Are you perfect? Are you doing everything right with regard to your significant other love relationship? Doubt it! How would you know? Are your friends reliable, objective, and straight forward in giving you their perspective on such matters? Again, doubt it! So, to fill in the gaps and offer a perspective that you may not be in touch with, I present the following lesson, building on an article written by Brittany Wong which is the title of this writing. I embellish her eight points with my clinical observations.
- TALKING ABOUT YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER BEHIND HIS BACK ISN’T GOOD FOR ANYONE. While venting to others may feel satisfying at the moment it may stop you from doing the actual work needed to work things out with your spouse. Plus, it feels like a violation to your S.O. when you reveal personal information. Also, it can be a bit awkward for all concerned when you bring your partner around these friends.
- YOUR IN-LAWS NEED TO BUTT OUT OF YOUR MARRIAGE (I add parents, as well). You and your partner are family now, a joined unit. Your primary emotional bond needs to be with your partner. Don’t leak out damaging information and don’t let them come in behind the sacred walls of your united relationship. None of their business!
- STOP TRYING TO “FIX” YOUR PARTNER. More men than women typically do this. You need to stop hoping and believing the other person will change. You can offer up a wish or need to him/her and then see if this person will reflect on it and take on the responsibility to make such a change.
- YOU NEED TO COOL IT WITH COMPLAINING. Nobody enjoys being with a whiner! Focus on what is good and right in your discussions. If you have a genuine gripe or concern, state it briefly and move on from it to something more positive.
- GET A LIFE (outside of your marriage). Many couple lose their individuality in coupledom, co-dependency. These joined at the hip couples fold in on themselves. There is more to share with each other when each person has experiences separate from each other.
- IF YOU DISLIKE SO MANY THINGS ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE, WHY ARE YOU TOGETHER? First of all, maybe you did poor “due diligence” research in getting to know who this person was before you married him/her. And, once you have found out that this person has so many things “wrong” with him/her, you can work at developing a better relationship through marriage counseling. Or, if that is not possible, move on. Life is too short to stay with a “loser” who makes your life miserable. Just do better research next time!
- STOP TRYING TO GET EVEN. The “eye for an eye” mindset is a terrible way to live. Retaliation just escalates the relationship to an uglier level. If it is a major concern, address the issue assertively and respectfully.
- NO ONE NEEDS TO HEAR YOU ARGUE WITH YOUR PARTNER. The ultimate in tackiness, poor judgment, and insensitivity is to take your “dirty laundry” public. Stay behind closed doors with your nasty exchange. You look like fools doing it in front of others. You don’t need such embarrassment.
Respected Reader, certainly these are not all the things that well meaning trusted friends need to tell you, but probably won’t. Let these eight marinate in your mind and see if they apply to you – and open your reflections to other things you may need to be mindful of if you want the relationship of your dreams.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates