Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts

Embracing the Single Life: 5 Tips on How to Be Alone and Happy

Bask in the glory of being single! Get to know yourself better and have the total freedom to do anything you want. Here’s how to live fully, love openly, and make a difference being single.
Woman jumping for joyWhether you just got out of a relationship or you’re single by choice, there are a lot of reasons why being single is an awesome idea.
Imagine that you see a happy couple walking together down the street … while you walk alone. How do you feel? If you feel envious, then it’s time to start changing how you view things.
Changing your perspective can make the difference between being completely happy with what you’ve got (yourself) and living a miserable life.
Jealousy, although a common human emotion, is negative … and nobody wants to be around negative people – not even your friends! So then the first step to being happy alone is to think positive thoughts so you can attract positivity into your life.
Think “Law of Attraction: Like Attracts Like.” Now, this may or may not have anything to do with getting into another relationship, but this sort of positive mindset has many other benefits.
Here are some more tips in how to make the most out of your single status:

1. Enjoy the Newfound Freedom

I mean really enjoy it. Being single can let you live the way how you want to without putting up with anyone’s restrictions. You can be spontaneous and join a last-minute road trip or do whatever you want to without having to explain to anyone.
Just because you don’t have a partner doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a trip or two with friends! Besides, being free means you can always flirt with anyone you like without having to feel guilty afterwards.

2. A Call to Love Yourself First

If you love yourself, you’ll know better than to settle for anything less; this includes toxic relationships which no longer serves you.
Being single lets you know yourself more, hence, it will make you realize who your ideal partner is and what qualities you’re looking for in a partner.
It moulds you to become a better person – we always learn from relationships if we just take the time — and in essence, become the right person for someone worthy of your attention and love.

3. Commit to Self-Improvement

A breakup may make you think something’s wrong with you, but although you accepted the role you played in the demise of the relationship, understand that it’s never entirely your fault. Now’s the time to learn from the mistakes you made and take active steps in correcting it.
Were you too jealous or too clingy? Read some self-help books to understand its root cause and specifically what triggers it. Got a bad habit you want to get rid of? Kick it for good.

4. Do Good Deeds

A charity bucket
Instead of stalking your ex online, make your time more productive by searching online for a local charity, club or organisation with a specific goal.
A recent journal published showed that people who contributed something for a good cause had played a key role in making these “givers” happy. Seeing someone smile because of something you do is priceless!

5. Reprioritize Your Life

Being single is a great time to rethink your priorities and focus on what you really want to achieve! Nothing can make you feel as powerful as having personal goals and seeing them come to life through your own actions.
As a side note, remember that being alone is way better than being in a relationship that drains you of your energy. A romantic relationship should be like a bonus in your life.
And yes, this goes to say that you have to find happiness within yourself and share that happiness with someone else … instead of expecting someone to make you happy and fulfil your needs.

12 Signs He Is The One For You

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You love him, but you’re not quite sure if he’s really the one you want to be with for the “foreseeable future.”
You’re confused. You’ve never had “the one” before and you don’t know how to interpret your feelings for him.
Don’t worry. I’ve got your back!
So how can you find out if this guy is “Your Guy”  without asking him super awkward questions?
Sometimes it can be difficult trying to decipher your emotions, but hopefully, this little write-up will help you decide if this guy is your soul mate, or if you shouldn’t get your hopes up.

1. You Picture a Great Future With Him

Yes, we ladies always like to picture an awesome future with our boyfriends, but do you really feel that you’re going to have a real future with this guy?
Sure, it’s fun to fantasize and imagine great things happening, but we have to throw away our fantasy caps and think rationally – do you really picture a future with this guy?

2. You Confide In Him

You tell him things that you’d never tell anybody else. You feel like you can discuss anything and everything with him, no matter how embarrassing it is for you. If you’re able to tell him about your worst fears in life, what you hate about your best friend or anything of that nature, then there’s a good chance he’s the one for you.

3. You Want Him To Get Along With Your Family

You do your best to make your parents like him, and for him to like your parents. By doing so, you’re subconsciously thinking to yourself, I want my family and him to get along because I know we are going to be together for a long, long time.

