I am part of a moms group and was asked by them to share a little insight into how our members may be able to improve their relationships for our Valentine’s themed meeting. Knowing that they were going to be discussing individual needs and how problems in a relationship surface when an individual’s needs are not being met, I decided to look at what are some of the possible behaviors when this happens and how to handle the situation more appropriately. I would like to share with you all what I came up with for that meeting. It is a list of relationship underminers and alternatively how you may be able to enhance your relationship with a different behavior.
|Relationship Underminers||Relationship Enhancers|
|Bad mouthing your spouse to others||Singing your spouse’s praise or at the least venting with the appropriate people without any character assassinations|
|Making negative assumptions about the intent of your spouse’s behavior||Giving them the benefit of the doubt|
|Fighting Dirty- name calling, bringing up the past, using terms like always or never||Fighting fair-Stay on topic, be respectful|
|Focusing on the negative things the person does||Focusing on the positive things they do and the joy they bring|
|Not listening when they talk and not trying to understand the meaning of what they are saying||Making a point to listen and understand|
|Playing the blame game||Look at your own behaviors and how you affect the other person first|
|Getting caught up in the dailies||Make your relationship and your partner a priority|
|Talking down to the person||Treating your spouse like a partner who has things to bring to the relationship|
|Only seeing things from your own point of view||Putting yourself in their shoes to see things their way|
|Taking your loved one for granted||Showing your appreciation for all the wonderful things they do|
We are all guilty of some of these relationship underminers at one time or another. The goal is to limit these behaviors, however, and to focus on engaging in behaviors that will improve your relationship. As you focus on creating more understanding and appreciation in your marriage or other relationship, the other person is more likely to make changes without feeling forced into doing so. It is a win-win for all! The trick is starting the positive behaviors even if you feel they are not deserved and keeping them up despite the other person’s behavior until you do see some real change. “Be the change you want to see in the world” or in this case, in your relationship. Which can you begin working on improving today?