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7 Daily Habits of Highly Effective Relationships

7 Daily Habits of Highly Effective Relationships

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Published by sharewik
Relationships are tricky. Elaine Taylor-Klaus gives her advice on how to make your relationship work.
Relationships are tricky. Elaine Taylor-Klaus gives her advice on how to make your relationship work.

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Published by: sharewik on Jun 21, 2010
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7 Daily Habits of Highly Effective Relationships By Elaine Taylor-Klaus Intimacy can be (re-) created with deliberation.

All too often, over time, the complexities of our lives interfere with our relationships. Call it loss of connection, or intimacy, even friendship²being busy becomes our seducer, and we lose touch with what it was that turned us on about our partner in the first place.

When expectations and increasing resentment replaces trust and desire, something can be done to restore the intimacy that got you into this relationship in the first place. My husband and I started to become conscious of this phenomenon a few years back, and over time we have tried different ways to address it. Here are what I see as seven little habits that seem to make a big difference for us. The common themes are conscious connection and acknowledgement. 7 Daily Habits of Highly Effective Relationships: 1. Always kiss eachother good night. And make it a genuine kiss. It doesn¶t have to be wet and sloppy, but it does have to be slow enough to know you¶re kissing, and being kissed. 2. Always say, ³Good night.´ We learned this from my grandparents. They were married for 62 years, so we figured it was probably good advice. Every night of their marriage they spoke these words in Yiddish: ³Guden nacht, mein leiben frau.´ ³Guden nacht, mein teirer man.´ So we adopted the same. In a nod toward our heritage, we chose to stick with the Yiddish. The actual words don¶t matter; what matters is that it¶s a statement of love and intention, like re-committing every night. Whatever you choose to say, the words should express appreciation, gratitude for the connection between the two of you. For me, it¶s the word ³mine´ that resonates. It is a warm and loving way to end the day.

3. Look at each other when you talk to one another and often throughout the time you spend with each other. When you are facing a screen, or a book, or even your knitting needles, the connection between you is incomplete. Stop and look into each other¶s eyes²it speaks directly to the soul. 4. Always take the time to greet one another whenever you see each other for the first time²whether in the morning, or after work, or even when you are meeting each other at an event. Remember, there was a time when this was the person you wanted to see most in the world. Acknowledge each other, and the bond that exists between you will begin to reappear.

5. Kiss each other in front of other people. When we were newly married we had a mutt named Hobbson who would jump up on our legs seeking attention whenever we began to kiss. At some point, we told this story to our children, who adopted the practice years after the death of our precious pup. To µentertain¶ our children, we began to kiss intentionally, and it turned out to be a wonderful gift to all of us. Now, our 9 year old still jumps at the chance to scream, ³Hobbson,´ and dive into the space he can create between us while my husband and I endeavor to make impenetrable. It brings him such pleasure, and we can¶t help but laugh. More importantly, whether in our kitchen or in a restaurant, taking that moment to connect and be only with each other, if only for a moment, can create a profound intimacy. 6. Don¶t answer the phone during meals. When I was a kid there were no answering machines, no call waiting, and no caller ID. Still, my father insisted that we did not answer the phone during dinner. Dinner was family time, and if it was important, they would call back. This philosophy is perhaps even more important in this day and age, when phone calls and text messages follow us everywhere we go, even into the bathroom (is there no privacy? Oh, yeah, we make a choice here, don¶t we?) When my spouse and I are in a conversation and the phone rings, or

pings, or wiggles, or whatever it does to try to get our attention, I¶m always grateful when he doesn¶t answer it, even more so when he doesn¶t even look at the screen. It¶s a little gesture, but it makes a big difference. Not answering lets the person with you know that you want to be there.

7. ³Want the best for your friend.´ Check in and see how your partner is doing. No matter how intense your day may be, take the time to express interest in the other²genuine interest. Remember, don¶t just hear about their day, really listen and care about what he or she is telling you. The business of running our lives can dominate and depersonalize us, reducing our relationships to logistics and details, lacking any expression of feeling or concern. There is something quite empowering about knowing that another human being whom you love truly CARES about what happens to you. In a session with our coach, the other day, my spouse expressed frustration that the details of our lives seem to take over. How, he asked, can we possibly create time to µconnect¶ with each other when there is so much to do and so little time to do it. The answer came to me quite clearly. I replied, ³Ask me about my day.´ These are just seven simple changes you can try to re-connect to the person you share your life with. There certainly are other strategies that might work better for you, so be creative, and give them a try. It may seem contrived, at first, but it won¶t take long to remember that simple, loving gestures are the things we fell in love with in the first place. If you don¶t know how to communicate to your partner that you would like to improve your intimacy, consider: 1. 2. 3. 4. Print this out, or share it with him/her. Tell him or her that you read this and would like to try something new. Choose one thing on the list and take the lead in making it happen. Be patient²minor changes make major changes over time. Don¶t expect miracles overnight.

It¶s late, and my husband is (im)patiently waiting for us to go upstairs to bed, which we try to do together whenever we can. As I think about these gestures, I think I¶ll suggest we crawl into bed and read Gerald Drose¶s column on ³Love, Sex and Marriage.´ Now THAT is what I call good bedtime reading! Perhaps that will become Habit #8! Elaine Taylor-Klaus is the founder of Touchstone Coaching and a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.

More Elaine Taylor-Klaus articles, click here. ©2010 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

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