4. You Always Think Of Him First

You don’t do things without asking. In other words, you respect him as a human being and you let him know that he’s never alone.

5. If He’s Down, You’re Down

And if he’s happy, you’re happy. Couples who are close share the same feelings, emotions, and moods. So if you are feeling a bit down, maybe it’s because your boyfriend is feeling a bit gloomy today. Cheer him up and you’ll cheer yourself up.

6. When You Argue, You Want To Work Things Out With Him

You don’t just leave problems to fester and get worse. When there’s a disagreement or a big problem, you two work it out and you don’t stop until a mutual agreement has been met.

7. You Can Truly Relax Around Him

You don’t have to put up a weird front like you do with strangers. When you’re with him, you act 100 percent like yourself and your interactions don’t feel forced.
Couple reading
Comfortable silence!

8. The Silence Is Comfortable

There’s no such thing as an awkward silence. When you feel compelled to talk to someone to feel comfortable, you’re not being yourself. Refer to #7 again.

9. You Are Incredibly Sexually Attracted to Him

You want him to ravage you on a regular basis. You yearn for him at times. And, on top of all this, you do your best to please him as well!
No relationship is complete without a healthy sex life, and your sex life with “The One” has got to be great sex.

10. He Makes You A Better Individual

I’m not saying that he turns you into a saint or anything, but he pushes you further. When you don’t feel like doing any work, he says something that will drive you to focus. He helps you make the right decisions and he supports you.

11. There’s No Stopping The Laughter

You know he’s the one when there are always some laughs to be had. Yes, being with “The One” means you laugh together. It doesn’t matter if he isn’t the funniest guy on Earth. It matters that he knows how to laugh … and that he tries to make you laugh.

12. He Bends Over Backwards To Make You Happy

He goes overboard to make sure that you get what you want. If you’re sick, he’ll make you chicken soup and bring your favorite blanket. If your pet hamster dies, he brings you a bouquet of flowers.
So there you have it, ladies. I’m not saying that this list is the be-all, end-all, but if he’s showing the majority of these signs, then there’s a good chance that this guy is the one for you!
But look, if your relationship isn’t at this point yet, then don’t worry. Every relationship doesn’t always have to start off with a bang. Sometimes it takes a while for you to get there. And sometimes, it can take years.
So if he isn’t doing everything on this list, then there’s no need to worry.

When Fighting in a Relationship Becomes Toxic

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All couples argue and fight from time to time; that’s just human nature. In many ways, this is a healthy part of a relationship because it gives a chance for the two partners to express some of their emotions and frustration, and to stand up for themselves. Small irritations and frustrations that are neglected for long periods can fester and become much more serious problems, serious enough to threaten the whole relationship.
And it is important for each person in a relationship to learn to ask for what they need and to sometimes push back on something they aren’t happy about. This is psychologically healthy – if you never complain about anything, and never say no, you become a pushover, which isn’t good for you or your partner.
Having said that, it’s important to remember that fighting isn’t always a good thing. There’s a right way to fight and a wrong way to fight. Or, more accurately, there are lots of wrong ways to fight!

The Toxicity Factor

When fighting takes over the relationship, dominates it, and becomes a substitute for other forms of communication, that’s a toxic situation. And when the fighting becomes particularly vicious and vindictive, or even physically violent, that, too, is toxic.
The healthy purpose of fighting is to “clear the air” and maybe get a few frustrations off your chest – to say things you might not easily say during a calm conversation. Think of political debate in government. There’s productive debate, which can lead to compromise and forward progress, and then there’s vicious, scorched-earth partisanship that just ruins government. You can pretty easily tell the difference.
If fighting in your relationship has already reached the destructive, toxic stage, where you shout horrible, personal, deeply wounding attacks at each other, what can you do?

