Gemma McCaw's tips for a lasting relationship

Because even the healthiest of relationships need work from time to time.

By Gemma McCaw
With all the buzz of the royal wedding (yes, we're still basking in the glow of Meghan and Harry), what better time to check to see if our marriages and partnerships are as healthy as they can be.
Strong and supportive relationships are incredibly important, and they have a huge bearing on our own wellbeing – if we're happy in love, then often our overall stress levels are lower.
Research also suggests that whining, defensiveness and stubbornness during disagreements in a marriage can predict divorce, whereas humour, affection and positive interactions mark successful unions. So, what are other ways we bring our best to relationships?

Give, love and share

Showing your affection helps build important bonds. Make sure your partner knows just how much you love them. Don't give up holding hands or spending time together as the years go by – physical affection is good for the soul. Be open and honest with each other, and always be ready to listen.

Don’t compare your marriage

No-one else knows what's going on in a relationship except the two people in it. It is not about comparing what you have to other couples or feeling like you don't measure up. The unique qualities of our partnerships give us permission to write our own rules and to never feel judgment. Do it your way!

Celebrate their wins

How we respond when others share triumphs with us can either build or undermine a relationship. Supporting partners when a good thing happens is just as important as having their back when things aren't going well. Genuinely sharing in the other person's good news helps to build strong bonds that last a lifetime.

Take time to connect

No matter how busy you are, remember to love the person you are with. Even when things are totally hectic, don't forget to kiss them goodbye in the morning and hello when you see them. Also, take the time to ask how their day was. In the chaos of a busy life, expressing gratitude and thanks to your loved one will go a long way.

Pick your battles

It's better to bend than break. Pick battles wisely to avoid bitterness. You don't always have to be right. Showing compassion is important – see it as a willingness to move on for the betterment of your partnership.

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