make a relationship last you have to work at it. But what exactly does ‘work at it’ mean? Firstly it means letting go of the old myths about relationships that you learned from television and the movies. One of the biggest misconceptions around is that your relationship is only happy if you don’t fight. Actually that’s not true. Couples who aren’t afraid to clear the air with each other are far more likely to stay together. If you think staying quiet when you’re upset with your partner or loved one will get you anywhere, think again. Unresolved conflict usually turns into passive-aggressive behaviour which is deceptively damaging to your relationship. Communication is the key; and the right kind of communication at that. Here are my top 4 tips for keeping your relationship healthy.To
No Name-calling or SwearingWe all get angry from time to time and nobody knows how to push your buttons like your partner. But if you fall into the habit of screaming and swearing at each other, this is both damaging and unhelpful because instead of getting to the root cause of the problem you’re making it personal. When you resort to abusive behaviour and personal attacks you dilute the message you’re trying to convey. If you don’t like something your partner has done, stick to criticising the behaviour itself without turning it into an attack on their character. You’re far more likely to get your point across without anger taking over, and your partner will be more receptive to what you have to say.
Make The Fight About The FightOkay – so you’re angry with each other and you’re having an argument. No biggie – it happens all the time. Sometimes in an attempt to gain ground, it might seem useful at the time to drag up the past and say ‘well you did this….back in 2007’. This is counter-productive for two reasons:
- If you’ve previously agreed to forgive your partner for that past transgression you’re going back on your word by bringing it up again. This damages the trust in the relationship;
- It detracts from the situation at hand, which is unlikely to be resolved because now you’ve moved the focus back to the past instead of in the present where it should be.
Let Go Of Your Need To be RightThere’s a saying that goes: ‘the world is divided into people who think they are right’. How true is this?? Let’s face it; we all like to think we know everything. But if you need to be right all the time your relationship will not last. It’s all about compromise and that means being willing to see things from the other person’s point of view at least some of the time. So check your ego at the door and decide whether you want to be right or whether you want to be in a relationship. You have to pick your battles if you want to maintain harmony and balance.
Give What You’re Not GettingCouples who have seen me for counselling individually almost always say the same thing:
- I don’t feel respected;
- Nothing I do is ever good enough