Stop the Violence

First, you need to stop the violence. Both of you need to work together on this problem, but even if your spouse or partner won’t stop, you can stop by yourself. You can change your attitude and stop engaging in these battles. It takes two people to have an argument.
Work on some defensive strategies you can use to de-escalate an angry situation. Go to another room or leave the house if you must, in order to have time to calm down and think of what you want to say. This is not at all easy and will take practice and hard work.
When your partner says something particularly nasty and vicious to you, it is very difficult to bite your tongue and say nothing in return. It is natural to want to defend yourself or to lash out and hurt the person who is hurting you. But try hard to get to a safe, quiet place where you can recover.
Be polite but firm, even against a partner who keeps trying to engage in the fight, shouting, “Don’t you dare walk out on me!” or “Are you too afraid to fight back, you coward!” Stick to your message – “I need some privacy to calm down.”
Avoid turning your departure into some kind of sense of superiority you can use as a weapon against your partner, though. Just repeat your simple message – I need some time to think and calm down – and get to a quiet place.

Write It Out

If you’re overwhelmed by anger against your partner, take some time to drain that poison by writing down everything you’re angry about, every stupid thing you think they’ve done, every hurtful thing they’ve said. Then destroy that paper. If you need to punch a pillow, or yell, or run a few miles to let some of your anger out, by all means, do that. Whatever it takes to give yourself some perspective.
Then, write down what you want to say – even scribbling it on scratch paper will help you express yourself and organize your thoughts. It’s helpful if you also write down what you think your partner is so upset about. Try to get to the simple core of what’s bothering each of you.
Once you’ve written down what you want to communicate, you can either throw the bit of paper away or retain it as something to read aloud to your partner. Sometimes reading from a prepared statement is easier than trying to talk when there’s a risk you might lose your temper.
At some point, you will want to try and set up a safe meeting with your partner. During this meeting you can tell them what you wrote down, tell them the exact message you want to communicate.
The purpose of this quiet period (it can be anything from a few minutes to hours or days) is to slow down the rapid, out-of-control chain reaction explosion of your fighting. Slow, deliberate communication, by writing if necessary, is much less likely to result in a brutal fight.
Once you’ve managed to do this a single time, it will get a little easier. But you will probably be tested a few times, and it’s likely you will fail to bite your tongue sometimes. Don’t be too hard on yourself – but keep trying to de-escalate fights and calm down before talking to your angry spouse or partner.

Find A Better Way To Communicate

Over time, you will both want to work on a new and better way to communicate with each other. It may be so bad right now that writing notes to each other are the only way to do it. If that’s what it takes, then so be it. But a better way is to set up some rules for how you communicate.
Get a sand glass timer or use the one built into your phone, and take turns talking to each other. Each partner gets three minutes to say whatever they want, while the other person says nothing at all and just listens. Then you reverse roles. Artificially slowing down and structuring your conversation forces you to actually listen to what the other is saying, rather than shouting them down before the words are even out of their mouth.

Sometimes Outside Help Is Necessary

If the situation is still too serious, you will need a professional counselor or therapist to act as a referee and keep you both safe. Don’t be afraid to ask for this kind of help. A referee won’t stop you from arguing, any more than a referee keeps two boxers from punching each other. But a referee will make sure you follow some rules to keep your bout safe and productive. No low blows or kicking or ear-biting, or the verbal equivalent of those things.

8 Ways to Resolve Relationship Conflicts

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From time to time every couple goes through a rough patch. Even married couples with the strongest of bonds will have a heated argument here and there.
The couples who enjoy the healthiest relationships, however, tend to be very good at managing conflict and working through disagreements.
In this article, I’m going to lay out eight ways that you too can learn to work through conflicts with your partner.

Couple fighting on a sidewalk1. Don’t Avoid Difficult Discussions

If your partner does something that irritates you, or if you have a pressing issue on your mind, find time to discuss it with them, and do it fast.
Don’t put it off for days and weeks in the hope that it will go away — communication is key in any relationship, and keeping secrets and resentment bottled up is a sure fire way to cause tension and anger.

2. Don’t Make It Personal

 Even if the topic you’re arguing about is something related to your partner or their actions, it’s best to avoid name-calling, insults and accusations. If this behaviour starts to surface, take a deep breath, stay calm, keep your voice at a reasonable level, and try to have a discussion rather than a screaming match.

