10 Tips for a Better Relationship

I read this article below. My thoughts are in brackets after each point;

1. Celebrate the small stuff.
"It's not enough that your partner knows that you take pride in his or her accomplishments. You have to show it. Making a fuss over the small, good things that happen every day can boost the health of your marriage."

(I know people who have the attitude that they aren’t going to praise the little things because that is expected and ridiculous but sometimes it’s good to do it because the other person’s esteem might need it)

2. Learn how to fight productively.
"The key to fighting productively is to recognize when a disagreement is going in the wrong direction and to take steps to calm things down and repair rifts."

(I don’t think it’s necessary to fight at all. We are adults, we should act like it. However, I understand where they are going with this and I agree it’s good to have foresight. Most people know their partner well enough that everyone by now should know if it’s going to end badly)

3. Silence is not golden.
"By staying quiet and avoiding conflict when things bothered them, they had missed important opportunities to cultivate and grow their relationship."

(Again, we are adults. We should know how to communicate. I think if we feel like we aren’t getting through to someone, we should do our own character a favor and take some lessons on better communication skills. They unfortunately didn’t teach it in school very well. We just have to Google to get pointers nowadays)

4. Don't put negative thoughts into the universe.

"Men and women who had pondered thoughts of divorce in 1980 were nine times more likely to have gotten divorced by the end of the study."

(Back to what my Grampa said, “Divorce is not an option.” Well, divorce does happen but I think if we can take that away as an thought during an argument, we would be forced into coming up with a solution)

5. Plan together.
"Couples who planned a baby's arrival or who were equally joyous at becoming parents were far more likely to maintain their marital happiness or even enjoy an increase after the baby was born."

(I like seeing couples including each other in everything. I am glad to see the old-fashioned mentality of what the typical roles are melting away)

6. Maintain a circle of friends and support.

"Strong friendships outside the marriage can take the pressure off your relationship, help you work things out away from your spouse, and ultimately protect your marriage from unnecessary stress and discord."

(This is ok if you have friends who are proactive at making relationships work or don’t have a habit of bad-mouthing spouses. I believe that can pull us away from the marriage and put the grass-is-greener mentality in our heads)

7. Overcompensate for mistakes.

"Do marriage math. Even when you make a mistake, tell yourself that you're going to do at least five positive things for your spouse to make up for it, and then do them. And don't wait until you bicker to turn on the charm. Nice gestures and comments go far in a marriage, they are easy to do, and they will help insulate your marriage from being damaged by the inevitable bad days."

(Ok, I guess this can work, but I think it’s best to simply apologize and move on with the understanding of what happened and true remorse. I do agree that prevention steps are better than trying to cure something after the fact)

8. Set the marriage bar high.

"Husbands and wives who hold their partners to a reasonably high standard have better marriages. If you expect a better, more satisfying relationship, you improve your chances of having one."

(I agree and disagree. Yes there are certain things you should expect, but I suspect entitlement mentalities could creep into the picture if we aren’t careful. I think it’s more important to accept our partners for who they are, not try to change them and encourage them lovingly in a way that benefits the marriage. Being an example to them is better than telling them how to be)

9. Give it a break.
"Sometimes, improving your marriage means giving it a break. Increasing your connections with family, friends and society is good for your marriage."

(I disagree with most of this. If you have to escape your partner, you must not enjoy being with them very much. I do agree doing things for ourselves and with others is good though.)

10. Be aware of your body language.
"Eye rolling is a painfully obvious sign of contempt, and it's a powerful predictor that your relationship is in serious trouble."

(I whole-heartedly agree with this one! This is childish behavior. The thing about this title, “Be aware of your body language”; that’s silly. Everyone is brutally aware they are rolling their eyes. It’s a form of communication to let your partner know you hold contempt. I think as adults, we can communicate better than that)

Overall, I believe the problem in most relationships is the “Me” factor. I think we have to give more love and be genuinely interested in making it work because love is the most important part of life, not just our close relationships.

But what do I know? I have a history of failed relationships! ;)

Karen :)

“I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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