10 Things to Make Your Relationship Better
Commit, already. (And no, it has nothing to do with a wedding ring!)
Commitment is the glue that keeps a relationship together and yet most people haven't a clue what the word "Commitment" really means. They think in terms of marriage licenses or sexual fidelity, but real commitment goes beyond what goes on behind closed doors and wedding bands. The truth is, you can be totally faithful to your partner but still not be committed to the relationship. Commitment really means that you consider the other person in all matters--you consider how any action you might take affects your partner and the relationship. This does not mean that you will always make personal decisions secondary to your relationship, It does mean, however, that you make every effort to consider the impact of your actions and treat the relationship and your partner with fairness, respect, and without harm. Various studies have shown commitment to be a predictor of long-term marital happiness and stability.
In a solid relationship, you need to be able to make the assumption that your "other half" is telling you what you need to know and doing what they say they're doing; and the feeling needs to be 100% mutual. That's what trust means. It isn't just about fidelity, It's about trusting that your partner will respect you, be honest with you (which includes avoiding secretive behavior and "lies of omission"), and not hurt you. Do not break trust with your partner. Lack of trust is corrosive. It eats away at the very fabric of a relationship and leads to disillusion and dissolution. Once trust has been broken, it is very difficult, often impossible, to regain it. Even a gullible person will wise up eventually to an untrustworthy partner. In order to make this part of your relationship better, you must learn how to deal with anger and conflict. If you, as a couple, can manage anger and disputes, then both of you are less likely to resort to lies and deceit to avoid confrontation.
Learn how to share unconditionally.
This is much harder than it sounds. People are not very good at sharing. We fight hard for ownership and refuse to let it go once we have it. In fact, sharing is so foreign to most of us that we give up something only because we hope that giving up something we love will be beneficial for us in return. And that's not sharing at all--it's trading. We all want unconditional love and yet we find it very difficult to give ourselves unconditionally and yet, successful relationships do require sacrifice. Someone has to give up something from time to time--whether it's something big like a career or a hometown or something small like acquiescing to your partner on her choice of restaurant. Try giving your partner an unconditional surprise at least once a week. Do it without expecting anything in return. And if you've been holding out on giving up on something, consider letting it go. You may be surprised at just how good it makes both of you feel.
Nurture your partner's dreams and goals.
In a nutshell, nurturing your partner means accepting their independence and doing whatever you can to encourage it. If your inclination is to be with your partner 24/7 and control their every move, you really need to take a step back and learn to be a self-sufficient, independent human being. What you are doing is the opposite of nurturing and is no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't stop. On the other hand, if you're failing to nurture your partner because you don't know what their goals, dreams, and aspirations are, you simply need to ask. Then, devise three ways that you could assist in the realization of those goals. It can be a total game changer for your relationship.
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