How mindfulness can help your marriage problems: five ways to get the spark back

Five relationship fixes using mindfulness, such as learning to listen to your partner, being physically close and letting them be themselves. By wellbeing coach Alex Blossom

Relationship problems come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it might feel as though the spark has gone. Maybe you are going through a stage where you feel irritable and frustrated, or you’re feeling neglected or hurt in some way.

Whatever the problem, mindfulness can help you to get through the most tricky of times. These five mindful relationship fixes will help you get back on track.

1. Learn to listen to your partner

Really taking time to listen to your partner can make all the difference. Take time to be genuinely interested in what they have to say. It is easy to get caught up in our own world, and can become consumed by our own thoughts and feelings.

When we learn to listen we find out things that we didn’t know, even when we have been with someone for a long time.

By turning our attention outwards, we clear a little bit of head space and make some room for our partner.

2. Let them be and don’t criticise

It is easy to slip into trying to change our partners, wishing that they were different. We can hear ourselves nagging, and we don’t want to do it but sometimes holding our tongue seems impossible.

Before you jump in and criticise your partner, take a few deep breaths. Think about what you will achieve by making a comment.

When you next sit down for a meal together try listing five things that you love about each other. The conversation this creates will get you thinking and feeling more positively.

3. Be physically close

Touch is a really important sensation, but so often we lose the closeness that we had in the early days of our relationship.

Rather than cuddling up to each other we become protective of our space, bickering over sides of the bed. Rather than taking time to kiss each other when we say goodbye in the morning our minds are perhaps already at work dealing with a situation.

So take the time to really feel next time you and your partner have physical contact. Notice the sensation of warmth and contact and enjoy the closeness, even if only for a moment.

4. Look at things from their perspective

If your partner is going through a tough time, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine how things are for them.

Think about what you would want in their situation: it will make a huge difference. When you learn to look at things from their perspective you can gain understanding of their behaviour.

When you get to grips with what is going on for your partner everything will seem easier. So many relationship problems stem from a lack of understanding.

5. Give attention be generous

Think of your relationship like a bank account. Making withdrawals all the time will leave you in deficit and things can start to look bleak. Paying in more often with acts of kindness and generosity will leave you feeling positive and secure.

Giving to your partner really can make you happy. While your attention is on seeking out an opportunity for kindness it is not consumed by worrying thoughts. You will be free to get on and enjoy life.

Alex Blossom offers mindfulness and wellbeing coaching through private sessions and day retreats