The new year is here. It’s time to resurrect love! And you can resurrect love in any relationship. It all starts with a vital foundation. Do this and love will start to flow. Forget this and nothing else will work.
Resurrecting love starts when you choose to protect your relationship from threat and negativity. When you create safe space around your relationship, love can come to life. Until the space is safe, love will never grow. This is both necessary and totally doable. How?
First, stop all threats. Threats shut down your brain’s love and attachment centers. If there is a threat in your relationship, you can forget about resurrecting love. Sure, it is tempting to vent anger by telling your child “I give up on you” or telling your spouse “maybe we should think about divorce”. But threats make the situation far worse. Instead, use your anger to fight for the relationship. When tempted to threaten, playfully re-affirm your commitment to them. Say things like “I love being your parent” or “I love doing life with you”. (Just try it!)
Second, stop all criticizing and complaining. I know; this is harder than it sounds. We live in a world that tells us we can criticize, complain and vent our way to a better relationship. Here’s the problem: Every negative word adds negativity to the relationship space. This is like consistently spitting into the well and wondering why the water never tastes good. The key to stopping criticism? Most criticisms are requests in disguise. So, instead, request what you would like in positive and specific terms, then let it go.
Finally, protect your relationship from negativity even when the person isn’t around. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking with your best friend, priest, mother or therapist. If you are complaining or discussing ending your relationship, then you are killing your odds of resurrecting love. Instead, talk about your relationship with encouraging people who want it to get better.
Here’s the bottom line: Whoever gave you permission to complain about your relationship was wrong. If you are serious about resurrecting love in 2016, start today by protecting your relationship from all negativity. It is the first and most important step to filling your life with more love than you can handle.