In Pat Love’s book, “The Truth About Love“, she shares various misconceptions about relationships. I have turned these into the following TRUTHS about relationships as a guide for evaluating yours.
- Relationships are never perfect. Problems don’t mean it wasn’t meant to be. It just means you have to work them through.
- Once love dies, you can get it back with noticing, giving each other attention and celebrating the love and life you have. Happiness is wanting what you have.
- Relationships are more than just chemistry.
- It takes more than love to have a good relationship. Particularly trust, respect and good communication.
- You can be in love and still be attracted to other people. Being in a committed relationship means that you still find others attractive and enjoy others being attracted to you, but you don’t act out on it.
- It’s not about meeting the right person as much as it is about becoming the right person. If you work on being the best you can be, it is likely you will attract someone who appreciates you and whose values are more likely to be like yours.
The Four predictors of divorce are: Criticism, Defensiveness, Withdrawal and Contempt.
1) Instead of criticizing, ask for what you want. And when your partner criticizes, ask “What do you need?” and “How can I help?”
2) When you find yourself getting defensive: Stop. Start over. Call tome out. Apologize. Ask for more information. Take a deep breath.
3) When your partner withdraws, give him/ her more time and space. Find a way to manage your anxiety until the mood shifts. Entertain yourself. Do something fun. When you withdraw, let your partner know you need some time alone and about how long you need. If your withdrawal has nothing to do with the relationship, let this fact be known. If you have a problem, speak up.
4) When there is contempt between the tow of you, note this as a sign that the relationship could be in serious distress. Take time out to restore the good feelings between you. Do those activities that always work to bring you closer together.
These ideas and suggestions are often used in couples therapy and marriage counseling.
Good relationships give incredible rewards and unlimited opportunity for love and living a fuller life. Keep this in mind for your special relationship.