What if this December things were really different for you and your spouse? And in a good way! What if, as you sit around the tree or meet up with family for some celebrations on Dec. 25th, in the back of your mind is a genuine excitement and appreciation for the one you get to live this life with?

    There's one way to make this happen: find your way to some deeper, richer and more intimate communication. It's when our hearts meet, not just our schedules and task-lists, that we're most in love and feeling it. But that doesn't just happen - we have to lead our relationships there. So, pick an evening each week to kick start conversations that will take you there this Christmas.

    Here are three phases to work through.

    1. Phase One: Clear the air

    Looking back over the last few months or year, what do you notice about yourself that would be important to share? Update your snapshot of what the other person is thinking, living in their day-to-day, and learning about themselves. What are they working on changing? What are their concerns, hopes, fears?

    We get so out of touch with each other just by living normal life! Make it your mission to have a thorough understanding of what it's like to walk in your spouse's shoes.

    2. Phase Two: Adjust and Assist

    Phase one often has some necessary and important spin off conversations / actions that are needed.

    A big one is apology. Here we give each other the grace of forgiveness for not meeting expectations, or for not knowing how they could have made life easier. Often it's apparent that some small gestures throughout the day/week would make all the difference for our spouse. Go there and make some commitments; make some changes that will assist your spouse now that you know where they're at and what could make all the difference for them.

    Ask: what are the top 1-3 things that I could could change for your sake? Sometimes this is low-hanging fruit. Sometimes it'll take a high degree of effort. In either case, it's abundantly worth it! 

    3. Phase Three: Dream together

    When you were dating chances are you did this a lot. You spoke easily and highly of your hopes for the future you planned to share together. It was a source of joy and inspiration, not to mention an incredibly bonding experience.

    Then jobs, life, kids, schedules, chores and task-lists replace the dreaming. If we're not careful as couples we lose track of our "together-dreams" if not of dreaming altogether. Now's the time to get this back on track. We need conversations planned with our significant others during which we speak not of the necessary and urgent, but focus rather on the wishful and future hopes we have.

    Once you're sharing this you're sharing a core part of yourself with another. And that's the recipe for a very special bond this Christmas.

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