If it is going to last for a long time, we need to constantly re-evaluate our relationships. If we get stuck in the dynamic that was, resentment will thrive. We need to be open to change, and try and grow together.
Here are 10 tips to start your re-evaluation process. You can continue this together, or seek the help of a trained professional if you need a little bit of support -
1. There is no such thing as ‘the truth’. There is your version, and your partner’s version. To make a relationship work, it is about meeting each other in the middle
2. Everyone is entitled to have feelings and needs. It is respectful to listen to each other’s feelings and needs, without trying to change these, or to say that these are wrong
3. Blame is toxic. Instead, try to look at a way to move forward. Sometimes one party to the relationship might simply want to be heard
4. To assume is to make an ass out of you and me. We live busy lives and so we cannot always find time to discuss things. So we make assumptions about the other person, and sometimes that can distort the relationship into something that is far from the truth. Try to find a way to ask your partner (even if it is by notes left around the home) rather than making assumptions
5. Speak from the heart. Couples may communicate thoughts and logic, but emotions are often left unspoken. Emotions are neither right nor wrong, so if someone is feeling upset or angry, they need to be allowed to feel this
6. Abuse should never be tolerated. No matter what label that person has (husband, wife, mother, father), they do not have the right to inflict abuse. Abuse can take many forms, including emotional, verbal, sexual and physical
7. Assertiveness is essential in any relationship. None of us are assertive all of the time, but we should try to avoid passive or aggressive behaviour as much as possible
8. The glass is half full, and half empty. Although examining the negative aspects of a relationship is useful (in a bid to improve the situation), don’t end up neglecting the positive aspects
9. Context is all. You may not feel as excited as you once were when you met this person, but look at the entire picture. Perhaps there are additional pressures (such as raising a family or maintaining a home) that make it unrealistic to expect the same as you had before
10. Communication is key. The most common theme in relationships is communication. However you can achieve this, make effective communication your number one priority. This includes developing self-awareness, allowing each party to the relationship to have their say, and active listening
Chris Warren-Dickins LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Ridgewood New Jersey NJ 07450.
To book an appointment, please telephone +1 (201) 862-7776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org