1. Create a safe environment where you can share without being afraid
• Don’t interrupt, even if you need to put your hand over your mouth to stop yourself.
• Fight fairly.
• Don’t call each other names.
• Apologise when you need to.
• If you’re too angry to listen, leave the room, breathe and calm down. Remember: your partner is not the enemy.
2. Create a ‘we’ that can house two ‘I’s’
In order to have a healthy, mutually supportive relationship you need to be separate and connected. In codependent relationships, each person sacrifices part of himself or herself, compromising the relationship as a whole. When you are separate and connected, each individual ‘I’ contributes to the creation of a ‘we’ that is stronger than the sum of its parts.
3. Heal yourself
Don’t expect your partner to fill your emotional holes, and don’t try to fill theirs. Ultimately, each of us can only heal ourselves. Your partner, however, can be supportive as you work with yourself, and vice versa.
4. Make time for your relationship
No matter who you are or what your work is, you need to nurture your relationship. Make time for the wellbeing of your relationship. That includes making ‘playdates’ and also taking downtime together. Frequently create a sacred space together by shutting off all things technological and digital. Like a garden, the more you tend to your relationship, the more it will grow.
5. Say the ‘hard things’ from love
Become aware of the hard things that you’re not talking about. How does that feel? No matter what you’re feeling in a situation, channel the energy of your emotions so that you say what you need to say in a constructive manner.
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