November 01, 2020

Appreciate your partner

Healthy relationships can be a great source of support, comfort and love. But when you're with someone day in and day out — which is especially the case for many couples during the COVID-19 pandemic — it can be easy to grow irritated or take your partner for granted. Make your spouse or partner a priority by:

  • Listening — Put aside distractions such as your phone and turn off the television. Give your full attention to your partner's words and nonverbal cues. When the topic is complex, summarize what you've heard to make sure you understand. If your partner is describing a problem, focus on listening without planning what your next response will be. Don't rush in with solutions or stories of similar problems you've faced. Ask, "Do you want me to just listen, or should I help think of some solutions?"
  • Complimenting — Be mindful of what your partner does for you and your relationship. Then, let your partner know what you appreciate about him or her, whether oral or written. This may seem awkward at first, but can become a natural habit over time.
  • Trying new things — Say yes if your partner asks you to try a new activity, even if it's out of your comfort zone. You may enjoy it more than you think. Even if it's not your favorite activity, it can be a way to show support, have new...