Who says your New Year’s resolutions have to be all about you? In 2015, vow to strengthen the bond between you and your partner and make your marriage that much better by committing to any one or all of these five selfless relationship goals. Happily ever after is, indeed, possible!
Do the one thing you’ve been saying no to the most
If he’s been wanting you to try rock climbing or ballroom dancing lessons all year, and you’d normally rather stick a fork in your eye than accompany him, just suck it up and do it, advises relationship expert and author April Masini. “The fact that he knows you’ve been saying no repeatedly and you’re now doing this solely for him makes it that much better a resolution.” After all, the more you’re willing to give, the more you’ll get in return.
Stop talking smack
Constantly rolling your eyes at the mere mention of getting together with his mom? It may not be full-on trash talk, but trust us, it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed, notes Masini. “Whether it’s his mother, boss, best friend or kids, resolve to be conscious and disciplined in stopping the negative behavior that you think is subtle and he hears and sees loudly and clearly.”
Unleash your playful side
Feel like you’ve turned into a total nag as of late? Then it’s time to get in touch with your playful side in 2015! “Laughter is not only fuel for your relationship, but it creates a special kind of intimacy and lightens the load of a heavy day,” explains licensed psychologist Dr. Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD, author of When Depression Hurts Your Relationship. “Maybe it’s watching a silly movie together, giggling over inside jokes or simply building a snowman in the backyard.” Life is stressful enough as it is, so resolve to really let go next year and just have fun with your significant other.
Shower him with compliments
When you’ve been with someone for years on end, you tend to focus on all the negatives as opposed to praising the positives. In 2015, try switching it up for a change. If you think he looks hot or you appreciate him helping you out with something, let him know, urges Dr. Kolakowski. “He can never hear it too often.”
Become a better listener
Communication is the key to relationship success, and if there’s one thing we could all work on in the New Year it’s our listening skills. “Make a point to wait and hear your partner, then reflect back to them what you heard and ask them if that’s what they really meant to convey so that you can get it right,” recommends Dr. Gail Satlz, associate professor of psychiatry at The New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornel School of Medicine and author of The Ripple Effect: How Better Sex Can Lead To a Better Life. “When a partner feels listened to and understood by you they will likely reciprocate and then you will both feel a whole lot closer.”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?