Healthy relationship advice can be hard to come by, even less expert advice for relationships.
I am a couple counsellor with 24 years experience. I've helped thousands of individuals and couples over all those years with advice for their relationship. If your's is crumbling right now, this article has some simple, but effective, steps you can start implementing right away.
Need expert advice? Relationship problems? Let's start with some essential information...
I know... the latter is a harsh one, particularly if you're already feeling vulnerable. However, you've no control over your partner - you really can only change yourself! Taking personal responsibility is one of the best ways to save a marriage or long-term relationship. In fact, it's healing for any relationship.
I'm basing that on the principle that there's always room to improve ourselves. No need to judge yourself harshly, it's all about taking an inventory of your own thoughts, feelings, habits, attitudes, actions and verbal responses.
Here are some basic steps with healthy relationship advice. They are behaviours and attitudes that contribute to a happier you and a happier relationship. Start by implementing them today and they may 'make' your partner fall in love with you again.
Here are the most simple, but powerful, strategies to create a healthy relationship.
Make more positive and personal comments to your partner or spouse. Simple isn't it? You just need to remind yourself again of what it is that you do like about him or her. You'll find this strategies can have some surprising results.
You know how easy it is to talk about the diary entries, the chores, the house, the garden, the kids, the awful boss or the difficult colleague. Then I haven't even mentioned how quickly you're ready to criticise one another.
Complimenting your partner goes a long way to cut through all of that. It draws your partner's immediate attention - possibly at first with some disbelief though. Don't react to that - simply observe.
To make it work, be sure to be specific and honest.
Don't, for example, say: "You look nice" - it's too general.
Instead say something like: "I really like the cut and colour of that dress/that shirt - it so suits your shape/personality - it makes you look sophisticated/sexy."
Make a habit of commenting positively on your partner's accomplishments. It matters not whether it was cooking dinner, attending or speaking a meeting, dealing with a fractious child, getting promotion, doing anything at all for the first time or sailing around the world. Again be very specific about what you noticed or admired.
Go ahead and compliment your spouse about:
This really helps you to refocus on all the positive aspects of your relationship rather than the problems you're experiencing and so avoid a divorce or breakup.
Professor John Gottman has found, through his extensive research, that couples who maintain five positive experiences for every negative one have the most stable marriage*.
These all very easy to do ways to save a marriage or long-term relationship.
Touch your partner often in a non-sexual way:
Particularly if, right now, you're having problem in your relationship, my advice is to rebuild your sexual relationship very gradually. Forcing the issue and insisting on sex isn't going to bail you out. If you really want to save your relationship, you may have to state clearly (if necessary!) that your touching is only to pay attention and compliment and not an invitation to have sex - if that isn't wanted.
If sex has been off the menu for too long, head over to my page on being in a Sexless Marriage.
Take an interest in the things your partner enjoys:
Getting this right is one of the best pieces of healthy relationship advice I could give you. You're bound to make your partner feel important and feel kindly inclined towards you. It would go a long way to help you avoid divorce.
Ideally you should naturally want to be civil anyway, if you're looking for advice for your relationship.
If you really love your partner, it may, paradoxically, be even more difficult to treat your partner with respect. It's precisely when you feel let down, that common courtesy often goes out of the window. That is because you care so much and are terrified that you may be about to lose them!
Yet resorting to communication spoilers, such as criticism, humiliation, stonewalling, sarcasm are the very things that predict an early breakup. If you've already resorted to this and you're at your wit's end, take the opportunity to connect with an online, professional licensed therapist before it's too late.
There's much you can do yourself though in the meantime. Don't wait for your spouse to lead on this - make the decision to take the following tips to heart and commit to them if you really want to know how to save your relationship or marriage and avoid divorce.
We all have important emotional needs that are essential to our overall well-being. You'll find the links to my pages on the Human Givens further down.
We also have inborn resources to meet those needs. Any behaviour (using our innate resources) can be seen as an attempt to meet those needs.
The question is: how do you contribute to - or detract from - helping your partner to meet their needs? If you can see what's happening in your relationship or marriage in the context of the 'human givens', you have a road map to help you save your relationship or marriage and avoid divorce.
However, if you're searching for how to save your marriage, I'd really like you to look at some additional resources now to help you on your way. Saving your marriage is important enough to warrant reaching for every available resource and tool - much cheaper than divorce! Take a look at my review of this blueprint by Lee Baucom, PhD.
Also think about hypnosis to help you get started. For further information, see: Hypnosis Online FAQ for the low-down on this powerful and cost-effective way to start solving your problems immediately.
I really hope this article is of help to you. :-)
I frequently update my articles based on feedback, therefore I really value your vote. If you think I've missed something, please do let me know in the comment section below.
Thank you so much in anticipation. :-)
What Are the Human Givens?
The Secrets to a Happy Relationship
Money and Your Relationship
How to Apologise
Before You Consider Divorce
How to 'Make' Your Partner Fall in Love with You Again
*Gottman, J., Silver, N. What Makes Marriage Work? Psychology Today, 19 June 2012, via Psychology Today