The problems that lead to explosive breakups or divorces often begin as small annoyances. Thus, it is extremely valuable to develop skills for coping with small disagreements before they become big problems. Any relationship can benefit from concerted efforts to keep it healthy and exciting. Here are some exercises you can do with your partner to help maintain harmony in the relationship.
- Take time to talk about what’s bothering each of you. Ask what you have done to make your partner feel disrespected, unloved, or under appreciated. Rather than responding defensively, respond with understanding in order to keep communication flowing and nip problems in the bud.
- Have an Honesty Hour. Set aside a specific time when you can each share how you truly feel about certain aspects of the relationship with complete immunity. This way, you each build respect for each other’s opinions, and there are no festering resentments.
- Don’t go to into bed angry. The longer an argument lasts, the worse it gets. Agreeing to resolve conflicts on the same day they arise (if possible) can prevent conflicts from turning into bitterness.
- Plan fun activities. List fun things you want to do together and agree to do at least one each month. Sharing positive experiences is an important part of making a happy relationship last.
- Eat dinner together. Even in the midst of an argument, pausing everything else to share a meal is a great way to enjoy each other’s company.
- Share Friends and Commit.