How Can I Strengthen My Relationship? Ask These 5 Questions to Build a Healthier Connection

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How Can I Strengthen My Relationship? Ask These 5 Questions to Build a Healthier Connection

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
March 7, 2022
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Healthy romantic relationships are a source of joy, support, and fulfillment in our lives, but they take a lot of hard work! Every relationship, no matter what stage it is in, can benefit from putting in effort to strengthen it.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself in order to build a healthier relationship:

1. What is our communication style?

If you were to build a successful business, you would need to constantly think about it, assess it, and talk about it. Relationships are no different. Yet, most couples struggle to communicate effectively about their needs, often setting them aside to keep the peace.

How good are you and your partner in talking about your relationship? What is your communication process? Remember, the two of you won’t automatically have the same style of communicating. The best time to work on this is when things are going well in the relationship. Talk to your partner and find a communication style that works for both of you. It should be intentional and decided early in the relationship.

2. How can I be clearer about what I feel?

When our partners don’t understand or hear us, we often get frustrated, give up, or get resentful. Even if we have a communication style that works, there are times we think the other person doesn’t hear or understand us. We tend to give up very quickly on being able to express our point of view. But the truth is that we are not always clear with ourselves on what we are trying to communicate.

If you feel you have something important you want to share, ask yourself, “How can I be clearer about what’s going on in my mind, heart, and soul in order to better express it?” We often expect our partners to understand us automatically or help us gain clarity on our feelings. But first, we must be clear with ourselves. Take the time to assess what you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and where it is stemming from. Once you get really clear with yourself, you’ll be better able to articulate what you desire, and there’s a better chance your message will be received.

3. What are my fundamental desires and beliefs?

Compromise is key to a healthy relationship, but how do we know whether we are making healthy compromises or harmful sacrifices in our romantic lives? It comes down to how aware we are of the things that are important to us.

Compromise is when two people come together to discuss how to move forward and how to navigate a challenge. Compromise is not about giving up something fundamental to you, whether it’s a dream, a belief, or a purpose. When you give up on your desires or beliefs in order to make someone else happy, that is sacrifice, not compromise. That kind of sacrifice can lead to long-term resentment for your partner.

When something is way more important to one of you than the other, that’s the right time to compromise. Or when something is not that important to either of you, that’s also a time to compromise. But when something is fundamental and important to one person, support it. Don’t sacrifice your beliefs or the love you deserve. This means knowing what is fundamentally important to you and expressing it to your partner.

4. Are we committed to changing together?

Every relationship is meant to constantly grow and change in order to fulfill us in greater and greater ways. We are not meant to stay the same forever. And nothing gets better unless it is addressed head-on.

Think of change as a continuous mutual conversation between partners, not a one-time decision. When problems arise, don’t just ignore them. If you don’t address them now, they don’t go away or get better in 5 years. They only get worse. Make a commitment to each other that the relationship cannot and will not stay the way it is now, even if it takes years. That is the key to building a relationship that constantly grows and brings more fulfillment to both partners.

5. Are we using our relationship to create a positive impact in the world?

No matter how much we love our partners and spending time with them, the truth is that we didn’t come into the world just to enjoy each other’s company. Our relationships are meant to be a powerful source of energy that feeds us and enables us to share and spend time with other people.

There is a delicate balance we must find. If you are blessed to enjoy spending time with your partner, make sure you do enough of that in order to nurture the relationship, but be careful. Make sure you don’t wind up being too selfish with your relationship to the point that you stop sharing your great love with the world.

The purpose of a thriving relationship is to have a strong foundation to be able to do something positive and have a positive impact on the world, whether it’s to help friends, family, or strangers. A relationship can’t thrive unless that is a consistent part of your relationship.

Your relationship is meant to be a tremendous source of fulfillment. If it isn’t, that’s a signal that something needs to be reevaluated, whether it’s the way you communicate or the commitment you have to each other and the world. Even the healthiest, most fulfilling relationships can be elevated to a further degree. It’s time to begin the process of taking your relationship from where it is now to even greater heights.