Are you waiting for your partner to guess what you need? Do you focus on their flaws? Do you keep score of who-did-what? If you can relate, then you’re sabotaging your relationship satisfaction.

Few of us are aware of the damage these nagging situations cause over time. When you look at the big picture they may seem like natural relationship squabbles. But when these three scenarios happen on a daily basis, they slowly deteriorate the relationship. The ongoing frustration they cause leads to resentment, which leads to unhappiness within the relationship. And the truth is, most of us are guilty of at least one, if not all.

Whether you are in a long term relationship, or are married with children, there are things you can do to ensure these three situations won’t affect your relationship satisfaction.

increase relationship satisfaction

Here are three effective ways to increase relationship satisfaction:

1. Don’t wait for your partner to guess what you need, ask for it.

For instance, does your partner forget your birthday while you’d like to be celebrated? If so, don’t sulk or complain for their lack of consideration. Some people are truly not into celebrating things, and if you’re the opposite you will feel let down. Instead, let them know how much it means to you that they make your day special. Give them gentle reminders along the way. Their failure to celebrate you the way you’d like to be celebrated doesn’t mean they don’t care. It means, they simply don’t value it as much as you do.

The above example can apply to other situations as well. Such as your desire for more physical affection, or a need for space. Whether it’s a physical or emotional need you’d like your partner to fulfill, ask for it. Let them know how much it means to you, and how it makes you feel when those needs go unmet. Tap into the value of open communication without blaming, or complaining.

2. Don’t dwell on your partner’s flaws, highlight the qualities.

It’s so easy to point out what our partners are lacking, or the habits that annoy us. But if we focus too much on what’s lacking we miss out on what’s available. Our partners’ most prominent qualities are what made us fall in love with them. And those qualities are still there, but you must remind yourself of their presence.

We like to think that the grass on the other side is greener, but it’s not. Everyone comes with a set of flaws. It’s a matter of which ones you consider dealbreakers, or how they measure up against the qualities. It’s important not to overlook your partner’s attributes out of frustration, resentment or hardship. So next time you find yourself emphasizing your partner’s defects, think of the positive traits. It’s amazing how that shifts your mindset and increases relationship satisfaction. Our thoughts are so powerful they become reality. So think wisely.

3. Don’t keep score of who-did-what, appreciate what gets done.

Who-does-what in a relationship is a big source of conflict for couples. Life gets so busy and we all feel overwhelmed at times. And in those moments, we are tempted to confront our partners for not doing their part. But these types of confrontations always end with a sour taste. Instead of expecting your partner to do the things that overwhelm you, set up systems to equally divide responsibilities.

A relationship, like everything else, needs structure, consistency and dedication to thrive. So come to an agreement on dividing duties that leaves you both satisfied. Show appreciation for each other’s efforts. Remember, you are a team working towards the same goals. Make increasing your relationship satisfaction one of them.

Strive to see the glass half full in your relationship by staying responsive towards your partner.  Address frustrations as soon as they surface and communicate openly. It will pave the way for a more satisfying relationship.

How strong is your relationship? This quiz will help you find out.

Read next: 3 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship: How To Fix It

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