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29 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Relationship

relationship counseling, houston, txWhy do some relationships last forever and others fall apart?

Here are some ways you can make your partner feel appreciated again and maintain a healthy relationship.

 

  • Treat your partner as you would your boss, best friend, or best customer.
  • Think about what your partner wants and give it to him or her.
  • Think of ways you can do the unexpected and be thoughtful. Remember how you acted when you wanted to win your partner over.
  • Pay attention to your appearance.
  • Express your thoughts carefully. Being married doesn’t give anyone permission to let it all hang out.
  • Spend regular time together alone.
  • Look for ways to compliment your partner.
  • Hug when you say hello and goodbye. It feels good and it makes people feel loved.
  • Learn and practice communication skills. Relating successfully to another person requires a set of skills that can be learned.
  • Be polite. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you can forget your manners.
  • When you want something, say please.
  • When your partner does something for you, say thank you.

 

What is your relationship attachment style? Take this quiz and find out.

  • When your partner comes home after a day at work, greet her at the door and say hello. Ask how her day went.
  • When your partner leaves for work in the morning, say goodbye and “I love you” or Have a good day.”
  • When your partner faces a challenge at work during the day, ask how it went when you get home.
  • During your evening meal together, avoid the temptation to watch television or read the paper or mail. Look at your partner and have a conversation.
  • If you want to make plans that affect how your partner will be spending time, check with him first and make sure it’s convenient.
  • When you ask your partner a question, make eye contact and listen to the answer.
  • When you disagree with something your partner says, pay attention to your response. Do you express your opinion without putting her down? You can express your opinion assertively rather than aggressively. For example, you can say, “I have another opinion. I think we should wait until spring to have the walls painted,” rather than, “That’s silly! We should wait until spring.”
  • Pay attention to how much of your side of the conversation is asking questions versus making statements. If you tend to be the dominant one, ask more questions.
  • Ask open-ended questions to encourage your partner to open up and talk. Open-ended questions begin like this: Tell me about…What do you think of…What was it like when…
  • Have you become passive with your partner because that’s the easiest way to avoid conflict? Over time, this is not a good idea. You will inevitably begin to build up feelings of resentment because you are stifling your feelings, thoughts, and opinions. If you think you are choosing passive behavior too often, think about discussing it with your partner and asking him to help you be more assertive.
  • Researchers have found that people whose marriages last the longest have learned to separate from their families of origin (their own parents and siblings) and have appropriate, healthy boundaries. They value and honor their own privacy and separateness as a couple. This means they have regular, appropriate contact with their extended family, but that it is not excessive or stifling. How do you compare?
  • Check your communication with your partner and beware of using “You” messages. These are statements that begin with you. For example: You need to come home by 6:00 tonight. You shouldn’t do that. You should call me from the office and tell me when you’ll be home. Here is what you ought to do. “You” messages are damaging because they make the other person feel bad or disrespected. It feels like you are talking down to him or her.
  • If you want to demonstrate to your partner that you respect and esteem him or her, try speaking with “I” messages instead. When you start your statement with “I,” you are taking responsibility for the statement. It is less blameful and less negative than the “you” message. You can use this formula: Your feelings + Describe the behavior + Effect on you. This is how an “I” message sounds: When I heard that you’d planned a weekend up north, I was confused about why you hadn’t asked me first, so I could be sure to get the time off. It takes some practice and you have to stop and think about what you are going to say, but your marriage deserves to be handled with care.
  • Make a list of your partner’s positive qualities. Share them with him and tell her why you think each is true.
  • Ask your partner to do the same for you.
  • Respect each other’s private space. Over time, many couples let this slide.
  • As the years pass, many couples begin to feel like they are living in the same house, but have parallel lives. Their paths cross in fewer places. What is the trend in your relationship and what do you want to do about it?

Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Partner

For help in building a healthy relationship for the long-term, contact a couples therapist. You do not have to come in as a couple to work on your relationship. An individual change will change your relationship as well. We have a group of therapists in Houston specializing in different areas. We also offer online therapy throughout the state of Texas. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online. Improve your relationships. We look forward to help you!

Relationship Resources

The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook for Couples provides an opportunity for you and your spouse to benefit from learning the basics of strong, connected marriages, no matter how long you’ve been married. If marriage disconnection is an issue for you, this can be a helpful tool to get you back on track together. This can be a great resource to bring in with you to couples therapy. Click here to view more details.

 

The Premarital Counseling Workbook for Couples is designed to help you embark on marriage with a strong relationship skill set. We encourage you to strengthen your relationship foundation BEFORE you tie the knot – to pack your toolbox for the inherent ups and downs of life. This can provide insight for discussion in premarital counseling. Click here to view more details.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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