Tag Archives: relationships

How to have a successful relationship

happy man and woman photo

How to have a successful relationship

Stop scoring points

A successful relationship always involves acting with integrity, Even if your partner doesn’t. Respond in the best possible way and treat them as you would wish to be treated. Stop keeping score as this leads to resentment. Communicate about what isn’t working rather than using this resentment to get back at the other person in order to even the ‘playing field’.

No game playing

They didn’t test, so I not going to text them either. This is short lived nonsense that will only temporarily make you feel better. Act as you wish to continue in the relationship. Game playing is the beginning of the end if it becomes a habit in the relationship and it reduces trust.

Be honest and open

Speak up when you feel the need. Talk about what’s on your mind as it fosters intimacy and a stronger bond. Be human. Be vulnerable. Take that risk for excellent rewards of a successful relationship.

Communicate as much as possible – don’t suppress

If something bothers you don’t let it fester. Pick the right moment and clear the air. Try to communicate regularly and dissipate any inner tension in doing so. You will feel closer and do better as a couple in the long run.

Pick your battles

Not every indiscretion needs to become a point of conflict. Decide on your boundaries and your ‘deal breaker’ areas and stick to those. Regular bickering and arguing ruins relationships.

Don’t try to change the other person’s fundamental characteristics, personality traits

If they are outgoing and lively, let them be that way even if that’s not how you behave. Stifle someone and you suppress their spirit and dilute their essence and they will end up resenting you for it. Give them freedom to be who they want to be and they will love you more for it.

Treat each other with respect

When respect goes you may as well give up. Respect means you still honour that person and don’t want to hurt them. When respect goes, the gloves are off.

Be assertive, don’t use passive aggressive tactics

Ask for what you want – don’t expect the other person to guess if you have not explicitly told them. Use assertive script to get your needs met: “when you….I feel…so what I’d like is…”

Using this format fosters cooperation rather than a defensive reaction.

Always work towards the ultimate goal of the relationship – to be close, intimate and best companions

When you feel the urge to do something that might damage the relationship, ask yourself if that action will contribute to a happy healthy relationship or not. Use this to guide your behaviour.

Healthy happy and successful relationships are within the reach of all of us. Tread carefully and be thoughtful and love can be yours forever.

Mandy X

 

Thoughts on marriage and divorce

 

marriage photo

Thoughts on marriage and divorce

I have never been married. Not that I have ever been against marriage but I have never felt the urge to marry anyone. I honestly don’t believe that marriage strengthens or weakens a relationship – if it is the right relationship, it will last regardless. I am also not idealistic enough to buy into the idea of “till death do us part”.

In some ways, marriage causes more problems than it solves and I have come across many people who were doing just fine together until they married each other. Go figure!

Many reasons for divorce can be positive. Gender roles have changed dramatically, eroding the traditional structure of marriage and creating conflict. There is more equality between males and females and people are living longer. Many relationships now are more than just a ‘romantic pairing’, it has become a transaction. As long as each person’s needs are being met, the relationship continues. When one or both people begin to feel misunderstood or alone on the relationship, the marriage transitions into a restless zone.

When costs go up and rewards decrease, the future of the relationship is in jeopardy. So there will always be a threat to marriage with each person asking themselves, “Is this marriage making me happy?”.

Less serious reasons are arising for divorce – such as being boring in bed as opposed to more serious reasons such as infidelity.

Those who survive marriage are emotionally mature and they realise that even someone who loves them to their full capacity can still hurt and disappoint them. They realise that no one is perfect and that marriage involves sticking together through the tough times and emerging stronger and more bonded than before. Marriage is definitely not a ticket to a permanent state of romantic bliss as many Hollywood movies would have us believe.

To me, true love is sticking by someone even when the going gets tough as well as making a commitment to support that person and help them achieve their true potential. A friendship that helps you to grow.

Mandy X

 

What’s your love language?

 

love language photo

What’s your love language?

We all have different ways of feeling loved. Some of feel loved when our partners spend quality time with us, some of us prefer it when our partners do things for us – like cook us dinner or take us somewhere nice…. our preferred love language can cause problems when we automatically assume that our partners feel loved in the same way we do.

Just because you like gifts to feel loved and special might not mean that your partner feels as loved when you buy them a present. So, expressing your own love language to your partner and finding out what their preferred love language is can go a long way to improving the longevity of your relationship.

 How to spot your partner’s love language

Observe their behaviour – how do they express love and appreciation to others?

What do they request most – this will show you what they prefer. Do they ask for help with activities, chores around the house or do they harp on about going on a holiday with you?

The love languages

1) Acts of service

Getting breakfast in bed, mowing the lawn, fetching the dry cleaning…these are all examples of acts of service.

2) Quality time

This involves spending time together where you are focused on each other. It doesn’t count if you are in the same room but ignoring each other.

3) Gift giving

Gift giving and receiving is extremely symbolic.All gifts have an emotional value.

4) Physical touch

Affection, sex and touching can all help bond a couple together.

5) Words of affirmation

Some of us need to hear the words “I love you” as well as positive verbal affirmations about how much we mean to them, how important we are.

Relationships take work and the above five love languages can all be used to help a relationship along. Keep in mind all five and make an effort to use them all, especially the main one that you know your partner appreciates. The more loved your partner feels the more you will receive back too.

Mandy X

More info: Gary Chapman – The Five Languages of Love (Book)

Photo by Glenn Loos-Austin

arguing couple

Power struggles in relationships

 

Power Struggles in Relationshipsman and woman arguing photo

Relationships are rarely constantly equal as they progress. At times, one person will seem stronger and more in control than the other and this can change further down the line. What causes power struggles and what can be done to maintain as much equality as possible?

From what I have seen when dealing with couples, it is the person who tries to control and be assertive and remind everyone that they make the rules that is the insecure one in the relationship.  Those who lack confidence believe that they have limited effect on others and doubt their ability to be in control. This is why they behave aggressively and make rules for others to follow. This is how they try to assert their authority and feel powerful.

The struggle usually starts in childhood. Powerful, unwielding parents can create feelings of powerlessness in their children. These children then find ways to compensate for this feeling of powerless but go about it in ways that are often unproductive and anti social. These children often come from emotional chaos where they were unable to express themselves in a safe and balanced environment. As a result they do not learn to essential skills of being assertive and getting their needs met in mature effective ways. From childhood through adulthood, their sense of power is partly shaped by recognizing that they can alter the mood of those around them, this encourages subtle emotional manipulation – something they have learned a survival tool as a child but that no longer works as an adult in adult relationships. To prove his or her power, this tyrannical adult may overpower the relationship’s emotional energy.

Now, imagine your relationship as a see-saw. If both partners understand their power (or are empowered), the see-saw stays relatively level and balanced. But if one person in the relationship has brought in a feeling of powerlessness, he or she may try to  compensate by baring down on the see-saw, shifting his or her weight, and perpetually uprooting, destablilizing, ungrounding his or her partner on the other side. At best, the partner will be perplexed but willing to go along with these demonstrations of power. Just know that the longer you go without recognizing you’re a force and continuing to be an emotional dictator, the more likely your partner will be to retreat. Ultimately, this manifestation of your attempt to feel powerful will be to drive your partner away. 

Give up the power struggle by realising that you are no longer that powerless child and that there are very different dynamics in existence in an adult relationship is the first step. Understand that your partner is with you because they choose to be and that there is no need to try manipulate and control them in order to get them to do what you want. You are equal adults now and all that is needed is effective communication. Learn how to express yourself in positive ways that allow your partner to listen to you rather than to tune you out.

Mandy X

 

Photo by MCAD Library