7 Happy couple tips
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graeme Armstrong MBACP
27th March, 20170 Comments
1. Happy couples trust each other
Even when happy couples disagree they trust their partner to be faithful, honest and to care and to have their best interests at heart. Happy couples tune into one another and step up when the other is in need. When disagreements arise, they default to trusting and forgiving rather than doubting and begrudging. Happy couples can trust the relationship as place of safety to which they can return over and over.
2. Happy couples don’t despair about their differences
They know that their differences exist and sometimes these differences are quite dramatic, yet they have the capacity to see these differences as part of the individuality and vital make up of their partner, they can embrace these differences to energise the relationship.
3. Happy couples are open, honest and kind
They know that their words and behaviours matter. Arguments are not an excuse for abusive and aggressive reactions; they take responsibility for their opinions and they take care about the words they choose to express their frustration and disappointment. Even when the message to be delivered is difficult to say it is said with care and compassion. This builds a psychological and emotional container of trust and safety.
4. Turn towards each other
During conflict, which can happen in any couple, relationship partners have 3 choices, to turn away from each other (walk away, give the silent treatment, switch on the TV), turn against each other (shout, behave aggressively with contemptuous remarks) or turn towards each other. The latter is the hardest. It’s also the one that works best, keeping the couple relationship truly connected.
5. Don’t try to make their relationship perfect
Happy couples know that a successful relationship is a real one, they have moved past the honeymoon period of great expectations and are more grounded, making them more likely to accept the cracks in each other as part of being human and not as projects that require change. Happy couples do not see their partner as a person, or their relationship as a system that needs fixing, but allow the “broken" parts of each other, their essential vulnerability and humanness, to meet and be expressed.
6. Express gratitude
It’s very simple: taking time to silently and vocally express your thanks for each other, the tiny things that are done, from washing dishes to putting out the old milk bottles, find words and reasons to commit further to having this person in your life. Gratitude promotes couple commitment, which builds a better future.
7. Make couple time
Happy couples know that they need to spend alone time, but also time together, whether spent watching a movie or going out for a walk; the old adage is correct here, it’s not the money you spend on this, it’s simply the time spent together to keep the connect and “glue” in the relationship going.
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