Relationship Reset: Making Time to Work on Relationships
January 14, 2022
By Christa Banister
Ever notice how nearly everything in our lives requires regular maintenance for optimal production? Whether it’s updating the operating systems on our devices, swapping out the batteries in our smoke detectors and flashlights, or having the oil and filters changed in our cars, these life essentials all come with upkeep.
But when it comes to making time for revitalization of the most important relationship in our lives — that with a spouse or significant other — it’s often easy to kick the proverbial can down the road. Or wait until there’s a five-alarm flare-up before seeking relationship help.
The Benefits of Hitting the Reset Button
It’s no secret that our routines and interpersonal relationships have changed drastically during the pandemic. Case in point: During all the COVID-related seclusion, couples crammed two to three years of hangout time — large swaths of minutes and hours that used to be shared with friends, family, and coworkers — into a much tighter time frame, according to The New York Times.
While there are certainly a myriad of benefits to all that togetherness in terms of slowing down, deepening relationships, and forging new rituals, according to data highlighted in USA Today, what’s also proving increasingly vital for the long-term health of a partnership is a relationship reset.
Whether it happens in one concentrated sit-down every few months, or over the course of a few days or weeks, setting aside time for a candid assessment of what’s working — and what’s not, and how you can do better — provides a forum for learning about yourself and your partner.
A regular relationship reset may even help in avoiding the so-called 7-Year Itch. For the uninitiated, the 7-Year Itch is not only a very funny old movie starring Marilyn Monroe, but a tongue-in-cheek reference to the period of time when one or both partners start feeling restless in a long-term relationship. Basically, if you make it past the “itch,” it’s a good sign for the couple’s long-term future.
Thriving Versus Coexisting
Setting aside a moment to voice your appreciation for each other — something that may not always happen organically during the normal day-to-day rhythms — and to strategize your relationship goals moving forward, is another important part of a relationship reset.
Instead of merely coexisting, taking stock of your relationship allows for collaboration: working toward a common goal by focusing on how the relationship can be mutually beneficial. Like anything worth pursuing, the relationship reset is ultimately an exercise in what the New Radicals famously sang about in the late ’90s, namely that “you get what you give.”
Not surprisingly, healthy relationships also help set the tone for a healthy lifestyle, according to data from Northwestern Medicine. In the same way that you may encourage your partner to exercise, get a good night’s sleep, and eat more fruits and vegetables, working on your relationship is another tangible way of prioritizing wellness and increasing your chances of living a longer and happier life together.
Trustworthy Relationship Advice is Available
Whether you’ve been together a year, five years, or are inching toward your silver anniversary, everyone’s relationship can use a tune-up of sorts.
In the 2009 dramedy Couples Retreat, four couples come to this realization and decide to take a tropical vacation together where in addition to sun and surf, they’ll be addressing specific struggles in their respective marriages. While many of the methods employed in their relationship counseling wouldn’t get a stamp of approval from any experts in the field, the idea that partnerships need some outside perspective was a good, proactive measure.
For any couple looking for a fresh start, a reboot, a place to learn how to navigate their difficulties and work together toward healing their relationship, Rio Retreat Center has a Couples Repair & Reset workshop that focuses on learning new strategies and rules of engagement.
Alongside a small number of other couples, the workshop is an opportunity to gain new tools for healthier interaction and better overall communication, the keys to a healthy partnership.
For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out for more information about our in-person workshops at Rio Retreat Center. Or for those unable to accommodate traveling, we have seminars online as well. Contact our admissions team for all the details on how you and your loved one can sign up.