Having a strong, long-lasting relationship takes a lot of work and cooperation between two people who come from differing backgrounds. Each partner brings to their marriage different expectations and ideas that must merge as the relationship grows and matures into one that will withstand time and trials that will surely come. The couple must work together and avoid bad habits that are a detriment to the formation of a healthy alliance. By avoiding the traps mentioned in this article, yours can be a relationship that lasts for many years to come.
1. Avoid the blame game. This game can ruin a wonderful relationship that is beginning to grow and develop. Men usually excel at this game when they are caught doing something their partner would not like. Women tend to blame men when they are upset. A bad mood, a stressful day, or an illness can cause her to blame the man for something that he is clueless about.
2. Don’t run out of things to talk about. Conversation is the key to a happy and comfortable relationship. Begin the day by asking how your mate slept. If possible, share conversations by phone. At the end of the day, ask how the day went and again share the events of the day. Communication is a must in a happy relationship.
3. Don’t air your personal laundry in public. Never argue with your partner in public. Sometimes friends will try to cause problems between a couple just to see how they will react. Handle your personal differences in the privacy of your home and when no one else is around.
4. Don’t speak badly about your mate. Sometimes people bring up trivial habits or idiosyncrasies about the other person which will cause them embarrassment or feelings of ill will. Always be positive and encouraging to your mate.
5. Don’t hide feelings about which you disagree. Differences in a relationship might seem like a threat, but how you discuss and handle these differences can add strength and power to your relationship. Bring out your differences and search for ways to work through them. By examining differences, you can renew your team effort in facing adversity.
6. Leave the small talk and superficial discussions for social gatherings. The conversations you have should be energetic, exciting, and have substance. Challenging the thinking of your partner will cause them to grow right along with you. Don’t spend valuable time speaking about unimportant topics.
7. Don’t continually make negative statements to your partner. Being negative sets that same tone for the development of your relationship. Negativity erodes self-confidence, self-worth, and the confidence that is essential for a couple to grow.
8. Don’t give up! About 80% of all married couples consider divorce at some time in their relationship. Persevering during difficult times makes your relationship stronger and more meaningful.
9. Don’t be lazy when it comes to working out problems. A relationship takes a lot of hard work and effort. Happiness depends how mutual your commitment is not how intense it is. Work together as a team to climb those hills and ford those streams of adversity.
10. Don’t keep score. Try to clear your mind periodically of events that have happened, words that have been said or injustices that have been levied against you. Keeping score on who did what to whom only serves to foster ill will and hurt feelings that will fester into an infected relationship.
11. Don’t forget to forgive. If you have been treated unfairly or you feel maligned in some way, it’s best to discuss this promptly with your partner and get all issues on the table. After a lively discussion, forget and forgive your partner.
12. Don’t smother your partner. Give them space to pursue their own interests and dreams and goals while you provide support for them. Allow your partner to accomplish tasks on their own which will develop their feelings of self-worth. A person who is happy with their own life will make a much more congenial mate. The power of independence makes a relationship stronger.
13. Don’t neglect your prayer life together. Surveys show that 75% of couples who pray together say that their marriages are extremely happy compared to the 57% of partners who don’t pray together. Prayer is not a quick fix for a troubled relationship, but it goes a long way to keeping a couple connected spiritually.
14. Don’t cheat. Happy couples are so devoted to the success of the relationship that infidelity is not even a word in their marriage vocabulary. Having a strong moral conviction in your marriage employs trust and honesty. These attributes are the backbone of a happy couple.
15. Don’t accumulate things to make your relationship work. Working together on a family budget will facilitate harmony and peace. You should not be materialistic in hopes that material things will make you happy as a couple. As you begin your relationship, take small steps in becoming financially stable; purchase only what you can afford together. Set goals and work toward them in a methodical fashion.
16. Don’t narrowly define your roles or limit them in the relationship. Because of the economic climate in today’s world, salaries, opportunities, and working relationships have changed dramatically. Men can be stay-at-home dads while moms become the breadwinner of the family. Honor each person’s contribution to the good of the family and work hard at the task with which you have been charged.
17. Don’t forget to have weekly dates. A happy couple will continue to have dates after they are married. Excitement doesn’t wane and relationships don’t falter when a time is set aside each week for complete devotion to your partner. This should be a special time where some favorite restaurant or hobby is shared and enjoyed. This play time will make dealing with serious issues or events much easier to handle when they come. Prepare for challenging events by spending time to enjoy each other’s company thus building your team skills for handling stress.
18. Don’t forget birthdays. A birthday is a special event and should be shared by a happy couple. If you can’t remember dates very easily, record it on your calendar which will remind you.
19. Don’t forget anniversaries. This is a special occasion for any couple who has stood the test of time and trials and invested their time in a happy relationship. A small token of your love and admiration should be offered lovingly to your partner.
20. Don’t open your partner’s mail. Respect the privacy of your mate in every aspect of the relationship and mail is a small step that you can use to demonstrate this.
21. Don’t judge. It’s easy to look at a person involved in a situation and project what you would do onto that person’s behavior. A smile can hide a lot of tears and pain. Sometimes your judgmental attitude will curtail a healthy discussion or a good solution to a problem. You must respect the feelings of your partner and understand they may only need you to listen.
22. Don’t always try to “fix” things. Many times your partner will only need you to listen to their problem or concern. If you jump in to fix the situation, you will miss an excellent opportunity to enrich your relationship by just being there for them in their time of need.
23. Don’t try to be a mind reader! You have to share with your partner your dreams, hopes, desires, and thoughts. You cannot expect them to miraculously know what you are feeling or thinking. Misunderstandings arise when couples assume what their partner is intending. A vibrant relationship depends on honesty and open communication. Talking is the fuel that drives your happy, healthy relationship.
24. Don’t be dishonest. You won’t have any inner peace if you constantly lie and have to keep up with what untruth you told last. Live your life with your spouse in a manner that demonstrates fairness, reliability, and integrity.
25. Don’t take your spouse for granted. Show your spouse appreciation by cheering them on as they accept challenges that will cause them to grow as an individual. Be happy for their progress and encourage them to reach for their personal goals and ambitions. Openly be thankful for the devotion they show to you and the happiness you experience as a couple.
26. Don’t forget to say those three important words. Hearing “I love you” is the bond that holds any relationship together. Your partner knows that you love them but they want to HEAR it just like when you first began to date. Say it only when you mean it but say it often enough to make a difference in your relationship.
27. Don’t control the remote. In many homes, whoever controls the remote is king! Share the duties of selecting the programs you will watch together and try to choose something that you both like. There will be times when each of you wants to hibernate and watch something that appeals ONLY to you but when you’re together, don’t demand control of the remote.
28. Don’t seem indifferent when your spouse is ill or not feeling up to par. It’s called TLC (tender loving care) for a reason and that reason can underline the caring and compassion of any relationship. Prepare a soup or beverage that will comfort the ailing partner. Take them a favorite book or magazine to their bedside and offer to read to them if they would like. When you become ill yourself, you will gladly find that the gentle touch will be repaid. Expressing concern when someone is suffering conveys more than words ever could say.
29. Don’t stay up working or watching TV long after your partner has gone to bed. This is inconsiderate of the spouse who has to arise early and be off to work. It also keeps the feeling alive that began your relationship; you couldn’t wait to be together and live happily ever after. Make sure that everything is fine with your spouse as they begin to relax for the night.
30. Don’t walk ahead of your partner. Happy couples are comfortable to hold hands in public and walk side by side. One should not lag behind and the other should not speed ahead as if they are in charge! It is important to share the beauty of your walk as companions not competitors in a race.