True happiness in a relationship isn’t the first flush of romance or the honeymoon period, as much fun as that is. True happiness is a deep, lasting contentment that infuses your relationship every day, even when times are tough. Sounds impossible? In fact long term happiness is well within your reach – just don’t leave it to luck. The secret to a happy relationship is paying attention to it and building a solid foundation of trust and respect.
Just like building a house, a relationship can’t survive if the foundations are weak. Happy couples know this, and know what to avoid in order to stay happy together. If you want to create a firm bedrock for you relationship, be sure to avoid these 7 things happy couples never do:
1. Play The Blame Game
The blame game is one where everyone comes out a loser. Whether you’re disagreeing about where the money goes, or feeling stressed out and frustrated at the chores that need doing, the blame game will get you nowhere. Instead of playing the blame game, learn how to sit down and discuss your feelings and needs in a respectful, safe way. Take responsibility for your own life. If you’re feeling upset or stressed, don’t blame your partner for your feelings, or make them responsible for your happiness. Instead, take some quiet time to analyze your feelings and figure out why you’re upset and what you need to feel better. Fulfill your own needs as much as you can, and where you need your partner’s support or collaboration, approach them calmly and kindly.
2. Talk Disrespectfully To Each Other
Talking disrespectfully to each other only leaves both parties feeling wounded and resentful. Your partner is someone you love and have chosen to share your life with – they deserve to be spoken to with respect and care, and so do you. If you’re fighting, be mindful of the words you choose to use. If need be, suggest a time out to calm down and collect your thoughts. Using cruel or unkind words during a fight is a bit like smashing a plate on the floor: No matter how many times you say sorry, you won’t be able to put it back the way it was.
3. Put Their Relationship Last
Your relationship is an important part of your life, and needs nurturing, care, and your full attention. If you put your relationship last after your career, hobbies, or friends, it will eventually break down. Never take your partner for granted or just assume they’ll be there for you after you’ve finished with all the things on your to do list. Your partner deserves the best of you, not what’s left after you’ve dealt with everything else. Of course life gets busy sometimes. You have to take on extra commitments, or you just need some time with your hobbies or friends. That’s natural. Just don’t let your relationship slip down your list of priorities – if you want it to stay healthy, keep it at the top.
4. Keep Score
Do you always remind your partner of how much money you bring in? Do they always bring up that one time they had to take on extra responsibilities at home? Keeping score is a fast track to building resentment in your relationship. Your relationship isn’t a contest, it’s a collaboration. Instead of keeping score, try to keep in mind what’s best for your relationship. What’s the most nurturing thing for both of you? Focus on that instead of scoring points off each other.
5. Compare Themselves To Others
When it comes to relationships, it’s easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. Happy couples know that comparison is a one way ticket to feeling dissatisfied with your own relationship. If you’re feeling a little resentful because Bob buys Jane more expensive gifts, or Sylvia and Mikey are just about to take their second exotic holiday this year, stop yourself. Instead of focusing on what you wish you had, take the time to appreciate all the things you do have. Look for all the things you love about your partner and your relationship. Let others focus on their relationship while you keep your focus on yours.
6. Make Major Decisions Without Each Other
When you’re in a relationship, you’re a team. Whether you’ve been married for 20 years or you’re just considering moving in together, a relationship is a team effort. That’s why it’s important to include your partner in all major decisions. Whether you want to switch energy supplier, or you’re considering a career change or making a major purchase, make time to sit down and talk to your partner before the deed is done.
7. Nag Each Other
Happy couples know that nagging is a dead end street. Nagging your partner only belittles them and makes them feel like they’re being constantly scolded. Of course sometimes you and your partner will do things that irritate each other. The trick is to learn to ask for what you need and communicate with kindness and respect. It’s also a good idea to let go of the small things. Learn to focus on what really matters instead of letting minor things get you down.
Long term happiness is within your reach. Avoid these 7 happiness stealers and enjoy more joy and ease in your relationship.