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.