Being in relationship with another human being takes work. Being in a marriage with another human being takes even more work. Being in a marriage that also includes kids and working spouses is a whole other level of work! But its worth it and it can be done. Everything for me and my relationship with Aaron usually boils down to communication and expressing love. We are not perfect people and therefore we do not have a perfect relationship. Through the 13 years that we have been in each others lives we’ve gotten to know one another (quite well) and have realized how opposite we are! Our communication styles are 100% opposite, which makes our emotional expression completely different as well. We are both self-aware enough to recognize this which I’m grateful for- I know there are couples out there that are not as aware.
To work on how we communicate and express our emotions we’ve utilized some strategies that are in the process of becoming part of our “relationship maintenance protocol” … Actually we don’t have one of those, we just get to a point where shit is not working and we know we need to do something to make it better. These are some tools in our tool-belt. Some of these are routine (like scheduling dates) but others are used “as needed”. We are always a work in progress but the one constant is our commitment to try.
Here are some tangible tools we use to communicate + express emotions:
We started doing this when school started. There is a lot to juggle. Aaron is working full time, I’m working part-time in the evenings and the kids are in 2 different schools. We have a shared calendar but we noticed that things were getting missed. So we implemented the “update meeting” and it has been extremely useful. We do these meetings as needed. They are pretty formal, so don’t try to do it while you are giving the kids baths or watching The Office. You need some dedicated time to make it effective. We get a nice bottle of wine, sit somewhere new in the house (not the kitchen table or living room couch), somewhere that feels different. We each bring an agenda. Its basically a brain-dump of all the things we’ve been meaning to touch base on, ideas for the weekend, when we want to go to the gym, feedback about dinner plans etc. We sit down with our agendas and get it done! The calendar gets filled out, plans are made, babysitters are booked, life gets organized and we get some time to be together with a plan to communicate.
The Commute Call
Our friends told us about this one. It can be a helpful tool to communicate with the spouse who works outside the house. Get a call in before you get home to the mayhem of kids. Spend 15 min chatting about the day and connecting. The first time Aaron called me from his drive home I thought he was nuts- “what do you need” is how I answered his call. It wasn’t expecting it and he never calls unless its to tell me he is going to be late. He later explained the Commute Call and why he thought it would be helpful and I loved it! You better believe the next time he called I was all ” hi babe, how is your drive?”!
Date days + Date Nights
The weekend or weeknight date night is sometimes forced. That’s why we love the date day. If you can get a reliable babysitter for the daytime there is SO much to do and it doesn’t necessarily have to feel like a date night. We’ve gone paddle boarding, hiking, grocery shopping, out to breakfast, driving around dream neighborhoods to house hunt, workouts, volunteering etc. It can be fun to relinquish the day time kid duties and do something spontaneous just the two of us. It changes the vibe of the traditional “date night” and we love it.
Getting in touch with emotions + oily protocols for releasing them:
We use our essential oils to connect emotionally. We probably use them for this purpose the most. They are incredible tools for connection + meaningful emotional expression. We are emotional beings. Our feelings that are unprocessed tend to show up in the body as stress and sickness. Healthy awareness, processing and release have helped us SO many times. Usually this happens spontaneously where one of us grabs a few oils and initiates a few deep breaths together. When we really need to we sit down together in a quiet room and speak our intentions out loud ” I’m feeling stressed and triggered by the way you spoke to me earlier and I want to tlk about it” or “Your attitude during dinner was really frustrating and I want to find out where its coming from” or “I’m feeling super disconnected from you and I want to repair that”. We then use specific oils to enhance the intention. We drop oil in our hands for deep breathing, we apply oils directly to areas of tension, we put oils in the diffuser in the room we are hanging out in.
Developing routines with our oils has been such a fun journey, and we would love to help you get started with your own protocals… you can join our oily community here ❤
- Lavender: for Trust, calming, stress relief and relaxation
- Frankincense: for connection, presence, spirituality
- Joy: for Love, for happiness for energy
- Release: to clear negative emotions or to release feelings that are stuck
- Ylang Ylang: for female energy, passion, love and libido
- Peace + Calming: for stability, for presence for peaceful communication
- Inner Child: for fun, for laughter for lightness
What do you guys do to communicate better with your partner?
Tell us in the comments : )