Everyone always says a relationship takes work. Dr. John Gottman has been studying couples for four decades. The truth is relationships do take work, but not in the way you may be thinking. We can all learn a lot from Dr's. John and Julie Gottman. They have dedicated their lives to studying couples and what makes a relationship work. The following four researched based tips can help you strengthen your relationship:
- Soft start-up. When you want to talk about a difficult topic with your partner, be kind. Your tone and body language also play a big part in this. Use "I" statements. The Gottmans have found in their research, that you can predict the way a conversation will end by the way you start it. This will also set the tone for future conversations about the subject.
- Repair negative interactions. It's important that both people in the relationship take responsibility for their part in the problem. Even, if it's only a small part. Admitting you are wrong can be difficult. But, the research has found this is one of the most important parts of repair. Sometimes, conflict can't be avoided, we aren't perfect. Believe it or not, conflict can deepen intimacy in a relationship. Conflict is an opportunity to learn how to love one another better over time.
- Ignore the bad, praise the good. Observations of couples at home found that couples that focus on the negative miss the positive 50% of the time. Happy spouses ignore the negative and focus on the positive. For example, your wife wakes up irritable one morning don't make it a big deal. Then when she does something nice, make sure to notice that. Let's see what type of environment that breeds.
- Express a genuine interest. Ask your partner questions. Learn what is happening in their world. Know at least one important thing on their schedule before they leave the house in the morning. When your partner makes an attempt to connect, stop what you are doing. This will help you connect on a deeper level and learn about your partner's internal world of thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, etc.