10 Things Couples With The Strongest Relationships Do Constantly

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Why Is Effective Communication Important To Healthy Relationships And What Happy Couples Know About How To Communicate
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By Isadora Baum

When it comes to a happy partnership, lots of factors are at play. You might consider common interests, similar values, sexual chemistry (let's be real, here), and, of course, effective communication, the latter of which is super, super important for a flourishing, healthy relationship.

Here's why: the way you speak to each other determines how you provide each other respect, work through conflict, and enjoy as many happy moments together as possible.

RELATED: The #1 Marriage Problem, According To Therapists (And How To Fix It)

Yet it's hard work! Luckily, a few real-life couples shared their top tips for how to communicate well as teammates. 

1. Use a gentle touch.

"It's not just about the words you say but also how you can touch your partner to offer reassurance. Sometimes it'll be holding hands while speaking or lightly touching a knee or arm or something to stay connected."

2. Make eye contact.

"If you look away, it seems like you don't care to listen and be there for the conversation, so holding eye contact is really important for staying there and making sure your partner feels like they're being heard."

3. Repeat back what's said.

"Not after every sentence, of course, but if you say 'I see you're upset because you think this' or 'What you're saying is this then' or something similar to show you grasp what they're saying to you, it shows you're working to see their side and then everyone can also stay on the same page and actually fix the problem better."

4. Validate their feelings.

"It's smart to say you understand why they're upset even if you don't really get it or see it at all. Lying will help you out! Say you get why they're upset and you're sorry, and then you can move on and try not to do it again in the future, too."

5. Say you're sorry.

"Way simpler than you realize. Just say sorry. Even if you don't mean it. It'll at least break tension and make them think you're sorry or at least want to move on. Still, though, after you say it, talk about why it hurt them and say you'll try better in the future. Not apologizing and taking any fault is a bad move."

RELATED: 8 Ways The Happiest Couples Communicate With Each Other

6. Don't blame anyone.

"Don't play the blame game. It's better to say 'we' instead of 'you' and say, 'we are both hurt' or 'we both didn't do the right thing and now let's talk about it' instead of attacking the other person and playing victim."

7. Forgive somewhat easily.

"If it's not forgivable, then don't, but if it's a little fight that isn't huge, and your partner seems to be sorry or trying to work on things then forgive them. If you're too stubborn, you'll never move on and be good again (which isn't fun anyway), and it sends the wrong message like whatever they say sorry for doesn't really matter."

8. Don't yell.

"Yelling just makes it hard to get a message across and worsens the anger on both sides. Instead, stay calm and rational. Also, if you're too heated, wait to talk and remove yourself because you won't be able to speak clearly."

9. Take turns speaking.

"Let your partner speak too to share their side and feelings. If you keep interrupting them, it's rude and doesn't make for effective conversation."

10. Agree to work on things.

"Sure, it's nice to apologize, but it's not so nice if you do the same exact thing that upset your partner over and over again. Make it known that you are aware of what went wrong, what you need to work on to be there for your partner, and then how you're going to improve for the future."

RELATED: 17 Ways To Fight Less & Communicate Sanely In Your Marriage

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Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy. To read her work or inquire, please visit her website.

This article was originally published at PopSugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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