5 Habits To Improve Your Relationship and Boost Emotional Connection

habits to improve relationships

Here are 5 habits to improve your relationship and boost emotional connection.

Note: This is a guest essay by Michael Gurian

You’ve probably met couples in which one or both partners interrupt the other person in public.

You might even be that couple!

One partner’s tendency to interrupt can create significant marital difficulties. It is a “negative habit” in love.

Science gives us some clues about what is going on – especially if the interrupter is a man.

Male heart rates do not rise as high as women’s during a marital conflict or stressful situation. Scientists Janice Kiecolt-Glaser and Ron Glaser found that conflict and stress in marriage not only increases women’s heart rates but also raises their stress hormones epinephrine and nor-epinephrine.

Habits Improve Your Relationship and emotional connectionMen’s “hearts,” literally, remain oblivious at times to the possible damage in their actions, including their interrupting.

But that’s not the whole story.

Women often tend to mirror the public male behavior (interrupting, in this case) in private in more damaging passive-aggressive ways than they realize.

By trading interrupting behavior back and forth in various settings, both lovers devalue one another. Over a period of years, it is difficult for this kind of relationship to work. As a result eventually people divorce.

Below are 5 habits to improve your relationship – which you can identify and work on right now!

If you are involved in 3 or more of these – to a significant degree – your relationship might be at risk.

Please be sure to answer all of the questions on this list twice—once for yourself (i.e. “look in the mirror at yourself”) – and then for your partner (i.e. gently assess your partner’s habits).

5 Habits To Improve Your Relationship

Make sure you are not doing the following negative habits with your partner.

1. Are you interrupting your partner in public and/or private?

Some interruption is normal between best friends, but do you do it too much?

2. Do you avoid doing things you know make your partner happy?

Or you do it only when your partner forces you—perhaps through bribery, begging, or anger.

3. Are you avoiding enjoying fulfilling physical intimacy?

This includes avoiding doing things sexually you really want to do and/or things that you know your partner needs and wants to do?.

4. Do you criticize your partner in public and/or in private?

Some amount of critique, judgment, moralizing, and correcting is normal – but too much is too much.

5. Do you let your partner criticize, judge, moralize about, and correct you-  far too often?

This means: You allow this to happen more than is safe for the development, growth, or stability of your own separated identity and self.

If you are getting critiqued every day (and you constantly assume your partner is right and you are wrong)  then your self-confidence is probably being significantly debilitated.

Now, here’s how to assess these 5 habits, so you improve your relationship…

poster communication listeningAfter you (and/or you both) have done this exercise, talk with one another about any insights which surface.

And be sure to share anecdotes or examples which might explain which habits you need to work on to improve your relationship.

As needed, talk with a marriage counselor alone or together about these lists.


You must take the time to identify and talk about which habits can improve your relationship. Honest conversation is the first step in the journey to becoming your best self and enjoying the best relationships.

Note: This is a guest essay by Michael Gurian

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