Expert Advice: 5 Tips to Maintain Harmony in Your Relationship
By: Poppy and Geoff Spencer, Certified Relational Experts, Speakers, and Authors
Having a successful long-term relationship is one of the most rewarding things one could ever ask for. But maintaining the harmony in that is not something you can coast on. JR and I have been together twenty-plus years. And we’ve always known it takes work and dedication to keep that bond strong. Harmony and communication are key. Which is why we constantly check in on each other, even if we’re miles apart.
In today’s post, we learn from authors and relationship coaching couple, Poppy and Geoff Spencer, who co-wrote the upcoming book 1 Billion Seconds. They are living a romance 32-years in the making (aka 1 billion seconds). Since they first met, nearly four decades ago, they have four divorces and five marriages between them. They’ve often pondered, “What If?” and also know a thing or two about what works and what does not work in relationships. Based on their own experiences and their coaching practice, they offer 5 daily things your audience can do to maintain a grateful harmony in their relationships.
What if? Five Ways to Maintain a Grateful Harmony
“What If…” We’ve asked this question many times, sometimes in our head and to each other. As college sweethearts, we separated because of a lack of maturity and communication skills, not because anything was wrong between us. Since we reunited six years ago, we’ve both wondered what would’ve happened had we stayed together.
Don’t get us wrong. We wouldn’t change one thing about our lives. Each blessed with children and life experiences that have shaped who we’ve become, we’re certain that we’ve grown into our relationship today, even more connected than we might have been if together the whole time. How? The short answer is to embrace vulnerability. We wouldn’t have turned tragedy into triumph, gotten back together, or written a book, without having the courage to be 100% vulnerable.
Because we were apart for thirty-two years, and because we experienced other relationships, marriages and divorces, we’re even more grateful, appreciative and mindful of the immense importance of a healthy relationship. We go out of our way to preserve the soulmate stuff we share.
Here are 5 daily things we do to maintain a grateful harmony:
- When there is a disconnect—and it happens—we address the disparity ASAP. If there are other obligations to which we’ve committed, we pause and set up the first available time to share our thoughts. Sometimes, it takes a while to sort them out; sometimes we can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. We brainstorm and problem-solve together.
- We recognize when outside influences have broken through the wall of our synchronized existence. When this occurs, we first identify that it has occurred, and work together to detach from the conflict. We resolve that which is in our power and let go of the things which we cannot control. Repeat: let go of that which we cannot control.
- Take time for one another. It doesn’t have to include money spent on entertainment. Some of the loveliest and most cherished moments have been just sitting and talking. Many times one or both of us retrieve memories to share of many years ago: a first date or the ageless smile.
- Express love and gratitude to one another at least three times in the day: first thing upon waking, and at night before we sleep. The middle of the day might find one of us spontaneously turning to the other to say, “I love you.” Sometimes, and even more meaningful, the I love you comes in the form of action. Geoff, without being asked, hangs up Poppy’s Lulu Lemon clothes that cannot possibly evergo in the dryer or something really bad will happen, like the dryer will blow up.
- Be an open book. Be willing to shed scary thoughts and feelings. Embrace vulnerability. Being exposed is one of the bravest things we can offer the significant people in our lives. When we are vulnerable with our loved one, we honor them with a gift of trust and respect.