Habits for a Better and More Fulfilling Relationship
Sometimes it’s easier to criticize what a partner is doing wrong rather than focus on what’s right. It can become a damaging habit, commenting on behavior, slipping into the role of critic on everything from how your partner is driving to how they parent. With the US in the top 10 most divorce-prone countries, the chances of your marriage becoming just another statistic are high.
But faced with the cards stacked against a long, happy and healthy marriage, are we supposed to just throw up our hands?
Absolutely not. We can cultivate habits that can make our relationships stronger and more fulfilling.
You know how great it feels to actually be listened to and heard. Part of being a great conversationalist is offering up that feeling to others. A recent Fast Company article offered a step-by-step guide to building better relationships. Not surprisingly, many of their recommendations were about talking! That is, about the give-and-take of a conversation.
Half of a conversation should be about listening—and not just listening for a breath so you can jump in. It’s about really hearing what the other person is expressing. This is important, too, for asking the right questions and passing along information that may be interesting to the person you’re talking to. You’ll be surprised how soon this level of mindful engagement as a listener and questioner will turn into genuine understanding of the other person.
The Role of Respect in a Relationship
Aretha Franklin really did nail it. Respect, in relationships, is everything. Respect—for your spouse’s time, interests, friend, family, and well-being—often comes easy in the first flushes of love. But as the days and years go by, it’s easy to let that first instinct of respect disappear, especially if those old quirks become annoyances. Respect, too, is key to good communication. Giving someone the chance to express themselves and actually listening is an exercise in showing and giving respect and is a crucial habit for better relationships.
Have Fun Together
Laughing together may not solve a problem, but it sure can put you in the right mindset to tackle it. A recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that shared laughter is a key indicator of relationship well-being. So, finding time to laugh together is a habit that can form better relationships.
Discuss More Habits for Better Relationships
Even if you are working to form habits that strengthen your relationship, contention can still arise. If you would like to discuss issues in your relationship and what to do about them, reach out to a Westchester lawyer.