The Millennial's Simplified Guide for a Strong & Happy Relationship
It’s a beautiful thing to come together with another person in a loving relationship. And no matter how emotionally mature, responsible, or compatible the two of you are, I guarantee there will be areas of disagreement and discontent. Boy did that take a turn.
I don’t know how many arguments I’ve had with my husband over hypothetical situations or grammatical errors. Do I really, truly value where my (at the time) hypothetical children go to school and play? Yes of course I do! But I didn’t need to worry about that before they were born!
If I were to truly assess my problem, it wouldn’t be about the hypothetical talks or arguments. What I needed was my husband to listen. I wanted to be heard. I wanted my fair share of the time to talk and have someone value my opinion. I’m sure you can relate to this, there are just so many times throughout the day where I feel talked at, and never fully part of a conversation.
And unfortunately, after this happens I tend to shift my value to the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on valuing my husband, I get upset and focus on what it is I am saying. And we enter this endless loop where nobody can really win.
By truly valuing your partner or spouse, you can be flexible enough to listen and understand. Even through those difficult times where you may hold a completely different position in a given situation. One of the things that has changed my life completely is by simply asking myself this question:
What am I really upset about? Does this really matter to me? Does it matter to me more than my husband?
The answer is no. These questions have the ability to get you to really break out of that horrible endless loop of blame. And when you do that, you take responsibility to really value that relationship you have with your special someone. Remembering you chose to spend the rest of your life with that person.
Honestly, I before I started asking those three questions, there were arguments that lasted days. I mean think of all that wasted time! It could have been resolved and we could have been moving forward with our relationship, with our life, with everything! It is a total adult game-changer if you ask me.
Once you establish that you value your partner, and start taking responsibility, communicate as clearly as possible. The ball is in your court. It’s extremely important to stay calm while explaining your feelings or your point of view. If you start showing signs of anger or speak aggressively, your spouse may become defensive. And once that happens it’s like a wall has been put up that you must now go through before you can even share your perspective.
Even if your partner doesn’t understand in the beginning, keep your frustration at bay. The point isn’t to sway the other person, it is just to get them to understand and communicate. Being in a serious relationship takes a great amount of self-control and having a happy marriage requires tremendous self-discipline.
Personally, I find that the simple act of taking the responsibility of telling my husband what exactly is happening prevents a lot of arguments. Most of the arguments we have are the same, just variations of the same old same old. You’d think we would learn sooner! Anyway, I take it upon myself to tell him exactly what is bothering me. Even a simple phrase like, “I’m frustrated because I don’t feel like you are listening to me.”
When I take the responsibility to tell him what is bothering me, the ball is now in his court to value me. He now can tell me his perspective, explaining what he was doing when I felt this way. Most times, he was excited about something and didn’t realize he had cut me off. Or he didn’t realize I felt strongly about something, etc. Usually it’s a misunderstanding. And when that happens we both understand that we had no intent to make the other feel badly.
But had I not spoken up about how I was feeling, he would have no idea. That is usually how most of our arguments started. I’d be feeling frustrated, and he would have no idea anything was wrong. I’d be upset and from my perspective, he just kept doing it over and over! And that would make me angrier and angrier. Until finally I say something, usually not in the nicest of tones, to say the least. And to him, I just exploded out of nowhere.
So again, lots of self-control and self-discipline is required for a strong, and healthy serious relationship. 100% commitment to your spouse’s happiness and well-being often involves self-sacrifice. In an adult relationship, self-discipline means being completely honest and open, and delivering your point of view as non-threatening as possible. Basically I mean be respectful and polite. Be clear about what you want without anger and in the same respect, listen calmly and patiently to your partner.
I cannot stress this enough. The point is to be communicating. Not swaying the opinions of the other. Without fail, every time you try and get someone to come around to your side, you fight an uphill battle. As soon as people feel attacked, communication breaks down and they go on the defensive. This is not what you want.
So why is it so important to work on your relationship first?
Because love is our greatest need. We do anything for love. When we don’t receive love, we start to exhibit all kinds of issues. Be it through behavior issues or even lashing out. That is why withholding love is never a good idea. We are only 100% free to shift our attention to our own personal success when we give 100% to our relationship with our partner. Strange how that works.
How to Keep Your Relationship Strong When You are Super Busy
1. Plan time for your spouse and your family. Schedule time for them regularly and keep to those arrangements. Even if it is only once a week, during their time give them 100%. This means no business calls or texting.
2. Show and tell your appreciation for each other, to each other. Successful couples regularly share the admiration they have for one another. Tell each other a few things you appreciate every day, face-to-face. If you are busy traveling, call and tell each other over the phone, don't text it.
3. Agree on important issues before they become issues. Communicating what is expected of each other will save you from many misunderstandings that can turn into arguments. Discuss everything you can think of, define your relationship and your household strategy, and be on the same page.
I am not a licensed therapist and we at Living Samantha LLC do not represent ourselves as such. Information related to relationship advice found on this post is not provided as professional advice or guidance.