Everyone desires the kind of love that leaves you with butterflies in your stomach even after 50 years. However, based on research of failed relationships and marriages, not many people are willing to put in the effort to achieve this kind of love. Relationships are difficult to maintain. Even the most successful couples admit that it is difficult to keep their love alive. Formalized paraphrase You can, however, build a long-lasting relationship if you are willing to put in the effort.
Part 1: Effective Communication
1. Active listening should be practised. This means preparing to listen in order to hear your partner’s message rather than preparing your defence. Find a time and place where you won’t be distracted and can concentrate solely on what your partner is saying. Set aside your negative perceptions of their actions or motives so you can concentrate on the conversation in real time.
Orient yourself toward your partner. Make direct eye contact. When you agree, nod your head to show that you are paying attention. After they have finished speaking, paraphrase what they said, such as “What I heard you say was that…” and ask any clarifying questions, such as “Am I correct in thinking you feel like…”
Be aware of both nonverbal cues and what is said aloud. Does the message your partner is conveying to you match the nonverbal cues? Look for signs of tension or frustration as well. Balled fists, crossed arms, or frowns may indicate that the other person requires a break or is too upset to resolve any issues at this time.
Don’t be looking at your phone, scrolling through social media, or messaging people, even if it seems obvious. This demonstrates that you are completely focused on the person in front of you.
2. Make use of “I” statements. Communication is not about assigning blame; rather, it is about accepting responsibility. “I” statements begin with how you feel about your partner’s behaviour or action. It means you accept responsibility for your feelings and propose a way to improve your behaviour. The goal is not to tell your partner that the action is wrong, but rather to share your own experience with it.
Statements beginning with “you” frequently blame the other person. Avoid making statements like this. They may sound like, “You always make large purchases without consulting me first!”
An “I” statement might be, “I’m confused when you make big purchases without me because I thought we agreed to go together.” I’d like to be included in these purchases going forward.”
3. When speaking, use a soft, warm tone. Your relationship should be built on mutual respect and love rather than fear. A soft voice reflects the love, compassion, and understanding that yelling lacks. Make eye contact with your partner and speak from a place of love and understanding. Disagreements do not need to be resolved with rage and yelling.
If affectionate names are commonly used in your relationship, you can use them to demonstrate that you still care about your partner even when you disagree. “What do you think, dear?” or “I’m sorry I disappointed you, baby; how can I make things right?” may help to relieve tension.
As simple as it may seem, make sure you maintain eye contact.
4. Always be respectful to your partner. Even during heated debates, keep harsh words to a minimum. You can’t take back what you’ve said. When you hurt your partner, you send the message that a disagreement is equivalent to a war. You’re on the same side as me. Keep that in mind.
Many couples follow a “24 hour” rule to avoid saying hurtful things and becoming enraged. In this scenario, if things become too heated, the discussion is put on hold for 24 hours so that both parties can calm down and talk. It is unusual to find a discussion that cannot be postponed for a short period of time if necessary.
Part 2: Conflict and Crisis Resolution
1. Instead of allowing problems to grow in size, discuss them right away. It is a relationship myth that a strong relationship does not necessitate hard work. Prepare to put in the effort. You can achieve this by addressing any issues with your partner before they become a problem.
For example, you notice your partner withdrawing more money than usual from a joint account. Rather than building a case over time, you could address the issue right away by saying “I’ve noticed you’ve been in need of more money recently. Do we need to make any adjustments to our budget to account for this?”
You will never be perfect, and you should not expect your partner to be either. There will always be issues, and you can either learn to treat them as you would any other obstacle, or you can hide them until they become a major issue.
Make a commitment to holding a weekly check-in during which either of you can bring up any issues that are bothering you. Communicating problems with the intention of addressing them as soon as they arise aids in the establishment of a solid foundation.
Make an effort to follow through on whatever you two say and decide during your conversation. Plans are only useful if they are implemented!
