Good relationships don’t just happen. I’ve heard many state that, “If I have to work at it, then it’s not the right relationship.” This isn’t true, any more than it’s true that you don’t have to work at keeping fit through exercise, eating to live, or staying hydrated by drinking water.
Here are 7 choices you can make that will add sweetness to your relationship, or save a sinking relationship.
INCREASE YOUR SELF-DEPENDENCE
Increasing your self-dependence means that you practice taking responsibility for your own feelings and emotional needs. This means that rather than always depending on your partner to make you feel happy and emotionally secure, you learn how to sometimes create this for yourself through your own thoughts and actions.
Of course, one of the reasons we chose partners is so that they make us feel happy and secure. But we begin to make a mistake when we expect that partner to be perfect. No one can be perfect. People can be excellent, but not perfect. So, learn to create some time for your own goals and hopes. Things you can do for yourself to make you happy.
This should not compete with your time with your partner. Rather, it should complement it and make the relationship stronger in a way that doesn’t set unrealistic expectations for your partner.
For instance, instead of getting angry at your partner for your feelings of abandonment when he or she is busy or giving time/attention to other stuff -instead of yourself- take some time to rekindle that love for drawing you had as a six-year-old. Have some fun with yourself instead. Instead of getting preoccupied because your partner is not listening to you, understand that your partner might not be interested in everything that interests you, and vice versa. Explore your own feelings of abandonment and discover how you might be abandoning yourself.
No one can live perpetually in an emotional island, but learning how to take loving care of yourself is vital to a good relationship.
PRACTICE TREATING OTHERS WITH KINDNESS, COMPASSION, CONSIDERATION & ACCEPTANCE
Treat others how you want them to treat you. If you don’t like being shouted at, try not to shout at others. We all yearn to be treated lovingly – with kindness, compassion, consideration, and acceptance. We need to treat our partner and others the same way. Relationships blossom when both partners treat each other with kindness. While there are no guarantees, treating others with kindness often brings kind considerations to us in return.
We should understand that sometimes our partners really need our support, and the best place we can be is by their side, holding their hand. Holding their hand may be boring compared to watching those hilarious memes on our phones. But sometimes, that’s what we need to do if we want our relationship to blossom. There’s a time for me-time, and there’s a time for others.
LEARNING INSTEAD OF CONTROLLING
When conflicts occur in a relationship, we are often focused on winning. Win that argument, win that apology, e.t.c. But we have another choice: you can use that as an ‘opportunity’ to learn about yourself and your partner and discover the deeper issues of the conflict. A saying goes like this: ‘See everything, overlook a great deal, and act on very little. You can adopt that saying. You don’t need to react to everything.’ Relationship expert Dale Carnegie wrote in his famous book How To Win Friends And Influence People that marriage is not a field for candor but an avenue for diplomacy.
We develop overt and subtle ways of trying to control others into relationships: anger, blame, judgment, niceness, compliance, care taking, resistance, withdrawal of love, explaining, teaching, defending, lying, denying, and so on. I am not here to judge on whether you are justified in the path you take. I only want to urge you to always hold measuring tape, so you don’t irreparably hurt the ones you love. A famous saying says that love doesn’t always go in a bang. Often it seeps away drip by drip, and if that leak is not plugged on time with the plug of understanding, the drips may become an ocean of unnecessary hurts.
Create times to do those things you used to do when you were courting, like going on dates. Yes, marriage may mean you now have many responsibilities. But occasionally do those romantic things you used to do that led to the marriage. Don’t forget your anniversary – to make it special. Valentine’s Day and your birthdays are also days when you could fix up a romantic dinner. You can use those dates to create new loving memories that would nourish your love much later.
GRATITUDE INSTEAD OF COMPLAINTS
Positive energy is created between two people when there is an “attitude of gratitude.” Constant nagging and complaints create negative energy that can choke love. So, no matter how justified you may feel in complaining… don’t overdo it. Practice being content with what you have rather than focusing all the time on what you don’t have.
Create happiness in your home and in your relationship by adopting these 5 choices, and constantly practicing these acts of love. Happiness uplifts the soul, and the soul ranks it higher that many things, including money.