- Gender and Relationships
How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship
Is your present relationship healthy?
There are a lot of couples, families and friends who encounter conflicts during their relationship. We have discussed about “How to Mend a Broken Relationship” in my previous article. I suggest that you read it for a better understanding. To mend a strained relationship can be considered as a new start. However, fixing it alone is not enough. Sustaining it is another thing. You need to adapt a growth mindset. There are things that you need to do in order to continue that harmonious connection with each other. So here are some tips to maintain a healthy relationship. . .
LEARN TO FORGIVE and TRUST AGAIN
Inasmuch as both sides have already been hurt, you must learn to forgive and trust each other again. You should try to understand where the other person is coming from in order to learn how to forgive. It is not only by forgiving others that is important. Likewise, you should also learn how to forgive yourself if you did a terrible mistake. Forgiving is not just enough. You must learn how to TRUST AGAIN. Take away all your doubts if he once cheated you. Remember that you decided to continue being with him. If you fail to give trust a second time around, you may again and again end up in a broken relationship.
STAY FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
Since you are willing to give your relationship a second chance, you must stay focus on the present situation. Do not dwell on the past. Do not bring it up again and again everytime you have a discussion or an argument. Past is past. Learn to face the present and plan for the future. If you have doubts, ask the person directly. Concentrate on the existing problem. It will guide both sides on what to do next. Bringing up the past won’t help solve your existing worries. If you continue to blame each other, there is a big risk that your relationship won’t work. Negativism in your life can lead to depression, mistrust, fear and emotional distress. It will only add up to a bigger dilemma.
LEARN TO LISTEN
Listening is not just simply hearing what the other person is saying. To attentively listen is to understand what is being said and at the same time realizing what his/ her gestures may mean to you. You must also learn to read between the lines what your partner is telling you. The other person might have some concerns that he/ she doesn’t know how to express it. By listening carefully, you will be able to easily grasp it. This will help in resolving any discussion to avoid further arguments.
LEARN TO APPRECIATE EACH OTHER
When you learn how to listen and understand each other, you begin to learn how to appreciate one another. Try to find out more things about the other person. Tell the person why you love him/ her. A big hug will be greatly appreciated by your partner. Even by just telling someone that you like the food he/ she cooked will mean a lot. By saying “thank you” and a pat on the back will show your gratefulness. If you can afford, you can buy gifts to remember special occasions. Be more thoughtful. Be more appreciative. Do recognize the value of the other person and learn to show it.
When you start into a new relationship, you have to agree to be open and honest with each other. This will determine your trust level. It is much better if you can set rules within your family. For families, rules will help discipline the kids. For couples, do set limitations and boundaries. Agree on something that is beneficial to both sides. Make sure that everybody gets hear. In this way, you will know the likes and dislikes of each other. Do not impose because it will make you look stubborn. Be flexible also but with a reason. You should organized things and schedule in order to maintain a healthy relationship.
INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER
As we have mentioned in our previous article, take time-out from your busy schedule. Set activities that will make you all enjoy the day. Spend time alone together. Go out sometimes and have fun even if life seems so hard. If possible, get daily updates about the other person. This creates an open communication between you and your partners, family or friends. An open communication strengthens a relationship. It will also show that you are interested about his/ her activities in life. By knowing something about the other person, you will learn better to appreciate him/ her as an individual.
JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP
No couples can live on their own. It is also important that you join groups with same interest and values in life. These will help you to look at the bigger picture about relationships. You can share your experiences with each other. You will also learn from others point of view. However, you must also choose and know something about the type of crowd before you will get involved. Joining church group or professional counseling team can support couples in maintaining a healthy relationship. Church leaders or experts can give you advices that are worth considering also.
MAINTAIN A BETTER SEX LIFE
For couples, it is important to maintain a healthy sex life. As mentioned in the book “Women’s Health Wisdom 2002”, “A study from the United Kingdom reports that couples who engage in regular sexual activities tend to look much younger than their counterparts. People who are sexually active tend to enjoy sex more as they age.” You may agree that sex is important and rewarding. Never force your partner to give in. Be sensitive to each other’s needs. This is a significant part of bonding between couples in a committed relationship.
You should be open to receive and give feedback to each other. In this way, you grow together. Allow your partner to correct you. Do not become defensive everytime you feel that something negative has been said to you. Be more open minded. Do your own self-evaluation. Be able to learn from criticisms you received but at the same learn to clarify also. Likewise, you should also explain to your partner any feedback you want to give in a constructive manner.
You may also check out other articles on Understanding Relationship Communication, Signs of a Failing Relationship, What Causes a Relationship to Fail, Factors Why People Fight, and How to Mend a Broken Relationship.
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Tina, as she is fondly called by her family, friends and colleagues, is a Psychology and Business Management Graduate. She also studied Guidance...