June 17, 2008

Secrets of Happy Relationship

-Develop a realistic view of committed relationships. Recognize that the crazy infatuation you experienced when your romance was new won’t last. A deeper, richer relationship, and one that should still include romance, will replace it.

-Work on the relationship. An untended garden develops weeds that can ultimately kill even the heartiest plants. And so it is with relationships. It is important to address problems and misunderstandings immediately.

-Spend time together. There is no substitute for shared time. When you make a point of being together, without kids, pets and other interruptions, you will form a bond that will get you through life’s rough spots.

-Make room for “separateness.” Spending time apart is also an important component of a happy relationship. It is healthy to have some separate interests and activities and to come back to the relationship refreshed and ready to share your experiences. Missing your partner helps remind you how important he is to you.

-Make the most of your differences. Stop and think: What most attracted you to your partner at the beginning? I’ll almost guarantee that it was exactly the thing that drives you most insane today. Take a fresh look at these differences. Try to focus on their positive aspects. It’s likely that your differences balance one another out and make you a great team.

-Don’t expect your partner to change; but at the same time give him more of what he wants. If both you and your partner stop trying to change each other, you will eliminate the source of most of your arguments. At the same time, each of you should focus on giving one another more of what you know the other person wants, even if it doesn’t come naturally. If you do both of these things at once you’ve got a winning plan!

-Accept that some problems can’t be solved. There may be issues upon which you cannot agree. Rather than expending wasted energy, agree to disagree, and attempt to compromise or to work around the issue.

-Communicate!! And here is a useful format for doing so, especially when dealing with incendiary topics: Listen to your partner’s position, without interrupting him. When he is finished, summarize what you heard him say. If you can, empathize with him even though you don’t agree.This will take him off the defensive, and make it easier for him to hear your thoughts and feelings. It’s hard to argue when you use this format, and best of all, you may come up with an understanding or a solution.

-Honesty is essential. You may share with your partner the things he doesn’t want to hear. Better this than to have him doubt your honesty. Mistrust is one of the key deal breakers in relationships.

-Respect your partner, and don’t take him for granted. Treating your sweetheart with respect is likely to get you the same in return. And regularly reminding him how much he means to you will enrich your relationship in indescribable ways.

Making these secrets an integral part of your relationship won’t be easy. In fact, your efforts may initially seem like planted seeds that never come -up. If you maintain your efforts, however, you will likely reap what you sow.