Contributed by Duffy Q.

I have seen many relationships start out so promising only to head downhill very quickly.  Things are going strong then come ‘slights’ that are not addressed, arguments that come from ‘nowhere’ and then, before you know it, the relationship ends. When I have spoken to people after a break-up, they often comment that relationships are supposed to easy. But that is not always the case.

Relationships need tending. Work doesn’t mean it has to be ‘hard’ work or a struggle.  It simply means you have to participate. You have to give it your attention and put your whole self into it.

Communication is key. You can’t change anyone but yourself but this doesn’t mean you can’t bring up something that is bothering you.  If your partner keeps leaving the cap off of the toothpaste, say something.  Don’t believe they should automatically know that it irritates you because you give them a look.

Get to the bottom of things.  I see couples arguing about minor issues like dinner, how the other washes the dishes or what TV show to watch and these disagreements escalate into screaming matches. When the argument is dissected, it turns out that it stems from something that happened two months ago that was left unspoken. Next time you feel like an argument is brewing ask yourself what you are upset about and you will be less likely to take it out on the other person.

What do you do to keep your relationship strong?  We invite you to participate in the conversation by filling in the box below.