Are you stuck in a toxic relationship but long to be in a happy relationship again? Although it may seem the best way to achieve relational happiness is to bail out of your current relationship, often that isn’t the case. A happy married life or relationship isn’t automatic but certainly possible.
In his “Psych Central” article entitled The 10 Secrets of Happy Couples, Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP shares the following:
“How do these couples stay in love, in good times and in bad? Fortunately, the answer isn’t through luck or chance. As a result of hard work and commitment, they figure out the importance of the following relationship ‘musts’.”
Happiness in a relationship is something that needs to be cultivated over time. No one discovers the lasting secret to a happy relationship without putting forth some effort. But those who do work hard find their diligence rewarded many times over.
If you’re fed up with a negative relationship or a broken relationship, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end. Being happy in a relationship is achievable with the right steps.
Regular Communication Is Key
Although it should be common sense, your most primary relationship should have the best communication. This means setting aside some time each week and preferably each day to interact meaningfully about life.
This should go beyond talking about all the daily stressors you’re going through. Also, discuss how your day and week are going. Share things you look forward to and about your interests or hobbies. Once you regularly have time to talk, you’ll be ready for the next step in communication: vulnerability.
Transparency in Your Relationship
Vulnerability or transparency in your relationship can result from regular communication. It takes a lot of time and effort to get there, but it’s worth it. At this point, you begin feeling comfortable sharing about things you wouldn’t with just about anyone else in your life.
Transparency in your relationship is important because it shows that even when your partner or spouse knows the nitty-gritty things about you, they still support and love you.
Although none of us can perfectly love someone unconditionally, practicing transparency in our relationships helps us get close enough to experience a unique level of happiness in our bond.
Comparison Robs Contentment
Are you always looking through your social media feed and seeing the ‘perfect lives’ of others? This can be a dangerous game especially if it makes you envy the romantic aspects of other people’s lives.
Without a doubt, those ‘perfect lives’ that could be making you jealous are not nearly as perfect off of social media. For this reason, guard yourself against the comparison game when it comes to your relationship. The grass is greener syndrome misleads many. Instead of running after greener grass, work at making the ‘grass’ in your relationship greener.
Constantly thinking other people have better relationships than you will make you miserable. You can increase the happiness in your bond by proactively making your relationship what you most want it to be.
Guard Your Relationship From Outside Influences
Too many people treat their most vital relationship like it doesn’t matter that much. It’s not okay to allow pressure from others to make your relationship second rate.
In-laws, siblings, friends or coworkers are important. But if they begin interfering negatively with your relationship, you’ll need to set boundaries. Too many marriages and significant-other relationships are badly harmed or even destroyed by not doing so.
If you make your primary relationship number one and it can be a great source of happiness. If you give others too much power, however, it could divide your relationship rather than strengthen it.
Encourage Each Other’s Gifts
An important part of life is self-discovery. We all have unique abilities, interests and gifts. These are all tied to our life purpose and usually require a great deal of effort to discover on a deep level.
You and your partner can be each other’s biggest cheerleaders in uncovering your life purposes. Be sure to encourage hobbies, career interests and learning. In unhealthy relationships, couples unknowingly (sometimes knowingly) hamper this process, making for an unhappy existence.
Helping each other discover their uniqueness will bring about a compelling reason to live. After all, none of us can be happy all the time. But if we can learn to be purposeful as a couple, that newfound knowledge helps us to transcend sadness and difficulty. It’s amazing how positive you can remain as a couple when you’ve found out how to fulfill your life purpose!
Are You Ready to Trade Your Toxic Relationship for a Happy One?
If so, the OC Relationship Center can help you achieve a strong relationship again. Some relationship conflict is normal, but it doesn’t have to define your bond. We provide professional relationship help in the form of relationship counseling, marriage counseling and individual therapy.
With counseling in Newport Beach, California and therapy in Mission Viejo, California, we’re ready to assist you. Scheduling an appointment with us only takes a moment but could make a lasting difference in your relationship.