By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
This Christmas, I spent time with my 93-year-old mother. My parents were married for forty-nine years. I had the opportunity to talk to my mother about marriage and her opinions about relationships. No relationship is perfect. Both parties need to focus on making a relationship better to improve communication, deepen intimacy and create expanded love and better sex. If one person continues to blame the other, refuse to talk about issues, or stuff unresolved anger there will constantly be sniping, fighting or conflict.
I have written about many of these issues in my most recent book, Orgasm For Life. I suggest you resolve to read my book in 2016 to improve your sex and love life.
Here are my top 30 ways to improve your relationship on all levels:
- Apologize. This is one of the simplest and smallest of improvements you can make in any relationship. A heartfelt apology will begin to shift the mood and open the door to communication where there is none. For those of you that are macho men or have huge egos, an apology may be something you never do. From my mother's perspective, this is one of the biggest issues within a marriage. My father never apologized in 49 years which was the biggest complaint my mother had. If this is you, open your heart and get out of your head. An apology goes a long way to soften hurt feelings, to soothe rejection, and to open the door to more loving and better sex in any relationship. Men can have sex with their partner when they are pissed off. Most, but not all women need an apology to begin to get over an argument or hurtful comment and move towards sexual closeness. Women will refuse sex when they are angry. The person who receives it, of has to be open enough to accept it. Get over yourself and open your heart.
- Create Security. Feeling secure in a relationship involves safety. If a threat of violence is present, or you are concerned that your partner will leave you, you won't feel secure. If you are insecure about yourself you will be insecure about your relationship as well. When two people are committed to each other and know divorce is not an option, the relationship has a greater chance of survival. Those who have been sexually traumatized in the past need to have your past issues cleared to move beyond them. Hypnotherapy or energy healing shifts these patterns profoundly.
- Build Trust. If you don't trust yourself you won't trust others either. If making decisions is an issue for you, you probably don't trust yourself. Build trust within yourself. Check into your body when you need to make a decision. How does your stomach feel when you think about what you are about to do? Do you feel a sinking feeling? Do you feel uplifted? Do you feel uncertain? Your gut is the best barometer of truth for you. Trust your gut instinct. Your body never lies. Why is trust so important for sex? If you don't trust your partner, are afraid they will cheat, lie, bring home an STD, or do something you don't want them to do, you won't be able to relax and let go during sex.
- Talk to Each Other. If you can't hold a conversation outside the bedroom, your sex life won't expand and grow. The word "intercourse" actually means conversations between two people or groups. To deepen intimacy, create greater closeness and a better relationship you need to have conversations. If you don't talk, your relationship will suffer inside and outside the bedroom.
- Praise Your Partner. The best advice a preacher ever gave me was to give my husband praise. It is easy to do the opposite, but far more difficult to boost our partner's self-esteem and show them gratitude. We tend to critique, condemn and moan about our partners, rather than praise them. Try praising your partner for a week. Notice how this shifts their perspective.
- Appreciate Your Partner. There are many ways to show appreciation. You can revel in your partner's nakedness, by telling them how beautiful they are. No matter how imperfect our bodies are they are works of art. There is no greater turn-on than to be told your body is beautiful. We are never so vulnerable as when we are laying naked for our partner to see. Show your appreciation. Appreciate your partner in other ways by showing up with flowers, writing love notes on their pillow or in their lunch box. Appreciation is a simple thing that shifts a relationship in amazing ways. Appreciation is one of the most important parts of a loving relationship, without it your relationship will shrivel and die. Resentment grows without it. Belated appreciation is not as powerful as when you see someone doing something for you in the moment. Show your partner some love and be more appreciative of the small things they do for you. You can show appreciation by cleaning up after a meal is cooked for you, remembering birthdays, anniversaries but bigger than those annual events is daily appreciation. It's The Small Things That Matter.
- Show Your Partner Gratitude. Saying "Thank you, " for a dinner just cooked, laundry folded and put away, a window sill that has been painted, or repaired will get you more of what you want. After an incredible sensual experience that your partner has just given you say, "Thank you!"
- Make Eye Contact. Look into your partner's eyes when they are speaking and making love with you. Part of intimacy involves being able to allow your partner to see you transparently. How better to allow deeper intimacy than to do some deep eye gazing. Look into your partner's eyes and feel.
- Smile. Smiling improves mood, can lift your spirit and simply makes you feel better. Smiling at your partner can shift an experience, and prevent an argument. Notice how you look when you are relaxed. Walk by a mirror and check your facial expression. Do you look angry? Do you look miserable? Do you look like you could kill someone with your expression? Or do you look like Mother Theresa, happy, fulfilled and satisfied with your life? Try it, you might like it!
