|Posted on June 12, 2017 at 4:15 PM|
Over the course of working three decades in the mental health field, I have done my fair share of relationship counseling. There are no guarantees for long-term love, but there are tools to increase your chances. It seems as though many experts have varying opinions on what it takes to make your love last. However, most would agree on certain elements. This article will attempt to explore some of them. Here are your healthy relationship tips.
Show me the money! Almost everyone agrees that money is at the top of the list in terms of relationship killers. Next to infidelity, money is the cause for most domestic problems. Long-term couples understand this. It is interesting to me to watch the evolution of a relationship go 360 degrees. When couples first start dating there usually is a position of “my” money and “your” money. As the relationship gets more serious (especially should they move in together), the focus becomes “our” money and “our” bills. But what happens when one makes more than the other? Or one brings more debt into the relationship? What about individual spending habits? Money certainly can be a deal breaker.
So show me the money. In a healthy relationship the couple will put more value on the relationship and not the money. They have full transparency. They both know what is coming in and what is going out, and each has their own money for their own needs. So for so many long-term couples they come full circle with the “my” money and “your” money. They progress to “our” money and seem to work their way back to each having their own pot.
Full transparency is very scary. While in a relationship it is wise to keep your individuality, but some see that as a license to have a separate world. True while it is important to have your own life, not being able to talk about it breeds suspicion. I have actually worked with couples who hold the policy “no questions will be asked” on boys or girls night out. They tell me that this just works for them. I then remind them that if it did they would not be sitting in my office.
The point that I want to stress is enjoy your individuality. You don’t have to share everything in your life. But should your partner ask you a question, why wouldn’t you want to answer it? First, your partner is taking a active interest in your life. Second, by not talking about it suspicion sets in.
The door is closed for a reason. This is one of the healthy relationship tips that often saves a lot of time and arguments. I personally am a huge fan of this tip. Communication is essential for all relationships to survive. However, you can’t take your words back. When I think of all the couples that I work with who are holding onto past arguments, I realize that we often speak out of anger in a means to control. So I tell my clients to close the door. When a door is closed, the concept is to understand that the person who closed the door is not in a good place to articulate their feelings at that time. If we remember that we can’t take our words back, sometimes the price of silence is gold.
The key to this principle is to learn to respond and not react. When tensions are high, most of us react. Close the door and take some time. In most cases when you respond, you are saying exactly what you mean. And more often than not silence replaces the anger.
Give two, take two. Lets talk about all those things your partner does to annoy you. All those in long-term relationships could tell you every little thing their partner does that gets under their skin. But do you want to know why they’re in a long-term relationship? They don’t talk about it. It’s that simple.
Healthy relationship tip #4 is to take the two the most annoying thing your partner does and totally forget about it. Give them a pass. Then ask them to do the same in kind. What’s cool about this exercise is that you most likely will end up laughing at just how insignificant the irritant is. And who knows, you may just even learn something about yourself in the process.