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6 Things Every Couple Should Stop Doing

inShare 61Email Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys. ?Nicholas Sparks Today, Marc came home with roses for me. What are these for? I asked. He said se veral men at a local entrepreneurship meet-up he attended this afternoon were co mplaining about their wives and family life. I just kept thinking about how luck y I am how lucky WE are, he continued. After more than a decade of living and work ing together, and marriage, and all the ups and downs, I honestly still had noth ing to complain about. I just sat there in silence and smiled. Of course, this made me smile too, so I gave Marc a huge hug. This evening when I sat down to brainstorm some ideas for a new post, Marc s story about the other men s complaints kept echoing through my mind. And this got me t hinking about all the failed relationships and marriages I ve witnessed over the y ears, and what they had in common. So I started jotting down notes, and before I knew it I had the perfect outline for this post six things every couple should stop doing. If your relationship with your partner doesn t feel as healthy and happy as it onc e did, there s a good chance you both need to STOP 1. Being too busy to be present with each other. The best gift you can give someone you love is the purity of your full presence. Presence is complete awareness, or paying full attention to the now. If you do not find at least some amount of presence in the moments you share with your par tner, it is impossible to listen, speak, compromise, or otherwise connect with t hem on a meaningful level. To cultivate your presence, all you need to do is sit quietly for as long as you desire and put your full attention on your breath thinking only of what each in hale and exhale feels like. Don t judge or resist your inner-workings. Simply ac cept and breathe. Practice this a few times a day, and it will start to feel mo re natural. This way, when you are in the thick of a deep conversation with you r partner, you can access that presence and listen without judgment or impatienc e, speak with clarity, and learn to fully connect and compromise. Bottom line: Be Present. Give your partner your full attention. Let them see their own beauty in your eyes. Let them find their own voice through your liste ning ears. Help them discover their own greatness in your presence. (Read The Power of Now.) 2. Feeling too comfortable to compliment each other. The secret to a healthy, lasting relationship is not about how many days, months , or years you ve been together, it s about how much you truly love each other every day. You must directly express this love through your words and actions. It s eems like such a small thing, but in our busy lives we often forget that a kind word, a helping hand, or just a smile and a quick thank you can create a bright sp ot in your partner s life.

Relationships last a lifetime only when two people make a choice to keep it and work for it. Tell your partner you love them every night, and prove it every da y. These acts of love don t need to be extravagant; they just need to be true. Also, acknowledging and appreciating each other s daily victories is one of the mo st loving things two people can do for each other. So before going to bed every night, take a moment to openly discuss and appreciate three things you each acc omplished during the day, no matter how small. Compliment each other and celebr ate together. What we focus on expands. What we appreciate, appreciates in val ue. 3. Resisting compromise. Good relationships don t just happen, and they aren t built solely on a foundation o f convenience. They take time, patience, effort, and two people who want to be together and are willing to meet in the middle. When there s a disagreement, they work out a solution that works for both parties a compromise, rather than a nee d for the other person to change or completely give in. Ultimately, love is when another person s happiness is equally as important as you r own. It s not only about romance, candle-lit diners and walking hand in hand; i t s about a lifetime of commitment and cooperation. Two people don t stay in love b ecause they sleep in the same bed, but because they share the same foundation of honesty, trust, and respect. (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the Rel ationships chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently .) 4. Wanting to be right. When it comes to closest relationships, you don t always have to be right, you jus t have to not be too worried about being wrong. Ask yourself, Does it really mat ter? Oftentimes it s far better to be kind than to be right. Express your opinions freely and politely with your partner, remembering that if your purpose is to ridicule or prove them wrong, it will only bring bitterness into your relationship. Respecting their opinion, without judging or jumping to conclusions, always carries more weight than simply being right. Bottom line: Life is so much better when you focus on being happy together, rat her than worrying about who is more right as an individual. 5. Hiding personal flaws and problems from each other. You attract a person by the qualities you show them, you keep them around based on the qualities you truly possess. Problems and flaws are a part of everyone s l ife. If you try to hide them, you don t give the person who loves you a chance to truly know you and love you fully. As flawed as you might be, as out of place as you sometimes feel, and as lacking as you believe you are, you don t have to hide the imperfect pieces of yourself f rom your partner. They see your flaws as features that make you interesting, an d they see your problems simply as a sign that you re human too. By hiding things from your partner, you allow small problems to escalate and dom inate both your life and your relationship. If you make a mistake, it might be irritating, but don t bury it inside you. Be open about it, address it, and move on. Our problems are really our blessings if we use them to grow stronger, both as individuals and as couples. (Read Daring Greatly.) 6. Trying to get even, as a replacement to forgiveness. Getting even doesn t help a relationship heal. If you re feeling pain, don t take act ion that creates even more pain. Don t try to cover darkness with darkness. Find the light. Act out of love. Do something that will enable you to move forward

towards a more fulfilling reality. If your partner makes a mistake that hurts you, and you want your relationship g row beyond it, you have to start with forgiveness. Without it, the potential fo r long-term happiness in a relationship is impossible. You don t forgive your partner because you re weak; you forgive them because you re st rong enough to know that human beings make mistakes. Forgiveness is giving up y our craving to hurt them for hurting you. It doesn t mean you re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you re letting go of the resentment and pai n, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move forward with your li fe and hopefully move forward with your relationship too. Afterthoughts The greatest relationships take a great deal of work. They don t just happen, or maintain themselves. They thrive only when two people make an effort and take t he risk of sharing what it is that s going on in their heads and hearts. Keep in mind that every couple has ups and downs, every couple argues, and that s the way it should be you re a partnership, and partnerships can t function without r egular communication and compromise. When you don t talk it out, there s a lot of i mportant stuff that ends up not getting said. And, above all, remember that it s not all about you. There is greatness in doing something you dislike for the sake of someone you love. Your turn What relationship mistakes would you add to this post? What should every couple stop doing to each other? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with u s.

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