In the work that I do, I come across quite a few individuals who are less than happy in the relationship that they are in.
One commonality that seems to permeate almost all couples is the notion that if the other person would just be different, everything would be just fine. Sound familiar? You aren’t alone, my friend. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who ask me, “How do I get him to be different?” or “How can I get her to stop doing x,y, z?” Of course in our own minds, we always see where we’ve been wronged. We’re always the victim. If only they would just get their shit together, this relationship would surely thrive, right?
Here’s the deal: unless you are Jesus or Buddha, chances are, there is probably something you could do to show up in a more powerful way. Something that you could do to actually set your partner up for success.
So, here’s a list for you… a list of things that are in YOUR power. Your control. For a minute, stand outside of what your partner is responsible for and take a solid look at where you could stand to kick it up a notch.
Some ways you can be a better spouse… for your relationship and also to have some fucking pride in who you are:
- Instead of focusing on all the things you wish they would do differently, take some time to really, truly notice all the things that you are thankful for.
- Then tell them.
- Talk to them like they are someone you love.
- Don’t talk business without saying some sort of nicety to each other. For instance, if you’re asking your partner to pick up something on the way home, say you hope they’re having a great day first.
- Tell your spouse when you’re proud of them. Even if it’s for something small
- Initiate. Anything. Conversation, dates, sex, whatever. Don’t wait around and play the tit for tat game.
- Acknowledge when you’re in a bad mood. Say it out loud and tell your partner it isn’t about them.
- Be mindful of your words. All of them. You can’t take them back.
- Get your shit together. Seriously. If your individual issues are wreaking havoc on your relationship, get it ironed out. Get support. Handle your shit.
- Don’t make your partner pay for the sins of your ex, or father, boss, or whoever. If this is a rough one for you, see #9.
- In every argument, take time and ask yourself if there was anything you could have done better. Spoken a bit more kindly? Explained more thoroughly and candidly? Listened?
- Ask your partner how they’re day was. Every day. BEFORE you unleash about how your day was.
- Give a kiss good-bye every day. And tell them how you feel about them. Every day. AND MEAN IT. How often do you say “I love you” in passing without even thinking about it?
- Tell them when you’re going through some shit, and ask for what you need. And tell them it’s really not them.
- If you think about them during the day, let them know. It takes one second. Seriously, you can send a sweet text when you’re taking a shit for god’s sake.
- If something is bothering you, address it right away. BUT NOT IF IT MEANS YOU SCREAMING AND YELLING. Cool down and then kindly express what’s on your mind.
- Take care of something you know your partner doesn’t want to do. Just because.
- Say thank you. Often. And with genuine sincerity. Seriously, Mr. Smith and I still thank each other for everything… for going out on a date, for sex, for chores, for making money, for taking out the cat shit. An attitude of gratitude can radically shift a relationship.
- Nurture your own identity. Take care of your health. Hang out with people who build you up. The more fulfilled you are as a person, the more you are able to give to another. And the less co-dependent you will be.
- Watch your approach. Would you respond well to you?
- In everything you do/are in your relationship, ask yourself, “How do I need to show up in order to be proud of the person I am?”
So, seriously. Take a real, honest look at where you could stand to be a better YOU. In service of your relationship, but also in service of YOU and your own personal fulfillment.
Consistently, I see that the happiest couples are those who really love who they are as individuals. They have really owned their power separately and can co-create a super powerful relationship because of it. So, get on it. I know you have it in you. Plus, how fucking boring is it to stop growing? Go rock your own world.
I’m thinking we sometimes forget about the “laugh” part
because we’re too consumed with the other two. You feel me?
Ok, so, if you’re used to reading what I write round ROS, you know that I like to vacillate between routine ass-kickin’s and more self-lovey sorts of posts. So after last week’s beating, I thought it would be fun to lighten it up a bit this week.
Sometimes I think that self-growth and introspection can be so fucking heavy which is why I often coat it with a plenty of profanity and irreverence. BUT, for this week, let’s shift gears, shall we?
I think that one of the best things that we can do for ourselves is JUST LAUGH. Everyday.
Life feels so serious and responsible sometimes and what we really need to do is just laugh more. So, here it is: A go-to of some seriously funny shit.
By the way, research for this post was a blast.
- www.Someecards.com: Ok, so if you’ve been living under a rock, you may not be familiar with these… but chances are, you’ve seen them floating around Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and all the other ways we virtually communicate with one another. Seriously, if you strongly value irreverence (like MOI), you have to check these out. They also have iPhone apps.
