As the New Year begins, we all go through the process of self evaluation. The main focus is usually looking for what we need to improve in our lives. The one thing that should always be at the top of that list is your relationship. Whether it be the one you have with your significant other, friends, parents, etc. there are many bad habits we can all work on eliminating.. For good!
PICKING EACH OTHER APART
Okay, you have to admit, we all do this from time to time. If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you know exactly what I mean. There is always going to be little things about your significant other that drive you crazy, but don’t forget that it goes both ways. Many couples have a tendency to pick each other apart, from the way they chew their food to the way they drive. Just stop!
I know it’s hard, but these little annoyances are never going to end. And if you keep looking for these types of flaws, it’ll eventually get out of hand and they will become the only thing you see. Learn to accept the other person’s quirks, and you may begin to appreciate them a bit more.
I have certainly been guilty of this, as have many others. It’s easy to let something fester when you’re upset. And it’s easy for that one festering action to bring up multiple actions from who knows when. Before you know it, a fight has been decided on before he’s even home from work. Let it go.
Sometimes we’re caught off guard on an already bad day, and something very small makes our Jenga tower of emotions come crashing down. That’s okay. Consider that sometimes, people say things that hurt us without even knowing. It’s okay to point it out, but don’t hold on to it.
FEEDING EACH OTHER’S NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
This is one that I’ve always believed in, personally. When you spend most of your time with one person, you get to know the ins and outs of how they think. And when they’ve had a bad day they often come home just bursting with frustration, venting every detail, from getting stuck behind the school bus all the way to work, to the unbearable conversation they were forced into with their least favorite coworker.
Now, although it’s very easy to dive into your own details about your daily annoyances, try something else instead. Try going in the opposite direction. Remind them that tomorrow will be better, and bring them back over to the lighter side of things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to vent here and there, but too much of it coming from both sides can lead to a lot of bitterness in a relationship.
BRINGING YOUR WORK HOME WITH YOU
This was one of my resolutions in my own relationship, and we have taken many steps at bettering this bad habit. Unfortunately, work is roughly 70% of our day, 8-5, give or take. It consumes us in many ways, and sometimes it’s a real struggle to not think about work when it’s long over. Especially when we have a bad day at work.
Although it’s such a huge part of our lives, especially for military families, this habit can have a poor affect on life at home. When one or both people are consumed with their work lives, it causes a disconnect and a lack of solid communication about the things that are fundamental to any relationship and family. It serves as such a distraction, that both people stop doing their typical relationship maintenance. It’s important to have a healthy amount of separation between your work life and your personal life.
BEING UNWILLING TO COMPROMISE
We spend half of our lives learning how to stand our ground, and then the world tests us, asking us to give a little? Yeah. Right. Every relationship under the sun takes a whole lot of patience, and a constant willingness to compromise. Throw the military in there and you can end up with quite the mess. But it takes practice. It takes failing, fighting, apologizing, and regrouping, over and over again until we find a common ground.
I’ve always been very observant of the couples that Kyle and I hang out with. It’s always interesting to see how other people handle certain situations, and the result can tell you a lot about the type of relationship they have. A lot of people struggle with this concept of compromising, especially when it comes to the things they feel very strongly about. So whether it’s where you want to live someday, or how you want to raise your children, take a step back. Learn to accept the other person’s viewpoints, and find a way to integrate them with your own.
TRYING TO “FIX” EACH OTHER
This can be interpreted in a few ways, so let me make it a bit clearer. Similar to picking each other apart, we all find things in the other person that we believe should be different. Often times, without realizing, we try to change the things we think are wrong to make them more like us. It’s sad, but it’s human nature. Our way or the highway. But what we don’t realize in those moments is that there is no right or wrong way. There are just a bunch of different ways. Don’t try to fix someone just because they’re different from you. You may find that in doing so, all you’ve truly done is take away the wonderful ways that they’re unique and special to you.
What are some aspects of your own relationship that you hope to improve this year?