Relationship Tips

Keys To a Happy Relationship

  • Make an accounting of what is truly important in life.  Prioritize what is really worth getting upset about. Don’t “sweat the small stuff”. In all of your interactions with your partner, try your best to let go of things that are petty and inconsequential.
  • Empathize and compromise. Acknowledge that difference does not mean better or worse. Appreciating the uniqueness in your spouse will enable you to empathize with him or her better. Your ability to be understanding and flexible is the foundation of a happy relationships
  • Focus on the good. Compliment your spouse and express appreciation for what he or she says and does.
  • Be giving and thoughtful. Make a point of marking special milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries with heartfelt cards, creative gifts and taking him or her out to fun places. Offer to do chores to lighten your spouse’s load.
  • Catch yourself before anger leads to harsh and hurtful words. Restrain your frustration. Remember that hurtful words cannot be taken back. Words spoken in anger can be painful and diminish your spouse’s feelings of love and affection for you.
  • If things, get heated, don’t get personal and agree to a “time out”. The two of you should agree to postpone arguments when they get too intense. Tell your partner that you need to take a breather and calm down. When you return to the disagreement, you should be more capable of compromise.
  • Learn to say “I am sorry”. When you realize you have made a mistake, swallow your pride and admit it. Apologies are the healing balm in a relationship. Your spouse will love and respect you for your ability to say “I am sorry about what I said (or did). I was wrong.”
  • Become a good listener. Your spouse is not looking for you to solve their problems. They want you to be an empathetic sounding board, being able to truly “hear” them and empathize with their concerns. Don’t jump in to try to rescue your spouse when he or she is expressing pain or discomfort. Don’t offer solutions unless your spouse asks you for advise. Your partner wants you to listen and be supportive above all else.
  • When listening to your spouse, reflect back to them what they just said. Repeat back what they just said, reaching for clarity and confirming your understanding. Your spouse will feel that you truly care and this will only strengthen your bond with him or her.
  • Become a more a flexible and tolerant person. Be willing to make compromises and reach a consensus. If you cannot reach a consensus, be OK with the concept of maintaining different positions (or “agreeing to disagree”). You need to sincerely believe that your partner’s position is just as legitimate as yours. Don’t make it personal and let your ego get in the way.
  • Focus on the good. Instead of looking for the negative and criticizing, try to see the good in your spouse. Become more sensitive and attuned to his or her good qualities. The more you focus on the good, the less likely you are to become negative and critical. Moreover, your spouse will reciprocate and become more supportive of you. Your marriage will become much more positive and loving.
  • Schedule “dates” with your spouse. Yes. Dates. You have to actually create shared life experiences with your spouse. Your life as a married couple can’t just be about the practical and mundane. You have to do enjoyable and memorable things with your spouse on a regular basis. This means scheduling dates.
  • Make sure you are not displacing onto your spouse your stress and frustration in your life. You may attribute problems as emanating from your spouse when they really stem from other sources. You may also be dealing with issues from the past. It might be wise to pursue individual therapy to become more self-aware and develop better coping skills.
  • Before reacting to our spouse in anger or frustration, take a “time out.” You heard right. A time out. We do this with our children when they have a tantrum so they can calm down and introspect about what just happened. We expect that, after a “time out”, our children will be more reasonable and accommodating. We should do the same with ourselves when irritated or angry. When we withdraw and contemplate, we will oftentimes see that we were rushing to judgment and overreacting.

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