3. Wait Until You’re Calm 

If the argument is about something that’s really got your blood boiling, don’t confront your spouse or significant other until you’ve had time to cool down a bit. Nothing productive will come from an argument unless you can think rationally and have a mature discussion.

4. Do It in Private

It’s never a good idea to argue in front of your children, but it’s also important to keep any serious discussions or conflicts behind closed doors.
You don’t need others wading into the battle, and you don’t need the rest of the world to know about your problems.
So if you’re in public, or in company, wait until you have some alone time with your partner before you air any issues.

5. It’s Not About Being Right or Wrong

Finding fault is not productive, and even if you end up being “right” about something, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll settle the argument. Regardless of who you think is in the right, the priority should be finding a solution, and that’s both parties’ responsibility.

6. Accept Criticism

If your partner points out an instance where you’ve done something wrong or made a mistake, own up to it and accept responsibility.  Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry, you’re right,” every once in a while.

7. Understand Your Partner’s Position

 In other words, don’t start ripping into your significant other because you think they’re wrong about something until you’ve really taken the time to listen and understand their point of view.
It helps to repeat back to your partner what they are saying to ensure you have a clear understanding of how they’re feeling.

8. Understand Solutions Are Often Elusive

Just because your first discussion about a contentious topic doesn’t result in a clear solution, that doesn’t mean it’s an issue that will never be sorted out. With enough work and some compromises from either side, you can usually work through even the most difficult disagreements.
If you can take the time to be calm, rational, and accepting (and if your partner is willing to do the same), most arguments and disagreements can be resolved quickly and to both partners’ satisfaction.
Adopting this approach to every conflict in your relationship can be extremely helpful in avoiding serious arguments and in keeping your relationship strong and healthy for years to come.
Good luck!

How to Build a Healthy, Mature Relationship

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As a relationship and dating coach, I strive to help couples build relationships that are mature, committed, passionate, and free of conflict.
Building this type of deep and passionate relationship with your spouse or partner requires a certain amount of knowledge. You need to know, for example, how to resolve simple conflicts and avoid screaming matches. You need to know how to avoid problems with infidelity or cheating, what your rights and responsibilities are within the partnership, how to keep your sex life healthy, and so on.
That’s where this article comes in. On this page, you’ll find the information and advice that you’ll need to build a healthy and mature romantic relationship with your spouse or partner. If you read the entire article and put my advice into practice, you’ll be well on your way to living happily ever after with the love of your life. Let’s get started, shall we?

PART ONE: What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

Before we begin discussing how to build a better relationship, let’s first talk about what a healthy relationship actually is. I mean, it sounds pretty simple, right? But really, the ideal relationship – one that’s mature and committed, with a very strong bond between two partners – involves a number of different factors.

Monogamy/Faithfulness

cheating coupleLet’s start with the obvious: A strong, mature, romantic relationship absolutely must be free of cheating, infidelity, and any other extra-marital flirtations.
Cheating ruins relationships – often irreparably. The loss of trust (arguably the most critical and fundamental component of a strong relationship) inevitable in the wake of this behavior can destroy a couple’s bond in the blink of an eye; infidelity has absolutely no place in a healthy relationship.
Staying faithful and avoiding any ‘sinful’ temptations may sound straightforward, but many people have trouble maintaining their self-discipline. If you’re the type that often gets wound up in affairs or ‘flings’ when you’re in a relationship, then you need to address this issue before you do anything else.
Simply put, most couples never fully recover from an affair. While things may be okay in the long run, the impact that cheating has on the trust between you and your partner can take years to heal… if it ever does heal.

