Whether your relationship is going strong, or you’re experiencing times of conflict

Whether your relationship is going strong, or you’re experiencing times of conflict

Whether you’re just starting out, or have been together thirty years! These ten hot tips have been shown in the research to improve intimacy and happiness in relationships and families.

1. Don’t assume your partner knows what you want and need from him/her

Assumptions like this can breed resentment and disappointment when it turns out your partner isn’t aware of a particular need.

It’s not uncommon to have thoughts like, “If she really cared she would just know to do X.” The problem with this is that we all have different expectations of each other. We often learn these expectations implicitly – from observing our parents, or from movies, or from friend’s relationships. We’ve all learnt different strategies for different situations, so our assumptions of what is appropriate are likely to differ.

Talk with each other about what you need and what you prefer. For example, “When I storm out of an argument in tears, it makes me feel cared for if you follow me to comfort me,” or “When I storm out of an argument in tears, I’d really appreciate it if you’d leave me alone to clear my head, so I can come back and discuss it when I’m calm.”

2. Talk through your problems

Certain relationship problems can seem unsolvable or “perpetual.” However, problems are often the result of conversations we fail to have.

The best way to deal with them is to find a way to talk about them, calmly, clearly and openly, and to develop the skill to recover from their effects. The chance to express feelings and make complaints can have a powerful pull to closeness.

3. Kiss, Kick, Kiss

Starting a conversation with the ways that you agree on things helps to “soften the start up.” This means that when you raise your specific complaint, it won’t come across as overwhelming criticism.

Follow it up with another positive reflection, so that you end on a high note. It flows naturally if you make it about something specific that went well during the conversation itself. For example, “I really appreciate how open you’ve been tonight.”

4. Make time to be a couple

Some people struggle with feeling selfish if they make time for themselves. It can feel like they’re not putting their kids first, which can be hard!

The thing is, if you really love your kids, you do need to spend time on your couple relationship. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is your own happy marriage.

5. Take responsibility for your feelings and behaviour

Talking about your partner’s contribution to the fight will only rekindle the fight. Using “blaming” language will probably result in your partner responding defensively, and retaliating with blame of their own.

Instead, start out by owning your feelings. For example, rather than saying, “You made me feel…” try something like, “I felt pretty hurt when you said X, because it seemed like…”

Learn to acknowledge and admit your part in conflict. This can be hard at first, but it quickly leads to trust, and sets the platform for real talking and sharing about the problem.

6. In times of conflict, forget about working on your relationship problems

Focus on yourself and your own issues. Try to identify ways you are contributing to your own unhappiness. Confront yourself, for the sake of your own integrity and personal development. This can take the web sitelerini ziyaret edin pressure off the relationship and calm things down.

It can require a lot of self-soothing. Take the time to engage in self-care. Do things that relax you and that help you to manage stress.

Don’t make the mistake of counting on your partner to automatically do the same. This will lead to a stand-off, such as, “I’ll only change if you change with me/first.”

If both of you have that frame of mind, then change will never happen. One of you needs to take the first step. Why not you?

7. Deposit money in the emotional bank

This is about balancing out the bad times with good. The magic ratio is 5:1. If there are five parts positive feeling and interaction between you for every one part negative, the relationship is likely to be stable.

Even if you never do anything “wrong,” if you don’t actively try to make things get better the marriage will get worse over time.

Think about your partner during the day. Think about how to make a good thing even better. To maintain a positive relationship you always need to put in effort.

8. Express a healthy dose of admiration

“Catch” your partner doing something wonderful. Sometimes we forget to give positive feedback. Since we hardly ever forget to give negative feedback, make a point to express your appreciation.

9. Use your rational mind to explain behaviour

If you find yourself getting upset over your partner’s behaviour, stop, acknowledge you are thinking emotionally, and start to think rationally.

Come up with alternative thoughts and explanations for behavior that counteract negative, automatic judgments. Ask yourself whether your partner is really engaging in this behaviour just to upset you. The answer is almost always no.

“He isn’t always so snappy, why so now? Ah, it may be have something to do with all that stress at work lately.”

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