In relationships, we are often on automatic pilot. Our interactions are so routine that we barely have to think about what we do or say. When, out of the blue, something entirely different occurs, it gets our attention. We're startled and realize we must respond in a new way.
Brenda and Ed, a two-career couple with busy schedules, generally had sex on weekends. This worked out fine for them — until they started fighting about money every Friday night. Because their weekend began with an argument, the next two days were always miserable and sexless. This went on for two months.
Then one Friday night, when Ed initiated the usual conversation about money, Brenda listened patiently to his points and instead of disagreeing vehemently — her usual tactic — she said, "I really hear your point, but I'm a little tired and would prefer waiting until Sunday to discuss this. Is that okay with you?" Surprised by her different response, Ed simply responded, "Okay, whatever."
That night Ed and Brenda went out to dinner and had a good time. On Saturday, they went to a movie and again had fun together. Because things were clicking, Brenda made a move sexually, and Ed responded. It was the first time in over two months that they had made love. By Sunday, they were feeling better about each other than they had for a long time. A simple change in Brenda's behavior changed the pattern that had kept them apart.
Figuring out what to do differently isn't as difficult as you might suspect. Just remind yourself of your more-of-the-same behavior and promise yourself that you are going to do something different, no matter how weird or crazy it may seem. You might not see the results instantaneously; you may have to wait a day or two, or more. Be patient, keep your eyes open, and look for small signs of change.
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