March 2014: "OMG"
10 Steps to a Stronger Relationship December 20th 2016

Planning a wedding is fun, exciting and stressful all at the same time. It’s easy to get caught up in planning your dream wedding. But, it’s also important to keep working on your relationship, so you and your spouse have a strong marriage once the wedding is over. Here are 10 tips for building a stronger relationship:

1. Don’t Keep Score – Couples who keep a running tally of who does more and who does less end up creating more resentment and conflict in their relationship. Instead focus on how your behaviors and actions make a positive impact on your relationship.

2. Pick Your Battles – I am sure you have heard this one before; this is because it works. Figure out what conflicts or differences you can just let go and move on from. Sixty-nine percent of couples’ conflict is irreconcilable. So, save your energy for what really matters.

3. Accept the Fact that Happily Ever After is a myth – couples will disagree and argue. It is inevitable. Commit to fighting fair and with respect rather than judging your relationship on how often you fight.

4. Focus on Changing Yourself Rather than Changing your Partner – As much as we all wish we had the ability to control others, we don’t. And most attempts to change your partner will only lead to conflict in the relationship. Instead, focus on how you can make a positive impact on your relationship through your behaviors and actions.

5. Make your friendship a priority – Couples who play together, stay together. That is because a strong friendship will help a couple stay connected even when there is a conflict. When you feel like your partner likes you, you will be more open to sharing your feelings and listening to theirs.

6. Stop fighting to win – If one partner wins, the relationship loses. That is because your partner will not feel validated or that their opinion was respected. Instead fight for the relationship and use moments of conflict to better understand each other, even if your opinions differ.

7. See your partner as your ally, not your enemy – you and your partner both want to have a strong relationship, so work as a team to make things better. Remember that the two of you are both responsible for the health of your relationship and the only way to keep it strong is to see your partner as your teammate.

8. Take Responsibility for your Actions – It is okay to be wrong. And it is okay to make a mistake. But when you do, don’t defend your bad behavior. That will just push your partner away. Instead own up to your behaviors and actions and see what needs to happen for the two of you to move past it.

9. Separate your Emotions from your behaviors – just because you are angry with your partner doesn’t mean that you have to treat them with aggression and disrespect. Instead acknowledge your emotions and decide how to behave based on logic and what really matters to you.

10. Remember that Love is a verb and not a noun – you need to show love in order to have love in your relationship. Stop focusing on your partner and their actions and look at changing your own.

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