How can we make our relationship work? This is question asked repeatedly, but every relationship is different and there are no guaranteed formulas to make it work.
Advice from happily married couples include:
- Make time for each other
- Keep intimacy strong
- Make the effort to appreciate your partner
- Frequent and honest communication
While these are great rules to have in your relationship, more importantly you need to know what not to do in a relationship. Avoid these seven deadly sins:
Resentment can build up easily in a relationship, it can start with tiny things; ‘they didn’t put the bins out again’ and if you don’t address the problem, resentment will build into something much bigger. Be honest with your partner, just say ‘hey, could you put the bins out?’.
Then it’s done and gone from your mind. The other way to deal with resentment is just to breathe and let it go, your partner isn’t perfect and neither are you. Don’t let resentment ruin your relationship.
Jealously is the unwanted guest at a party, it can appear from nowhere and ruin everything without you noticing. A little jealousy can be healthy, if someone is flirting with your partner, you can feel a tiny bit jealous but if you are jealous of everyone and everything that is in their life – then you have a huge problem.
Jealousy is often linked to insecurity, if you’re feeling jealous, try and work out why and address the issue. Remember your partner is with you and they choose to be.
We all have expectations of other people and in a relationship, expecting them to be faithful is a given but what happens when you put unrealistic expectations on them? They won’t live up to your ideal version of them, they are human and they have their faults.
They can’t think of you all the time, they have themselves and others to look after. They can’t be happy and attentive permanently, they have their own issues too. Remove your unrealistic expectations and let them be themselves, love them for who they are.
Not Making Time for Each Other
You may live in the same house and see the same people but it’s easy to forget to make time for each other. If you have children, a busy work schedule, a demanding hobby or just a busy life it’s easy to forget to make time for your partner. If you don’t make time for them though, you’ll drift apart. Couples who make an effort to spend time together are likely to stay together.
Arrange a date, it doesn’t have to be an expensive restaurant, maybe go for a walk and then get a take away. Just make time in your life for each other, and don’t just spend time with them, connect with them.
Lack of Communication
Communication is the key to a strong relationship. This sin effects all of the other sins on the list, if you can’t communicate your relationship will be more likely to breakdown. Communicate your issues and problems, communicate jealousy and insecurity, communicate when your expectations are too high.
Also, communicate when you’re happy, tell them you love them, show them your feelings.
Not Showing Gratitude
No one wants to feel like they’re being taken for granted. Did your partner make you a cup of tea after a hard day at work? Give them a hug and say thank you. Show that you appreciate them and the little things that they do. Don’t ignore the small things, they are the things that makes a relationship strong.
Show your affection and gratitude, they’ll appreciate you all the more.
Lack of Affection
Everything else can be perfect but if there is no affection, you’re heading for a platonic relationship. Although it may be better than serious issues, it’s not the ideal status for a loving relationship and can be incredibly damaging. We all want affection, sometimes you have to show that same level of affection to your partner to get it in return.
Go and give them a hug, it’ll bring you closer together.
Stubbornness (Bonus Sin)
Strong relationships usually have healthy arguments but try and work out these problems, you need to be able to work through issues to keep your relationship strong. Being stubborn and not compromising won’t help your relationship grow. Sometimes you just need to suck it up and apologize, don’t be resentful and give them a kiss.