How to fix a relationship before it goes south?
Though this requires work, experts believe this is possible. More than 90 percent of marriages, partnerships, and friendships can be saved if both sides are willing to do the work.
Surprisingly, this work can be very easy that it only takes one or two gestures to bring a partner back to happy land. In case you`re interested in improving your marriage, the following are four tips experts say will give it an extra breath of life. Here they are:
1.Know his/her personal world
Know as many details as possible about your partner; their likes, dislikes, old memories, and any major event in his or her history. This is key because you can`t love someone you don`t know.
Bestselling Author of The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work, John M. Gottman, believes happy couples understand each other`s world and know even the little details them. They read each other like an open book and know everything about their lives including doubts, concerns, hot spots and even trivial things like their favorite TV show or how they like their salad.
Even if one never keeps the toilet down, happy couples still carry admiration, respect, and fondness for their partner. “If fondness and admiration are completely missing, or if happy memories are distorted, then reviving the relationship is impossible,” writes Gottman.
Fondness leads to sex, and a good sex drive can improve your relationship. Gottman believes unhappy couples rarely talk positively about their history together unlike the happy ones who tend to put a positive spin on their history as well as how they see each other. These couples usually stay together 94 percent of the time.
So how to rebuild fondness with your partner?
You may try to journal everything you like about him, or her, for 30 consecutive days.
Bestselling author and former editor of Success Magazine, Darren Hardy tried this with his wife and the results were impressive. Each day for an entire year, he secretly logged at least one thing he appreciated about her; how she treated her friends, styled her hair, or prepared the fresh bed. A year later, Hardy gave his wife the journal and she was amazed.
“When I gave it to her the following Thanksgiving, she cried, calling it the best gift she’d ever received,” Hardy wrote in his bestseller, The Compound Effect.
Surprisingly, according to Harvey, he was the one benefiting the most from that gift because it forced him to focus on his wife`s positive qualities and made him appreciate her even more.
3.Turn toward each other
“Communication is the lifeblood of a relationship,” says Mira Kirshenbaum, author of Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay – A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide. She believes Everyone has problems with communication in relationships but couples who see themselves as best friends stay together the longest.
They share secrets, spend their free time together, seek to impress each other, have common interests and dreams and they tell each other when they have bad days. They`re each other`s, favorite person.
Kirshenbaum recommends that you encourage your partner to share, as well as spend more time together. You can simply cook or exercise together, go on dates or make sure you reunite at the end of the day to talk about how it went. This will increase openness as well as love.
Nothing wrecks a relationship better than dirty fights.
In his book, The Friendship Factor, the Christian psychotherapist, and bestselling author Alan Loy McGinnis. Couples who check their manners at the door when they fight rarely stay together. For that, McGinnis suggests you follow these two rules to avoid turning your little misunderstandings into huge fights.
Rule #1: Soften the start-up.
The first and most important step is to never attack the other person. According to McGinnis, it`s better to talk about how they made you feel instead of how awful they behaved to avoid putting them in a corner and forcing them to attack back.
Whenever you have a problem with anybody, it`s better to address it in this way:
- Here’s how I feel.
- This is what I`m responsible for and,
- Here’s what I need.
Be polite, appreciative, and complain without blaming or throwing accusations. Saying, “I miss you being there with me,” elicits a better response than if you told your partner, “you’re never there for me.”
Rule #2: Soothe each other.
Keep your cool and things will be okay. To experts, a yawning husband listening to his angry wife has a better chance at soothing her than a fuming one.
Remember the old quote, “The best fighter is never angry.” And though you should turn every conflict into a fight, you must stay relaxed when it happens so you don’t escalate the problem. For that you must do three things:
Meditate frequently: So when the moment comes, you`re ready to take control of your emotions
Know each other’s hot buttons: If you know the answer to, “what makes her snap at me?” and “What irritates him the most?” then you`re a winner.
Make a plan for when things get heated: Take breaks or develop signals for letting the other know when you feel flooded.
Get to know your partner really well. Be interested. And if you can`t get them to talk, use this technique to help them open up.
Make a journal with their positive qualities. It`s hard to see them as perfect as they were before marriage, but you can definitely find one good thing or two about them each day. Write it down. Then wrap that journal in a nice way and give it to them a month later.
Learn forward. If they can`t open, you still can. Think of him/her as a best friend, and share your dirty little secrets with them. Take them out, and do some activities together like exercising or binge-watching their favorite T.V. show together.
Fight clean. Instead of snapping when they do something wrong, tell them how you feel when they do that. Instead of throwing it all at them, share the responsibility. Also, if you have a bad temper, you should find some soothing activity, like meditation or yoga, to keep your cool in critical situations.
Originally published at goodmenproject.com