You want a better relationship with your partner? Many of us try honing our relationship skill set, like practicing good listening. Or good communication, for example. These are really good skills to have—in a love relationship but also in the office and with your friends. A partnership with someone you love requires a more visceral connection than those you have with friends or coworkers. Ticking off the boxes of learned skills is not as important as strengthening the emotional bond with your partner.

Recognize that your connection is crucial. Your partner is as important to you as your parents once were—they protected you, provided a safe haven for you, nurtured you and gave you a stable environment in which you could flourish. That is, they did all this if you were lucky. And if you’re luckier still, that’s what your partner does.

When you have a disagreement with your partner, your fundamental security is threatened and the way you live your life is at risk. This is why it’s impossible to remain even-keeled and calm during a fight—your existence is in danger and you are in high alert mode. It’s difficult to have reason prevail in such a situation because we are so vulnerable.

The signals we send to our partner—and those he sends to us—affect our well-being. That is, there is evidence that we affect our partner’s heart health and immune system. When we understand that our partner’s physical health is affected by how we behave, then we are more mindful of how we treat him. We can behave with more love and compassion.

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Here are some ways to do that:

Edit your behavior. Recognize when you are being negative and destructive. It’s the first step to changing your behavior for your own good because if your partner is less agitated, your relationship is better. If your relationship is better, you will benefit too.

Notice when you push his buttons. Ask yourself why you do it and examine the damage it does to your relationship. Understand that you are finding his sensitive spots and aggravating him.

Think about how to reduce conflict. The things we say and do in the heat of a fight are sometimes beyond our control. But staying out of fights altogether helps us keep our head and our heart. Deflate instead of exacerbate conflict. Explore how to forgive old hurts and refrain from revisiting them when you have disagreements.

Engage in great sex. It’s a way to bond. When you are physically close and caring, you become emotionally closer too. This can be a wonderfully healing cycle because when you’re emotionally close you’re inclined to have greater sex. Just a tender touch can be bonding.

Look at the long-term. Relationships have peaks and valleys. Sometimes your emotional connection will be stronger than other times. When you find yourself drifting away take deliberate action to be more loving and compassionate.

 

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact