Remember back when you first met your partner? You were obsessed with each other, constantly sending mushy text messages, PDA no matter where you were, spending every waking moment thinking and daydreaming about them.
But those days feel long gone now. You notice that you two are fighting and bickering constantly, and you feel like there’s no way to improve your relationship.
Does this sound like you and your partner? You’re not alone: studies show that there’s a growing number of people who say they’re unhappy in their long-term relationship.
So what can you do? Can you get back to that honeymoon phase you had at the beginning?
It is possible! It will take some work, but as long as you both put in the effort, you can improve your relationship and return to your happiest selves.
Keep reading for 10 simple ways to make your relationship better, happier, and stronger!
1. Couples Therapy
If you find that your fighting and arguments simply cannot be handled without screaming and crying, you should go to couples therapy. Even if it isn’t as bad as that, couples therapy is an excellent way to get an outsider’s perspective and to learn proven psychological techniques that can help you overcome your issues.
One study showed that 98% of couples who went to couples therapy were extremely satisfied with their experience and 97% got the help that they needed!
Participants in the study said that couples therapy gave them the tools they needed to deal with conflict, helped make their relationship healthier, and even improved their physical and emotional wellbeing.
2. Hypnosis Techniques
A technique commonly used during therapy sessions is hypnosis. Before you panic, we don’t mean the type of hypnosis you see in the movies that makes people do crazy things against their will.
Hypnosis therapy is a proven therapeutic technique that can help people understand their motivations, their past, and their emotions easier. Using hypnosis can help you understand why you’re fighting with your partner and work through deep-rooted emotional problems.
Fighting with your partner can also increase your anxiety, making it hard to get yourself to confront and deal with the issues. According to qhhtofficial.com, hypnosis can also help aid in relaxation and reducing those feelings of anxiety, which helps you work through your issues.
3. Make Time for Each Other
It’s easy to get distracted by life and obligations as your relationship moves forward: kids, friends, work, and more all get in the way of one-on-one time with your partner.
But making time to spend with your partner alone is crucial to maintaining a happy relationship. One study showed that people were around 3.5 times happier when they took the time to plan date nights alone together.
Don’t think you have to plan extravagant dates every week. You could go out to dinner, order take out and watch your favorite show on the couch, do errands together, go on a walk, or even just grab coffee in the middle of the day when you have time.
Anything you can do to spend time with your partner alone is going to strengthen your bond and put that goofy “I’m in love” smile back on your face.
4. Break Out of Your Routines
You don’t have to plan extravagant dates all the time, but don’t forget to spice things up sometimes. Don’t you want to feel the excitement that you felt at the beginning of your relationship?
Comfort and routine are nice, but if you want to make your relationship better, you need to do some exciting things outside of your normal routine. Research proved that couples who did more exciting activities were happier and more excited about their relationship.
Try out that salsa dancing class you’ve been thinking about. Plan a spontaneous, romantic getaway. Go to a new restaurant instead of your normal place.
5. Have More Sex
Speaking of excitement, don’t forget about sex. Sex and intimacy are both important parts of your relationship that can, unfortunately, fall by the wayside when you’re having problems.
However, research shows that couples who had sex at least once per week had the highest levels of happiness and satisfaction with the relationship. And don’t forget about tip number 4 with this as well: break out of your normal routine and spice things up to make things exciting again.
Try playing some music, or experiment with new positions. Put on some lingerie for your partner, or wear something you know they find sexy. This will bring some fun and put a spark back into the relationship.
6. Look to Understand and Empathize
During arguments, it’s easy to get frustrated because it seems like your partner isn’t listening to you or hearing you. But be honest: are you really listening to your partner? Or are you just waiting until it’s your turn to talk again, so you can push your own perspective and point of view?
Empathy and understanding are crucial parts of a relationship. During arguments, practice putting yourself in your partner’s shoes. Can you understand why they’re reacting how they are? Can you empathize with their feelings?
The better you can understand your partner, the easier it is to reach some sort of common ground.
7. Don’t Avoid Emotion or Issues to Avoid Conflict
Looking at the almost opposite side of our previous point, make sure your partner is understanding you, or at least making the effort to. It’s easy to squash our own feeling and let ourselves be talked over if we just want an argument to end or if we want to avoid conflict.
But this will only lead to unsaid emotions and eventual resentment over time. You need to be comfortable voicing your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Do this by being open and honest in your communication with your partner.
If they aren’t listening to you or aren’t making an effort to understand you, then you might have a fundamental issue on your hands.
8. PACT Technique
Are doing number 6 and 7 on this list easier said than done? It’s easy to get caught up in arguments and only see your side of things, or not take the time to listen rather than shout.
If that sounds familiar, try the PACT technique. This technique for conflict resolution was developed by couples therapists and is backed by scientific evidence.
PACT stands for Pay attention, Acknowledge, Check, and Think.
Pay attention to what your partner is saying when they’re talking. Really listen to their issues, their emotions, and their thoughts.
Next, acknowledge what you heard and understood by repeating it back to them in your own words.
Then, you’ll check in with your partner as to whether you’ve understood them properly. Maybe your understanding of what they meant is way off and needs clarification. But if you nailed it, then your partner is going to be happy knowing that you understand where they’re coming from.
Finally, you need to think before you speak or make the next move. Is the conversation still productive? Will saying something now result in a different argument? Are you only about to speak to get defensive or to hurt them?
If both you and your partner follow this technique, you’ll be able to work through intense issues and better understand and empathize with each other.
9. Make (and Keep!) Promises
Making and keeping promises shows your partner that they can trust you and that you’ll be there for them.
These don’t have to be big things. It could be promising that you’ll text them updates when you’re on a trip, coming to their softball game, or tidying up after you and your friends.
And make sure your partner is doing this for you as well! If they break promises or aren’t showing you that they’re committed, have a talk with them (using the PACT technique!) about how this affects you.
10. Focus on Yourself
Our partner can’t be expected to take responsibility for our own emotional issues, problems, and traumas.
Perhaps you were cheated on before and you now have jealousy issues. Or perhaps you’ve been anxious about work and you’re taking your stress out on your relationship.
You cannot take those issues out on your current partner. There are issues that you need to work through and resolve yourself that can, in turn, improve your overall life and relationships.
So get yourself to individual therapy, take care of yourself, and recognize your own personal needs. You’re more than your relationship, and taking care of yourself will only benefit you and your partner in the long run.
Improve Your Relationship with These 10 Tips
If you’ve been fighting or unhappy in your relationship, it’s hard to see the bright side of things. However, even following just a few of these simple tips can improve your relationship immensely and get you back to feeling like a teenager in love again.
Do you have kids with your partner? Do you want to spend more quality time together as a family? Check out this list of family movies everyone will love.