- www.damnyouautocorrect.com: Man… this one gets me every time. If I’m having any kind of rough day, I look this bad-boy up and read through some of these epic fails and have myself some gut-wrenching laughs. You know it’s good if you laugh your ass off and you’re by yourself.
- www.highdeas.com: This site is all about marijuana enthusiasts who have hilarious thoughts and ideas while they are stoned and they post their ideas to the site. Has nothing to do with anything political… just some very hilarious ideas. Things that make you go hmmmm. And then laugh.
- These hilarious videos on YouTube:
- And this.
- Will Ferrell: Just type his name into YouTube and you’ll be rollin’ in no time.
- Andy Sandburg and Justin Timberlake: Especially THIS and THIS.
Alright, lovelies! That’s about it for now! Would love to hear from you and learn about what makes you laugh your ass off! Here’s to adding years to our lives through laughter. Cheers!
Alright, so if you follow any of my writing around these parts, you know that I am always pointing you towards being the best version of you that you can be… for you. Not for anyone else. The reason I bring this up is because the title of this post may allude to the idea that we need to behave in a specific way to please others. Not the case.
As you read through this article, I think you will see that what we all want is to be around really genuine, authentic people. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a new person we’re dating, a colleague or boss, or a friendship.
So, after having a badass discussion with Mr. Smith, here are the things we came up with that you can do right now to scare a man off. (Or friendships, bosses, neighbors, or anyone.)
- Talk too much. Ok, so it’s not necessarily about the amount of talking, but rather the time you choose to go off. Early on in our relationship, we had to realize a few things. First of all, I was NEVER going to care about sports the way Mr. Smith did and he was never going to enjoy hearing about the latest colors of eyeshadow. We had to learn that there were certain topics that would be better supported by other people in our lives. Second, we had to learn that we weren’t always on the same conversation schedule. For example, when he first gets home, is involved in another project (computer, waching TV, etc), or is watching sports, it IS NOT the time to discuss anything of importance. At all. The way he puts it is, “please don’t expect an ear if I’m not ready.” Have you ever had that family member or friend that insists on talking about something RIGHT THEN, even if you aren’t in the space to really listen? Suuuucks, right? Have some respect. Express that you have something of importance to discuss and ask when they might be available to converse. (Disclaimer: if you have someone who always avoids and never wants to talk then you have a completely different sitch on your hands).
- Have NO confidence. Ever been around that person that says I’m sorry over and over again? Have you ever been around that friend who is always bitching and complaining about how they look? Does it ever make you want to shower them with compliments and hang out with them a lot? Fuck, no. Mr. Smith always tells me, “I like you, when you like you.” There’s a reason for that. ‘Cause it just isn’t fun to be around people who have zero confidence. How ‘bout you? Ever do anything just to get a reaction from someone else? Watch yourself. Think about what you’re attracted to. Probably a mix of confidence and humility. Do you want friendships or relationships that require you to single-handedly build someone else’s confidence because they have none of their own? In the work that I do, the happiest couples are those who really, truly love the PERSON that they are OUTSIDE of the relationship itself. They don’t depend on the other person for their self-worth. If you need to grow in this area, take heart, you sure as hell aren’t alone, and I’ve got you covered. Go HERE.
- Falsely advertise. Saying you’re adventurous or spontaneous when it really scares the shit out of you. Ordering just a salad when you really want a burger. Pretending you like sports just because he does. I also like to call this Relationship Fraud: putting out an image of yourself that just isn’t true with the intent of garnering approval from a potential mate. Just BE YOUR FUCKING SELF! I remember a few years back, I had a girlfriend who admitted to me that she actually didn’t like dressing up for Halloween… after we had planned outfits together for years and put tons of attention around it. I thought she dug it as much as I did. All of a sudden I find out that she’s not that into it? Totally sucks. Ever sign on to a job and find out that it is NOT what you thought? Yeah. Me too. Same goes for relationships. Start out, from the get-go, really, truly authentically being you. If you are dating, you have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to show who you really are. Isn’t that what you want? To be purely loved and accepted for YOU? Then act like it.
- Be a victim. To your job. To your ex. To your life. To your kids. Doesn’t matter to what. If you talk to people about all this shit that is happening TO you instead of how you choose to deal with it, chances are people can’t wait to get away from you. These people also tend to forget to ask the other person how they are doing and just want to share (in a depressing way) all the shit in their own life. It’s repelling. This is YOUR life. Own it. Change it. Create it.
