Three mistakes you're making in your relationship that need attention right now!
1. Not responding to your partners attempts to repair an argument or resolve a conflict.
All couples will experience conflict and if handled appropriately, conflict can actually lead to growth in a relationship. However, if conflict and disagreements are consistently handled poorly, the relationship will suffer and will make long term success and happiness unlikely.
If one partner is willing to work on resolving conflict or attempts to stop it's escalation and the other partner rejects this attempt, this will create a cycle of unresolved frustration that will inevitably result in feeling hopeless and the same argument will be revisited time and time again.
The good news is that healthy conflict resolution is a skill that can be learned and practiced. Couples should discuss how to best manage an argument during a conflict free period. Creating shared rules to signify that the conflict is getting out of control can be helpful. Also, it is important to recognize that not all disagreements will have a neat and tidy resolution. Committing to a healthy level of "agreeing to disagree" can be helpful for the longevity of the relationship. Compromise as an option to resolve a conflict should never be viewed as a "loss" or "concession" but rather as a WIN for the relationship.
2. Not giving your relationship the time and effort it deserves.
They say we make time for what we care about and the same goes for your relationship. The benefits of a healthy relationships are a direct result of the work that is put in to create a healthy relationship. In order to obtain the results we desire in other areas of our lives (career, friendship, hobbies, fitness) we dedicate the time and energy. If we want a strong emotional and physical connection with our partner, we must be willing to put in the effort! Things like daily check-ins, weekly date nights, pillow talk, small gestures of physical affection and showing appreciation and gratitude are all ways to show your partner that you're willing to do the work!
3. Criticizing your partner's character.
We will not always be happy with everything that our partner says or does. In these instances, it is important that when we express our frustrations or concerns we do it in a way that focuses on our partner's specific behavior, not their character or personality.
A life partner should support you, try to understand where you are coming from and help you become your best version of you. Pointing out personality flaws or attacking your partner's character will not accomplish any of those tasks...in fact, it will only lead to hurt and resentment. Open and honest communication is important, just make sure it is done in a constructive rather than destructive manner. Bottom line, it is possible to criticize a behavior without criticizing the person.
If you recognize any of these mistakes in your relationship, don't despair! These are all areas that you can improve by using intention, mindfulness and effort. For more information on how to create a healthier and happier relationship, contact me for more information about my 6 weeks to Intentional Love.
About the author:
Michelle Fraley, MA, WPCC is a relationship coach and professional matchmaker and founder and owner of Spark Matchmaking & Relationship Coaching, LLC. Her mission to help people connect and maintain healthy, satisfying relationships using mindfulness and intentional love. She lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and too many animals to mention!
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