Has your relationship whacked you over the head lately? Bet you didn’t see that coming! However, it probably would not have happened if you had been paying attention. Perhaps it’s the wake-up call you needed that something is missing in your relationship.
It usually screams. . . Accountability!
Wake-up calls demand that you be accountable for the current condition that YOU have helped to create in your relationship.
“A common close call for a guy is having the woman in his life threaten to end their relationship because of his reluctance to finally look at and own up to his behavior that has helped drive the relationship toward unhappiness and disaster. At this point women need to see some concrete form of action from their guy, like getting some relationship coaching, getting into therapy, attending a seminar, reading a book.” ~ Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D.
I would add that although my experience has me agreeing with Dr. Vierra, I would add that men are not the only ones to get wake-up calls.
A wake-up call for a woman may be that she feels that her partner is pulling away; that he is spending more time at the office than usual. He may just plop down in a chair with the TV remote in hand and wait for you to announce, “Supper’s ready!” (Shame on him – I thought this was supposed to be a “partnership!”) There may be less intimacy or she may hear excuses when she wants to be close. It’s time to pay attention!
Wake up – don’t break up!
If you value your relationship, wake-up calls are not to be ignored. They are intended to get your attention.
Many partners have what I call blind spots. They drift along thinking that everything is alright but there is a feeling of disconnect that they tend to ignore.
It’s important to do something about these feelings sooner than later. Be careful not to wait too long to take action. Some wake-up calls come too late. The problem often is that by the time you pick up on that something is really wrong, your partner has been thinking about moving on for 6 months to a year and is ready to make the call and it may be too late. The other partner is usually surprised, stunned and clueless about what just happened. By then it could be the beginning of the end.
I often hear my coaching clients say, “I didn’t see it coming!” or “He (or she) won’t tell me what it is I am doing that upsets them. He (or she) says I ought to know, but I don’t.”
Pay attention to your relationship! Give it your full attention. Then you will know. If you sense that something is not working the way you think it should. . . do something about it. Relationships require maintenance. They also require preventative maintenance; the kind that keeps you ahead of any problems or issues that may surface.
It is much easier to maintain and enrich your present relationship than to establish a new one. There is no shame in beginning again; starting over with your partner. If your heart is beating. . . you can start all over again.
“Be brave and ask your wife (or husband) how you measure up. Better to know now and correct the problems than to be blindsided by divorce papers later on. When you ask, don’t get upset at her (or his) answers, just thank them for their honesty and make your plan to improve.” ~ Gary and Joy Lundberg
Talk. AND listen to each other. Have quiet conversations about what you both can do to have a more healthy relationship. Treat each other with respect. Demonstrate your appreciation for each other. Your partner will treat you as well or as poorly as you let them. If something your partner is doing annoys you – in the most loving way you can – you owe it to the relationship to talk to them about it. The longer you hold it in, the harder it will be to talk about it. Flirt with each other. Be each others teachers. By that, I mean, practice the “Golden Rule!” Often we get more of what we want from the relationship when we give what our partner needs.
We often withhold communication because the last time we brought an issue up it caused a major disturbance in the relationships routine. So, we keep quiet. Then one day he doesn’t take the garbage out and you want a divorce and it’s not about the garbage. It’s about all the things you failed to talk about.
Hire a relationship coach. Read a good relationship book together. Yes, I said, “together!” Read, “How to Get the Most From Reading a Relationship Book.”
When you pay attention to your partner’s needs, they will be more inclined to pay attention to your needs.
Does your sex life need a wake-up call too? Intimacy almost always improves when you work together to make your relationship something that you are proud to be in. It’s difficult to want to make love with your partner when your relationship is in need of a major makeover.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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