- Be career obsessed. Or anything obsessed. Again, ever been around that person who can’t talk about anything but work? Or their pets? Or their kids? It’s that person that when you think of them, you only think about that one thing their obsessed about… because that’s aaaaaaalllll they talk about. You are WAY to versatile of a human to be defined by only one role in your life. Find out who YOU are… all of you.
The following are three from Mr. Smith that are just kinda funny.
- Not knowing your alcoholic limit. I shouldn’t have to explain this one.
- Sloppy eating. See explanation from number 6.
- Hygene. Ever had that friend, boss, partner with horrible breath? Yeah. You pick up what I’m putting down. Clean that shit up.
Joking aside, where can you start owning who you are in this world and really, truly, put the BEST version of you out there? What do you want to attract? Like attracts like. So, get on it. BE what you want to attract.
I’ve recently been in many discussions around the topic of self-love and I have seen that many people really struggle with what that concept actually looks like. I think one of the biggest components of self-love is our self-care. Self-care can come in many forms and can start creating the mental awareness you need around YOU BEING IMPORTANT. When you start consciously creating the time to nurture and grow yourself, you miraculously become a better mother, wife, friend, co-worker, sister, and most importantly, you have pride in the person you are. Take a look through the following and see where you can begin showing yourself a bit more importance.
- Change your mind-set. Create a mantra. Develop a new belief. Whatever it looks like, you need to decide RIGHT NOW that you are deserving of the life you want, the time you need, and the care of self you desire. If you follow my work here on Roots, I am a big fan of mantras. (Check out some ideas HERE and HERE.) Find something that will empower you and remind you that you deserve self care. In fact, it’s mandatory. Once you have your new empowering belief/mantra/phrase/whatever, create a structure: put it on your phone screensaver, your computer screensaver, in you planner, on your car, have a jewelry item that reminds you of it, whatever, just be sure to have the reminder around you.
- Treat yourself. Do something once a week that is ONLY about your personal self-care. Not about influencing others. Not about anything other than you simply enjoying yourself. Read. Shop. Eat. Drink. Learn. Pamper. Masturbate. Whatever it is for you that is a treat and feels really empowering… doesn’t matter. All it needs to be is something that feels like a caring gesture towards yourself.
- Value your physical self. This is an area I think we can all take some pride in, in order to boost our self-care. How are you treating your body? Would your body have any idea that you care for it? Would it ever think you are grateful for it? Can you fuel you physical body better? What would be one small step? Cut out something you know doesn’t serve you? Walk around the block? Hell, even park farther from the store in order to get a longer walk in? What about other ways you take care of your physical body? When was the last dental cleaning? Eye exam? Hair cut? Pedicure? How you take care of your physical vessel is very telling with how much you value yourself. Our physical bodies are the only vehicle we can have to move our spirits around on this earth. Take care of it.
- Eliminate toxic people. OMG. Super self-explanatory. Seriously. If there are people in your life who really don’t ever help you be a better person or make you feel guilty for putting yourself first… kick ‘em to the curb. Chances are, whatever you are holding on to in these relationships, is NOT WORTH what it is costing you in self-care.
- Start saying NO. Again, if you follow my rants around here, you’ve heard this one before. I love to say Assertiveness + Kindness = Freedom. You don’t have to be an asshole. Just take a fucking stand for yourself and start saying NO to shit you don’t want to do. You can do it. I promise. And once you get the hang of it, it gets easier, and more and more empowering. Crazy thing… you’ll also start to garnish a shit-ton more respect from others along the way. Bonus.
If you are really at the beginning when it comes to self-care, print this post out and take baby steps. Start with only number one. Work on getting your new phrase or mantra. Then practice using it. Believing it. Work on that until you feel more confident. Then move to number two. Set up one date with yourself. This process can be as simple or aggressive as you need it to be. Whatever you do, DO SOMETHING!! Decide RIGHT NOW that you are fucking worth it! And if you have a hard time believing it right now, then believe ME. I know you deserve it. So, until it’s a resounding “FUCK YEAH, AMY! I know I deserve it”, just take my word for it, and get into action. Go.
Oh, and if you want more support around this, I’ve been working on a pretty badass movement to support you. Go HERE to get tons of info and freebies.
