- Acknowledge and appreciate – We often tend to take our partner for granted and it’s the little things left unsaid that could make them feel unappreciated. But these are the small things that make a huge difference. For instance, telling your wife that the food she’s prepared for you tastes good, or thanking your husband for running an errand for you, or telling your partner that she’s looking beautiful. Each night, before sleeping, you could tell each other a few good things about the other.
- Get into your partner’s shoes – Before jumping to any conclusion, try and see things from the other person’s perspective. This will help you understand him or her and avoid needless friction. In fact, this will strengthen the bond between the two.
- Keep your fights private – One of the worst things you can do for your relationship is bring out your fights in public. Whatever the issue might be, it’s important that it is addressed in private. Have a pact between the two of you that if delicate issues do come up in public then you have a pre-decided way in which you will conduct yourselves so as to avoid embarrassment or awkwardness to either of you.
- Listen – Just don’t hear the words Understand the feelings being conveyed, notice the body language and the expressions used. Give your 100 per cent attention to the words spoken. Often we just hear what the other person has said and interpret it in our own way, which leads to distortion and misunderstandings.
- Focus on the positives – After a while of being together we tend to crib about the apparent shortcomings in our partner and this makes us just grow apart. It’s important at such times to jolt yourself out of this state and look at the larger picture—which has to include the positives. In fact, the more you can make a determined effort to focus on the positives of your partner, the smoother your relationship will be.
- Make time to be together – This has to be a conscious effort. Just living under the same roof doesn’t mean that you are spending time with each other. It can be a brief post-dinner walk or morning tea time. Let it be a time that both of you know is booked for the other one.
- No confrontation when angry – If there’s one thing that you must do when you are angry is—stay silent. Arguing when angry only makes you say things in a way that increases damage. It’s okay to sleep over a fight and discuss it the next morning when you both are calmer. But make sure you tell your partner that you are staying silent because you’re too angry to speak and you believe your words may cause more harm. When you feel anger surging within you, make an exit from the situation.
- Respect differences – It is not possible that you and your partner be the same in every aspect. There are bound to be differences and it is foolish to be disrespectful or contemptuous towards them. Whatever the differences, accept and respect them instead of trying to impose your way on the other person.
- Share – Sharing is one of the best ways to bond and build friendship. That’s the basis of all good friendships. Share your ups and your downs, your highs and your lows...become partners in everything.
- Say sorry – This simple word can mend the biggest of wrongs. So, don’t be afraid to say it.
This was first published in the October 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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