Four easy ways to improve your relationship with your man

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By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

I’ve often wondered why it is that much research has revealed the sad truth about most traditional relationship counseling…over 75% of couples who go for counseling together, end up divorcing or ending their relationship. I felt it to be true, even with my own experiences in the past, and when I did some more digging, I found some solid evidence.

Dr. Steven Stosny and Dr. Patricia Love, both acclaimed therapists, write about this in their book How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. However, as an expert dating coach and life strategist, we, at All About Connecting, feel my advice to not talk but to change your behavior, which this terrific book suggests as well, should not be limited to married couples, but for all people in relationships.

I want to focus mainly on how women can improve their relationship with their man without talking about it, in 4 easy ways. Hey, I’m as guilty as the next woman; I myself would rather “talk it out” and share my feelings and hear his, yet the reality is that men and women are very different. No matter how much we try to “talk it out” in the most kind, gentle way, it only helps us women feel closer, while it makes men move away.

So, ladies, let’s stop talking, and start being compassionate, appreciative and adding fun into the equation!

  1. TOUCH: Just as in sex, a man needs to take it slowly, so when it comes to improving our relationship with our man, we also need to take things a little slower. Subtly brush your hand on his skin while giving him a compliment at dinner, or put your hand on his thigh if he’s seeming open. Ask for at least 3-5 hugs a day, and especially at night after dinner. Make the last hug of the evening linger, and be compassionate to any of his feelings, whatever they may be. Just let them go for now; eventually, hugging each other throughout the day will become a routine, something men do cherish. And we all know, hugging provides us a feeling (for both men and women) of belonging, caring and compassion. Don’t even think of talking for now; just let each embrace envelope you both to a place of comfort.
  2. ACTIVITY: What’s been on your bucket lists? Nothing big, start small, especially since financial stress is the number one reason couples fight. Maybe he’s been wanting you to watch his favorite football team game on TV with you, or take a hike at your nearby park. Perhaps he loves playing scrabble or a new video game; why not try it? You might just like it. The most important thing is spending fun quality time together. A chance to laugh, a chance to share a special moment together. If you do have some extra spending money, why not take the time together and plan a vacation? Half the fun is the anticipation and these days there are so many great travel deals out there on the internet that won’t break the bank. My favorite these days is Travelzoo.com – I highly recommend checking out the site. It certainly makes it extra fun when a fabulous vacation is super cheap! Then, when you do go away, take turns each day playing tour director. The rule is that each person gets the same amount of money to spend and cannot go over budget. The tour director gets to choose the events and timing of the day and the other must agree to go along with it and maintain a fabulous attitude. I’ve made this suggestion to so many clients at All About Connecting and it’s always gone well. It’s made the trip much more interesting than otherwise and much more fun for both parties.
  3. SEX: What more is there to say? Men crave sex and not much more makes them feel more connected to you. Again, most men don’t want to talk during sex; they simply want to enjoy the quiet intimacy and physical pleasure. If it’s been a while, and he seems stand-offish, try starting with a foot rub or a back rub, and go from there. Perhaps while watching a movie, you can start by touching him gently and try kissing him, without saying a word. Then, turn off the movie, and take it to the next level. The important thing is to get into a routine (as I’ve said before, men love routine). The more you have sex, the more connected he will feel, and the more he potentially will open up and be the one to initiate conversation and romance.

4: ROUTINE: It’s fascinating how much men need and want routine. Whether it’s when they take their morning dump, get in their exercise, or have their work schedule, men are geared for routine. We women have always had to flexible, since we are hard-wired to as mothers to go with the flow for our children’s needs and be amazing multi-taskers. Getting into a rhythm together will help you both feel connected. As Love and Stosny so eloquently state, “Love is not about communication. It’s about connection.”

So, when you are just about to burst because you are so tired of the silence, call up your girlfriend and go out for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and chat away. Then, laugh and go home to your love, and just BE LOVE.

 

Good Luck!

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