Couples tend to assume they already know all there is to know about each other, and so they pay less attention to what’s being said
Being in a close, secure and loving relationship is one of life’s greatest joys. It turns ‘you’ and ‘I’ into ‘us’. You feel good about yourself. You feel positive about life, and are much more likely to say that you feel truly happy than someone who’s always been single.
Intimate relationships work best when you’re both agreeable, trustworthy, and skilful at resolving conflicts. And when you’ve created a comfortable balance of intimacy, independence and commitment together. But even when you’re in a relationship like that, it’s still possible for one of you to spoil it!
Especially once you’re well past the honeymoon phase, and have started seeing each other as you really are. So it’s worth asking yourselves a few questions to see whether your relationship has some underlying issues.
Such as, are you both able to be yourselves? Or are either of you playing a role, just to please the other? Are you both happy with each other as you are, or are either of you secretly hoping the other will change in some way?
If either of you found any of those questions uncomfortable, talk about those feelings and start working together to ensure you can both be your true selves in your relationship.
You might also have developed some bad ‘couple habits.’
Bad couple habits can build up without you noticing them. Criticising, for example. It’s okay to disagree, or to complain about bad behaviour. But neither of you should belittle the other. Displaying contempt is another certain way to put a relationship under strain. Especially insults, hostile humour and mockery.
Other relationship spoilers? Trying to control each other. Taking each other for granted. Not showing an interest in what each of you are doing. Turning every argument into a row, instead of trying to understand each other’s concerns. Or refusing to acknowledge what your partner’s doing for you, and doing little in return.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to put things right, as long as you work on your relationship spoilers! And concentrate on building better approaches that will help love to grow.
Like making sure you understand each other. And are sharing your thoughts, feelings and attitudes. It’s not easy, because as time goes by couples tend to assume they already know all there is to know about each other, and so they pay less attention to what’s being said.
Listen to each other with respect and don’t allow negativity to sneak in, like criticising or moaning. It takes five positives, like a thank you, a smile or a compliment, to counteract every negative. So increase the positives and help your partner do the same.
Above all, be realistic. No partner is ever perfect. Because relationships are always developing, and have to adjust as we change and go through the different stages in our lives. A relationship is precious. The right partner’s hard to find. And developing and maintaining love is hard work. So don’t give up too easily.