Picture this for a moment… When you dated him, he was funny, entertaining, thoughtful, a great lover, and many other things. When you were dating her, she was kind, considerate, and laughed at your jokes even though you knew they weren’t that funny. One day, you knew deep within your heart that he/she was the one. You married that wonderful person and for a while things were just as you had imagined they would be. But now for some reason things have changed – they have changed – and you’re not happy. Is this scenario resonating with anyone? So, here are those 5-Things About Relationships You Already Know… But Do Anyway!
 DON’T talk about him to your girlfriends, family, or complete strangers. You were able to get him to take you out for dinner – it took you weeks – but he finally made the reservation. And to a very nice restaurant I might add. The waiter comes over to your table and asks you what you’d like to drink and you say (dripping with sarcasm) “Well, what would you suggest, it’s been 3-years since my husband took me out to dinner, actually it’s been 3-years since my husband has taken me away for that matter. We used to go for dinner often before we got married but not anymore. Right honey?” The waiter gives you a funny look and smiles. He only wants to know what type of drink you would like to have before you order dinner. He doesn’t care about your marital problems. Your husband has just done something nice for you. It doesn’t matter how long it took him, just enjoy and appreciate the moment. Men need encouragement just like we do. Don’t bash him and embarrass him. Build him up and empower him.
 DON’T put her down every chance you get in the hopes that she will change her behavior and start loving you more. Complaining, criticizing, constantly pointing out flaws, doesn’t work if you want her to change what you believe is negative behavior that is destroying your relationship. Have you ever considered that maybe she has changed because you changed? Perhaps her work environment is stressful, and all she wants to do is come home, relax, and be loved and pampered by you. She rarely socializes with her friends because it only causes an argument. So when she comes home with bags of shopping knowing full well that you are in debt up to your eyes, she might be doing it for several reasons – to get away from you, to help her relax and feel good, or perhaps she’s just so frustrated and fed-up with your behavior that she’s just going to stick-it to you and run up the credit cards even more. If he’s a man trying to get away from his nagging wife, then maybe he chooses to play hours and hours of combat video games, or hang out with the boys knowing full well that you will have something to say about it when he get’s home. But you know what? She/he doesn’t care anymore and that is why they do what they do.
 DON’T grill him about where he’s been the minute he walks through the door. Ok, so you’re thinking, “Well I have a right to know where he’s been, especially since he should have been home an hour ago!” And I agree with you. But listen, can you let him get through the door. Take his work clothes off, perhaps get a little something to eat before you pin him to the floor with a choke-hold? What you don’t realize is that it isn’t what you ask, but HOW you ask the question that is the key to keeping your potentially conflict situation to a minimum. The tone of your voice can let him know that you are concerned and not angry. How about “Hey baby, I was expecting you home an hour ago, is everything ok?” Give him an opportunity to respond. Now, if this is something that has been going on for a long time, then whatever it is that you’re thinking may be a valid thought. However, have you stopped to wonder if perhaps the reason he stays out late is because of you, and not because he’s having an affair or spending time with the guys. Yes, I said it. Perhaps you’re the problem. If you can be true to yourself, and it is, you can fix that.
 DON’T constantly remind your spouse that you should have married that other person your mom liked so much. You may think this is funny right now, but I guarantee that if you have ever said this to your spouse they don’t think it’s funny at all. You married them because they had qualities that appealed to you and that you loved. So why, on a daily basis, would you act like or say that you made a mistake marrying them? Do you think your spouse is encouraged by those words? Do you really believe that they are going to change under these circumstances? Would you?
 DON’T withhold sex to “teach your spouse a lesson”. If you are doing this… STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Understand me clearly; I am not saying that you should just give it up whenever your spouse demands it. What I’m saying ladies and gentlemen is that the silent treatment does not work. Your spouse is not a mind reader. How are they supposed to know what is going on in your head or how you’re feeling about a particular issue if you don’t communicate! Verbal communication. Yes, they can see from your body language that there is something definitely wrong, but if you don’t tell them, then how are they supposed to respond. However, be very careful HOW you talk to your spouse. Use a gentle voice. Talk about how you feel, not about what they did. How is your spouse supposed to make amends? How are the two of you supposed to work things out, if you don’t talk? And when you do, perhaps you still don’t feel like lovemaking, but allowing your spouse to hold you in their arms, to snuggle up to each other, assures them that you are both moving in the right directions.
Being in a relationship requires work. Some hard work, until you have both found your groove. Think about it… you have two individuals with two very different personalities, who have different beliefs, ideas, etc. These two people come together and bring all their likes, dislikes, habits (good or bad), beliefs, thoughts, and mindsets with them. Sounds daunting, does it? But the truth is, good relationships take time to mature and they evolve over time. Being in a relationship requires good communication skills, good listening skills, and good negotiation skills. You have to be willing to give (compromise) and take, forgive and let go, encourage and support, love and be loved. Sometimes you may find some of these things difficult to do. You know that you want your relationship to be different but you just don’t know the steps to take to make things better between you.
Here are a few suggestions that will help you get started in repairing and rebuilding your relationship:
- Talk to your Minister/Pastor/Rabbi – only if he is trained in counseling or counseling psychology. Not everyone who carries the title can counsel individuals who are having relationship problems.
- Seek Therapy or Counseling – you can go online and do a Google search for a therapist or counselor in your area. I encourage you to do your research. Check to make sure that they are licensed and that their license is current and up to date. Perhaps even go a little further and ask for references. Do your homework.
- Find a Coach – the beauty about coaching is that it has become very popular with both men and women. It doesn’t carry the stigma that counseling or therapy sometimes carries for some individuals, especially men. Coaching provides a forum that allows each individual the freedom to get unstuck and come up with solutions together so they can move forward – together. Coaching provides a safe, nurturing and non-judgmental place to begin exploring new ideas.
- Get a Mediator – assuming that you have tried everything you can think of, and the relationship cannot be repaired, then you should know that more and more people are turning to mediating as a cost-effective alternative to hiring an attorney. A mediator is a neutral third-party who does not chose sides, but is there to help you navigate through the process and come to a mutually agreeable solution. Again, I encourage you to do your research.
Until the next time…
Resolve It Now!