The Secret to a Healthy Relationship
Relationships end for a variety of reasons, it could be financial differences, waning intimacy, or just falling out of love with each other. These all seem plausible, but each of them shares one underlining similarity, bad communication. Neil and I have learned (he was divorced twice and me once before we met) that the secret to a healthy relationship is to build it on a foundation of strong communication skills.
The biggest difference in my previous marriage and my current one is communication. In my first marriage, I was certainly more immature and bottled my emotions up. I didn't know how to share my frustrations or sadness. So I didn't. Then usually out of no where emotions would come exploding out of me and wasn't EVER well received or very productive :-( Poor communication drove a huge wedge between us. That lead both of us to finding conversations elsewhere. He with his friends and me with my work and we eventually grew apart. My second marriage is very different, partly because I am older and wiser, and also because there is a conscious effort to communicate and do it fairly. I think it's so important to show gratitude and appreciation for what your spouse DOES DO, instead of focusing on what they don't. I was guilty of that too. I'm such a driven person I assume everyone should be just LIKE ME...LOL But what I NEED is someone that BALANCES me. So appreciation and communication have been the biggest differences in my behavior between my two marriages.
Relationship experts all agree that bad communication among couples is the number one death knell of any relationship. This includes a couple’s fight style. All couples argue, sometimes it’s over big issues and other times it’s over trivial irritations. How these issues are resolved will tell a lot about the long-term success for the relationship. Some couples can’t fight without turning arguments into personal attacks that lead to door slamming and shouting matches. If that is the case in your marriage I would say it may be time for counseling. Personal attacks will only create resentment and anger. Nor does it set a very good communication style for children. Couples with a healthy communications style will argue smartly and listen intently. Couples with strong communication skills approach their arguments productively with mutual respect for each other.
While there are real issues that may derail a relationship, a foundation of solid, healthy communication is likely to keep the relationship from imploding and play a key a role in its long-term success. Communication not only plays a role in how couples argue but also in how couples grow together. It’s the key to feeling connected and understood by your partner. I think in the beginning of a relationship, during the dating phase, we DON'T communicate anything negative out of fear of rejection. Then, that sets the foundation to not really deal with topics as the relations grows. Then- many months later as the relationship becomes more "secure" our partner wonders why we "changed" and are now so "naggy" now. I feel it's important to show healthy communication and talk about differences EARLY ON in a relationship, specifically during courtship because let's face it, differences are going to come up, REGARDLESS and what better way to know if you and your future partner can work through them in a healthy way.
In today’s busy world, we plan our work and plan our meals, but how many of us truly plan intentional romance? Often times couples get bogged down in their own lives and activities that they put time together last. Especially when there are new lives to look after. Couples simply forget how to have fun together. Are couples connecting in meaningful ways when date night is a night in with the remote or a quick meet up at the bar for a drink? In most cases, they aren’t. One way to turn that around is to commit to spending time together to talk, catch up and have fun. Get a sitter and have some NO ELECTRONICS time together <3 Whether it’s planning a date night away from the kids and home, or working out together, spending meaningful quality time communicating plays a key role in any healthy relationship.
Successful, happy couples make each other a priority in their lives. They respect each other and make time for the relationship in their own busy schedules, while building on a healthy foundation of strong communication skills. Some of the books that we have read are the FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES and Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.