Everyone says they want a happier, healthier, more loving relationship with their spouse, and who could blame them? That idea of happily ever after sounds pretty good, right? Here’s the thing however – too often it’s not always our partner that creates the rifts that allow us to drift apart. Many times? We’re the ones getting in the way. Here are seven things to quit right now if you want to create and sustain a healthy, happy marriage.
Quit Thinking Love is Enough
Love is powerful, but not usually enough to carry you through the long haul. Through the rough spots. Through the big decisions. And the inevitable mistakes. Most happy couples who stay together have a big common denominator. They truly like one another. They are friends who see each other realistically and still say, “Yep – that’s the one for me.” Liking someone for all the right reasons is a far better relationship foundation than loving someone for the wrong reasons. Is this a person you’d choose as your friend even if you weren’t married? Look for what you like in your partner, not just what you love.
Quit Expecting Them to Make You Happy
Happiness is an inside job. We can’t do it for someone else, nor can they do it for us. We can share happy experiences, but real happiness comes from within. It’s our own journey. And frankly? Our own responsibility. Expecting someone else to make you happy is an impossible task to ask someone to take on, and it’s a very heavy load to bear. And that? Is not fair. In fact, it can hurt a relationship to the core. The best marriage is between two people who know how to find their own joy and choose to share their lives with another person who does the same.
Quit Arguing Unfairly
Manipulation. Yelling. Hitting below the belt. And the king of unfair techniques, the silent treatment. How can any relationship survive all that? That kind of drama is what you see in high school. It doesn’t belong there and it certainly has zero place in the real world of adult relationships. Do want a long marriage that is based in mutual respect, love, and responsibility? Don’t play games. Stop attacking one another and start being accountable for your own part. Quit interrupting and start listening. Quit letting your need to be right interfere with what’s real. Then work towards solutions together that you can both live with.
Quit Thinking Your Partner Can be Everything to You
What a huge responsibility that would be. And a heck of a lot of unnecessary pressure on your relationship. You need other friends. Interests. Activities. No one person can solve your all your problems. Laugh at all your jokes. Understand all your issues. Enjoy all your hobbies. A relationship shouldn’t be the only thing in your life (except for the first few months when the rest of the works doesn’t exist). Branch out. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin and with your own company. Then you can both bring those experiences, feelings, and excitement back home to share.
Quit Expecting Them to Read Your Mind
Want or need something? Ask. Speak your mind. Share (without blame). Just because your partner knows you doesn’t mean they are mind readers. Nor should they be. You are adults in an adult relationship. Part of being an adult is taking responsibility to use your voice when you need to be heard. To have real discussions about needs, wants and expectations. About fears and frustrations. About joy and celebrations. Being open and honest is the only real way you can get to truly know each other on a deeper level and learn how to respond better to each other throughout your lives.
Quit Making Assumptions
Stop placing intent on your partner’s actions. Forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning may not mean they don’t love you anymore. Going to sleep while you are talking may not mean they aren’t interested in you sexually ever again. Taking time to wind down after a tough day may not mean they are shutting you out. Placing intent on their actions is asking for trouble. Sometimes a lot of trouble. It’s unfair, unrealistic, and usually ends badly. Rarely will you be right. Instead, talk things out. Ask for clarification. Put yourself in their shoes. Because the truth? Is it’s usually not at all what you assumed it to be.
Quit Keeping Score
This is a serious relationship killer. Here’s how it goes: Our partner says or does something we don’t like. But we don’t tell them what’s wrong, or discuss the problem. Instead we choose to ignore it. Or do we? Ignoring means never thinking about it again. That’s not what happens. Instead we’re keeping a tally in our heads of all the infractions. Grow up! If you don’t like something deal with it. If it’s not important enough to deal with – then forget it forever. Keeping score creates tension. And the kind of unhealthy competitive spirit that will tear a relationship apart.