If you want a happy relationship learn to be nice to each other. It’s really that simple. Couples often fight over small ridiculous things. Learn to let them go. Your happiness is more important than the dishes in the sink, the mud on the floor, who ate the last cookie, how the tooth paste is squeezed out of the tube and who did what last.
I married at age 17 and was pregnant. We will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary in January. Some people consider us lucky. It’s not about luck, it’s about a willingness to do the right thing. It’s about committment. It’s not that I’m totally against divorce. However I believe too many couples give up to soon.
Perfection in relationships isn’t a possibility. We all make mistakes. Learn to grow from them. I’m sharing with you some of the reasons our marriage has worked. Take bold action with the following steps and you can enjoy a lifetime together!
Become each others best friend. Best friends enjoy each others company. They enjoy laughing together, helping each other and sharing in each others day. They look forward to being with each other. Best friends don’t always like the same things but they allow each other to be different and love the fact that they are. It’s what makes their lives interesting.
Best friends have each others backs. The stick up for each other. They don’t allow put downs. A deal breaker is to stand by silently and allow your buddies, girlfriends or ralatives put down your significant other. Always speak kindly about each other when apart.
Let go of irreconciled differences. There are no solutions to some things. You may not be able to change the fact that he will always drink out of orange juice carton or she will never replace the gas in your car, one may always be 10 pounds over weight.
Learn to accept each others idiosynchrocies. Put up withthem, ignore them, don’t even mention them. Some things will never change. Learn what those things are and learn to live withthem. All relationships have unsolvable situations. Couples in good relationships work around them and refuse to give up their happiness over them. You don’t have to like these issues… you do have to learn to live with them.
Go the extra mile. When you see something needs to be done do it. Anticipate her/his needs. Don’t wait to be asked. If you see she has had a tough day make dinner. If you see he isn’t feeling well take over his chores.
If you are asked to help with a task or run an errand don’t procrastinate. Do it as soon as possible weather you want to or not. It’s called relationship maturity. If you asked to vacuum the floor take out the garbage as well. If you asked to fold the laundry put it away as well.
Make it a point to say, “How can I help you? Is there anything more that I can do for you? Imagine how that would make the other feel!
Little things count! When we lived in Michigan I was always cold during the winter months. No matter where we traveled together, the movies, the grocery store, anywhere, my husband would offer to drop me off at the door and then park the car. This small act made a huge differece in our relationship. I knew he cared.
Practice random acts of kindness. Before going to bed put toothpaste on her toothbrush for the morning. Offer to make lunch. Send a card snail mail. Leave post it notes in unexpected places. Text love messages-‘xo’ is enough! Hold the door open for each other. Have you ever gotten tired of the words, please and thank you? Learn to show love and appreciation regularly in small ways. There are simple ordinary things you can do to make your relationship extraordinary.
Show Affection. Touch. Hold hands. Hug. Kiss. Play footsie. Dance. Touch each other often. Babies who don’t get enough touch fail to thrive. Relationships that lack physical touch do the same.
Words Count. Praise each other. Bite your tongue when you are tempted to say hurtful things.
Words can either build your relationship up or take it down. When you do say something you regret aplogoize and state your willingness to change. Then take the necessary steps to change. I’m sorry are two of the most powerful words in English language. Don’t run the same old scenarios in your head justifying why you are right and the other wrong. It’s a waste of time. Rise above the battlefield and apologize.
Take Walks Together. Exercise has health benefits. Walking doens’tcost anything and it offers couples time to be alone with each other. When my husband and I walk we spend the first 15 minutes quiet, appreciating nature. Then we talk, discuss topics, solve problems, laugh and enjoy each others company. Take different routes. Go to different cities. The same can be said about running and hiking.
Gift Each Other. Give each other small tokens of appreciation. A favorite latte, a favorite song on iTunes, a candy bar, a single flower or a favorite food. It adds an element of surprise to your relationship.
Be Supportive of Each Other. Respect each others opinions. Root for his team. Be a cheerleader at her road race. Be there for each other. Remember the reason you’re together…it beats going through life alone. Stand strong together when things get tough.
Learn to Identify and Resolve Conflict. Recognize conflict is normal. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s how you handle it that makes the difference. Choose the right time to bring up conflict. For example when you are alone with each other, when you aren’t tired etc. If you aren’t calm wait until you are before discussing issues. Count to 10 and breathe deep. Take a time out and focus on shifting your perspective.Put yourself in the others shoes. Consider the their point of view.
If you are at fault do 5 nice things to make up for it. The positives have to outnumber the negatives 5 to 1. If you can’t get professional help or you will find yourself living like strangers under the same roof.
Don’t Keep Score. It’s a waste of time to keep a tally of who did the dishes last, who apologized first, and who made the last mistake. It’s more productive to think happy thoughts of each other. When you want to stay mad or keep score bring to mind a quality that you love in the other person. Then remember all of the times that quality stood out. As often as you can think positively about each other.
One of the things I have practiced is every time I do my husband’s laundry I mentally thank him for all he has done for me. Or I choose memory of the two of us and the task is no longer a chore.
Forgive Each Other. Refuse to hold grudges. Remember we’re all human. The same thing you judge someone for today you will find yourself doing tomorrow. It’s OK to be angry but it’s necessary to get over it. Know how to work through anger. Learn to let things go. You can never forgive enough. And don’t wait someone to go first. Take the high road and get on with your happiness!