A good relationship, in which you can talk to your partner about anything and everything is the MOST IMPORTANT protection against developing depression at times of stress. On the other hand, difficulties in the relationship between two people is one of the most common causes of depression. The following outline is a simple but very effective way of improving relationships between two people.
When two people first meet, they rapidly start spending a lot of time alone together, talking when they are alone and throwing in some friendly physical contact! In contrast, when they have been living together for some time, and without any conscious awareness of the damage that is taking place, a couple often find themselves doing much less of these activities, which are vital in the bonding of human relationships.
It often happens the two partners find themselves very busy, and when they are sitting in a room together, they often find themselves watching TV. When they socialize, they often make a point of catching up with friends at the same time, so that they almost never socialize just the two of them alone. Although both parties see themselves as working hard for the joint benefit if the relationship and perhaps of the family, they are often unaware of the fact that they are not maintaining the bonding of their relationship, leading them to become more irritable and negative towards each other.
5 Approaches to Improve your Relationship
- Talk to each other for 20 minutes a day! The one thing we are all short of in life is time. Deliberately spending regular time to talk with one other person only is objective proof of care for that person. It is therefore very useful to make sure that each evening the two of you sit down together, with the TV turned off, no newspapers available, and the children not around. Younger children may be in bed and older children can be told not to interrupt private adult time, a good example of them for future years as to how to run a relationship. It does not matter what is discussed, as long as arguments are avoided.
- The right of veto. To prevent these 20 to 30 minute sessions, perhaps with a cup of coffee or a drink, turning into arguments, each party has the right of veto, so that potentially explosive subjects can be dropped before they escalate into an argument. To prevent deadly silence after the veto has been used, the person who vetoes one subject has to raise the next topic of conversation. It needs to be emphasized that the use of a veto is a constructive approach, designed to ensure that the time together is a positive rather than negative experience.
- Got out alone together once per week. Having a nice time outside the house socially is very important. However, if this only happens in the company of other people, it takes away from the reminder that you and your partner can have a nice time together, just in each other’s company. This is an essential component of enjoying the relationship with your partner. When you were dating each other, you did not bring half a dozen friends with you every time you saw each other!.
- Make deals. As time passes, we are all tempted to become less patient with the habits of our partners, and indeed they may well develop new habits as the years go by. Sometimes, it is very useful to make a list in private of particular types of behavior that you would like your partner to change, and ask your partner to make the same list. Once a week, or less often, you can then perhaps make a deal about doing something differently, in return for your partner also doing something differently. Both people really trying to change bits of behavior that annoy the other, or are frequent flashpoints for arguments, again confirm that you care about each other, and want a good relationship.
- The package deal concept. Apart from you and I, nobody is perfect! We all have positives and negatives, and it is easy to take the positives of your partner for granted, and become preoccupied with the negatives. If you know you would miss your partner if he or she died suddenly, then you obviously are glad you have the package. Of course it would be wonderful if various other extras could be added, but if they are not perfect, then you do not have to aim to be perfect either!
All normal relationships have good and bad phases.