Your relationships change as time goes on. This is true of relationships with friends, children, and other relatives, but is often most important in respect of your partner. The change is natural, but it can sometimes change the dynamics and end up causing problems between the two of you. Keeping your relationship on the right track takes time and effort, and you can help strengthen your bond with these specific actions and skills.

1. Reinforce the Positive with Actions and Words

It’s very easy to get lost in negative thoughts, especially in a long relationship. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, whether in your relationship as a whole or in your partner’s habits, try to think of the positive.

If you are about to make a negative comment to your partner, even if it’s something small such as “You didn’t take the trash out”, try to find something positive to say instead. Even when the situation demands you to say something, try to find at least a neutral tone for saying it. It’s often very easy to accuse the other person before listening to his or her explanation.

The more positive the atmosphere is and the more you focus on the good things your partner does, the less likely you are to argue over small things or feel disappointed in your relationship.

 

2. Set Goals Together

We tend to perform better as individuals when we have a set of goals to work towards and this applies to relationships as well. Once the kids leave home and you’ve spent numerous years together, your common goals might not seem so obvious anymore.

Having something you both want to achieve can give your relationship much more purpose, as well as reinforce your ‘team’ mentality. Just remember, when you are picking a goal, pick something that you both wish to achieve.

 

3. Accept Disappointment

It’s nearly impossible to find a relationship where there are no occasional arguments and feelings of disappointment. Things falling apart or not going according to plan happens from time to time, and the sooner you learn to deal with these negative aspects of life, the happier you and your relationship will be.

Whether it is an aspect of your partner that you find difficult to understand or accepting you two won’t ever take salsa lessons together, as soon as you accept it, you will stop feeling bad about it. You can’t control everything and sometimes we hurt the people we love, but the important thing is to know it happens to everyone and overcoming these difficulties can help you feel better.

 

4. Rediscover the Passion and Laughter

When you are in a long-term relationship the mundane tasks of everyday life can quickly fill up the calendar and the passion can disappear. You need to understand that keeping things fresh takes some effort from both of you.

Try to take time to be with your partner without any modern day distractions. If you feel like you always end up sitting on the couch watching telly, have date nights where you go out. Remove yourself from the usual surroundings, so that you talk about things or try new things together.

 

5. Learn to Discuss

Communication skills are the most essential life skills to have. It’s easy to think you are listening to your partner or to feel like you are getting your point across, but are you really as good at it as you think? So often, relationship arguments are just about miscommunication and could have been resolved if we just listened and shared more clearly.

Furthermore, when you are talking about a problem, always try to find a solution. Returning to old arguments during a new one is the worst thing to do, so you want to deal with things and put them to rest. Remember that finding a solution can sometimes be realising that you both have a different way of looking at an issue and respecting each other’s opinion.

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