What’s In Your Toolbox? By Stacey Rose, PhD, LCSW

You may not think you need a toolbox filled with tools to help your relationship, but if you had one, imagine how amazing your relationship would be! In other words, when something breaks in your home, if you didn’t have a toolbox to go to, what would you do? How would things get fixed? Or, would they simply stay broken? Unfortunately, too often times, many couples don’t have the tools they need to ‘fix’ their issues which leaves their relationships ‘broken’.

So, what do you need in your toolbox to set you and your partner up for success? Here are just a few to get you started…
1. Honesty…Authentic and respectful
2. Kindness
3. Appreciation-tell each other regularly what you genuinely appreciate.
4. Use this sentence when communicating …”When you_______(partner’s behavior), I feel________(your emotion). Use this sentence with major or minor concerns-positive or negative. For example, ‘When you bring me flowers, I feel happy.’ Or ‘When you leave your socks on the floor, I feel frustrated.’ Or ‘When you make comments about my family, I feel hurt.’
5. Consistent Quality Time! Life is really short and so many of us take this for granted…enjoy every minute you can with your partner…you don’t know how long
either of you will be here…
6. Laughter-Find something, at least one thing, every day to laugh about!!
7. Forgiveness-remember you are not perfect, nor is your partner- learn go forgive easily- holding onto pain doesn’t help any relationship.
8. Compromise, compromise, and yes, compromise again.
9. Gifts-this doesn’t have to be big, but sometimes a simple token to say you were thinking of your partner can go a long way.
10. Work as a team-Remember you are both on the same team, working toward the same goals; even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

If you choose one tool from this list to focus on doing each day, your relationship will be significantly more fulfilling. It’s not rocket science, it just takes practice-like anything worthwhile in life…

If you should want some assistance building your toolbox, feel free to reach out. The Rose Relationship Learning Center is the ‘Home Depot’ for all your relationship needs.

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