Is this something you may have heard before? Hmmm. I doubt it.
I guessing that for some of you, if you ever heard that statement, it might bring up all the things that you secretly know about yourself that could (and probably should) be changed – and if they were, would better contribute to a more healthy and happy relationship.
Others might begin to think about all the things that they think their partner thinks about them. We all have stuff that should be changed.
No one is perfect. We all have things about ourselves and things that annoy us about our partner that we wish they would change. It may not make much sense, but sometimes, annoyances come in the smallest packages.
• Not putting the toilet seat down. (It’s purely a matter of respect).
• Rolling the toilet paper the wrong way. (Have two bathrooms? Problem solved!)
• Leaving clothing for your partner to pick up. (It’s also a matter of respect).
• Stopping smoking or not taking your smoke break anywhere but in the house.
• Invalidating your partner’s feelings. (“I hate my job!” ~ “You shouldn’t feel that way.”)
• When your partner speaks… you LISTEN!
• Not remembering to say, “I love you,” at least once each day!
• Being constantly late for everything.
• Raising your voice and holding on to being “Right!”
• Nagging. (Men AND woman are guilty of this one)
• Knowing you will be late, and not calling your partner to tell her/him!
• Not giving your partner a romantic HUG at least once a day.
• Not being man enough to stop and ask for directions!
• Saying you’re fine when you’re obviously not fine.
• Not thinking before you speak. Weight your words before you say them ~ especially if you are angry.
• Not giving your partner some space when they need it.
• Having unrealistic expectation about your relationship.
• Saying, “I’ll do it later,” which means one or two weeks from now.
• Shutting down and not talking when you are angry and when your partner asks, “What’s wrong?” you say, “Nothing!”
• Not saying, “I’m sorry,” when you know you are wrong or did something that disappoints your partner.
• Spending too much time on your computer and not enough time with your partner.
• Not doing your share of the household chores. (Guys: Women rarely argue with a man who is doing chores!) 😉
• Not taking your partner out to dinner and not leaving your cell phone at home.
• Listening with empathy when your partner has had a bad day. Just listening, not being a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It!
• Talking down to your partner.
• Drinking directly out of the orange juice carton.
• Rejecting all your partner’s compliments. (When your partner compliments you, all you have to do is smile and say, “thank you.” That’s it.)
Hmmm. The above list are a few of the little things that often piss us off! Some might say some of them are not so little. 😉 They show up frequently in my coaching sessions. Most are petty issues. After a while your irritability level goes up and even minor mistakes are more than you can take. If you spend much time with anybody then you are bound to eventually be annoyed by the small things. Sometimes it’s important to consider the matter so trivial it isn’t worth the discord it causes. The trick is to look beyond those petty annoyances and see the real person that’s there – the person you say you love.
Take a deep breath, bite your tongue, and think logically before starting an argument about something. Begin by asking myself “Does it really matter?” or “Am I just overreacting?” Give others the benefit of the doubt as much as you can. Carefully choose the things you argue about. How you argue – especially how you end an argument – can determine the long-term success or failure of your relationship. Expressing your feelings is fine, but finesse is required. If something your partner does annoys you more that 2 or 3 times, it’s time to talk about it.
“You have to color outside of the lines once in a while if you want to make your life to be a masterpiece.” ~ Albert Einstein
In other words, there must be some changes you both can make to make your relationship a masterpiece. Working together. Setting aside your petty differences and focusing on doing whatever it takes to create the kind of relationship you both can be happy in; one that allows forgiveness and a commitment to make and keep some mutually beneficial new promises.
Promise each other that there will be no “undelivered communication!” Withholding important conversation from your partner nearly always proves to be the destructive force behind the, “My partner will not listen to me!” or “My partner will not talk to me” complaint.
Instead of complaining, deliver the communication – in a loving way – to your partner. The number one problem in relationships is undelivered communication. It’s the things we don’t communicate because the last time we did, it caused a confrontation, argument, anger, frustration and we want to avoid these feelings so we stuff them. The next thing you know is, your partner didn’t take out the garbage and you want a divorce and it’s not about the garbage. Your ability to communicate is important and helps with feeling more of a bond with your partner, but if nothing changes, you’ll be having the same conversations again in a week.
We must learn to distinguish between expectations and needs. Everyone has a need to be loved, to be understood, to be accepted and to be forgiven when necessary. For us to have expectations about how those needs get fulfilled can only cause disappointment.
It’s important to come up with a plan for what needs to change. If you stop there and do nothing else, you’ll still be doing better than the average yelling match. However, if you want to be sure that this becomes a habit, reward yourselves. Cuddling, watching a movie, or having good old-fashioned makeup sex are all positive ways to end an argument on a happy note. Remember to say, “I love you,” and give a long, heart-felt hug.
It’s the little things we do for each other that help the relationship grow!
If we could accept the notion that everyone is doing the best they can, regardless of whether their choices are our choices, our attitude about our relationship would improve and perhaps the relationship we have would become the relationship we enjoy being in.
Copyright © 2015 – 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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