The public was taken by surprise last week when Angelina Jolie announced she was beginning divorce proceedings with Brad Pit, even though we all know the statistic – one in two marriages end in divorce. There have been insider reports that the split is due to incidents of verbal abuse, conflicts in parenting styles and differences in lifestyle choices. But rather than dwell on their drama, let’s focus our attention on how to maintain our own loving partnerships.
Here are some tips to help you strengthen your intimate relationships:
Respect your partner. You can value an opinion even if you don’t agree with the perspective it reflects. When you understand where your loved one is coming from, you’re more likely to appreciate their position. Talk often and honestly, openly sharing your needs and desires. Real communication builds a strong foundation of trust and caring.
Practice fair fighting. To provide a safe environment for your discussions, avoid threatening behavior like name-calling and blaming your partner’s character or personality. It will reduce the stress between you, making it easier to be more flexible, look for solutions and work towards compromise and reconciliation. When hot-button issues continue to surface, resolve them or take them off the table.
Forgive and apologize. Everyone makes mistakes and your partner may have unintentionally hurt you. Work hard to let go of your resentment – it can lead to a more positive attitude for both of you. When you are the one who has acted poorly, rather than being defensive about it, take personal responsibility for your bad behavior and be genuine when you say, I’m sorry. Learn to deal with dysfunctional anger in an appropriate way.
Rekindle your love. Connect often for shared experiences and set aside time for special activities together, either at home or away. Focus on your partner’s positive qualities, compliment often and let him or her know how much you care. Have fun on date nights, being playful and bringing spontaneity and laughter back. Allowing for your own space as you pursue independent interests and goals makes your reconnections fresh and exciting. As you become more affectionate again, the stresses you face can become less overwhelming.
Although energies may be drained by the daily demands of career and children, when you incorporate these steps into your intimate relationship, you can build a deep commitment and desire to spend the coming years together. As Brangelina becomes a thing of the past you and your love can create a rich future together.