Strategies when you aren’t making progress on your puzzle
Find the straight edges. Some things are more obvious than others and a little easier to solve. Have you done the easy stuff yet? If you haven’t it’s a must to start there.
• Daily rituals of connection such as always saying goodbye in a loving way and always greeting one another warmly when you re unite?
• Weekly connection. Date nights are such a tradition. They speak volumes, and in many layers. 1. They are a commitment you can make and keep. Commitment fosters trust. Trust is the key ingredient to a good relationship 2. Date nights say, “I want to be with you and set time aside for you. 3. Dates are designed to be fun and create new neural connections associated with one another, i.e. “you are fun and safe to be around.”
• Community of support and care. Small groups in churches for example are abundant, easy to participate in and give ready access to others who share your commitment for a better relationship. They also relate to your struggles.
Break things up. You cannot solve a big puzzle all at once. Break it up into parts and work on each part separately. You can do this together, or work on those sub puzzles separately.
Take a break. Sometimes walking away from the puzzle is a good thing. When you come back, it looks a little different. You don’t always have to be “working” on your relationship. Sometimes its good enough to live together and just be nice for a while.
Get help. New people looking at the puzzle may see things you’ve been missing and help you find some key pieces or make new observations. That’s where community, loved ones and even counselors can be helpful.
Patience. Puzzles take time!