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Growing a Happy and Healthy Love Relationship

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Monica Correale

on 27 March 2015

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Transcript of Growing a Happy and Healthy Love Relationship

Foundation
Nourish
Problem solving
Friendship
Clear expectations.
Communicate needs as they evolve
Growing a happy, healthy love relationship
Four Behaviors to Avoid in Relationships
Conflict in relationships is bound to occur. Use these strategies to make sure that conflict in your relationship is both healthy and productive.
Self-care
Communicate your expectations
problems arise.
before
Build your friendship. Know your partner.
Research on Friendship in Love Relationships:
(From http://www.gottmancouplesretreats.com/about/relationships-research-conflict-friendship-meaning.aspx)

"Although down-regulating negativity and maintaining calm are important in a relationship, especially in a discussion of conflict, we have learned that it is not enough. Building a positive atmosphere of appreciation, respect and affection, both during conflict and in general in the relationship (in everyday interaction), turns out to be essential to ensure lasting change. And it needs to be focused on directly. Good friendship and intimacy between partners doesn't spontaneously arise just because conflicts are smoother. In the research, we isolated the factors that the "masters of relationship" practice to sustain their positive connection. These include turning toward bids for emotional connection, creating emotional intimacy by knowing each other's internal worlds, and building other positive systems such as courtship, romance, good sex, playfulness, fun, and adventure."
Sex
Things to discuss you and your partner have sex:
before
Communication.
Learn and implement healthy, nonviolent communication strategies
Be honest
Respect your partner
Remember that your partner has perceptions that may differ from yours. Communicate your interpretation of things clearly, but acknowledge and honor their experience!
(From: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/what-happy-families-know/how-to-keep-love-going-strong)

Start with good manners when tackling your solvable problems:

Step 1
. Use a softened startup: Complain but don’t criticize or attack your partner. State your feelings without blame, and express a positive need (what you want, not what you don’t want). Make statements that start with “I” instead of “you.” Describe what is happening; don’t evaluate or judge. Be clear. Be polite. Be appreciative. Don’t store things up.
Step 2
. Learn to make and receive repair attempts: De-escalate the tension and pull out of a downward cycle of negativity by asking for a break, sharing what you are feeling, apologizing, or expressing appreciation.
Step 3
. Soothe yourself and each other: Conflict discussions can lead to “flooding.” When this occurs, you feel overwhelmed both emotionally and physically, and you are too agitated to really hear what your partner is saying. Take a break to soothe and distract yourself, and learn techniques to soothe your partner.
Step 4
. Compromise: Here’s an exercise to try. Decide together on a solvable problem to tackle. Then separately draw two circles—a smaller one inside a larger one. In the inner circle list aspects of the problem you can’t give in on. In the outer circle, list the aspects you can compromise about. Try to make the outer circle as large as possible and your inner circle as small as possible. Then come back and look for common bases for agreement.


If you need some help, consider seeing a couples' counselor.
Free or low cost couples' counseling for students:
http://www.humboldt.edu/counseling
Tips to prepare:
http://www.yourtango.com/experts/lisa-kift/3-tips-prepare-couples-counseling
Maintain an Emotional Connection
Pursue your individual goals and interests
Be intimate
Show affection with acts, words, and touch
Lean on each other
Reveal who you are to your partner
Have fun!
Laugh
Work through problems
Specific suggestions:
http://www.sexualityandu.ca/sexual-health/how-do-i-know-i-am-ready-for-sex/talking-to-your-partner-about-sex
https://www.cnvc.org/
Expectations & Needs
Communicate clearly:
-whether or not you expect commitment and what the boundaries of that commitment are. For example, will you see other people? Are you looking for a long term relationship or a college fling?
-what you do or do not expect from a relationship. E.G., How often should you see each other? Who pays when you go out?

ASK and LISTEN to your partner's needs and expectations. Respect their autonomy while honoring your own needs.
Also, check out our Prezi on Assertiveness: https://prezi.com/r_b80fqbfc2k/assertiveness/

Know your partner well. How well do you know each other? To find out, take the following quiz, (adapted from Dr. Gottman's book). Answer each question True or False.
I can name my partner's best friends.
I know what stresses my partner currently faces.
I know the names of those who have been irritating my partner lately.
I know some of my partner's life dreams.
I am very familiar with my partner's religious beliefs.
I can outline my partner's basic philosophy of life.
I can list the relatives my partner likes least.
I know my partner's favorite music.
I can list my partner's favorite three movies.
I know the most stressful thing that happened to my partner in childhood.
I can list my partner's major aspirations.
I know what my partner would do if he/she won a million dollars.
I can relate in detail my first impressions of my partner.
I ask my partner about his/her world periodically.
I feel my partner knows me fairly well.

