10 tips for having a healthy relationship

Home Together, Happy Together

Whether you’re still trying to establish new routines, trying to work from home while caring for your children, or dealing with the stress of becoming unemployed, we all could use a bit of extra support right now. We caught up with Joy Marchese, parent educator, Founder of Positive Discipline UK, and author of Positive Discipline for Today’s Busy (& Overwhelmed) Parent, to get some tips on how you can reset your relationship during quarantine…

Have you neglected your relationship since becoming a parent? Is everything your partner does (or doesn’t do) getting on your nerves? Are you stuck in a rut and looking to take your relationship to the next level? Now is the perfect time to RESET your relationship.

For many of us we’re finding that we’ve spent more time with our partner in the past few weeks than we have in the past few years. Working from home and being together 24/7 under the best circumstances can be a challenge, but add the current level of stress, fear, economic worries, and anxiety that many are facing at the moment and this can be a recipe for disaster. But it doesn’t have to be!

Whether you have been married for 20 years or are looking for a committed relationship, these tips can help to establish, strengthen, and rediscover connection, passion, and joy in any relationship (even with yourself). 

couple

Follow these 10 tips for having a healthy relationship and create your own happily ever after…

  1. Focus on what YOU can change and not on how you want your partner to change. Waiting for your partner to change only leaves you feeling frustrated and helpless. Take this time to consider what YOU bring to your relationship and your own personal growth. It is inevitable that your partner will be affected by the changes that you make. 

2. Verbalise appreciation every day! What you focus on grows. Are you growing appreciation or resentment? We all know there is no perfect person. Let’s imagine that your partner has 20% faults and 80% admirable qualities. What happens if you focus 80% of your time complaining about the 20% faults? It doesn’t take long before all you see are the faults. Try noticing at least 3 things a day that you can share appreciation for. It’s probably not as difficult as you think.

3. It’s the little things that matter. Make a list of all the small things you know your partner would like. Simple things such as receiving a loving greeting in the morning, or offering a cup of coffee without having to be asked. Now give up your excuses for not doing these things (i.e. lack of time which we all have more of at the moment) and make a commitment to do “little things” every day to keep the sparks alive.

4. Redefine what it means to be in a happy relationship. We all had this fairy tale image of what marriage and family life would be like. And then there is the reality. The good news is that you can have most of what you imagined if you shift your mindset and think about what it is that you really need and what actions you can take to make a shift. We would all be a lot happier if we acknowledged that the only person who can ever really make us happy is us!

5. Couples meetings are the road to success. Set aside time each week for a couples meeting. Make it the most important date on your calendar. Start the meeting with appreciations, next brainstorm solutions to items on the agenda, choose a solution to try for the week that you both agree to. End each meeting by doing something fun together. 

6. People will listen to you AFTER they feel listened to. How often do you interrupt with defensiveness, explanations, or advice? Periodically, ask questions to invite discussion. Then listen without saying a word. Notice how you begin to feel more connected and listened to when it’s your turn to share.

7. Keep a sense of humour. Remember to laugh and have fun . A sense of humour can create magic in a relationship, especially when things get tense. When you see yourself getting too serious, look for the humour in the situation. 

8. Life as a couple isn’t over because you had kids. Schedule special time just the two of you and put it on the calendar to make sure it happens. What did you do when you first met that you have stopped doing? When spending special time, talk about your interests instead of focusing on the family. Transforming your relationship is one of the most meaningful things you can do for your child and it can profoundly impact their quality of life. So, don’t feel guilty for a second to take time out for yourselves as a couple. 

9. Pay attention. Remember when you hung on every word and everything your partner did was wonderful? Be aware of how you have been taking your partner for granted and make a commitment to pay attention. Love grows when it is nurtured. 

10. Understand and speak your partner’s love language. This is their preferred way of expressing and receiving love. Some people feel that thoughtful gifts and doing things for their partner expresses love, while others care more about hearing loving words, physical touch, or spending special time together. For more on this read, “The 5 Love Languages”, by Gary Chapman.

Joy will be live on Instagram and Facebook with Dina Maktabi on Thursday 30th of April at 8pm talking about how to reset your relationship. Make sure you tune in.

You can also listen to Joy on YouTube @positivedisciplineUK and follow her on Instagram at @busy_working_mum

 

 

 

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