Everyone wants a great relationship – one that meets their needs, and provides a safe, soft, warm place to be who they are and to be accepted and loved. If you want a great relationship, then work on being the best husband or wife that you can be!
When people are determined to do something, they do it. When people are driven from within to do something well, they learn everything they can about it. They practice, they study, they push themselves past the rough spots, make time for it, allow themselves to be uncomfortable and work hard until they master it! You get out of it what you invest in it.
My point here is that most people want a great relationship and to be a great partner to their spouse, but they don’t want to do the work that is associated with it! They just want their spouse to be everything they want, but they don’t really work on being a great spouse! How do you rate as a spouse?
- Do you know what your partner needs you to work on (on yourself) so that they can be more comfortable in the relationship with you?
- Do you really hear your partner when they are talking to you?
- Do you have a deep intimate knowledge of your partner’s most significant needs (hint: they are rooted in their childhood)?
- Do you have a lot of negative chatter (bitterness) going on in your head about your spouse or do you see their tender, sweet, hurting side?
- Are you forgiving, accepting, loving, tender, respectful, safe, trustworthy, and giving with your partner?
- Do you invest time in your partner? Can you set your needs aside in order to meet theirs?
- Do you judge and condemn their ideas, suggestions, opinions, thoughts, or do you seek to understand them?
- Are you more focused on what you are getting out of the relationship rather than what you are giving to the relationship?
I have couples coming in all the time that are just stuck in a cycle of negativity. They can’t seem to pull themselves out of the downward spiral towards break up. My first job in that scenario is to get them out of the habit (important word, there!) of focusing on what they are not getting out of the relationship and how their spouse is not meeting their needs. Sometimes it can take a year just to get people to quit focusing on their partner and instead, begin working on being a good spouse. Put down the magnifying glass and pick up a mirror!
If you want a great marriage, then you need to get to work! If you are interested in being the best husband/wife/partner/girlfriend/boyfriend or whatever, then learn everything you can about it. Read books, go to counseling, join a group, read articles and blogs, talk to other people who have great marriages and ask how they did it, and most importantly, learn what it is that your spouse needs and learn how to give it to them.
A great relationship isn’t 50/50, it is 100/100! You each have to invest yourself completely in being the best partner you can be in order to get the rewards!!