Holding onto HOPE when it comes to your relationship is fundamental. Hope, as a verb, means BELIEVING and TRUSTING with reasonable confidence that something you want will happen. Hope can also give you the MOTIVATION to work together through the difficult times and in the end create a STRONGER RELATIONSHIP.
Stepcouples (couples in stepfamilies) come up against many unique and intricate challenges. These challenges can place unconscionable distress on the bond and chip away at the vulnerable foundations. Research reveals that couples in stepfamilies are separating at a faster rate than couples in ‘first time’ families. Why is this happening? Stepcouples often miss out on the honeymoon phase and time to get to know each other before children come along. Under these circumstances the relationship does not have time to develop the ground where each individual has a good understanding of each other’s strengths and growth edges, communication styles, values, dreams and problem solving approaches. Couples in stepfamilies are often trying to get to know each other while navigating the terrain of stepfamily life.
Is your relationship in a constant state of turmoil? Are you disagreeing about parenting strategies? Do you find it hard to understand each other’s way of handling difficult situations? Do you wish for a greater sense of ease? Would you like more joy in your relationship?
Hope can give you the drive to open up to what is possible, hang in there and give you the tenacity to keep going. Cultivating an ethos of hope between you and your partner can be the extra ingredient you need to thrive and create the life you would like to create.
Here are 5 ways to create a gorgeously hopeful atmosphere for your relationship:
- Be kind to yourself. Do what you love to do! This could be making a delicious cup of tea, going for a brisk walk, planting seeds in the garden, going to sleep early, eating wholesome food, chatting to friends. Whatever it is do it! Even if it is a small amount of time. Nurturing yourself will help to nurture your relationship.
- Spend time with your partner exploring your dreams and goals for the coming year. Take into consideration individual, couple and other relationship goals. What would you like for your stepfamily this year? While you are both sharing be sure to ask questions so that you gain a really good understanding of what each other desires. Be curious.
- Focus your energy on the qualities you cherish in your partner. Set some time aside, light a candle and share with your partner 10 things (qualities, skills or quirks) you love and value in them.
- Take a break. Every morning, lunch time and afternoon take a break by removing yourself from whatever you are doing. You might like to take 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Do what you can do, though giving yourself the space to breathe and rest from whatever is going on will be of great benefit. This will help to regulate your nervous systems which is great when relationships are being tested.
- Express Love. Hugs, words, notes, acts of kindness — be generous with each one. Leave your partner/husband/wife a sweet note expressing gratitude for kind acts. You might like to give them a heartfelt hug or kiss. Expressing love adds warmth and positive energy to our lives and the lives of those we care about. It also offers a lot of comfort both to the giver and receiver of each loving act.
Couples in stepfamilies are presented with many challenges. By generating a sense of hope and focusing on what you are grateful for and value in each other can change the atmosphere around you. When there has been a lot of stress and tension between couples building up hope can take time. Though, with commitment and willingness to change hope can definitely become part of your relationship.
I would love to hear how you and your partner maintain hope and work through stepfamily challenges. We all know in stepfamilies there are many. So, please feel free to comment below or head on over to my facebook page and send me a message.
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