A few weeks ago, we discussed “7 Deadly Relationship Sins to Avoid in the New Year“. Now that we know what NOT to do (blaming, criticizing, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, bribing), here are some healthy relationship habits that will actually help strengthen and nurture your marriage or partnership each and every day of this new year: […]
A few weeks ago, we discussed “7 Deadly Relationship Sins to Avoid in the New Year“. Now that we know what NOT to do (blaming, criticizing, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, bribing), here are some healthy relationship habits that will actually help strengthen and nurture your marriage or partnership each and every day of this new year:
Healthy Relationship Habit #1: Be Supportive
Relationships tend to thrive where there is mutual support for one another’s dreams, goals, and ambitions. This support can be expressed in a variety of ways, but usually involves offering a listening ear, encouraging words of affirmation, or taking over household or financial responsibilities when your partner is suffering or in need. Remember…no one likes a dream-killer.
Healthy Relationship Habit #2: Be Encouraging
Don’t be afraid to remind your spouse or partner of how awesome he/she is from time to time. When was the last time you felt really proud of something they accomplished? Don’t assume that they know-tell them! Remind them of their strengths, past successes, or positive character traits. We all benefit from an encouraging word or pat on the back every now and then-even us really confident folk.
Healthy Relationship Habit #3: Be Accepting
When we feel completely accepted by our spouse or partner, we experience a deep sense of belonging and validation. When we are able to see our partners for who they really are (good, bad, ugly and indifferent) and choose to love and accept them anyway, we are offering them an invaluable gift. This does not mean that we become doormats and overlook unhealthy or abusive behaviors. It simply means that we accept the individual and deem them worthy of our love, time, attention and investment.
Healthy Relationship Habit #4: Learn to Listen
Whether your partner is just venting about his/her workday, voicing a concern about the relationship, or sharing their emotional pain, it is critical that you learn to become fully present in that moment. Pay close attention the words being spoken and learn to hear with your heart-not just your ears. What message are they trying to convey? What is it that they want you to know? When the conversation is over, how can you let them know that you have heard, understood and received their message? Remember…no one likes to feel ignored.
Healthy Relationship Habit #5: Be Trusting
Not only is it important to fully trust your partner-it’s equally important to make sure that you are a trustworthy partner. Trust is a huge part of a healthy relationship foundation. If your relationship has been tainted by infidelity or other breaches of trust, it may be helpful to see a counselor for guidance on how to rebuild the relationship foundation one brick at a time.
Healthy Relationship Habit #6: Be Respectful
Mutual respect goes a long way when it comes to relationships. You can foster this respect by treating your partner with dignity, respecting their boundaries, acknowledging and accepting their limitations, and expressing deep admiration for their abilities, qualities and achievements. In addition, be mindful that you don’t “hit below the belt” during heated arguments. Focus on the undesired behavior without attacking the person’s character and engaging in name-calling. This is a recipe for complete relationship disaster.
Healthy Relationship Habit #7: Learn to Negotiate
It is unrealistic to expect that both partners will have all of their needs met all of the time. Instead of placing unrealistic demands on yourself or your partner, have an open and honest discussion about what you are willing to compromise for the sake of the relationship. Think in terms of what will be in the best interest of the relationship. When decisions are made based on what’s best for the relationship-not each individual-it’s a win/win for all involved.
It is my hope that your relationship will be strengthened with these 7 Healthy Relationship Habits. Feel free to drop a comment below and let me know how these tips have made an impact in your marriage or partnership.
Cheers to a Healthier Relationship,