Want a Happy Relationship? Never Do This One Thing!
A couples’ therapist has revealed the one thing that you should never do in a relationship if you want it to survive.
Sinead Smyth, from Alameda, California, has been married to her healthcare worker husband for 22 years.
And the couple, who have two sons together, are still going strong despite both experiencing ‘burn out’ amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The practitioner, who is a certified Gottman Institute therapist, has now revealed how she keeps her relationship healthy – while also revealing the one major thing to avoid in long-term romances.
Sinead, who works at the East Bay Relationship Center, said that the one thing she would never do is speak during an argument without first pausing to think.
She told Today.com: ‘In the heat of an argument, it’s not going to come out well. So I usually check myself, give myself three seconds.
‘Don’t fire off when you’re in conflict. Take a break, even if it’s just a few seconds, and make a decision about whether it should be said or not and how you’re going to say it.’
The relationship expert said that taking a brief moment to consider what you might say will often end up in a realization that it is not necessary to share at all.
She said that it is important to remember that there will always be differences of opinion in a partnership, but that how you deal with them is the key.
Giving further advice for couples, Sinead said there were other things that would also help maintain a long-term relationship.
Firstly, Sinead said the biggest trick that she and her husband employ is a policy of ‘turning toward.’
This means that when one person extends a ‘bid for connection’ – whether in conversation or otherwise – their partner leans into it and fully engages.
Practicing this kind of openness in a relationship allows partners to grow closer and will often mean a couple can connect with each other on a deeper level, she said.
Secondly, the therapist said not to underestimate the power of small acts of kindness.
She claimed that regular minor acts were better than occasional grand ones, telling the publication: ‘That would be my takeaway is that it’s about doing certain small, low-level things consistently.’