23 Feb What about successful relationships?
A couple’s relationship constitutes the core of life and maybe the most important factor for the normal development of children. It demands continuous effort, personal responsibility for the daily events in a couple’s life, self-awareness and commitment in order to have a partnership and get to enjoy a common journey through life.
It is definitely not an easy case to protect, support, sustain and leave a healthy relationship. Why? Relationships are dyadic interactions, intensely complex and constantly changing. Many marriages/long-lasting relationships, are not always happy. People choose to stay in an unsatisfying relationship for various reasons (e.g. children, finances). Some of the marriages will finally end up to a divorce (approx. 40 -50%). Many times, I listen to people pointing out to their partner’s negative characteristics and habits. Some other times, I realize how difficult it is for people to adjust to and to cope with someone else who is not the “perfect” partner.
I strongly believe that one of the key factors for a harmonized and happy relationships is to start focusing on our self. Instead of looking at the other side of the “river”, let’s have a closer look at the mirror. What do we see? Us! In other words, each one of us should elaborate on the things that he/she can do for the relationship. Below are some tips:
1. Actively work for the relationship: A relationship is a leaving organism, that has to be taken care of, every single day. So, think about the things that you like, or the things that you think they are difficult in your relationship. Focus on YOU: how do you feel about those things?
2. Get to know to your feelings: Sometimes it is quite difficult to spot our feelings; not thoughts, but feelings. Some of the basic feelings that a human being can experience are: sadness, anger, joy, fear, and all of them are of great value for just one reason: we all experience them, and they belong to us. They are there! No one can deny in reality a feeling that he is experiencing.
3. Focus on your positive emotions: Sharing positive feelings is very nurturing for a relationship. Instead of sharing only our anger and disappointment about our partner’s behavior, it is also very constructive to remind to our partner how much we care and we love him/her for the positive aspects of his/her input to the relationship.
4. Speak up: whenever there is a conflict talk it out! Share your worries and inner thoughts under the condition that you care for your partner. The target should be to take the relationship one step further. Relationships mature. Relationships hurt. Relationships can change. Remember that when you change and when you open up, your partner will also change. You will come closer to each other.
5. Sharing: Share your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Partners are not enemies. They are one team with the same aim: be happy together! Constructively share everything that exists in your head and your heart, and ask from your partner to do the same. We must be ready to give and to take back.
Is it just that? Is it so easy? Is it all about a recipe? Probably not! But definitely this is a good starting point. Successful relationships don’t just happen: They emerge when two people invest in their relationship and are willing to observe themselves, change aspects of their behavior and decide to go one step further: to get to know to yourself!
Caring for the relationship is a never ending process…The choice is always yours…