How to develop a better relationship in the coming year?
If you are a single person, making daily decisions can be easy for you. But if you are in a relationship, things might be completely different.
I can still remember my first week of being married. I made a decision which I did not consult with my partner. That very day I realized I wasn’t alone anymore – that whatever decisions I will make, my better half must know it.
Adjustment is the most important undertaking of married couples. But it is not easy. In fact, the reason why some marriages break up is the inability to deal with life changes.
If you want to develop an even better relationship, there are many ways you can consider. But it involves work. A lot of it.
So how can you develop a harmonious and thriving relationship in 2018? The answers to this question are discussed below.
1. Commit to small act of adjustment
Harmony in any relationship requires a lot of work. It is not a one-man endeavor. You and your partner should work on it. Success in your relationship starts in a small act. But you need to be consistent. You can’t make it overnight. But the consistent small acts will lead you to the ultimate success in your relationship.
Psychotherapist and author, Abby Rodman believes in the importance of small acts of adjustment in achieving a better relationship.
“Ask your partner if they’d be willing to test something out with you. Say that you’d like your partner to name something in everyday life they’d like you to change. And you’ll do the same. Start small. This isn’t about asking him to get fit or deal with an addiction. It might be something as simple as, ‘I’d like you to text me at least once during the workday.’ Keep it simple and specific. Don’t say, ‘I’d like to hear from you more during the workday,’ because that’s too vague, leaving it open to interpretation and misunderstanding. In all my years as a marriage coach, I can attest that it’s the small things that have the biggest impact.” – Abby Rodman
2. Minimize iPhone use
Cell phones and other gadgets vie your attention with your partner. Sometimes you are unaware that you were not able to attend to your partner’s presence. This may be the by-product of technological advancement. Most of our daily activities are altered or changed.
Marriage and family therapist, Winifred Reilly suggests that if you want to develop a better relationship next year, you better break up with your iPhones.
“Divorce your phones this year. When you’re spending quality time together, park your phones at the door. Better still, shut them off when you’re spending couple or family time. Think you’re not addicted? Try spending a technology-free weekend. It may be harder than you think, but it will do great things for your relationship.” – Winifred Reilly
3. Commit to being a better partner
As I mentioned above, the success of your relationship requires work. You and your partner should contribute to it. But you can only do it if you are both committed.
Isiah McKimmie, a couples therapist, suggests that couples should be committed to cultivating a better relationship together.
“Often in a relationship, we focus on what we want from our partner and how we wish they’d behave. When we talk about change, it’s often focused on ways our partner could get it right – or what we’re not getting from them. But when two people in a relationship are focused on what they can give their partner, the relationship becomes much stronger and more harmonious. This resolution has you both focus your attention on what you can give to your partner.” – Isiah McKimmie
4. Treat your partner the way you treat your friends
It is one of the sad realities that couples treat each other like enemies. But they are kind with their friends and strangers. What an irony. Why not treat your partner the way you treat your friends? If you want to cultivate a better relationship, give kindness to your partner.
“Couples often treat their friends – or even much more peripheral people in their lives – with more kindness than they do their partners. You may give your friend the benefit of the doubt without hesitation. Do you extend that to your partner? How often have you had a tense conversation with your partner in a restaurant, and when the server comes to your table, you switch gears, smile, and are pleasant to the server? Why not be that pleasant to your partner? This resolution is about understanding that kindness goes a long way in dealing with the differences of opinion that all couples have.” – Diane Spear (couple therapist)
The quest for a better relationship does not rely on luck. It relies on the couples’ willingness to work together towards a common goal.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.