24 Effective, easy to implement healthy relationship tips and advice and ways to save your marriage
Category: Better Relationships | Author and Publisher: Elly Prior | First published: 22-10-2017 | Modified: 08-11-2018 | This article translated into Dutch
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I’m really pleased that you’re searching for healthy relationship tips and ways to save your marriage. To me, that’s a sure sign that you’re taking your role in your relationship or marriage seriously. Which means you’re already off to a great start!
It does take a little effort (or sometimes, a lot!) from both partners to make a relationship or marriage work.
But, there are lots of simple, easy (and mostly free!) things you can do to create a fulfilling and mutually rewarding partnership. The free advice you’ll find in this article is relevant for anyone who wants to…
- Learn how to keep their relationship in tip-top condition
- Reinvigorate a relationship that feels a little tired and dull
- Discover how to start a new relationship with positive intentions for long-term success
Do make sure the two of you *make time* for fun, friendship and laughter
24 Healthy relationship tips split into three sections
- The foundations of a successful relationship
- Practical tips to maintain the health and wellbeing of your life together
- Advice for when things get a little rocky
Ready? Let’s kick off with the basics first...
Healthy relationship advice: the foundations
Sharing your life with another person requires developing and strengthening bonds that will keep you connected through thick and thin. Beneath the surface of any successful relationship you’ll find (amongst other things) mutual respect and love, trust and effective communication.
Building these fundamentals into your everyday life together will help to preserve and deepen the connection between you. And it’s not too difficult to make that happen!
Here’s how you do it...
10 Tips for a healthy long-term relationship
- Invest in your relationship - time, energy, attention and love. Any living organism that doesn't receive the necessary nutrients for its survival will die, as will a relationship that isn’t consistently nurtured. Just by being on this page, you’re already ticking at least part of this box :-)
- Be kind, considerate and attentive - every day. Treat your partner the way you'd like to be treated yourself. You don't have to be religious to believe that this is just the right thing to do. If you're feeling angry with your partner too often, seek help!
- Show that you love, understand and believe in your partner without expecting anything back in return. And consciously notice and appreciate it when your partner does the same for you.
- Compliment your partner on three different things every day. They don’t have to be momentous - the simple things will do just fine. For example: their hair, their clothes, something they said or did, or a positive change in their behaviour. Can't think of anything? Try harder! After all, you’re with your partner for a reason. Remind yourself of all the things you love about them, and look out for opportunities to offer genuine compliments. If you need a little more help with this one, take a look at my free love advice article.
- Acknowledge - out loud - your partner’s strengths and abilities. Notice what pleases you, what you admire, what they’ve achieved or done particularly well. And let them know, at least two or three times a week, that you’ve noticed how capable, skilled or successful they are in their chosen pursuits.
- Thank your partner at the very least once a day for something specific they did that day, even if it was a routine act. Gratitude generates positive feelings on both sides.
- Smile a lot. Smile when he/she comes in, when they leave for work, when you say goodnight, and when you get up in the morning - even smile when you’re on the phone. You'll feel better and so will they. This is the easiest healthy relationship tip to put into practice right away - why not give it a try today :-)
- Do your partner a favour by nurturing yourself as well as your relationship. Be kind and positive towards yourself. Nobody benefits from negativity and self-pity, least of all you!
- Banish negative people from your life. You'll feel tonnes better, and that’ll have a positive knock-on effect on your partner as well.
- Talk about all the stuff that matters. A problem shared is a problem halved, but don’t forget to take the time to share your hopes and dreams too. Strengthen your bond by thinking together about where you’re going, where you’d like to be, and how you’re going to get there - both individually and as a couple.
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Practical tips for maintaining the health and wellbeing of your relationship
It’s very often the case that relationships can start to feel tired and somewhat dull once the honeymoon period is over.
There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but generally that’s as a result of a conscious effort made by both partners to keep things fresh, interesting and fulfilling.
Don’t worry - taking care of your relationship doesn’t have to turn into a full time job.
Simply just by being aware of the pitfalls, you’ll be better able to avoid them. And the healthy relationship advice that follows will help you to take an active role in making the journey together exactly as you’d like it to be and thereby save your marriage or relationship...
7 Tips for maintaining a healthy relationship
- Keep doing new things and enjoying new experiences together. It’s all too easy to let routine take over, and to get stuck in a boring rut. So, don’t fall into the trap of doing the same things day in, day out, week in, week out. Dr Helen Fisher explains in the video below why novel activities are so beneficial for relationships. (If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, start from 5 minutes in. It’s worth knowing!)
- Make time for conversations that excite and interest you both, not just the ones about chores and responsibilities. Ask your partner: what are they looking forward to tomorrow? What was the best thing that happened today? What made them laugh today? What did you do today that made you feel chuffed?
If these kinds of conversations just don't happen anymore, it's time to seek help. You can connect with an online, licensed professional therapist via my article: Online Relationship Advice.
- Make a conscious effort to live 'in the moment', rather than thinking about tomorrow or reliving what happened yesterday. Be grateful for what you have, and be present in even the most mundane of tasks. Bringing an element of mindfulness to everything you do can help you to become more grounded, and better able to take the rough with the smooth.
