Bring Positivity Back

Are you in a pattern of conflict with your partner? Always sharp words or arguments? Feels like it’s never going to get better and you’re not sure what to do? 

Here are some tips from The Couples Expert on bringing positivity back into your daily interactions. These are small things that you can do for and with each other that will make a huge difference. Both of you need to realize that nothing will get better unless you try. Don’t give up, here is a prescription to be able to turn things around and make life better for you both. 

  1. Show appreciation – This can be hard to do when you’re in a negative pattern with your partner, but it’s crucial to bringing positivity back. A simple thank you and show of gratitude goes a long way. You both do things for each other that make your lives better. It’s not hard to find things to be grateful for, if you will only open your eyes. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. You can start small. How about appreciating that dinner is on the table daily or the two of you are raising some great kids together. The trick here is to verbalize this to one another not making assumptions that your partner knows how you feel. 
  2. Be kind – We can get into a habit of being rude, dismissive or standoffish when we’re not feeling the love. The way to change this is by small acts of kindnesses. To begin with, find one nice thing that you can do for your partner every day. Kindness is free and makes everyone feel happier. If you both do this, things will change for the better. 

Fill up the gas in your partner’s car. Bring your spouse a cup of coffee in the morning without being asked. Ask each other about their day and REALLY listen.

  1. Keep your word – If you’re feeling let down by one another, it’s hard to see your partner as someone you can rely on. You may have been repeatedly disappointed, felt rejected or that you don’t matter. If you begin to match your words with your actions, following through consistently, you can rebuild that trust and feeling of security between you. This is another place to start small. It can be as simple as you saying you are going to pick up milk on your way home and showing up with a gallon of milk! Eventually your word becomes associated with truth. If you say you will, it’s true. 
  2. Build up your partner – Instead of finding fault, being critical or placing blame, try to be encouraging, uplifting and supportive to one another. It’s a great feeling to have someone in your corner rooting for you to succeed.  Be your partner’s cheerleader and help them to feel positive and encouraged. Post glowing things on social media if the two of you have a Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest accounts. Be the one to take the photos. When is the last time you took a photo of just your partner because they are the person that makes life wonderful. Verbalize these things to your partner. Tell your partner that is why you are taking the picture. Do this publicly and privately. During social gatherings, tell people something wonderful your partner did and how proud you are of them.
  3. Make your relationship a priority- It’s easy to put your relationship on the back burner, especially when things aren’t going too well. This is exactly the opposite of what you should do. When you’re struggling is the time to focus and concentrate on your relationship. Let some of the less important issues in your life be put on hold, and give your energy where it is most needed. When you do this, your partner will notice and it will help them to see the importance of working on your connection. Your job will always be work and need your energy. Make sure your view your job as just that, a job. Your relationship is family and like a car without gas (energy) it can’t run.
  4. Reach out to one another – Reconciliation and reconnection has to begin somewhere. You may have to be the one who bites the bullet and risks everything by reaching out to your partner. Go all in!  If you don’t and your partner doesn’t, your relationship doesn’t have much hope of getting back on track.  Be the brave one. Tell your partner how much they mean to you and how important it is that the two of you are in a loving relationship and nothing is more important to you than that. 
  5. Touch and hug – Physical contact is the first thing that stops when your relationship feels negative. Start turning things around by reaching for your partner’s hand, give hugs, and begin to thaw out that frozen connection. You and your partner need to be physically close. This helps you both feel happier and more connected. That has to include having a sexual relationship. Don’t start there, but without playfulness and physical intimacy our relationship becomes one of being roommates. Passion is essential in a healthy relationship.
  6. Talk it out – Talk about feelings, share your hopes and dreams. So often our interactions are reduced to the mundane every day nuts and bolts of life, and we lose track of each other emotionally and spiritually.  You fell in love with each other for a reason, don’t forget that. Talk about those things that matter to each of you and look towards a more positive future. 

It’s never too late to start trying. If you’re feeling stuck or unhappy, chances are your partner feels the same. You both can do these small things to get yourself back on track for a happier and more positive relationship. Little things mean a lot, and if you’ll just start somewhere, with one of these ideas, you may be pleasantly surprised at the reaction you receive from your partner. There are no quick fixes, and if there are deeply rooted problems in your relationship, you need to see a counselor. For a start, try just bringing a little positivity back into your daily interactions with your partner, and see if it doesn’t make a difference.  For more suggestions, check out Stuart’s Daily notes.   


About the Author:

Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.