A strong relationship doesn’t just happen. Developing the type of partnership that will weather the storms and hold up under pressure takes conscious effort and attention.
Here are eight ways you can strengthen your relationship.
1) Work on good communication
Good communication is fundamental to a strong relationship. When you communicate effectively, you can work through whatever problem you’re facing.
Oprah.com recommends asking your partner for what you want in a clear, specific, and positive manner, and then expressing appreciation.
2) Keep physical intimacy alive
In any strong relationship, sex is much more than just a physical act. It's vital for the health and strength of your emotional connection.
As something that just the two of you share, physical intimacy can make you feel warm and loved and pull you back together if you drift apart.
3) Learn to fight fair
The goal is not to win a fight, but to resolve the conflict with respect and love. Don’t attack your partner. Use “I” statements to communicate how you feel.
Don’t drag old fights into the current argument. Fighting fair means staying focused on the present issue and respecting each other's perspective.
4) Be positive
“Change from a critical habit of mind, in which you're very involved with your partner's mistakes, to a positive one, in which you catch him doing something right," John M. Gottman, PhD, author of "The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships" said, as reported on Oprah.com.
"Notice one small thing, and express genuine appreciation. That will change your interaction patterns from escalating negativity and criticism to building a culture of appreciation.”
5) Balance time alone and time together
With the right balance, neither partner feels slighted or smothered. This allows you both enough non-shared experiences to maintain a sense of yourself outside the relationship.
Time together is equally as important. If you don’t have quality time, communication and understanding may start to deteriorate.