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Bailey’s Love Tips: Bringing the Shine Back to Your Relationship

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry began as a love story: a love of jewelry and a deep love between two people. Bailey’s strong foundation was built by the admiration Clyde Sr. and “Mama” Ann Bailey had for each other and together, they opened Bailey’s in 1948. Bailey’s has recognized the importance of love, relationships and emotional connection since the beginning and has had the privilege of being involved in many of its patrons’ happily ever afters.

Bailey’s is showing its commitment to lifelong love by providing its patrons with monthly marriage and relationship tips. The blogs will be written by different authors each month, included licensed marriage counselors and other relationship experts.  Bailey’s believes that communication is vital to staying in love and that some simple advice and tips can help a relationship thrive. These tips will be housed on Bailey’s blog with a new blog post each month and are available to all Bailey’s patrons, from the newly engaged to those married for decades.

To kick things us off our first blog is by Grayson Nichols, LCSW, CPCC.

Look down at that SHINY ring on your left hand. Isn’t it beautiful? Remember the day he proposed? Remember the swarms of warm feelings and exciting future plans ahead ? Now take another look…does that ring SHINE like it once did? Does it need a good cleaning? Is it hard to find the sparkle at this point? I wonder if your marriage is comparable.

Most relationships and marriages begin with those warm feelings and exciting future plans. We start off dreaming together, making grand plans and executing as we build a life together. Little quirks are cute and shortcomings are often overlooked or explained away. As time goes on, we continue to learn more about each other.  Sometimes for the good and sometimes unexpected twists and turns arise. Whether external or internal influences create change, no relationship is without its bumps.

I wonder if your relationship or marriage, like your diamond, might need a good cleaning. We often don’t want to admit what isn’t so SHINY anymore in our relationships. We just want to say, “well…life gets in the way” or “things change with time.” But what we are forgetting is that a good cleaning can make all the difference! A good scrub and cleanup can make that dull ring or stagnant relationship look SHINY and new again.

So…how do we SHINE up your relationship?? Let’s start with some basics. Oftentimes, we can get in a rut of what to do together. Dates can feel dull or attempting to plan something seems like drudgery. Take a minute to think about what you did for fun when you first met.  How did you like to spend time together? Brainstorm some ideas from early marriage or dating of which you have fond memories.  Then plan a time to try some of those things again. Not only can this create ideas for time together but rejuvenate positive memories of the past.

What does a good scrub look like when it comes to your relationship or marriage? Taking an inventory of grievances between the two of you is not often a desirable task; and most of the time, we try and avoid such subjects. However, doing this on a regular basis can help issues not become bigger problems in your marriage. Plan a time to sit down and talk when things are less stressful, such as after your children are in bed or on a weekend, not around work and family time or when tensions are running high. For best results, each person can identify only one grievance to discuss.

To begin the conversation, start with something you appreciate about your partner first. Then only tackle one issue at the time. Let your partner know how this issue is affecting you and what feelings you have around it. Then make one request for change. As the listening partner, try and imagine from your partner’s perspective how they might be feeling and then give as much thought and time as you can to granting their request- out of goodwill for your relationship. If each of you can do this with open hearts and wanting to serve your partner, strides can begin to slowly be made. This exercise should be done with great care for your partner’s feelings and a willingness to share. Sometimes when you start scrubbing, there is damage underneath that needs delicate attention. If this is the case, it may be best to ask for assistance from a professional. They can help moderate any difficult feelings between you and help you enact your desired change.

Just like your beautiful diamond, your relationship or marriage can stand the test of time. With a little attention and a good scrub, it too can SHINE AGAIN!

Contributed by: Grayson Nichols, LCSW, CPCC. Grayson is a personal coach and family therapist in Raleigh who focuses her practice on issues that many families face- from adolescent struggles to life transitions to parenting nightmares to marital issues.

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