In marriage it’s common sense advice to treat one another with respect and share love. But some are not so sure what that looks like on a day to day basis. That’s where things get a little trickier. Check out this list of marriage “don’ts” to make sure you’re on the right track to a lasting, loving relationship.
For A Healthy Marriage, Don’t…
1. Close the door to communication
How can you expect anything to be resolved without clear communication? Take the time to deeply listen to your significant other before responding. We often want to dive into an argument quickly and come from a place of reactivity and fear. Be very mindful of your intention before you speak. Ask yourself, is this for the interest to promote sharing and harmony or is this a need to be right or to control. Look underneath the words to the heart of the matter: often the visible disagreement is only the end result of a much deeper issue. Doing this will set the stage for a much quicker and cleaner resolution.
2. Assume it’s your partner’s job to make you happy
Putting the heavy responsibility on another human being to make you happy all the time is unrealistic and unfair. Tune into yourself and really know yourself. Love yourself. Meditate, journal, eat well and set out with the intention of discovering yourself. When you know and love yourself from the inside out, you are much better able to deal with life’s curveballs with ease and grace — and much less frustration and anger.
3. Withhold intimacy
It’s guaranteed that every couple will experience disagreements and hurt feelings. During these bumps in the road, it is essential to keep the usual intimacy going. For some, a single heartfelt touch is worth a thousand words and its weight in gold. To express love in this manner really demonstrates to the other that unconditional love exists. That’s important to a relationship: you should support and care for one another even through arguments.
4. Hinder your partner’s growth
All life moves in cycles, and as human beings we are no different. As in nature, if you are not growing, you are dying. We constantly have new experiences and this brings the possibility of changes. When your partner changes and grows, it can feel threatening. But trust that they are moving forward in a way that is healthy and important. You would want them to support you in the same way. Are you in a partnership or are you a jailkeeper?
5. Forget to make time for each other
If you are not actively carving out time to spend with each other, your relationship really has a poor chance of survival. We are social beings and naturally want to spend and share time with our chosen partner. But as other responsibilities, like work, friends, family and personal time sneak in, our partners often get taken for granted and take a backseat. This situation often evolves into a “two ships passing in the night” and “we just grew apart” scenario.
Marriages can be challenging, and making sure you’re steering clear of these damaging “don’ts” do take some effort. But the payoff is worth it: you’ll be nurturing a healthy relationship that both of you will find extremely enriching and supportive for years to come.
By Anita Yok Sim Ho for YourTango.com