Lots of people talk about how to get a healthy relationship. Getting one is easy but keeping one is the challenge. We can all be of a certain mindset when we are trying to get our needs met and please each other in pursuit of a lasting relationship. This often falls short once the catch is made. Here are some sure ways to keep what you worked so hard to get.
Try acceptance. Try to keep in mind that we are all different. It is important to see your partner as they are and not as you want them to be. You should not try to mold or change their ways to suit yours. Your influence and their love for you may result in some personality changes but you should never start a relationship thinking you will change the person they are. It will only end in disappointment and resentment. Be realistic and know what is and what isn’t possible. If someone is used to leaving their clothes on the bathroom floor get creative and come up with ways to help change that behavior if it disturbs you. Lasting change takes patience. If your partner wants to change these behaviors, they will, most likely to please you. Forcing someone to change will cause only fights and tension. Pick your battles and learn to compromise as well. Accept what you can.
Be affirming. We all need praise. Training my dog was a challenge as I was on a path to making him into a therapy dog. What worked best was praise. He loves pleasing me and so will your significant other.
The more I said “good boy” the more he became a good boy. Now I am not asking you to treat your significant other this way but think about it for a minute. If you are told that you made such a difference because you said thank you often, wouldn’t you do it again? Probably! If you got up early and had a hot cup of coffee ready for your honey, the odds of hearing a thank you and getting a smile are huge. If you want your partner to continue a new behavior, then affirming how happy you are seeing this change will most likely get more of it. We all love to hear praise.
Be open and honest. Say what you mean and mean what you say. None of us like puzzles. Yes, this is risky, but the other way only leads to confusion and faulty communication. Without clear communication, we are lost in the abyss. Don’t assume that your partner knows what you mean. By defining your issues, the chance of a resolution will be much greater. It has been referred to as being on the same page. It is very difficult to voice a concern hoping your partner knows what you are talking about. Check with him or her to make sure the issue is clear. This way you can respond effectively and hopefully reach an agreeable solution. Feel free to express your opinions and feelings without fear of being criticized. Think back to your relationship prior to marriage and see how this was done.
Show affection. You and your partner might have different ways of giving and receiving affection. Holding hands, hugs, kisses on the neck and soft gestures of your hand may be your way of setting the mood for a happy moment. Know what your partner needs and likes. Being intimate holds different meanings for each person. Find out what sparks romance and remember what it was like before the catch. Was it a purely physical act that was meaningful to your significant other or was it just a look across the room, a word, or a touch on the shoulder? Whatever it was, bring it back and keep it going.
Making someone laugh is my favorite. This goes a long way toward a life of happiness and love. We must be able to laugh at ourselves and at each other, even for silly things. Life needs some simple moments to ease the pains and difficulties that may arise from an uncertain future. Watch a funny movie or talk about some silly things you once did. Maybe they were bloopers and now can be brought back for that moment of laughter.
This list is not complete. It is a start at keeping the flame burning for a happily ever after. Most of all remember that keeping something is different than getting something.