We live in a busy world. One where need to get our kids to school, ourselves to work, the bills paid and a seemingly endless list of chores completed to keep our household running.
Given the noise and pressures we face in our lives on a daily basis it is not surprising that one area we can easily neglect is one of the most important, and that is focusing on our relationships with those we love.
When we take our partner for granted we can easily find negative interactions dominating our conversations and raising our stress levels through the roof.
This was highlighted in a study from the Gottman Instiute, through which they spent close to a decade studying the interaction of couples so closely that they could determine with 90% accuracy who would stay together and who would not.
What Dr. Gottman and Robert Levenson discovered was the importance of positive interactions between couples, with it taking 5 positive interactions to counter 1 negative.
If the ratio slipped below 5 then the relationship would enter troubled times, and if the positive to negative ratio fell to 1:1 or below, then the relationship would likely fail.
So given the stress we are all facing in our everyday life, how do we keep our positive interactions high and still deal with the issues that arise in our relationships?
Remaining engaged and focusing on the positives of our partner will go a long way to building a strong and thriving relationship and there are small changes you can make in your relationship that will help you stay in positive territory.
- Always have the tough discussions face to face, allowing you to read your partners intentions and expressions
- Be friendly with your partner more often, and when necessary, fight friendly
- In conflict look for common ground and opportunities where you both agree
- Look at your partner lovingly each day to show how much you love and cherish them
- Show that you are thinking of them by dropping a love note in their bag or send a text telling them how much they mean to you
- Take the opportunity to laugh with you partner, even at the smallest things, as this reduces stress hormones
- Our brains love novelty, so take the initiative in your relationship to do new things together
- No one knows what makes your partner happy more than you, so actively look to create interactions that you know they will find positive
- Show you care by taking every opportunity to demonstrate to your partner that they matter
- Show interest in your partner and take the time every now and then to treat them like they are new to you
If you are finding that no matter how hard you try that you are struggling to find the positives, then seek help from a qualified couple’s therapist, as you will be amazed at what some quality help will bring to your relationship.
If you’re interested in attending the couples retreat I am presenting on 18-20 May 2018, one space is still available. For more information or to reserve your spot click here.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.