February may be the month of love, but it takes more than chocolates, flowers and dinner dates to make a relationship work. A strong and healthy relationship is built on the three C’s: Communication, Compromise and Commitment.
Whether starting a new relationship or celebrating decades of marriage, here is a refresher course in the three C’s:
Think about how to use communication to make your partner feel needed, desired and appreciated. Communication is verbal and non-verbal, so actions speak volumes, and remember that listening is a major component of healthy communication. It’s not always what is said, but how it is said, that’s important. If a couple communicates with aggression, the silent treatment or abusive language or actions, it signals concerns that might best be addressed by a professional.
Two people in a relationship bring individual experiences, thoughts, behaviors and personalities to the table. Finding common ground means expressing opinions, understanding and accepting differences and agreeing on compromise. If both people feel heard and understood, it helps prevent one person from feeling like they’re giving in, which can build resentment over time.
Commitment means putting each other and the relationship first. This requires a lot of giving, and certainly some sacrifice, but the payoff is a relationship that brings true joy and fulfillment to each other’s lives. Knowing that each person is committed to working through challenges and growing together builds trust and intimacy, and helps release the fears and doubts that hold couples back.
Relationships can be challenging, and can take a toll on mental, emotional and physical health, mood, or even focus at work. For help with any relationship or personal concern, contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by ACI Specialty Benefits at 800.932.0034 or firstname.lastname@example.org.