I have a confession to make.. I am a Dr. Phil addict! I watch his shows all the time on YouTube and on various apps. I rarely disagree with him and I think he genuinely helps people. One day I was sketching and he started to share his top six tips for maintaining a successful relationship. So obviously I threw my calligraphy pen aside to take notes of what he said. He didn’t expand much on each point but I felt each point was so valid, health, and real. I will expand from my point of view from my relationships and marriage since he quickly skimmed through:
6 tips for maintaining a successful relationship:
1) Have a Solid Friendship: Think of your closest friend, what do you do with them? You share stories, you connect, you have fun together and you are involved in each other’s lives. I saw a quote on Pinterest that said “Marriages don’t fail due to a lack of love but a lack of friendship.” Find an activity to do with your spouse and the right words will just pour out!
2) Meet Each Other’s Needs: it is so important to learn your spouses needs and learn how to articulate you own! Does your partner need more quality time and conversation? Do you need more physical touch? Create a safe and happy place in your relationship where those can issues can be discussed.
3) Set Specific Goals: what do you want from your relationship? Do you want it to move towards babies and marriage? If you married do you have certain financial and relationship marker goals? Think about them hard then go back to #2 and communicate what you need!
4) Get Back to Basics: Why did you and your partner get together to begin with? You found each other for a reason. Always go back to those original thoughts and feelings that magnetized you as a couple! For me it was my husbands work ethic, patience, and how happy I felt just being around him,
5) Take Responsibility: you can only take responsibility for your actions in the relationship; that’s why both parties both need to give it 100%. In my relationship I have to step and let my spouse know I care. For him that might me doing some extra laundry or doing the dishes. For him it might mean I need an extra snuggle and want his full attention as I talk about my day.
6) Turn the Negatives into a ToDo List: how I took this to mean was to stop crying about it and put some muscle into it! Since I can only control my actions, I need to step up and start fixing the problems in my relationship… And I’m finding the longer I am married, every problem has two people. No matter what the problem is, I can either make it better or worse. If I react in love and kindness, there is a huge chance my husband will do the same.
I hope these six tips were as enlightening for you as they were to me. Great marriages and relationships don’t just happen: they require steady work, the ability to critique yourself, and constant communication.