What are some tips to make my relationship healthier?

Belisa Vranich

Watch as clinical psychologist and author Dr. Belisa Vranich shares some tips that can help make your relationship healthier.

Communicate. Ask open ended questions that allow your partner to talk and then try to step outside of yourself and just listen to the answers. We are so emotionally attached to what our partners say, when much of the time it's not about 'us'; we make it about us which causes conflict and resentment. People want to be able to talk and feel heard without comments, feedback or retribution. This is one of the best gifts we can give our partners. 


Allowing your partner to be heard builds trust and helps people to feel like they are part of a collaborative partnership; one in which their thoughts and feelings matter. This will also allow them to be more comfortable opening up when there are more difficult things to share. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Some tips to make your relationship healthier are:

  • Identify your stressors. Sit down with your partner and write down everything that causes stress in your relationship. Divide triggers into two categories: in your control and out of your control. Then pick three items from the "in your control" list, brainstorm ways you can work together to solve them, and write down your strategies. 
  • Fight fair. Conflict is a natural, inevitable part of any relationship, and running from it will only seed trouble, not solve it. But it's how you fight that counts. The healthiest way to disagree is to view an argument as an opportunity to work things out and develop effective communication skills. Explain how you feel, ask for what you need, encourage your spouse to do the same, and listen well when they do. Follow the five to one rule: for every single negative thing you say to one another, you wipe out five positive things you have said.
  • Make peace over money. Experts (and amateurs) agree that having a different approach to spending money is one of the greatest relationship stressors and the cause of many fights and divorces. Explain to your other half how your parents dealt with money and how that informs your choices and have your partner do the same. Then each of you should clearly explain what you need or want and where your priorities lie. Come to an agreement about how you will spend, and how you will talk about spending, that you both can live with.
  • Prioritize health. Controlling the stress in your life is a great first step to improving your health. Bolster that commitment with other healthy choices. Make more meals at home, never skip breakfast, pack healthy lunches, and limit how much you eat out (which will cut down on money stress and overeating).

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Wanting a healthier relationship?

Have you let life's chaos separate you from the one you really care about? If all material items were to fade away, all you're going to have left are the people around you. Has your partner or spouse taken a back seat lately? If so, re-kindle that relationship. A great way to do this is by getting away from your routine and life. Take a short vacation, even if it's just a few hours down the road, and make a break for it (without the kids). Mini vacations where you can escape and connect again are important. Don't let life take you away from the people that matter most. It is a guarantee that when you're at the end of life's journey, you'll forget the everyday routine that has you stuck, but you'll remember moments and times spent with those you treasure. Do you want to make excuses to stay in the routine, or do you want to create a memory?

Best Vacations Spots:

Bed and Breakfast Guide:

And if you have kids give this a try...

Okay, you may be thinking “I can't afford to go on a vacation”, but what about a “switch and sit” night? Work out an arrangement with some friends with kids where you take theirs one night and they take yours another. Do this every month so you and your partner can have a date night to look forward to. “Switch and sit” is a great way to reconnect and save some money in the process. Plus, not only will you be helping out your own relationship, you will be helping out your friends as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.