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5 Habits to Ditch in the New Year for Your Relationship to Thrive

Old habits are hard to break, especially when they creep into your relationship. It’s bad enough to acquire negative patterns in our own lives, much less bring additional unhealthy ones into the lives of the ones we love. If you’re looking to rid your relationship of destructive tendencies and make 2016 your best marriage yet, try ditching these 5 habits that are detrimental to your relationship.

1. Leave the cell phone at the door. Your bedroom is your sanctuary and should be your couples haven too. Don’t let Candy Crush and Facebook distractions keep you away from using this time to connect with your loved one. Share your day’s events, read a news article together or just make love. Your bedroom is your private space to reconnect, so use it wisely.

2. Turn the TV off at least 3 nights out of the week. Television isn’t ALL bad. It can be a great connector when enjoying it with the one you love. That’s why I recommend turning it off for ONLY three nights out of the week. Use the non-TV time to play cards, chat over a glass of wine or read a book. Doing something engaging makes for more connection and a better relationship overall.

3. Try not to over-tease. Teasing can be great fun, but when it gets to a point that it becomes constant or suffocating, your partner may perceive the teasing as criticism. Saying things like “you always” or “you never” in a light-hearted way still leaves your lover feeling as though they have a character flaw.

4. Not dating anymore. Can you remember the last memory you made with your spouse? If you can’t, then it’s time to hire a babysitter and get out. Dating your significant other is crucial to maintaining your friendship. It’s a way to let loose, unwind and enjoy each other’s company.

5. Doing for you. I’m all for having your own personal time, space and hobbies. But when you keep thinking of ways to make more time for “me,” you tend to lose sight of the “we.” Instead of looking for ways to escape, try finding interests that have been lost or have never been tried before. Do something different TOGETHER.

Old habits are hard to break, but not impossible. Relationships at times can be difficult but not permanently destructive. With a little work and a lot of support, you can have a thriving and happy relationship this year and always.

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