Loving relationships are among the most beautiful things that the world has to offer. The right partner can help give your life more meaning and open the door to so much happiness. Every day becomes more exciting because it’s more time that you get to spend together.
Once you’ve found your forever partner, it’s essential to handle your relationship with care, keep it thriving, and appreciate its significance in your life. There are endless lists of things that you could do to make your relationship loving and strong. Here’s a brief list of five of the most important ones.
- Be faithful.
Everyone knows that having physical affairs while in committed relationships is a mistake. It’s the first rule on every relationship list. When you’ve committed to spending your life with somebody, whether you involve rings and a formal ceremony or not, it’s understood that will you protect your commitment with everything in you.
An emotional affair can be just as harmful as a sexual affair. Your “work husband” or your “boardroom bride” may seem like an innocent friendship, but you need to be careful. If you confide more, care more, and show up more consistently for the outside person that’s not your partner, you’re bringing a slow end to your committed relationship.
As you inevitably grow closer to the friend at work, you create distance from your partner. You may or may not feel that distance, but your partner will. The further you drift apart, the more difficult it becomes to draw back together.
- Don’t keep secrets.
Trust is the most important foundation of a healthy relationship. Most people have known and felt both ends of the trust spectrum.
It’s an incredible feeling to believe in somebody and trust them with everything. You feel secure, nurtured, and content. The other end of the trust spectrum is an entirely different story. We’ve all encountered somebody that we’ve learned couldn’t trust. When you don’t trust somebody, you’re always on edge around them. You have to tread carefully in any interaction with them. You’ve learned from experience that they could (and probably will) pull the proverbial rug out from under you at any moment, leaving you exposed and hurt.
For your relationship to work, you must be committed to establishing an environment of trust with your partner. If you keep secrets, you’re playing a dangerous game. And once it begins, there’s no way to win the game of secrets.
Whether it’s a personal, financial, or relational secret, it will only be a matter of time before it threatens the purity of your relationship. The longer you keep it, the more consciously aware you’ll become that you can’t be trusted. This ensures that you won’t be at your best in your interactions with your partner. If your secret is accidentally revealed, the trust your partner has built in you will be compromised.
- Have the difficult conversations.
Maybe you kept a secret from your spouse because disclosing it would involve a difficult or uncomfortable conversation. But the longer you allow your secret to linger, the more uncomfortable that inevitable conversation will be. It’s best to you address tough topics as soon as you can.
If something’s bothering you, take responsibility for the emotion and kindly present the issue to your partner. Air your feelings in the open and initiate a compassionate discussion about what needs to change to keep the relationship healthy. Don’t bring an arsenal of negative attitudes or discontent to the conversation. It will only be productive if you frame your concern in a way that makes it clear to your partner that you support and value your relationship. Unspoken resentment and discontent are just as toxic to a relationship as secrets are. So, strive to be honest and open with each other as soon as you can.
- Don’t hold grudges.
This tip is closely related to the difficult, uncomfortable conversations described above. Such conversations are important because they allow both partners’ concerns to be expressed and understood. But it’s just as important to end each interaction with closure on the topic.
When you speak to your partner about words or actions that hurt your feelings, your discussion needs to be the final time it comes up. The purpose of the conversation is to achieve closure. let your partner know how you fee, and make sure you fully comprehend each other’s point of view. Then, when you both agree that the issue has been resolved, move past it. If you store it up as ammunition to use in future arguments, you’re just as guilty as your partner was for the original offensive words or deeds.
Holding a grudge can only increase the level of resentment you have for the person you profess to care about the most in the world. Have the difficult conversations, resolve the issues, and let them go. Allowing the anger and hurt to fester will spell certain disaster for the relationship’s long-term health.
- Don’t keep score.
“I took the kids to school, and did the laundry and the dishes today. What did you do?”
Keeping a mental scorecard of the things you do to benefit your partner will derail the best and most important relationship in your life. When you reduce the daily tasks you complete on your partner’s behalf to lists of “things I’ve done” versus “things you’ve done,” you degrade the worth of the tasks you’ve completed. You’re no longer acting out of kindness and unconditional love. You’ve twisted the relationship into a competitive game. When your interactions become a one-upmanship challenge, it’s difficult to keep both partners satisfied.
If your relationship is important to you, these five tips are a great way to make sure it endures. Practice honesty and avoid secrets. Practice forgiveness and avoid resentment. Be certain your partner feels your love. Don’t force them to figure out if it’s still there.