We all want to feel loved and accepted. That means we must interact with others. But, we live in a broken world with broken people. No two people have the same upbringing, not even siblings. Experiences we have in our childhood play a significant role in how we see the world and our place in it.
These experiences also affect our relationships throughout our life. Conflict will always occur when we interact with others. However, it's never too late to work on strengthening our relationships and growing as individuals. Here are Seven Tips for Building a Healthy and Loving Relationship.
Establish a safe environment where both partners trust each other and share openly, without fear of retaliation, no name-calling, or making threats. Know when to take a break to calm down.
Know the difference between facts and feelings. Are you triggered by something your partner says or does? Chances are the emotions are attached to a prior event in your life. Try to separate your emotion from a situation by approaching it based on fact, not feeling.
Continually stay connected through healthy communication. Share your needs with your partner- they can't read your mind. Ask them ways you can be a better listener as well. Pay attention to non-verbal cues. These cues often reveal more than we expect them to. For example, if you are a stay-at-home parent and you want more help taking care of your children and house, ask your spouse in a way that acknowledges ways your partner does help, but that still lets them know more help is needed.
Recognize that you and your partner are individuals and may have different interests and views. Learn to give and take in your relationship. Healthy relationships happen when both parties compromise, not one side getting what they want all the time.
Learn how to resolve conflict respectfully. Since both of you want to be heard by the other, conflict is inevitable. If your goal is to win the fight, your relationship may not survive. Remember to forgive quicker than you take offense. Know when it's time to let something go and disengage from a disagreement.
Know that your life will go through cycles, as will your relationship. There will be ups and downs with each of you. People change! The 50-year-old version of you is going to be different than the 25-year-old you. Embrace the changes and adapt. If you are struggling with work and feel dissatisfied, don't take that out on your partner. Continually be willing to evaluate yourself and grow. Find ways to make sure you are bringing the "best you" to the table. When you understand your shortcomings, you will be less likely to judge others and where they fail.
Be patient. Be kind. Be faithful. Be loving. Be all in!
If you have any questions or concerns about relationships, whether you are single, dating, engaged or married, please reach out to us at Crossroads Pregnancy Care. We are here to support you as you learn to make healthy choices for yourself and your family.