7 Habits Of Successful Couples: How To Apply Them In Your Relationship?

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A relationship is a deep and transformative journey that invites us to explore the most intimate corners of our being and that of others. It is in this union where we find opportunities to transcend our limitations, overcome emotional and mental barriers, and grow together toward a state of shared fulfillment.

Through this journey, we are presented with the possibility of discovering a love beyond the superficial, a love that connects with our essence and drives us to evolve. In this context, we will unravel the habits that support lasting and happy relationships, those that allow us to navigate challenges and find lasting harmony.

Gottman’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

However, the path is not without obstacles. As we navigate this journey, it is crucial to recognize and learn from the obstacles that may arise. John Gottman’s studies on couple dynamics have revealed the so-called “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” that can herald the end of a relationship if not handled properly. Understanding these riders and how they affect our interactions is essential to strengthening and protecting our relationships, and thus continuing our journey together in harmonious and enriching ways.

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One of my clients has a couple who repeatedly comes home late. In session my client told me how he took this as a sign of lack of consideration and added that his partner “never shows up on time because he doesn’t care.” His default reaction when his partner arrives is criticism, calling him irresponsible and selfish, and reproaching him for always being late. This type of behavior can lead to a negative spiral in the relationship, fraying the connection and increasing resentment.

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To change any negative perception, it is essential to identify and challenge the underlying belief that is causing the discomfort. In my client’s example, the belief could be “If you are late, it means you don’t value me.” Recognizing that this belief is an interpretation and not an objective fact allows one to open oneself to other possibilities. The person might reflect on other reasons why their partner is late, such as traffic or an unforeseen workload, and then express their feelings in a more specific and less critical way, saying something like, “I feel worried and inconsiderate when you’re late without warning. Could you let me know next time?” Remember that whenever you speak from your feelings and your sensations and stop blaming the other, you are opening communication between the two.

The habits of long-lasting and happy couples

The key lies in the following points:

1. Open and honest communication

Create a space where you both feel safe to express your feelings and thoughts without fear of being judged or rejected. This includes approaching difficult dialogue calmly and respectfully.

2. Cultivate emotional intimacy

Dedicate quality time to sharing experiences and deepening emotional connection, fostering closeness and mutual understanding.

3. Practice empathy and compassion

Make a conscious effort to understand and validate the other’s emotions, responding with support and tenderness, especially in times of conflict.

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4. Keep curiosity and fun

Constantly seek out new experiences and activities together, keeping the spark of mutual interest and shared adventure alive.

5. Resolve conflicts constructively

Approach disagreements as opportunities to grow together. The repair technique is key here, which involves asking for a sincere apology, taking responsibility for our mistakes, or having gestures of affection who demonstrate a willingness to resolve the problem and maintain the relationship.

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6. Show appreciation and gratitude

Regularly express gratitude for the other’s actions and qualities, reinforcing the positive aspect of the relationship and cultivating a caring environment.

7. Establish shared goals and dreams

Working together toward common goals and maintaining a shared vision of the future, which strengthens commitment and unity within the couple.

Conclusions

I share with you a very effective exercise that I propose to my clients. In a calm moment, sit together and take turns role-playing each other in a recent conflict. Each person must express how they felt and how they perceived the situation from the other’s perspective. Then, share your thoughts and feelings about what you learned. This exercise helps develop empathy and mutual understanding, which can strengthen connection and improve communication.

The key to a long-lasting and happy relationship lies in the conscious practice of habits that encourage communication, empathy and mutual appreciation. By recognizing and overcoming destructive behaviors, and focusing on practices that nurture connection and love, we can build relationships that not only survive, but thrive, grow, and transform over time.

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