The Basics of the 8 Key Relationship Habits
Treat this like a menu, not a to-do list. Pick one thing to try at a time, focus on it for 3 to 4 weeks, then try something else.
All of the videos below mention a free survey. If you have not already taken it, we recommend taking the Personal Challenges Survey (PCS) before picking a set of habits to focus on. Click the button below to take the PCS.
Habits are a bit tricky. Watch this video first to maximize your results and minimize your risks when using habits to face your challenges.
Admiration, Affirmation, Appreciation
Gratitude is healing for both the “thanker” and the “thanked.”
At least once per day, admire, affirm, or appreciate through spoken words, writing, or actions.
Every time you come back together after being apart for an hour or more, in the first 30-60 seconds: hug, kiss, ask each other, “How was … (the gym, work, the grocery store, etc.)?” and give a short answer to that question.
Try to make the hug last 20-30 seconds.
Try to make the kiss last at least 6 seconds.
You don’t have to be gushing. Just share the two biggest feelings of the day before.
They could both be good, both bad, or one of each. Share the feelings and the situations behind them.
Share Dreams and Goals
You are unique individuals with unique dreams and goals.
Healthy relationships learn how to honor each individual’s dreams and goals, even when they seem like conflicting dreams and goals.
This helps balance independence with dependence for healthier attachment.
When either one of you is overwhelmed, stop talking, make eye contact, put your hand out with your palm up.
If safe, gently touch the back of your spouse or partner’s elbow or hold their hand.
Sit quietly together and take long, slow, deep breaths.
Calming down together is better than calming down alone, when possible.
This could be a date, but it can also be simpler than that.
Get at least 30 minutes together without screens and without kids to talk, play a board game or card game, or just sit quietly together without distractions.
You may have to wake up before the kids, stay up later than the kids, or get a babysitter.
Find a cause that you both care about, and volunteer to serve that cause together.
Track Your Efforts and Results
Use the tracker in the free printable (which you can download using the button below) to track how often you make efforts to heal, how well you do at those efforts, and the results you get.
Each week, spend some time reflecting on the previous week. Ask yourself, “how can I do this more often?” or, “how can I do this better?”