Total Trust & No Jealousy Issues

trustAs I mentioned above, trust between you and your partner is absolutely critical to a happy relationship. Without trust, you’ll never really achieve a “mature” or “healthy” partnership, in fact, you and your lover will regularly butt heads.
Trust is crucial for several reasons. For starters, it allows both you and your partner to breathe easily, meaning neither of you has to worry when the other person is off on a business trip, out late at the nightclub with friends, etc.
Trust also means that you and your significant other don’t ever feel the need to pry into one another’s private matters, secretly checking your partner’s emails and text messages, etc.
Another reason trust is so crucial is because it gives you (and your partner) the strength to quash any feelings of jealousy.
For example, let’s say your spouse is out of town for a few days and doesn’t call you after a late night of partying. Your first reaction might be to become jealous, letting your imagination run wild and jumping to conclusions about your lover’s infidelity.
sad womanBut, if there’s true trust between you and your partner, you’ll know that these feelings of jealousy that are running through your veins are not based in reality or past history.
If you and your significant other have always been truthful with one another, then you’ll know that these horrible fantasies of cheating and infidelity that pop into your mind when your spouse fails to phone you after a night out are simply that: stupid, unrealistic fears that are totally unfounded. Reminding yourself that your partner is trustworthy, you can sleep easily knowing that nothing sinister is going on. You will also be refraining from throwing wild and terrible accusations at your loving partner that may damage the balance of trust in your relationship in the future.
Finally, trust is critical if you want to establish a deep connection with your partner – the type of connection that builds life-long bonds and holds marriages together through thick and thin. You and your partner are a team, standing together to face all of the challenges life throws your way. Knowing that the other person “has your back,” no matter what relies on a deep and ingrained understanding of trust.
In short, trust is everything, and you need to build a trusting relationship if you hope to live “happily ever after” with your partner.

equalityComplete Equality

If you and your partner are going to overcome the obstacles, arguments, and difficult times that you’re going to end up facing over the coming years, then you need to establish a level of equality.
Both you and your better half need to understand that relationships are a two-way street, and both halves of a couple need to have equal responsibilities and equal ‘rights’. That means accepting half of the household chores, half of the financial burden, and so on.
Being equal also means that you both share the burden of maintaining the health of your relationship. When fights occur, you’re both to blame. When times are tough, you’re both responsible for working through them. When your spouse is struggling with a ‘life issue’ (i.e. troubles at work, with their health, with their social life, etc.), it’s your job to be supportive and understanding. When the tables are turned, then the roles are reversed and it’s your partner’s turn to be there for you.
Both you and your lover must be willing to apologize when you’re in the wrong and be equally willing to listen to what your partner has to say. Here’s a simple rule of thumb:  spend half your time listening to what your spouse has to say. Your turn to speak and share your thoughts will come, but only after you’ve given your partner the same opportunity.
Most importantly, you both have an equal obligation to maintain the strength of your love and the health of your relationship. If things aren’t going well and arguments are frequent, you both have to accept responsibility to fix it. Keep this concept in mind any time you’re interacting with your partner: Everything in a relationship is 50/50, and there are no exceptions to that rule.
If you and your partner are going to overcome the obstacles, arguments, and difficult times that you’re inevitably going to face over the coming years, then you need to establish equality.

Plenty of Privacy, Alone Time, and Freedom

Again, this isn’t rocket science: if you want to stay together for the rest of your lives, you need to respect your partner’s sphere of privacy, their right to have time away from you, and their freedom to do what they want (within reason).
relationship privacyYou may think that it’s completely unacceptable for your partner to withhold their Facebook password or not want to give you the spare key to their safe deposit box.  But these small bits of privacy are completely reasonable, and you don’t have the right to demand access to every aspect of your partner’s life.
We all need a bit of privacy, and both you and your partner deserve that opportunity when it’s necessary. (I don’t advocate the idea of keeping secrets or living secret lives, but if you and your partner trust one another, your partner wanting a bit of privacy should be perfectly acceptable.)
Similarly, your spouse or partner deserves the right to spend some time apart from you. It’s not healthy to spend every waking moment together, and you both need to have separate social lives that you can escape to from time to time.
It’s rarely appropriate to demand that your partner not hang out with a friend, go to a party, or do something that’s important to them. Just like you’d want the ability to hang out with your buddies or spend some time alone without feeling guilty, your partner has this right too.
That ties into the concept of freedom, which is also an element of any mature romantic partnership. You and your partner should both feel free to live your lives the way you see fit. Yes, you need to take your partner’s input seriously, and no, you can’t always do whatever you want… but you also need to feel free to live your life independently and without the fear of your partner criticizing every decision you make.  [RELATED: Fear of Commitment: How to Identify & Overcome It]

