Entertainment of Saturday, 29 October 2016
Being together with a partner for the long haul can indicate the presence of serious commitment or be a sign of significant inertia, depending on the couple.
If two partners are sticking it out, they need to take care not to “stick it to” each other, too.
Following are 12 missteps that can trip you up along the path to relationship satisfaction when you lose sight of the importance of your partner.?
Ask yourself the following 12 questions. If you answer “yes” to one, a behavioral antidote is provided to help begin the relational healing.
1. Ignore the non-verbal messages that your partner uses and only attend to the words that are said?
Instead, do this: Attend to the words, the tone of voice, and your partner’s mood.
2. Assume that you no longer need to say “please,” “thank you,” or, perhaps most importantly, “I love you” to your partner because she “should know” how you feel?
Instead, do this: Use your best manners and communicate your love for her openly and frequently.
3. Fail to treat partners as the treasures they represent?
Instead, do this: Find small ways to show your appreciation as often as feasible—with words and deeds.
4. Let your own mood and needs determine when and where affection and intimacy show up in the relationship?
Instead, do this: Recognize that everyone’s needs for closeness, intimacy, and sexual engagement differ and each member of a couple should have the right to share their preferences without fear of harsh rejection; being “too tired” or “too stressed” are poor excuses when the potential emotional, physical, and psychological reward are so significant.
5. Forget all of the reasons that you initially chose your partner and forget the pleasure the relationship offered or promised back in its early days?
Instead, do this: When you are disappointed in the current state of the relationship or frustrated by the “sameness,” take a moment to reflect back on what drew you to your partner, the anticipation you would feel as you made plans to see him, and the way he made you feel just by being in his company. Let this be the lens through which you view her, not through the lens of the everyday.
6. Assume that marriage or long-term commitment guarantees that you have already done all of the “proving” of your affection or love that a partner might need?
Instead, do this: Reflect on all of the ways that she has stood by you through the difficult times or the painful periods or tragedies in life. Acknowledge the many ways that your partner shows her love for you and find ways to match this.
7. Find fault with your partner and freely share your criticisms of his behavior, his choices, and his goals?
Instead, do this: Refrain from criticizing his efforts—offer support and encouragement, not belittling of his efforts.
8. Constantly tell your partner how to avoid a mistake or simply take on the role of “backseat driver” every chance you get?
Instead, do this: Allow your partner to do things the hard way, if that’s the way he wants to do them.
9. Spend all of your free time in activities that do not include your partner?
Instead, do this: Make room for “couple’s time,” “alone time,” and “other friends’ time” on a regular basis. Not every waking moment needs to be spent in each other’s company, but sharing leisure time and leisure activities with your partner add to the pleasure and the possibilities in the relationship.
10. Make hard and fast rules about what you will and will not be willing to talk about with your partner?
Instead, do this: Be open to discussing topics that your partner expresses the desire to address—no matter how painful, boring, or absurd you may first believe the topic to be.
11. Make complaining your first choice for communication; let your partner know just how angry your boss, co-workers, other drivers, or family members and friends can make you?
Instead, do this: Share your concerns or complaints rationally and calmly. Don’t punish your partner for something someone else did to you that day. She can soothe your troubled mind and improve your mood, but only if you don’t turn her off with a verbal barrage of the faults of others and your anger.
12. Make everything always about your own needs, everyone else should be able to take care of themselves?
Instead, do this: Listen to what your partner says he needs and wants from the relationship; unless both partners invest in its outcome, the relationship is unlikely to sustain the difficulties that life tends to place in the way of a couple.