In the New Year, many couples continue making the same mistakes in their relationship as they did the last year. Most of these couples are on the edge of divorce, have gotten to a place where they don’t like each other anymore, and have divided their home into two, which means, one person lives on one side of the house and the other lives on the other side.
However, there are some couples who have decided that although they are making the same mistakes, they have accepted responsibility for their actions and are ready to move forward with making their relationship better and becoming closer.
So what makes these couples different from couples who are ready to give up, let go, and walk away from their relationship or marriage. I would think that it’s their:
- Love for one another
- Their ability to focus on the problems and not each other
- The ability to communicate effectively
- Their tone and choice of words when talking to each other
- Their ability to refrain from attacking each other during a conversation
- Their ability to acknowledge that something is wrong
- Their ability to not allow their feelings to dictate their actions and behaviors
- Their commitment to God, their marriage vows, and each other
- Their willingness to change
- Their willingness to put in the time and effort it takes to make their relationship work
- And their willingness to invest in each other and their relationship
But I also believe, that there are other things couples do to make their relationship last and to grow closer together, that other couples fail to do. For example, couples who want their relationship to last:
- Don’t neglect each other: Don’t get caught up with fixing everyone else, that they neglect their relationship or marriage. They understand that relationships take work, and before they try to help others, they seek help for themselves.
- Don’t take each other for granted: And if they do, they apologize and make changes to keep from doing it again.
- Fall in love with each other every day: They encourage and support each other; they don’t focus on the negative aspects, and they put more attention on the positive things about each other and the relationship. They find ways to see each other from a new and different perspective every day.
- Appreciate: They appreciate the small things about each other and their relationship.
- Acknowledge: They tell and show each other how much they appreciate certain qualities or actions.
- Never manipulate: They don’t manipulate each other to get what they want, and they understand that they can’t force each other to do certain things, and therefore they don’t try.
- Forgive each other: They forgive even when they don’t want to, and understand that going to bed angry causes their relationship or marriage to suffer. They believe in genuinely kissing and making up before going to bed. Regardless of who is right or wrong, they always forgive each other because they understand that being right is not important, but forgiveness is.
- Accept and respect each other’s differences: They don’t try to change one another. They may not like everything about each other, but they RESPECT each other. They don’t try to force each other to change into something they’re not, or force each other to do something that’s uncomfortable.
- Disagree without yelling and screaming: They put their feelings aside when having a discussion. Emotionally mature couples understand that attacking each other during an argument or discussion doesn’t resolve the issue.
- Allow each other the opportunity to speak: They do this without interrupting. They don’t listen to give a reply; they listen to understand. Couples who create responses in their head while the other person is speaking, rarely develop an understanding of what the other person is saying or has said.
- Never assume: They don’t assume they know what each other is thinking, they ask questions to clarify and to gain an understanding. They accept and understand that they are not mind readers.
- Don’t measure: They don’t measure the success of their relationship with other relationships, and they don’t compare each other to other couples. They never say “I wish you were more like____________. This is the #1 statement that ruins relationships and marriages.
- Don’t allow past mistakes: They don’t allow past mistakes and experiences to dictate their future or happiness together. They understand the past is the past and moving forward is more important than bringing up what happen or what didn’t happen.
- Understand the importance of being open: They are honest, and consistent with each other at all times. They understand how valuable these characteristics are to the success of their relationship.
- Say please, thank you: They use phrases like ‘I appreciate you’, and ‘I love you often’. They understand that these are valuable statements and how important they are to the success of their relationship.
- Lastly, they always remember why they fell in love: They remember why they said I do, and why they chose to commit to each other.
Relationships can be very difficult at times, but when you have two people who are willing to put forth the effort it takes for their relationship to flourish, who want to improve their relationship, and who want to grow closer together, it makes working on the relationship easy and fun. Take some time and apply these to your relationship, and watch it grow and watch you and your mate grow closer.