PART TWO: What You Need to Do

Now that you know how a healthy, robust romance should work, let’s talk about how you can go about building this type of relationship with your partner.
This section will hopefully provide you with actionable items that you can implement to improve the health of your relationship and the depth of your romantic connection.
Keep in mind, though, that no-one is perfect… and you’ll probably never be able to actively practice all of these things in your everyday life. The important thing is that, when you’re facing a situation in which you’re unsure of how to handle it, you think back to the key concepts I’m about to discuss and apply them as best you can give the situation.
pointing finger at husbandIt’s also worth mentioning that it sure makes things a lot easier if your partner “buys in” to these concepts too. At the very least, it’s a lot easier to build trust, resolve conflicts, and enjoy a deep bond with your significant other if he or she is equally as interested in building a mature and committed relationship.
In some cases, you may find that your partner is unwilling to do what’s necessary to improve the health of your relationship. If that happens, you need to be patient, and try to explain to them the importance of being reasonable, mature, and responsible – even if it causes more friction in the short term.
In the unlikely event that your partner is totally unwilling to put in the effort, or they seem highly irrational and inflexible on the subject, you may need to eventually deliver an ultimatum, such as: “I’m only looking for a committed, mature and loving relationship… so if you’re not willing to do your part to achieve that, then maybe we need to re-think whether or not this relationship is going to work in the long term”.
I’m not suggesting that you should dump your partner or spouse just because they don’t do all the things I’m about to recommend. But, if you’ve spent many hours talking rationally to them and trying your hardest to work through your troubles, and you’re not getting anywhere, eventually you’ll need to: a) seek help from a mediator, counselor, or therapist; or b) move on and find someone who wants the same type of relationship that you do.

communicationCommunicate, Communicate, Communicate

I know you’ve heard this a hundred times before, but open and 100% honest dialogue with your spouse or partner is paramount.  The two of you should – no, you need to feel completely comfortable discussing any subject together, no matter how uncomfortable.
That means you don’t shut down your partner if they bring up a topic of conversation you’re not fond of… you don’t jump to conclusions before fully understanding your partner’s point of view… and you give one another the necessary opportunities to share feelings without fear of rejection, arguments, or other negative consequences.
It’s very important that you create an environment in which both you and your partner are comfortable sharing your feelings, thoughts, dreams, and fears. If one or both parties feel like they’ll be judged by their partner or think they’ll “get in trouble” for bringing up a certain subject, then there are sure to be communication problems around the next bend.
Another important piece in the communication puzzle is the ability (and willingness) to listen and approach all topics with an open mind. As I’ll mention in a moment, the simple fact of the matter is this: You’re not always right! Don’t approach discussions with your partner thinking that their point of view is wrong, that their opinion is stupid, or that their feelings aren’t important.
Any time you’re talking with your spouse, no matter what the topic is, it’s always best to listen until you completely understand their point of view. If you need to, ask questions to clarify that you fully understand their position.
sexy coupleOne good way to ensure that you don’t misinterpret one another is to repeat what your partner says using different words. So, if your husband tells you that he thinks it’s not fair that he has to go to a yoga class but you don’t have to watch the hockey game, clarify by saying something such as: “So you think it’s unfair to have to do things I like if I don’t take part in the things you like?

Maintain a Sense of Humility

This ties into the previous section on communication because achieving an open and honest line of communication with your significant other depends on both parties retaining a certain semblance of humility.
If you always enter into a heated debate with your spouse with the assumption that you’re right and they’re wrong, nothing will be achieved through communication. You need to understand, and be willing to accept, that you’ll often be wrong. Or, as is often the case, that you’re not wrong but rather that your argument is not the only ‘correct’ way of seeing things.
You’re probably wrong about half of the time. If you aren’t willing to accept that, then you need to work on reigning in your ego.

