I often have couples ask me the quickest way to improve their relationship. They ask me jokingly not expecting an answer, but I always have one. The quickest way to improve your relationship is by making a choice. You can choose love, or you can choose to do what you've been doing and stay stuck.
You can choose to believe in your partner, believe in yourself, and believe that your relationship is worth fighting for, or you can do nothing (which doesn't usually go to well). But the truth of it is that often, especially in the beginning and middle there is a choice. Sometimes even towards what could be the end of a relationship there are choice moments, that can redefine everything, even make things better than you expected.
The thing that a lot of people don't realize is that even when they are not actively choosing love, that is a choice. It is a passive choice, but still a choice. It is placing something else above your relationship. Often the other choice is pride, fear, self-preservation, or laziness, but it is always a choice.
So today, as you consider your relationship make the choice to be intentional. Make the choice to believe the best of your partner, and treat them in a way that reflects that. Make a choice to love, even when it is hard, and even when you are tired. And if you choose something other than love, make damn sure you know what your choosing. Then the new question becomes is it worth it? If not, make a different choice.
A lot of people live their lives feeling out of control, devalued, settling for less, and just plain unhappy. The truth is that you can have a good relationship. In fact, you might even be able to have a great one.
The primary reason people don't understand that they can be happy within a relationship, and derive further happiness from that relationship is that they buy into the picture perfect Hollywood version of happy. One big problem... that version stops at wedding bells,...but then what? There is a swell of perfection all leading to that one glorious day, and then poof the credits roll and that's all she wrote. But the truth is that most of us live in the before and after. What happens after the honeymoon is up to you.
The reason we don't see this part in the movies is because it takes work. And who wants to go see a movie about people building their relationship and maintaining a friendship while meeting the demands of career, kids, extended family and other interests (wait a minute, I'd still go see that, but most people wouldn't). Because relationships take daily work, and they aren't always a thrill a minute. But it's in the sweaty mess of living life that love can continue to grow the most. Plus the work doesn't have to be all that hard, the more you do it, the more fun it gets.
Relationships are like plants, the ones that are nurtured flourish even in harsh conditions, but those neglected die. So how do you nurture your relationship? I talked about that last time:http://www.kempenichcounseling.com/1/post/2013/04/the-stock-market-whats-love-got-to-do-go-to-do-with-it.html
but thought I'd go into a little more about what that means. Here is some quick practical wisdom for how to invest in your loving relationship with your partner.
Take a moment and think back to when you first started seeing your partner. What kind of things did you do together? What things did you do for your partner then that have now fallen away? Often couples think, well I was trying to "woo" her then, and think that they no longer need to do the things they once did to win a person over. But what good is getting a person's love and affection if you can't keep it or increase it? And one of the easiest ways to up your odds of keeping and increasing your love is to continue to woo. Be authentic but also be invested enough in that person to let them know you still care, still want them, and that they are still worth the effort. It can be small like cooking a meal, or carving out time to spend together, but having intention for your partner can make all the difference in continuing to grow your love. So, no excuses...get out there and love on your partner, even when it's hard.
Let me close with wise words from Dr. Sue Johnson " Love is like a language, if you speak it, it flows more and more easily. If you don't, then you start to lose it."
Thoughts and musings to consider.