- Give hugs. Hugging your partner during the day shows that you are interested in them for more than just sex. A hug is a loving expression that gives us the feeling of love without a boob grab, or ass grab.
- Touch Outside The Bedroom. In many relationships the only time touch comes into play is during sex. If this is you, begin touching each other's hand or arm when you talk, a shoulder caress when you walk by can show love without expectations that will keep you connected when you are apart. If the only time you touch is before sex, there is no intimacy in your relationship. Turn That No Into A Hell Yes!
- Take Responsibility. Blaming others makes you a victim. Take responsibility for your own actions. Blame has no place in a loving conscious relationship. Pointing fingers creates volatility and makes you a victim. Use phrases like, "I feel that...." Rather than, "You did this to me!"
- Forgive. No one is perfect. We all do things that have ramifications. Holding onto past events, keeping score will impact all areas of your relationship including your sex life. Both parties need to be forgiving. Our relationships teach us about ourselves. We often project our past patterns of traumas and upsets onto others.
- Give. There are many ways to give to your partner. Make them breakfast, turn on their car before they leave for work, scrape the snow and ice off their windows so that the car will be warm and the windows clear. It is the little things that mean so much. When you give, you are investing in your relationship. If you only take or expect to be given to, your relationship will not deepen and resentment may build. If you want oral sex from your partner, give oral to them first. Give to your partner first.
- Be Flexible. Nothing creates tension like inflexibility. Life throws us curve balls, being able to go with the flow and shift when things don't go the way we thought allows other doors to open. Opportunities will present themselves when we are flexible. In the bedroom, flexibility might involve a workaround when dryness or an erection doesn't happen. There is no need to become angry. Instead, do something different. Give each other a massage and more time to become aroused.
- Let Go Of Expectations. When we have expectations in our relationship we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. As time goes on our sexual relationship changes. Hormones change, desire can diminish, health issues present themselves, and our physical body change. Be open to new possibilities. What used to be a regular event can become a rare thing. Don't forget to show appreciation when you have an amazing connection and interaction in the bedroom.
- Add Romance. Over time, romance can fall by the wayside. Without romance we can feel that we are not loved or taken for granted. Create romance by setting up a date night, taking care of all the details including the babysitter, if you have small children. Women who are take-charge people often complain to me that their husbands don't make plans and that they would like nothing better than their husband to buy tickets and create a date night, on their own. Do you complain you don't have enough sex? When was the last time you took her out and made all the plans yourself?
- Unplug! Turn Off The Television, Computer and Cell Phone. Social media, news and cell phones disconnect us from each other. At this moment my brother is complaining to me about being on my computer when I should be visiting with him. Spend meaningful time with each other. I have been in restaurants and witnessed couples both texting other people rather than talking to each other. Keep cell phones and televisions out of the bedroom.
- Walk Together. Going for a walk outside will help you both unwind and connect you to nature. Hold hands. Talk about your day and share experiences with one another. The best sex comes from shared experiences. Leave your cell phones at home.
- Take A Bath Together. Light some candles and pour yourself a glass of wine or Perrier and relax together in a hot tub. I don't recommend sex in bubble bath, as bladder infections and vaginal irritations can result.
- Take Time Apart. Togetherness is wonderful, but humans need time alone as well to be able to be fully present when we come together with each other.
- Compromise. Not everyone is right. We certainly aren't perfect. Giving in, rather than trying to win every argument will shift your relationship and sex life faster than almost anything.
- Respect Each Other's Privacy. There are times we need to be alone. Sometimes we want to take a bath alone and don't want anyone to join us. If we are meditating or in the bathroom we probably don't want to take a phone call. Respect of privacy no matter how long a couple has been together is paramount.
- Be Spontaneous! We plan vacations, children, wedding days and meals. Some things needs to be spontaneous. Spontaneity adds excitement to a long-term relationship. If you always have sex on Saturday night, change it up and surprise your partner with morning sex.
- Do it! The trash needs to be taken out, the bathrooms needs to be cleaned and meals need to be cooked. It doesn't matter if you are a man or woman, just do it. If one person is responsible for all of the household chores, it is likely that there is no division of labor, which creates resentment. When resentment is present, sex won't be.
The best way to improve your relationship is to look within. When you are being triggered by something your partner has done or said, it wouldn't bother you if you didn't have an internal trigger. Always have the last word, say "Yes, dear!"
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