Healthy relationships have been shown to improve our happiness, health, and lower our stress levels. According to research, individuals who have healthy relationships are happier and are less prone to stress. A healthy relationship imbibes different qualities such as trust, warmth, honesty and open communication. Given below are a few tips to build and maintain a healthy relationship with your partner.
Improve communication with your partner
We have all heard that communication is the key. That is true for all kinds of relationships, not just romantic ones. Before working on communication, it’s important to consider the following points:
• Be clear about what you want to communicate, and think about what you want to say.
• Make sure to use ‘I’ Statements, such as ‘I feel’, ‘I need’, and ‘I want’, but also accept responsibility for your own feelings.
• Don’t play the blame game.
• Encourage open communication by setting aside time to talk; don’t hope that the other person will guess how you are feeling.
Actively resolve conflicts
A big part of working on communication includes focusing on conflict resolution. To ensure mental health care for adults, the relationships researcher, Gottman, suggests couples to keep a balance between positive and negative interactions during conflicts. According to him, the magic ratio to make love last is 5 is to 1, which means, for every negative interaction during a conflict, a happy and healthy relationship has 5 or more positive interactions.
Negative interactions in a conflict include being passive-aggressive, defensive, or being dismissive of your partner’s feelings. Negative interactions also include our body language and behaviors such as eye-rolling, not maintaining good eye contact, looking at our phone etc.
Positive interactions ensure mental health care for adults. Such interactions include being interested in what your partner is talking about. This can be done by asking them open ended questions about their feelings and thoughts, expressing affection, verbally or physically, even while in a conflict. It is also important to let them know through your actions that they matter, and showing appreciation for them.
The most important positive interaction is empathizing with your partner. One of the most profound forms of human connection is empathy. When you empathize with your spouse, you demonstrate that you understand and feel what your partner is feeling, even if you do so nonverbally with your facial expressions or any physical gestures.
Empathizing also involves accepting your partner’s perspective, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them. This signals respect as you are letting them know that their experience makes sense to you.
Understanding each other’s needs and setting boundaries ensures a healthy relationship
Understanding your own and your partner’s needs is absolutely essential for improving your relationship. It is best to sit down with your partner and introspect about what you both need in order to feel happy, fulfilled and secure in a relationship. Your partner should know that their needs are important to you.
It is difficult for a relationship to work if it is not possible for either of you to fulfill each other’s needs. However, how the needs are met should be negotiable, as for a lasting relationship, there should be room for compromise and flexibility. Needs should be communicated with compassion and respect. The key here is to consider your partner’s needs while expressing your own. Couples should seek relationship counseling in-person or online mental health counseling much before they believe they “need” it. Most experts believe that in-person therapy or online mental health counseling can be beneficial to your relationship. When problems in a relationship are not resolved, they tend to grow in size. This is where therapy can assist by providing tools and techniques for better conflict resolution. We, at Samvedna Care, provide relationship counseling to couples undergoing distress. For more resources, check Samvedna Care’s website.