Have you ever asked yourself this question?
Try it now.
Is it difficult for you to answer?
Perhaps you are wondering what I mean?
I often hear from couples who are dis-satisfied in their relationships, who find it easy to name the things they aren’t happy with and want to change. Mostly, they focus on their partner; what their partner isn’t doing correctly, what they want their partner to do differently.
But they don’t focus on themselves, and what THEY need to do to improve the relationship.
Of course it’s natural to focus outwards on to your partner and their “faults” rather than your own, for a number of reasons.
Perhaps your partner does something that really bothers you, or doesn’t do something that you really wish they did do. In a relationship we focus on this, rather than reflecting on our own behaviour and how that might be affecting our partner. This is because in a relationship, each partner has a different “lens”, or reality through which we view the relationship. CLICK HERE to learn more about this from a previous blog I wrote called “Relationship Misunderstandings and Why They Happen”.
Sometimes we can be blind to our own faults, and often when I ask each partner “What are YOU prepared to do for your relationship?”, it can be really hard for them to answer! That’s because it seems that it is only our partner’s behaviour that bothers us – not our own!
But in a balanced and harmonious relationship, each partner needs to take responsibility for their part in any issues that come up.
Common complaints I hear from couples about their partner include things like “he/she doesn’t want to talk about our problems”, “he/she isn’t as affectionate as I would like”, “he/she doesn’t prioritise me”.
I rarely hear couples say things like “I want to be able to communicate with my partner”, “I want to learn how to be more affectionate so that we can have a closer, more intimate relationship”, or “I want to be able to prioritise my partner”.
Nature is FULL of collaboration. For some animal species, their survival depends on it. I wrote a blog post about this recently – When Conflict and Cooperation Collide – CLICK HERE to read it. I discussed how Canadian geese fly in a V-formation to lessen the wind resistance for the geese behind them, how squirrels will often jeopardise themselves by alerting others to danger, how ants work in colonies. It might not be a conscious decision, but at every stage these animals and insects are on some level aware of the impact of their presence and actions in relation to those they are in collaboration or partnership with.
So if the above question isn’t something that you actively think about in your relationship, perhaps it’s time you did?
It’s not always easy, but I guarantee that if you BOTH take the time to ask yourselves this question regularly, and act on it, your partner will truly appreciate it and you will both feel the benefits!
To help you understand what you need to be doing for your relationship, try the following, simple exercise:-
- Try imagining things from your partner’s perspective – if you were them, what would you want to be different?
- Ask your partner to tell you what they would like from you
Let me know how you get on by posting in the comments below!
And remember, maintain and tend to your relationship and watch it thrive!
Your Nature-Inspired Relationship Coach,
P.S. – Want to receive regular relationship coaching tips, advice and guidance, so you can have a happy and harmonious relationship, able to overcome difficulties with compassion? Then CLICK HERE to sign up to me FREE Newsletter!
PPS: COMING SOON – If you would personally like my expert support to learn the EXACT techniques and steps to resolve conflict effectively without hurt, anger and frustration, you will soon be able to sign up for my Compassionate Conflict for Couples E-Course. At just £99 it is incredible value for at least 8 hours of coaching, and the first 10 people who sign up will receive a bonus 1:1 coaching call with me, absolutely FREE! These places will go fast and are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you would like any further information about this course or want to be notified as soon as it is released, or have anything else that you would like help with, I would be delighted to hear from you. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.