If you answered "true" to more than half of the items, your friendship with your spouse is an area of strength in your marriage. You know what makes your partner tick. If you didn't do so well, plan now to get to know your spouse better and become better friends. Like all worthwhile goals, you'll need to make building the friendship in your marriage a high priority, and you'll need to plan specific ways you will act differently.
Maintaining your own physical, emotional, and mental health is an essential component of having a healthy, happy love relationship.
5 Tips to Care for Yourself in a Relationship
1.
Take time for you.
Time away from your partner provides an opportunity to recharge, think, or engage in solo activities that bring you personal fulfillment.
2.
Be honest with yourself
. Check in with yourself around how you are feeling with them.
3.
Set healthy boundaries
. There is an emotional, physical and psychological space between people. We all have a right to our boundaries and can usually sense it when they are being violated. It’s ok to set limits and say, “no.” Be clear about your needs.
4.
Sweep out the toxic.
If you are in a relationship that consistently leaves you feeling badly, it might be time to reconsider why they are in your life. It’s an act of self care to surround yourself with people who positively impact you.
5.
Heal old wounds.
Many clues as to how we behave in relationships (intimate or other) can be found in our family of origin experiences. If you experienced trauma, chaos, questions around trust, etc – take the time to work through your emotional injuries to learn how to be the most secure you can for others.
See more at: http://loveandlifetoolbox.com/5-tips-to-practice-self-care-in-your-relationships/#sthash.FTEOB8jn.dpuf
Know the warning signs
http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/Content/Resources/warning_signs.html


Attachment.
Your attachment style impacts how you perceive and respond to others, especially in highly emotional or stressful situations. Knowing your attachment style--and working toward a more healthy, secure attachment style--can help you have healthier and happier relationships with others.

Learn more: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201307/how-your-attachment-style-impacts-your-relationship

Take a quiz to assess your attachment style: http://www.web-research-design.net/cgi-bin/crq/crq.pl

Learn how to change your attachment style: http://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-change-your-attachment-style/00020379
Seven Principles of Happy, Healthy Love Relationships
(Adapted from: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/what-happy-families-know/how-to-keep-love-going-strong)
1.
Enhance your love map
Emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other’s world. They have a richly detailed love map—they know the major events in each other’s history, and they keep updating their information as their spouse’s world changes.
2.
Nurture fondness and admiration
Fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements in a long-lasting romance. Without the belief that your partner is worthy of honor and respect, where is the basis for a rewarding relationship? By reminding yourself of your partner’s positive qualities­—even as you grapple with each other’s flaws—and expressing out loud your fondness and admiration, you can prevent a happy relationship from deteriorating.
3.
Turn toward each other
In a relationship, people periodically make “bids” for their partner’s attention, affection, humor, or support. People either turn toward one another after these bids or they turn away. Turning toward is the basis of emotional connection, romance, passion, and a good sex life.
4.
Let your partner influence you
The happiest, most stable relationships are those in which both partners treat each other with respect and do not resist power sharing and decision making together.
5.
Solve your solvable problems
Check out the previous slides on communication and problem solving.
6.
Overcome gridlock
Many perpetual conflicts that are gridlocked have an existential base of unexpressed dreams behind each person’s stubborn position. In happy relationships, partners incorporate each other’s goals into their concept of what their relationship is about. These goals can be as concrete as wanting to live in a certain kind of house or intangible, such as wanting to view life as a grand adventure. The bottom line in getting past gridlock is not necessarily to become a part of each other’s dreams but to honor these dreams.
7.
Create shared meaning
Each couple creates its own microculture with customs (like Sunday dinner out), rituals (like a champagne toast after an accomplishment), and myths—the stories the couple tells themselves that explain their marriage. This culture incorporates both of their dreams, and it is flexible enough to change as partners grow and develop. When a relationship has this shared sense of meaning, conflict is less intense and perpetual problems are unlikely to lead to gridlock.
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