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Building Solid Relationships: Furnishing Your Relationship with Memories and Experiences

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Focusing on positive aspects of a relationship and letting go of offenses can help it flourish.

To continue the analogy that strengthening and supporting your relationship is similar to building a house, what you fill your home with is also vitally important. You can often tell the emotional state of a person based on how they keep their home. The things that they hold in their heart are often on display in their home. The same is true in your relationship. The memories and experiences that are meaningful and important to you will be at the forefront of your mind, while those that are less meaningful may be more distant memories.

On one hand, this could be a pleasant happy atmosphere. The couple may have worked through difficulties of the past and they are buried and gone. Instead, they focus their thoughts on happy moments, are intentional about creating new experiences, and focus on what is good about the other person. The focus on positive things brings fulfillment and satisfaction.

On the other hand, a couple can focus on what is wrong in the relationship and ruminate on arguments, negative actions and attitudes, and what is lacking in the relationship. These negative thoughts will lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. The dissatisfaction will typically lead to more negative interactions and reluctance to create new, positive experiences together. It will turn into a downward spiral.


How can you change the furnishings of your relationship?

  1. Consider unresolved issues as being like dirty dishes scattered across the house. Ignoring them won't make them go away. The dishes need to be washed and put away. Unresolved issues need to be put to rest as well. Some may need to be talked through as a couple or you may just need to journal through the issue to decipher what you believe about the situation. Many situations just need to be processed.

  2. Likewise, are you airing your dirty laundry? How do you talk about your spouse to your friends or on social media? Talking poorly about your spouse or making him/her the brunt of your jokes is like leaving dirty laundry around your house. It is stinky and gets in the way. If you want your relationship to flourish, make sure that you are speaking positively about your spouse. It is one thing to occasionally ask a trusted friend for advice when struggling with an issue, but it should not be the norm and it should not be intended to ridicule or humiliate. And it should not be your goal for your friend to look down on your spouse.

  3. What are you displaying in your home? Are you focused on the wonderful things about your spouse that attracted you in the first place or are you focused on the irritating things that you can't change? Everyone has positive and negative characteristics. No one is perfect. You can decide what you focus on. If you fill your mind with the negatives, you will never be satisfied. This doesn't mean ignoring important issues, but some things are not going to change. Focus your thoughts on hope, good aspects of the relationship, and where your relationship is succeeding.

  4. Is your furniture arranged for intimacy and connection or is it aimed towards distancing yourself from your spouse? Or in other words, do you seek out your spouse for intimacy and time together or do you go your separate ways? Do you leave open space in your schedule for your spouse? Life can kick your tail and eat you up and spit you out. No question. Time can be hard to come by in our busy lives. Prioritizing your relationship is necessary to keep it healthy. Many days your spouse might just get the part of you that is ragged and barely awake. Make sure they also get the best of you at times as well.

  5. Is the atmosphere warm and inviting or cold and sterile? You get to choose the atmosphere in your home. You can choose to not engage in an argument. You can complain about all that is wrong in the world or you can brainstorm how to make it better. You can smile or frown, the choice is yours. Choose kindness. Choose love, joy, and peace. Fill your home with life and freedom.

You get to be the interior designer of your relationships. Be intentional about what you choose to fill the relationships with. Each choice will result in a response from others and your own emotional reaction to the space you have created.

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