Here are my tips for sustaining a relationship once you're past the fireworks
1. Learn to Argue skilfully. This is probably the most important and useful thing a couple can learn to do properly.
Good arguing clears the air and allows you both to be heard and understood. It allows differences to be respected
and valued what keeps a relationship exciting and fresh. Without good Arguments one partner can become unheard or you can merge! Book a session with an accredited Couples Counsellor for your anniversary MOT.
2. Learn to Communicate. Often one partner focuses on the Facts and the other deals with Feelings and the two are
kept frustratingly separate. In relationships many problems have no solution they simply have to be acknowledged
and processed. These are the opposite rules of what happens in Business or at Work, which is why many couples
who work together can struggle with their relationship. Research also shows that the optimum way to communicate is to offer five positives for each negative.
3. Pick realistic role models. It might be lovely to try to aspire to be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or the Beckhams
but it is not helpful in the grittier parts of life their lives do not have the same stresses and strains as yours.
Have you got a relatives you admire? Is there an older neighbour who seems to be happy? Ask them about what makes their relationship tick. They will be delighted to tell you (and may be honest about the downsides, too).
4. Understand how you feel loved and let your partner know. There are five ways to convey love; through offering
time, using words, doing deeds, buying presents We often give what we want for ourselves so check it out. Women,on the whole, need to feel heard and understood whereas for most men physical intimacy is essential to knowing thatthey are loved. In couples under 40 the male and female function is more interchangeable.
5. Have a shared Vision. Update it every Valentines Day or Anniversary; a short term plan and a long term one.
Feeling like you are on the same side is essential for overcoming all the intrusions into your relationship, from hobbiesand inlaws to work and children. Keep the relationship special.
6. Keep Respect. Love comes and goes in all relationships but a certain amount of respect is essential. Some peoplefeel a sense of failure when love evaporates under the pressures of life and can overreact. In past times there was
no expectation for love at all, it was all duty, respect.
7. Have a timetable. Make sure you spend time together. Life can erode the most caring relationship and phases
tend to become permanent. Most couples spend less than two hours together each day and most of that involves
household tasks, eating and watching television. Poor communication and not spending time together are the most
common causes of marital distress. Take turns to book a date. At the most desperate times, with young children
and work pressures, you may need to timetable sex! It is unlikely that passion will rear its head any other way be realistic and enjoy it.
8. Have fun. It is essential to have fun together; to share and to laugh or at least feel. Write a list together of 10
simple pleasures that you can share. Having a hobby or interest together is a wonderful recharger. Learn to dance that way you enter a new way of communication removed from the everyday life.
9. Think about life on the inside; so much of what we do is to impress others or is scrutinised by others. Quiz each
other on what really matters to you both.