11 RULES TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP

  1. Share your day. People get together in the first place because they like each other and they want to share their lives with one another. Then, a funny thing happens: Life gets in the way. You get busy, life gets more complicated, stress becomes the norm. It’s easy to lose touch. So Rule #1 is to remember to make time every day to check in with each other, even if it’s just a 5-minute update.
  2. Eat dinner together as often as possible. This is both an easy and natural way to accomplish Rule #1. After all, everyone has to eat and breaking bread is a relaxing and comforting way to share your day.
  3. Go on a weekly date, without the kids, without other people. Make the dates fun – leave your problems at home, leave your cell phones in your pocket, bring a light heart and your sense of humor.
  4. Make eye contact when talking. Make eye contact without talking. It’s amazing how looking into your partner’s eyes can help you feel connected in a very deep, very real sense.
  5. Be nice to each other. Try some simple act of kindness each day i.e., send a short loving text, give a greeting card for no reason, cook a special meal, bring home a little gift.
  6. Treat one another with the utmost respect. Always say please and thank you. Say you’re sorry when you’ve upset your partner.
  7. Don’t be mean; don’t be rude to one another. No cursing, no screaming, no throwing things, no hitting. In other words, everything you learned in kindergarten is still true.
  8. Fight fair and make up quickly. Fighting fair means not bringing up every past transgression, mistake or hurt. Stay focused on the present upset, use “I” statements, tell your partner how you feel, “I feel this when you do that”, and take turns speaking and listening.
  9. Don’t go to sleep angry. Ever.  You may not always be able to resolve your differences by bedtime, but you can agree to disagree for now. Sometimes it’s best to give it a rest. In these cases however, it’s very important to agree to get back to the issue at a specified time. Make a date to relate.
  10.  Connect with touch. Kiss each other hello, good-bye, and anytime in between. Put your arms around your partner, hold hands, hug.
  11. Remember to tell your partner you love them. Everyone needs to hear the words “I love you”. If this feels uncomfortable it means that you’re out of practice or, perhaps, you never learned the power and importance of verbally expressing your love. Start practicing and you’ll be delighted to discover how easy it is and how good it feels.

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