Be Ready to Lose, and Be Willing to Admit Fault

not talkingNo need to really spell this one out for you, because the title says it all. It’s important that both you and your spouse be willing to admit when you’re wrong, and be open to ‘losing’ a debate if your partner’s argument is more reasonable – or if it’s just in both your interests for the argument to come to an end!
Look, we all hate to be wrong. It’s very hard to come to grips with the fact that you may have been totally wrong and out-of-line after a 2-hour marathon argument with your significant other. But if you can admit fault and accept being wrong every so often, it will make your partner value your opinion that much more.
After all, if you try to admit guilt whenever you see that you were out of line or being unreasonable during a confrontation with your partner, it will make him or her more open-minded when you don’t admit to being wrong or being at fault. If you never admit to being wrong, then your partner will think you’re closed-minded and unwilling to own up to mistakes or irrational behavior.
You’re going to lose some arguments. You’re going to be wrong a lot. Your spouse is going to have a lot of good points and insightful opinions that have never crossed your mind. Simply understanding and accepting that is a big step towards resolving conflicts and building trust.

Swallow Your Pride and Say Sorry

Even in those cases where you are 100% certain that you’re being level-headed and your partner is being a stubborn, irrational dickhead…. you should still be willing to say sorry (and mean it).
As I mentioned earlier, admitting guilt and knowing when to accept fault is a hugely important element in building a healthy relationship with minimal conflict. But equally important is the ability to apologize (in a heartfelt, meaningful, and no-strings-attached manner) after arguments or conflicts have taken place.
While apologizing is more important when you’ve been an idiot, it’s still a meaningful gesture that shows your partner that you want to move past your disagreements and heal any metaphorical wounds that have arisen from your butting of heads.  [RELATED: 8 Ways To Resolve Relationship Conflicts]
man apologizingSo, even if you’re not willing to accept your partner’s opinion or admit to being wrong, consider saying sorry anyway.
Apologizing is something that requires a lot of integrity. When someone is willing to apologize even when they’re not wrong or at fault, it shows their strength of character and their commitment to maintaining a healthy, trusting, and conflict-free romance with their partner.
And, here’s a quick hint: if you ever find yourself being so stubbornly committed to your righteousness that you’re not willing to apologize – even if it would kill the argument in its tracks – then ask yourself whether ‘being right’ or ‘winning’ is more important than your relationship. Unless you’re a masochistic breakup junkie, the answer to that question will be no, and you can then proceed to choke down your pride and say sorry for the sake of your partner and your relationship.
Be bigger than the argument. Accept fault – or at least accept partial responsibility for the conflicts that you and your partner may have – and say sorry. If your partner reciprocates, then it’s unlikely any single debate will create lasting damage to your bond or your marriage.

Don’t Be a Hypocrite: Share the Burden

If you demand that your partner do something, or insist that they don’t do something, then you should be willing to practice what you preach. This isn’t a complicated concept, so I won’t over-analyze it, but it’s worth mentioning that you and your partner should both be willing to make sacrifices in the name of your relationship.
Being in a committed relationship with someone involves certain responsibilities. These obligations, which are unavoidable when you’re sharing your life with someone, need to be shared equally.
You have a right to certain things, too: you have a right to honesty, a right to know the truth, and a right to have your opinions heard and understood. Make sure your spouse lives up to these obligations – and be willing to do the same for them.
No relationship can exist without sacrifice, but that’s not a problem if both you and your partner accept this and each live up to your ends of the bargain.

