4 powerful ways to rid your relationship of bad habits

Give these things a try to detoxify your relationship.

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  • Being in love can be a wonderful feeling. You experience a type of relationship you can't get with anyone else.

  • Each relationship goes through similar stages. There's the puppy love, or "honeymoon phase," where you both are in complete awe of one another.

  • Then, you move into a more comfortable stage, where you both begin to open up and learn more about each other.

  • Now and then, a couple will enter a stage where they can hardly stand to be in the same room with one another. Couples enter this stage for different reasons.

  • The true test of relationships is being able to either avoid this stage, or work through it successfully together.

  • Here are four things you and your partner can practice to rid your relationship of bad habits:

  • 1. Amp up communication

  • Communication is crucial for a lasting relationship. Many conflicts arise from a lack of communication. So, it's important that as a couple, you maintain consistent communication with one another to avoid making the relationship toxic.

  • If something has been bothering you, speak up about it and express it to your partner. You should allow each other to feel comfortable talking about things on your mind. Also, try to use more "I" messages over "You" messages to avoid making your partner feel like you're blaming them. Blaming can turn a positive conversation into a negative one.

  • For example, when expressing how you feel, you would want to say, "I feel like we don't spend enough time cuddling," versus saying, "You never want to cuddle."

  • 2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  • If you love someone enough to be in a relationship with that person, then respect them. Don't belittle them or make them feel inadequate. Instead, empower each other and treat each other as equals in the relationship. Showing support for each other's goals is a great way to show respect for one another.

  • Also, be respectful of the fact that you have different opinions. Being able to understand where the other person is coming from is more important than always being right.

  • 3. Love yourself

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  • Before any relationship can be successful, you have to learn to love yourself. Relationships are meant to bring supplemental happiness to your life, not be the sole reason for it. Maintain who you are throughout the relationship. A few ways to do that are:

    • Keep up with your favorite hobbies

    • Go out with your friends

    • Do things that make YOU happy

  • There's nothing wrong with setting healthy boundaries to keep the relationship strong and positive. It's healthy for any relationship to have a good dose of separation now and then. You get the chance to take a few moments for yourself and the things you each enjoy; this allows you both to bring something to the relationship. Being yourself was most likely the reason that your partner became attracted to you in the first place. So stay true to that and allow him or her to do so as well.

  • 4. Set and maintain expectations

  • Every person is different when it comes to what they expect from a relationship. And it's OK for you both to be different. The important thing is that you each communicate expectations you have to each other.

  • Be clear with your reason for setting them. This can help clear a lot of confusing ground as you continue to build on your relationship.

  • A relationship requires the effort of two people to make it work. It's not always going to be perfect. However, when you both work at maintaining it and implementing these exercises regularly, you can prevent it from becoming toxic. Creating these positive habits now can determine the success of your relationship. As you work on these powerful exercises, you can create a healthy and lasting relationship you can both appreciate and enjoy.

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Kitt Wakeley is a partner at Vizown, a women's treatment center in Oklahoma. He is extremely passionate and determined to help women overcome their addictions and live a clean, wholesome, happy life.

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