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Couples could foster stronger relationships by being positive while encountering issues, says Dr Nisha Khanna, Relationship Counselor and Certified EQ Coach.

#1 Criticism
Major spoiler in the marriage is criticism but we all want appreciation. So, In spite of criticism, if we start appreciating our partner on the smallest of things, it will help boost their self-esteem. Appreciation is an art and most of the people are unaware about its importance. Compliments on daily basis should be part of relationship. It makes other person more confident and happy which further helps make the relationship stronger and successful.

#2 Contempt
Respect is on a higher level in any relationship. A person should not only show respect through words but actions also. We should not call our partner “stupid, fat, ugly” and so on. We should never belittle, put down and use unreasonable accusations against them. People who respect each other also value each other’s independence and difference of opinion which makes the relationship more beautiful.
#3 Nagging
Sometimes partners intervene or nag the spouse. Non-confrontation and positive reinforcement is more helpful and an effective technique for change. Nagger should also learn how to let it go. Sometimes through humor they can also make the situation lighter. Reframing your words during conversation is a common method of conflict resolution. First the person has to understand their own frame or view point, then appreciate other person’s view point. Further equally explore similarities and differences between them.

#4 Defensiveness
Getting into the “blame game” makes relationship go from bad to worse. Person should learn how to be positively assertive and differentiate between “what you can change” from “what you can’t change”. A person should understand that change is required in him or her and for that first we have to change ourselves and then change our circumstances or behavior and then think of changing others.

#5 Stone Walling
It is so detrimental that it can mark the final step to the breakdown of the relationship or marriage. A person should learn to be more empathetic than emphatic in a relationship. Both should learn to forgive or strike a civil dialogue to solve the situation or adversity at hand. If one person can’t forgive then other has to understand the source and nature of the anger. Both should do things together to break the ice and seek to communicate. Instead of criticism, try to be more patient. Tune into person’s fear, insecurities, anger, hurt and confusions. A person should keep anger aside and ego to let other person know that you are on their side and try to make the re-connection the way you met first time.

#6 Withholding Intimacy
The constant denial of physical or sexual relationship creates a difference between the couple. It is a particular kind of rejection that affects other person’s self esteem and thought process. This passive-aggressive technique may be overt or covert to manipulate your partner to do things your way. Sometimes person is preoccupied with other things so it’s hard for them to think about all this. Sometimes refusal could be due to medical reasons. Partner sometimes may not feel like having intimacy just after the arguments or fight. Sexual abuse victims, people with attachment disorders, people who feel powerless withdraw intimacy as a means of protecting themselves. So person should value the need for recognition and praise and give generously. Listen carefully to your partner and make sure you understand from where it’s coming, even if you don’t agree. Person should use fear fighting techniques when you discuss matters you disagree with. If there is a medical reason you should seek treatment.

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