Believe it or not relationships really are about the numbers. The Gottman Institute has found that in reasonably happy couples they have the five to one ratio in their relationship. This is the number of positive interactions to negative ones. If you don't want to end up in divorce, then don't let your ratio dip below five to one. This doesn't mean you can't argue with your spouse, but you do need to learn to manage conflict in your relationship. Couples that manage to deliver positive emotional messages even when they don't agree are much more likely to stay married. Here are five tips to help your relationship have a positive perspective:
- It's not what you say it's how you say it. I'm sure you have heard that. Body language and tone play a big part in what you say. Smile at your partner and speak to them in a pleasant tone. Don't look at them with your arms crossed when you are talking to them.
- Greeting and departing. Many of us are in a rush to get out of the house and by the time we get home we are exhausted and head straight for the TV. Often, forgetting all about our spouse. When leaving in the morning make sure to give your partner a kiss goodbye, and make sure you kiss them again when you arrive at home. This is also a great time to tell them what you appreciate about them.
- Soothe your partner. When you know your partner has had a bad day, stop what you are doing and listen to what they have to say. This is also a time when you can gently rub their back or arm. Make sure to take a genuine interest in what they have to say. Stay away from judging or saying things like 'you know how you are.'
- Don't forget about the small stuff. It really is the small stuff that helps create a happy marriage that lasts. Remembering, to say thank you, saving your spouse the last bite of cake, flowers for no reason or simply taking out the trash without having to be asked.
- And, last but not least. Remember to take care of yourself. I'm sure you've heard this before, but we can't take care of others unless we are taking care ourselves. This includes plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, exercise and positive self talk.