Have you ever found yourself wondering, “How the hell do I find time for this relationship?”
Yeah. Me too. You are soooo not alone.
Something that I have come to realize after being immersed in relationship analysis over the years is that there seems to be two primary categories that infringe on paying attention to our relationships: how we choose to spend our TIME and how we spend our ENERGY. If you have clouded up either of these two areas, chances are, your relationship is taking a backseat, and probably suffering.
So, what the hell can we do about it? Well, a lot of things. Remember… this is all about CHOICE. How you CHOOSE to spend your time and your energy. So, in order to simplify this a little bit, here are some simple ways you can free up your time and energy, so you can actually allocate your time and energy to shit that really matters… in this case, your relationship.
- Read my post about the most important things in your life in order to get really clear about what you are making a priority. Do the exercises. Get clear. Own your shit.
- Take a look at your commitments. Anything you have been saying yes to that you really don’t want to do? Anything that is a “should” or a “have-to”? Guess what? All those little obligations that you have committed to that really don’t light you up ARE GETTING IN THE WAY of giving time and energy to your partner. So what can you say no to? Where you can you man up and actually care about what YOU want more? Remember, you don’t have to be an asshole to decline something. You can do it with grace. Assertiveness + kindness = Freedom.
- Start saying “no”. See #2. It warrants repeating. Grow a pair and start saying no so you can start saying yes to hanging out with that person you swear you are in love with.
- Figure out where your stress if coming from. Your work? Your family? Obligations? Your schedule? Many times if individuals are really stressed out, there is not much room to cultivate and grow a relationship. Is there one small baby step that you could take to improve your stress level? Is there stress coming from an area that you could actually take steps to eliminate? Or delegate? Boundaries you could establish? Even a mindset switch about what is deserving of your energy? Oftentimes, we don’t realize that so much of our stress is self-inflicted. Unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves. Things we make more important. What is it for you?
- Carve out non-negotiable time for you. I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase, “If mom is happy, everyone is happy.” Yeah, no shit. You can’t keep filling up everyone else’s pitcher if yours is empty as fuck. Decide RIGHT NOW what you need each day or week to honor YOU. Seriously. Stop and think about that right now. Could you have 15 minutes of meditation before you jump out of bed? Could you have one hour to read each week on a topic that fills you up? If you are thinking, there is no way I can make the time, I want you to take an honest look at what you are making more important. Is it really more important that taking care of yourself? Probably not. It may be time from some re-arrangement of priorities. ‘Cause guess what? YOU need to be a priority. I can guarantee you, if you aren’t filled up, you probably aren’t being the best spouse you can be.
- Carve out non-negotiable time for the relationship. This is the step where you actually decide that taking care of your relationship is so important that you commit to spending a specific amount of time together each week. You don’t need a week away to Cabo. What you need is to have sacred time EVERY SINGLE week where your relationship IS a priority. Decide what you can commit to. I always advocate a date night, but sometimes with small children that is nearly impossible. Instead of going into the “can’t” go to the “can”. Could you have 15 minutes to discuss your dreams/your day/what you’re learning/what you’re thankful for together before you go to bed? Maybe every Tuesday night you take 30 minutes just to catch up. Talk about what you’re learning. Share your life a bit. If weekly time feels like a stretch, start small. Shoot for 30 minutes a week. Carve it out. Seriously, if this seems like a chore, you may have a business partner instead of a spouse.
- Take a look at your schedules. Okay, so I have soooo been in this boat and it fuckin’ sucks. Mr. Smith and I were like two ships passing in the night for a few years while our work schedules were completely opposite. So, here’s what we learned: If there was any hope for us, we needed to a) have sacred time EVERY single week and b) we had to be consciously working toward a different schedule. We knew that the way our schedules were crafted could not go on forever or we would completely grow apart. You may not be in a situation where you can miraculously create harmonious schedules. What you CAN do is look at what this may cost you in five years time if you don’t have an alternate game plan. What will it take for this arrangement to be temporary? And what can you do in the meantime to MAINTAIN your relationship?
So, you have some work cut out for you. It’s time to decide what is most important. What you are consciously choosing. The first step may simply be to create some awareness around what your current reality is. Maybe you just needed to acknowledge what you have been cluttering your time and energy with. So, I’ll leave you with my favorite mantra that I use around anything I know I want to make important:
MAKE TIME OR MAKE EXCUSES.