Healthy relationships do not just happen. There is an art and science to building strong relationships. Romantic relationships are important for our happiness and well-being. Yet with more than 40 percent of new marriages ending in divorce, it’s clear that relationships aren’t always easy. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your romantic partnership in good working order.
These are indispensable tips, written with romantic relationships in mind, but with a little modification you can apply them to your friendships, family, and even work relationships.
Practice observing yourself and your partner without judging. Part of you might judge, but you don’t have to identify with it. Judging closes a door. The opposite of judging is compassion. When you are compassionate, you are open, connected, and more available to dialoguing respectfully with your partner. As you increasingly learn to see your partner compassionately, you will have more power to choose your response rather than just reacting.
You don’t have to wait until a relationship shows signs of trouble before working to strengthen your union. Marital education programs that teach skills such as good communication, effective listening and dealing with conflict have been shown to reduce the risk of divorce.
Check in with one another.
Without an intentional appointment to do a temperature check, unmet needs and resentments can build. It is very essential to take time out in your busy schedule to check in on your partner. It can be short or long but it begins with asking each other what worked and didn’t work about the previous week and what can be done to improve things this coming week. Use the opportunity also, to get on the same page with your schedules, plan a date night and talk about your relationship goals.