“If we make the conscious decision to daily place our spouse’s desires and needs above our own, and that’s reciprocated, the marriage will succeed.” Gerald Rogers, from the article “My advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage.”
I shared this article with my group (which consisted of both men and women), to see what reaction I would get. Not surprisingly, this article was looked on by some men as biased and that it did not take into consideration what women needed to do as well. I decided to address this topic with a few points of my own, as it is imperative that BOTH women and men better understand each other, so healthy relationships can be sustained.
SPEND TIME WITH EACH OTHER
While it is important to never stop courting, it is important to understand that sometimes there has to be compromise, depending on your partner’s job situation. While you might not be able to go out all the time, be creative in planning something to do every week or at least every other week and be consistent. It could be something simple as watching a movie, having a glass of wine together, going for a walk, taking a drive out or it can be as simple as playing a board game together. The point is to make the time to be together, even if it is just for 30 minutes or an hour.
ALWAYS SHOW LOVE TO EACH OTHER
It is important to show your love. Words are not enough and actions do speak louder than words. By consistently displaying loving actions, you will make a positive impact on your relationship. Men do not always get it right every time and their timing might be off sometimes,but show appreciation & love for their efforts when they do try. Just give your man the opportunity to LOVE you and show you how he feels. Make the sacrifice sometimes, don’t put him down or complain because he choose an “inconvenient” time. Allow your partner to love you.
GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
Women, learn to give your partner his space. He needs that unwind time, whether it is watching football, drinking a beer, getting some rest or he just wants to go to his man cave and watch a movie by himself, learn to give him that space. Make the effort to understand what your husband loves and allow him to enjoy these quite moments away from you and the kids(if you have children) . Also understand that you need your space too and your partner should respect that. This helps both of you to not only maintain your own individuality, but it gives you an opportunity to not feel overshadowed and swallowed up by your relationship. You MUST always make time for yourself..
DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE EACH OTHER
Do not try to change him. He must not try to change you.Of course you will have certain expectations (shared goals & aspirations)in regards to each other, but attempting to change the very core of your personality (who you are)is unrealistic and can cause strife in your relationship.
LEARN TO COMPROMISE IN LOVE
Compromise is an important part of any relationship. It must be reasonable and must take into consideration each other’s feelings.
Love is not selfish, it is selfless,unconditional and must be given from BOTH sides, if it is to be effective in a relationship. If at anytime your feelings are ignored or your partner is not listening to your concerns, then “schedule” (yes, make an appointment) to speak with each other and air your issues.
BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS
Be accountable for your actions. Don’t do the blame game, don’t use I, use we. For example “I know that it has been difficult for us to hang out together, so let’s try to find some time…” Try to refrain from using “you need to…,” or “why can’t you find the time to….,”
LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF
Never depend on a partner to be happy. You must be in love with yourself and happy within yourself, before you can love anyone else.
LEARN TO LISTEN AND OBSERVE
Always listen to your partner. Do not take what they say lightly and do not ignore physical signs of distress or problems. Some examples are if your partner becomes distant, they start to stay out later then normal or they do not want to go out, they seem depressed or sad, to name a few. It is important to support your partner in all aspects, whether it is in their business, professional or personal life.
SUPPORT EACH OTHER
It is important to ride out the storm together, to support each other through the
tears,frustrations, trials and tribulation.
It will not always be sunshine and smiles,but laugh together during the good times and the bad times. Don’t let the devil steal your joy.
APPRECIATE & UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER’S DIFFERENCES
Men and women tend to have different needs in a relationship. Women need to feel validated, loved, protected and provided for. Men need to feel appreciated, trusted and respected in their relationship. Most importantly, they need love too. Not because men don’t talk as much or cry, it does not mean that they don’t feel hurt, pain or need love. Sex is a connection for them and is a way for them to feel loved. Women on the other hand need more of an emotional connection with their partner to feel loved.
ADDRESS YOUR ISSUES RIGHT AWAY
Understand that things happen and we all make mistakes, so try not to participate in the blame game. The blame game just causes resentment, anger, bitterness and distance in a relationship. Don’t be afraid to talk about finances, how you feel, problems you are having. One of the stigma in many relationships is the inability to discuss sex. Sex is a part of a healthy relationship and if there are problems you need to be able to discuss it as a couple and find a solution or solutions for the problem. These discussions must take place in a non-judgmental and objective environment. Effective communication is essential for any type of progress.
LEARN TO FORGIVE
Malice and lack of forgiveness, should never have any place in a relationship. Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Don’t forgive for the other person, forgive for you. Don’t let anger, bitterness and resentment take a hold of your relationship.
LOVE EACH OTHER UNCONDITIONALLY
Love is one of the unifying force that holds many relationships together.Do not underestimate how powerful love is.
BE FAITHFUL TO EACH OTHER
The title says it all. Try not to cross that line, because once trust is broken, it is very hard to build it back up and many times it leads to the dissolution of your relationship.
Your Empowerment Coach
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