Does your marriage need help? Is the spark gone and you can’t figure out why it disappeared? All marriages have good times and bad times. What’s important is that you’re focused on the positive and don’t let small issues develop into large ones.
Why do so many marriages fail? They fail because they are not built on strong foundations. A strong, happy lasting relationship is not something that is build overnight. It takes time, effort, and the commitment to keep working on it.
Love is perhaps our most powerful emotion, and the need to be in a loving relationship may be one of the strongest needs we have. Being in an intimate relationship makes us feel connected, not only to our partner, but also to the world at large. When our hearts are filled with love, we feel profoundly content and satisfied. We become more patient, more empathetic, kinder, gentler.
Millions of couples endure the nightmare of relationship breakdown every year and the divorce rate shows no sign of slowing. It seems that many people find it very difficult to form lasting, happy relationships and here are 5 common mistakes that kill relationships. Get rid of them from your relationship and you’ll enjoy a happier love life. Here are some ideas on how to strengthen your relationship:
Try New Things:
Strong relationships are based on reliability and trust, but that can stagnate if the couple doesn’t look for new ways to explore and enjoy each other’s company. Find new activities that sound fun to both of you and spend a few weekends trying them out. Ask each other about activities you used to participate in before you met and see if you might want to try them again. Quieter things, like trying a new restaurant or taking a vacation to somewhere neither of you have been, can still provide fresh discussion fodder and perhaps help you notice a new side in each other that you haven’t seen before.
A marriage without trust cannot survive. Trust is one of the most important ingredients of a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship. Rebuilding trust can be difficult, but is certainly not hopeless.
Any healthy relationship must be based on a solid underlying friendship. Remember to treat your partner with the same kindness, respect, and appreciation as you would a close friend. Support, listen to, and laugh with each other. Don’t allow yourselves to be rude or disrespectful.
A Simple Comparison:
What it all boils down to is this: most people just want to know that the person they love loves them. Truly believing that your significant other loves you opens the door for compromise and forgiveness. It’s sort of like a vending machine. You put your dollar in because you trust that you’ll get your candy, but sometimes the machine eats your money and you get nothing. What is your first reaction? Well, you’re hungry and irritated that you didn’t get your food, but later on, you realize you don’t trust that machine and instead you go to the vending machine in the next building.
Physical intimacy is a natural, and healthy, extension of a relationship. Our best love intentions are often put to rest, however, as we collapse into an exhausted heap at the end of the day. Instead, you and your partner need to consciously commit to turning up the heat. Leave the dishes in the sink, turn the laptop off, and just do it! Set the mood with the sensual music, and light some calming aromatherapy candles or incense. Learn to communicate your loving energy through touch.
Celebrate Your Differences:
No couple is 100 percent the same all the time. Rather than trying to change someone to fit who you think he should be, acknowledge the places where you diverge and set time in the relationship aside for each of you to pursue your distinctive passions individually. At the same time, talk with your partner about your differences, and get him to expound upon things that you don’t normally share. Give your partner room to breathe and expect the same. Flourishing as individuals can help strengthen the bonds you share as a couple.
I’m not talking about birthdays, anniversaries or some other formal celebration. I’m talking about a random no-good Tuesday. Take him or her out to dinner. Put some flowers on the bed. Clean the kitchen so they don’t have to. Little surprises that mean something can express “I love you” far better than measly words.
When a person feels loved, they’ll bend over backwards to keep that feeling alive. Reciprocation is an infectious disease and when you treat someone you love with love, it’s nearly impossible for them not to return it.
Speak Openly and Honestly:
Never be afraid to ask for what you want and don’t hide things that you feel you need to talk about. Unresolved disputes and unspoken concerns are the biggest obstacles to a growing relationship. Give each other permission to be honest with each other without fear of reprisal, while simultaneously expressing your feelings in compassionate and even terms. Your partner isn’t a mind reader and can’t always tell when you are upset or worried. Learn to talk through your disagreements and foster an atmosphere where neither of you is afraid to speak your mind.
Obviously forgiving people for their mistakes is a biggie, but what people don’t realize is that most of the time we don’t actually forgive. When your husband or wife forgets to take the dogs on a walk, leaving you with the pain and he or she apologizes sincerely, bringing it up as ammo in the next battle means you did not forgive them in the first place.
Bringing up the past is a crutch and it creates bitterness because the person being criticized will inevitably feel like their significant other has not accepted the mistake, which in turn brings feelings of mistrust.
Of course, if your girlfriend has cheated on you, that’s a different story. You have a right to hold on to that until things come around, but forget about all the stuff that doesn’t really matter. It will make loving someone so much easier.
Maintain Your Sense of Self:
Partners must learn to balance their needs as individuals with their needs as a couple. On one hand, you don’t want people to be too far apart emotionally. If you don’t spend time together, you become disengaged emotionally, says Kaplan. The other end of the spectrum is couples that become too dependent on each other and their individual identity gets lost. Ideally, the two of you should be close enough to have intimacy, yet far enough away to have individual identity, says Kaplan. Don’t be afraid to develop some friendships and interests separate from your partner.