Respect your partner. In order to have a happy relationship, allow your partner to maintain a sense of dignity. Don’t ever call your husband names or make degrading statements about his worth, even during an argument. Listen to your partner. Make sure they feel like they are being heard. Taking time to listen is one of the best ways to show someone you respect them.
Accept your partner for who they are. Don’t nitpick. As long as your partner is doing his or her best, don’t criticize them. Did your husband do the dishes, but not put them away exactly where you think they belong? Let it go. Sharing responsibilities means that things won’t always be done your way. For a happy relationship, don’t try to change things about your partner. There might be a thousand things about your wife’s personality that drive you crazy, but unless she’s actively hurting someone, let it go.
Make sure your life together is filled with more positive interactions than negative ones. Make time for fun. Don’t let all your experiences be about work, caring for the kids, making dinner and mowing the lawn. Don’t argue more than you laugh together.
Make sure your fights are specific. For a happy relationship, work on the actual issue, don’t make broad threats or statements like, “You never help me with the kids!”
Go ahead and sweat the small stuff. Bring up small issues with your partner so that they don’t evolve into a bigger, broader, less specific issue. Addressing smaller issues as they happen enables you to fix them. Don’t be afraid of conflict, as long as it’s specific and constructive.
Repair relationship hurts quickly. Being willing to make up quickly after a fight, instead of ruminating on the conflict, tells your partner that you value them more than you value your side of the argument.
Communicate your needs for intimacy, and be aware of your partner’s intimate needs. It’s okay to go through periods of time where you’re less in the mood for romance. Just make sure that you’re communicating to your partner that you still love him, are still attracted to him and that you look forward to a time where things are less stressful and the two of you can be more intimate. Also, for a happy relationship, you must listen to your partner’s needs, acknowledge them and work out a level of intimacy that you can both live with.
Communicate your needs for intimacy, and be aware of your partner’s intimate needs. It’s okay to go through periods of time where you’re less in the mood for romance. (Shutterstock photo)
Say I love you, a lot. If you can stomach it, indulge in cutesy nicknames and squishy love talk. When you call your partner by a sweet nickname or talk in a code language, you’re communicating that the two of you belong together, and enjoy being exclusive. If you’re not the honey bear schmoopy pie sort, simply being sure to say, “I love you,” often will let your partner know they’re a part of something you value.
Stay up late talking. Remember those early days in your relationship where it seemed like you didn’t need sleep to function? You stayed up late making love and talking about everything with your partner. Over time, as responsibilities of sharing a life pile up around us, we stop talking about the things that matter to us. Get back into the habit of telling your wife everything that’s on your mind, and make her feel valued and important by listening to her thoughts.
Show gratitude for everything your partner does, even if they do
those things automatically. Say thank you for a hot plate of food, take a moment to say thank you for going to work every day. Let your partner know that you realize and appreciate what they do and how hard they work. Don’t take your partner for granted.
Keep the passion alive, but not just in the bedroom. A happy relationship implies that you must share with your partner how you feel. If you’re feeling mad, show your anger, if you’re feeling especially adoring; lavish your partner in praise and admiration. As relationships go on, we tend to express our emotions less, and in more passive ways. These lukewarm expressions of feeling can bring your relationship down. It’s sexy to share passionate feelings with the person you love. Get excited about things and share that excitement.
Don’t wait to get help. Most couples are unhappy for at least six years before deciding to get help. Therapists say they could save more marriages if couples sought help before the situation became critical. If you feel like you’re stuck in an unhappy relationship and don’t know how to make it better, call a therapist before you’re ready to jump ship.