3 Traits You Absolutely Must Have In Order To Maintain A Healthy Relationship

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In my experience with couples in relationships, it’s usually the little things that count when it comes to having a healthy relationship.

For instance, let's say you and your spouse have been married for five years and are still very much in love. Of course, you have arguments and disagreements, as every couple ultimately experiences. Lately, though, you’ve noticed that you've been getting frustrated with each other over the little things.

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For example, you're a tidy person and it drives you crazy when your spouse leaves dishes in the sink or clothes lying around. And your spouse gets annoyed when you let the dogs in the bedroom.

But you both brush these niggling frustrations aside. How bad can conflict get over annoying little habits? Left alone, one year down the line, the two of you could end up arguing incessantly and have little patience for each other.

What happened to the love and romance? You decide to seek marriage counseling to solve these insurmountable issues and bring you closer together once again.

First and foremost, however, this conflict situation could have been nipped in the bud if the two of you had only dealt with your frustrations earlier on in the marriage.

Remember that it takes individual bricks to build a brick wall, so if you only deal with each brick one at a time as it stacks up, you wouldn't have had a wall of resentment and frustration to contend with.

Sadly, many relationships end over trivial matters that escalate over time. So how can couples stop these trivialities from creeping in between them?

Here are 3 tricks for creating and maintaining a healthy relationship:

1. Communicate effectively

Deal with your irritations as they appear. Your partner leaves his/her socks lying on the floor? An obsessive TV habit that’s driving you crazy? Tell your partner how it makes you feel. Verbalize what is important to you. But do this sensitively and tactfully!

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2. Make an effort to change

OK, so your partner has told you that you need to close the lid on the toothpaste, so now what? Do it! Even if it means that you need to make that little bit more of an effort, remember how important it is to your partner and to your relationship. And in return, you will find that your partner will take special care in trying to stop habits that frustrate you.

3. Practice gratitude

Notice the effort that your partner is making to keep you happy and verbalize that. Thank your partner — not once or twice, but every time you see him/her attempting to change a habit and let him/her know that you really appreciate it!

Try this relationship advice and you will see that you will feel more loving to your partner and this will bring you closer together.

Remember: it’s the little things that count!

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Rachel Moheban-Wachtel is a couples' therapist and social worker. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website.

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