Myth: I have arguments with my partner and that's a bad sign.
Fact: “The Enduring Love” research actually showed that lots of people value arguments, especially small disagreements, because they help to vent tensions rather than let them build up. They also let you learn what’s important to the other person and so can bring you closer.
Over time and after quite a few conflicts, I realized an important thing - I should keep the conversation focused on the issue at hand and not criticize my partner at the core of their character. That’s the difference between complaint and criticism.
Before speaking with my partner about what's bothering me, I usually let him know what I hope to get from the conversation. e.g "I just want to be heard", or, "I want your inputs on something and love for us to problem solve together", etc.
As a couple, staying friends has always been important for us, so we have a lot of simple rituals that help us stay that way. E.g together we write inspiring, funny, and uplifting messages on sticky notes and leave them in unexpected places around our community.
We realised that division of household chores makes everyone better off. Over time we figured out what each one of us is good at, what we each love/hate doing, and then arranged accordingly.
Understanding where my hurt or fear or neediness came from was the first step in helping me strengthen our relationship. Getting to know myself better really helped me feel happier in our relationship, including the hopefully passionate, exciting, challenging, and rewarding life-long relationship with myself and my partner.