Relationships all relationships whether it friends, spouse or romantic partners requires time, energy, and commitment. Many times, spouses grow apart because they stop doing the basics that make a good relationship. They stop doing the things they did before they married.  If you do these 8 relational strategies, you will have a strong and loving relationship. It’s not easy and it takes practice. There will be days when you will not want to do any of these things but persevere even on days when you don’t feel like it.

8 Relationship Habits That Will Improve and Strengthen Any Relationship

#1 Clear Communication:   Communicate your wants, needs and desires. Don’t hide anything from your partner. Discuss your feelings and concern, especially early in the relationship so that potential resentment does not set in later. Be an active listener when your friend, spouse or romantic partner is talking. Communication is a 2-way street so make sure that they are also listening to you, otherwise you will soon become frustrated, and resentment will set in. Active listening involves truly hear what the other person is saying and internalizing the conversation.  Repeat back important key phrases. In person, keep your gaze on the other person. Remember that communication is not just verbal, but it also involves body language.

#2 Spend Time Together:  Whether it’s just watching TV or doing outside activities. Find mutual activities you enjoy and do them together. Don’t force the other partners to do activities they don’t enjoy. Also, don’t lose your identity and stop doing positive activities that you were doing before you were dating. Everyone should have friends and relationships other than your spouse or partner that should not change.

#3 Show appreciation and gratitude: You will be surprised how a quick thank you or a hug or a phone call that express gratitude will foster true love with your friend or partner. Everyone whether they admitted or not wants to be acknowledged and loved. Showing everyone in your relationship circle including friends, that you care about goes a long way in building strong bonds.

#4 Look at Life through Your Partner’s Lens:  There may be many things you struggle to understand about your partner but start to look at life through their lens. Then you will better understand their feelings and why they react a certain way. Don’t expect everyone to think or react the same way you do.

#5 Resolve Conflict in a Healthy Way:   Conflict is sure to surface in any relationship but it’s about how you deal with the conflict. Never attack the person but address the behavior. Be kind and courteous and avoid yelling and name calling. Don’t avoid obvious issues that need to be address. Work through those issues in a calm and reasonable manner, always giving respect to your partner.

#6 Support your Partner’s Goals and Dreams:   Encourage your partners to continue their goals and dreams. Never put them down and never be selfish only addressing your own dreams and goals. Too many relationships become one-side with the support only working one way. Support should go both ways. If you notice that support of goals is only going one way, immediately address that issue to your partner for reconciliation.

#7 Give Each Other their Personal Space:   There are times when one or the other partner needs space. If you notice a momentary withdrawal, leave them alone and let them come to you when they are ready. However, if withdrawal is frequent, then there may be issues in the relationship. It’s important not to lose your identity because of your spouse or partner. Allow your partner to continue doing the things that they love even if it does not involve you. Having personal space varies from person to person but it’s a very important aspect of human relationships. Don’t panic when your partner needs time away from you or enjoys a particular hobby without you.

#8 Forgiveness is Key:   Remember no one is perfect. You will need to be forgiven probably as much as your partner. Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated. Do not hold grudges. Forgive offenses, particularly minor offenses and move on.  No matter what the issue, make it a point to forgive. You will have a much a happier relationship with anyone when you learned to do this one thing.

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