Healthy Relationships (cont.)

3. Stop Nagging.

Nagging not only creates tension, it usually gets you nowhere. "If you're nagging, your partner will tune you out," Wachs tells WebMD. "If someone isn't giving you what you want, think about what you are doing. It's not working. What can you do instead? Have a dialogue. ... Instead of saying what you don't like, say what you would prefer. Give alternatives."

And remember to balance any criticisms with a heavy dose of positive feedback. When making a request that could be seen as nagging, take the edge off by expressing appreciation for your partner's good qualities.

4. Spend More Time Together.

Putting "couple time" on your calendar reinforces your sense of dedication to each other. "Couples benefit when they feel commitment," Peter A. Wish, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Don't Stop at Green Lights: Every Woman's Guide to Taking Charge of Her Life and Fulfilling Her Dreams, tells WebMD. "Make these private times special by not including others."

But don't make the mistake of limiting your interaction to designated couple time. Try to enjoy each other's company for at least a few minutes every day, especially first thing in the morning, at the end of the workday, and right before bed. "At those times talk about positive things," Wachs says. "It makes a big impression."

Make a special point of greeting each other at the end of the workday. If you're home first, stop what you're doing when your partner arrives and spend a moment together. "Act like [he or she] is important," Wachs advises, "not just the postman stopping by with the mail."

5. Touch More Often.

Physical communication is as important as emotional communication in a relationship. It relieves tension and shows your partner that you care. "Physically being in contact with your partner breaks through a lot of ice," Wachs says. "Go out of your way to kiss and hug during the day. Always sleep together in the same bed. Just assume you're going to have sex every night. ... It's hard to fight if you're having great sex."

Published February 2006.


SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference From Healthwise: "Importance of personal relationships for lowering stress." WebMD Feature: "Get Closer to Your Mate in 2006."


Last Editorial Review: 2/13/2006

© 2005-2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.



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