- Leave your mobile on silent and - gasp - in another room when you go to bed. Instead of staring at a screen, pay attention to your partner last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Apart from anything else, when the time’s right, isn’t it much more pleasurable to make love than to check your social media notifications?!
- Challenge yourself even more, and leave your mobile in another room whilst you're doing things together. Be fully engaged, both with the activity in hand and your partner. Actively share whatever it is you’re doing to strengthen the bonds between you.
- Watch movies together. Yes, really! Take a look at this article to find out just how worthwhile this can be: Divorce rate cut in half for couples who discussed relationship movies ⧉.
- Aim to be best friends as well as lovers. A satisfying sex life is an important part of any healthy relationship, but don’t forget the importance of friendship too. What are the qualities you’d find in a best friend? Take some time to identify them, and apply them to the ways you behave with your other half.
Healthy relationship advice for when things (inevitably) get a little rocky
The journey you’re on with your partner will undoubtedly have its ups and downs.
How you (both) act during the downs, and how you deal with conflict and its consequences, can help or hinder the success of your partnership.
Here’s what can help...
7 Pieces of free advice for a loving intimate relationship when you want to save your relationship or marriage
- Make a list of your partner’s good points and pin it somewhere you can easily see it. Whenever you’re feeling miffed with him/her, read the list carefully. Remind yourself why you love them, and make an effort to focus on all of their positive qualities. (And, in fact, it wouldn’t hurt to do this every day, not just when you’re feeling put out!) Be sure to share the list with your partner, so they can really feel how much you appreciate them.
- Don’t create unnecessary drama by making a big deal out of little things, and blaming your partner or yourself. Remember the wise old saying: “it’s no use crying over spilt milk”. It’s true! It’s just a waste of time and energy. It’s far better to focus on problem solving rather than recriminations. That way, you’ll be putting right whatever was wrong, rather than making it worse.
- When you’re having a disagreement, commit to noticing when you’re becoming over-emotional with frustration, anger, hurt or sadness. We’re much less able to be rational when we’re over-emotional, which means it’s never a good time to try and resolve differences. So, take time out when you need to, and stop talking before you start to yell. Have a break, and continue the discussion when you’re feeling calm and composed.
- If your partner reacts in a negative way to something you’ve said or done, review the way you communicated. Instead of automatically pointing the finger of blame at your partner, question if your actions contributed to their reaction. Could you have phrased or timed better whatever you said? Did you perhaps put your point across unnecessarily aggressively or accusingly? Effective communication is key, and we can all do with refreshing our skills every now and then! If this is something you both could do with working on, take a look at my positive communication kit for couples - you can improve your skills, and learn something new together at the same time!
- Never underestimate the power of a genuine apology when you know you’re in the wrong, or when you’ve been an idiot ;-) You know when that is. Be honest with yourself and your partner. Show remorse… and never make your partner beg for it. Your relationship is precious - don’t let it be damaged by a missing, “I’m sorry”.
- Be honest and transparent with your partner at all times. Secrets and lies have a way of revealing themselves, no matter how carefully you try to keep them hidden. Feeling the need to keep secrets can also be a sign that all isn’t well in the relationship. If you’re finding yourself doing this, it’s time to take stock. Is this relationship right for you? And your partner? Is it time to have a frank conversation, or perhaps even time to call it a day?
- Commit to making your relationship work. Or, and very importantly, if you’re having doubts, be honest and tell your partner how you’re feeling. Don’t just hang on because it suits you, or because you’re afraid of causing hurt. One unhappy partner never equals a happy partnership, no matter how much you may try to paper over the cracks.
Does your relationship or marriage need a health check?
Perhaps you’ve been trying your best to make things work looking for ways to save your marriage or relationship, but you’re increasingly feeling as though something’s not quite right.
Or maybe you feel like your partner’s not been making an effort lately, or you just can’t see a future together anymore.
If you’ve got niggling doubts or worries, the very best thing you can do is to be honest with your partner.
First, spend some time working out how you’re really feeling. And then, find a time that’s suitable, and do your very best to have an honest, calm conversation. Let your partner know how you’re feeling - and give them the time and space to reciprocate.
You may find that you’re both on the same page still, and that you can use the healthy relationship tips above to reinvigorate your life together.
Or, it may become clear that, actually, being together may not be right for one or both of you anymore.
Don't give up too easily though - unless you're in an abusive relationship. It's much better to learn to get through the tough times and save your marriage. Second and third marriages have an even higher chance of ending in divorce.
Either way, don’t let the niggles grow into monsters - they’ll only haunt you, and rob you of the time you could be spending feeling happy and content.
If your partner’s not willing to have that conversation, you can still work out what’s right for you by yourself. My relationship test will help you figure out if you’re truly compatible, or if it’s time to strike out on your own again.
I so hope the advice for a healthy relationship in this article has given you lots of ideas to help you keep your relationship happy, healthy and strong. Life is full of mundane responsibilities, chores to be done and challenges to overcome - but there’s also plenty of room to create fun, positivity and meaningful connections with other people.
In fact, my relationship tips here aren’t exclusive to intimate relationships. Many can be applied to the way you interact with and treat your friends, family and colleagues too.
You’ll start to notice positive benefits right away, so not only will those around you appreciate you more, but you’ll have every reason to feel better about yourself too.
It’s a win-win!
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