10 Tiny, Powerful Changes That Make Couples (Pretty Much) Unbreakable

The choices that help couples stay together, from two psychologists (who are married to each other!)

Unbreakable couple Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

An unbreakable couple requires a commitment to the other person and the couple. It means you agree or promise to be together no matter what. It may require you to act differently than you are in the habit of doing or do more of something that might already be working.

You might feel your relationship is broken, but it may only require some attention and a tune-up. Here are some places to start. You can make up more on your own.


10 simple changes that make a big difference for couples 

1. Acknowledge each other regularly

Acknowledgment is the practice of noticing and appreciating something your partner has said or done. As it turns out this is not an expensive commodity but very effective and often missed. The tiny change is to focus on the positive more than the negative by highlighting the things you appreciate.

@coachlorenaramos Let your partner know how grateful you are for them. Random text messages go a long way. #relationship #gratitude #relationshipadvice ♬ original sound - Lorena Ramos

The more you give acknowledgement the more you will get back. Make your acknowledgment more than just a thank you. Be specific about what was said or done and the impact it had on you. You might say, “Dear, I acknowledge you for being so kind to my mother when she visited last week. It reminds me what a loving person you are and makes me feel warm inside.”


RELATED: The One Sign I See In My Practice That Indicates A Marriage Will Actually Last

2. Don’t go to bed angry

It is said if you go to bed angry, you will wake up angry. Don’t put off talking about what is difficult as soon as you can. Don’t play it safe by avoiding talking it out, it will only fester. Try at least to schedule a time to talk soon after the strongest emotions have calmed. If you master this, arguments will become opportunities for deeper understanding. Conflict will be an opportunity to get important issues resolved.

3. Don’t read each others’ mind

When we are together for a long time, we think we know what the other person is thinking most of the time, and we act accordingly. We are surprised when the response we get is unexpected or negative. Usually. it is because we guess wrong about what the other person is thinking. It is useful to find out the difference between what they are thinking and what you think they are thinking. You might ask, “What percentage of what I thought you were thinking was right, and what percentage was wrong?” The answers may be quite interesting and informative.


4. Touch each other more

As a verbal culture, we often forget to give more attention to the nonverbal part of communication. Physical touch significantly stimulates the brain. Touching each other, even lightly, tenderly, and lovingly almost anywhere will increase your sense of love and well-being. It doesn’t need to be sexual (of course it can be). You will feel calmer and more connected.

Close couple hugs after making change to be unbreakable AnnaStills via Shutterstock

RELATED: 3 Magic Words That Keep The Best Couples Together Forever


5. Laugh more

Another powerful aspect of nonverbal communication is laughter. Along with being intimate, one of the best nonverbal things you and your partner can do together is laugh with each other. Find a reason to do something to make you both laugh. It might be a show, a comedian, or a funny story. Laughing powerfully readjusts your body chemistry. Laughing together is a bonding experience and reduces stress and tension.

6. Make requests, not complaints

Many conversations we have as couples include someone complaining about something or someone. It is usually about something that did or did not happen but one of you thinks should have. The complaint usually does not change anything but leaves a negative feeling in the room. A better alternative is to turn your complaint into a request of your partner.

Take time to get clear about what you want for yourself and your couple. So instead of, “This place is always such a mess,” you might try, “I wonder if you might help clean up the kitchen tonight.” Don’t be afraid to make a clear request to your partner. It builds trust and is good for strengthening your relationship. Remember: without asking, there is little receiving.


RELATED: 3 Clever Ways To Get (Pretty Much) Anything You Want From Your Partner

7. See your couple as an oasis, not an obligation

When couples get together they might think having the kind of relationship they want means giving something up or a compromise. But wouldn’t it be great if being together didn’t make you compromise, but was an opportunity to be generous and give each other gifts?

When you do what your partner says they want (and you may not want), it can be out of a sense of obligation or out of generosity. Your time together is not a requirement, but a chance to give the present the other person might want and receive those gifts as well. The relationship is now a chance to receive, not just give, and to be an oasis, not an obligation.

8. Hang out with other couples

Being a great couple takes work and real commitment. It is not easy sometimes. You can feel isolated and lonely working through your issues and having no place to share your struggles and your good work. People often say couples shouldn’t “Share their dirty laundry.” But this means no one can help you see how all couples have issues and sharing them with other couples may provide the most understanding and support.


Large group of couples make relationships unbreakable Nuva Frames via Shutterstock

Find other couples you like and admire and spend time together. Individuals need friends, and couples need “couple” friends. Hang out with other couples and share your ups and downs. Humans have a long history of group and community behavior for good reason. “It takes a village!”

RELATED: 8 Little Ways Women Wish They Could Be Loved — Every Day Of Their Lives


9. Finish a small project you have been wanting to do

One of the hallmarks of a good couple is being able to cooperate, not just in emergencies or times of stress, but other times as well, Couples who cooperate well are unbreakable. Practice working together on a small project you have been meaning to do for a long time ——cleaning the attic, hanging those blinds, or pictures. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and teamwork that gives your couple strength. You will experience the power and satisfaction of a shared accomplishment.

10. Look at what is possible, not what is missing

It is natural to feel disappointed or angry at not getting what you want. Many times you have no control over circumstances in your life, It is easy to look back and see all the things that went wrong or are currently going wrong. The problem is there is not much you can do about them. What you can do is learn. Every time a door closes another door opens. When you don’t get what you want, look at what is possible now and invent new things to do to create new outcomes for you. That will make you and your couple unbreakable and UNSTOPPABLE.

RELATED: The One Habit Loving Couples Practice To Avoid Taking Each Other For Granted


Drs. Peter Sheras and Phyllis Koch-Sheras are clinical psychologists and founders of Couples Coaching Couples, a national non-profit organization committed to the creation and maintenance of profoundly fulfilling relationships.