Have you ever wondered what is preventing you and your partner from having a happy and healthy relationship? You want to have a happy and healthy relationship, but overtime and as conflicts build up, it can be difficult to see this as a possibility. At times, it can feel like a defeating process. But, there is hope. You and your partner CAN have a happy and healthy relationship with the right work. Check out these 5 tips to help you and your partner get on the path to being the happy and healthy couple that you’re meant to be.
1.Respect Each Other
You and your partner are not the same person, and thus, you will have differences of opinions, interests, thoughts, and feelings. If you and your partner have differences, respect that about each other. When your partner conveys a difference of opinion/interest than you don’t let that be a source of conflict. Instead, get curious, learn more about it, don’t argue, but show respect for who they are and what they believe in. Additionally, when you are with others, don’t speak critically about your partner. When you speak critically, you are not showing that you respect them. Rather, speak highly of your partner and show your respect them (even if they aren’t nearby).
2. Mix Things Up
If you do the same tasks and activities day in and day out, it can and will get boring. This can lead to the relationship feeling dull and stagnant. To avoid this, mix things up in the relationship! Try a new hobby together, spend time apart for your own self-care now and again, and don’t always say “no” to the things that your partner wants to try. Mixing things up in the relationship can make the relationship feel more fun and exciting which will increase the happiness in your relationship.
One of the things that distinguishes romantic relationships from other relationships is the ability to be sexually intimate with each other. Embrace this! Speak openly about what your desires for intimacy and conversely, accept what your partner has to share as well. It’s ok if you don’t have the same desires, but there are ways to meet both of your needs. Find time to be intimate with your partner and make this a priority in your relationship. Intimate couples are healthier and happier.
4. Communicate Effectively
In any relationship, it is unhelpful and ineffective to tell the other person what they are doing wrong or what they could do to improve. Therefore, think about how you communicate in your relationship. Are you able to communicate by speaking from your own experience? Do you take responsibility for your part in the conflict? Do you work to identify what you could be doing differently? To communicate effectively, take responsibly for your part and don’t point the finger at your partner; identify what you could be doing differently. Ultimately, this tactic will help shift communication to be more effective.
Oftentimes, when there has been conflict, couples get into a negative mind-set. It can be difficult to think that your partner has positive intentions for the relationship or that your partner is doing things to actually support your relationship. Start thinking positively about your relationship and your partner. Look for the things that your partner does well and tell them about it.
If you feel triggered by something that your partner is doing, don’t jump to your initial reaction. Think about what their positive intentions are for the relationship. In any case, if your partner is doing something that you feel triggered by, jumping to your initial reaction won’t be helpful. Take a step back, reflect on what you’re feeling, remind yourself that your partner means well for the relationship, and think about how you could respond in a way that will be positive and result in positive outcomes (not a blow-up argument).
Do you have what it takes to create a happy and healthy relationship with your partner? The answer is YES! But, it does take work (like anything in life). Respect your partner, mix things up to be more fun, be intimate, communicate effectively, and think and act positively about your partner and relationship.
Amanda Cummins is an associate therapist with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She focuses on working with couples in distress as well as families and children in transitions. As a Denver Native, Amanda enjoys hiking, yoga, and spending time with her family.