It’s so easy to sabotage your relationship. All you have to do is attack your partner’s character, give him the silent treatment, be quick to blame, refuse to treat him with common courtesy, and most damning of all, show him contempt. Some say a good relationship takes work, but actually, maybe it just takes a little effort to avoid being negative.

And if you want to be really happy, seek out the positive. Concentrate on the good aspects of your relationship. Make it a practice to share fun and meaningful experiences. Or as the song says, Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Here are some tips:

  1. Have sex frequently and often. You might say, Duh. Of course couples that have sex often are more likely to be happy. Well, studies support this. Hormones released during sex create a strong bond between you. Give you a warm, intimate connection. So if you’re avoiding sex for some reason, find out why and solve the problem. If you just don’t get around to it—life is hectic—schedule it. Make sex the priority it should be.
  2. Have more positive interactions than negative ones. About five times more, at least. They don’t have to be a big deal. Maybe just a smile of recognition across the room. Or helping your partner empty the dishwasher. Catch him doing something good and encourage him. Give a compliment, a soft touch on the shoulder as you pass. Reminisce, share your dreams. Spend time together without electronic distractions. Really talk about something other than logistics. Think of what you can do for her that she’ll love.
  3. Argue with compassion, if you argue at all. Really, you don’t have to fight much. Do your best to try not to. Of course you will disagree. No two people think the same way about everything. But remain open-minded and empathetic. Learn to really listen to your partner without interrupting. Try to understand why he’s saying what he’s saying. What’s the thinking behind his argument? Above all, maintain your sense of humor and affection. When things get heated, inject a light comment. Tease in a way that’s playful and takes the edge off the disagreement.
  4. Bring out the best in one another. It’s called the Michelangelo Effect. The great artist saw beautiful figures hidden in a hunk of stone and sculpted that stone to reveal them. Just as interdependent couples seek to ‘sculpt’ their partners into their best selves. You support your partner, but more than that. You boost her self-esteem. You become her best ally, her biggest cheerleader. You help her become her ideal self. And she does the same for you. The happiest couples help their partners be the best they can be.

Empower your relationship with positivity. Celebrate together. Laugh together. Share new things. Enjoy a tender physical relationship. Live a happy life.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her at 949-510-9423 or  here: