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Monday, December 8, 2008

Tips for a Happy and Healthy Relationship

My darling husband (DH) and I survived my first week back at work. During this adjustment period, I'm reminding myself of these helpful hints for keeping the peace in our relationship:

1. Listen. Listen. Listen. This means active listening - eye contact, giving full attention, nodding, and seeking to understand. Unlike many men, my husband is a talker. When I'm tired, I feel like tuning out everything. Like most people, it's important to him that he feels heard and understood.

2. Show Gratitude. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. When things get busy, it's easy to overlook the things that are getting done. Saying "thank you," is an easy way to show gratitude. Just like praise, the more specific the better. So, instead of just saying "thanks," try saying "thank you for doing the dishes, I appreciate the fact that I'll get to sleep in a little later tomorrow."

3. Show respect. They say we treat the ones we love the worst. When I'm frustrated and feel like losing it, I try to ask myself, "would I talk to my best friend this way?" Usually, the answer is no. Sometimes I don't even realize my tone of voice until we end up in an argument.

4. "I love you too much to argue." My mom used this one on me all the time, and I hated it. But now, I've grown to love it. It usually heads off an argument by reminding us both that we're ultimately on the same team.

5. Assume the best. Sometimes my DH will make a comment that I'm just certain is intended to make my blood boil. When these comments lead to an argument, most times it turns out to be a misunderstanding.

6. Don't forget the hugs, kisses, and (well, you know...). After a long day, it is easy to hit the sack and forget the niceties. However, scientific research shows that (well, you know) is what makes men feel connected. So, if you're feeling a little disconnected as a couple, remember that typically women need more hugs and kisses and men need more (well, you know).

I'm hoping that these tips will help keep us as happy as a couple of love birds.

photo by AMICHAELMURRAY

How do you communicate with your loved ones?

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3 comments:

Jane! said...

I'm a hugger.
Great list - good reminders!
We get so busy this time of year sometimes we forget.

na0 said...

this was a good reminder for me today to thank my boyfriend for making breakfast for me before work over the weekend and for all of his nice back massages. :) i forget sometimes that he actually does do things for me and that it's not all one-sided. :)

Courtney said...

Thanks for reminding us all of these things. Reading #5 was just what I needed today. My husband made a comment this morning that I've been stewing over ever since, even though I know he was trying to helpful. I do need to remember that we are most definitely on the same team.