hab·it /ˈhabət/ noun a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. “this can develop into a bad habit
Well, what about the development of ‘GOOD habits’? Habits, either bad or good, can have a very powerful impact on our relationship. Try at least one of the 7 habits of a successful relationship and see what magic occurs.
Sometimes we can get lazy, too comfortable in the relationship, or find ourselves so overwhelmed with our outside priorities that we slack-off at home. Sadly, if we ignore our relationship – like our teeth – it will go away. And, just like our teeth, our relationship needs daily attention. They say it takes about 21 days of daily practice to establish a new habit.
Roll Up Your Sleeves:
“Whether our relationships are doing well or struggling, there are actions we can take to improve the overall quality.”
The adage “Marriage takes work” is no joke. Yes, it’s a cliche we hear all the time but like most platitudes it happens to be dead-on true. Part of doing the hard work is establishing healthy, positive habits within the relationship that will support both members as individuals and the union of them as a cohesive unit. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, touts that those of us who can adopt habits that help us solve problems, adapt to challenges and changes, and make the most of opportunities are the happiest. The same can be said for couples.
Whether our relationships are doing well or struggling, there are actions we can take to improve the overall quality. While there are many ideas out there, here we focus on seven. We can’t necessarily implement all seven at once, that would be overwhelming. But, if just one resonates, we can begin modifying our behavior to incorporate a new positive habit into our daily partnered lives.
1. Respect Our Partner
Losing respect for our partner is a slippery slope. No matter how much we initially loved them – and still do – without respect the relationship is in trouble. If a bit of respect has been lost over time, it is worth working on developing this habit. Express acceptance of and warmth towards your partner, especially during disagreements. No name calling. No ridiculing or belittling. And, no over-talking. In public nor in private.
2. Learn Our Partner’s Love Language And Speak It To Them – Every Day
Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages is a must read for all couples. Knowing what makes our partner feel loved can help us build habits to support them. Creating habits tp talk our partner’s love language on a daily basis infuses the relationship with love, warmth, affection, and goodwill. Individuals, in great relationships, keep the notion that their partner is not wrong but rather different, top of mind. Happy relationships have figured out how to complement, rather than conflict, with the other’s differences.