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How to Deepen the Give and Take in Your Relationship

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Between work, family, health, home, and community, it's easy to feel spread thin and depleted these days.

Let's skip the surface-level flowers and chocolates and give something deeper. Let's offer deeper rejuvenation to our partners - or other loved ones - and find ways to receive their love in a significant way, too.

Offer rejuvenation to the people you love

When I say, "Be a shelter in the storm to your loved ones," I am guessing you agree. Yet, it is easy to lose track of that commitment. You may get distracted by smaller frustrations or feel overwhelmed by outside stressors. Take some time to step away from the noise and focus on what offering rejuvenation really means.

Focus your rejuvenation offering:

  • Explicitly state your intent. Something like, "I want to be a place where your cares fall away, not another source of stress for you. What would help me be that for you? "
  • Deliberately set aside time to give your loved one 100% of your attention. It is not easy to do! Turn off the TV, put your cell phone away, and focus entirely on the two of you for at least five minutes. Your hot tub is a great place to make that happen.

Prioritize rejuvenation

Make time to do something that nourishes both you and your loved one. Take walks together, start sharing the "best parts, hard parts" of your day, or exchange some TLC.

Receiving our partners' love

Many clients tell me they do not really feel loved, seen, or cherished by their partners. However, we often fail to soak up affection, rejuvenation, or attention when we need it most. Focusing too much on giving and delivering will weaken our receiving muscles. To deepen love in your life, stretch and strengthen that muscle.

Stretch your "receiving muscle":

  • Watch your partner through a lens of "I am loved more than I realize, " and see how your perspective changes. When I started doing this, I saw how my husband as saying "I love you " all day long - not just through his words, but by making me tea, forwarding me an article he knows I will like, and more. When I choose to let his love in, it is abundant.
  • Notice where you over-function, making little room for others to help or nourish you. Maybe it's around the house, with money, or simply navigating in the car. Try letting yourself be taken care of a little bit each week. I call this "The Arm Candy Challenge ": Can you just relax, feel attractive, and enjoy yourself? If not, this is a good skill to practice.
  • Make requests rather than complaints. If you don't like something that's happening, say, "Honey, would you please… " and request a specific action. That helps you focus on what you DO want rather than what you don't-and makes it easier to give it to you.

Let-s make this a month of TRUE love. I wish you a joyful February-and deeper love all year long.

More about Michele

At age 23, Michele Lisenbury Christensen dedicated herself to helping powerful women and men unite success, spirituality, and intimacy when she embarked on a career as a leadership and love coach. In the 15 years since, she's crafted a smokin' 12+ year marriage of her own, had two happy kids, and been a trusted advisor to couples, singles, and corporate leaders around the world.  www.lisenbury.com.

  

Article originally published February, 2013. Updated 2017.

Main Blog Photo provided courtesy of Michele Christensen

Hero Blog Photo provided courtesy of Daniel LeBlanc

  

  


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