All couples are different, but they might face similar challenges. IT helps to draw from the experience of others to see how best to solve conflicts and work on their relationships. Here are six tried and tested rules for couples that are certain to improve your relationships.
Don’t bring in other people into your fights
It’s normal to want support during a fight, but bringing in other people is likely to lead to trouble. You should not bring in your kids, your parents, relatives, or friends when you are fighting.
Even if others support you, it will not make a difference. It will not help you convince them. Instead, it can foster a feeling of resentment and frustration or ganging up. This is something that will rarely bring positive results and can make the whole situation worse, so avoid it.
Don’t go to sleep angry
This is an old one but also an important one. Try to avoid going to bed still angry with your partner and with unresolved conflicts. You can try to work it out before going to sleep, and this will help you keep the issues from growing too large and too unmanageable.
By promising each other to always solve issues before going to bed, you and your partner commit to being proactive and communicating to get it all done before bed. It also encourages you to be more forgiving. While some huge issues might take a bit longer to work through, it’s a good idea to put the current grudges to rest before going to bed.
Complain to each other, not to other people
There are times when we need other people’s support and advice, but we need to be careful when complaining about our partner to people outside the relationship. It can be less effective than working through the issue with your significant other.
When you complain to others, you might also give them a more negative view of your partner, just because they don’t have the entire context. If it’s a best friend or a family member, this can become a problem because they will take your side and interact with your partner more negatively.
If you are in doubt or worried, you can always talk to other people. However, it’s important to go to your partner first in most cases. That way, you keep your relationship more functional and work things through directly.
Have a regular date night
Even as your relationship becomes more routine, you should always build in some quality time. Have a regular date night that involves you doing something fun and enjoyable with your partner.
Without this, a relationship can quickly become all about work and chores and other boring, if important stuff. So you need to also have an outlet when you can just be together and enjoy yourselves without having to worry about other things. You might have the same activities plan, like dinner and a movie, or vary it, but an important tip is to have the date night be regular and also to make it a priority. Unless there is an emergency, it will happen, and if there is an emergency, it will be rescheduled.
Assume good faith
One central rule is to always try and assume good faith. Other people will always make mistakes and sometimes harm us without meaning to. One key factor is to always assume that the other person did not mean to do something bad unless we have strong evidence that they did.
Good faith can help you feel loved and embrace that you are both imperfect people who will mess up. It can avoid an issue escalating and becoming something huge and unpleasant, instead, you can keep it a level where the problem can be easily addressed.
Avoid crossing the line
If you feel angry, you might be tempted to say hurtful things. But there are some lines that should never be crossed. Even if you are fighting or bursting with frustration, there are words not to to be used and topics not to be touched.
An agreement to never cross the lines can allow you to manage conflicts in an effective way and protect your partner’s feelings. This is important, because there are things that can be hard to forget once they have been said and that might linger even if the immediate issue has been resolved.