3 Secrets of Maintaining a Happy Relationship

The hardest part of any modern-day relationship is finding a way to keep it going. It’s no secret that over the last 15 years, the divorce rate has continued to be at an all-time high. Much of the divorce that we see is caused by two people who have lost touch with their relationship and stopped doing the basic things that keep it going. Whether you’ve been dating for one week or 20 years, time and effort are essential to making your relationship work. Three secrets of maintaining a happy relationship come from implementing positive habits that make a world of difference between you and your partner.

1. Catch Them Doing Something Right

How often do we find ourselves looking at our partner and saying, “Thank God you finally did what I’ve been asking you to do!”?

Although we are just trying to blow off some of our internal steam about the fact that it took so long for a task to get completed, our snarky remark can have a negative impact on our relationships. Every once in a while, we all have our moments. Yet when you continue down this path of constantly having something secondary to say that negates the effort your partner has put in, you create this stigma where it they feel like they can never do anything right by you.

Instead of focusing on the fact that they finally did what you wanted them to do, thank them. Make it clear that you caught them doing something right and you want to acknowledge it. It doesn’t matter how big or small the task was. Showing appreciation for even something as simple as taking out the trash or hanging a picture creates the foundation for a happy relationship.

2. Talk Smart about the Issues

It is impossible to go through any period of time in a relationship and not face some sort of issues. Couples today are boggled down with more issues related to our busy and tech-filled lives than previous generations ever were. The way that we communicate our issues can make the difference between finding ourselves in a rut and finding a solution to the problem together.

In order to talk smart about the issues, you want to do three things:

  1. State the problem in one sentence. Keep it short and sweet. I would like to talk about X.
  2. Describe how the problem has made you feel. When you did X, I felt like X.
  3. Avoid add-libing the past. This is the X time this problem has happened. I remember when you did it…

This three-step approach allows you to have better communication when something is wrong. It also helps both parties see where the real problem is without getting overly emotional and bringing in past issues or other issues that are irrelevant to the current situation.

3. Divide and Conquer Chores

The single most common argument among couples today is that one person does more than the other. This can be anything from handling the financial aspect of life to chores around the house to parental obligations. It’s understandable to feel like you’re being taken for granted when you’re the one who does so much more than your partner. However, relationships are about 50-50. Most couples go for long periods of time where one person is doing more than the other. You can help mitigate this particular problem by finding a way to divide and conquer the chores in a manner that works for you.

For example, if both individuals in a relationship work full-time jobs and are simply too exhausted during the week to handle cooking and cleaning, then obviously, something in your life has to change to accommodate for that. An easy solution is to take one day a week where you divide and conquer by tackling various household cleaning tasks, going to the grocery store and running miscellaneous errands, meal prepping for the week, and paying bills. It might not be the most glamorous way to spend a Sunday, but it’s one way to keep the peace and help both of you feel like you are accomplishing more together instead of feeling at odds apart.