Everyone’s different and I’m not here to shove some fairy tale image of the perfect relationship down your throats, because let’s face it there’s no such thing! But there’s a big difference between a perfect relationship and a healthy one; one that flows with the ups and the downs and one that lasts the distance. Because once you’ve found your lobster (sorry couldn’t resist the Friends reference) you want try your damnedest to keep hold of them.
For me it boils down to 3 important factors: Laughter, Talking and Teamwork and I’m going to explain what I mean in a bit more detail below.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
I’m a big believer of if in doubt laugh it out, because if you’re laughing you can’t be cross can you! And I’m not saying that laughter should mask your true feelings, but it sure makes for fab therapy and lightens even the darkest mood.
Just like any couple, the hubby and I have certain things that we say and do to each other that crack us up. We talk in stupid voices, we have made up words, we have in jokes, we can talk in code if need be, and we have looks that can speak a thousand words. In fact there’s not a day goes by when we don’t have a giggle, to the point that we’ve termed our own phrase ‘in a giggle loop’, which is basically when you’re laughing so hard you can’t break the cycle and who knows when it will end! I’m sure at times we look completely insane to onlookers and as our kids get older they are starting to get more and more embarrassed by our behaviour, but hey that just adds fuel to the fire in my eyes.
Talk To Each Other
I remember my mother in law saying to me on my wedding day that the most important thing in any marriage is to always remember to talk to one another. And it’s so true.
Keeping in any pent up negative emotion, whether it be anger, sadness or worry, is never good for anybody. It sits and stews inside of you, turning into a bitterness which try as you might you can’t help but blame on those closest to you… your partner. I’m a self confessed sulker, although I have got better with age, and talking about how I’m feeling doesn’t come easy. Blogging has helped for sure, and so too has having kids – my goodness once those little critters come out it’s a daily challenge to keep the emotions in check – but those wise words from my mother in law do stick with me and I know it’s important I keep talking. I’ve learnt a lot from my husband, who is one of the most laid back people I know. He rarely gets angry (unless the kids really, really wind him up!), he doesn’t sweat the small stuff and he has an incredible aura of calm about him, he’s basically the yin to my yang.
But it works.
The one thing he could do with learning from me is how to argue, and I mean that in a positive way not a shouty outburst way. Because arguments are good sometimes, they’re not a sign of things going wrong, more a way of clearing the air, like a good thunderstorm if you like. I love a good argument every now and again, but sadly he doesn’t rise to it – probably because he just wants an easy life… and I don’t blame him.
Ultimately it’s about never going to bed angry, opening up about any problems you think might be brewing and most importantly accepting that everyone has their foibles and that there really is very little point in trying to change them, as it is probably those little foibles that made you fall in love with them in the first place.
Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork
The arrival of kids changes stuff and lifestyle changes are inevitable, but this is where teamwork really comes into play so it’s time to up your game. Babies are like leeches, they suck away your energy, your time and your love for that matter (not to mention all that breast milk), so it’s very difficult to have anything left to share with your partner. But in the grand scheme of things they are only little for such a short amount of time that it’s important you get to grips with the fact this is a phase in your life where compromises and sacrifices are a must.
It sounds clichéd and oh so David Brent, but there really is no I in team. You want to make your relationship work? Then it involves having each other’s back not matter what, working together, sharing responsibility and going through those tough times together. And hey it doesn’t always go to plan, but if you can sit down together of an evening cuddled up on the sofa with a bottle of wine, laughing at the events of the day, then I’d say you’ve pretty much got this healthy relationship stuff sorted.
Relationships aren’t always easy. Sometimes it takes more than just the two of you to be able to sort stuff out and make it work. There’s nothing wrong in asking for help and so if you feel you need any form of mediation advice, or simply an outside perspective on where things might be going wrong then the very best thing you can do is get help. Check out Orion’s Method for more relationship help and advice and start taking positive steps to keep your relationship happy and healthy.