout class can have drastic effects on your mental well-being during times of uncertainty. With that, it’s important that you are nourishing your body in healthy ways. Consider cooking a new healthy recipe with your significant other and playing a game before bed. A little change of routine can help improve your mindset as well as your connection to your significant other.
There is never one way to get through a difficult time, however, there will always be certain variables that are in your control. Recognizing your own behaviors and tendencies when navigating a difficult situation can help you communicate your needs to your significant other and loved ones so they can help provide the best support. It’s important to be patient with yourself and your significant other as you learn how to adapt and grow through challenging or new situations.