How do we create a relationship filled with love, fun, communication & joy?
According to Lee Iacocca, “Your legacy should be that you made it better than it was when you got it.” This quote is as true in business as it is in relationships.
So, how does that happen in a relationship that starts out with infatuation and romance?
(Limerence (also infatuated love) is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one’s feelings reciprocated.
How could a relationship that starts with infatuation and romance get any better?
Answer: It doesn’t happen without a proactive plan and action!
We all want a relationship that is characterized as abundant (i.e., more than we could ask for or imagine). While many individuals may portray their relationships as romantic, exotic, joyful and abundant on Facebook and other social media outlets, it is rarely the reality anyone actually experiences.
Answer: We are not taught how to communicate in a way that is healthy for a relationship and not about our own selfish interests, creating a power struggle in many relationships. The conversations starts with ‘I want’ and ends with ‘she feels’, each taking a side of the playing field fighting against each other.
What are the traps of Relationship Communication?
Relationship communication is the cornerstone of all abundant, or non-abundant, relationships. When communication is effective and efficient, the relationship thrives (i.e., sex, money, parenting, family, work, etc.). However, when communication is problematic, the relationship dives. In order to avoid a relationship dive, it is essential to avoid Selfishness and Assumptions which are the 2 primary driving forces of communication problems.
Selfishness + Assumptions = Communication Problems
How do we self-check and avoid Selfishness and Assumptions?
“We become like that which we think about most.” Earl Nightingale
Tips and questions to ask yourself as a self-check in your relationship:
Am I thinking about my own needs, wants, desires first and not what is best for our relationship?
Self-check reflect on if your statements begin with: I want…I’m going to do….I’m the only one who…as opposed to statements that begin with “We.”
Am I asking the right questions of my partner? (What are you thinking, feeling, needing, etc.)?
Self-check are you asking: What I hear you saying is that you… So, it sounds like you are feeling _____ about ____; is that the case? Sounds like you need some ____? Tell me more about what you need right now and how I can help you?
Am I taking ownership of any part of the problem?
Self-check ask yourself: What is my role in this situation? What can I do to help the situation? Have I admitted my fault or part of this situation? Am I allowing for error and mistakes and offering grace? Am I communicating in first person (I feel, I need, I hear you saying, etc.)?
Self-check ask yourself: Am I making an assumption, or reading into a situation more than is really there? Am I reading between the lines? Am I Using “Universal Qualifiers” such as she “always,’ or he “never”? Is my own fear and doubt or insecurity reading the message and making it bigger than what it is?
Am I overly emotional in a particular situation?
Self-check ask yourself: Do I respond to conflict or change with the same emotion? Are there situations in our relationship where I respond with irritability? Anger? Frustration? Annoyance? What about this situation really bothers me and where did it come from?
Abundance in relationships does not find us or miraculously happen. Self-reflection and self-awareness are cornerstone to checking selfishness and assumptions in your relationship. Relationship Abundance comes from proactive planning on how to build a relationship with open and honest communication standing on the foundation of infatuation and romantic love.
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More by Joanna Oestmann