Have a look at these. They came from Human Given therapist Veronique Chown from a Couples Therapy Masterclass I attended in London recently. They are all very important undoubtedly but there will be some that resonate more with you and your partner.

  1. Mutual needs satisfaction is at the core of every healthy, happy and enduring relationship: actively direct and support your partner in getting their needs met.
  2. Stay in the present. Don’t bring up ancient history or other issues when discussing a current matter. Stay on topic and leave the past where it belongs.
  3. Take time out to allow heated emotions to subside. Calm down before discussing conflict. Bring to mind what you admire, appreciate and respect about your partner.
  4. Listen to each other without interrupting. Resist the temptation to criticise and blame.
  5. Know the non-negotiables. Know what you can change and accept what you can’t. There are some areas that are not negotiable between partners. Know what these are and give up trying to change your partner in these areas.
  6. Expect your relationship to fulfil many of your needs: do not expect them to fulfil all of them.
  7. Remember that men and women have evolved to handle emotions differently: don’t allow these differences to irritate you, delight in them if you can.
  8. Replace all criticism with requests. Behind every criticism, blame or judgement is a desire – express the desire not the negativity.
  9. Presume innocence. When in doubt about something your partner says or does, err on the side of generosity by ascribing the same positive attributions and good intentions that you would apply to a good friend. Give them the benefit of the doubt and ask questions in order to better understand your partner’s behaviour from his or her point of view. Be curious.
  10. Romantic love along with friendship is not an eternal flame. If fuel is not added to it, sooner or later the flame is going to burn out. Small acts of kindness and being attentive to your partner’s needs are the fuel that keeps the flame burning brightly.

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