2. Be willing to make concessions. Choose your battles wisely. Not every problem necessitates a fight. Some will need to be discussed, while others will go unspoken, and still others will be unimportant in comparison to what you gain from the relationship.
Compromise may entail creating a list of pros and cons to points of contention and discussing the list objectively. Speaking aloud may make it clear which option is mutually beneficial. It also entails figuring out how to meet your needs without jeopardising the needs of the other.
Another way to compromise is to do things one way one time and then favour the other person’s opinion the next. You could, for example, watch one person’s favourite movie one night and the other person’s top pick the next.
Before you go to war with your partner over a minor issue, consider how important the issue is to the happiness and growth of your relationship. Move on if it truly isn’t a big deal.
3. Solve problems as a group. Relationships are about the “we” rather than the “I” or “you.” Concentrate on open communication to solve problems together, with room for each of you to give and take. Instead of competing with one another, learn from one another.
For example, if you need a large sum of money to make a large purchase, you can sit down and figure out how both of you can contribute. Each of you can save money for a set period of time or cut back on non-essential expenses.
Using words like “we” as in “We will get through this” or “us” as in “Let us figure out a solution together” promotes a collaborative approach.
Every relationship has ups and downs. When confronted with a problem, examine it logically and objectively before making a decision based on the mutual well-being of both partners.
4. Make your partner aware of your values and needs. Make it a point to clearly define what you require from a partner as well as what you intend to give to your partner. Keep your promises to your partner and speak up if they aren’t doing the same in a constructive way.
It is a myth that you do not need to communicate with your partner about what you value and require. You are mistaken if you believe that just because your partner loves you, they should understand what you require. Mind reading is impossible, and expecting it will only stifle your growth.
Simply express your desires by saying something like, “Charity is very important to me.” What can we do to honour that in the future? ”
5. Get on the same page when it comes to money. This is one area that can be extremely dangerous if ignored until it becomes a major problem. Make it a point to discuss financial values early on in the relationship. If you want to save for the future while your partner is living for the moment, this may not be sustainable in the long run.
Sit down and talk about where you each stand financially. If you live in the same house, make a budget. If you’re having trouble seeing eye to eye, talk to a financial counsellor.
Part 3: Keeping a Solid Foundation
1. Date each other regardless of how long you’ve been together. This includes treating your partner with the same level of respect and attention that you did from the beginning. Many relationships end because one partner simply stops respecting the value or feelings of the other partner and falls into old habits that they would never have done earlier in the relationship.
Texting an old flame after you’ve married, for example, is not acceptable. If you wouldn’t expect a new date to accept that, why should your spouse ignore it just because you’re married?
Show your partner the utmost respect. Make an effort to make them happy. Make an effort to set aside quality time for the two of you.
2. Continue to be truthful and trustworthy. Never lose sight of the importance of trust in maintaining a healthy relationship. When one or both partners are untrustworthy, doubt enters the relationship. You can rebuild or repair trust by being physically and emotionally present for your partner.
Maintaining consistency in your actions
When you say you’ll be there, you’ll be there.
Personal boundaries should be respected by both you and your partner.
Doing what you say you’re going to do
3. Have mutual and distinct interests. You can’t expect someone else to complete you or to be everything that you are. It is healthy to share interests while also maintaining some activities that you do separately. When you form a partnership, you form a team, but each member of the team benefits from taking time to be an individual.
A relationship should allow you to be your authentic self while also providing you with someone to love and cherish. It is not healthy for you or your partner if one of you becomes codependent and expects the other to be interested in everything.
4. Encourage one another’s passions and dreams. Support these dreams while also acknowledging that you cannot make all of them come true. You’re there to love and encourage them, not to take responsibility for them coming true.
While you should have separate dreams, having shared goals that you work towards as a team can be energising. Have a conversation with your partner and come up with some goals you’d like to achieve together. It is easily brought by simply stating “I believe it would be beneficial if we established some common objectives. What are some goals we can set for ourselves?”
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