How To Have a Happy Relationship

Relationships can be tough. They can be a battleground of opposing wills. Here are 7 ways that can help you and your significant other have a healthier, happier relationship.


What Are You Looking for in a Relationship?

I've been with my husband for over 20 years. We met while we were both serving in the military. We were both barely 19 years old and still figuring out who we were as individuals. Together, we have seen and been through a lot—to say the least. We were kids trying to live as "grown-ups.". There
were many times we were forced to evaluate our relationship and what we wanted out of it.

These 20+ years together have taught us both so much about each other, but most of all, about ourselves as individuals. There are many keys to having a healthy, happy relationship. These seven tips have proven to be the most important and valuable elements that have allowed our relationship to not only sustain for such a long period of time but grow stronger.

To have a genuinely loving and enduring relationship, you need to be honest with yourself and your partner. You need to be willing to allow room for your significant other to grow as well as room for you to grow. And most of all, you need to let go of any feelings you may have of wanting to be "right" all of the time. In other words, to be successful in adopting these seven habits, you have to be willing to set your ego-driven needs aside.

Healthy Relationship Tip #1

Be Respectful of Personal Space

At the beginning of a new relationship, it is incredibly easy to create a pattern of compulsive behavior. Such as, continuously needing to know exactly where the other is, what the other is doing, and who the other is with. These feelings and shallow needs stem from a sense of insecurity. When love is young and new, it is common to feel these feelings.

If a long lasting relationship is what you seek, it needs to be built on a mutual trust, and respect for
one another's right to personal space. Not just your partner's but yours as well. Both are of equal importance, and a relationship built on anything but trust and respect, simply won't last.

When you find yourself in moments of insecurity and suspicion, take a step back. Learn to reflect and analyze where these feelings of insecurity are stemming from. Many times when people find themselves jealous, suspicious, and wanting to be overly controlling, it simply boils down to a lack of self-worth. Practice getting out of your head and into self-improving activities that promote creativity and growth. The more you honor yourself and personal space, the more you will appreciate your partner's need for personal time and space; and as a by-product will make you appear more desirable and attractive to your significant other, and vice versa. Thereby, allowing your relationship to grow a little more stronger.

 Healthy Relationship Tip #2

Freedom to Be Who You Are

Many times when a new couple starts to get serious, one or both of the individuals feel a need to try to change things about the other. Typically this is either how they dress, who they hang out with, how they wear their hair, or even how they act.

Trying to change the other person is a death knell in any relationship.

If there is a want by one or both of the individuals to forcibly change the other, then this is certainly a relationship that will not last. Genuine love evokes feelings of encouragement, acceptance, and full
appreciation for who the other person is.

It is important to remember that just because you are a couple, you are still separate individuals with different likes, mannerisms, idiosyncrasies, and quirks. That's what makes each of you unique and attractive to the other.

Rather than trying to quell each other's individuality, practice appreciating and celebrating the freedom to be who you are. After all, these same qualities are what attracted you to one another in the first place.

 Healthy Relationship Tip #3

Lighten Up

Life is short, don't take yourself too seriously. A joyous relationship is sustained by laughter. I don't think my husband and I would have made it as long as we have without all of the laughter. When I think about it, I believe that one of the reasons I said "yes" to marry him was because he made me laugh all of the time. One thing we constantly do is crack each other up, and it's usually through playfully poking fun at each other.

Another reason a healthy sense of humor is the heart of a long-lasting relationship is that like it or not, life is always going to throw you curve balls—some pretty significant, life-altering curve balls. If you don't learn together as a couple, to take life with a grain of salt and roll with the punches, you risk not only losing the relationship you have but losing your own inner balance.

If you want to spend the rest of your life with a certain individual, you have to have a sense of humor. Comedy is what keeps things fresh, youthful, and fun; which are qualities that are anything but stagnant.
Having a heavy dose of daily humor in your lives can make all the difference when it comes to making or breaking a couple.

A shared healthy sense of humor is the glue of any happy relationship. If you can't laugh together, you probably won't stay together.

 How to Rebuild a Broken Relationship—Tony Robbins

Healthy Relationship Tip #4

Be A Compassionate Listener

One thing is true, for me, for you, for your significant other, we all want to be heard. And not just heard, but really listened to and understood.

After being together for any extended period, many couples unknowingly create a pattern of communication or lack thereof. Our responses to things our partner says can become a bit automatic. So much so, that we stop listening altogether.

