Every relationship is endlessly multifaceted. That means you have infinite opportunities to make yourself and your partner happy. Happy, healthy relationships are ones in which both people are regularly getting their needs met. Half of that equation is meeting your partner where they are and giving them what they need.
Recently, I challenged myself to test this theory on my own relationship. We had planned a five-day trip, and I decided to make the trip about how happy I could make my partner and see how that would affect our relationship as a whole.
Relationships can get tough sometimes. You both have busy schedules and face external stressors like deadlines, kids, and sleep-deprivation. Even just these few things can create friction between you and your partner. That friction can negatively color your interactions for the entire day.
External factors often negatively pound away relationships repeatedly, eventually leading to the weakening and eventual breakdown of the relationship. So my challenge to myself was to become aware of how I acted toward my partner in every interaction and make conscious choices in my treatment of her.
Unsurprisingly to most of you (I suspect), the experiment brought us much closer together. It helped build even more love and compassion. We kept telling each other how close we felt, and how happy we were.