Part of my reason for starting my blog was due to something that was going on in my relationship with my husband. Or maybe I should say, something that wasn’t going on. You see, things were ok with us but that’s it. They were just ok. We were just 2 people carrying along, living side by side amicably but our connection just wasn’t there. I felt lonely. Feeling lonely in your relationship has got to be one of the worst feelings. I felt very bleh about our relationship and was tired of feeling that way. I know that relationships go through cycles but this was one I just wasn’t enjoying.
Fast forward to present day and I can’t tell you how differently I feel now! While I would love to say it is due to all our date nights, it isn’t. They have certainly played a large role but there have been a few things that have changed which in turn have majorly improved our relationship. So while I know that every relationship is different, I thought I would share with you the changes that I made which helped to improve our relationship. (As with most relationships, there are two people in it and you can not do it alone. These are the changes I made, my husband made his own.)
1. Choosing what kind of relationship I want
The first thing I did was decide what kind of relationship I wanted. Was I happy with an ok bleh kind of relationship that felt a bit boring and stale or did I want a vibrant, loving and passionate relationship that I could feel excited about. Of course it can’t be like that all the time but I would like it to feel like that a lot of the time. So when I decided I wanted the latter, I decided to do something about it.
‘Your relationship does not define you…you can define your relationship!’
2. Taking responsibility for my role.
I decided to stop blaming my husband for all the things he wasn’t doing, being etc. and look at my own behaviour. Does he want to be loving, romantic when I’m being critical and closed to him? Sometimes we get in a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Which comes first? I’m closed because I’m not getting what I want or I’m not getting what I want because I’m closed. But I decided to change my behaviour, to treat him how I want to be treated and things shifted drastically. You can read a bit more about that in my post, here.
‘Do you treat your partner the way you would like to be treated?’
3. I stopped holding on to what our relationship used to be.
I had a major realisation, a bit of an ‘AHA! Moment’ for those Oprah fans, that our relationship is never going to be what it once was because we’re not the same people. I realised that a lot of my dissatisfaction in our relationship was holding on to an idea of who my husband was when we first got together. That romantic, present, attentive, ‘perfect’ guy. Well, life has changed and so have we. He could be all those things back then because we weren’t totally exhausted and had 2 little people to take care of, bills to worry about, a house to upkeep etc etc. It’s not to say he’s not that person anymore but I’ve had to lower my expectations of him and our relationship of what is actually manageable and achievable now at this stage of our lives. It’s not to say we can’t have an amazing relationship now, it’s just about not holding onto an ideal of what used to be.
‘Let go of what your relationship used to be and focus on what it can be now’
4. Not relying on him to make me happy
This is something that logically seems so obvious and clear yet, subconsciously it seems to just sneak its way in there. Relying on someone else to make you happy is just never a good idea because, yes, the old cliche is true…only YOU can make YOU happy. If you are not happy within yourself, there is nothing anybody can do to change that but YOU!
‘Only YOU can make YOU happy!’
5. Making myself a priority
Following on from my point above, it’s been so interesting how making myself a priority has been so good for my relationship! When I realised that I can not rely on him to make me happy, I also realised that I needed to make some changes in my life in order to make myself happy. This meant focusing on making myself a priority. Looking after myself. Looking after my needs. And not putting everyone else’s needs in my family before mine as I always tend to do. When I make myself a priority, I have more energy and love to give to my family and less resentment,irritation and frustration towards them. When I make myself a priority, I am a much happier woman, mom and wife.
‘When I make myself a priority, I am a much happier woman, mom and wife.’
I have another 5 changes but I will save that for part 2. My husband thought this post would be too long if I had 10 changes so I’ve split it up into two…yes, I do take his advice sometimes 😉
Update: For part 2, click here.
Have you made any changes which helped your marriage? I’d love to know in the comments below. Don’t be shy…