If you want to create a happy, long-lasting, growing relationship, you have to give your partner the same respect, concern, and consideration that you desire. If they are hurting in any way, that should be of great importance to you.  Great enough to stop what you are doing and give that person your undivided attention.

If you cannot resonate with this, you may need to re-evaluate your current relationship. After more than 20 years, I am still, deeply concerned when my husband is feeling "off" or bothered by something—and vice versa. The first thing I want to do is address what is troubling him and see if it is something we can resolve or something that simply needs a new spin on how to look at it. Whether or not we can resolve the issue at that moment is not as important as my husband seeing and feeling that he is not alone and that I care deeply about his happiness and well-being.

To be in a long, happy relationship, you must be willing to put their needs before your own. Even if you think what they are feeling is silly. Practice putting yourself in their shoes and treat them kindly, try to understand how and why they are feeling a certain way. You'll be surprised at how reacting in a compassionate, caring way (regardless of the topic) helps to resolve the issue quicker, calms your partner, and grows your bond stronger.

Healthy Relationship Tip #5

The Choice Between War and Peace

One thing you will never be able to avoid in any relationship is disagreement. It's going to happen. Healthy couples are usually made up of two individuals that balance one another out. For example, my husband can be a bit rigid, impatient, demanding at times, and brutally honest. I honestly adore these qualities in him; however, I am the opposite (which he adores in me). I tend to be too bubbly, absent-minded, too easy-going at times, and tenderly honest to a fault—in other words, too soft. Because of this, we tend to balance each other out rather nicely. When one of us is far too left or far too right, the other is always able to bring us back to the middle.

But, every so often we just don't see eye-to-eye. And that's OK.

Being in a long-term relationship requires a little sacrifice and mutability or it frankly, just won't work.

In every single confrontation, you need to ask yourself if it is more beneficial to create war or is it better to create peace. When I look back on the years we've grown together; I realize that many of the superficial things we bumped heads over were just that, superficial. Some of the things we fought about in the early days were so silly and irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Of course over our many experiences and years together, we have both learned not to allow foolish things to upset us. And on those brief occasions where we just can't seem to agree on a particular thing, we've simply adopted the phrase, "let's just agree to disagree." And leave it at that.

Agreeing to disagree has solved a lot of petty disagreements.

In the beginning, after the proverbial "honeymoon" is over, young couples will find themselves fighting tooth and nail over every little detail of life. This will make a relationship become weary very quickly, and over time, create deep resentment which will result in a total void of communication. Obviously, this is a relationship that has no future.

Healthy Relationship Tip #6

Forgiveness and a Short-term Memory

True forgiveness is forgetting.  We all make mistakes. Yes, even you. True forgiveness in conjunction with a short-term memory can be the saving grace of any relationship. When you are with an individual for as long as I have been with my husband, you will undoubtedly learn the art of forgiveness. There aren't many hurts or shortcomings that can't be forgiven.

Your relationship will most certainly struggle and grow tiresome if either of you insists on throwing shadows at the other. When you forgive your loved one, you need to do it with all of your heart and forget about it. They deserve a chance to grow and become a better person.

If you are struggling to forgive and forget, try to put yourself in their shoes; what if it was you that made that mistake. Love and care for your partner as if they were you. Everyone deserves another chance, and without having someone constantly bring up their past mistakes.

By throwing the past up in a person's face, you will alienate and eventually drive the individual to revert to whatever behavior caused the original mistake to begin with. Why bother trying to change when all the other person sees is your past?

Think about it.

13 Secrets to a Great Relationship

Healthy Relationship Tip #7

Be Thankful

An attitude of gratitude will go a long way. Everyone wants to feel wanted and appreciated, even a "tough-guy." A simple "Thank You" and "I appreciate you" can magically change and open any relationship. Whether it is bringing a simple glass of water to the other, or taking care of them when they are sick, gratitude makes all of the difference. Even in the bedroom. Who knows how many times my husband and I have "done the deed,"; I can tell you this, though, not one intimate time has gone by that we didn't say "Thank You" to each other.

I honestly believe that a simple "Thank You" is as equally as important as saying "I Love You".
Be thankful for the many things your loved one does for you, big or small; they are all equally relevant. When you find yourself focusing on the negative, shift your thinking to all of the wonderful qualities of your partner that make you feel thankful. And then, let them know that you are grateful for them, just by being who they are.

©2017 sannwi@
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