Admiration, trust and acceptance in your relationship

The topic of today’s episode of Emotional Harmony is the characteristics of couples that last.  Fostering the admiration, trust, and acceptance in your relationship depends on having enriching conversations and practicing social etiquette with your partner.

Healthy couples demonstrate affection with both words and actions, ensuring that both partners receive love as they desire it.  It is important to differentiate your roles as partners from your roles as parents, and genuinely and intentionally take care of your partner in both roles.  A practical way to take care of your partner is to do something special for them every day, no matter how small.  Be sure you set aside time to have 20-30 minutes of meaningful conversation every day, and keep the excitement of fresh love alive through dedicated times for romance.  I recommend that couples visit a therapist together several times a year to maintain the open lines of communication

There are seven keys to having enriching conversations with anyone, but especially with your partner:

  1. Take turns speaking
  2. Try to listen and understand
  3. Show compassion
  4. Do not give unsolicited suggestions
  5. Express your support of your partner and validate their emotions
  6. Look at the situation from your partner’s perspective and practice empathy
  7. Be affectionate, physically and verbally

In addition to conducting enriching conversations, there are a few specific social etiquette mannerisms to pay close attention to in maintaining or building a healthy relationship with your partner.  First, realize that there are some things about your partner that will never change and you knew about these things when you chose to be in a relationship with them.  Knowing this, accept you are the source of your own happiness and you can choose not to allow these things to diminish your happiness.  Second, respect your partner’s privacy and be courteous to them.  We usually let our guard down with our partners and do not think to say “please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry” to them as much as we do to our neighbors and coworkers.

It is important that you always admire something about your partner, and you will sometimes have to foster that admiration.  Eliminate false modesty in your relationship – accept your partner’s compliments and give them sincere compliments in return.  Be sure to create your own space to develop your individual hobbies and passions, as well as relationships with your friends.  This will keep you an interesting and maturing person, not relying on your partner to share every experience with you.  Another practice that is essential for the health of your relationship is doing things that make you happy – even laugh!  It is especially good for your children to see that their parents enjoy being around each other and find the time to be happy even in the rush of the morning routine.  Finally, practice self-appreciation.  If you do not even like yourself, it is difficult to allow your partner to express genuine praise to you.

Connect with Dr. Carmen Román:
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Podcast recommended by Dr. Roman

Beyond the couch hosted by Dr. Sally Nazari