Your marriage or romantic partnership is supposed to be the most important relationship you have in your life. When you decide to spend your life with someone, you may ultimately raise kids with them, make big decisions such as buying a house, and this is the person that will be your priority in terms of relationships in your life.
However, having a healthy and happy relationship can be a challenge. Even though divorce rates are on the decline, it still takes work to keep a romantic relationship in-tact. Building a strong, healthy foundation is essential. It’s important to have a healthy family unit even beyond your marriage partnership as well.
The following are some things to know for people who want to build a healthy relationship that will also be enduring over time.
What If You Don’t Have an Example?
People often fear that if they’ve never seen healthy relationships throughout their life or they’ve seen downright dysfunctional marriage and relationships, particularly among their parents, that they’re doomed to repeat the same patterns.
Jared Williams recently wrote about how you can build a healthy relationship when you’ve never seen one on the blog BlackLove.com. He writes about the fact that you’re not recreating what you’ve seen as you’re building a healthy partnership. Instead, you’re creating something that’s completely different and unique from anything you’ve seen in the past.
Williams goes on to say that he believes what can help a relationship work is by starting with personal development and from there progressing on with the development of your partnership.
Choosing the Right Person
Sometimes people who feel unhappy in their relationships that were supposed to be long-term might not have done the legwork at the beginning to make sure they were choosing the right person. When you’re still in the dating phase, you have to look beyond the superficial and what makes you feel butterflies at the moment.
You have to think about the less romantic but possibly more important factors such as having similar attitudes toward the important things in life and a shared interest in pursuing certain things in life.
Focus On Yourself
The importance of personal development within a relationship was touched on a bit above, and it’s important to recognize that if you aren’t good on your own, you probably won’t be good in a relationship or marriage.
People who tend to have the strongest marriages often felt that before they were married, they were happy on their own. People who tend to be unhappy in marriages often looked to their partner as a way to fix themselves or to make something right in their life.
Once you’re in a long-term relationship, you should continue working on yourself and also creating relationships outside of your marriage. This may sound counterintuitive, but if your spouse or partner is the only relationship in your life, you may become so dependent on them that it’s frustrating or stifling for them. It’s also healthy to be able to share stories about your spouse and have a bit of time away. That doesn’t mean your marriage or partnership isn’t your most important relationship, but it doesn’t have to be your only one.
Remember A Sense of Appreciation
Once you’ve moved past the honeymoon stage of a relationship, it can be easy to get sucked into the grind that’s inevitable with life. That can bleed over into your relationship, and you might stop remembering what you enjoy or appreciate about the person you’re in a relationship with.
Sometimes you can get into such a comfortable routine that it becomes dangerous for your relationship.
You can break out of the comfortable routines by showing gratitude for the little things your partner does that you appreciate, and trying to make your own small gestures that show your appreciation. Even small gifts on a regular basis can be very helpful.
Finally, you’ve probably heard about the importance of communication, but it can’t be overstated. You want to regularly communicate and also share your feelings. Sometimes when we’re in a relationship, we can feel like we should bottle our feelings up, to avoid conflicts or arguments. This can lead to ongoing resentment, and it’s not a good way to build or maintain a healthy relationship.
It’s much better to communicate as soon as an issue arises but calmly and respectfully. Don’t wait until something snowballs or you build it up so much in your mind that it becomes a huge blowout.