Practice the 4 C’s: Calm, Cool, Collected, and Composed

Who is the most laid-back, worry-free, unflappable personality you can think of?
james bond calmThe first one that comes to my mind is James Bond. When 007 gets himself into a bind, with a laser beam threatening the destruction of his genitals, he doesn’t break a sweat. He doesn’t start yelling and throwing things. There’s no panic, only a stoic, reassuring, and composed demeanor.
Why am I talking about James Bond? Well, because his reaction (or lack thereof) to Dr. No’s testicle-frying laser beam can serve as inspiration for you when you’re in conflict with your significant other. Mr. Bond is totally calm under pressure, never panicking or getting rattled, and for this reason, he’s in a better position to accurately analyze his situation and find a way out of trouble that will find his nuts intact.
First of all, no constructive discussion can occur if one or both parties resort to screaming, breaking things, and generally throwing a temper tantrum. Nothing good will come of that sort of raw emotion, and it’s critical that you postpone any real conversations or debates until both you and your partner are calm and thinking clearly.
If your partner has a tendency to overreact and throw a fit when things get heated between the two of you, it’s very important that you stop the conversation in its tracks and clearly explain that you’re only going to talk about this when he or she has calmed down and is willing to enter the conversation with an open mind and a clear head.
If you tend to ‘lose it’ frequently – and I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty of raising my voice and slamming doors shut on the rare occasions my wife and I have a serious disagreement – then you must be able to escape the situation until you can calm down.
One easy way to defuse these sorts of situations is to talk about it with your partner before it ever happens. When you’re both happy and on good terms, bring up this topic and explain what you think you and your partner should do if an argument turns into a screaming match. That way, neither you nor your spouse will be offended when you simply walk away from an argument that’s gotten out of hand, and you’ll never have any confusion about why one person just walked out on an important discussion.
By retaining a calm and collected demeanor during disagreements or tough times in your relationship, you’ll be doing two things:  a) showing your partner that you value their opinions, want to listen to their arguments, and want to understand their point of view; and b) avoiding the type of hurtful, escalating, and often pointless arguments that develop when one or both people lose their cool.

Be Willing to Sacrifice; Embrace the Compromise!

As I just mentioned, relationships require you to make certain sacrifices: You sacrifice some of your freedom when your decisions are shared with a spouse or partner; you sacrifice the right to date or flirt with other members of the opposite sex, and you sacrifice the right to always come first when decisions are being made.
sacrificeBut, if you treat these sacrifices, responsibilities, and obligations that accompany a committed relationship as part of a bigger “give and take” exercise, they’ll become a lot less painful.
What I mean is that, while you’re giving up certain freedoms by agreeing to share a home, a family, and a life with someone else, you’re also enjoying the privilege of benefitting from those same things. If you’re willing to compromise on certain things, you can then use that leverage to obtain something else.
I’m not suggesting that you and your boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse need to keep a tally of “who’s owed what”, or strive for complete and total fairness at all costs. I’m simply saying that being willing to compromise can not only defuse an argument and solve a problem, it can also earn you the right to request similar compromises from your partner on a separate occasion.
So, if you pick your battles and only take a stand when things are really important to you, then the inherent sacrifices that you need to make when in a relationship will be far, far less painful. Sometimes, it pays to give in to the less important issues and reserve your “veto” for things that are truly close to your heart.

Concluding Thoughts

This article is far too long already, but there are two things that I must mention before signing off…
Remember That Relationships Require Constant Maintenance
Every relationship, no matter how committed the couple or how deep the bond you share, needs constant upkeep. You can never assume that your marriage or your relationship will stay happy and healthy without any work on your part. Like everything else in life, there’s no point at which you can simply “stop trying” or “stop caring” if you want to maintain the bond between you and your lover.
It’s very, very important that you never forget this. If you decide to stop putting in the effort, then your relationship will slowly degrade and your bond will fade.
ferrari repairsLove is a beautiful thing – beautiful like a fine Picasso painting, or a brand new Ferrari gleaming in the sun – but it’s not invincible.  Even the most flawless painting requires constant care and upkeep to prevent fading or damage, and even the shiniest and fastest Ferrari needs an oil change every now and then to keep the engine running smoothly.
Take time to spoil your partner every now and then.
Make them feel special. Make sure they know how much you love them. Do this regularly, starting today, and don’t stop until you take your last breath. It’s a struggle at times, but if you and your partner both put in the work, you’ll enjoy a happy, healthy, and lasting bond that most people can only dream of.
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