My wife Kathryn and I were on the Today Show with Hoda and Jenna last week sharing advice on how to strengthen your relationship during the pandemic. While a lot of people loved my wife's advice about flirting in the kitchen to rekindle the relationship, we ran out of time and didn't get to share the 3 tips we had planned to talk about. So here they are:
1) Communicate: Where there is a void in communication negativity will fill it. That's why you need to consistently communicate in order to fill the voids. Talk about your challenges and fears. Discuss your shared vision for what you want to create and build together. Make time for each other instead of rushing past each other. Many couples live in the same house and yet they don’t take the time to talk and connect with each other. They act like they are on two separate teams. Instead you need to become one team. Kathryn and I often take walks together and talk about a lot of things. Sometimes these talks lead to fights but these fights help us deal with hard stuff. Great teams and relationships have difficult conversations. You have to talk it out in order to work it out. When our kids were growing up, we also had weekly family meetings which were key to our communication and connection.
2) Encourage Each Other: We all want to be with someone who gives us strength and when you encourage your mate, you give them strength. The word encourage means "to put courage into." When I lost my job during the dot com crash and wondered how we were going to pay the bills and was full of fear, Kathryn encouraged and supported me. She told me that somehow, someway we were going to make it work out. She said she loved and believed in me and we would do it together. Her encouragement and support made all the difference and led us to second mortgage our home (I don't recommend this as a business strategy) to open a Moe's Southwest Grill franchise which eventually became successful and allowed me to start writing and speaking. I know I wouldn't be the man I am today if it wasn't for Kathryn.
3) Relax and Resolve: We have never been through anything like this before so if you haven't handled it well don't beat yourself up. If you have been stressed, fearful and allowed this time to get the best of you it’s understandable. Don't be discouraged. Take a deep breath together and relax. Forgive yourself and each other for not being perfect. Forgive yourself and each other for the mistakes you have made. Relax and then Resolve to get better for yourself and the relationship. Resolve to stick together through this challenging time. Don't give up!
Kathryn and I don't want couples to have Relationship Grit and be miserable together. We want couples to stay together so they can experience more love, connection, intimacy, and joy. It's very possible to improve and change. We know because we did and if we stayed together anyone can.
We hope these tips help you!