Forming a positive and trusting relationship really take time, effort and commitment. It does not happen overnight, it could be one year, or maybe more. And you must maintain the relationship to grow stronger and healthier.
How To Keep Your Relationship Strong
Obviously, it takes more than love for your relationship to work. We know that love is a foundation for any relationship built. But to keep it stronger, you need more than that. Both parties must willing to work on it.
Dr. Michelle Callahan once said, “Communicating daily and showing affection is what keeps the romance alive”. As an example, just letting your partner know that you like what they’re doing can help you both stay connected.
Read on as these women and men share their tips on how to keep your relationship strong.
Communication is one of the vital parts of any relationship. But, we do hear a lot of couples out there have trouble in communication with their partner. It could be because they wont to talk about their problems, or maybe they’re afraid to voice out their opinion.
Most of them, especially women, will talk about everything except what’s actually bothering them. They afraid once they talk about it, their’s partner will be angry or leave them. For me, this type of relationship is unhealthy.
Your love, your fears, your hope, your passion, your voice, everything, you should let your partner know who you really are. Find quality time with your partner to talk about things that are important to each of you. It looks simple, but it can make your relationship grow stronger.
Use the word ‘we’ rather than ‘you’ to communicate with your partner. When you talk with your partner, especially in an argument, the word ‘you’ will make them feel like you’re trying to attack them. They will pick up on that and start being defensive.
As an example, you want to ask your partner to give a hand on household chores. If you do not choose your word wisely, it will be like you’re trying to attack him for not helping you. Let’s say you said something like:
“Why you make me do this and that ….”
Instead, you can change it to something like this:
“Can we do this together …”
A researcher from the University of California, Berkeley, Robert Levenson, and his colleagues, found that couples who used the word ‘we’ when talking are calmer, happier, and in general are more satisfied with their relationship rather than a couple whose communicate in term of ‘you’.
2- Practice acceptance, show appreciation
If you want a long happy relationship, you need to learn how to accept your partner. Usually, at the early stage of the relationship, you will learn around 20-40% of your partner behavior. As time has passed, when you’re getting closer, you will learn more about them.
And some of it, there’s must be something that you didn’t like, or didn’t agree about it. It could be anything. Or I would rather say that this is the beginning of the real relationship, it’s no longer a fairy tale story.
This is when you need to be able to fully accept your partner. But, it does not mean that you need to accept everything they said, or agree on everything they do. What important is, you have to know that this is who they are.
Once we have learned about acceptance, we can move to appreciation. Same as per I said before, at the early stage of the relationship, you will appreciate everything about your new partner. They seem perfect, even the craziest things they do look awesome, or cute.
After a few years, things start to change, the way we see something also changes. You can start to piss off with something like leaving the wardrobe open, even after repeated requests to change this behavior.
In other to have a strong healthy relationship, you need to overcome this problem. How? You need to change your perspective, the way you see things. After being married for a long time, let say more than 7 years, and you still want to be married, you need to realize that loving your partner is far more important than some irritating behavior that they have.
By doing this, practically your priorities have shifted. Changing your partner have become less important than loving them as who they are. You shift to appreciate them by focusing on what they do that makes you feel great.
3- Don’t argue over money
Out there, lots of marriage couple divorce because of money, it’s practically a guaranteed relationship killer. If you haven’t had a conversation over how money is earned, saved, spend and shared, you need to do it right now.
Try to get a better understanding of how each of you sees your financial life, find the difference, and work on it. Don’t hide it to your partner, especially if you’re in a tight situation. You need to share it with your partner so then both of you aware of the situation.
If both of you are working, try practice something like this, it’s simple and practical:
Take turns to buy meals/things for each other. If your partner always treats you for dinner, make an effort to treat them also. It’s can mean a lot for them, especially ‘him’. In terms of money, it’s kinda the same. In terms of happiness, it’s ten times better.
Teamwork and mutual respect are always a key to keeping financially peaceful in your household. You both can decide together on how to manage the money issue. Have a talk with your partner if you want to make a big purchase.
It does not matter if you’re going to use your money over the big purchase, rule number one is always consulting your partner first. If you practice this, they will feel respected and feel always in a team. This can improve your teamwork and mutual respect.
4- Respect your partner
To have a long-lasting happy marriage, there’s must be high mutual respect between both partners. Respecting your partner comes in many forms, it’s could be the way you talk, the way you call him/her, or the way you treat your partner.
However, there are many things people do in a relationship without being aware that they’re actually disrespecting their partner. As an example, using a rude word when you argue with them, cheating them, talking negatively about them to your family or friends and etc.
It’s true that nobody perfects, if they’re being disrespect by mistake, learn to forgive them. Ask them to improve this and learn from their mistake. You also need to be prepared to apologize sincerely when you made a mistake.
You can’t always be the same page with your partner, that’s perfectly fine and it’s normal in every relationship. That’s why, when the differences arise, it’s important for you to discuss with them respectfully. Take time to listen to your partner when they share their opinion.
5- Express your love
Expressing our love for each other was the most crucial part of our relationship. To maintain the relationship and to keep it strong, you must fill your relationship with love. It’s the same as a flower, you need to water the flowers every day for it to grow stronger and prettier.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” -Lao Tzu
Lust can fade, love stays. Love is always a foundation in any relationship. So if you want to maintain the relationship, it’s important for you to express your love through actions, words and non-verbal communication.
Before that, you need to understand your partner need. According to Gary Chapman, the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc, he stated that men and women have five love languages. So basically people have unique ways of feeling loved.
It could be the words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, receiving a gift or physical touch. Understands the ways your partner feels loved can helps you express love in a way that your partner can appreciate.
You can try a few different methods, and see what generate the most positive response. Telling each other what makes you feel loved and special can help you and your partner stay connected.
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